What’s on your mind?

Engaging consumers through new technology

Consumers are not afraid to voice their views and demand change from brands, but collecting this valuable consumer opinion, especially among younger age groups and through traditional techniques, has become a challenge.  Put simply, the threshold to filling questionnaires has never been higher.

We have developed several tools to engage consumers using the language they speak and in the places they are present – whether that is the shopping mall, concert hall, theme park or transport hub, we are able to reach large numbers of consumers in a short time frame and get their thoughts and ideas – direct, fresh and unfiltered.

Participants get the satisfaction of airing their views and we collect valuable data to generate new insights.  The interaction is engaging and fast, building positive associations for brands, who are actively listening and inviting their consumers to comment.  We call this tool ‘Mind Touch’.

Our mobile application ‘Mind Shot’ integrates research into consumers’ daily lives. Consumers are offered a variety of tasks to perform.  They decide which tasks they take and are then rewarded based on the tasks completed. The tool is designed primarily for on the ground and in the field checks of how brands are presenting themselves and the network of ‘consumer researchers’ enables fast validation at scale.

By harnessing consumers’ direct participation, we are able to generate fresh and compelling new insights based on first hand evidence of what consumers are buying, using and experiencing in the world around them.

We also deploy tools using QR codes, which means that instant customer satisfaction and feedback can be gathered – perfect for evaluating retail, hospitality and entertainment experiences.

If you’d like to find out more about these tools or other innovative approaches to research,contact Rob.

Real driving behaviours

Everyone reacts differently in traffic – and in heavy traffic stress levels and behaviours can vary considerably.  Some switch lane frequently, others doggedly stick to their position; some leave big and cautious gaps between vehicles, whilst others squeeze up close; some get competitive with the vehicle in the adjacent lane, whilst others stay firmly in first gear and keep the speed low.

There are now numerous in car features available to enhance safety and provide information and entertainment – and all can help to take the strain in heavy traffic.  We undertook a piece of research to investigate and observe the real use of such features and to identify across various driver profiles what worked well, what was appreciated, and what could use a re-think.  Taking drivers into high stress and heavy traffic situations in five European cities, we were able to evaluate actual driving behaviour and use of newly installed safety, information and entertainment features.  Each car was equipped with sensors, cameras, and data logging equipment, including internal and external video recording and car computer management devices.

Situations over the 4.5 hour drive sought out rush hour traffic and traffic jams, motorways, busy congested inner city streets – and interaction with motorbikes, cyclists, bus lanes and pedestrians.  In addition to technical data gathered concerning the drive and use of the features, the co-driver (our interviewer) was also able to collect further insights into driver satisfaction, frustration, confidence and so on through interviewing and observation.  Each session also concluded with a driver self-completion questionnaire and summary discussion.

The output has been invaluable to understand how best to position and communicate new driving features – and in some cases where to take a step back and re-consider assumptions based on actual driver behaviour and need.  The variety of research techniques and methods meant that this was also a highly efficient and innovative approach – enabling us to gather deep and immediately actionable insights into from the 25 respondents in each of the 5 cities.

To find our more about our automotive experience, or to book a test drive with us, contact Dam.

What are the kids watching?

It’s becoming the holy grail for advertisers targeting children – everyone’s convinced that kids’ media consumption is changing, but few have got the solid facts and data to support the big budget decisions. Do you stay true to TV, with its tried and tested measurement or switch significant budget online?

Most agree that TV still plays a big part in kids’ lives, but it’s undeniable that the older they get the more their online and second screen viewing behaviours are evolving and for some occasions even taking over.

Today’s children have not grown up with any kind of traditional idea of how to watch TV – for them there are simply favourite shows and programmes and you can get access to them from a variety of platforms and devices, all perfectly natural and intuitive, whenever you want.  Or rather for the younger ones, whenever you’re allowed to.

In a recent study, we analysed children’s TV and online viewing behaviours in a variety of western European countries and in North America.  What emerged was a surprising picture of how strong TV viewing remains – kids are still tuning in with an appointment to view mentality, switching through kids channels to follow the schedule and catch their favourite shows.  In Europe watching TV is also a highly social activity involving friends and siblings, whereas North America reveals a much more solitary event.  VOD, catch-up tv, kids channel sites and youtube certainly have a role in watching back favourite shows or looking for extra content, and the ability to navigate the smart TV, laptop or tablet are well engrained even amongst 5 and 6 year olds.

For many advertisers, this leaves a problem however – how can you invest most effectively in online TV to complement the more traditional broadcast TV?  How can you determine when the extra bit of reach or additional frequency is really worth the added investment?  And shouldn’t we be thinking in any case of the unique role and potential that online offers – for children directly, but also importantly for reaching or retargeting their parents – many of whom after all still hold the essential purse strings when it comes to purchase decisions.

Our approach is sympathetic to real family dynamics and behaviours and fully compliant with all guidelines to interview parents and their children on viewing and media consumption behaviours. If you’d like to understand more about the children you’re trying to engage, we’d love to discuss our approach and methodology with you.

To find out more about experience with researching children and their media habits, contact Rob.

Brand Attachment Analysis

Brand Attachment Analysis measures five levels of customer experience. These levels are compared across competitive brands to determine strong and weak points, and to focus marketing attention on those parts of the communication where it is needed most. Complete competitive sets of 10 or more brands can be compared and tracked in this way.

In this example, Brand X on first view seems to be the much stronger brand – after all it has 86{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf} awareness compared to Brand Y with just 33{1f220ac64b9f6618bf0eb6cb6c1308cba7a01755811f72c92eb8a9a5d4c07adf}.  However, even though many more people have heard of Brand X, its strength in terms of reliability shows a steep drop off. Brand Y – although known by fewer people – is much better evaluated by those who do know it. If Brand Y can focus energies on awareness building, it’s in good shape to mount a serious challenge to Brand X.

What it does for you:

  • Identifies where in the customer experience brand attachment is strongest and where weaknesses exist.
  • Highlights where the brand needs to focus in order to fulfil customers’ expectations.
  • Enables to refine action plans and communication briefings.

To find out more about our brand attachment tool, contact Rob.

Customer journey dynamics

What’s really happening at each stage of your customer’s purchase journey?  And where can you tailor your message and choose your media to bring the greatest possible return for your marketing investment?

To find out more about our methodology for getting the most out of customer journey touch points, contact Rob.

Marketing in a multi-screen world

Millward Brown’s Ad Reaction Report gives a fascinating insight into the use and impact of multiple screens in our increasing online connected lives, including analysis of behaviours such as overlap with tv and screen shifting.  In terms of favourability and attention, TV seems to be out there in the lead, but is clearly supported by other screen use with viewers receptive to ads that feature links a brand’s website or facebook.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Yowk! The perfect soft boiled egg.

British newspapers are full of horror at the launch of the Yowk –  the perfect soft boiled egg.   How can the nation have reached this state?  Isn’t this just another example of marketers and supermarkets selling us something we simply don’t need?  Well, the launch of Yowk reveals less about our ongoing desire for convenience, and a lot more about consumers’ lack of confidence or skill to get the perfectly soft boiled egg.  What it promises is no more disappointment and no more egg boiling anxiety.  Maybe we’ll see a backlash of authentic cooks and a revival of real kitchen skill.  Or maybe we’ll just watch Masterchef.  Good luck Yowk!

To find out more, contact Rob.

Data rich. But what about the insights?

Research World highlights the massive growth of big data, and rightly asks the question of how in this flood of data, real and usable insights can still be generated.  Big data isn’t going to disappear and it’s only going to get bigger.  The ability to make big data accessible and digestible is a significant challenge on its own. But we also need to go further and ensure that we generate insights that help marketing professionals and brand owners really understand consumer behaviours and find the triggers that will activate consumers.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Kaomojis – the world of Japanese emoticons.

With kaomojis you can let the world know just how you’re feeling with a few simple key symbols.  The craze for Japanese emoticons shows no signs of abating with young urbanites in Japan creating and sharing new and more elaborate emoticons every day.  There’s even a new app called Twikao available to download for free from the App Store.  It’s able to transform a picture of your face (or a friend’s) into a an emoticon that captures your facial expression.  And already for tweeting.

To find out more, contact Rob.

Information is Beautiful

Kantar’s recent Information is Beautiful Awards showcases some great examples of the art, and science, of stunning information design and data visualization.  From rappers’ vocabulary to Raw Tools, to New York taxis and everything you need to know about planet earth, there’s a great variety of projects featured and all serving to give added inspiration to researchers and insights specialists everywhere who believe that data and information can really come alive through intelligent and crafted design.  Clear favourite and deserving Gold Award Winner is the project of Creative Routines, with its powerful and beautifully simple visualization of how composers, writers, artists and philosophers shape and manage their day to day routines.

To find out more about our approach to information design, contact Rob.