Tag Archives: Market Research

The beginning of a long travel begins with a small decision – a call to arms for Transmedia Research

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The beginning of a long travel begins with a small decision – a call to arms for Transmedia Research

For the past six-months I have asked myself, ‘Is Transmedia storytelling a popular phenomenon or does it have a lasting effect for people using social media?’ We, at Newman Partnership, Ltd. realize that the best way to confirm if this true is to do some research.
One of my favorite ways to pass an already busy afternoon.

The New GenerationOur research will attempt to discover if: 1) Are people actually retelling stories that they see in new ways or expanding on previous stories – either from entertainment or popular advertising – or engaging when commercials ask you to send in your stories or ask for your insights? And 2) are these heavy and/or light users of social media. We are attempting to discover if people are becoming more involved in the transmedia process? And if light users of social media are growing in their usage of storytelling.

What is Transmedia?

“Transmedia storytelling is a technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats.” – Wikipedia Definition

Transmedia marketing is an emerging marketing technique developed to interact with audiences across multiple forms of marketing to develop brand and product awareness.

Transmedia campaigns encourage audiences to engage in the marketing process by mixing social media with classical marketing techniques.  It is a conversation between the marketing department and the target audience.  This conversation is created when the company provides opportunities for the audience to develop or recreate the original story under new narratives. And it is not simply a top-down corporate advertising or marketing campaign but a combination of top-down and grass-roots bottom-up.

Who are we looking for?

The Important InformationI am looking to interview men between 16-35 years of age. Who are using social media in some form on a bi-weekly rate.

If you are interested, or think that you have information that would be interesting to this research then please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at sloan@newmanpartnership.com.

What will it cost you?

If you just drop me an email to asking to participate in this research, then I will add you to our contact book and contact you in the next few weeks about completing questionnaire online. The questionnaire will only take about 10 to 15 minutes, and your answers will prove invaluable in the future.

In the coming weeks, I will also be approaching several Transmedia agencies to see if they might be interested in becoming involved in this research. If you are an agency, then please contact me to find out more.

Where will the interviews be?

Interviews will be conducted using an online research technique, and face-to-face interviews will also be conducted when possible.

What will your time mean?

By contributing to this research you will be helping to discover and better understand how people are using the social media to influence stories and advertising. It is my hope that this initial research will help to draw enough conclusive lines to encourage a quantitative research in the future.

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You should wait for the new iPad

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Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

While observational research should be used to help make important research observations about changes in the market it can also be used to help make informed daily decisions.

We at Newman Partnership use a lot of Apple products. We have yet to find a use for the new iPad in our daily work life, but that doesn’t mean that you haven’t found a use for it in your company. And we wanted to chance to weigh in on how this product before next month. Many people are considering buying an iPad or waiting until a new version becomes available. It is my opinion that Apple will launch a new version with possible forward facing camera within the next two months.

This is not wishful thinking but using simple observational techniques to make an informed decision.

Simply looking at the store advertising at Apple, combined with the current offers that are being emailed, one can generate a strong hypothesis about what is coming soon from Apple.

Screen image of the Nano

Image of the Nano from the Apple store in Charleston

In these images you can see how the screens in Apple’s stores show a new diagonal light reflection technique on their existing in-store marketing pieces (you can almost see it in the examples). But this reflective technique is not used on the advertising on the iPad, which would seem to be either a mistake in the marketing of Apple products or that they are awaiting releasing new marketing material until a new product was released.

Image of the iPad from the Apple store in Charleston

Newman Partnership, Ltd. isn’t trying to say that Apple’s tablet is better than other tablet products on the market, or that you shouldn’t buy an iPad if you have dire need for one. But that this is simply an example of using observational techniques in other areas of daily decision-making and how it can benefit others.

If you have other examples of observational research then I encourage you to write or post your comments here at Newman Partnership, Ltd.

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.

Attitudes of Americans at the Hanover Trade Fair

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During the 2009 Hanover Trade Fair, KRISPIN Marketing Management conducted a marketing research study that looked at the attitudes of American companies who attended the Fair. The companies who were interviewed were selected at random from US companies attending the Fair. The primary findings from this qualitative market research are described below.

Before describing the common themes that were found by KRISPIN Marketing Management, some general background knowledge should be provided about the Hanover Trade Fair. The Hanover Trade Fair (Hannover Messe) remains the world’s leading showcase for industrial technology. Established sixty years ago, the Hanover Trade Fair is made up of 13 different leading fairs that present a cross section of key industrial expertise, it includes: Industrial Automation, Motion, Drive & Automation, Energy, Power Plant Technology, Wind, MobiliTec, Digital Factory, ComVac, Industrial Supply, and Coil, Surface and MicroNano Technology and Research & Technology Fairs.

Findings

During the 2009 Hanover Trade Fair there were several reoccurring themes, these included: Alternative Energy being a key focus for the future, efficiency regarding production and delivery of new products, the current economic client placing stress on activities and a negative attitude towards the amount of material in German.

Hanover findings regarding venue

Location, location, location: This was the number one theme from all of the interviewees during the market research. Those participating in industry specific themed pavilions were twice as likely to express optimism regarding ROI than those who had an individual booth. Many of the companies who had international partnerships / distributors would “piggyback” their products and booths with their international partners. This provided a better location and professional booth organization. However, some American companies who were approached for interviewees did not have any Americans or they had only came for the first few days of the Fair. Interviews with the international partners found that they had little or no knowledge about the company or the product they were there to represent.

Attitudes towards themed / joint pavilions

Interviewees in themed pavilions stated that, pavilions provided a centralized location along major footfall paths, reduced the overall cost for booths and increased their chances of being noticed. KRISPIN was interested in these findings as they organize joint booths, including an Industrial Supply Pavilion that helps medium and small size businesses get noticed during the Fair.

Preparation time and planning for the event seemed to differ greatly between companies who considered their attendance successful and those that weren’t. Successful companies stated that they began booking and planning their attendance for the Hanover Trade Fair at least 3-6 months prior to the show. There was a direct correlation found between interviewees who did not consider returning in 2010 and their amount of time and planning.

German was a main concern for most small and first time exhibitors during the Hanover Trade Fair. It was a preconceived notion that since this is an international fair that the material and information would be in English. All of the interviewees noted the overwhelming amount of material in German. Several interviewees felt unwilling to approach possible new clients or distributors because of this.  One outlying interviewee, Dr. Shrink, showed little or no reserve about approaching new clients, as he was self-confident that many, if not all, of the exhibitors spoke English.

How companies follow-up with new contacts

Interviewees stated that they viewed their attendance a success if they were able to leave with approximately 100 new contacts. However, when asked about process for following-up with these contacts, the majority answered that they would attempt to contact their new leads via one or two emails, in English.

Conclusions

Attendance: Combining attendance of the Hanover Trade Fair with a business trip to meet with current or new European contacts was the most effective answer given during interviews. This could include arriving prior to the Fair and traveling through Europe to meet with possible clients. Preplanning for the event is key to both being successful and making the most of your resources. Though KRISPIN is not a full-service event management agency, they do help clients to find suitable accommodations and transportation during the Fair.

Follow-up solutions: Many of the interviewees did not have adequate resources or knowledge of European cultures to effectively follow-up with new contacts. In Germany, the UK, France and the rest of Europe all business interactions are different. Without a working knowledge of how these countries react to these types of interaction a company can either be successful or fail in their initial introduction stages with possible new clients and / or distributers.  As an international marketing firm, KRISPIN offers a special service to American and non-European companies to bridge these problems and help company’s secure secondary meetings with potential clients and distributers.

Partnering during the Fair: Interviewees without large event budgets were interested in the participation of a themed pavilion. Pavilions provide more visibility, a more professional representation and more amenities. These factors allow for a move noticeable location. However, interviewees were unwilling to be located with other companies that are direct competitors. Several interviewees noted their pavilion partners provided new options for distribution and possible clients.

Note: The marketing research was provided by KRISPIN Marketing Management, a Marketing Management agency, based in Hanover, Germany. The purpose of providing this information was to generate awareness for American companies who are contemplating attending the Hanover Trade Fair in 2011.

As Newman Partnership Ltd. is an international agency, we are always happy to help develop and promote research and other areas of interest for the pursuit of knowledge.