Gongos Research Launches SmartFly™ Beta

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Gongos Research launches SmartFly™ Live Mobile Ethnography Beta, as announced by VP, Research Innovation Greg Heist on September 5, 2012. The new smartphone-based qualitative method allows market researchers to interact live with consumers in 4G-enabled environments. The method is supposed to change the way researchers conduct ethnography, taking full advantage of efficiency and immediacy afforded by the device that has become an extension of us as humans - the smartphone. It will act similar as to the traditional in-person ethnography. However, the difference (and advantage) it presents is the ability to minimize the "observer effect," where a third-party presence in home environments can alter the authentic behavior of respondents. Although the article reads it is an advantage, I believe it can also act as a disadvantage. Experimental manipulation is used best as the researcher's advantage, but serves as a disadvantage to the participant and/or respondent. Seeing as how this recently launched method provides a hands-on style to market research, I wonder how it is doing today and if has been proven to be effective thus far.

Top 10 Reasons for New Product Failure

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Copernicus Marketing Consulting and Research has found that only about 10%-20% of new products and services succeed. Compiled is a list of the top 10 reasons new products and services fail:
1. Marketers assess the marketing climate inadequately.
2. The wrong group was targeted.
3. A weak positioning strategy was used.
4. A less-than-optimal "configuration" of attributes and benefits was selected.
5. A questionable pricing strategy was implemented.
6. The ad campaign generated an insufficient level of awareness.
7. Cannibalization depressed corporate profits.
8. Over-optimism about the marketing plan led to an unrealistic forecast.
9. Poor implementation of the marketing plan in the real world.
10. The new product was pronounced dead and buried too soon.

A product I can think of that failed is Microsoft's "Zune." It was first released in November 2006, as Microsoft's version of Apple's iPod. This product hit a very low market share, especially comparing it to the iPod. Overall, the product did not seem as efficient, and Apple offered strong disincentives to any of its competitors (as it still does today). Can you think of any products that have failed, and their reasons behind their failure?

Market Research Surveys - Survey Length

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One of the most important aspects of designing and online market research survey is the length of the survey. This should be discussed at the very beginning of the survey. Marc I. Tillman, Amplitude Research, Inc. has conducted the research regarding the time and length within a survey. He states, "The timing can be far different depending on the number of words in the survey, the "thinking time" required by respondents, the manner in which the questions are programmed, and the speed of the survey technology." Two of which are very important, and I have underwent through myself are the thinking time and the speed of the survey technology. While having to complete RUS studies as a form of extra credit through the Carlson School of Management, I have found myself thinking further in depth about a lot of the questions found in such RUS studies. This may be because of certain questions dealing with perceptions, or it may also be due to the sensitivity of the question. Also, I have dealt with technical issues two times out of the six times I have participated in the RUS studies. Of course this is not the researcher's fault, but simply the system's. I believe these are very important aspects to survey lengths in market research surveys. As Marc I. Tillman states, "the time it takes for respondents to complete a survey can have a significant impact on the cost of online marketing research."

Possibilities for Market Research: GPS Apps

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The article states, "Dana Stanley from the Operandi Group reviews Foursquare, a mobile phone app that uses GPS to note your location and allows you to leave comments and connect with friends. This technology creates new ways for market researchers to connect with consumers in the moment of their purchase."

Her research question is, "Could we work with application providers to recruit respondents?" Keeping in mind that this content wasp provided by The Operandi Group in 2009 (also 4 years ago), I don't think this is a good idea regarding today's world and how market research operates within it. I believe it would more so overwhelm a customer. Marketers should keep the technique they currently have going--which is taking an online survey after purchasing something, instead of sending them a phone survey as they check into a Starbucks via Foursquare.

Mobile Surveys in Market Research

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As many of you know, mobile devices are not only changing the way we interact with each other as humans, but also the way we interact with brands and even market research. There has been a great reduction of land lines (including my own parent's) and a great incline of internet usage via smart phones.

Josh Mendelsohn, VP Marketing, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Inc. lays out some of the factors contributing to the research industry understanding and adopting mobile research as a concept:
1. "Guys, where are we?" - Charlie on ABC's Lost
2. "Right now, hey, it's your tomorrow." - Van Halen
3. "The customer is always right." - Stew Leonard's and other respectable stores
4. "We're at the crossroad, my dear, where do we go from here?" - Alicia Keys

I will be elaborating on #1 and #4.
#1 has to do in regards with the explosion of SMS (text messages) about three or four years ago. Researchers thought this would serve as a simple way to connect to online surveys or panels. However, through SMS this may be difficult. As the article states, this didn't really 'take off' for three primary reasons: "The market and use cases were not fully conceived. Client side researchers weren't ready to limit the amount of information they could acquire from respondents. Most of the systems weren't build to connect well with other feedback mechanisms." In my personal opinion, SMS isn't the most convenient or easiest way to take a survey. However, if it were a minor thing such as a voting poll on The Voice, then I would say it would be effective and a quicker way to do so.

#4 points out some great opportunities to grow within mobile research. Qualitative research via 'self-ethnography' is very useful. When I was in London, there was a protest (very similar to the Occupy Wall Street protest) being at St. Paul's Cathedral held by a group of 10-15 individuals that appeared to be homeless. These individuals had been camping outside of the cathedral for months now. I kindly asked if I could record them, and they granted me permission. I asked them what the protest was about, how long they had been there for, and their personal opinions. The information provided was incredibly useful and insightful. Overall, I think mobile surveys in market research are a resourceful tool if used appropriately. I also think it will emerge more as time goes on.


The article states, "There is a dramatic shift underway in the way we buy groceries, driven by the shift in dominance from Baby Boomers to Millenials, and the upsurge in mobile technology. Implications for the grocery industry: expect even less loyalty to channels and brands than we have today."

When it comes to shifting demographics, by 2020, it is expected that Millenials over the age of 25 will make up 19% of the population. This is both good and bad. According to the article, Millenials have the money to spend; however, they are less loyal to channels and brands. The article also states milennials spend differently. This is especially true as a college student in today's society. Due to not having much money, most college students find themselves shopping at places such as Rainbow and Target, rather than Lunds and Whole Foods (much pricier). When it comes to shifting channel use, there is an increased role for digital media. This is relating to buying groceries online, but more so using smart phones and other technology to expand and express our engagement with food. Think of how many people post pictures of their food on Instagram. However, social media can be used to engage consumers because some grocery stores do have apps available through iTunes.

Packaging: The Last 10 Seconds of Marketing

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This article starts out with stating, "Package decision has a crucial role in the last moments of a consumer's decision to make a purchase." This is exceptionally true, and this article points out several features of good packaging that influence purchase decision. Packaging is often the most important, yet one of the most overlooked aspects in marketing. Michael Stanat, Research Executive, SIS International Research points out several rules-of-thumbs when it comes to this topic.
1. Good packaging reflects the conditions in which it will be sold. (i.e. V8 making packaging fit into vending machines.)
2. Unique shapes, structures and delivery systems help differentiate products from competitors.
3. Packaging should include the brand's personality with branding and characters.
4. Packaging needs to highlight compelling and believable claims on product differences.
5. Direct comparisons to a competitor product can be effective.
6. Packaging is read not up and down, but at the left and right corners of packaging.
7. Effective packaging can target "Rejuveniles" who are middle aged people young at heart and somewhat nostalgic.

For me, as a consumer, packaging is something that is very important and I pay close attention to. A perfect example of this would be cosmetics. I tend to get most of my make-up products from Sephora. However, when it comes to smaller things such as lipstick and lip-gloss, I am not opposed to purchasing it from Target whatsoever. I'm not sure if many of you are aware of L'oreal and the changes it has undergone relating to packaging. Packaging plays a key role in L'oreal's environmental and sustainable development approach. Their packaging, specifically for their lipstick, has significantly improved over the years. This truly helps revamp their image as a beauty brand.

Here are some old versus new examples of L'oreal's lipstick. You can certainly see the difference between the old and the new L'oreal colour riche colour caresse lipstick packaging.


There are a lot of other products that do an awesome job when it comes to packaging (toys, board games, lunchboxes, tampons, toothpaste), but I just thought I would provide one example and truly focus on it. In conclusion, I truly do believe packaging plays a huge role in marketing, as it also reflects on consumers as a huge motivation to buy.

Marketing Research ROI: Investment Or Merely An Expense?

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Most of you may or may not know, but market research is a very expensive process. However, this article states how assessing brand image, employee satisfaction, or new product reception before launch can save a company thousands of dollars.

I will now list some of the reasons companies conduct research to begin with according to Ann Middleman, Principal, ADM Marketing & Research Consulting:
• To test new product and service concepts/components/prototypes, new positionings for established brands and new communication campaigns
• To test distribution channels, target market segments, and other elements of a marketing plan
• To determine brand image
• To find out how customers feel about the products and services they are buying and the companies from whom they are buying them
• To find out how employees feel about their companies and managers
• To generate content for a publicity campaign
• Any other inquiry about how and why consumers or B2B buyers make purchase decisions

Keeping in mind that there is a risk attendant with NOT conducting the research; a risk that may impact the marketing plan or the company's entire business plan. In some cases, the risk has a specific dollar amount attached to it; in others, the risk is qualitative. Additionally, we have to keep in mind the 80/20 rule: 20% of your customers account for 80% of your revenues. What is half of those 20% were unhappy with your product? The impact of this loss could be quite severe. I do think that market research is expensive, and in some case scenarios, is not needed. A lot of companies conduct market research simply because they have the money, or because they are "knowledge-driven." However, as the article states, managers should also consider the risks being taken by being "assumption-driven."

US Latinos and Innovation in Qualitative Research

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This research was conducted to understand the US-Hispanic family relation as a way to see who they are; in turn US companies can seize new market opportunities. This article brings up a very good point: "Doing studies among the same culture requires understanding the consumers and their motivations for using a product. Now, imagine a study among two different cultures in which the client is Anglo, speaking in English, while the consumers are Mexicans living in the US who prefer to speak Spanish (US Hispanic)." This requires a high level of authenticity. The article talks about using one of the top qualitative tools, ETHNOGRAPHY, as a way to present to the US Hispanic culture to the Anglo clients. As we learned about in class, ethnography is a detailed study of a group to describe its behavior, characteristics, cultural mores, etc. It gives an advantage to the researchers as it provides him/her to opportunity to explore cultural mores, which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings that guide a cultural group. As the article states, techniques include the following: empathy exercises, culturally sensitive interviewing, video ethnography and projective techniques.

I agree with the study and believe going to the participants' homes is the best way to catch a true glimpse of how real consumers act and what the producers mean to them, especially in this case scenario. The researcher can attain a lot of information by going to the participant's home and conducting the in-home interview, but they can also build upon collages as a projective technique. I found this article interesting because instead of just conducting an online survey and asking whether or not you are Hispanic, the researcher can obtain a lot of information closely related to the US-Hispanic family and their culture. This way you don't run into the issue of nonresponse bias, or simply biased questions.


The "Left Brain, Right Brain" print ad was always been a very interesting ad to me, especially because I feel as if the myth will never die. I will provide a little bit of background information for those of you who aren't familiar with the advertisement. The "Left Brain, Right Brain" print ad was published by advertising agency Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive Tel Aviv, Israel in February 2011. There are three parts of the advertisement, which include the different aspects of paint, music, and passion. However, all three seemingly emphasize the importance and power of the right brain by its vivid colors and message. The "Left Brain, Right Brain" print ad ensures that every Mercedes-Benz is presented with a distinctiveness through paint, music and passion by proving its premium brand identity. The product of this ad is implying that whether you are more a left brain, or more a right brain, Mercedes-Benz has a car for you. Mercedes-Benz fits wide range of demographics across the world. The primary target audience is both females and males, and young professionals who are interested in international cars and design. As previously stated, Mercedes-Benz wants to be known in the minds of both female and male, specifically ages 25-45. Lastly, Mercedes-Benz characterizes its brand towards consumers that are successful, sophisticated, and people with high-self esteem, often identifying with the "Innovators" category in the VALS Segments. However, Mercedes-Benz is trying to shift their brand image by achieving passion towards a younger, but still professional crowd who are motivated by self-expression and have high resources, which are classified as "Experiencers."

I found a very interesting article (see link above) regarding the myth about the left-brain, right-brain and how it will never die. The article talks about how there have been studies conducted and proven to show that the right hemisphere seems to be involved more when we have a flash of insight. For instance, as the article states, "One study found that activity was greater in the right hemisphere when participants solved a task via insight, rather than piecemeal. Another showed that brief exposure to a puzzle clue was more useful to the right hemisphere, than the left, as if the right hemisphere were nearer the answer."

Overall, the ad is creative and articulate as it draws on emotional ties between the two sides of the brain. If you would like to see several of the different print ads launched for Mercedes-Benz, go here: http://www.fuelyourcreativity.com/left-brain-vs-right-brain-advertising/