Survey Invite

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Just a little survey asked me to do. They email this out to users it seems once a month to gauge how students view internships. Helps their company because it goes directly to the users and offers an incentive!

5 Hour Energy Commercial

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This YouTube video states that 73% of doctors recommend a low calorie energy supplement to their patients who use an energy supplement. This ad is misleading in its research and shows commercial bias.

1. They state patients who already use an energy supplement are recommended to use low calorie supplements. This does not say that doctors recommend using caffeine supplements but those who already do should use a lower calorie one. So if you're drinking a Red Bull that has a lot of calories you should use a lower calorie one. If you're using no energy drinks the ad makes it sound like a low-calorie energy drink is good and is recommended.

2. The ad also makes it sound like doctors recommend 5 Hour Energy seemingly promoting a commercial product. All the doctors say is that people who use high calorie energy drinks should use lower ones.

This ad is misleading and shows that numbers can be manipulated for financial gains.

Social Media in Plain English

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This youtube video offers insight in how social media research has become useful for marketers. It uses the metaphor of ice cream throughout but offers three reasons why social media works:

1. Products get better because producers learn what consumers want more easily
2. Consumer insight is cheaper to get vs. costly advertising.
3. Social media allows for consumers to find want they want more easily.

This research is basic but very important in understanding social media.

NFL Concussion Research

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We've talked a lot about how research pertains to marketing and business but I would like to take a moment to talk about how it relates to health and the nations highest revenue generating sport. Concussions have been the biggest black eye to the NFL recently as 3,400 former players have no sued the league over putting player health at risk in order to gain revenue. Recently, the NFL donated $30 million to research of concussions and its affect on not only players but all people. The importance of health research for the business in football is pivotal because if the NFL would have simply turned a blind eye to the matter they would have had a PR nightmare and a possible end to football as we know it. People's health and mental health is important and should not be ignored and I commend the NFL for going in the right direction on this one.

Social Media and Black Friday Sales

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I wanted to touch back on Black Friday after seeing this report on social media. According to IBM Smarter Commerce social media made up less than 1% of Black Friday sales. This number comes from customers who were referred to a retailer's site through social media and made a purchase right then. The article also discusses how social media analytic companies say that the importance of social media is in its brand awareness. An example is how the Disney Store Twitter handle had increased 42% this year during Black Friday Sales.

Ok, so there are two things I want to say are important in this report. First of all, the article speaks about how social media is hard to measure for marketers and if its effects are influential on consumer decision. This seems to coincide with what Andrew was talking about when he discussed measuring social media and that no one is exactly certain of how strongly social media use correlates with purchasing decision.

Second, now earlier in the semester we talked about company goals and we had a reading about a woman who was giving a presentation to her boss about how company goals were not being met even though brand awareness was increasing. I remember putting brand awareness up on the board as a possible goal and also putting up higher revenue. In this article what social media analytics companies are arguing is that brand awareness is very important, and even though I agree, this report clearly shows that brand awareness through social media did not help the bottom line for many companies.

The odyssey for understanding social media continues...

Verizon tops mobile phones

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According to research done by Consumer Reports National Research Center Verizon Wireless tops AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile in customer service. The survey asked over 6,000 people based off of voice and data quality and knowledgeable employees.

The report also found that contractual agreements with phone companies saves no money at all. People who have "pre-paid" phones ended up saving $20 a month. This consumer research is important and effects the mobile industry as more and more people will realize this and move away from contractual agreements. This report shows the importance of gauging consumer habits and trends as it relates to research to continuing offering consumer products.

Traffic Jams and How To Stop Them

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Eliasson in this Ted Talk researches the ways in which governments try to curb traffic Jams. He explains that people's driving habits and attitudes are consistently changing, almost as much as day to day, and that it is important to not tell people what to do but to "nudge" them. As an example he discusses how a road toll in his home city of Stockholm initially was not well received but over time it was accepted until its intended effects became obsolete in five years. This traffic jam research shows the importance of longitudinal studies and how understanding that as people's attitudes change so does the research in order to provide services like roads to better be capable of serving people.

Bottled Water Survey

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So I took the survey for the honors student on bottled water. I thought for the most part it asked some good qualitative questions. However, it seemed to get a bit redundant when asking about what groups of people encouraged/discouraged bottle water drinking and what people would think of you if you did it. Kind of a strange string of questions. I'd also say that it didn't give a good platform for people to elaborate on the questions so I wonder how much valid information the student will get.

Best and Worse Run States

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The list from 1 to 50 of the best run states have been announced 24/7 Wall St. And the winner is...

North Dakota?

Well that is just frustrating as a Minneostan, but here is how our neighbors to the west topped the list. Criteria included:

- state's debt, revenue, and expenditure
- fiscal management
- poverty
- income levels
- education levels

The strongest correlation of the study came from highly educated people and well-managed states. Nine of the 10 best run states have an unemployment rate below 7% with North Dakota at 3.6%.

So where is Minnesota? Number 10.

Full article:

Closeness to In-Laws

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This is an interesting article I found on Yahoo! News. The study suggests that marriages are 20% less likely to end in divorce if the husband is close to his in-laws. Inversely, marriages where women are close with their in-laws are 20% more likely to end in divorce.

Michigan psychology professor Dr. Terri Orbuch conducted this longitudinal survey study over the past 26 years. She used over 300 couples between the ages of 25 and 37 located in the Detroit-metro area.

Dr. Orbuch believes the difference is that in a close relationship between in-laws and the wife results in increased meddling. As for the men she states, "identity as as a father and a husband is often secondary to their identity as a provider. As a result, they don't take what their in-laws do or say so personally. "

The independent variable is close relationships with in-laws, whereas the dependent value is success of marriage. Cross-lagged surveys described in the book are rare so this is an interesting one to pay attention to. However, it doesn't sound like there are many other studies that are like this so maybe it would be good to take this with a grain of salt. Another reason to be skeptical is that it only surveyed people in Detroit, possibly only reflecting regional beliefs towards marriage.

Cultural changes also change the effects on marriage as what was considered "close" to in-laws may not be considered "close" by today's standards. At any rate, the survey does not say if relationship have gotten closer between husbands and in-laws or have declined which would be a good area of future research.