EmergeSmarter Blog

The Multitasking Generations: 13-34 Year Olds Average 4-5 Other Activities While Watching TV

Posted on Fri, Nov 18, 2011

New Study Examines the TV Consumption Habits of Generations X, Y and i

Adults 18-24 and 25-34 Most Likely to Connect Social Media to TV Viewing; Teens Most Likely to Watch with Friends and Family

(National Harbor, MD—November 9, 2011) – A new study released today, “Watching Gens X, Y & i,” paints a detailed portrait of 13-34 year old consumers and how they watch television: often while taking part in up to four or five activities all at the same time, from eating, cooking and cleaning to texting, surfing the web, emailing, playing games or listening to music.

“Many 13-34 year olds are multi-media multitaskers, but their social media activities vary depending on age group,” said Char Beales, president and CEO, Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), and head of the organization that commissioned the study.

Younger generations have been raised in an entertainment world where content is available anytime, anywhere and on numerous platforms. This study exposes what teens and young adults are watching, with whom they’re watching, where, how often and on what devices.

Although about half of 18-24 and 25-34 year olds follow or “like” TV networks/shows, only 38% of those 13-17 do. The leading social networking activities while watching TV are looking up info (31% of 13-34 year olds), discussing shows online (29%), posting updates/tweeting (24%) and visiting a network or show page (22%). However, these activities are almost twice as likely to be conducted among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds compared to teens.

Click Here To View the Complete Article.

This research, conducted by C+R Research, was commissioned by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) to investigate the effect of lifestyles and life stages on media and technology usage of younger consumers. It included both qualitative and quantitative online phases in the summer of 2011, and also utilizes data from C+R’s comprehensive syndicated YouthBeat study to provide additional context. 2,124 total interviews were conducted as part of the quantitative phase.

Tags: Market Research Reporting, youth and family research, Market Research, C+R News

Market Research Event Recap: Categorization is Communication

Posted on Wed, Nov 16, 2011

By Hillary Stifler, Director

At the Market Research Event last week, one theme was played out in several presentations – categorization.  And it hit home, as I’m currently working on a study whose goal is to categorize over 100 products in a way that makes sense to consumers!  

Categorization was a major theme discussed by Sheena Iyengar, who spoke about “The Art of Choosing.” People make thousands of choices each day and, as she puts it, face “choice overload.”  She offers three solutions:  The Art of Choosing

  • Cut duplicates and indistinguishable.
  • Categorize the options.
  • Condition the chooser for complexity by offering the easier choices first before working into the more complex choices.  

This advice is not only great for product offerings at shelf, but it is also great for business communications.

Ruben Alcaraz from Meijer spoke on data visualization and gave some great advice that I think ties into the power of categorization. He said, “It’s not that people don’t get it, it’s just that we [market researchers/those sharing our data] aren’t good at communicating it.”  

Really, categorization is communication.  A jumble of data on a page does not tell a story. Humans are visually-oriented and, to be an effective communicator in the visual realm, we must categorize our information in a way that makes sense to our audience.

So, Ms. Iyengar’s three pieces of advice also apply to reporting and data visualization:

  • Don’t show duplicate data.
  • Section off reports (or even parts of a slide) in a way that makes sense to the audience and supports your story.
  • Start with the obvious, more general information and work your way into the deeper, newer information. 

Categorization is not a novel concept; we have grouped and framed information forever. However, I think it is a good reminder that information is far less powerful when it’s not organized in a way that speaks to the audience. And, when organized in a meaningful way, it helps people choose where to focus their attention and it helps the author to tell the story efficiently and with ambiguity.

Tags: Market Research, Market Research Conference, C+R News

Why Marketing Research Gets Mobile Wrong

Posted on Thu, Sep 29, 2011

By Walt Dickie, Executive Vice President

Mobile. The next big thing, right? Well, maybe or maybe not. I’ve just been Googling mobile marketing research topics, downing a few white papers, and reading some conference presentations, and it strikes me that an awful lot of marketing researchers simply don’t understand what mobile means for the research business or the impact it’s going to have.

Here’s the problem: Imagine you’re a buyer of marketing research. Today. Now. You’ve got more questions and issues than you can easily cram into your limited budget and timeline. You’ve worked up a survey research design, and you’re balancing sample costs against the sample sizes you need for the analysis.Mobile Research

Then someone points out that some of your key segments are going to be pretty difficult to get. People who are very mobile. People who don’t have home computers and internet connections. “But they have cell phones,” says someone else. “We could maybe interview them on their phones!” Briefly, your spirits soar – you’ll add an online sub-sample!

Then the realities hit: short interviews, something called a “mobile template,” increased sample costs, a whole new technology to tackle, and a methodological nightmare to merge the mobile data and findings with the rest of the project. The benefits aren’t enough to justify the approach. “Great idea, though. We’ll have to keep that in mind.”

This is totally wrong. It’s not just wrong today, for today’s project – you almost certainly made the right choice for your already over-burdened, under-funded current project. But it’s wrong for tomorrow, and wrong for the industry.

Because mobile isn’t simply a matter of sample. Mobile is about culture. More specifically, it’s about culture change. And you’re very likely to be part of that change already.

Don’t believe me? Do you have a smartphone? Have you had it for at least six months? OK – answer this question: Out of the last ten times you checked your email, how many times did you use your iPhone, Blackberry, or Android phone? Office computer? Home computer? Tablet?

I’ve been paying attention to my own behavior for the last week or so, and I’d guess that out of ten tries, I check email 4 times on my phone, 5 times on my office computer, once on my tablet, and I probably didn’t use my home computer at all.

Now think about those times when you used your phone: Where were you? For me, I check my email using my phone from lots of places: sitting at home with the phone at my side, driving to or from work, running errands on weekends, in the office when I’m away from my desk. And that’s where the culture shift lies.

I have my phone on me most of the time – it’s sitting on my desk as I write this on my office computer. And I use it almost everywhere, including a few times when I’ve already got Outlook running on a computer right in front of me. I’ll bet you do the same.

My phone is with me most of the time. It’s my personal device, the one I have close to me no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

The smartphone is the logical culmination of what people talked about in the 80s and 90s when they got enthused about how personal the desktop computer was. Here, for the first time, were computers designed to be used by a single person, with all kinds of ways that they could be customized to that person’s tastes. Screensavers, wallpaper, custom menus and button bars, programs you liked and used – all eons away from the big iron where you might have had a timesharing account.

The smartphone is the most personal PC yet. The longer you have one, the more you find yourself using it, often for things you thought you’d never do on such a small device, in places where you never used your previous “not”-smart phone. Over time, you find yourself expecting to use it for just about anything that you can use it for. And you’re increasingly annoyed when you can’t – when a web site doesn’t render using a mobile template and forces you to endure a nightmare of zooming and hitting links inadvertently because it’s cramped, crowded layout is hostile to your little screen and big fingers. Or when a survey invitation dumps you into a questionnaire clearly designed with the expectation that you’re sitting at a keyboard, looking at a big screen, and navigating with a mouse. When you’re not in the “mobile sub-sample” because the marketing research industry didn’t get how the culture changed when smartphones appeared in force and everyone used them for everything. Because MR got mobile wrong.

Tags: mobile research, market research tools, C+R News

Market Research Technology is Moving so Fast…So Why Aren’t We There Yet?

Posted on Wed, May 18, 2011

By Anne Wall, Senior Vice President

The research/consumer insights industry has developed a slew of new tools that harness both technology and the ways people currently interact with one another, with products and with media.  We have been buzzing about online communities, mobile surveys, crowdsourcing, video journals, neuroscience, social media, text analytics, social gaming and more. Market Research Technology

These are important and necessary tools, but, they are only tools.  The community needs to continue to design research around business objectives and not around cool new tools. The recent Technology-Driven Market Research Conference was an ironic illustration of the ways in which we’re not there yet.

Conference attendees saw PowerPoint presentations that were nothing but pages of numbers and text – no audio, no video — in fact, no movement on the screen at all.  Continued failure to engage our audiences is providing our competitors from outside the research community with opportunities to move right in.

Our insights and implications need to speak to the heart of the business decisions being made.  It’s been said before, and for many years, but I’ll say it again: pages and pages of research results don’t cut it.  And, a “technology-driven” conference should have been a showcase for presentations demonstrating a visually engaging, interactive, multimedia approach. 

Tags: Market Research, Misc, qualitative research, C+R News

The Real Benefits of a SAS 70 Security Audit

Posted on Sun, Apr 10, 2011

By Walt Dickie, Executive Vice President

C+R Research received the final SAS 70 Type II logocopy of our first SAS 70 audit about three weeks ago. It was the end of a year-long effort to review and re-think our privacy and security policies and procedures, and everyone involved was elated when we passed with flying colors.

But I’ve been thinking, now that the hard work and occasional frenzy that got us to this point is over, what the real value of all that effort really was. And I’m pleased to discover that we got more benefits than we expected.

For those of you who don’t know, SAS 70 is an audit standard developed for service organizations by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. A SAS 70 audit is an in-depth examination of a firm’s information technology and processes, and companies obtain them to demonstrate that they have adequate controls and safeguards when they host or process data belonging to their customers.

Like most market research providers, C+R regularly receives confidential information from many of our clients. For clients in the financial services and healthcare industries, the confidentiality of customer information involves specific legal obligations, but clients in all industries are becoming more conscious of the importance of safeguarding customer data.

Many of us here at C+R cut our teeth handling information from young kids – we've been complying with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) since 2000, when we started our KidzEyes.com panel. So we were pretty confident that we knew what we were doing when it came to security and privacy issues.

And we were right, for the most part. When we dug in to the SAS 70 process, we discovered that we had the fundamentals solidly covered. What we didn’t have was systematic procedures for reviewing and improving our processes. And we hadn’t given enough thought to training, passing on knowledge and experience. And, most of all, we hadn’t focused enough on being able to backtrack along our own processes so we could prove that we had done what we intended to – or, should the dreaded day arrive, find the point when something went astray.

So, although I’m pleased that we can now share the results of a successful audit with our clients, I’m most pleased that we’ve given ourselves a better chance to stay on course in the future. That has turned out to be the real, and unexpected benefit of the SAS 70. It was well worth the time and money. And for all the work involved, I’d recommend it to others.

Tags: SAS70, C+R News

Reaching a Milestone

Posted on Wed, Apr 6, 2011

By Robbin Jaklin, President.describe the image

Last year, C+R Research celebrated its 50th year of business.  With 50 years of history it seemed only appropriate to reflect on that history.  But as we have spent the past year reflecting, it is clear that we don’t look much like we did 50 years ago…or even 15 years ago.  So we did what any good marketing-oriented company would do.  We hired an independent brand consultancy to help us discover what our brand means to clients after all these years.

As with all endeavors of this type, a team consisting of internal C+R specialists and the brand consultancy was formed.  The net was cast wide—interviews were carried out internally as well as externally with some of our clients, numerous meetings patiently reviewing responses and crafting solutions were attended, and an honest assessment of what we were saying about ourselves as well as a keen look at our business practices took place. Admittedly, it was a lot of work and seemed a bit daunting at first. We’ve worked with clients to help capture their brand and target usage stories for 50 years! We’ve helped them evaluate concepts and subsequently develop strategic recommendations for them as well! What, we wondered, were we going to learn about our own brand story? Where were our strengths—or our potential weaknesses? We asked ourselves certain questions continuously throughout the process. What was relevant to us?  What worked?  What didn’t and why? And, lastly, what if…?

Eventually, what seemed at first daunting expanded and began to reveal a very lucid story…and a familiar one. What we were learning about ourselves confirmed what we knew all along. Some things surprised us—in a good way!—and others did not. Our exploration showed that while research has changed a great deal over the years technologically and categorically, the principles that drive our approach to deliver what clients need from us have not. We learned that clients admire our ‘whatever it takes’ attitude and our commitment to help strengthen and expand their knowledge passionately, creatively, thoughtfully. 

We learned that our very consultative and senior level ‘hands on’ approach to projects underpinned the rewarding relationships we’ve built with our clients over the years beyond the technology or methodologies involved.  Additionally, we learned that, internally, we’re a passionate bunch, a creative lot, excited about what we do and deliver department-to-department exactly the same type of commitment and solutions-based customer service that we give to our clients. And, true to our history we aren’t a company concerned with being like all the other guys.  What we care about is doing what’s necessary…and doing what’s right.  

What we learned in essence about ourselves is our ability to ‘get to the heart of it.’  So, as spring is upon us, C+R will enjoy a new look… a look and message that reflect who C+R is today, built on a history of what C+R has been for the past 50 years, and what C+R is positioned to be in the coming years.

Tags: Market Research, C+R News

EmergeSmarter — A Marketing Insight Resource

Posted on Fri, Apr 1, 2011

By Robert Relihan, Senior Vice President

Reading Robbin’s description of our re-branding efforts has, I have to say, re-energized me once more.  Déjà vu all over again, in the words of Yogi Berra.  I have been part of at least half of C+R‘s history.  It’s exciting to take all of that experience and learning, gather it up, and take it into the future.

And, that’s what we are doing here in our blog — EmergeSmarter. C+R is a group of exciting, smart people, all with different voices and perspectives.  We welcome you to share with us the many things we find new and useful about research, the industry, and people.

  • A new technique
  • A new perspective
  • A new method
  • A fresh insight

Why are we doing this? Well I know why I am doing this.  I have conducted many different projects and enjoyed the prospect of getting shoulder to shoulder with consumers – discovering how they live, exploring what they want and feel, and producing some unique insights. But, so much of life and work doesn't fit neatly into this or that project.  These are the things I and the rest of us at C+R want to share…and perhaps, even engage in a bit of dialogue.

It is our hope that, from these encounters, we will all emerge smarter.

EmergeSmarter — A Marketing Insight Resource

Tags: Misc, C+R News