Wednesday, 26 January 2011

State of the Union vs State of Conversations

Around a year ago, February 1st 2010, President Barack Obama met with Youtube’s News and Political Director, Steve Groves, to answer a number of user submitted questions on the State of the Union. In only a couple of days, over 11,000 questions were submitted to the YouTube channel by users via comment or video, and over 640,000votes poured in to determine which questions would be asked of the President.

This year, the White House added a couple of new features to this year’s State of the Union: the speech was broadcast live on a new White House app for the iPhone as and on the YouTube's CitizenTube channel. Afterward, people could again submit questions via CitizenTube and vote on others. Online some tag clouds of yesterday’s speech can be found. I made one myself, but more interestingly, I made another one of the most popular questions. Compare the two below (and click here the see a zoom of these graphs).
Obama will answer the top-voted questions next week in an interview broadcast on the channel, looking at the graphs above, we’re now able to predict what those questions will be about.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Linking diary research to location based networks

What most intrigue me about the future of market research is the mobile revolution and all the new opportunities this creates. Mobile technology can give us access to people when we traditionally wouldn’t have access, and maybe just as important, gives people access to us when they normally couldn’t!

Give mobile research a minute of your thought and several possible uses easily come to mind:

  • Sending pictures and movies via phones (what’s in your fridge today?)
  • Filling the gaps in the day: asking people to take short surveys while they’re waiting for the train, the general practitioner, the cash register, during breaks, etc.
  • But my favourite of all is location based research (having people respond to a text while they are still at a location or event instead of asking them later through another survey form).

The location based social network Foursquare has published an infographic representing the total number check-ins: 381,576,305. These have come from almost every country in the world (the only exception is North Korea). What strikes me about the graph is the part where they show the check-ins by category throughout the day.

This brings me to a following thought: think about the potential for “mobile diary” usage of mobile devices combined with location based social networks. Among other things, this could be a great way to collect travel patterns information, where people can enter brief updates as they move around throughout the day. It can also be used to track (potential) media exposures (did a person pass by a billboard or not), progress on purchasing decisions or any other behavioural issue without asking!

I think another powerful use may come in the future as more and more phones can identify where you are (as opposed to having to identify your location by a text).

For those in Belgium or around: the Belgian Association for Quantitative & Qualitative Marketing Research (BAQMaR) organises seminar on Mobile Marketing and Research next February 17 (14h-18h) in Antwerp. More information here.

Foursquare’s full infographic can be found here.

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Activation by combining Facebook’s who and Twitter’s what at Foursquare

While Facebook is all about what’s on people’s minds and Twitter updates tell us what’s happening , for almost 2 years now, Foursquare combines the two telling us who is where and what is happening over there.

Using apps like Foursquare now makes that a mobile phone rapidly becomes the new loyalty card: companies like Pepsico en Heineken are using the location-based social networking site to

PepsiCo are teaming up with Foursquare to reinvent the way grocery store shoppers think about location-based rewards and checkins. As part of the deal, Safeway has integrated Foursquare into its VonsClub loyalty program for a three-month pilot program that kicks off today.

End of last year, Pepsico in the US teamed up with Foursquare in an attempt to reinvent grocery store loyalty programmes. The crux of Pepsico’s Foursquare program is that consumers can link their Foursquare accounts to unlock PepsiCo rewards every time they shop. Shoppers who link their accounts will earn instant Foursquare rewards on PepsiCo products — in the form of coupons printed at the register — at the time of sale. Rewards are also personalized to the user and tied to the types of badges a Foursquare user has already unlocked.
Since last week, Dutch consumers can now earn points for discounts in Heineken’s Dutch e-shop. Foursquare users can link their account to their profile in order to earn 10 points with each check in at a participating bar, cafe or club that sells Heineken.

The points can be redeemed for things like merchandise, tickets to sold-out concerts and VIP tickets to parties.

So if in today’s reality brand relationships are being built by providing meaningful branded experiences, these two examples are here to stay.

Using the location based service; Heineken’s initiative even takes customer experiences to the next level in this initiative by encouraging conversations between friends: those Foursquare users who encourage five of their friends to sign up as well on get a 50 point bonus and those with a Heineken e-card receive double points. And this matters: positive recommendations generate referral value and new users of the loyalty programme as a result.