The Future of Marketing and Research is Social?

March 20, 2011 at 6:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One thing about researcher’s is that we love talking about the future. In multiple forums on LinkedIn we discuss and debate what’s need, what’s right, what’s a fad and what is not. Such debates are great but we need to take the conversation outside of ourselves and talk to marketing and business leaders about the future, as we are looking at a dramatic change in the way business buy and use research and collect information from consumers and most importantly, how customers want to interact with companies.
The internet of course changed everything and research is going through its own digital transformation where it is not just about capturing information via online, but more importantly how people have changed today in this participatory economy, where two way conversations are expected, not traditional one way dialogue in the form of a survey.
Within this new world of Research 2.0 the research profession with thrive if we can do a few things well namely; retaining quality of process and professionals, evolve our offer so cost cutting doesn’t reduce effectiveness, the level of access to respondents via traditional means, our ability to deliver ROI, our ability to combat information overload, our ability to engaging with respondents in new ways, our ability to embrace cultural and technological changes and finally our own braveness in marketing/positioning our profession.
We need to refine our offer so we can survive in a business world where:
• There is less appetite for risk/less $ available
• More DIY
• More Merger and acquisitions
• More mobile and location based tools (GPS)
• More demand for simplicity from clients
• More insight from non research activities (CRM, WOM, SMM, Analytics)
Bringing this together and providing expert analysis may be where the future lies but within this there are some fine lines that we need to walk through in the short to mid term. These fine lines include
• Marketing and research
• Research and public consultation
• Customer listening vs. fast tracking service issues (research as a short cut)
• Representativeness
• Stated vs. observed vs. actual data collection
So what the future hold for research?
• More shorter, sharper, more engaging on call conversations
• Micro launches, insights, iterations
• Doing more or the same with less
• Empowering people to engage
• Global learning
• Multimedia outputs
• ROI
• Actively listening
And in a very 2.0 way, why don’t you tell me, lets collaborate!

What Research can learn from marketing and vicer versa

March 5, 2011 at 3:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Having spent time both as a marketer and researcher during my career, I find it interesting that I left marketing because it was not accountable enough (and hence lost budget at critical times) but I took a long time to get into research because as a profession, the brand was a little too serious and scientific, not really engaging.  Once I started in research I found out it is incredibly engaging and rewarding.  Clearly marketing and research can learn from each other so here are a few ways that can happen: 

What  Marketing can learn from research

·         Process does not have to stifle creativity

·         Develop strategy from reliable robust data

·         The power of really listening to what people say

·         Take time to truly understand why people are making decisions that they do vs. which ones they like

·         Don’t throw out the science of what you do as it provides a strong base for growth

What Research can learn from marketing

·         Throw awesome parties that connect people

·         The power of collaboration (working with design, creative people to build new thoughts and context)

·         Stand out, don’t play by other peoples rules

·         Keep it real – always, be open to criticism and admit when you are wrong

·         Be braver and have a single minded view on what to do, don’t fence sit

·         Process does not have to stifle creativity

Make research more collaborative so it ceases to become research.  It’s more part of the organisational design where we collect information from everywhere and apply context and analysis to know how to use this information.

Marketer’s need to raise the bar to create something more remarkable.  Researchers should have the courage to challenge clients to create better, more stylish, more affordable 

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