The Warc Blog

Next Gen Research: New techniques, neuro nonsense and the return of the Hidden Persuaders

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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It's no coincidence that Next Generation Research is both the theme of Warc's next conference and one of the marketing industry's most pressing issues. How can clients adapt to, and adopt, the ever-increasing repertoire of new MR techniques available to them? And how can research practitioners best convince clients that these new techniques are worth their investment? Hopefully delegates at the one-day conference, which takes place in London on January 17th 2013, will get some answers to these crucial questions.

One man certainly not short of opinions on the state of the research industry is the conference's chairman, John Kearon, founder and "chief juicer" of MR agency BrainJuicer. When we met in London last week, Kearon offered his own broad definition of next generation research: new techniques that "reflect the way human beings actually behave". But, he added, the marketing industry has yet to truly take these techniques on, and is all the poorer for this timidity.

30 November 2012, 15:28
Results of 'Black Friday' and the correct meaning of 'Cyber Monday'

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving in the US, has traditionally been the start of the holiday shopping season. The name originated in Philadelphia, to describe heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicular traffic, when many folks took off the day after Thanksgiving as an extended holiday and used it to shop. That was back in the 1960s. By the mid-70s it spread to other large cities as a retail event. Another explanation was given the increase store traffic that particular Friday, it was the point when retailer ledger entries got made – not in red ink, representing losses – but in black ink, indicating profits. Get it? Black Friday!

But in recent years, lack of any real retail differentiation – not to mention the Internet, although we will be mentioning it later – forced retailers to do something to ensnare shoppers. In the absence of real merchandise differentiation and the presence of universal low-lower-lowest pricing strategies, retailers started to open earlier on Friday, the logic being if you got the shopper first, they wouldn't shop someplace else. Or wouldn't shop as much someplace else. Most opened at 8:00 AM. Some opened at 6:00 AM. But in 2008 some moved openings to 4:00 AM. Then 2:00 AM. Last year Macy's, Target, Kohl's, and Best Buy opened at midnight. This year Wal-Mart opened at 8:00 PM on Thursday. But most had already begun sales on Wednesday, which kind of waters down the concept. And the effect.

27 November 2012, 17:12
Consumers wait for deals, retailers wait for 6%

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Just because retailers began advertising and decorating stores for the holidays well before Halloween doesn't mean consumers are shopping earlier. Yes, some have been, having learned tighter inventory controls increased chances that if they wait too long, products might not be there. But that's only 24% of shoppers. For the rest, 40% indicated that they'd begin shopping this month, with a third of consumers waiting for the traditional Thanksgiving Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales. Thirty-six percent (36%) of shoppers are waiting till December, with 9% indicating they'll actually wait until the last 2 weeks of December. So much for all that early-earlier-earliest holiday advertising!

Interviews with 16,200 consumers last month about holiday spending revealed a 6% increase over last year. That's double last year, or an $870 average holiday spend. But higher spend comes wrapped with higher consumer expectations. The retail equation moved from 'price-value' to 'value-for-dollar' a while ago, but the retail brand (and what it stands for) still remains a surrogate for added value, and if managed and marketed properly by retailers will result in a larger piece of the holiday pie for them.

15 November 2012, 11:16
TMRE 2012: Daniel Kahneman on 'Priming' and the 'Law of Least Effort'

Posted by: Geoffrey Precourt, US Editor, Warc

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Daniel Kahneman – the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, and author of the best-selling Thinking, Fast and Slow – had just come home from dinner with friends.

His wife didn't surprise him with the observation that she thought that one of their dinner companions was "sexy".

13 November 2012, 16:40
Lessons From Obama - Winning campaigns with big data

Posted by: Cila Warncke, Summaries Writer, Warc

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When Barack Obama was elected to the United States presidency in 2008 the marketing story was the power of social media, and how his campaign successfully leveraged tools such as Facebook to drive unprecedented voter interaction (view for free the Obama for President case study). Four years later, Obama is celebrating another victory and this time the talk is all about big data.

Big data has become an ubiquitous phrase in marketing circles as brands and agencies hasten to get to grips with the torrent of information unleashed by the digital age. Underlying the general excitement at the sheer quantity of consumer data available is the nagging but persistent question of what exactly to do with the data.

12 November 2012, 17:41
Take one tablet and watch me in the morning

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Legendary newsman, Walter Cronkite, once noted, "Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets." And that was 33 years before Apple announced it has sold 3 million iPad Minis during its introductory weekend. That was a new product launch record for them, which is saying a lot when you talk about Apple.

The new iPad Mini is a 7.9-inch, 10.88 ounce, .28" thick version of the iconic Apple tablet, with Wi-Fi connection, all for a base price of $329. Apple promises that they'll be offering tablets able to connect to mobile data networks over the next month or so.

06 November 2012, 09:38
Multicultural or Cross-Cultural - What's the best strategy for the 'New Mainstream'?

Posted by: Geoffrey Precourt, US Editor, Warc

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Despite the best efforts of Superstorm Sandy, last week Warc attended the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 14th annual 2012 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

The conference played host to a lively debate over multicultural marketing - both the scope of the term, and its relevance at a time when multicultural audiences are becoming the mainstream.

05 November 2012, 11:04
Breaking through The Wall

Posted by: Waqar Riaz, , Cheil Worldwide

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'The Wall', probably the best of Pink Floyd's conceptual work to-date and arguably one of the most successful communication strategies ever to communicate brand truth (conceived by the de facto Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters) – both commercially and creatively.

Roger wrote 'The Wall' as a reflection of his own fears, losses and anger with the 'so called' managers of the society, tracing all the way back to the time when he was five months old and lost his father to the war. It's the story of a soul unsettled, a baby left alone, a child who never grew up, a frightened youth; the life of a man who refused to accept the system.

05 November 2012, 10:41
Mythbuster: Creativity is not all about ideas

Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB

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Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the notion that creativity is all about ideas.

At a recent 'away day', discussion turned to the issue of creativity. What exactly was the role of creativity for brands? How could it add value?

02 November 2012, 10:45
At Hewlett Packard everything old is new again

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard, is instituting a new turn-around attempt – a new line of printers. Or, more precisely, multi-functional printers, or MFPs. MFPs combine printers with scanners and digital storage. Generally a single product that allows one to manage electronic documents in different ways. But the reality is that given electronic document management today, people end up printing less and managing more. And while HP has, well, not done much of anything as regards research and development in a while, other brands have stepped in to fill customer needs.

According to our Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, here's how MFPs currently rank:

01 November 2012, 15:07
 

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