Tag Archives: London Metropolitan University

Flash and HTML – Who will be using your website?

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The first time that I heard of observational research I didn’t even know it.
I was 18-years-old, driving to the ocean and listening to National Public Radio. The program was discussing a biography about Milton S. Hershey, the founder of The Hershey Chocolate Company. He would spend a few weeks a year working in a shop where Hershey chocolate was being sold. He would meet and speak with people buying products. Now it could be seen that he was just enjoying meeting people, but I like to believe that he was conducting observational research. He was watching people to see and better understand their buying habits and desires for new products.

Observational research is a social study technique of direct observation by which people or societies are observed in their natural setting. The major advantage to this type of research is that if you are clever then you can gain quick and important insight into your consumers. But one main disadvantage of this type of research is that it changes from situation to situation, and it cannot be used to study cognitive or affective variables.

However, maybe we are sometimes too quick to go out and do expensive focus groups and quantitative research when we should take a second to consider doing simple observational research. Especially, when companies are selling products that are fast moving consumer goods where consumers behaviors can be observed.

During my first-year of post-graduate classes I had a brilliant professor, Dr. Niall Caldwell, who taught marketing research at London Metropolitan University. In the third week of class he gave us a problem:
You are in charge of marketing for a small classical church in Southern Scotland. You have been given the responsibility to decide where to place a gift shop/ informational. But you have no money or time to conduct traditional market research. What is the solution to keep on time and within budget?

The answer: “Look at the carpet.” That is because the carpet will show you footfall of visitors.

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Conversations with a MA Marketing Class – My take-away (part 2 of 2)

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Social Media Life - Workstation

In the spirit of what to take-away from a class, I thought that I would add what I took away from my opportunity. First, the students are smart, eager and interested in learning but students don’t just want to be spoken at, they want to be engaged. Both of my lectures began with questions, “What umbrella brands do you know?” “What individual brands do you know?” “How many of you engage in more than one type of social marketing a day?” It took a few more questions, but the students finally did begin to participate. Nothing was worse in school than sitting through an entire 60 -90 minutes of a professor going on and on about text that no one was going to remember. But once I got the class talking, we had a very interactive a lively discussion about branding and the same with working in digital marketing.

Secondly, I learned that students at University are not a connected as you would believe. At the beginning of my second  lecture I asked the students, “How many of you are using more than one social media network a daily basis?” No one raised their hand. This was a little upsetting because this is where real world experience comes into play. We can all work in a day job that we simply go to and then go home from. But if you really want to rise to the top of your peers, then you must be willing to go the extra distance. We all know this, but I think that at times it is easier for us to get stuck in a rut and forget that. We could think of a new opportunity to promote our clients better, but instead of having brainstorming seasons at the end of the day most of us would rather head-out to the pub at 5:15 pm. That isn’t how you win awards, unless you client is in InBev and you are doing some secondary/participatory market research. I know that I have been guilty of this in the past, and, in England, what I learned is that Stella Artois really is known as the ‘wife beater’ of beers.

But the most important thing that I have come to realize from my recent trip is that there are opportunities everywhere. That you never know whose help you might need in the future, and it is better to keep as many contacts as you possibly can. My second lecture was for a professor who was my advisor during my dissertation, and we never really got along. But I have since learned that if I want to find a way to conduct Market Research on Transmedia Advertising, then he will be a key player to making that happen. So much of the world is about making and keeping relationships that you obtain along the way.

I have been asked back to lecture again, so if anyone has any ideas of what to speak about then I am more than eager to hear from you.

Conversations with a MA Marketing Class – Their take-away (part 1 of 2)

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The London Metropolitan UniversityLast week a member of the Newman Partnership, Ltd. spoke at London Metropolitan University. The topics included working in digital marketing and brand equity.

At the end of both of my lectures, one of my favorite professor’s noted some key things to take-away from the lectures.

For digital marketing my old professor reinforced my warning that digital marketing is a growing and developing field making it a very competitive work place. And how it is important to go online and begin using the tools and monitoring capabilities that are already available to students for free. These tools include: Wayback Machine, Google Analytics, Google Keywords, Google AdWords, LinkedIn, Xing.com and others. And how you need to not only know how to use these services but also to analyze the results. Secondly, that for many people it is truly important to find a field that they are passionate about. Because when it comes down to it we should at least enjoy and feel rewarded by the work that we are doing.

In the brand equity course, where I spoke about umbrella vs. individual branding, my professor friend summarized that there is no “easy answer” when choosing umbrella or individual branding. That each case is decided on an individual basis where the strengths and weaknesses of both options are weighed when looking to launch a new brand or product. Because sometimes brand equity can be hurt a firm if it is too closely related to it. And that individual branding can create safety for the firm if the products brand equity goes South, as it was with Sunny Delight.

Tomorrow we will post what the take-away was for the Newman Partnership, Ltd.