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Qualitative Market Research Online Communities

Qualitative Market Research Online Communities

Human insights company Further joins Bigeye to explore qualitative marketing research agency tools and techniques for creating engaging online focus groups.

IN CLEAR FOCUS: Stephen Cribbett and Terri Sorenson from human insights company Further join Bigeye to explore qualitative marketing research agency tools and techniques. Learn how qualitative research differs from quantitative and the benefits of asynchronous market research online communities, or MROCs, compared to in-person research. We discuss the differences between North American and European approaches to marketing research and the continuing impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ lives.

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In Clear Focus: Qualitative Market Research Online Communities

In Clear Focus: Stephen Cribbett and Terri Sorenson from human insights company Further join Bigeye to explore qualitative marketing research agency tools and techniques. Learn how qualitative research differs from quantitative and the benefits of asynchronous market research online communities, or MROCs, compared to in-person research.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, fresh perspectives on the business of advertising produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello, I’m your host, Adrian Tennant VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. In today’s technology-enabled advertising and marketing industry, increasingly focused on big data, artificial intelligence tools, and applications of machine learning, the role of human-based insights is still important. Writing in the Market Research Society’s Yearbook, John Gambles of Quadrangle Research Group describes what he sees as the symbiotic relationship between research and data. Quote: “Data give us the hard numbers to put against a research-derived understanding of people and their behaviors. Data are brilliant in answering the who, what, and how much questions relating to behavior, but only research can get to the why. Research – and particularly qualitative research – enables us to explore and explain the motivations, expectations, attitudes, value sets, and beliefs that sit behind and drive people’s behaviors; and from this, to work out how we can best impact their future behavior.” End quote. To discuss the role of qualitative research in the development of advertising and marketing communications, I’m joined today by Stephen Cribbett, the founder of two research firms: Further, and Versiti. Stephen is also an advisor and investor in Signoi, a data analytics platform. Stephen has pioneered technology-enabled qualitative research and human insight. With over 20 years experience in building consumer brands, working as a brand and design consultant, Stephen has helped build such prestigious retail and consumer brands, including Shell, Harrods, Orange, Emirates, Logitech, Phillips, and KPN Telekom. We’re also joined by Terri Sorenson, Further’s Client Success Manager for North America. Terri provides support, training, guidance, and inspiration to Further’s clients. With over 10 years of marketing experience, including time spent working with research companies like J.D. Power, Escalate, MMR, and Kantar, Terri provides customer service of the highest caliber. She works throughout client projects, finding the most effective ways to use Further’s technology to engage consumers in research Welcome, Stephen and Terri to IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Stephen Cribbett: Hello, Adrian!


Terri Sorenson: Adrian, I’m happy to be here.

Adrian Tennant: Stephen, you’re the founder and CEO of Further. Could you explain what the company does?

Stephen Cribbett: We tend to think that we put ourselves or our clients in the real world. So really that’s giving the agency staff that we work with or the corporate clients that we work with a really in-depth look, and emotion into the lives of consumers and their everyday lives and the complexities and the context, the really shaping the way that they behave. The way that we do that is really combining technology but also research and engagement skills and techniques to understand why people are doing what they’re doing. Obviously what they’re doing first and foremost, and trying to unpack that in terms of the sort of conscious and unconscious thinking and behaviors. So, what is the kind of difference between the emotional response and the rationalized response? And rather than directly asking clients questions, why they do what they do, it’s actually using our social psychology skills of the teams that we’ve got and obviously the technology that we deploy to understand those behaviors. And a lot of that really feeds into the development of new products and services or essentially the new brand propositions.

Adrian Tennant: What led you to found Further?

Stephen Cribbett: So my background was actually in design and branding. so I worked with a number of very well known agencies and consultants here in the UK. and what I sort of felt over the years and, and this I think is a sort of a bygone era really, but a lot of the strategic work that they were doing, wasn’t really informed by consumer insight. It was creative thinking, but creativity in its purest form back in those days. So there was often a Creative Director that headed up the agencies and it was just their ideas. It was almost like commercial art back in those days. and I, and I felt there was kind of a better way to exist as an agency. That consumer insight needed to be something very foundational in all of the work that was being done. So after spending probably about 10 years of my career working in that space, I found myself involved with an innovation consultancy here in the UK. And this was really at the time when social networks were just emerging. I mean, I can really remember the time when this whisper of Twitter was kind of floating around and people were like, “well, what is this thing? What, what, what does this mean for the future?” It was very new, it was fundamentally changing the way people were connecting and communicating. And from that moment on, what we decided to do at that time was to use some of these social networking behaviors and obviously the technologies that were available at the time, which was very limited bearing in mind. So I think there was a platform called Blogger that we kind of hacked together and used to start to have conversations with consumers. And these were often very advanced consumers because the mainstream consumer wasn’t using Twitter and we weren’t using these social networking platforms at the time. So it was a way of reaching out and engaging these early adopters to understand what they were doing in their lives, how they were using the technology. And of course it was a fantastic alternative to jumping on an airplane and traveling all the way around the world, at great cost, and, and with a great carbon footprint, to understand their lives and lifestyles. And so that was really the start of it. And that’s what led me to developing Further as a business harnessing that technology and then making that technology more widely available to lots of other researchers and strategists around the world.

Adrian Tennant: Right. It’s interesting, you characterize that as a technology-driven company, but I know you call Further a human insight company. Why that positioning statement?

Stephen Cribbett: Technology really is just an enabler. It’s a tool. and the same goes for our technology. You can use it in many, many different ways. And so what we found is we spent as much time training researchers on how to use it and training them in this new world of online qualitative research as we did just licensing the technology. And so fundamentally at the heart of this is understanding how to collect the data, how to analyze that data, and how to identify what is real human insight, what is something that is going to change the direction or the decision making that business is on, or that might lead to a new way of thinking. And so for us human insight, it’s very much about people. It’s about the relationships they have with products and services and environments and other people. 

Adrian Tennant: I once had the pleasure of speaking with Wendy Gordon, I think she’s considered the doyenne of quantitative research in the UK. Now she shared with me that throughout her career, she had observed a consistent client bias toward quantitative data and a corresponding distrust of qualitative insights. Has that been your experience?

Stephen Cribbett: Well, I know Wendy. I mean, that’s a great way to frame it. I think the human insight for me, or qualitative insight or consumer insight, is fraught with difficulty. It’s fraught with tension and challenge. I think we have to grapple with clients often. I don’t mean that in a sort of hostile relationship, but I think you need that tension to really unearth the kind of insight that gives clients the ability to move forward and understand what’s next or what the opportunity is. I think qualitative research for me is seeing a real Renaissance in the last five or so years, certainly as a response to big data, which has left clients still wanting and still searching for the answers. It hasn’t got anywhere near telling them why people are doing what they’re doing. It’s given them the ability to see what they’re doing, but in a way that lack of training has meant that they just keep coming back, wanting to know, “Why is that happening?” So for us, definitely it’s a good time to be in qualitative research and online qual in particular. And I think real insight, which on the qualitative spectrum can come from an interaction with one person, there’s never a better time to be doing it. 

Adrian Tennant: Terri, what are the most common misconceptions prospective clients have about qualitative research as opposed to quantitative?

Terri Sorenson: That’s a really good question. So we find, especially in the online space, that there is the misconception that an online qualitative research study is lower in costs and reduced time. The costs, if you’re traveling, of course, there’s no travel costs in an online qualitative research study. However, the costs for recruitment, the cost for time, for your moderators, for analysis, all of that is still applicable. And I would even say sometimes the amount of time a researcher puts into an online qualitative research study is possibly more because you’ll find participants in the studies that share quite a bit of detail and their responses are quite in-depth. So there’s increased time to go through those responses. As well, another myth or misconception I would have to say is that online qualitative, there is reduced effort in their moderation. So from the researcher’s perspective, it’s not a start and hit go and everything just comes in. You need to be engaged in those online qualitative studies, just as much as you would be if you were in-person and to allow – to really get out those insights from the participants that are taking part in this study. So again, being engaged, and being present within the online environment within your online qualitative study allows you to establish rapport with your participants and really get to know them in order to dig deep into those insights.

Adrian Tennant: What types of projects is quantitative research especially well suited for?

Stephen Cribbett: I mean a lot of what we do and, and I think this is where qualitative research in the online version works really, really well is exploratory research. So the ability to spend time immersing oneself within consumers’ lives, over a short period of time, is exceptionally strong. And that means for us that we can often get through two or three different phases of work, starting with some exploration and consumer immersion, then developing some ideas and, and testing and evaluating those ideas with consumers. that works really, really well. I would say as an alternative to doing focus groups where you’ve got a very limited amount of time with the consumer, often highly scripted as well, online qual gives you that space and ability to meander, with consumers and to go off-piste. And so again, the skill of the moderator in that instance is to be prepared for that and to follow the ebbs and flows of the conversations and the dialogues that are happening. so I’d say the exploratory research is really, really good. I know Terri has been working on a couple of different areas recently as well, that I think, the online qual, lends itself to particularly well.

Terri Sorenson: Yeah, so recently we’ve seen an uptick in in-home product testing. So there’s been a lot of focus on getting to see that product in the home environment then immersing with the consumers or the users over that short given period of time, say a week with the product. Getting to know their perceptions of, initial reactions and what the experience is like over that given time. So that’s one area we’ve seen a bit of an uptick in, as well. We do see a bit, customer experience type of research, finding those gaps in the service that companies or brands are offering, are another great usage of online qualitative solutions.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back after this message. 

Dana Cassell: I’m Dana Cassell, Bigeye’s Senior Strategist. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as marketing professionals, often inspired by data points reported in consumer research studies. At Bigeye, we put audiences first. For every engagement, through our own research, we develop a deep understanding of our client’s prospects and customers – analyzing their attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. We distill this data into actionable insights to inspire creative brand-building and persuasive activation campaigns – with strategic, cost-efficient media placements. If you’d like to know more about how to put Bigeye’s audience-focused insights to work for your brand, please contact us. Email info@bigeyeagency.com.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. We’re talking to Stephen Cribbett and Terri Sorenson from Further. Now, in addition to market research services, Further has developed an online qualitative platform that you call Together. Can you tell us a bit about what the platform offers researchers?

Terri Sorenson: So Together is an activity-based platform. Researchers are able to engage with the consumers and the participants in a variety of different activity types. They can be activities such as a blog or a markup kind of activity for a concept test. They can track participants with daily habits through diary activities. you can send them on shopping missions, have participants upload photos of their experience in the store or photos or videos as well. So there’s a variety of activities that the researcher can engage with the participants in. There’s open discussion forums, collaboration or co-creation type activities, and participants can come up with their own new ideas for a product. And then, you run with that as the researcher to further develop what it is that the participants or these consumers are looking for. It’s a great way to allow the group as a whole to collaborate together. We also have a small bit of quant in our world of qual, allowing them to dig deeper into some concept testing, using survey-type activities as well. And then, from a researcher’s perspective, we have some analysis tools built in the backend that allow them to – when they’re uncovering those insights – be able to tag and really interact with that data for their future analysis.

Adrian Tennant: How do clients monitor the research as it’s taking place?

Terri Sorenson: Yeah. So the Together platform allows you as the data is coming in, allows you, of course, to see the responses and everything taking place. You can then, as a researcher, you are able to then what we call probe the participants or join in the conversation with the participants. As well, you can at any time of course, download the transcripts and work with it offline if you wanted. And you can also invite your end clients to come in and view the discussions that are taking part within the platform as well. 

Stephen Cribbett: Probably the simplest way of describing the platform – it’s like a professional Facebook platform. So you log on and see these conversations happening in real time. You see all of the data, the videos, the events and the moments that are being shared, and it is quite exciting. Often it can be quite addictive once you start looking into those. And, we get to see all manner of things taking place, and sometimes some really interesting relationships starting to form within these communities as well.

Adrian Tennant: Now, for anyone considering undertaking the very first online qualitative project, do you have some top tips for success that you could share?

Stephen Cribbett: Oh, good question. First and foremost, I think it’s important not to think like this is an alternative to a focus group and just lift a focus group discussion. So, we try to encourage the clients or the researchers that are using the technology, not to over-script all of the interactions and the task and activities with the clients. I think it’s important to allow that space and time for your participants to go off-piste and to share things outside of the realms of the project, because often that will shape their thinking and their approach. So those are really important. I think also when you are incentivizing and rewarding people for their participation, of course, these research respondents, they get paid some money to participate in these activities, but I think you need to go deeper and think about some of the more social and emotional rewards and incentives to participation for these people. You should recruit them on an attitudinal basis rather than just kind of the demographics. So think about how they might be interesting and interested in the project itself. What can they bring to the table that you might not otherwise get. And think about how to encourage them to interact and hang out with each other sometimes because that does lead to the sharing of different thoughts, different attitudes, and perceptions. So I think those are some of the sort of the very top-line tips alongside just being creative. I think a lot of the time that we spend with our clients is helping them think creatively about what’s possible with the tools that they have at their disposal, rather than seeing the technology is a barrier. See it as an enabler and think differently about how you might elicit the types of responses that you want. But Terri, I know you spend a lot of time guiding clients on these things and giving them the kind of, quick start programs that we have. What would you see as the most pertinent advice that you gave on a daily basis?

Terri Sorenson: Yeah. So on a daily basis, I would say, that the best advice is to know your technology and trust in your technology partner. Part of that is because yes, we offer an online qualitative platform, but we are invested in what we do here at Further, and we help our clients to learn the technology, to use it to its best advantage in order to gain their insights. Take time to learn that technology. So, play around with the software before you begin developing your guide, know what tools are available to you. And as Stephen said, one of the most important things is to be creative. Don’t just design a question-answer response type of research study. Because in all honesty, you can do that in an online survey. Get creative with your research design itself.

Adrian Tennant: Further has offices in the UK and of course, North America. Do you see any significant differences between European clients’ approaches to market research and the way North American clients work?

Terri Sorenson: So from my perspective, the research methodologies are quite similar. A large number of our clients do global research. So what’s being done in the UK versus the US are very similar in their approach. I do believe there’s a bit of cultural difference between the actual research design, compared to London and the US. And by that, I mean, I see a lot more fluid or holistic approach to research design from our London clients compared to a more rigid or structured approach to the research design in the US. Meaning there’s a lot more of the direct question, direct response type approach versus allowing research design such as when wanting to uncover their feelings or perceptions about a particular experience or brand. Creating and designing the activity in a way of, “Here’s some things to think about. Then we would like you to share your experience with this” compared to, “Alright. I want to know, when did you last use this? How was that experience with it?” Those direct, question-answer responses. So I feel like there’s a little more of a human element when it comes to the London clients, whereas I find a lot more desire for automation, quick responses from the North American clients. 

Stephen Cribbett: I think what we’re seeing at the moment is there is an appetite, specifically as well for a lot of the North American clients to go through this kind of learn, test, and develop sort of process really that’s sort of three-stage approach. So they seem more willing to be using online methods to cycle through that really quickly with far-reaching audiences. And that’s really exciting for us. I think a little bit more of the work that we do in Europe at the moment is just purely on that kind of initial phase, that learning or insight phase. I’m not sure at the moment whether that’s just a cultural shift or that’s just by happy accident by the type of clients that we work with in the different regions. 

Adrian Tennant: Bigeye is an audience-focused agency and a lot of our engagements start with segmentation studies and the creation of personas, typically based on customer segments. I know you recently worked on a project for a UK-based pet insurance company called Waggle. Did you use Together for that?

Stephen Cribbett: Yeah, we did. And, and pretty much all of the work that we do, we use Together either standalone or combined with other methods. Most of the projects that we do will have some form of online qual. So for that particular project, which was a great piece of work actually, because it was a very disruptive  insurance technology company that came to us, wanting some help, at a very, very early stage of their development. 

Adrian Tennant: How did you recruit the participants for that study?

Stephen Cribbett: I’d say the majority of the projects that we work on, we tend to do what’s called qualitative recruitment or “free findings.” So we don’t use panels. We tend to need to find people with very specific behaviors. So we have to look a little bit harder for them. So we work with specialist fieldwork companies who will go out there and through databases and calls and interviews with people find those customers or those consumers for us. Sometimes we combine that with screening customer data lists that they’ve got. So they might feel confident they already have the people in the database that they want to talk to. But I think for the Waggle project, we wanted to talk to almost non-customers as well as a smattering of customers and bearing in mind, this was a very young business. At the time I think it was a minimum viable product when we started working with them and they only had about 70 different customers. So we had to recruit non-customers who were prospective buyers of their insurance products and services.

Adrian Tennant: What kinds of tasks did you set within Together for the participants?

Stephen Cribbett: Because of the subject matter, it was really to understand the journey through kind of owning pets, and dogs in particular. I think it was a focus for us. So this was looking at Millennials who were making a very conscious decision not to get married sometimes or not to have children, but to retain a little bit more independence in their life, but to have a companion alongside them. So fascinating subject matter and some really interesting psychology behind that. So, like most projects, we tend to do what we call icebreakers or tasks which get the consumer to introduce themselves, talk to us a little bit about their lives, their lifestyles. We might get them to show us around their home using video ethnography. They might introduce us to their pets if they had some pets, obviously some of them weren’t pet owners, but they were at an early stage of doing some research into different types of animals or, or even just looking into whether or not they should have a pet. So we would do those ice breaking tasks. We did some word association tasks that invited participants to write down a series of words that they would associate with being a dog owner. So that’s a really nice way of eliciting kind of uncrossed, unconscious thoughts and behaviors. Sometimes we get them to use diaries and journaling exercises for those who did have pets to detail their journey and experiences of ownership of dogs, including the highs and lows on a regular basis. And sometimes those really simple journaling exercises uncover a huge amount and they get their participants to reflect on things that sometimes they don’t stop and think about. So, those tend to those kinds of direct sizes tend to form a lot of the projects we did. We did some projective techniques. We put the dog owner in the shoes of their dogs and we said, “What would your dog say about, you as the owner? How do you think they would describe you?” And they’re really fun, they get people really enjoying the activities. And again, this is this idea of thinking slightly differently. And then from that we developed some ideas and we developed a proposition, and then we tested that proposition with them through group discussions, getting them to rank and rate what they liked and disliked in both a qualitative and quantitative aspect. And then very much at the end – and this is a really good type of exercise that works very, very well online – we got them to record a message to the CEO of the company, asking them to tell them what they thought of their proposition. So it’s very personal, then it becomes very human. And sometimes the way they articulate that message to them. It’s fascinating and really loaded with insight. So that hopefully gives you a bit of an example of the different ways we go about it. 

Adrian Tennant: How long were participants engaged with the research study?

Stephen Cribbett: In that particular instance, I mean, that was all done in five days. So you can cycle through this quite quickly. Really all you’re asking for is somewhere between 20 and 30 minutes of the participants’ time a day. And that, and that’s obviously what they’re recruited for on the basis of and incentivized to take part at that level. And often they go well beyond that. With a subject matter like dogs and pets, you can imagine people love to talk about it and love to talk about their experience, and they’re excited about it. When you get a very sticky subject like that, it’s amazing how long they will talk or what they will share with you. I mean, sometimes, if they’re just writing down their thoughts, people will write essays, they will go to great lengths and really enjoy doing it. It’s often a very cathartic experience for the participants and we get them thanking us at the end for, enabling them to share these things with us and to, to open up their own minds and think in different ways.

Adrian Tennant: In what ways should researchers approach the analysis of data in online qual?

Stephen Cribbett: That’s a good, good question, actually. Don’t wait for all of the data to be collected and then start to do your analysis. We talk and encourage people to think about what we call rolling analysis. So, follow the threads and the discussions and the data that’s being collected on a daily basis, and tag it as it’s coming in. And, you could pre-agree with your team what those tags are as a taxonomy, but actually you could develop a folksonomy as the project is evolving. So you might have your own personal tags that you’re using to organize and cluster the data as it’s being collected and then have a sort of more pre-agreed structure to that, that you can use as well. But I’d say what tends to happen if you’re doing rolling analysis, obviously you’re covering a lot of ground over the course of those five days. It sometimes depends on the nature of the data that’s being shared. So if it’s video intensive – if you’re asking the consumer to share a lot of video with you – and film, that can take a little bit longer to cycle through that. And so we might also be doing transcriptions, we might be doing some automated analysis on the transcriptions as well. That’s something that happens from time to time. But one of the things we find with call researchers is they’re different. Everybody has their own personal way of dealing with this sort of volume of data and analysis. And that I think is really exciting for us. That’s why we’re always learning new things from our clients. And hopefully our clients are learning things from us and we’re able to share all of these learnings, with the sort of the researchers and the strategists and the marketers that we work with.

Adrian Tennant: Terri, what are some of the most common types of research assignments you find yourself handling right now?

Terri Sorenson: A lot of concept testing is going on right now, brand proposition statement testing as well as in-product home placement research, design studies. So, yeah, we have a lot of diary-type studies where, with COVID-19, we’re learning how are people adjusting to this? How is this impacting them? Not only in terms of work, but more of their mental functioning or ability health, their physical health. We have a project that’s launching next week that focuses on what masculinity means in terms of COVID-19, which is going to be a very interesting research study. And I’m looking forward to observing it from my point of view. They’re looking at how does this impacts beyond just being locked down at home, what’s the bigger consequences of COVID-19 and whether it’s shelter in place or lockdown and how it’s impacting culture and society as a whole. And we’re also seeing a lot of food and beverage companies right now conducting online qualitative research. Again, as when you’re thinking of with COVID-19 in mind, we’re staying home or cooking more. So researchers have really kind of jumped in, or brands, on what are they doing? How are they, are they changing their habits? What are those habits that have changed in terms of their home life and their relationship to food and cooking?

Adrian Tennant: Finally, if listeners would like to learn more about Further’s research services or the Together online qualitative platform, where can they find resources?

Stephen Cribbett: So we’ve got a whole series of downloadable resources on our website. Adrian, if you go to www. go-further/resources, there’s lots of downloadable templates that researchers can customize to launch and use on their projects. We also publish a lot of thoughts and findings on our blog as well, which you’ll find on our website.

Adrian Tennant: And of course we’ll include a link to those on our website too. Stephen and Terri, thank you both very much for being our guests on IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Stephen Cribbett: Thank you.

Terri Sorenson: Thank you, Adrian.

Adrian Tennant: My thanks to our guests this week from Further: founder and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cribbett, and Further’s North American Client Success Manager, Terri Sorenson. You can find a transcript of our conversation along with links to resources on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked, “Podcast.” To ensure you don’t miss an episode, please consider subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player. And if you have an Amazon Echo device, you can use the IN CLEAR FOCUS skill to add the podcast to your Flash Briefing. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next time, goodbye.

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5 Tested CBD Marketing Agency eCommerce Tips and Tricks

5 Tested CBD Marketing Agency eCommerce Tips and Tricks

Use our CBD marketing agency tips and tricks to successfully and purposefully break into this growing market rife with opportunity.

According to Market Watch’s 2020 study, the global value for the CBD marketplace will grow to over $1.2 billion by 2024, up from 2019’s value of $311 million. Some optimistic analysts predict even higher growth. Still, a CBD marketing agency would advise any new brands to prepare for challenges. For instance, startup companies need to focus on product differentiation in a competitive marketplace. Also, many consumers still don’t really understand how CBD might benefit them or even exactly what it is.

Consider some informed CBD eCommerce tips to help inspire a robust, effective, and safe marketing plan.

The CBD marketing agency guide for eCommerce

Even though CBD comes from cannabis, it’s not psychoactive, like THC. Also, unlike THC, another cannabis extract, the 2018 Farm Bill made CBD legal federally and in most states. Studies have offered support for claims that it can help relieve a range of health issues, including seizures, migraines, insomnia, inflammation, poor appetite, and anxiety in both people and animals.

With all of these benefits, it’s important to understand that the growing popularity of the product and ease of entering the market have generated plenty of competition and more than a little scrutiny from the government.

Five ways to improve CBD product sales

These five CBD advertising and marketing suggestions can help a new or struggling CBD business meet competition and stay out of trouble with regulators:

1. Define the Product’s Market

It’s impossible to give a one-size-fits-all solution for CBD advertising because businesses might deliver their offers as pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food, pet, or other kinds of products. That’s why it’s important for businesses to map out specific benefits they hope to promote. Then, they can offer this solution to the best audience.

For instance, one company may promote a high-grade pharma product to help reduce seizures. Another brand may have a topical solution to skin flareups. Still, another business may offer pet supplements that they promote to help reduce anxiety or joint issues in aging dogs.

Obviously, these very different products will need specific buyer personas and marketing approaches. They may also need to meet different standards for the sorts of claims that can be made to stay within legal restrictions for medical vs. consumer advertising. Mostly, it’s helpful to market to people with problems the product might solve and not just look for consumers with an existing interest in CBD.

2. Explore Alternative Programmatic Advertising for CBD

Programmatic advertising refers to buying ad slots with bids on an automated system. They can benefit marketers because they keep a lot of information about their audience. That allows advertisers to use very specific attributes, like age, location, or even past viewing habits, to select who will see the ads. Obviously, this kind of advertising can offer value to CBD advertisers who understand their market.

Some of the most common platforms that use this kind of bidding platform include Facebook and Google. These are mentioned because they’re familiar to most marketers. At the same time, these and other common  platforms impose restrictions on the way companies can promote any cannabis product, including CBD.

As a note, these kinds of platforms tend to get associated mostly with internet marketing. It’s also possible to find programmatic advertising for TV, radio, and other kinds of media.

Either alone or with the help of a CBD marketing agency, businesses can also explore some programmatic advertising advertising platforms that offer more flexibility for both products and the way companies advertise them. As an example, Cannabis Creative, a marketing agency. mentioned that Facebook and Google account for a large share of total advertising spend on programmatic ad platforms. At the same time, other paid platforms still attract very large audiences can can open up less-restricted promotions on such large and well-known outlets as ESPN, USA Today, and Politico.

3. Remain aware of legal and platform CBD advertising restrictions

Even though CBD doesn’t have the psychoactive effects that some people may associate with cannabis products, it hasn’t been legal in most places for very long. Brands need to take care to conform with marketing regulations, both at the federal and sometimes, at different state or local levels. In order to maintain accounts with various marketing platforms, companies also must take the time to understand the terms of service. And sometimes, these can prove hard to understand because the language isn’t direct.

Avoiding legal problems

According to Bradley, a media law firm, the growth of consumer protection regulations has paralleled the overall expansion of the CBD market. As an example, both the FTC and FDA have sent warning letters to companies that didn’t exercise enough caution when making claims that their products could treat various medical issues.

As a general rule, neither CBD packaging design or advertising should not:

  • Mention specific diseases
  • Cite dubious sources to backup explicit or inferred claims
  • Use words like treat, cure, or prevent
  • Guarantee results

Obviously, marketers need to promote potential benefits in order to attract the attention of customers. Doing this well without attracting negative attention from the government takes some craft and attention to only linking to or mentioning credible studies or professionals. For instance, it’ might be fine to claim that a CBD cream may help soothe skin but not that it cures eczema.

Notice that the page for a pet product called Calming Chews does not feature another mention of that benefit. The list of features simply talks about the product’s purity, that it doesn’t contain THC, and that it was grown organically. It also mentioned that the product was tested in a lab for safety and effectiveness, but it never says what it was tested to be effective for.

Further down, they offer some vague language that says the product combines CBD with some calming herbs. They’re implying their benefits, but they’re probably avoiding a direct statement to remain in compliance. That’s why startups may want to work with experienced marketing agencies and even media lawyers to ensure they understand the dynamic legal environment.

Avoiding service violations on advertising platforms

While businesses need to prioritize staying out of legal trouble with regulatory agencies, they also need to focus on maintaining their advertising accounts. As recently as late in 2019, Huffington post published an article about Facebook’s “secret” CBD ban. Marketers found that Facebook had terminated their advertising accounts for violating terms that were hard to even know existed.

Apparently, Facebook didn’t have any specific, public policy at the time about CBD. At the same time, they apparently did have an internal policy. It’s just that even first-time offenders of this policy had accounts completely terminated. Meanwhile, other advertisers who may have just been lucky at first, found ways to promote landing pages with topical CBD products; however, they didn’t specifically mention CBD in the ads. The pervious statement was not intended as advice but just an example to illustrate the caution.

As a note, the Pinterest terms of service for paid ads specifically prohibit products with CBD. Other platforms, including Instagram, Google, and YouTube, also have complex terms. In any case, before using any marketing platform to promote CBD products with paid advertising, it’s important to do some research or work with an experienced CBD marketing agency to ensure compliance with platform rules that can change at any time, not be well documented, and may even not get enforced exactly the same way each time.

4. Benefit from social and content marketing

The section above mentioned that many advertising platforms for social sites have restrictions or even outright bans on CBD products. These same rules don’t necessarily apply to the kinds of social posts that aren’t promoted via the advertising platform on the site. Social Media Explorer said that many CBD advertisers had managed to fare very well by using content, inbound marketing, and non-promoted social posts.

These are some examples of tested tactics to promote within this strategy:

  • Create informational videos: Even with all the buzz about the Farm Bill, lots of people really don’t know the difference between non-psychoactive CBD, THC, and other cannabis substances. Even if some of these consumers do know, they may not realize that CBD might offer a solution for some issue they might have. While it’s still wise to take care when making claims, an informational video that uses credible studies and sources to back up the benefits that some people say they’ve experienced should work well.
  • Brand ambassador programs: Lots of eCommerce platforms create a program that helps reward loyal customers for spreading the word about products they already buy and love. Typically, the brand ambassador will get a unique that they can use if they mention the product, and if somebody else buys, the loyal customer will get rewards the can use for discounts or free gifts. This sort of word-of-mouth advertising generally works very well and can prove much cheaper than paying for ads anyway.
  • Influencer marketing: Social influencer refers to people who already have a targeted audience on various social platforms. Depending upon the product, good influencers might work within the fitness, health, beauty, or even pet care niche. Having them demonstrate or even mention a brand can provide new companies with a lot of name recognition and a boost for their own social platform.
  • Try multiple platforms: With social marketing, it’s not possible to target as precisely as it is with programmatic ads. Still, content and even CBD packaging design can work to attract the right audience. At the same time, it’s probably best to consider the pros and cons of various social sites to see which ones have the most receptive audience. For instance, Twitter users tend to be younger than Facebook users, while Pinterest is known for attracting a lot of women. While short videos may perform well on Instagram and Facebook, YouTube has a reputation for more engaged viewers for longer videos. While it’s important not to get spread too thin, it’s also a good idea to focus on a few platforms to see which combination yields the best results.
  • Build connections: These days, consumers do turn to social platforms both to research products and even to get help with customer service. It might sound trite to say this, but some businesses still ignore comments about their brands or even direct messages. In order to benefit from social media, companies need to engage. In addition to monitoring messages and their own pages, brands can use software that will monitor any mentions of their brands to help them make timely responses.

Develop the best content mix 

After deciding to attract attention with content, it’s also important to select the right mix of content types. The platform, target audience, and many other factors might determine which kind of content works best for each particular situation. Common examples of content for social media, business blogs, and even outreach posts include text, graphics, and videos.

Digging even deeper, some CBD companies have enjoyed success with long-form white papers and even live webinars  and podcasts. Some potential topics might include: 

  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • A discussion of the difference between CBD and THC
  • The history of CBD use
  • An interview with an authoritative guest

Actually, consider any topic that might interest the target market. While a company may want to avoid associating benefits with any specific medical conditions, exploring that medical condition from another angle should still attract the right sets of eyes. For instance, prudent marketers may never want to suggest that CBD is guaranteed to relieve anxiety.

Still, they might produces sponsored videos with stress-relief meditation, yoga poses, or breathing exercises and then incorporate a call to action that leads to a landing page. They can clearly associate their product with stress relief without guaranteeing results.

It may also help to vary the length and format of various types of content for different purposes. As a simple example, short, to-the-point videos may help engage people on social sites. A long and more thoughtful video might help close sales on a business blog or YouTube.

5. Maximize eCommerce site conversions

The previous tips will help CBD marketers attract a targeted audience to an eCommerce site. Of course, the final ingredient to maximize sales means taking steps that will ensure those site visitors convert into customers. According to BigCommerce, average eCommerce sites expect conversion rates of no more than one to two percent. If the right tactics can increase conversions to better than average, they’ll translate into better marketing returns and of course, increased revenues and profits.

  • Respond to abandoned shopping carts: Automated tools can send emails to people who have signed up but failed to click the buy button. A discount coupon or special promo code for first-time buyers will motivate some of these almost-buyers to return to their cart.
  • State the unique selling proposition on each page: Within the confines of legal verbiage, make sure customers understand the benefits they can expect from the product. Beyond that, it’s a good idea to let customers know about return policies and other considerations that might hold them back.
  • Highlight CBD packaging design: As with marketing messages, CBD packaging design can be tricky. Since all new customers see is a photo of the package, companies need their design to create a great first impression and clearly illustrate what the product is, such as a supplement or beauty product. At the same time, SmashBrand mentioned some potential federal and state legal requirements for packaging. In any case, clear images of a aesthetically pleasing and legal design will help build customer trust.

Selling CBD products in a growing but competitive marketplace

Before engaging in any CBD advertising, businesses need to clearly define potential benefits of their products and in turn, their target market. Once that’s done, the retailer can find the best marketing platforms with both legal and platform restrictions on advertising in mind. While programmatic advertising can rapidly increase exposures and sales, some of these paid advertisers have restrictions on CBD marketing, so it’s important to choose carefully and also consider inbound, content marketing as an alternative to only relying upon paid ads. Finally, make sure to tailor both packaging design and the sales pages to maximize conversions and conform to regulations for cannabis products.

Mostly, CBD businesses have a great opportunity to enter this growing market. By marketing aggressively but safely, marketers can stay out of trouble with regulatory bodies and build trust with an expanding audience.

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Bigeye’s Favorite Podcasts

Bigeye’s Favorite Podcasts

Content marketing agency Bigeye’s team share their favorite podcasts. Learn more about scary folklore, gene editing, CGI software, and World Champion Wrestling.

IN CLEAR FOCUS this week: Content marketing agency Bigeye reflects on growing podcast listenership in the US. As Bigeye team members share some of their favorite podcasts, we hear how shows were first discovered, and why particular episodes were chosen for inclusion in our Spotify playlist. Featured selections reveal the origins of scary folklore, debate why things went wrong when The Warrior joined World Championship Wrestling, and explore the exciting potential of gene editing in medicine.

For the chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please participate in our Listener Survey 

In Clear Focus: Bigeye’s Favorite Podcasts

In Clear Focus this week: Content marketing agency Bigeye reflects on growing podcast listenership in the US. As Bigeye team members share some of their favorite podcasts, we hear how shows were first discovered, and why particular episodes were chosen for inclusion in our Spotify playlist.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS: fresh perspectives on the business of advertising. Produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello! I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of Insights at Bigeye. An audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. A digital media research report, “The Infinite Dial 2020” shows that 75 percent of people in the US are familiar with the concept of podcasting – that’s up from 70 percent in 2019. And over half of the US population aged 12 and above – 55 percent – have listened to a podcast, with around 37 percent listening in the last month. The last 12 months have witnessed significant growth in podcast listening, with several industry deals signaling the growing importance of the medium to marketers and advertisers.  Spotify, which has made a major push into podcasts, now boasts more than a million podcast titles and has been adding to its catalog by signing exclusive partnerships, including a multi-year deal with Joe Rogan, worth around $100 million. Also joining Spotify in an exclusive deal is reality TV star Kim Kardashian West, who will host a podcast investigating the case of Kevin Keith, convicted of three murders in 1994 and sentenced to execution in Ohio. And just this week, Spotify announced that it’s rolling out a video feature for its podcasts, letting creators bring both audio and video content to the app. Will podcasts become a more TV-like experience? If so, how might that change how we consume podcasts? Spotify certainly seems intent on becoming the Netflix of audio content. Not wishing to be outdone, SiriusXM, a company most well-known for its satellite radio channels, and which also owns Pandora, is buying the podcasting company, Stitcher, from Scripps. That deal is said to be worth $325 million. And almost every week, it seems, we are learning about new podcast-focused advertising and attribution platforms. So what are your favorite podcasts? Let us know by taking a short listener survey on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” Please submit your thoughts about podcasts, where you listen, and the kind of content you’d like to hear more of in future episodes of this show. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming. It’s the time of year when we typically think about vacations, but of course, this year is far from normal. So, whether you’re planning a Summer road trip, a Staycation, or just need a break from your routine, members of the Bigeye team are here to share their favorite podcasts for your listening consideration.

[Music]

Rhett Withey: I’m Rhett Withey. I’m the senior designer at Bigeye and I’ve been here for seven years now.

Adrian Tennant: Excellent. Rhett, can you tell us a little bit about what you do here at Bigeye?

Rhett Withey: Ah, let’s see. Well, I work with the Creative Director, Seth, on executing campaigns, logos, pretty much anything design and creative under the sun for our clients – and creative problem solving as well.

Adrian Tennant: Excellent. So how long have you been listening to podcasts?

Rhett Withey: Wow. Uh, I’d probably say right around the time that podcasts really started getting popular. I think it was like 2013, 2014, somewhere around there.

Adrian Tennant:     What’s your preferred device for listening to podcasts?

Rhett Withey: I actually always almost exclusively listen to podcasts at my desk on my desktop.

Adrian Tennant: So do you have a particular favorite genre would you say?

Rhett Withey: I would definitely say that it’s pop culture and it’s sports, and it’s nerd stuff.

Adrian Tennant: So, Rhett, you selected an episode of a show called, “83 weeks with Eric Bischoff.” And I must confess that I didn’t know who Eric Bischoff was. So you might need to explain that in a second. But the subtitle of the show is, “Fall Brawl 1998 (Warrior in WCW).” You’ve got to explain – what is this show about?

Rhett Withey: All right, there’s a lot to unpack here and I wouldn’t feel bad that you don’t know who that is because probably 90 percent of the population’s not going to know – it’s very insider. Eric Bischoff is the man that ran World Championship Wrestling in the mid-nineties and brought them to prominence and took over the number one rating spot from World Wrestling Federation at the time for 83 weeks. They had the number one show for 83 weeks, which is the name of the podcast. Fall Brawl is a specific pay-per-view event that they had and the Ultimate Warrior was a wrestler that they brought in. It was completely horrendous for what they were doing at the time and was pretty much the catalyst for them to no longer being number one.

Adrian Tennant: Rhett, what stood out to you about this particular episode?

Rhett Withey: Well the whole series is interesting because it’s kind of putting Eric Bischoff under a microscope and making him confess to his crimes. Right? So this particular one was interesting just because of bringing in and his explanation of bringing in this wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, who is polarizing, even today. And why he thought that was a good idea and knowing that show and how much of a train wreck that pay-per-view actually was like hearing his explanations for things and why he went certain routes and, and trying to kind of listen to like, “Ah, I think you’re still covering your butt there,” was really fascinating.

Adrian Tennant: Right. Now, what was it about this particular episode that made it worthy of recommendation?

Rhett Withey: It really is just, it’s Eric’s trying to come to grips with especially knowing now how much of a terrible person the Ultimate Warrior was and him trying to rectify his choices by but still trying to come off clean and the in a sense. So it’s really an interesting listen to hear how he is trying to explain himself and trying to make everything seem not as bad as it actually was.

Adrian Tennant: Right. Thank you very much indeed for joining us on IN CLEAR FOCUS today.

Rhett Withey: Thanks, Adrian. It’s been great.

[Music]

Lauren Fore: Hi, I’m Lauren Fore. I am the executive assistant to our owner and the leadership team, which can be a variety of different things based on the day, the corridor, the need. And also I help with a lot of internal marketing initiatives as well, blogs, things like that.

Adrian Tennant: Lauren, how long have you been listening to podcasts?

Lauren Fore: So the podcast that got me into podcasts, which I would venture to say is probably the one that got a lot of people into podcasts, was called, “Serial,” back in 20- I want to say 2013, 2014. That’s Serial as in serial killer, not Fruit Loops.

Adrian Tennant: Right!

Lauren Fore: Just to clarify! Every episode – it just sucked you in and you had to listen to the next and the next and the next. And it was just incredible. So I had not listened to a podcast before that and I didn’t listen to too many after actually, but that was the one that really got me into it. And I think a lot of people. 

Adrian Tennant: So Lauren, you selected The TED Radio Hour from NPR and the show title is, “What Makes Us … Us.” So what is the show about?

Lauren Fore: So we’re introduced to essentially four speakers and they all have given TED talks in the past. So first we hear from Sam Sternberg who studies gene-editing technology and he talks about the letters of DNA. So A, G, C, T, and each human has 3.2 billion of these letters. And if you were going to fill up a dictionary with all of them, it would be 800 dictionaries per person. And then he talks about this gene-editing tool called CRISPR CAS nine that he has been working on. And he says, “You know, if you wanted to go into said dictionary just as an example and eliminate the few letters that make you a morning person versus not a morning person or the shape of your nose or if you have Parkinson’s disease, you know, it’s like your genes are responsible for everything and everything can really be isolated, but it’s a needle in haystack.” So this CRISPR CAS nine tool is letting scientists basically go in and try to pinpoint where these different things are. Now he does note the caveat that it hasn’t been conducted in an actual human, it’s been conducted in human cells in a Petri dish. So we should, we should make that clear. But he does say that there’s hope that one day we could potentially do this in humans. And then there’s the argument of, well, do you want to do that? Are you messing with natural selection? At that point, you know how, how much do we want to mess with that? So he talks a little bit about that. And then we hear from Steven Pinker, who is a Harvard professor in psychology, and he talks about our circuitry in the brain, but also the nature versus nurture argument. So are we all born as blank slates? And if so, he talks about social engineering. Could we engineer a certain type of humankind, you know, if we’re all born the same? So he kind of talks about the nature versus nurture debate. And then he talks about identical twins in this experiment they did. Identical twins that grew up in different parts of the world. So one was raised Catholic in, I want to say Germany. The other was raised Jewish in – and I want to say Trinidad. So they bring them into this lab in Minneapolis, and again, they’ve never met. They’re wearing the same shirt, same Navy shirt with the same epaulets. Then they start realizing that they’re both wear rubber bands around their wrist. They flush the toilet before and after using it, they dip their toast in coffee. All these little things and it’s like these are two people who have never met grew up in completely different environments, but they have the same genes. So there are arguments for both sides, but he goes into that. So that was really interesting to me. It’s so deep.

Adrian Tennant: Now, what made this particular episode a favorite for you?

Lauren Fore: One of the first ones that I listened to, and this was probably one of the deeper ones that got me really hooked on this series.

Adrian Tennant: So you would give this a strong recommendation for listeners?

Lauren Fore: Very strong – if you want your mind blown!

Adrian Tennant: Yeah. Okay. All right. Lauren, thank you so much for being on IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Lauren Fore: Thanks so much for having me. It was fun.

Adrian Tennant: Let’s take a short break. We’ll be right back, after this message.


Erik McGrew: I’m Erik McGrew, Designer at Bigeye. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as advertising and design professionals. At Bigeye, we put audiences first. For every engagement, we develop a deep understanding of our client’s prospects and customers. By conducting our own research, we’re able to capture consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. This data is distilled into actionable insights that inspire creative brand-building and persuasive activation campaigns – and guide strategic, cost-efficient media placements that really connect. If you’d like to know more about how to put Bigeye’s audience-focused, creative-driven insights to work for your brand, please contact us. Email info@bigeyeagency.com. Bigeye. Reaching the Right People, in the Right Place, at the Right Time.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. We’re talking about some of the Bigeye team’s favorite podcasts.

Nick Hammond: Hi, I’m Nick Hammond. I am a graphic designer here at Bigeye. 

Adrian Tennant: Nick, could you tell us a little bit about your role here at Bigeye?

Nick Hammond: Yes. So my role here at Bigeye, while some of the other designers are more focused on specific tasks, I guess in relation to illustration and motion graphics, mine is more so on the side of branding. So I work on pulling across elements throughout different end uses such as digital and print and social and things of the like.

Adrian Tennant: So Nick, how long have you been listening to podcasts?

Nick Hammond: I think I’ve been listening to podcasts for a while. It has to have been several years at this point. My intro to podcast was through, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” and kind of splintered into other smaller podcasts, just kind of listening one off here and there. So something would pop up in my feed that would be interesting and I would go look for it and then happen to stumble onto a podcast that was in relation to some topic I was interested in.

Adrian Tennant: What app do you typically use?

Nick Hammond: I started with Stitcher, which is funny because when I’ve talked to the other guests that you’ve had on, they had no idea what Stitcher even was. I think for them, they got into it through Apple. I never enjoyed from a design perspective, the user interface of the Apple Podcasts platform. And it felt like it was getting in the way for me of just trying to listen to a simple episode and it was constantly trying to update and change and all this stuff and I just didn’t want to deal with it.

Adrian Tennant: And is that still the case today or have you migrated to something else?

Nick Hammond: I do prefer, there’s something interesting to me about being able to see, uh, how people are interacting. So like a video aspect. So when I’m listening on a desktop, I like to have, if it’s on YouTube, I like to have a YouTube thing kind of playing because it’s interesting when you hear different aspects of a conversation show up to kind of pull up that window on the browser and look at how they’re interacting with each other because there’s something there that you don’t get when you’re just listening to the audio.

Adrian Tennant: Right. You get the audio, but you don’t always get the visual context of facial expressions.

Nick Hammond: Yeah. That kind of stuff.

Adrian Tennant: So Nick, your selection for this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS is an episode of a show called, “Revisionist History.” Could you tell us a little bit about how you came across that podcast?

Nick Hammond: Yeah, so I had been, not necessarily a fan, but a reader of Malcolm Gladwell in the past and there was some stuff in there that I enjoyed. I’ve always enjoyed reading more psychology or biography type stuff. And so I’d been through a couple of his books and had heard his name a while and had kinda gotten to some other authors like him. And I think there was someone that had posted one of his newer episodes from Revisionist History and I had realized that I had never heard it and I didn’t know that he’d come out with podcasts. So yeah, just dove in.

Adrian Tennant: Okay. So this particular episode – what was it about this one that attracted you?

Nick Hammond: Yeah, this episode, in particular, I as a designer and as a Gemini, which is funny, I feel like my life has kind of separated into two buckets all the time. And it’s always this push-pull thing. And so it was interesting to me because they dive into the difference between approaching a task or situation with a tortoise or a hare kind of mentality. And this, how are you thinking through tasks either more quickly or more slowly and then does that end up influencing your direction in life? They talk a lot in the episode about education and kind of higher education reform and that wasn’t what was interesting to me. It was more so the different thought processes of how people go into these situations and approach them from completely different perspectives.

Adrian Tennant: Right. And I think if any of the listeners have friends or family in the legal profession, I think some of the results – without wanting to give too much away – might be surprising.

Nick Hammond: Definitely. And I didn’t want to give it away, but yes, listen to the episode.

Adrian Tennant: So Nick, what made this episode of Revisionist History a favorite?

Nick Hammond: So without giving away the ending, that’s kind of all I’ll say is the ending is not something that I think you would see coming. And that was what was interesting to me is because I’ve always pursued different avenues of work and decisions in life of what is the best decision or the better decision to make. And I think what you end up finding at the end of this episode is different than that approach.

Adrian Tennant: Wow. That is such a cliffhanger, you’ve got to go and listen to this episode, everybody. For now, Nick Hammond, thank you very much indeed.

Nick Hammond: Thank you.

[Music]

Karen Hidalgo: I’m Karen Hidalgo, Associate Account Manager here at Bigeye. A little bit of what I do on my day to day is making sure projects and budgets are on track, making sure our clients are happy, projects are in production, making sure just everyone is happy and we’re treading along.

Adrian Tennant: And do you have a player or an app that you prefer or do you go to websites for your podcasts?

Karen Hidalgo: So Spotify is my primary.

Adrian Tennant: Do you have a favorite genre of podcast?

Karen Hidalgo: Probably nonfiction. Most of the ones that I subscribe to. Definitely I love thrillers, definitely like TED talks.

Adrian Tennant: Today you’ve selected an episode of a show called, “Lore.” How did you find this podcast?

Karen Hidalgo: So Lore was the first podcast I ever started listening to. It was right out of college and podcasts were starting to be very big in the market and people were talking about it. So I went and did some research and I said, okay, well I’ve always liked thrillers. Scary stuff. Um, so I just happened to run into Lore and it turns out it’s also a show. And it’s also a book which I’ve had the opportunity to do both. And that’s kind of where my obsession with Lore started.

Adrian Tennant: Now you’ve selected an episode called, “A Stranger Among Us.” Sounds a little creepy, Karen.

Karen Hidalgo: So again, one of the first episodes I listened to happened to be at Christmas time and this particular episode deals with Santa and what he represents in the folklore of kind of other cultures and other countries. Again, kind of hinting at the scary but history of it. So it’s very intriguing. It kind of gives you a campfire experience. And he’s very great at providing the historical facts. And that’s also a plus for me.

Adrian Tennant: I think I’m right in saying you were born outside of the United States as was I. Do shows like this give you kind of an extra insight into the workings of the American mind?

Karen Hidalgo: Absolutely. And I love, I mean, I’m from South America, but I love everything that has to do with here in America. But learning about other cultures through a podcast has given me definitely that glimpse, something that I have loved the most about listening to a podcast like this.

Adrian Tennant: Karen, why do you think our listeners should give this show a try?

Karen Hidalgo: I guess if you’re looking for something different, thrillers are not for everybody, but if you like history if you’d like to spice it up if you’d like folklore like I do. I think it’s great, it’s a great episode. 

Adrian Tennant: So, Karen, I understand that Aaron Mahnke, who’s the host of this show, also has other podcasts. Have you listened to those as well?

Karen Hidalgo:  Yes, I actually have. One of them. I just started listening to – “Unobscured.” It goes into the history of the witch trial and Salem, again, very history. He puts his very good spin on it, gives you a lot of facts. Great. Great. It’s just a great addition to Lore.

Adrian Tennant: Great! Thank you, Karen. Thanks for those recommendations.

Karen Hidalgo: Hmm, any time! 

[Music]

Adrian Tennant: I’m joined today by Dominic Wilson.

Dominic Wilson: Yeah. Hi. I’m the senior multimedia designer here at Bigeye. I create motion graphics, 3-D design and animation as well as video editing and photography for our campaigns.

Adrian Tennant: I think your selection for today’s podcast is a little different from some of the other folks at Bigeye.

Dominic Wilson: Yeah, that’s true. I suppose a, I mean it is in the creative field in regards to software and designs. So for me, I just am extraordinarily fascinated by those topics.

Adrian Tennant: You have selected an episode of a show called, “Greyscale Gorilla Podcast,” and I should explain that the description is “A show for creatives who want to learn about motion design, 3-D rendering, Cinema 4D, working with clients and much more.” So how did you find this podcast?

Dominic Wilson: I’ve been a fan of Nick Campbell going back to his Creamy Orange Portfolio days. And then he began creating little tips and tutorials, teaching you how to do things in a software program called After Effects. And then he just started doing libraries of tutorials on a 3-D application called Cinema 4D. And I was just hooked.

Adrian Tennant: Could you just give us an overview of what’s in the particular podcast episode that we’re linking to in the show notes today?

Dominic Wilson: This particular episode spoke with Russ Gaultier who works with a software program called Houdini. And it was interesting to hear the insights whether or not it’s something that you have to learn as a motion designer. It’s kind of nice to hear someone who’s seasoned, kind of break it down for you.

Adrian Tennant: Now this is an audio podcast describing software. How well do you think it translates to an audio format?

Dominic Wilson: Well I think anyone who would probably seek out this particular podcast is probably going to have somewhat of a hands-on working knowledge of the program already. They do provide a lot of very helpful links to see the work that the artists did. They have an abundance of examples and things that you can see what they’re doing and if you’re familiar even in just some of the graphic design applications, they’ll still be a lot of things that probably can kind of connect some dots for you.

Adrian Tennant: Okay. What made this episode a particular favorite for you?

Dominic Wilson: I simply love the artists that in my opinion make the unreal real like Russ Gaultier who was a guest on that Greyscale Gorilla episode as well as some additional Houdini users like Joe Pascal, Eric Ferguson, and the gents over at Entagma to name a few.

Adrian Tennant: So there you go. Dominic’s recommendation is the Greyscale Gorilla podcast which gives you a peek into the world of those amazing visual effects. Dominic, Thank you very much indeed for joining us today.

Dominic Wilson: Yeah, no problem.

Adrian Tennant: Thanks to all my colleagues here at Bigeye for contributing to this week’s podcast. You can find a transcript of this episode along with a link to a Spotify playlist featuring Bigeye’s Top Podcast Picks on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com under “Insights.” Just click on the button marked “Podcast.” You’ll also find a link to our listener survey. Please take a moment to submit your thoughts about this podcast, and the kind of content you’d like to hear more of in future episodes. And, if you haven’t already, please consider subscribing to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next time, goodbye.

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