Tag Archives: crowdsourcing

The New Role of Market Research

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.

Digital Storytelling – Tell the Right Story to the Right People.

Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com
Image provided by Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com

The transition from analog to digital has enabled the reach and focus of PR and marketing messaging exponentially. These transitions are nicely described by Lucy Siegel (http://bridgebuzz.bridgeny.com/). With these new powers, it’s important to make sure that your storytelling is aligned with your branding and that both have been influenced in some way by your audience (let’s call it customer-focused storytelling). This not only strengthens your story, but your brand as well.

Even the new technology has a new wrinkle, as Janet Falk (http://www.janetlfalk.com/) tells us. It’s crowd sourcing and user-generated content — when companies actively solicit input from target audiences. She provides a familiar example: The 1995 campaign to select the next color of M&Ms is now a contest for user-generated video commercials. Contestants are rewarded with seeing their work displayed on the company website, inevitably shared among a like-minded audience and often voted upon. The grand prize winner gets monetary compensation and digital fame. In the process, consumer packaged goods companies relinquish a measure of control and yield reliability of authoritative sources to the unknown contestants, whose agendas may or may not align with specific corporate goals beyond increasing brand awareness.

The benefits of digital storytelling come with more responsibility, in the form of having to monitor both the effect your story is having, as well as your audiences’ reactions to the story (for instance, bloggers without journalist credentials and audiences with agendas).

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