Nobody knows anything

The debate about the value of research continues. I’ve been waiting until I saw more than one article debating this – and the one today from Faris Yakob has summed it all up wonderfully in ‘All market research is wrong‘. Full of awesomeness.

Why, well he makes 2 points

1. We don’t know why we do what we do.

2. The gulf between claimed attitudes [and intentions] and actual behavior is vast.

He adds ‘Market research is an $11bn industry in the USA but all the data it generates should be understood as wrong. Now, that doesn’t mean we should get rid of all of it. It can be useful or interesting to understand what people think they think – a throw away comment from a focus group may inspire a brilliant idea – but the data it gives shouldn’t be understood as ‘true’ – it needs to be interpreted’

But this is the important bit ‘we must supplement it with real behavioral data, from direct observation, or from the web – triangulating insights from as many sources as possible.’

Come on Faris. Bang on.

This in addition to this awesome piece in Marketing Week (didn’t expect to write that sentence) in which Tom Woodnutt talks about about making research part of your ‘brand conversation’. Read it. It’s fantastic. To quote shamelessly from it ‘Naturally, there is still a role for research that is independent from the brand. However if we start to pull a more broad, discipline-neutral and inclusive definition of ’brand conversations’ from the marketing box of tricks, then brands could benefit from more efficient and effective insights and more engaged customers’.

Here here.

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What is ethnography?

The question is who cares? No, that’s unfair. We care. But what do these people (ethnographers) do, what makes them so special, they’ve even got a name that makes people think they’re ethical. Which isn’t right. Our friends over at Blogging Innovation ask ‘who is an ethnographer’ and the answer is simple. Everyone.

Everyone observes people, everyone watches people. People notice people. This never stops.

Watchmethink want to make this observation easier – we want people to be observed who want to be observed.

But enough of all this ‘art of ethnography’ business. Time to bring some reality back to research, and to do that you can’t be singing about ethnography being an art. Over engineering things is not what we do. We want to make observation accessible, we want to make the observers make up their own mind. Why should we assume we know better when we don’t. That’s being honest

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These are the voids we’re looking for

Marvelous. If you’re one of these, then we want to speak to you. So keep this page bookmarked and make sure you come back in January. Things will be happening then that you’ll want to be a part of. Trust us.

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By 2012, 90% of data will be video

Really? Oh that is good news (especially for us).  Before you think that this is a figure that we made up just to make ourselves feel better, it’s actually a quote from Cisco‘s Chief Futurist, Dave Evans.

He did a live Talk2Cisco broadcast at the end of July where he talked about the internet of things.

More good news (for us) on the future was a discussion at Outside Innovation about Google TV and asking the question whether it will spur more user generated content? The answer is yes. Simply put, ‘it opens the door for MORE user-generated content. YouTube and other video sites already make it easy to upload and promote your own videos. Now, as WebTV merges with conventional TV in a Video On-Demand world in our living rooms, more families will gather around to watch user-generated, rather than network-produced and funded videos.’

What this means for us is that people will become even more used to creating & uploading video. The more common that practice becomes, the more positive for wmt.

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Sell the problem

Seth struck gold again for us recently with his piece all about selling the problem. We’ve been talking about that a lot here at watchmethink. As always Seth articulates it slightly better, so I’ll hand over to him to explain the beautiful paradox which is that ‘a lot of people aren’t willing to embrace that they have a problem unless they also believe that there’s a solution… so part of selling a problem is hinting that there’s a solution that others are using, or is right around the corner.

Guess what. Yup.

Using the example in the article, we could easily publish a list of the top 100 companies who are ‘closest’ to their customers (by time spend listening?) . . and ‘all of a sudden, the bottom half of the list realizes that yes, in fact, they have something that they need to work on’.

Marketing plan written.

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Don’t assume the obvious

Over at future lab they recently wrote about neuroscience and it picking up the ‘what’s important’ elements of the yogurt consumption experience. It focused on assumption..

‘it’s an important lesson for all product marketers. Don’t assume that the obvious product characteristics are the only important ones’

More importantly for us they go on to say ‘while neuromarketing studies can reveal surprises like this, costly research isn’t always necessary’. Watchmethink plan to bring this kind of insight to brands, without the heavy cost normally associated with it.

One of the comments on this blog sums it up ‘A lot of marketers forget the small details included in “the entire experience” of their product. This a nice explanation of how costly this mistake can be.’

The entire experience. We can help there, Jeff.

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Haul videos

You may or may not have heard of haul videos.  Haul videos are essentially people (consumers) uploading videos on what they have bought from the shops – talking about what they bought and why they like it (the benefit of these for the marketer is that they are rarely negative – why would you buy something you don’t want). Best of found here

There are some frightening statistics – two sisters (the Queen Haulers) Elle and Blair have had over 75 million views (yes, you read that right) for their Haul videos.

John over at Brand Autopsy has had some fun with it, but in all seriousness, there is clearly a demand here for what they are providing. The question is how much value and insight this gives to an organisation – but perhaps more importantly if it was harnessed in a different more structured way how would this value change?

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