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Tablets: Evolving from Personal to Business By Elaine B. Coleman, Desirée Davis, Kari Cafouros, Randy Hellman & Aric Ackerman
Alert!Marketing Research Association January 2012 · Vol. 52 · No. 1The New Gen Pop What’s hisGeneration Y Meets MR demographic,Do Demographics really?Make Us Irrelevant?
Certainty Matters Especially these days, very few things in life or in business are certain. But with Logit as your data collection partner, you can be certain that your next project will be stress free - we guarantee it. You can be certain about our fair and consistent pricing. No hidden charges, add-ons or surprises. You can also be certain about the Logit team delivering results on time and with the highest levels of quality in the business. Call John Wulff at 1-866-845-6448 ext 248. If he doesn’t answer, he’ll be certain to call you back. www.logitgroup.com2 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
Contents January 2012 Editor Amy Shields, PRC Editorial Board Nancy Cearley, PRC Sherri Dansby, PRC Amber Leila Esco, PRC Steven Gittelman Pat Graham Twitter @MRA_National Phone 860.682.1000 Fax 888.512.1050 Look for us on Facebook and Linkedin. Article ideas? Contact Amy Shields at email@example.com. Advertise in Alert! Contact Lisa Lockwood for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860.682.1000. 12 The views expressed in Alert! are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect Member Spotlight the opinions or positions of MRA. Jay White Alert! is available online: alert.MarketingResearch.org Upcoming Conferences June 4-6, 2012 Features MRA’s Annual Conference San Diego 6 18 Generation Y Meets Do Demographics Make Us September 19-21, 2012 Market Research Irrelevant? Corporate Researchers Conference By Michael Stanat By Marshall Toplansky Dallas Keeping Informed 24 Balancing Multiple Generations 32 Tablets: Evolving from Personal at Work to Business By Jennifer FitzPatrick, By Elaine B. Coleman, Desirée Davis, MSW, LCSW-C Kari Cafouros, Randy Hellman & Aric Ackerman 28 Making the Leap from Market Research to Insight Part One: The Four Places Insights Hide By Thom Pulliam Departments 14 Letter From the Editor 16 Message from MRA’s CEO 11 Welcome New Members 38 Legislative Update 12 Member Spotlight 41 Chapter Update“There no longer is a typical anything,” says Marshall Toplansky on Page 20, “there is no 14 Chairman’s Perspective 42 Industry News & Announcements single segment that defines us in general terms as a society.” So where does our plugged-in cover kid fit in this new reality? Mastering demographics is key to marketing research’s future. MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 3
Letter From the Editor 2012: A Time to Move Forward move the close-knit world of marketing lessons MRA members have learned from research forward. trusted advisors and how fun to reflect on The concept of the book, Baseball Lives: the history of members who come from a Men and Women of the Game Talk about long line of researchers! Their Jobs, Their Lives, and the National This month’s theme, the new general Pastime by Mike Bryan, is to provide an population, resulted in dissimilar points of original point of view by interviewing view, as revealed in Generation Y Meets professional baseball personnel at all Market Research by Michael Stanat, and levels – from bus drivers and batting Marshall Toplansky’s, Do Demographics practice pitchers to coaches, janitors Make Us Irrelevant? It is also exciting and players’ wives. This notion intrigued to hear from a new contributor, Thom and inspired me because, although MR Pulliam, who will be authoring a three is not the size of some other industries, part series relating to insights. This it is a complicated and diverse field that month, Thom focuses on the varying draws from: the experience of seasoned types of insights and what they mean, professionals, the enthusiasm of young while he will specifically tackle deriving professionals, and the dedication of every insights from qualitative research in “player” - from the interviewer/recruiter the March issue, and the same for to the supervisor, project/database/HR/ quantitative research in May. IT manager, service provider, practitioner, While I am personally not inspired consultant, educator, corporate by New Year’s resolutions and cannot researcher, executive, and beyond. remember ever making one, I am This clearly provides an endless wealth motivated by goal setting throughout the The diversity from which we draw of knowledge to learn from and about. year. As communicated in the article, The inspiration is fascinating. Is the New Jennifer FitzPatrick’s article, Balancing 5 Steps to Setting SMART Business Goals Year a time for resolutions, reinforcement, Multiple Generations at Work, touches (from Darrell Zahorsky, former About.com or just another period of time on the upon this area, as does our interview with Guide), I have found it useful to apply calendar? Does it motivate, overwhelm Jay White, a veteran researcher with flare. the following principles of S.M.A.R.T. for or depress? For me, it’s a time to Being somewhat obsessed with the business goal setting: reflect on the past and focus on the human interest focus, I recently emailed Specific: Great goals are well-defined future, to review accomplishments industry friends asking if they are aware and focused. and strategize regarding how to move of MRA members who have a unique Measurable: A goal without a personal and professional life forward, story (to be interviewed for Alert!). In measurable outcome is like a sports and to concentrate on being involved addition to some wonderful Spotlight competition without a scoreboard or scorekeeper. Attainable: Dream big and aim for the stars but keep one foot firmly based“ he diversity from which we draw inspiration T in reality. Check with your industry association to get a handle on realistic is fascinating. Is the New Year a time for growth in your industry to set smart goals. resolutions, reinforcement, or just another Relevant: Achievable business goals are based on the current conditions and period of time on the calendar? Does it realities of the business climate. Time-Based: Business goals and motivate, overwhelm or depress?” objectives just don’t get done when there’s no time frame tied to the goal- setting process. and engaged in every minute of life. recommendations, one leader also We wish all readers of Alert! personal Specifically, in terms of Alert! and presented ideas for future content that and professional prosperity for 2012 and looking to the year ahead, the human I am excited to “steal” and run with. In beyond. interest angle continues to surface as a the near future, all members will receive compelling area of focus. (After all, we a quick and simple link to a survey that Amy Shields, PRC is the Editor of are a relatively small industry that is asks if they are a second+ generation Alert!. She can be reached at relationship-centric.) With this in mind, researcher and who their MR mentor is/ email@example.com. 2012’s Alert! will offer many stories was. The results will either be published about the lives of our members and the as two separate articles or periodically history of our profession, in addition to over the course of the year, depending on continuing to provide insights that help response. How educational to hear the 4 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
Three motivating days of high-level contentAn energeticand welcoming environment A genuine peer-to-peer event where life experience merges with learningMRA’s Annual Conference & Expo has grown into a unique event that promotes learning, community and is designedto ignite conversations that matter. Our 2012 event will provide even more value, including several new features: · New! Seven additional education sessions in four new tracks covering · New! Speed Learning – Connect with peers who are speaking, business management, trends and technology, data integration and real interact with colleagues in the audience, and learn about a wildly world research. diverse number of topics. · New! Two networking receptions open to all attendees at no additional · New! Volume discount pricing when three or more register from charge, with one at the famed SeaWorld San Diego. the same organization. · New! CEO Symposium with an exclusive dinner and educational program. · New! Expo Grand Opening reception for extra time to network.Learn more about our New Annual Conference & Expo at www.ac12.MarketingResearch.org!MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 5
Generation Y Meets Market Research By Michael Stanat Last year, researchers witnessed dramatic changes on the world stage. They saw riots against longtime politicians televised from Arab streets, nationwide protests by Occupy Wall Street and riots in the streets of London about tuition hikes. Behind those headlines was a common thread: young people known as Generation Y playing a larger, more influential role in world economic, political and cultural transformations. Photo credit: David Shankbone Occupy Wall Street – photos from the camp in Zuccotti Park and the march against police brutality, walking to One Police Plaza, headquarters of the NYPD.MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 7
For clients of research, the young people that young people tended to be driven • Engaging customer experiencein this generation can heavily influence by status and affiliation, compared to Popular brands like IKEA andthe success and strength of brands. In Boomers who were motivated more Apple capitalize on a marketing mixa matter of seconds, young people can by power and optimism. The study emphasizing affordable products, highshare opinions globally about the brands compared findings from decades past quality and unparalleled customerthey like and especially the ones they and found that the differences excluded experience. At the end of 2010, Appledislike. And, as societies become older lifecycle variables. announced that it nearly quadrupled itsin Europe, Japan and the United States, In a 2010 survey by Martin Lindstrom, year-on-year revenue in China largelycompanies are increasingly eyeing author of “Buyology” and “Brandwashed,” because of the iPhone and iPad. A keyhow to market to lucrative segments and SIS International Research, young part of that success was from China’swith disposable income and employ people were significantly more influenced young people and their explodingGeneration Y in their organizations. by status, peer dynamics, customer demand for foreign branded products experience and word of mouth. which communicate status and are oftenWho is Generation Y? This drive for affiliation and affirmation perceived to be of higher quality.“Generation Y,” the group of young people coincides with the generation’s high Interestingly, some of the mostborn after 1980 and through the early usage of social media. Young people successful Generation Y entrepreneurs1990s, is generally differentiated from spend time publicly accepting “friends,” cultivate these values in their companies.past generations by their individualism, “de-friending,” “liking” status updates Facebook’s corporate culture exemplifiesconsumerism and technology prowess. and constant in-group networking. Mark this emphasis on a competitively pricedMany news articles write about a product – in this casegeneration of entitled, a free product – withpraise-cravingindividuals whoseultimate pursuit is “ Generation Y,’ the group of young ‘ a focus on quality and experience.personal fulfillment. Thereality is quite different. people born after 1980 and through the Because of new economic realities, Defined by seminalevents such as the early 1990s, is generally differentiated Gen Y is on the hunt for high quality deals –Recession, Post 9-11outlook, and global from past generations by their same quality products at discounted rates.economic and political individualism, consumerism and They do online price comparisons, online technology prowess. Many news articlestransformation, many are shopping and lookstruggling to understand for their next deal write about a generation of entitled,just who this generation on popular sites likeis. Groupon, Facebook praise-craving individuals whose Despite such a diverse Deals, Living Socialgeneration across seven and Yelp. They receivecontinents, interestingcommonalities exist. ultimate pursuit is personal fulfillment. the same quality entertainment atYoung people aroundthe world are less united The reality is quite different.” appealing prices on sites like Hulu, Netflix andby a common goal than iTunes. The concept ofthey are united in fear of lost prosperity Zuckerberg, arguably Generation Y’s the “hunt” and the experience for someand factors “holding them back.” In leading business icon, was illustrated in tends to be more important than theEmerging Markets, for example, youth are the movie “The Social Network” as driven marginal savings. FourSquare.com hasconcerned about unemployment, inflation by the desire to belong during his studies even integrated this concept of the huntand competition for jobs to help them rise at Harvard. The success of Facebook into its customer experience as usersin social class. In the United States, Japan is arguably so profound because it “check in” to places and “unlock” badgesand Europe, young people are concerned first capitalized on the deeply rooted to be showcased on their profile pages.about debt, unemployment and tuition. underlying affiliation desires of college With these deals, they can influenceAnd in the Middle East, youth are fearful students to join the network. opinion internet-wide on productsof repressive systems having an impact Having endured the recession, tech- through internet memes, witty comments,on their prosperity. Frustrations towards savvy young people have adopted ways to viral videos and reviews.structures that are perceived to limit their reconcile unfavorable economic pressures Because of their innovative spiritsuccess are commonly manifested in the with their motivations. and digital technological skill set,form of protests largely online and in the Today’s Gen Y consumer considers the Generation Y has drawn the attention ofstreets. following factors together: HR executives and marketing managers Globally, Generation Y shows • Competitive cost due to economic alike. The HR opportunity they see isinteresting similarities across borders. realities not only in terms of attracting skilledOne recent survey by Kenexa conducted • High quality or Strong Brand employees, but also Gen Y’s potential toin 28 of the largest economies showed8 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
innovate new digital products. For many and at customer service by telephone, societies in Latin America and Middlelarge companies, developing a robust new touch-points in mobile, kiosk, tablets East raise new questions for researchersrecruiting program, succession planning, and apps all make buying behavior much on how societies with more young peopleoutreach programs, training program and more diverse. That Generation Y will be a impacts companies and societies.conflict-resolution procedures are top leading adopter of new technologies suchHR initiatives. Companies like Standard as model raises the need to understand Researching Generation YCharter in Singapore have aimed to Generation Y. While young people congregate inattract Generation Y by embracing digital Despite a global economy, Generation Y large numbers on social networks, ahabits, e.g. providing iPads to staff and culturally differs from country to country. comprehensive picture is often needed tosetting aside dedicated office space as For example, Chinese web-enabled youth account for slight differences in segments“hang out space.” access the internet almost twice as much and for the self-censorship that can occur However, this generation is far from as their USA and European counterparts. in certain mediums. In Generationalhomogenous. Lady Gaga commands much less of a fan- Research, hybrid methodologies can help Gen Y’s online habits are becoming following in China and Korea than do local contextualize cultural, behavioral andmore diverse. A recent study by Gartner music stars. Gender dynamics can heavily attitudinal insight. China’s New Environmentchallenged myths about young peoples’ impact purchasing decisions in some Part of my research among China’ssocial media obsession. Nearly one in four countries and have little impact in other young people concerned the purchasingAmerican Gen Y respondents considered countries. Subcultures can be lucrative habits of young people in a countrythemselves bored and “burnt out” by target segments for companies, but can known for price leadership of its goods.social media, while a slightly larger evolve rapidly. Online surveys and background researchpercentage mention higher usage than Societal representation of Generation on the topic were less common then. Abefore. Y also differs dramatically. In North basket of methodologies were needed, As the digital revolution continues, America, Europe, Japan and China, young such as many in-depth interviews,new customer touch-points can mean adults are already beginning to support ethnography, homestays, focus groups,more ways to reach out to new segments. their parents as they age, raising new offline surveys, quantitative research,Whereas previous generations once questions about the future of Generation secondary sources and cultural research.primarily engaged with brands at stores Y in ageing societies. In contrast, younger In the research, complex considerations impacted purchasing beyond priceMRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 9
China’s Young Peopleand quality concerns. also gaining more and moreRespondents in some casesdisplayed conspicuous “ s the digital revolution continues, A attention in intergenerational research.consumption, spendingbeyond their comfort level. new customer touch-points can Summary Generation Y is rising onThis was unexpectedas income, inflation mean more ways to reach out to the world stage impacting politics, economics, societalpressures and fears aboutunemployment ranked very new segments. Whereas previous structures, the marketing landscape and marketinghigh in young peoples’ fearsfor the future. generations once primarily research. Understanding engaged with brands at stores and Ethnography and cultural the nuances can mean theresearch uncovered that difference between success at customer service by telephone,young people of moderate and failure for products andmeans occasionally brands. Hybrid researchpurchased expensive foreignbranded goods as a means new touch-points in mobile, kiosk, programs and HR outreach can provide granularto communicate status ina society that emphasizes tablets and apps all make buying insight to make sense of and to engage a diversehierarchy and relationshipnetworks. For some, this was behavior much more diverse.” generation worldwide. Michael Stanat is a Globalboth ironic and intriguing, as Youth Research Specialist, skate parks and bars, can provideChina is technically a communist country and a speaker on Generation Y issues. A deep observational insight from peerwith Confucian values of thrift. The fellow member of Generation Y, he is the researchers on-the-ground. As theanalysis provided more topics for further published author of “China’s Generation need for affiliation is important for thisinquiry. Y: Understanding the Future Leaders of generation, some researchers have Co-creation, ethnography and cultural the World’s Next Superpower.” Stanat is a employed word of mouth and buzzresearch together can help to provide Global Emerging Markets Executive at SIS tracking to understand how interpersonalcontext and understand intergenerational International Research, and has previously influence can impact purchasing.differences. “Coolhunting,” in which worked at market research firms in China In addition, the study of Semiotics,peer researchers conduct ethnography and the Middle East. Behavioral Psychology and Heuristics arein respondents’ preferred venues like10 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
Welcome New MembersJonathan Ashton Paul Kennedy Lauren OlmstedAflac, Inc. Two Thirds Sky Boston UniversityMidland, GA Brisbane, Australia Boston, MAVictoria Bourbeau Andrzej Ludek Jon PenningtonPhoenix, AZ Almares Institute for Consulting University of Minnesota and Market Research Minneapolis, MNDale Cake Warsaw, PolandBloomsburg University Bonnie ReenstraArdmore, PA Jennifer Miller Blue Sky Research Group, LLC Plaza Research - Denver Tarpon Springs, FLCarol Clerico Denver, COJohnson & Johnson Ian SephtonSkillman, NJ Elissa Molloy California Lutheran University Australian Market & Social Research Encino, CAZoni Hansen SocietyMedtronic ENT Glebe, Austalia Valerie St. JamesJacksonville, FL Johnson & Johnson Tanya Mulvey Montreal, QCMichael Hayes Society for HumanVeris Consulting Resource Management For more information on joining MRA,Reston, VA Alexandria, VA visit www.marketingresearch.org/ membership ONLINESAMPLE. ONLINEPANELS. ONLINERESEARCH. ESEARCH.COM firstname.lastname@example.org Since 1995, researchers have called on Esearch.com for their online panel needs Esearch.com, Inc. online fielding support for research www.esearch.com email@example.com 310.265.4608MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 11
Member SpotlightJay White – Remaining Immature for all EternityBy Amy Shields, PRC from Jay through updates and articles that he and the committee contribute to Alert! magazine in the coming year. Therefore, January seemed an appropriate time to spotlight this very special member of the Association. While Jay has worked exclusively in marketing research since November of 1996, MR was a part of his marketing position long before then, albeit as more of a “generalist”. Most of his experience, about 90 percent in fact, lies in qualitative framework, although he understands, embraces and values quantitative research as well. It is always fun to learn the pre-MR history of marketing research professionals and I personally could not wait to hear what Jay’s background was before entering the world of research. As it turns out, the most interesting job he had was working as a Hospice Corpsman during the Vietnam War years when he was often placed in situations where he was the only medical personnel at hand and, therefore, was the “physician”. As you can imagine, this was a scary, fulfilling, challenging, gut wrenching and yes, interesting time for Jay. Then there was the memorable period of time when a 14 year old Jay worked in an old fashioned German bakery where he was taught to decorate wedding and birthday cakes, and where, when he turned 16 years old, he then had to deliver them. When Jay purchased his facility, which had declined over the decades, he was completely and utterly frightened. With one full-time employee (himself) and three on-call aging part-time employees,If you have ever met Jay White, PRC, you probably who wouldn’t be scared? As thingsagree that he is one of the most gregarious, smart stand today, Baltimore Research’s staff fluxuates between 70 and 85 employeesand colorful (no, not just his apparel but mostly his at any given time, and by the close ofspirit) people you have had the pleasure of meeting. 2011, Jay and his partner, Ted Watson, will have provided employment to over 500 individuals. This is undoubtedlyJay is the CEO and Co-Owner of a member, he has: served as President of Jay’s proudest accomplishment. WhatBaltimore Research, a full-service the Mid-Atlantic Chapter; co-organized does he consider the smartest businessmarketing research firm and facility in many chapter events; introduced decision he’s ever made? Quite simply,Baltimore, Maryland. He has been a speakers at national conferences; been a and with certitude, it was the additionmember of the MRA since November of buddy, a ticket-taker and PRC scanner; of Ted Watson as his business partner1998, despite the fact that I incorrectly and most recently, was appointed and co-owner, whom today Jay considersindicated that his “start date” was 2005 Chair of the Standards and Ethics to be his brother. Jay cites that thein November’s issue (under his Corporate Committee. This new post is a significant significant contributions from his partnerResearcher’s Conference quote on page commitment and one that assures have directly led to the success and44 of that issue). During Jay’s 13 years as members will be seeing and hearing more accomplishments at Baltimore Research12 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
(and in Jay’s life as a whole). working in marketing research, there is after all, it is critical to show that we take It seemed apropos, bearing in mind no horizon; most jobs are awarded two to our clients’ problems seriously. He goesthe outgoing nature of his personality in four weeks prior to execution. Most folk’s on to ask, on the other hand, “Must we begeneral, to ask what Jay considers the calendar is blank two to three months so boring?” To answer this question, hemost fun aspect of his marketing research out...at least, I know ours is.” turns to Jay White, who clearly doesn’tfunction. It is clear that he has the most Married to his college sweetheart for think so as he states, “We want tofun when expanding (adding additional 43½ years, Jay is also the father of two entertain. We certainly don’t want the funsquare footage) to his offices, and when sons and the very proud grandfather of factor to diminish the serious side of ourattending industry conferences, of five grandchildren. To see Jay speak of firm. But one of our goals is to inform andwhich he considers the MRA “gigs” to his grandchildren is like watching the amuse our clients.” Macdonald himselfbe the best, believing they provide an best feel-good movie you’ve ever seen. then shares, “But most amusing to meopportunity to learn from (and “size up”) And, I also have it on very good authority was the wall of identical clocks at thehis peers, whom often turn out to be that they might just be the luckiest top of the stairs. Instead of showing thecompetitors. He is quite serious when he grandchildren in the world since Jay’s time in cities around the world, these 25says that MRA conferences assist with vocabulary doesn’t include the word “no” clocks are labeled to show the time in“getting smarter as I go along”. when it comes to his beloved. In addition neighborhoods around Baltimore.” As a vested marketing research to running a successful business and What Jay didn’t share during hisprofessional myself, I love to hear stories spending time with his adored family, Jay interview, but that I know full well, is thatabout the most peculiar requests others and his wife are also avid gardeners and he also did some modeling in his youngerin the industry have received. Like most maintain four and a half acres at Birch Hill years. While he certainly gave Jamesresearchers will communicate, Jay has on the coast of Maine, near Bar Harbor. Dean, Cary Grant and Marlon Brando ahad many out of the ordinary requests They also support a variety of charities, run for their money, I can assure you thatfrom clients over the years, but was with animal rights being their number his blue eyes still sparkle as brightly todayable to narrow the “strangest” down to one cause. as they did when he was a stunning 20these two: the recruitment of individuals Jay’s favorite quote comes from John year old. Jay might well have a personalitywhom regularly call 900 adult phone lines Dunn and goes like this, “It is true that that is “larger than life”, but don’t letand the moderator who demanded to I may not be young anymore, but I can that fool you; he is also one smart cookiesee three bananas at various stages of stay immature for all eternity.” Again, if – somebody our industry is fortunate toripeness and who, after selecting one, you know Jay, you will agree that this have as a practitioner and ambassador.requested that Jay peel and slice it for is a fitting quote and it aligns well with Please join me as I humbly request of Jayhim! his overall philosophy about life. In fact, that he remain immature (and brilliant) When asked what are the most Jay was recently interviewed by Rob for eternity and that he continue to castchallenging issues he’s facing as a Macdonald of the Baltimore Business the very unique effervescence that IS Jaybusiness professional, Jay commented, Journal. The October article was for White.“My biggest challenges are how to grow a Get Smart on Work and Life featurethe business, maintain quality, keep costs and was titled Being Funny Gets More To recommend an MRA memberat bay, and provide a decent living for all Than Laughs, It Gets Good Results. Mr. with a special story or background toof the quality individuals – and there are Macdonald relates that most companies be interviewed for a future Membermany - ‘under my wing’. For most of us avoid humor like the plague because, Spotlight, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 13
Chairman’s Perspective Can you actually sample a Gen Pop? representative. Eventually, their comfort Hispanic and Asian populations in the level improved as the industry completed United States. The majority of general comparison studies to demonstrate population studies are conducted results online compared to other data in English only – excluding the collection methods. More importantly, unacculturated. they were making sound business • Besides ethnic issues, other decisions based on this research, and it demographic groups are frequently didn’t backfire on them. I think the final excluded due to the data collection converts to online research were won over method. This includes senior citizens, once they realized traditional telephone youth, lower income households, higher research is far from being representative household incomes, more rural areas these days. So why aren’t most general and many other groups. population samples representative? The So many marketers (secretly) say reasons are numerous: “sure, I realize the sample excludes some • While there is a lot of talk about multi- portions of the population, but the sample mode data collection, let’s face it – most is still representative for my needs”. That studies still use one data collection might be true right now, but considering method. Unfortunately, there’s not one that Hispanics and Senior Citizens are data collection method that is truly two of the largest and fastest growing representative. segments in the country, how long can • The constant pressure on conducting any marketer ignore them? Both of these I just finished writing another report, research faster means data collection groups are having monumental impacts where most of the analysis was based on is often completed in two to three on society. If they haven’t impacted your a general population. We also analyzed days. Regardless of the data collection brand yet, they probably will. Ironically, a sample of our client’s customers, method, this brief field period almost much of the talk about representative but it was in contrast to the general always results in a different sample samples has been concerned about population. As I look back, I’ve written at than a study that is in field for one to whether the sample is reaching young least two dozen reports in the past year two weeks. people. It’s the same mentality that drives that focused on a general population. the TV rating wars for the coveted 18-39 year old viewer. Yes, it is important to“As I look back, I’ve written at least two dozen reach these young consumers, hopefully locking some of them in as lifelong reports in the past year that focused on a customers; but their numbers are shrinking compared to Hispanics and general population. While we referred to them Senior Citizens. Personally, I think it will be a number as a general population...we all know they of years before general marketers start addressing the representiveness of a aren’t truly a general population.” general sample. Right now, only the government and universities have the • A secondary issue with short field time, patience and money to attempt While we referred to them as a general periods is the lack of an appropriately truly representative coverage. Eventually, population, and agreed on a basic stratified geographic sample. Sure some marketers will start making the definition with our clients (usually 50/50 you can balance sample by census wrong decisions because they don’t have male/female, age 21+, geographically region or even down to the state or a representative sample. While reputable dispersed), we all know they aren’t truly smaller geographies; but are you also researchers have been warning them a general population. In fact, I think most balancing geography along with time about sampling, most marketers have researchers, and most users of research of the day. What if most of your West ignored us. When problems arise, they realize they can’t readily interview a Coast interviews are completed during are going to want a solution. The current true general population.Yes it can be the respondents’ afternoon, while most path to a representative sample just done, but the commitment in terms East Coast interviews are completed isn’t acceptable for most marketers. Our of time, patience and money, can be during the respondents’ evening. Is this industry has much work to do. significant. I think we may be seeing sample representative? the same “ostrich with their head in the Ken Roberts, PRC is the Chairman of • The biggest issue is quite probably the sand” phenomena that I witnessed when the Marketing Research Association and lack of proper ethnic representation. research was first conducted online. A President of Cooper Roberts Research. While this has always been an issue, lot of people didn’t like it, but they were He can be reached at the magnitude is now much more lured by its immediacy and low cost. They email@example.com. significant due to the growth of chose to ignore whether the sample was 14 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
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Message From MRA’s CEO 2012 – Progress Ahead! provide an opportunity for improvement, the famed SeaWorld San Diego that will of which we’re taking advantage on your include a private MRA-only performance behalf. by Shamu the killer whale, as well as MRA is at the end of the day all about special appearance by SeaWorld penguins you and our other members as our and sea lions! For the first time, Annual mission is to vigorously support and Conference & Expo volume discount advocate for your professional growth and pricing will be available for more than success. That’s far more than making our three attendees from the same company case before government officials, although who may also participate in corporate we do this full time. It’s also about retreats and meetings around MRA’s keeping you informed, providing access Annual Conference in San Diego, June to markets and trusted partners, raising 4-6. professionalism through standards and 2012 Corporate Researchers certification, and career advancement. Conference – The next CRC will be held Of course, all of this combined can result September 19-21 at the Dallas Fairmont in increased business and, hopefully, with a second night networking event personal success. at the exciting Dallas Frontiers of Flight With that mission and goal in mind, Museum. Last year’s inaugural event was As we gear up for 2012, I’ve heard from over the last year or so we’ve rewritten a tremendous success and, guided by the members who have had a record-breaking MRA’s Articles of Incorporation great feedback received from our 2011 2011 financially, but also those (more than and Bylaws, revamped our website attendees, we plan to design a larger and I’d like) who still are more challenged (which can newly be found at www. even more successful 2012 event. business-wise than they’d prefer. MarketingResearch.org), introduced If you’ve never been to an MRA Common threads that seem to run online forums, live news feeds, an national event, please consider doing so. throughout these conversations are improved Annual Conference, more They can be hugely beneficial in both concerns for the overall economy, with the cutting edge coverage in a redesigned professional and personal terms. Expect global economic situation increasingly (and way-cool) Alert! magazine a warm welcome from hundreds of your shading U.S. business attitudes which while doubling its circulation among peers. in turn buffet spending on MR, business industry thought leaders, increased our We’re also ramping up our free regulations emanating or threatened membership particularly among corporate webinar series while maintaining its from Washington, as well as fundamental, researchers, launched new partnerships quality, increasing our efforts in online ongoing evolution in how research is with other MR organizations, provided job education for those who cannot attend conducted. in-person events, and complementing the attendance for those who can. Expect“ nasmuch as fate favors the connected, your I new, specialized one-day seminars this year, as well as the introduction of unique participation in MRA is all the more important online training courses. Expect greater collaboration with our association peers in in these challenging times.” 2012 as well. We also expect to launch a National Respondent Registry to improve research quality, integrity and reduce the We still are very much in a time of leads, an expanded BlueBook.org, and a threat of unnecessary regulation. Stay change. Inasmuch as fate favors the fun, new logo, among other advances. tuned. The best is yet to come! connected, your participation in MRA In 2012, we’ll be dramatically Hopefully, 2012 will bring with it better is all the more important in these streamlining and improving PRC to be the consensus regarding our political and challenging times. industry’s standard – PRC is one of MRA’s economic future. We live in hope, but As for our part, we are packing up to core offerings and a really fantastic idea with more certainty in a better business move MRA’s headquarters to Washington, – as well as strengthening our Review climate, you will benefit directly, and the DC, to hopefully increase our positive Program for company certification. We’re business of marketing research will thrive. contribution to ending the political bringing dramatic, new improvements to In 2012, please remember that we’re gridlock that seems to be in fashion there. MRA’s conferences, such as... here to help. Join with us to work to make We’ll also be advocating for the value 2012 MRA Annual Conference & this remarkable profession even more that marketing research can bring to the Expo – MRA’s Annual Conference & successful. economy and improvements in our quality Expo will include several innovations, of life through the introduction of more David W. Almy is MRA’s CEO. among them a second evening insightful policies, products and services. He can be reached at networking reception open to all I can’t say that I recommend moving firstname.lastname@example.org. attendees at no additional charge at offices on a regular basis but it does 16 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
Do DemographicsMake Us Irrelevant?By Marshall ToplanskyEvery 10 years, marketresearchers come alivewith expectation. Therelease of a new setof census data meansemployment security forthe marketing researchindustry, as tens ofthousands of us try tomake sense out of thisnew flood of data.MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 19
My contention is that this exercise may For instance, one of the cherished defined us: Identifying the “heavy users”pay our mortgages in the short-term, but traditional sports we, as researchers, or “focus audience” for our brands andunderscores our irrelevance to our clients engage in is trying to use this updated categories. However, the fundamentalin the long-term. The reason is that the data to define a generalized description reasons WHY we do this are no longerdata from the census is far less useful to of the “typical” American. We all know as relevant as they once were. The bigmarketers than it has ever been. And, by that we have become so fragmented as a reason for creating heavy user profiles isfocusing on it, we end up ignoring the society, that there is no longer a “typical” to find efficient ways of targeting massdata that marketers really care about. anything. There is no single segment that media to reach a higher concentration of Some of the reasons for this defines us in general terms as a society. the “good ones”. But think about it. Mostdiminishing value of census data have Aren’t we just perpetuating nonsense and brands are now using new and nichebeen brewing for a while, and are well reducing our own credibility? media to reach customers and get themknown. Here’s another activity that has to identify themselves as interested in20 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
purchasing. Marketers’ segmentations to measure than who you expose your marketing engine. It is used by two-are increasingly based on observed message to. They used empirical data to thirds of the entire planet...daily, for hoursinquiry and purchase behavior, not reach/ show that identifying people who have at a time. Additionally, people do morefrequency of outbound ad messages. bought a product recently, and/or who than simply buy things on the internet.What moves people to purchase changes buy a product frequently, is a far more They research products, they inquiredaily, as new data on response and accurate way to identify who might about them and tell marketers that theyclick-through are generated by massive buy your product in the future. Their are interested in purchasing. And, theynetworks of computers? By spending argument was that you, as a marketer, actually buy. At a cost per sale that can beour time profiling demographics, we are can go ahead and build exposure of your one-hundredth of the cost of direct mailmaking ourselves irrelevant to the people message over time to people who have and telemarketing.who actually use data to determine who the potential to buy, and that might But the same logic applies to internetthey are going to target. lead to someone eventually buying your marketing as to direct marketing. It is To better understand my comment product. However, if you actually want all about using observed behavior toabout reducing our credibility, consider to make money today, you are better off determine who your customer is, andsome historical context. The notion targeting people who are similar to those then finding more like them. However, theof defining a “typical” American was who have actually bought your product big difference is the sheer volume of dataintroduced by that the internetmedia companies provides. We arein the early 20thcentury. The “For instance, one of the cherished traditional now calling this “BIG DATA”, andidea was usefulin answering the sports we, as researchers, engage in is it is changing the way we doclassic question ofadvertising waste: trying to use this updated data to define business. There areHow much of mymedia spend is a generalized description of the “typical” quadrillions of data points fromnot hitting a targetthat is valuable American. We all know that we have become the internet that marketers areto me? As mediagrew, and new so fragmented as a society, that there is no now using to determine whoniche publications,radio stations and longer a “typical” anything. There is no single the best targets for a product are.cable networksproliferated in segment that defines us in general terms as a It is breeding a new generation ofthe 1970’s, thisbecame an even society. Aren’t we just perpetuating nonsense “data explorers” who are analyzingmore importanttask to perform. and reducing our own credibility?” patterns of behavior ofFinding the “best consumers. Thesefit” for a media plan could save companies recently and with some frequency. The patterns, when they are discovered, aretens of millions of dollars because all a key was to find them, as individuals. Not worth BILLIONS of dollars to marketers,brand’s marketing budget was spent to describe them generically. because they identify who is going to buyin media. The key to the exercise was This rocked the world of traditional a product.having a benchmark to compare against. media, and the world of marketing The Census data cannot answerDefining the “General Population” (or, as research which had grown up to serve that question anymore. It can onlyit became known as, “Gen Pop”), was it. Forget about telling me that my best answer the question of who has thesomething that had to be done regularly audience to target is suburban women capability of buying a product . . . not thein order to remain accurate. And, the with kids who live in households that demonstrated likelihood.census, because it is a census and not make between $25,000 and $75,000 and Does this mean that the census data isa representative sample, was the logical like skiing because they index at a 130 useless? No.baseline to use. versus gen pop for annual consumption of The census does answer one important However, two things happened to life insurance. question: How many people canchange the game: The growth of direct The new mantra was “find me a list of potentially buy my product in the Unitedresponse marketing and the introduction people who have bought life insurance States. Based on census data, you canof the internet. in the last 6 months”. The fact that they now definitively say, for instance, that In the late 1970’s direct marketers made have bought life insurance makes them there are x number of women with babiesa compelling case to many marketers. likely to buy more and to refer others. in the household with incomes betweenTheir main point was that who buys your Now, let’s add the internet to the mix. x and y, living in the suburban zip codeproduct is a far more important thing The internet is a living, breathing direct 92603. This defines a product’s totalMRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 21
available market in to build modelsthe U.S., and thathas some value. “Additionally, people do more than simply that correlate consumer behavior However, eventhat information buy things on the internet. They research (like response, click through andused to have a lotmore value than products, they inquire about them and conversion) against the profiles of thoseit does today. Ourpopulation is not tell marketers that they are interested in consumers. Not just the demographicgrowing at thesame rate it used purchasing. And, they actually buy. At a cost and geographic profiles you getto, which meansthat overall markets per sale that can be one-hundredth of the from the census, but the attitudinalare not growing.Census data used cost of direct mail and telemarketing.” and behavioral profiles you getto be used to show from analyzing theareas of the U.S. customized content, at very low cost products they buy,where products were under-distributed (compared to a $30 million television inquire about, search for and expressand under-penetrated, and provided a campaign), there is simply less “blending” opinions about. That is where the futureuseful map for more efficiently deploying that is required. You can afford to market of marketing research lies: Answeringmedia dollars. Today, with almost to multiple markets in multiple ways. the question of who is going to buy myuniversal internet access and universal So, instead of spending the time of market product, not how many can buy it.distribution coverage, the value of that researchers to develop low-value analysesanalysis is far less than it used to be. of census data, what should we be doing Marshall Toplansky is the President ofAnd, finally, with marketers able to target that has higher value and relevance? WiseWindow, a company that turns thetheir marketing via attitudinal segment, We should be focusing ourselves, as an chaos of online chatter into a databaseethnicity, income and gender on different industry, on tapping into the “big data” illuminating consumer sentiment acrosswebsites and social networks, with highly that marketers are increasingly using hundreds of dimensions. Put your foodservice research into some of the most experienced hands … ours. You may not know our name, but we bet you know our work. For more than 30 years, Restaurant Research Associates has partnered with some of the biggest names in foodservice. We know food research from every angle. And, it’s not a part-time job - we live it, breathe it and even dream it, day in and day out. 365 days a year. Since 1979. Restaurant Research Associates A Leader in Foodservice Research 714.368.1890 ● www.RestaurantResearchAssociates.com22 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
Keeping InformedBalancing Multiple Generations at WorkBy Jennifer FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-CSince mandatory retirement does not exist in the market research industry, weare living in a time where there are multiple generations of employees workingtogether. Healthy seasoned octogenarians working alongside college interns,and every age group in between, can make for a particularly generationallydiverse workforce.This age diversity in the workplace workplaces mean more viewpoints to offer older workers as slower, technologicallypresents challenges in areas of customers on projects, especially those deficient and archaic. Older managerscommunication, expectations, work with expanding age ranges of targeted tend to question younger employees’ethic and abilities and strengths. But end users. experience, maturity and work ethic.there are also many opportunities for While multigenerational teams struggle Samantha, a newly hired 28-yearexciting intergenerational collaboration to understand each other, some of the old vice president of a small companythat can benefit customers. The business most difficult situations involve managing is meeting with David, a 52-year oldof market research, advertising and a much older or younger staff. Younger manager who reports to her. Samanthabranding is constantly changing. Diverse managers sometimes categorize their asks David to spearhead a project to24 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – December 2011 MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012
create a Facebook page for their company. younger managers on merit rather than David responds that he does not know age. While a seasoned employee may much about Facebook but comments that resent a younger person coming in and his teenage sons use it all the time. When telling him what to do, it is likely this David asks why the company would want person has something unique to offer. a Facebook page, Samantha rolls her eyes Sometimes the resentment toward a and chalks this up to David being behind younger boss has more to do with the the times. older worker than anything the younger Robert is a 61-year old supervisor and manager has done. Reporting to a is constantly receiving requests from his younger manager can trigger feelings of team about working from home. While inadequacy, feeling “old,” and regret for much of his team’s work does not have how an older worker’s career has turned to be done on site, he does not believe in out. The older worker may think back to the concept. Since many of the staff are when he began his career and second “While multigenerational teams struggle to understand each other, some of the most difficult situations involve managing a much older or younger staff. Younger managers sometimes categorize older workers as slower, technologically deficient and archaic. Older managers tend to question younger employees’ experience, maturity and work ethic.” in their twenties and thirties and have guess choices. Older workers feeling this young children, he expects that much way should contemplate possible changes work won’t be getting done at home. so their work (and life) is more fulfilling. Robert tends to have less confidence in Older employees struggling with employees wanting flexible schedules. accepting their younger managers should What can Samantha and Robert do to focus on getting along with them and better lead their employees of different supporting them as they would with any generations? Samantha would probably other boss. In managing the situation, the best engage David if she approached the older worker should consider: Facebook situation with patience and 1. Keeping an open mind about the additional training. Robert would likely younger manager. Almost everyone inspire the most loyalty with his team by we encounter at work can teach being a bit more flexible. If Robert made us something. At the very least, an effort to put some work-life balance most younger managers have fresh policies in place his staff might perceive new ideas that can invigorate the him as more reasonable and work even workplace. harder to get their jobs done. 2. Offering the younger boss support, There are challenges from the particularly when other staff is being subordinate’s perspective as well. uncooperative. The younger boss will While it is usually a mistake to appreciate and remember those who underestimate a younger manager, many supported him. older workers do. Sure, it is possible that 3. Avoiding discussion of the younger a younger employee might have been manager’s age. When an older hired or promoted due to nepotism or worker starts to compare the younger other unjustifiable reasons. But typically, manager to his daughter or even that younger person is deserving of the granddaughter, it can offend the position due to education, experience, younger manager. Younger managers leadership potential or other abilities. know their age; they don’t need older Regardless, it is important to judge staff reminding them.MRA’s Alert! Magazine – January 2012 25