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The benefit of social media: Bulletin board focus groups as a tool for co-creation
Sylvie E. Rolland and Guy Parmentier, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 809-827
Bulletin board methodology emerged at the end of the 1990s and is becoming the most frequently used qualitative study technique.
Bulletin board methodology emerged at the end of the 1990s and is becoming the most frequently used qualitative study technique. This interactive approach groups a community of participants in a private or public online forum for a duration that varies from several days to several months. Discoveries, exchanges of view, personal opinions and group reactions are all part of the power and interest of the internet in this era of social media. This article presents the principles of bulletin board development, and specifics to aid understanding of this tool within social networks and to help organisations adapt to a paradigm shift in marketing in which consumer-respondents are co-creators of meaning and knowledge.
Ideal participants in online market research: Lessons from closed communities
Aleksej Heinze, Elaine Ferneley and Paul Child, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 769-789
Online market research communities are dependent upon their members’ participation, which in turn provides market intelligence for community operators.
Online market research communities are dependent upon their members’ participation, which in turn provides market intelligence for community operators. However, people join these communities for different reasons. The selection process for market research community members and the moderation process of these communities have a number of pitfalls, which can result in misleading interpretations of intelligence and flawed decisions based on their contributions. Using social capital theory in conjunction with research on different motivational types of participant, this paper focuses on lessons from commercially operated, closed online market research communities; it provides us with insights on membership selection and community moderation methods. The practical finding is that the ideal participant of such communities would be attracted by activities and rewards, which do not directly or obviously relate to the specific objective of an online market research community.
New insights from practice: Exploring online channel management strategies and the use of social media as a market research tool
Philipp 'Phil' Klaus, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 829-850
The concept of online customer experiences, and in particular the role of social media in online customer behaviour, has recently received great interest from academia, business and market researchers alike.
The concept of online customer experiences, and in particular the role of social media in online customer behaviour, has recently received great interest from academia, business and market researchers alike. Despite the belief that social media, imbedded in a corresponding online channel strategy, can be the key to successfully track and analyse consumer behaviour, most of the research focuses solely on the consumer rather than the companies’ strategic viewpoint. This study investigates current online channel management strategies of retail banking services, developing a much-needed typology of such practices. Based upon a thorough and rigorous data analysis process, we propose a typology of online channel strategies. The typology differentiates existing practices into initiators, reformers and consolidators, and discusses the differences between these categories with implications for theory and practice. We highlight the current and future roles of social media market research, and their strategic implications for the industry sector and market research in general, introducing the concept of ‘Strategic Social Intelligence (SSI)’.
How the larger corporations engage with stakeholders through Twitter
Lilia Ivana Mamic and Isidoro Arroyo Almaraz, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 851-872
The digital era has revolutionised the traditional communication assumptions that we learned during past decades.
The digital era has revolutionised the traditional communication assumptions that we learned during past decades. Social media constitute the new communication challenge. Twitter has recently passed 517 million users. This study examines how some of the largest companies are making use of this popular microblogging site to engage with their stakeholders. Using content analysis, we coded 5,352 tweets. We analysed the tweet frequency, the followers and followings, friending behaviour, the retweets and public messages, and the use that companies are making of different communication tools provided by Twitter to augment the information shared on their tweets. The study found that corporations are not effectively employing the full interactivity potential this site offers to build mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. These findings call attention to some key interactivity features that organisations are failing to utilise.
The power (and danger) of the story in social media research
Gareth Price, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 55, No. 6, 2013, pp. 755-756
In this Viewpoint, the author warns against trying to prove the validity of social media research by imposing mathematical order on the work.
In this Viewpoint, the author warns against trying to prove the validity of social media research by imposing mathematical order on the work. He is critical of chasing 'buzz' - essentially just 'volume of posts' - and of the belief that a bigger number means better. Instead, it is important to remember that while the numbers can provide the context, they do not necessarily provide useful insight. An example of how the same brand could generate different types of conversation in the US and UK is used to demonstrate this issue.
Creating a new playbook: Making qualitative research more accessible to newcomers
Ray Poynter, ESOMAR, Qualitative, Valencia, November 2013
This paper sets out guidelines for non-specialists who wish to use qualitative research methods. The biggest challenge to the future of qualitative research is that increasing numbers of people who do not understand the qualitative paradigm are able to conduct projects, using sophisticated tools, without the knowledge of how to conduct and analyse qualitative research.
This paper sets out guidelines for non-specialists who wish to use qualitative research methods. The biggest challenge to the future of qualitative research is that increasing numbers of people who do not understand the qualitative paradigm are able to conduct projects, using sophisticated tools, without the knowledge of how to conduct and analyse qualitative research. The paper covers the concept of 'data' in qualitative research, analysis methods, planning for discussions and considerations around participant agendas.
Qualitative data, integrative frameworks, and the prospect of strategic impact
Jeffrey Hunter, ESOMAR, Qualitative, Valencia, November 2013
This paper describes changes in qualitative research as traditional forms decline and new forms gain popularity.
This paper describes changes in qualitative research as traditional forms decline and new forms gain popularity. In recent years a number of large agencies and client companies have moved away from focus group research, while methods like 'social media listening' have developed. There has also been a push to better integrate disparate forms of data to provide greater strategic impact. This paper creates a framework for the inclusion of qualitative data in a way that is likely to increase its strategic impact.
Warc Advertising Research 2013: Researching the implicit memory
Brian Carruthers, Event Reports, Advertising Research, September 2013
This report summarises the presentations given at the 2013 Warc Advertising Research conference, which covered a range of subjects related to the theme 'Researching the implicit memory'.
This report summarises the presentations given at the 2013 Warc Advertising Research conference, which covered a range of subjects related to the theme 'Researching the implicit memory'. It was stressed that understanding implicit thinking is a route to improving traditional research, rather than replacing it. Topics addressed included understanding the context in which consumers interact with brands, using metaphorical techniques in research, recognising the emotions that act as drivers and the effect of mobile and new technology on market research. The conference also looked into the future for market research and its likely evolution.
A Q New World: Reframing best practice for tomorrow's clients
Kristin Hickey, ESOMAR, Congress, Istanbul, September 2013
This paper examines how qualitative and quantitative research are being supplemented by new types of research such as behavioural economics and Big Data, and the impact this is having on the research industry.
This paper examines how qualitative and quantitative research are being supplemented by new types of research such as behavioural economics and Big Data, and the impact this is having on the research industry. These changes may require new business models and research processes to ensure clients receive the best insights possible. As 'traditional' and 'new' approaches become increasingly divergent not enough attention is being paid to combining the best of the research models. This paper presents a challenging perspective and invites researchers to move beyond the debate to help redefine market research best practice for the future.
Less Facts, More Fiction: Expanding Research's Mind: Moving away from method, to a much wider definition of strategy as execution
James Ebdon, Elizabeth Lonergan and Leanne Tomasevic, ESOMAR, Congress, Istanbul, September 2013
This paper describes how an abundance of data is changing the role of market research from collecting the 'most and best data' towards generating valuable insights.
This paper describes how an abundance of data is changing the role of market research from collecting the 'most and best data' towards generating valuable insights. 'The messy mind agenda' articulates a four part shift in market research. A complex and unpredictable environment will require experimentation and learning over time. Researchers will need to 'critique and curate' information in order to identify what is important and useful to brands. Research should open up and have 'creative conversations' with brands and consumers in uncontrolled environments to generate new ideas and insights. In order to make brands distinct, they should focus on culture rather than consumers, developing a brand identity within that culture, and changing alongside it.
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