Posts tagged: Technology

The New Role of Market Research

By , June 29, 2013 8:31 am
Today’s guest blogger is Dev Das, Founder of Expleo Insight, a consulting and market research company specializing in emerging biotech and pharma (see bio below).  Dev has several years of experience in big pharma as well as running his own business so he understands the challenges and needs on both sides of the market research equation.
 
Trying to compete in an increasingly competitive market with fewer resources?  It’s become the name of the game these days for most companies, both large and small.  Startup companies have always been resource constrained due to tight budgets. Now, with a glut of choices and minimal differentiation, mid and larger sized companies are also feeling the pinch.  
 
And as large companies, as well, struggle to keep growing profitably, there is an urgent need for more operating efficiencies.  Success now lies in being more flexible, agile and efficient than others.
 
The rapid advances in technology and telecommunications have provided a plethora of options to tap into as companies grapple with growth and differentiation.  They have also created the need for a new type of market researcher.  This new strategic market researcher can no longer solely rely on methods from the past.  They will need to be open to piloting and experimenting with new approaches, and with how to channel the flood of new data and technology into actionable strategic insights.  
 
A big challenge and opportunity lies ahead of us as market researchers … 
can we harness the power of our new options in crowdsourcing, mobile technology, social media and big data spaces, to provide the insights we seek WITHOUT being inundated with more data dumps and analysis paralysis, or in plain English, too much information with only a small percentage being useful.
 
 
Dev Das has a  20+ year career which has spanned the biotech, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged goods industries.   Immediately prior to creating Expleo Insight, Dev built the Strategic Insights & Analytics function in Auxilium Pharmaceuticals.  As Group Director, he successfully managed the market research, analytics/forecasting, and competitive intelligence needs for the company portfolio.  Prior to Auxilium, Dev led the market research efforts for several early and late-stage opportunities within Virology, Immunology, and Cardiovascular/Metabolics areas at Bristol-Myers Squibb.  Dev started his career in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry with market leaders, Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods, which gave him a solid foundation of the underlying principles of effective marketing.
 
Dev’s educational background includes a BS from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and an MBA from the Case Western Reserve University.  He is currently pursuing a doctorate at the Pace University.
 

From MADMEN to MADMOBILE The Next Era of Advertising and Promotion

By , June 27, 2013 9:58 am

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Advertising and Promotion (AdPromo) is now developing a new I.D. for marketing communications, which we could call MADMOBILE. This is recognition of the blending of Social Media, Global Technologies, and 2-way mobile communications. Much has been discussed about what advertising and promotion will get to be. Mobile advertiser/customer engagement and exchange in social media is the big think in AdPromo’s quickly changing present and exciting future.

The thinking behind some new innovations is to provide “glocal–(Global Localities) –with—mobile” opportunities for local AdPromo. Those on the forefront for developing these new services are employing their knowledge of changes in consumer behavior, which is being caused by, and satisfied by, the ever-expanding presence of Smartphones and social media.

These give the advertiser and promoter the opportunity for the delivery of local marketing communications. In the past, and still in the present, big business with its big money has used AdPromo to knock out small business. Many small-businesses can now make the most of the opportunity to advertise and promote to specific local targets through mobile “MadPhones” with a smaller, more effective and efficient budget.

In addition, there are recent connectivity innovations that enable customers to learn of a promotion without being in or even near a store, along with advances in Near Field Communications (NFC), receiving contact when they are passing near the brick and mortar store. More and more, retailers are encouraging word-of-mouth referrals by loyal customers, which is helping to build their loyalty through interesting engagements and an active relationship.

For now, customers are able to find advertising and promotions on their phones and tablets. Most importantly, a store can launch its advertising for a promotion in a few minutes, designing the message for today’s deals and targeting a specifically valued customer. The opportunity for retailers to present promotions in real time is a salient feature of the New World of MADMOBILE.

MadMobile drawing by Art Winters

drawing by Art Winters

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Neuro-Marketing through FMRI and NAcc

By , May 30, 2013 10:47 am

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It’s a brave new world we are seeing and must work within. As an evolving story, we have to consider how online advertising will be affecting the consumer’s brain? Neuro-marketing research is already investigating the effect online neuro-marketing will have on our brains in the current and evolving Internet/PDA world.

As we have recently discussed in a previous blog, researchers have learned that when the consumer first receives a message, it hits a section of the brain called the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc). This is the reward/punishment, pleasure/pain “headquarters” of the brain. By evaluating the amount of activity in such demarcated brain areas, the prefrontal cortex and the insula, neuro-marketing’s use of FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is working on a process to foresee how a consumer makes shopping decisions. For example, if the NAcc indicates a positive desire response from a brand message over a more negative doubt response –“Should I be spending money?” then the pre-frontal cortex could believe that it is getting a great deal and making a wise choice (such as better prices, bonuses, and other personal satisfactions).

NeuroMarketing

Drawing by Art Winters

Neuro-marketers are seeing the possibilities of using FMRI to examine and better understand the workings of consumers’ brains.
With this new knowledge they hope to develop new ways to initiate and stimulate consumer wants and needs. Don’t forget that it has always been marketing’s purpose to stimulate the consumer’s cravings and increase AIDA: attention, interest, desire and action.

If this concept makes you feel queasy, what kind of debate might occur if companies/brands have more invasive ways to communicate to and influence consumers in how to respond to a brand’s image, its brand story, and its brand positioning for superiority???

What kind of society will develop if this becomes the normal practice rather than a seemingly science fiction prediction?

OMG – What’s Next??? We may not be LOL’ing for long…….

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Learn WordPress Starting May 29

By , May 21, 2013 3:59 pm

Altered WordPress Logo

Have you heard about WordPress?
If you haven’t you are

  1. Not living on Planet Earth
  2. Not reading this page which was made using WordPress

WordPress is one of the most versatile and user-friendly web publishing applications. It has been enjoying rapid and widespread use over the past few years. Find out how easy it is to make web sites, change or create themes, add plugins and expand your offerings to clients – or maybe you just want to create a new web site for yourself.

Do all of this without having to know a lick of code!! How crazy is that?!?!?

Learning WP is a skill that you can hardly live without in today’s world whether you are just making a web site or are going to work for others.

And besides. Its too much fun.

Here is where you can get started learning something that is fun and useful.

Details And Registration

For questions about this class contact Bud Kraus, bud@joyofcode.com.

Bud Kraus teaches CTD 600 Web Design: HTML , CTD 605 Web Design: Cascading Style Sheets, and CTD 613: WordPress.

TIME TO THINK visCOMual

By , March 28, 2013 11:05 am

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Fashion advertising has always been more visual than verbal, which may play into its favor in the current, highly visCOMual marketing environment. We are seeing a trend in this mega-media environment for marketers to be involved in a heightened sense and use of visual literacy, visual thinking, visual perception and visual communications.

It has been our practice in our teaching and in our marketing and brand consulting to stimulate thinking by refashioning some of the terminology. It is our way of encouraging our own team and other participants to stop, think and apply the concept being presented through a new and different term such as visCOMual.

As in this case with visCOMual, we have noticed the need for more arresting visual communications in our digital, instant messaging world. To emphasize the importance of applying this to our clients’ branding messages, we created our own word for these innovative communications. Stop, think and recognize what is going on around you – what are you noticing about the visual communications you are encountering in your life? Even though the visualization of fashion has long left still-form, “proper” posing, as in the Levi’s ads of the 1950’s (seen here), to keep up with our own human evolution, there is certainly a need for the creation of effective matrices for this newly defined visCOMual process.

2 Levi's 1950's ads

1950’s Levi’s version of visual communications is “proper posing”

The visual literacy process can present fashion modeling with language as unique as the product design. There are advertising/brand managers and catwalk directors who are working on nonverbal languages of their own. Their intent is to grab attention with this new imaging language and visual meaning newly applied to their brands. They may now create a mind’s eye matrix for visCOMual that correlates visually with elements that are: emotional, rational, imaging, associative, symbolic and/or cultural, as in the Levi’s ad of today. The goals are to engage the customer’s seeing eye, the cultural eye that perceives the inner-mind or “my-style” eye, and/or creates a video-eye that records in the must-have, shopping mind.

2 current Levi ads

2013 Levi’s visCOMual – new-world posing and connecting with the Levi’s customer of today…

The positioning of visual communications for designers, brands and retailers is to encourage additional purposes for our ever growing and changing technologies. We are all working to create new areas of communication that can provide: product information—knowledge, self-design aspiration, increased meanings, and unique expression in our new visCOMual languages…

Think VISCOMUAL by Art Winters

Drawing by Art Winters

What strikes your mind’s eye?

 

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

4 Reason To LOL About Learning Online

By , March 19, 2013 8:21 am

Thinking of taking an online class, like my Web Design class, here at FIT?

Let me give you some reasons that you will not see any where else on why learning online just might be fore you.

  1. You can eat anything you want in class. Order a pizza and a coke and spill it over your keyboard. No one will tell you that you can’t have food in the lab.
  2. You can wear anything you want. Fashion is totally up to you when you take an online class. Work in your T-shirt or even a little less.
  3. When you get up at 2am, rather than eat a piece of chocolate cake, you can feed your brain with something good to learn.
  4. Didn’t swallow a bottle of Scope just before class? Not to worry. Bad breath is not a problem.

 

Some Online Classes that start soon
CEO 003: Formulating Your Financial Strategy
CTD 361: AutoCAD I
CTD 525: Interactive Design for Tablets and Smart Phones
CTD 600: HTML
SUS 001: Introduction to Sustainability
SUS 032: Sustainable Design Technology
SUS 041: Sustainable Product Development II
Click for all Online Classes offered

 

Bud Kraus teaches CTD 600 Web Design: HTML , CTD 605 Web Design: Cascading Style Sheets, and CTD 613: WordPress.

 

GOOGLE MAKES MAD MEN, SAD MEN

By , February 28, 2013 9:54 am

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Print Media Commissions are not in Mad Men Visions

GOOGLE MAKES MAD MEN, SAD MEN

drawing by Art Winters

In 2012, Google billed over 20 billion in advertising dollars.  This was more than the total of all U.S. print media.  What a contrast to what magazines and newspapers sold just five years ago!  In 2006, print media sold 60 billion dollars more in advertising than did Google!  How will this change brand marketing?  This isn’t your Mad Men’s day of advertising. (“Mad Men” is AMC’s TV show based on Madison Avenue’s advertising business and people in the early 60’s.)

So what does this mean for brand management performed by many of today’s advertising agencies?  Well, they had better get their act together.  They need to deliver branding power that can compete or at least do co-branding with the Googles, E-Bays, Amazon.coms, and many others, which will keep coming down the Internet superhighway.

The big question is how much of a threat is online advertising?  Is it delivering the ROI experienced through print media advertising?  It’s vital to realize that Google, just 14 years old, is now taking in more ad revenue than print media, which has been here for over 100 years!

However, it must be accounted that Google has a global operation, so this can’t be simply analyzed.  It must also be analytically figured that Google has seen a 15% decrease in ad Cost-Per-Click, CPC (the average fee that advertisers are charged for each clicked on ad) in 2012.  But now, Google’s CPC drop has slowed and perhaps turned the corner in January, as their CPC share increased due to click share on tablet devices. As more people are watching content across a variety of their mobile devices, Google has decided to pull out of its 5-year effort to build its TV Ads product.  Since 2009, they have shut down similar services for print and radio advertising.

Google is concentrating on beating Facebook in the sale of online display ads.  (Online display ads feature the advertiser’s content message on a destination website, usually in a box on the top or side of the page.)  The company is planning to lead web-search ads and online display ads that feature graphics, interactive communications and videos.

Google’s significant increase in display ads that concentrate on brand content is evidence that they have ambitious brand marketing goals.  Now Google is building and developing plans for their advertisers to more efficiently buy across a multitude of sites.

This is not only an important story for the online aspects of our businesses; it is also a good brand invention and reinvention story to watch in real time. 

Where has Google been and where is it going – stay tuned… the next generation of Mad Men is in the digital works….

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

Social Media week – observations and a guest blogger on those observations

By , February 23, 2013 8:37 am

Social Media week was full of fantastic events with different experts in various sectors.  The networking was great because each venue had different people to meet and multiple points-of-view.

There were two global takeaways I had from the events I attended.

·   The first is that there’s still no magic bullet to get customers, even in social media.  SEO, blogs, websites, linked in, pinterest, etc. must all work in as part of a strategically organized system in order to be successful. And that requires a fair degree of participation on your, the entrepreneur’s, part

·   The second takeaway I observed and heard from techies who were self-proclaimed “not” marketing people (that’s how obvious the problem is) is that the paradigm of giving the customer what the company and ad agency wants hasn’t changed at all.  The only change is how it’s delivered –- using new, sexy technology.  This is troubling. For example, at the “Marketing without words” event, there was a discussion of social engagement through images. Tools to follow each visitor from first look to sale, re-tweet or re-pin, etc. is now available. It’s called Curalate.  Great. But what does it measure AFTER a customer’s visual trail?  How does that affect a company’s bottom line? Imagine how much more impactful a  brand would be if they asked their customers what THEY wanted to see before they posted anything.  I predict that audience participation would skyrocket.  And Curalate would confirm that.  There is some progress in that, but where’s the ROI?

Here are some thoughts by Joe Bergmann, who has many years of online marketing experience. His approach is simpler and more effective than anything I’ve heard in a long time.

“Just By Asking”

Why do ad/brand companies try so hard to quantify people? Why do they try to dictate what they want people to think? Why do they think they have the power to brand themselves in people’s minds?

Most ad/technology companies of late adopters (advertisers), try to be hip, thinking they are on top of the latest technology and social networks so that they can exploit early adopters (customers, who don’t want their social media invaded by yellow creamy cheese and canned soup). Advertisers talk about controlling “authentic” relationships directly with customers, as if that was possible. Actually, it’s self-delusional. And then they take that delusion in-house (what next — outsourcing that authenticity to India?). Unbelievable.

This is top-down, invasive thinking. Most companies believe that what is important to them is important to their audience. It’s eyeball gathering that gets dirty looks from the consumer, because it is perceived as interrupting customer conversations and trampling on their privacy. What it is, is bad manners. Many companies seem to have forgotten that serving the customer also serves their stockholders. Until companies stop imposing meaningless marketing messaging on people, they will be stuck in a morass of the latest technological gimmick and the old-fashioned broadcast mentality. The Internet is a graveyard of technologies and metrics that have been the next, best thing.

So what’s a company to do? Remember, your brand is what the customer experiences of you — not what you want them to think (no matter how much and where you advertise). To make that work for your company, you should consider asking your customers what’s important to them. All you have to do is ask. So few companies do that, because they fear the of loss of control. But loss of control is not a bad thing. Being too much in control will make you less effective in the sales process. It turns your marketing message into a monologue. And most monologues don’t produce sales. After all, that’s what marketing boils down to — sales. Giving in to your customers and listening to what matters to them is liberating. It helps you think clearly about how you should approach your audience — without trying to interpret what they mean. In our experience, your customers are more than willing to help. They are the most important asset your company has.

So why do so many marketing companies and ad agencies still operate in broadcast mode? Again, loss of control. So they offer focus groups to pick the “best” of their controlled ideas. So what if the best idea isn’t in the 3-5 boards presented. Just keep developing more controlled ideas. Wouldn’t it be simpler to ask the customer what’s important to them and then build your marketing around their needs? But that takes a willingness to lose control and let people speak freely.

But that takes an approach to market research that requires a sense of humility, listening skills and a commitment to giving people what they want from your company (and a good product  or service that meets a need doesn’t hurt). The problem with most companies is that they rationalize or assume they know what the customer wants without having ever asked. They think their product or service should be interesting without being interested in their customers. Or worse, to be able to manipulate their perception. It doesn’t work.

That’s why I developed the OpenMind session and methodology. There is no better way to discover what your audience wants — and helps you give it to them. It’s the simplest, most time and cost effective way to make your marketing work. One OpenMind session will open your eyes to a whole new way to brand your company and then turn that brand into an experience to your audience. In OpenMind sessions customers are the ones who inform you how they want to be “told and sold.” Then and only then can technology become a tool that enables you speak to their needs.

Just by asking.

To learn more about OpenMind visit: http://www.holtzmancom.com/teamwork_openmind.php

 

Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.

Fashion Week

By , February 11, 2013 3:44 pm

Want to follow Fashion Week but don’t have the time to look at all the shows?
You can follow our Fashion Week Pinterest Board, updated daily!

Fashion Week Pinterest Board

Brand MarkETing… No More Brand Marking!

By , January 31, 2013 12:06 pm

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Brand MarkETing

Are we seeing Trans-Planetary Brand MarkETing in our digitized mobile economy? Drawing by Arthur Winters

So what is the difference between brand marking and markETing?

In the past, branding was initially a way of marking or identifying a brand as in marking a rancher’s cattle with a branding iron. As time went on, logos were developed to mark and establish an identity for companies, products and services. More recently in our digitized world, brand managers must bring an ET — Extra-Terrestrial or more likely, an Essential Technology element to their branding. Bringing a more advanced brand marking to their brand markETing.

In the past few years, many customers have felt more of a divide between what they want and what brands offer. Brands that have a vision of what the customer really wants make the most of what their customers value and enjoy. In addition, the customer is increasingly aware of their involvement in product development in their role as “prosumer.”  We see an increase in the desire for personalization from and customization of products, services and experiences.

To satisfy their new brand expectations, customers are moving rapidly to shopping with online retailers. Retailer brands will have to explore more UC, Unified Communications, that include retail pop-up stores and departments similar to Amazon.com and kiosks for brand offers similar to Groupon.com. UC strategies will be created that involve real voice (as opposed to electronic menus) responses to customers’ demands for personal attention and customization.

Strong brands that fulfilled customer expectations in the past may diminish, as many consumers are no longer loyal to brands they perceive as category leaders. As always, Brand Managers have to create strategies that convert consumers into customers. The hard work is now in creating an innovative presentation of relevant and much desired brand attributes for the most effective brand positioning. Some brands are creating differences that are being told through their brand story. A compelling brand story and the brand’s history can be delivered to better sell the brand’s positioning assets, differences, and superiority.

So we find content and technology merging in new ways. Consumers may now depend on apps that provide applications to personally bring to mind brand differences and values. These can be inspired by knowledge of their singular profiles and their current desires. And right up there in ET brand positioning is the brand manager’s awareness of their customers who are not really engaged. Previous paradigms for customer-engagement may no longer be effective and customer experiences, CX, that are no longer current in today’s retail marketing, will need to adjust and innovate like never before!

Next, brands will rely more and more on VOC (Voice of customer), innovative interactions with customers and encourage buying recommended by their friends via social media. Successful brands will acquire more knowledge about operations involved in a consumer-run world. As we have mentioned previously, PDA’s/mobiles employed by consumers will dramatically increase. Consumers will be scanning their own screens to connect with a brand, and perhaps, influence their buying. A brand will need to unify all of its messaging and specifically its advertising that is designed for the mobile customer. This may include new screen-oriented techniques for these new retail venues. Google made over $20 billion in ad revenues this year, more than all U.S. print media combined!

We suggest the oft-quoted phrase: “The Future is NOW” — might apply.
What do you think?

Arthur & Peggy Winters co-teach SXB 200 Brand Marketing Communications for Image & Meaning and SXR 050 Intro to Branding: The Art of Customer Bonding.

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