Posts Tagged ‘market research’

As a market researcher, one major and important job is to deliver research results and corresponding recommendations to the clients. It includes both written and oral communication: writing research reports and giving final presentation. After you did all the background research, sampling, interview, data analysis, etc., now is the time to show your clients what you found. In my opinion, whether you can succeed in this final step highly depend on how much do you know about your “audience”.

Obviously, the audience is your client. No matter what kind of research you do or what problems you are asked to solve, there are three typical types of people who will review and use your deliverables from the client side.  I call them “End-user”, “Technician” and “Financer”.

Market researchers must be aware of the 3 types of audience and their distinct demands.

Market researchers must be aware of the 3 types of audience and their distinct demands.

As shown in the diagram, these 3 types of audience are different in their roles and expertise. Therefore, their focuses on market researchers’ presentation are also  distinct. Regularly, these 3 types of audience won’t be all shown up in a presentation, but sometimes they do attend the meeting together. So, the question is how a market researcher can satisfy all 3 kinds of audience in a single presentation?

The End-Users: They are usually from C-suite, like the CEOs, CMOs, or CCOs (Chief Customer Officer). They are super busy and have a lot of things in mind when digesting the messages from the presentation. Sometimes, they might join the presentation after the researcher has talked for a while, which made the situation even more challenging. However, what they expect from the presentation can be simply generalized into one question: “How can it help my vision?” They care more about the key findings and the interpretations than the data source and research process. So, make sure these key messages appear several times in the presentation, at least at the beginning as a executive summary and at the end as a summary.  If they miss those information at the beginning, they still have chance to know it somewhere else.

The Technicians: They are usually the in-house market researchers or research staff from PR/Advertising agencies that also work with your client. I call them “technicians” because they can do research by themselves, which means they know all the skills and techniques about sampling, research design, data analysis, etc. They are at the presentation to check and “question” your methodology. Therefore, we should make sure we prepare the information that they want. However, we may not explain it a lot in the presentation, especially when the “end-users” are also in the meeting. The preparation I mentioned include two things: a comprehensive research report and the anticipation of research-method-related questions in the Q&A session after the presentation.  Before you start presenting, you can explain that due to the time limit, the details of research process won’t be include in the presentation, but if the audience want to know more about it, they can get the information from the comprehensive research report or ask you in the Q&A session.

The Financiers:  They are usually the CFOs or account managers from the PR/Advertising agencies that also work for your client. The only thing they care about in the presentation is how feasible the research findings and recommendations from  finance viewpoint. In other words, what are the ROIs for the marketing strategies you suggest according to your research findings? If it is a presentation for request for proposal (RFP), then you need to show the total budget for the research and the breakdowns.

If you take into account the distinct demands of the 3 types of audience in mind when giving the presentation, you are halfway to success! Hope this post is helpful to you and I’m more than happy to hear your opinion!


I am really exciting today since I finally received my new iPad Mini!

If you have been a reader of this blog for a while, you may tell I’m not simply taking market research as a major or career,  I LOVE IT WITH MY FULL HEART! If you don’t believe what I said, simply check out the picture below : )

This iPad Mini Belongs to a Crazy Market Researcher!

LOL : b

Another video interview about different people’s perception of market research! This time, I interviewed one of my professor who teaches market research proposal writing and presentation skills at Boston University. He is also an extremely experienced market researcher with more than 40 years experience, serving as the CEO at HawkPartners, a boutique consulting firm that helps clients make fact-based decisions to guide their marketing and brand strategies.

Sorry again about my bad camera video recording skills, but I think you will like the content : )

If you ask me what the luckiest thing in the world is, I will tell you that is to find something you think is meaningful, you are  interested in, and you can do well and make a living on it. I feel I am the luckiest guy in the world. Not because I found my Mr. Right (hopefully, he is coming soon : b), but because I’ve already found my “lucky overlap” of the three criteria I just mentioned.

My Lucky Overlap: Why I Love Market Research So Much

My Lucky Overlap: Why I Love Market Research So Much

That is the reason I LOVE market research with PASSION AND MY FULL HEART! What is your “lucky overlap”? Have you found it yet?

Statisticians = Nerds? YOU ARE WRONG! Check out this hilarious video clip made by some enthusiastic statisticians. If you are not familiar with data analysis and basic statistical concepts, you may find this video hard to understand. If you would like to know about what those terms mean, please let me know. I can write about them in my future posts!

Ready to have some fun? Here we go!

To answer yesterday’s question, why is the marriage between “analytics” and “social” so powerful?, first of all, we need to go back to the essence of market research for a while. Yes, it’s all about solving problems, to be specific, solving the clients’ problem by providing them with relevant customer insight and intelligence. It’s worth noting that all three companies mentioned above are relying on the online context and all sort of relevant to social media. Social media is such a powerful tool to gather people’s ideas, attitudes and behaviors precisely. With keywords searching tools like twitter hashtag, researchers can easily identify relevant customer groups or target audiences, analyze their posts to find the pattern and make interpretations accordingly . To some extent, it simplifies the traditional sampling process, and more importantly, it dramatically accelerates the pace of market research since getting real-time data is no longer a dream.

Admittedly, the field of social data analysis and big data analytics is far from maturity and there are still space for its improvement. Another incorrect impression might be  this approach can totally replace the traditional market research relying on surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.  In the panel, DJ emphasized that social data analysis serves as an effective assistant for traditional market research, but it’s definitely not omnipotent. In my opinion, its first weakness is the demographic limit. Although the Internet and social media become increasingly popular, it’s still dominated by the young generation. For a market research project whose target is the old, it is dangerous to solely rely on the online social data. In addition, I don’t think currently we’ve found an effective way to match the social data about attitudes and the big data about behavior. Twitter and Facebook are good at telling us what people are thinking and sharing; Google AdWords and Google Analytics did a good job to show what people are searching; While Amazon and other big e-commerce giants know what people really buy. The three parties separately dominate one  important process of consumer intelligence: Awareness and Interest, Attention and Retention, Purchase and Repeated Purchase. If we could get these three kinds of data into one Super databases, then the market researchers can finally complete the logic of cause and effect. If the so-called “customized recommendation” can base on data generated by this dynamic, then it will become the REAL customization. It makes me feel so excited even only thinking about the potential power it possesses! However, it raised up the ethical issue of customer security and privacy. We want the valuable data and information, but we don’t want the customers feel intrusive and insecure.

Do you agree with me? Are you planning to develop your career in the emerging innovative market research industry? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Today is an exciting day. Yes, first of all, it’s the election day. But for me, even not considering the election, it’s still exciting because today I found new meaning and prospect of market research as a career!

From a career panel held in a class today, I got the chance to hear three young, promising professionals who used to study at BU COM, and now working in market research and communication industry, sharing their work experience and understanding of their jobs and the industry.  DJ serves as a Social Data Strategiest at Crimson Hexagon (a startup company providing social media analysis and big data analytics software and services); Chris started his career as a Community Associate at Communispace (a market research firm that works with online consumer insights communities); while Rachel is currently a Brand & Buzz Coordinator at HubSpot (a leading company providing inbound marketing software and services). Before diving into more information about their jobs and companies, I’d like to share two interesting numbers with you: 1. None of the three companies existed 15 years ago; 2. None of the three professionals’ job title existed 5 years ago. That’s the reason I name this post as “it(market research) is an innovation machine”. When the traditional market research analytics marries with “social” (no matter it is social media data, online communities or online marketing), it injects  strong energies and allows uncountable possibilities to the market research industry. The merger has turned the industry into an innovation machine.

Why is this merger so powerful? If you want to know the answer, please follow my post “Market Research as a Career: It’s an Innovation Machine! (2)” tomorrow!