For over a year now, I’ve been saying “research is cool”; is it? Could a marketing researcher bring a new, edgy perspective to the table that others would find compelling? There is no cooler mag than “Fast Company”; given the opportunity, I had to put it out there and see.
To do this, I didn’t blog about research methods; I created “Brave New Marketing” so I could blog about marketing issues but with a researcher’s lens.
I wrote the piece, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” based on three sources that led me to hypothesize that only 10% or so of brand/customer relationships, are predicated on love or engagement. Therefore, even though an engaged customer is much more valuable, marketing can’t be all about building engagement—you must also win at trench warfare for those people who are making decisions about essentially equally acceptable product and service alternatives. The idea converged from analysis of beta distributions which are used to model loyalty curves, the level of friending/fanning/following of brands in social media relative to their user base (single digits mostly), the percent of conversation that is actually about brands relative to the number of brands we use in a day. Keep a brand diary—you’ll see that you don’t “love” more than maybe 10% of the brands you use.
I wrote the piece, “The New Rules of Brand Competition” noting the rise in store brands’ market shares, and observing the increasing power of retailers in the negotiation with manufacturers. The path forward that I suggest comes from the Research Transformation initiative at the ARF where we have agreed that putting the human at the center of marketing thinking and then bringing the human to life for the boardroom is the key X-Man superpower we have.
A meta-analysis of TV advertising effectiveness was critical to the “7 Predictions about the future of Advertising”. Again, I wanted to ground the predictions in a factual basis rather than what I was hearing from the echo chamber. It turns out that advertising on traditional media still work as well as in the past at achieving marketing objectives and in fact, internet advertising works by some of the same mechanisms rather than via the immediate click.
“The need for Simplification Marketing” comes from an ARF desire to bring behavioral economics thinking into marketing research practice and represents a vision of why this might re-shape marketing programs.
The Fast Company editors told me that the web analytics for “Brave New Marketing” were strong and that I can submit new material anytime. I also picked up over 300 followers on twitter the week I blogged. Conclusion: Research IS cool!
While I will certainly continue my CRO-ing (like “crowing”) about research” blog, I’ll also take www.fastcompany.com up on their offer to keep blogging for them and extend the voice of research to non-traditional audiences.