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Audience Direct-To-Consumer DTC Marketing Insights Market Intelligence Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

As a consumer insights agency, we employ a number of quantitative and qualitative research methods to help our clients make data-driven decisions. We find that DTC and CPG brands often fail to spend much time researching product pricing. These businesses generally fall into two camps: 

  • Some companies want to set prices very low to beat the competition. This strategy often backfires because consumers may think a too-low-to-be-true price signals poor quality. Sometimes, low prices may encourage lots of sales, but they might not generate enough revenue to offset costs and sustain business growth. 
  • Prices set too high may discourage consumers who don’t believe the product’s value justifies the cost. That’s particularly true if consumers can easily find the same or similar products elsewhere. 

How to use the Van Westendorp Index to find the right price 

For our work as a quantitative marketing research agency, we often organize surveys or focus groups to gather useful data for setting prices. One of the marketing research techniques we rely on, the Van Westendorp Index, narrows down the price customers would willingly pay to a range. 

Also called the Price Sensitivity Model, the Van Westendorp Index starts with a set of four survey questions

  • Which low price might make you question the product’s quality?
  • Which price would make you consider the product a bargain?
  • Which higher price might make it begin to appear expensive?
  • Which higher price would discourage you from buying because of the cost?

Conjoint.ly develops analysis tools for marketing research. According to the Conjoint.ly blog, samples should include a minimum of 200 survey takers. That helps ensure statistically significant results. Ideally, marketers should either survey current customers or members of the likely target market. Consumers who would actually consider buying the product can offer better answers than random people. 

To analyze the data: 

  • Plot the answers for each question on a graph. 
  • Marketing research analysts refer to the intersection of the “question quality” and “too expensive” lines as the optimum price point, or OPP. 
  • Test the OPP and values around it to derive the real-world optimum price. 

Example of employing the Van Westendorp Model for Luma & Leaf 

luma and leaf products

We served as a consumer marketing agency for Luma & Leaf, a DTC natural skincare brand. We employed qualitative and quantitative research techniques to find answers to a range of questions, including packaging, brand messaging, and introductory price points. 

Luma & Leaf manufactures products with high-quality, clean, and sustainably sourced ingredients. After completing the surveys and analysis, the company successfully positioned itself as a mid-level skincare brand. Their product’s quality and prices appeal to consumers who would pay somewhat more for quality but still would not budget for the most expensive brands. 

The company could differentiate its products from cheap drugstore brands because of the sustainability, purity, and quality of ingredients, so consumers would pay somewhat more. At the same time, they set prices much lower than luxury brands to ensure they didn’t price themselves out of their target market. 

Benefits of the Van Westendorp Pricing Model

Rebecca Sadwick works as a consultant for businesses about growth strategies. According to Ms. Sadwick, marketers used to introduce a product and ask customers how much they would pay for it. This method never worked well because: 

  • Studies found that survey takers tended to offer low-ball answers as if they wanted to bargain with the business for a better deal. 
  • Also, many people taking surveys can’t answer the question well because they don’t actually have skin in the game—emotion factors into most buying decisions. 

The indirect series of questions about prices tend to produce better answers. Nobody can say exactly how much they will pay for a product at some point in the future. In fact, most shoppers would probably have a range of prices in mind and not one specific price. Survey takers can do a better job of estimating which price points they would find too-good-to-be-true, great deals, and prohibitively expensive.

How should companies use the Van Westendorp Model to set prices?

Even when a consumer insights agency offers a better way to estimate optimum price points by using the Van Westendorp Model, businesses should still test prices to find the real-world optimum. As with the example of Luma & Leaf, marketers should also understand the reasons for specific prices, such as the advantages the product offers over cheaper competitors. 

Mostly, eCommerce businesses need to set prices high enough to earn revenues that will cover costs and return a decent profit but not so high that they discourage their target market. Marketers can use this kind of quantitative analysis when it’s time to set prices. Ideally, they will also conduct surveys while they’re still planning the product to ensure their sales will support business goals.

Categories
Consumer Insights Direct-To-Consumer Market Intelligence Podcast Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

Chantal Schmelz is a facilitator, strategist, lecturer, and marketer based in Zurich, Switzerland. Chantal explains how she uses the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method to break down barriers between participants and generate breakthrough ideas. Chantal shares consumer insights based on her work in Europe and the Philippines, and contrasts e-commerce in developed countries with what she sees in the developing world – plus how WEConnect connects women-owned businesses with buyers globally.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Chantal Schmelz: A very wise man once said perspective is not what you’re looking at, but where you’re looking from. So shifting perspectives in a team can unleash unbelievably creative solutions to problems that seemed impossible to solve before.

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. A full-service, audience-focused creative agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, serving clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. Bringing together business leaders, politicians, and journalists to discuss current economic and social challenges, the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting is usually held in January in the ski town of Davos, Switzerland. This year, due to COVID-19, the annual meeting was held virtually, but the WEF’s decision reflected the level of global disruption unleashed by the worst health crisis in more than a century, the aftershocks of which will have profound long-term impacts on many aspects of our consumer-led society. And as my colleague, Dana Cassell, described in Bigeye’s webinar and podcast, a return to “business as usual” isn’t an option. Many organizations have been forced by the pandemic to re-engineer some of the ways they operate. But how do you introduce change strategically, and at scale, within an organization? My guest this week is a change enthusiast who resists the idea of only having one profession. Chantal Schmelz works as a facilitator, strategist, lecturer, and marketing consultant with a very diverse portfolio of projects and clients. But Chantal’s projects always have two things in common: they actively drive positive change, and they only work when the collective intelligence of the team is harnessed. Chantal uses agile methods, tools, and processes to enable co-thinking and collaboration. Chantal has worked with McDonald’s, the Innovation Hub of the University of Zurich, and with startups all around Europe. To talk about her work and playful approach to creative facilitation, Chantal is joining us today from her home in Zurich, Switzerland. Chantal, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Chantal Schmelz: Thank you very much for having me, Adrian. It’s a pleasure.

Adrian Tennant: Chantal, you are a facilitator, strategist, lecturer, and marketing consultant. Do you typically work with clients who engage you for just one of your skills or are they looking to take advantage of a multidisciplinary approach?

Chantal Schmelz: So, actually, it most often is kind of an unintentional upselling process. To tackle strategy often sounds too big of a task and facilitation is too intangible for a lot of people or fancy-pantsy for them. So actually, often people come to me with a very clearly framed task, like doing a webpage or getting their teams trained on any specific, marketing communication topic. And once we get to work together by asking a few, probably sometimes uncomfortable questions, we started turning stone by stone. And in the end we mostly work on a rather strategic project together with the help of agile methods. So I’d say most of them are not specifically looking for my multidisciplinary approach unless they have already worked with me, but get to see the value of connecting all these dots and thus creating better outcomes once they’ve overcome the fear of tasks that seemed too big to tackle.

Adrian Tennant: Would you say that you are equal parts facilitator, strategist, lecturer, marketer – or do you favor one role or specialism over the others?

Chantal Schmelz: What a lovely question. I’ve always been a kinesthetic learner, myself. One of the characteristics being that connecting things and spatial thinking has always come very naturally to me. But I had an awfully hard time at school as the system implies that there are natural boundaries between physics and English where in my brain, there are none. All dots are somehow connected. So frankly speaking, I’ve never much questioned whether I’m now working as a facilitator or a marketer only. I like to listen and watch closely and then bring all skills to the table that might help the process. So I see myself rather as a human being, with a toolbox full of very differently shaped tools that all have their benefits and timing and also limitations. Using them resourcefully, that is more important to me than whether a client is referring to me as their marketing consultant or their facilitator. However, I’m not down talking on the difficulties that one faces when, especially I have to position myself clearly, as in this podcast. Ironically, that is something that I try to avoid, against the advice I’d regularly give to my marketing clients when I tell them they have to have a very clear positioning!

Adrian Tennant: Hmm, I like that. So, Chantal, what types of projects have you been working on lately?

Chantal Schmelz: Multidisciplinary ones! I know that’s not the answer you were looking for, but it’s somehow true. So last week, I ran a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop with 50 people that all work at the overlap of innovation and education. And we worked on the topic of gamification. So it was all mixed and tangled up: multidisciplinary. And I also currently work on two bigger projects with clients that always remind me of Renee Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy book, because both are existing within long-been-there industries with clear standards and procedures, and also a clear set of thinking or mindset. However, both have unique approaches that lay way outside of the industry norm or what has been known so far. So one is a small fashion label that manages to produce circular fashion. So not just hopping on this sustainability train that the bigger fashion labels have onboarded over the last few years, because it was trendy – where they do textile recycling, which mostly only consists of collecting old clothes, shredding them, and reusing as insulation materials. This small label has managed to really retrieve the raw materials from their clothes and make new ones out of them. And the other one is an even older trade – it’s retail. So it’s a hard discount retailer that is built up in a very similar way to the ALDI concept, from years back. So, old-style retail. However, while ALDI has mostly stuck to industrialized countries for their expansion, they are expanding into the Philippine market with its very unique demographics in a time where the communities there – not only by the pandemic – have already been widely digitalized. They have the need to educate their consumers while not making them feel that they’re being educated. So excellent use cases for multi-disciplinary tasks where I can bring all my skills to the table, not simultaneously, but over the course of time, all of them will be used.

Adrian Tennant: Excellent. Well, you mentioned the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method. I know you’re a facilitator and certified in the method. Could you explain what it is and how you came to be using LEGO® in facilitation?

Chantal Schmelz: I have two boys at home, so we were playing LEGO®, not very seriously, at home already. And I’ve seen the benefits with my children talking over LEGO® already. I also have an education degree and with all my consultancy customers and clients, I always hit the same brick wall where they just got stuck because you handed them a blank sheet of paper, where they had to note down bullets or ideas, or, had to, come to decisions based on just talking together. And I felt with the education knowledge in the background, that there must be more opportunities to unleash the potential that lays in these discussions. a friend of mine started doing LEGO® and she was like, that’s going to be that solution for unstacking those discussions. So I took upon a challenge and got certified and have ever since had the most amazing experiences with customers, people just wanting to test the method and being really like, “Oh, I didn’t know all these people in the room, but I now somehow feel connected and we could really, without knowing each other, with very different backgrounds, we could work on one topic together in a very appreciative, highly participative way”. So this is for me is the beauty of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. And, also how I came to use it in the first place.

Adrian Tennant: What are some of the most common preconceptions clients and participants have about using- I nearly said playing with – using LEGO®?

Chantal Schmelz: Oh, we always say “let’s play,” because I mean, everyone knows it’s a play and playing comes very naturally to all human beings. So, why not to managers and CEOs? However, especially when it’s a highly hierarchical or highly disturbed team there, you always have people [with] crossed arms, eyes rolling, “Oh, yet another team-building event. And I’ve been to tons of them.” And we try to always just say, “Give it a try. If you don’t like it in half an hour, leave it.” And it doesn’t even take half an hour because most of the people, because they know LEGO® from their kids’ rooms and the painful experience when you stumble upon it then, most of them really think you’re gonna childishly play with LEGO®., but it’s a serious play. So there’s a process behind, there is a dedicated outcome you want to achieve. and it’s just enabling discussions in a very easy way that also perfectly works cross-culturally so I’ve had all these crossed arms and funny faces when I tell them we’re going to do LEGO® now, however, in the end, all of them have been rather fascinated by how easy discussions run throughout a day.

Adrian Tennant: Do you typically work with a regular set of LEGO® bricks or is there one particular set that you give to each participant?

Chantal Schmelz: That really depends on whether we play physical, like in locations on-site or whether we do online sessions. If we play online LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, we go by the standard LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® exploration packs because then it helps that everyone who’s only connected via screen has the same set in front of them. When you have large groups, around big tables, I just really put masses of LEGO® on there, to have them explore everything because there you have another context. So both work with limitations, whether virtually or physically.

Adrian Tennant: What does the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method certification process look like?

Chantal Schmelz: Actually, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® was invented by LEGO® themselves as they were looking for a new innovation process that would enable them to get to new products and innovations faster. They used that for a couple of years and in 2010, they decided to make it available under the custom commons license. So there are, of course, they’re supplying the bricks and have kind of part of the earnings on that, but they are not the ones doing the facilitation. There are various companies, master, chief, black belts, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® gurus that do certifications, but you’re not certified by LEGO® you’re certified by each of those institutions that do certification rounds. However, you get a “how to use the LEGO® brand” custom creative comments manual that you have to follow once you tell the world that you are now officially a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator.

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

Seth Segura: I’m Seth Segura, VP and Creative Director at Bigeye. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as creative professionals. At Bigeye, we always put audiences first. For every engagement, we commit to really understanding our clients’ prospects and customers. Through our own primary research, we capture valuable data about people’s attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. These insights inform our strategy and guide our creative briefs. Clients see them brought to life in inspiring, imaginative brand-building and persuasive activation campaigns. If you’d like to put Bigeye’s audience-focused creative communications 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: How do you identify?

Voices: Female, male, gender fluid, cis-gender, genderqueer, non-binary, trans-feminine.

Adrian Tennant: Society is constantly changing and evolving. To understand how Americans feel about gender identity and expression, Bigeye undertook a national study involving over 2,000 adult consumers. Over half of those aged 18 to 39 believe that traditional binary labels of male and female are outdated and instead see gender as a spectrum. Our exclusive report, GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY, reveals how beliefs across different generations influences the purchase of toys, clothes, and consumer packaged goods. To download the full report, go to Bigeye.agency/gender.

Voices: Nonconforming, transgender, two-spirit, trans-masculine, gender fluid.

Adrian Tennant: GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Chantal Schmelz, a strategist, facilitator, and marketer based in Zurich, Switzerland. Now you mentioned that you’re involved in a very interesting textile company. Could you explain the philosophy behind the Yarn-to-Yarn® process?

Chantal Schmelz: Probably a lot of people already know cradle to cradle as a concept of the Circular Economy and Yarn-to-Yarn® is kind of the adaptation to the textile industry where you say you use materials that can either be easily separated, once clothes are being returned after use. For example, you need to be very careful what patches you sew onto your clothes, what color imprints you use and what tags you use, what buttons, what zippers because they need to be ripped off before the reuse can start. And also, like with cradle to cradle, it’s essential that you don’t mix raw materials in a way that they cannot be separated anymore. So you don’t glue it, you nail it because then it can be separated. And with Yarn-to-Yarn®, you use fibers that can be separated chemically or, with bio enzymes easily. So that in the end you have cotton and polyethylene fibers, as raw materials in the end. So you can have new yarn created out of the raw materials easily. So it’s the same process as cradle to cradle for the textile industry. And at the moment, it’s based on a bio enzyme process that allows to separate cotton and polyethylene fibers, so that they can be totally 100% reused at the end.

Adrian Tennant: Chantal, how did you become involved in this particular technology?

Chantal Schmelz: Actually, it started with Facebook advertising. As I said earlier, a very concrete, clearly framed task someone needed to be done. So for a marketing campaign they needed someone to run the ads for them. And by asking more and more questions, and also being asked questions back, we came to “Okay, there’s more to the strategy that needs to be developed, the storytelling needs to be enlarged, needs to be tailored to certain audiences that are already rejecting fast fashion.” So, it’s really that unconscious or unintentional upselling, how I came to be involved. In the yard to yard and process or project as a consultant.

Adrian Tennant: Chantal, I know you’re also very involved in WEConnect International, Could you tell us a little bit about your work with the organization?

Chantal Schmelz: Yes, I gladly do. So WEConnect is certifying women-owned businesses to give the purchasing partner, the certified buyer. Let’s say Walmart, for example, in the US, they have a hard time figuring out which women-owned business could be a potential supplier for us. So WEConnect kind of bridges that gap, giving the buyer insight into what suppliers they are in the specific areas they’re looking for products or suppliers. In the US, I know because WEConnect originates from the US and you have laws that tell procurement purchasing to what percentage they have to buy from minorities. Whether this is the Black community, or women-owned business, or LGBTQ. So they have like these set rules. In Europe, these rules or regulations, laws, do not exist. At the moment there are so many supply chains in Europe that have zero percent women-owned supply in there. And we try to change that. In my role, I do that for the Swiss market. So I try to first certify the women-owned businesses, assess them, and then also get them in touch with potential buyer-side customers so that we can help to diversify the supply chain as well, because that’s a big chunk of the market that is so far in untapped potential for women-owned businesses.

Adrian Tennant: In which areas of business do you see the most untapped opportunities for women?

Chantal Schmelz: So I think studies have already shown plenty of times that female-led teams or female-led companies, as well as diverse-led teams, sustainably perform with a higher return on investment for investors, for example, than all-male-led teams. So there’s generally a lot of potential in the market for female-owned businesses. However, what we see is that a lot of women directly go into the service area of business: training translation, copywriting, marketing consulting, such as I do. And there is a huge demand for products, med-tech. So the more technical areas where I think that the very mindful approach that women give to building up a company could also not only lead to them tapping into this potential or these opportunities but also sustainably changing industries to more sustainable working.

Adrian Tennant: Chantal, thinking about strategy, what are some of the biggest challenges you’re finding that clients are facing right now?

Chantal Schmelz: Even though we often say that we do forward-looking, future-oriented strategy work, we mostly don’t. We look at past data or data trends and then extrapolate it, to generate a strategy that looks into the future. Mathematically calculated, gut feeling extrapolated. Now with the pandemic that hit the entire world at the same time, looking at past data, and data trends, doesn’t do the trick anymore. And even if you say we only look at the years 2020 to 2021, the underlying assumption remains that this is just an exception and the trends might not continue. So, companies are facing now the challenge that they have to come up with strategies from within and still make sure that their mindset remains agile, to the point where they do short sprints, evaluating new problems, new challenges, ideation, prototyping, testing, and then redoing it over and over again. And I think that’s at the moment, the biggest challenge because lots of bigger companies are still used to long innovation cycles, where they do all the research properly and data analysts spend hours and hours on evaluating and benchmarking before they put anything in front of the customer. And I think that has gone.

Adrian Tennant: Yeah, it makes sense. Chantal, in what kinds of ways are you typically supporting clients with strategy?

Chantal Schmelz: I’m really hard on you in many! No, seriously, it is like with children, if you have the same age, same background of upbringing, same schooling, you still have totally different kids. And this also holds true for businesses. I don’t have the one typical approach of supporting them with their strategy, but I found three things to be of the essence for every good or successful strategy process. One is enabling all involved parties to form a joint understanding of the challenge. Because meeting culture, mostly renders this impossible. It’s like meetings are more of a talking back and forth, just staring at the wall battle, than a co-thinking process that would allow teams to capitalize on their joint knowledge. So setting the stage to enable, facilitate people, to really use this crowd wisdom, to jointly understand the problem, and being able to tell one story with one voice as a team really helps to move forward fast with strategy work. The second one is perspective. A very wise man once said perspective is not what you’re looking at, but where you’re looking from, and we are often caught up in own perspectives and probably don’t see the opportunities that lie right next to us, because our standpoint is not into the right direction. So shifting perspectives in a team can unleash unbelievably creative solutions to problems that seemed impossible to solve before. And the third one is getting the teams, the companies, to the mindset that they do strategies in small increments, and test them, right away. Get them in front of the relevant user, customer stakeholder. Because the most beautiful PowerPoints are totally useless unless you get the user, the customer to buy into them. So I think giving that perspective on the importance of testing, because before data analytics was like the key discipline you had to master. Now it’s testing. Testing, and interpreting data you get from testing in order to move forward fast.

Adrian Tennant: So Chantal, thinking about all the projects that you’ve been involved with across several disciplines, which was your favorite and why?

Chantal Schmelz: Actually very interesting story of a female entrepreneur. When I started with her, probably four years back, she was neither tech-loving, nor did she have any web page, online shop, anything like that. But she’s selling household products designed very nicely, high functional, so excellent, innovative products for the mass market and she was not on the internet at that point. Two years later, she became Amazon Entrepreneur of the Year in Germany. And the transition we made throughout all this, and accompanying her throughout this journey. She was on television on one of these Shark Tank shows, so a really exciting story to be part of. And at the beginning, I would not have imagined that we would manage that at all to get her on the internet, selling on Amazon, not in my wildest dreams. And she’s very successfully launching one product after the other now.

Adrian Tennant: Excellent. Chantal, if IN CLEAR FOCUS, listeners would like to learn more about you, and your work in strategy, facilitation, and marketing, where can they find you?

Chantal Schmelz: Most easily, I’d assume, on LinkedIn. Because there I’m available in all languages that I’m able to speak! 

Adrian Tennant: Perfect. Chantal, thank you very much for being our guest this week on IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Chantal Schmelz: Thank you very much, Adrian, for having me. It was a real pleasure.

Adrian Tennant: Coming up next time on, IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Paige Garrett: In a way that advertising used to be where you trust the channel you’re watching, or you trust the magazine you’re reading, that trust is now in those influencers And not like you’re just getting that content. You’re not just getting served an ad. You’re getting served this person’s entire life or whatever it is that their niche is that they’re sharing about. And that is where that trust is established.

Adrian Tennant: That’s an interview with influencer marketing expert Paige Garrett, next week on IN CLEAR FOCUS. Thanks to my guest this week, Chantal Schmelz: strategist, marketer, and facilitator. You’ll find a transcript with links to the resources we discussed today on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at bigeyeagency.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

Categories
Consumer Insights Direct-To-Consumer Market Intelligence Podcast Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

Bigeye’s guest this week is Ksenia Newton of Brandwatch. Ksenia explains how she triangulates different sources of data, including social listening, to derive fresh consumer insights about shopping behaviors in-store and online. Ksenia shares insights from recent Brandwatch reports and makes some predictions about this year’s holiday shopping season, based on what she’s seeing in her research. We also preview the results of Bigeye’s upcoming study about US shopping behaviors.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: Coming up in this episode of IN CLEAR FOCUS.

Ksenia Newton: People are willing to spend, and I can see this in the social data. People are all looking for products, so I think that presents a great opportunity for retailers and e-commerce companies to do a little research, understand what their consumers are looking for, and push those deals to test the different offers and kind of start getting them early on.

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 insight at Bigeye. A full-service, audience-focused creative agency, we’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for joining us. The experience of shopping has been transformed for many of us over the past 18 months as e-commerce has boomed, innovation in retail tech has accelerated, and competition among online retailers has grown. We’ve seen online and offline shopping experiences merge such as order online and pick up in-store. One way of tracking the impact of these changes in consumer behavior is through social listening, enabled by tools that can track information about products, consumers, and purchase intent in real-time. Marketers can use social listing platforms to understand consumer sentiment and improve their own presence on social networks. Our guest today is an expert in this area. A researcher and strategist, Ksenia Newton is the marketing content specialist at the digital consumer intelligence company, Brandwatch. Ksenia likes to think of herself as part social analyst, and part writer, deriving consumer insights from social data and turning those into helpful reports and data-driven stories. To talk about her work with Brandwatch and what she believes the future holds for retail and e-commerce, Ksenia is joining us today from Málaga, Spain. Ksenia, welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Ksenia Newton: Hi, Adrian. Thank you for having me.

Adrian Tennant: Ksenia, you’re in Málaga, Spain today, but your home base is New York City. What takes you to Málaga?

Ksenia Newton: As a New Yorker, I really tried to extend my summer holidays. Maybe indulge in some paella and finally try out this digital nomad lifestyle, but I’ve also wanted to see Málaga for a long time. I see it has a rich history and beautiful architectural sights, but definitely, paella and wine scored first in my decision-making process. So no shame.

Adrian Tennant: You’re leaving New York City for the first time in months. How does it feel to be traveling again? 

Ksenia Newton: It’s expensive to travel again. Regulations change, you know, basically on a daily basis. So we are traveling, our next point would be Ibiza island which we’re traveling to tomorrow. We just found out that the local government of the island has imposed a new rule that’s in effect from September 8th to September 15th. Everybody who’s traveling from the mainland of Spain has to get a PCR test done. So every PCR test in Europe is over a hundred Euros. So number one, traveling again is very expensive because you just end up spending a lot of money to do PCR tests, no matter where you go from one country to another, from one island to another. Other than that, a lot of people are traveling and what’s surprising is that people actually follow social distancing. A lot of places here require vaccinations, people wear masks, so that’s definitely nice. There’s this little bit of excitement up in the air of people just really enjoying. So I think while we don’t have to talk about the downside of the pandemic, it was devastating, right? Still is, but at the same time, I feel like that gave people just maybe another breath of fresh air because they’re enjoying their life again, right? Before we were able to do all these different things but then once we were no longer able to do anything. And then we are back at traveling, people would just really enjoy their glass of wine, really enjoyed their meal. They really enjoyed the company of their friends. So I think that’s been very interesting to watch, just laughter all around and personal connections, just having a conversation, not a lot of people. And I know, in New York, most of the time people walk around with their phones, just staring at their phone non-stop. In Europe, it’s very different. And I don’t know if it’s always been different, but in Europe, people actually enjoy in-person conversation. Maybe it is an effect of COVID. So hopefully one positive trend that came out of the pandemic is the fact that we kind of just become a little bit more human again. Maybe that’s the case.

Adrian Tennant: Could you explain what Brandwatch is and what types of clients the company serves?

Ksenia Newton: Absolutely. So Brandwatch is a digital consumer intelligence company. We’re based in the UK and while Brandwatch Consumers Research, our flagship platform, can process all kinds of data side-by-side, we are best known for our capabilities in making sense of the voices of billions of people through analyzing different sources, like public social media posts, review sites, video sites, blackboards, and news articles. Currently, we have over 2,000 different clients, from agencies to larger brands, most of them are very well known. Yeah.

Adrian Tennant: Now you’re a marketing content specialist with Brandwatch. What does your role entail?

Ksenia Newton: You can think of me as a social researcher, I would say. So I gather and analyze social data shared publicly by consumers on various topics online. And I turn those insights into posts and reports that are going to help companies and brands better understand and adapt to changing consumer behavior. I think I would call this a social researcher because that’s what I do.

Adrian Tennant: Now you recently wrote and presented a report for Brandwatch, which explores how consumer behaviors have changed since COVID-19 and it looks at their impact on e-commerce for the remainder of this year and into 2022. Ksenia, briefly, could you explain how you obtained data for Brandwatch reports?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, absolutely. Brandwatch has access to the largest archive of consumer thought and opinion. We’re currently talking about 1.2 trillion public mentions. Our sources include social networks and forums and news sites, review sites, video sites, and as you know, there’s over half a billion new public posts that are being shared every day. And also Brandwatch is a Twitter official partner. So that allows us to access the full fire hose and Brandwatch is the only actual provider who index and stores that entire Twitter data on our servers for instant access. So you can go back all the way back to 2008, I believe, to kind of look at what was happening back then, and then compare those data to the real-time mentions.

Adrian Tennant: So it’s kind of longitudinal data opportunities there as well?

Ksenia Newton: Absolutely. But also, I love reading through data. So sometimes it’s, you know, it wants to sort of look into this. You can fall into that loophole. You just stay there for hours trying to see, “Wow. I can’t believe that actually took place back in 2008.” Right? And how different the world looks like these days. Yeah.

Adrian Tennant: What are some of the most significant trends that you saw evolving during the pandemic and that you believe will prove to have longer-term impacts?

Ksenia Newton: I truly think that the pandemic of 2020 actually has changed the way we do many things, including how we shop. And it’s driven this rapid digital adoption around shopping specifically. So a couple of strands that I can think of right away one is the touch-free, right? We all wanted to have this contactless experience. We don’t want to touch anything. I live in New York. So all of a sudden in New York, our subway has changed from using the regular MetroCard to actually just tapping our card and just paying for it and going through. So people who are looking for this type of experience and I think that is going to be a trend moving forward: touch-free whether, you know, is the experience in-store or online. The other thing that I can speak to is the virtual try-on trend. I think it’s huge. Myself, I’ve purchased products by literally trying them on online. And whether it’s clothing, accessories, there’s also makeup you can do now in 3D, or if you were trying to redesign your space, I think that’s also huge. And the other ones, I would say, is probably social commerce and live streaming. Live streaming is becoming really big, especially in Asia and it’s definitely moving towards the rest of the world. But also the growing power of social marketing and ethical shopping, I think that’s the other trend. I guess we’ve been stuck in the pandemic for so long a lot of people reassess their behavior around shopping. And that also includes social influencers who are, not only promoting certain products, but they also really embrace ethical shopping. So they try to send that message over. So people care a lot more these days about what the brands stand for, what they represent, how ethical they are, and so on and so forth. So I think this is going to be a big one as well.

Adrian Tennant: Bigeye has recently conducted a survey of consumers across the US. And while the data is provisional, it appears that a majority of Gen Z and Gen Y consumers are purchasing based on seeing influencers use, or recommend products. Now, during COVID brands adapted to lockdowns and nonessential store closures by introducing live streaming. Did you see greater adoption of social commerce in your research?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, I’m actually working on a report right now. It’s the report around COVID-19 and its impact on the consumer behavior moving forward. And something that I currently see in data is not only people shop off to see something that’s being promoted to them by influencers or somebody that they follow. People also shop for a variety of other reasons like impulse buying as well as something to look forward to. So there are a lot of other motivations that I’m just uncovering right now. So I do think there is a greater adoption of social commerce, but people are spending a lot. And actually, I think I read it in Statista. I think it might’ve been an hour extra that people will spend online watching all the different entertainment shows and livestream as well. So, definitely greater adoption, I think it’s going to stay that way because we’ve been through the pandemic for so long that we’ve gotten used to this type of experience. Yeah. I think it’s here to stay. I’ve actually never shopped through a live stream yet. So I’m lagging behind, not an early adopter here!

Adrian Tennant: What kind of impact has TikTok had?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, as you know, TikTok is one of the world’s fastest-growing entertainment platforms. I know that they’re currently trying to invest heavily in social commerce. They’ve just partnered up with Shopify and I think it’s going to be a great deal because the majority of users on TikTok are Gen Z. So I remember from last year there were a couple of fashion brands that went viral with their little videos on TikTok. And I think TikTok is going to grow. First of all, I think they’re planning on launching new features to compete with Instagram shopping and Facebook shopping. So there’ll be a lot of that. I feel like it links probably advertising, a lot of brand-sponsored content as well. I know they’re in the process of evolving and I really think it is going to actually make a huge difference. I’m very curious to see how it’s going to play.

Adrian Tennant: At Bigeye, we typically categorize social media influences by the number of people following their accounts. So mega influencers have 1 million or more followers, macro influencers are those with 100,000 up to 1 million followers. Micro influencers are those with 1,000 and up to 99,000 followers. And finally, nano influencers are those whose accounts typically have fewer than 1,000 followers. Now in our preliminary research data, we see that in addition to purchasing products based on influencers, consumers are sharing those purchases with their social networks. Ksenia, are we approaching the point of which everyone with a social media account is potentially a nano influencer?

Ksenia Newton: I think it’s a good one. You can be an influencer too, right? I think it’s very important. What makes nano influencers different from the rest is first of all, our attention span is nowhere close to what it used to be, right? And you only care about those, that you either know, or they could make a huge impact in your life. I think, for example, I follow a girl from my gym, right? She has just slightly over 4,000 followers on her Instagram, but because I’ve seen her in person, she’s not my friend, but I’ve seen her in person at the gym and then I found her account. I’m a lot more likely to actually pay attention to what she is advertising. So to your point, I do think that nano influencers are going to have a huge impact. And in fact, because their audience is so much more engaged than say, you might have a hundred, thousand followers, but if you look at Instagram, your photo might get maybe a hundred likes and that doesn’t even mean anything, because as we scroll through, we just click, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. So I think nano influences are going to become a lot more important just because their audience is very concentrated, a lot more engaged, they actually pay attention versus just scrolling endlessly mindlessly scrolling through. Yeah. So with my 1,517, I believe, on Instagram. If only I can figure out what the focus should be. I can be a nano influencer too!

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

Seth Segura: I’m Seth Segura, VP and Creative Director at Bigeye. Every week, IN CLEAR FOCUS addresses topics that impact our work as creative professionals. At Bigeye, we always put audiences first. For every engagement, we commit to really understanding our clients’ prospects and customers. Through our own primary research, we capture valuable data about people’s attitudes, behaviors, and motivations. These insights inform our strategy and guide our creative briefs. Clients see them brought to life in inspiring, imaginative brand-building and persuasive activation campaigns. If you’d like to put Bigeye’s audience-focused creative communications 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: How do you identify?

Voices: Female, male, gender fluid, cis-gender, genderqueer, non-binary, trans-feminine.

Adrian Tennant: Society is constantly changing and evolving. To understand how Americans feel about gender identity and expression, Bigeye undertook a national study involving over 2,000 adult consumers. Over half of those aged 18 to 39 believe that traditional binary labels of male and female are outdated and instead see gender as a spectrum. Our exclusive report, GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY, reveals how beliefs across different generations influences the purchase of toys, clothes, and consumer packaged goods. To download the full report, go to Bigeye.agency/gender.

Voices: Nonconforming, transgender, two-spirit, trans-masculine, gender fluid.

Adrian Tennant: GENDER: BEYOND THE BINARY.

Adrian Tennant: Welcome back. I’m talking with Ksenia Newton, marketing content specialist at Brandwatch. In our survey, we asked respondents how likely it is that certain scenarios will happen within this decade. Ksenia, it probably won’t surprise you to know that over one-half of gen Z respondents believe that by 2030, many retail stores will include studio space for customers to create their own videos and show product demonstrations as live streams. We’re also starting to see some beauty retailers set up like this, but do you think it could be the norm sooner than 2030?


Ksenia Newton: I’m really not surprised. Just a few days ago, I was in Madrid, and we went to a local store, I believe it was Burshka. And I saw a big LED ring light right there in the store, that would allow you to take beautiful selfies and model their clothing. And I saw people, definitely on the younger side, just try it on: jeans, jackets, spinning around, taking photos, maybe live streaming.  I wanted to stand behind and watch what they were doing, but I couldn’t. It’s not very ethical, I don’t think 2030 is the year. I think it’s already here and it’s not because it’s happening and I’m sure it’s happening a lot more than I’m aware of. It’s just, I don’t ever go and shop in stores. This is a very rare occasion. I’m more of an online person. but it’s already here and I’ve seen people do this, so it’s definitely here. We don’t need 20 years. It’s happening now.

Adrian Tennant: A trend we’re also seeing in our data is a greater interest in recycling and upcycling. Again, especially among the younger generation. In our survey, approaching one third of generation Z reported buying from a store specializing in pre-owned or vintage clothing in the past six months, with almost two in every five saying they bought pre-owned clothes or accessories from a thrift store. Ksenia, what do you think lies behind this? Is it a rejection of fast fashion or can fast fashion and thrifting co-exist?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, it’s a great question. Actually, something that I recently read from a Deloitte study and I saw in my data as well, because I am working on this new report right now, while gen Z and millennials were mostly concerned last year about their health and jobs, both generations remain deeply concerned about the environment still. So that’s one thing and also I think the pandemic has prompted many consumers to reassess something that I mentioned earlier as well, to reassess their lifestyle, and in particular, their shopping behavior as well. And I realized just how much garbage I started producing, right? I was shopping for groceries online. I realized that while everything came was delivered to me and perfectly packed boxes and plastic-wrapped and everything was perfectly fine, no damage done to the food, but at the same time, I realized just how much garbage it produces because I see this on a daily basis. So I think there is a new trend. People are reassessing how they shop. And I think fast fashion can coexist with secondhand shopping, but I also do think that a lot of people are reassessing really looking at it and into maybe when it comes to fashion specifically, maybe looking into better fabric, a more ethically produced fabric and something that they can wear over a longer period of time or to reuse the existing items. I do think it’s a new trend.

Adrian Tennant: The increase in spending on e-commerce during COVID-19 has been well-documented with almost every category benefiting from the fact that many consumers like yourself were under stay in place orders. Last year, Walmart captured 25 percent of the US e-commerce grocery market. And eMarketer predicts that Walmart will continue to outsell its main rival Amazon, at least in the grocery category. Ksenia, do you foresee e-commerce revenues in other categories remaining as strong if and or when people go back to shopping in real stores?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, it’s a great question. And I think consumers have gotten very used to the convenience of getting everything delivered, and going back to shopping may not be the same anymore, because a lot of the time people, even if they go to shop in stores, they actually do this kind of window shopping, right? They look at the product, they test it out, see how it feels, what it looks like, maybe how it smells, and then they go online and buy it for cheaper. So I think it’s a big problem actually for retailers. So I think e-com is going to grow big time. I don’t think it’s going to experience any slowdown whatsoever. And then I got a lot of trends, like I mentioned, the impulse buying, So it’s also there, there are things that I’m seeing right now in my data, such as different types of motivations on why people are shopping online. And that’s, sometimes you shop for something for an essential item, but sometimes you just shopping because you want to have something to look forward to. Or because you’re impulse buying. Where you need a quick dopamine fix. That’s something that I’ve been guilty of as well. So I think e-commerce revenues are going to grow for sure. So yeah, I look forward to seeing how that’s going to affect extra in-store experience and retailers as well.

Adrian Tennant: Well, you were in New York City during the lockdowns. From a personal perspective, how did your shopping behaviors change, if at all?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah. I’ve always been shopping online for the most part. But something that I mentioned already, if you have to go into the office, if you have to leave your house, you don’t necessarily see just how much garbage you’ve produced. So the fact that I was home 24/7, and everything that I’ve produced, I was able to actually see, I realized just how much garbage I started producing. From my experience, I guess the fact was that I started really looking at becoming a little bit more sustainable. And that includes buying, you know, reusable items like containers that I can just store food in, buying organically or ethically or produced food, or, not taking plastic bags and so on and so forth. That’s my perspective. I think my shopping behavior has been definitely shaped by the fact that I started seeing all these different things that I create. and now I’m trying to adjust them, whether it’s buying bottles that are reusable bottles for water or not taking plastic, whatever it is, or maybe not even buying something from a retailer or from a brand that I don’t think if their mission doesn’t really, align with my mission or my views or values. So that’s definitely been a trend in my personal life, 

Adrian Tennant: When we spoke a couple of weeks ago, you remarked that in New York City, you can order all of your essential items online and have them delivered, meaning that you never have to leave your apartment. What do you think retailers are going to need to do in order to entice shoppers like you, who’ve grown accustomed to convenience, back to physical stores for in-person shopping.

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, isn’t that a million-dollar question? I think it’s a great question. I do think the way I can be enticed into going back into the store is if maybe I was offered a special deal of some kind that’s not available online, right? Maybe there is a limited production of a particular product that’s only available in-store at a particular location within a short period of time. That creates that sense of urgency, right? That sense of exclusivity that you have to be there to be one of those people who got that exclusive deal. Maybe it’s creating this great, in-store shopping experience because online shopping is great, but it’s not for everyone, right? A lot of the time you kind of still want to have a feel of the product, the item you’re buying. So whether it’s clothing, you might want to have a good setup that you can see yourself from all different angles, or whether it’s food or furniture, whatever that is, maybe providing some additional services. I think retailers will have to work hard on actually getting their customer base back in real stores. But then again, I think it all depends on the generation. So I’m a millennial. I shop online, but not everybody shops online, so hopefully, retailers can find their audience and maybe build up on them.

Adrian Tennant:  For a report Brandwatch published on customer loyalty, you collaborated with Global Web Index, a syndicated research provider, and full disclosure here, Bigeye is a client of GWI. What did that collaboration look like? How did you use the GWI data?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, sure. We approached them about the report we were working on. And actually, GWI was very open about collaborating and combining our datasets. So they provided the data we needed alongside the social data we collected, using our platform so we could compare and contrast. I think they worked out very well, because we’re able to compare social data that we have as well as the survey data to represent everyone. That report is actually very successful. We had a lot of great feedback. 

Adrian Tennant: In that study, what factors emerged as key drivers of customer loyalty and what are some of the implications for retailers and brands?

Ksenia Newton: So the three main factors that emerged in the study were price or value for money as well as quality and delivery. And it’s something that really defines whether consumers are going to become loyal or whether they’re going to detract from the brands. So, especially, I think when it comes to delivery again, we’ve gotten so used to the convenience of having a delivery in place that customers can turn away. The customers will praise you for giving them options, whether it’s a curbside pickup or delivery, or any other type of option, but they will also go online and complain if you don’t deliver it according to their expectations. So the implications there would be as we got stuck at home for so long, our expectations started growing in terms of what e-commerce and retail brands should be delivering. So I think the implication here is e-commerce and retail brands should really work hard and kind of addressing these three key areas, whether it’s price, value for money, delivery or quality of products to kind of stay afloat and develop their loyal base because loyalty is really hard to win and consumers have become a lot more, and I know it’s a cliche, digitally savvy. We’ve been digitally savvy for a very long time, but because we’ve been stuck at home for so long, a lot more people became aware where they can buy certain products, how they can buy them, which retailers offer a particular product at a lower price, and what retailer will give them a better deal or a better delivery or convenient to you. So I think, again, branded companies need to work really hard on addressing these three key areas to deliver on the expectations that consumers have. 

Adrian Tennant: Of course it’s that time of year when, as consumers, the holidays are starting to come into view. Ksenia, do you have any predictions you can share about what this year’s holiday season shopping will look like?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, actually, great question. As you remember, last year, there were shortages everywhere. Right? A lot of people didn’t get their orders in time, not only in time, but it took months to get, whether it’s holiday or not people were ordering furniture, mid-Summer, and they just started getting their furniture maybe seven months later. So when I started noticing my data right now, as I’m working on this new report, a lot of people are trying to make sure that their orders are delivered on time. So they’re already looking for presents around for holidays. a lot of people were actually mentioned pre-order in their conversations. It’s something that I think everybody is trying to get their presence on time to make sure they don’t have any sticky situations. So I think that presents a really good opportunity for retailers, e-commerce, brands to maybe start testing different offers online, whether it’s trying to test different offer or different products. You’re just going to see what works, test it out right now. So then by the time the holiday season comes here, the right offer is in place and they can secure those sales. So the holiday shopping is not going to stop. The holiday shopping is here. I think the last year people held onto to their disposable income, not knowing what’s going to happen. But now that we’ve lived through this pandemic for this long, it has been 18 months, I think we settled, and people are willing to spend, and I can see this in the social data. People are out looking for products, they’re willing to spend. but they do a lot more research. So I think that presents a great opportunity again, for retailers and eCommerce companies to do a little research, understand what their consumers are looking for and push those deals to test the different offers and start getting them early on. Yeah, but I think this holiday season is going to be big for e-commerce.

Adrian Tennant: Ksenia, a significant part of your role is taking social and other types of data and creating stories around them that convey key insights from the data. Could you walk us through your typical process for ensuring that data stories get the points across most effectively for their intended audiences?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, absolutely. And I think a really good example to that would be what I mentioned earlier about motivations. So for example, right now I’m looking into why consumers are doing impulse shopping. So not only when I go about my research process, not only I look for what’s happening, I’m also looking into why it’s happening. So there’s a number of different motivations to why consumers are doing impulse shopping. So when I personally read reports, as a reader, when I read reports, I’m always looking for that why. What’s the why behind this? So what, and what’s the why. And I think that’s the approach that I’m trying to follow with creating these reports: not only identify what the trend is, but understand what’s behind that trend to give us just a little bit more information, to our readers. What the behavior is like, what’s causing that behavior and maybe what they can do from there. So yeah, the typical day would be really looking into social data, trying to understand what the trend looks like, what are the conversations about, where’s it being used in describing certain trends, but also understanding who is saying what? Because we are able to look at the different demographic data. We can actually split our data in terms of generations. So it’s also very interesting to look at what millennials are saying and what gen Z is saying and how they’re viewing their experiences as well as everybody else. Does that answer your question?

Adrian Tennant: Yeah. It’s interesting the way you describe it. It’s a mix of quantitative and qualitative research all bundled into one, which is unusual. And then we’re used to doing mixed methods research where we might typically start off with a qualitative focus group. To understand the issues and then design a quantitative survey based on those insights to validate at scale. Here you’re dealing quite a lot with historic data, as you say, and what people are talking about online. How do you keep that quantitative and qualitative mindset in play? 

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, it’s a great question. So we have social panels, it’s one of our features in Brandwatch Consumer Research. You can think of it as a focus group, because you can create your own demographics. So you can actually set up the generation that you want to look at. You can put age, you can look for certain criteria, for example, what people say they do. For example, if you only want to look at people who say, people who are in the medical field. So for example, right now, as part of my research, I’m looking into the impact of COVID-19 on medical professionals and the healthcare field. And I’m specifically looking for conversations where people either say, in their bio on Twitter, for example, I’m a doctor, I’m a healthcare professional. Or they say these in conversations: I used to be a doctor and so on and so forth. So in this way you can do this and you don’t even have to get anyone involved because that conversation is already available. Those insights are already available online. We just have to use the right criteria, the right filters to set this up. and Voila! You have all the data available in real-time. I would say, this is a good combination. You can look at the data using just Brandwatch Consumer Research. Look at the numbers behind, look at the mentioned volume, look at the number of how, many mentions of X, Y, and Z word, happened in, maybe earlier this year, but then you can also look at a specific population, whether it’s medical professionals with students or people who said they prefer to impulse buy, and just create the overall understanding about that particular group or that particular population. So I think that’s a good combination. I really like using social panels, especially when I have to look at a very specific subset of the population trying to understand how they feel about a particular aspect or area or product, or service.

Adrian Tennant: Great. Ksenia, if IN CLEAR FOCUS listeners would like to learn more about you, where can they find you?

Ksenia Newton: Absolutely. You’re welcome to find me on LinkedIn, Ksenia Newton. I think I’m the only one. There might be another person, but should be at the top of the search. You can also follow me on Twitter even though I’m not as active. You’d be surprised, but I usually listen. I rarely comment, but I’m going to be there all day long just to listen, read the conversation, understand and follow, but I never really tweet, but yeah. Feel free to follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter, or you can also shoot me an email. If you have a specific question, I’m happy to respond and it’s knewton@brandwatch.com.

Adrian Tennant: And if people are interested in learning more about Brandwatch, where should they go?

Ksenia Newton: Yeah, you guys are welcome to visit our website at www.brandwatch.com. Feel free to check out our blog. We have a lot of interesting insights and we just published our emoji report, which is phenomenal. So it’s brandwatch.com/blog, or also we have a whole resource section that’s free. You don’t need to subscribe, just visit our website. You can read all sorts of reports, trends, blogs, posts, and really have that understanding.

Adrian Tennant: Ksenia, thank you very much for being our guest this week on IN CLEAR FOCUS!

Ksenia Newton: Thank you for having me.

Adrian Tennant: Coming up next time on IN CLEAR FOCUS:

Chantal Schmelz: I go wherever people ask for any kind of change. So I’m, I’m really like, I’m loving the process of enabling people to love change and not be frightened about it.

Adrian Tennant: That’s an interview with Chantal Schmelz, creative facilitator and an expert in using the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® Method. That’s next week on IN CLEAR FOCUS. Thanks to my guest this week, Ksenia Newton, marketing content specialist at Brandwatch. You’ll find a transcript with links to the resources we discussed today on the IN CLEAR FOCUS page at Bigeyeagency.com. If you enjoyed this episode, please consider following us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, YouTube, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Thank you for listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, produced by Bigeye. I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Until next week, goodbye.

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Learn everything you wanted to know about what makes Austin, Texas weird from the people that call it home. Download our Austin, TX research report to review all of the details.

Introduction

The capital city of Texas, Austin is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the seat of Travis County.  Located nearly in the center of the state, Austin is about three hours south of Dallas; three hours west of Houston; and about 90 minutes north of San Antonio.

Experiencing a population growth of 34.1% between 2007 and 2017, the Austin region is one of the fastest-growing in the country  Austin has been the fastest-growing major metro in the country for nine straight years, from 2010 to 2019. The metro population jumped to an estimated 2.2 million people as of July 1, 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. That is an increase of 2.8% from the prior year, bigger than any other metro with at least 1 million residents. That’s 169 people added every day, on average.

With a vibrant, well-educated, and youthful population of 2.2 million in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), the median age in Austin is 34.7 years. Of Austin’s population aged over 25, 44.8% have a Bachelor’s Degree. Leading the US in tech salary growth, it’s the number four city tech workers would consider moving to.

Austin’s laid-back, take-it-or-leave-it kind of attitude matches well with its fun and “weird” culture, celebrated on bumper stickers and T-shirts with the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird.”

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“Everyone is welcome and has a place somewhere here. And it just makes it such a unique place because you just never know who you’re gonna meet or what experience you’re going to have just ‘cause there’s so many different things.”

Jamie E, 38

Austin Neighborhoods

  • Downtown Austin is popular with younger residents with middle to upper household incomes. These Austinites love the convenience of being just blocks from shopping on Congress Avenue, live music venues on 6th Street, and even some great parks, hiking, and biking along the Colorado River. 
  • Across the Colorado River from Downtown Austin sits South Austin, where young, artsy types congregate. Barton Heights offers great family areas, while Travis Heights and Bouldin Creek attract mainly hip, liberal Austinites.
  • North and Northwest Austin include Round Rock, Cedar Park, and Leander, which attract a lot of families. The Leander is an award-winning school district, and Apple and Dell have large operations in the area. North Austin also has some great luxury apartments. These fast-growing Austin neighborhoods are popular with families.
  • West Austin has some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city, such as Westlake Hills and Steiner Ranch. The commute into town is a bit longer than in other areas of Austin, but residents are closer to Lake Travis and the great outdoors. Neighborhoods Oak Hill and Circle C Ranch are further south.
  • Although East Austin used to be considered the poorest part of the city, the area is now mostly a hipster neighborhood with many sleek, modern developments. 
  • Southeast Austin is home to a lot of University of Texas students, likely because of the large numbers of apartments and other rental properties in the area.

“I am in a tiny house in East Austin. With three dogs – I have two Huskies and a mix. You’d be surprised the people who to live in the tiny houses where I’m at.”

Shelly S, 42
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Doing Business in Austin

The Austin region offers businesses deep talent, education, quality healthcare, telecommunications, and a modern, international airport.  The major employers include: Amazon, AMD, Apple, Charles Schwab, Dell, General Motors, IBM, Intel, National Instruments, Samsung, Tesla, VISA, and Whole Foods.

Key Industries include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean Technology
  • Creative & Digital Media Technology
  • Data Management
  • Financial Services and Insurance
  • Life Sciences
  • Space Technology

The growth isn’t slowing down any time soon. The new Tesla Gigafactory, set to be located in eastern Travis County, will be one of the world’s largest and most advanced automotive plants and will bring an estimated $1 billion in capital investment to the region.

In addition to being home to tech giants, Austin has a thriving startup scene. Austin area startups attracted $2.2 billion across 263 venture deals in 2019. Startups account for a larger share of businesses in Austin than in nearly all major US metros and Austin ranks 6th for new businesses per 1,000 population.

“A couple of my friends work at Google and Facebook and they’re always saying so many people are moving in. I would say those apartment complexes are definitely to cater to people like that. Cause it’s like the new hub.”

Madison P, 28

The Cost of Living in Austin

Texas consistently ranks as one of the nation’s most favorable business climates based on its low tax burden and competitive regulatory environment. Texas features no personal or corporate income tax, and overall the state has one of the lowest state and local tax burdens in the US.

According to Austin’s Chamber of Commerce, the cost of living is 2% lower than the national average.

Austin Apartment Costs

Renters will generally find more expensive prices in Austin than most similar cities. The median two-bedroom rent of $1,450 is above the national average of $1,193. The city’s median one-bedroom rent is $1,175. While rents in Austin fell moderately over the past year (-0.6%), many cities nationwide saw slight increases (+0.2%). 

According to RENTCafé, these 5 Austin neighborhoods offer a good selection of rental apartments, unique dining, shopping, atmosphere, walkability, and a sense of community:

  • Downtown Austin (average rent $2,200/mo)
  • Central Austin ($2,100/mo)
  • Clarksville, between downtown and the MoPac Expressway ($2,100/mo)
  • Zilker, South Austin ($1,400/mo)
  • Travis Heights, South Austin ($1,400/mo)

What Austin Renters Want

No two renters are the same but many Austin renters are consistently seeking features and amenities. Here are the top things tenants report looking for in a property: 

  • Convenient Location – People want to live, work, and play in a geographically convenient circle. If your multifamily property is located near the University of Texas, show how it’s a convenient walk to campus to appeal to professors, graduate students, and staff. Similarly, if you have property near the new Apple campus, play up this proximity and go after Apple employees.
  • Pet-Friendly – The American Veterinary Association estimates that 50 percent of renters have pets and that 3 out of 10 renters without pets would have pets if their landlords allowed it. Allowing pets in your multifamily property opens up your prospective pool of renters and provides you with a competitive edge.
  • Key Appliances – Renters are on the lookout for properties that have garbage disposals, washers and dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves. In higher-end rentals targeted at tech industry workers, potential residents may expect smart thermostats and TVs.
  • Connectivity – Wireless connectivity is extremely important to renters. Ninety-one percent of renters say reliable cell reception is important, and 44 percent say they won’t rent without reliable cell service.
  • Outdoor Living – One of the bigger benefits of living in Austin is the ability to enjoy warm water all year round. Tenants respond positively to multifamily properties that offer outdoor living space such as balconies, patios, or decks.
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Arts, Recreation, and Entertainment

The city’s official slogan promotes Austin as “The Live Music Capital of the World”, a reference to the city’s many musicians and live music venues. It’s also home to events like Austin City Limits and SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive.

Instead of the flat terrain common to most of the state, visitors are greeted with stunning vistas, rolling hills, and wildflowers. Austin’s natural setting, in one of America’s most unique landscapes, offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors for fitness, recreation, and relaxation.

Austin has a reputation as one of the nation’s fittest cities, since there’s plenty to do outside to stay fit and enjoy an active lifestyle in the area’s mostly temperate climate. 

Ask any Austinite about their favorite sport and you’ll hear about everything from football to roller derby to cycling to kayaking. Austin is also home to many sports teams including:

  • Austin Spurs: NBA D-League Basketball Team
  • Round Rock Express: AAA Baseball Team
  • Texas Stars: AHL Ice Hockey Team
  • Texas Longhorns: Big 12 Conference College Sports
  • Austin FC (2021): Major League Soccer
  • Austin Bold: United Soccer League
  • Circuit of the Americas: Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, INDYCAR Challenge, MotoGP
  • Austin Herd: Major League Rugby

“The music scene is one of the things that was appealing to my husband and me when we moved here. Austin is the live music capital of the world. Every single weekend there is live music from local folks and from up and coming artists from around the country. And it is every type of genre that you can think of – from rap to alternative to bluegrass country. It is really culturally diverse.”

Theresa M, 39
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Read the full research report: Austin, TX research. We interviewed Austin, Texas residents to find out why they live there what makes their city special. Stay tuned for more city research.

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Audience Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Uncategorized

Biometric research can help measure and evoke responses from customers. See how a market research company helps you understand customers with biometrics.

Biometrics refers to measurements and calculations of human features and behaviors. Most people still associate commercial biometrics with security, like thumbprint and facial recognition readers. Yet marketers already use this technology not only to measure reactions in labs but even to evoke them at home or out on the street. Find out how a market research agency might suggest incorporating biometric research into the data that can help drive successful, data-driven marketing.

How businesses use biometric research for marketing

To demonstrate how a quantitative and qualitative market research agency might use biometrics to improve marketing, Bloomberg highlighted the example of Expedia. Their market research company invites actual customers into their lab with the enticement of a gift card and a chance to help improve their experience with a service they already use.

Inside the lab, a young woman checked flights and hotels for a trip she had already planned with her family. While she used the website as she normally would at home, a researcher watched her through a two-way mirror, eye-trackers tracked where she looked, and sensors monitored facial muscles that would detect any trace of a smile or frown. After the experience, the subject also filled out a survey to help enhance the researcher’s understanding of the experience.

Expedia stored this information along with data from other research subjects, so they could use it to better understand users and, in turn, keep improving the customer experience. As a travel company, they understand that emotion drives vacation planning. They also know they need to discover the feelings of trip planners better in order to design an experience that can compete with online rivals.

Note that Expedia has not just survived but remained competitive since 1996. Unlike so many rivals, they survived the tech bubble in the early 2000s. While they haven’t always executed every business move perfectly, the company credits at least some of their success to a constant drive to understand the motivations of their customers. Their leadership in biometrics offers one good example.

Using biometric tech to test products and designs

Besides facial recognition, some technology can also measure galvanic skin response, often called GSR, or simply “sweat response”. GSR measures the state of arousal and requires sensors applied to the skin, so it’s usually done in a lab.

According to the National University of Singapore, marketers employ GSR in several research applications for product or website design. Even though this tech can measure arousal, it can’t say if the reaction comes from a positive or negative response, so it’s best combined with other methods, such as surveys or facial recognition.

How biometrics research can assist customer-facing marketing

For a different take on using biometrics for marketing, Trend Hunter descended into a subway to report on the example of Coca-Cola’s Coke-Moji displays. The marketing research agency for Coca-Cola was not so much interested in gathering quantitative data from biometrics, but in using it as a tool to engage consumers. Just as on the internet, subway users can develop ad-blindness because of the daily barrage of consumer marketing they see in the station and on the trains.

The display showed people who passed by an emoji shaped like a bottle cap. Sensors read facial expressions, and then the emoji playfully duplicated them. The device worked to engage people and, perhaps, even brighten their mood a bit.

Walmart is also using facial recognition technology in a more subtle way to help improve customer experiences. They’re developing a system that will use sensors at the checkout counter to detect dissatisfaction and then alert employees to offer assistance. They also plan to keep this information to correlate mood with purchasing behavior. Walmart hopes this data can help them find and resolve pain points in order to improve revenues.

Why work with a market research agency to employ biometrics?

The world’s largest and most successful companies know they need to understand their customers better in order to engage and serve them. Combining data from biometrics sensors with subjective experiences from consumers can help them achieve this understanding. A quantitative and qualitative marketing research agency can work to help their clients employ the right combination of research tools to help their customers achieve this goal.

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Audience Qualitative Research Uncategorized

For qualitative research companies, market research online communities provide an efficient, flexible, and robust tool for generating consumer insights.

These days, people connect online with each other and with the companies that they patronize. That’s one reason why a qualitative marketing research agency may suggest using online communities to gain a deep understanding of customers.

Market research online communities only came into being about a decade ago, pioneered by the UK’s Further, which describes itself as a Human Insights company. Further’s team saw the potential of emergent Web 2.0 technology to conduct qualitative research online. Despite the relative newness of using these online research groups, they’ve rapidly gained importance as a way to help data-driven companies better understand their market.

What are market research online communities?

Sometimes called “MROCs” or “insight communities”, marketers might compare market research online communities to traditional focus groups. Instead of gathering the group together in a room, qualitative research companies gather their groups entirely online. Group organizers pick participants that fit some criteria, like demographics that fit a buyer persona, general interests, or specific experiences. But unlike a traditional focus group, where all participants are physically present at the same time, MROCs enable participants to log in and out of the community whenever it is convenient for them to do so. The asynchronous nature of MROCs enables participants from different parts of the country – or different parts of the world – to engage in qualitative research studies.

When they join the community, these participants may perform various tasks. Some examples include surveys, discussions, brainstorms, and even games. Each of these activities helps the researchers gather the information that marketers can use to improve test theories, answer questions, or further define their market. While this article mostly discusses these online groups for insight-driven qualitative marketing research, scholars also use them to gather information for studies.

Three common kinds of MROCs

This list briefly explains the three common kinds of MROCs:

  • Short-term: These communities only last from a few days to a few months and can yield quick insights with a modest budget. Typically, researchers have tightly focused goals and engage with up to 60 participants.
  • Pop-up: Sometimes also called “on-off communities”, researchers will summon these groups as the need arises. They generally use from 50 to 250 participants. A qualitative marketing research agency may suggest a pop-up community when they have a limited budget and few questions but want to keep options open for more research in the future.
  • Continuous: Researchers keep a long-term or even permanent community open when they see a consistent need for answers and have the budget to support it. These may require up to 5,000 participants and a dedicated team of staff to manage and moderate.

Benefits of MROCs for qualitative user research

Successful advertising, marketing, and even product development depend upon high-quality marketing research. Marketers find that running online communities lets them make efficient use of their research budget because they’re:

  • Cost- and time-effective: Online research platforms can provide the tools to affordably and easily manage all kinds of groups, engaging with participants in multiple timezones, and including feedback from people who find it difficult or impossible to travel to attend a traditional, in-person focus group. 
  • Flexible: Researchers can determine how long to run the group, how many participants to include, and the kinds of activities to use for information gathering. While some businesses benefit from running continuous online communities, others can meet their goals rapidly.
  • Robust: Platforms for conducting MROCs have a lot of the same features that online forums and social networks offer. In fact, some businesses even use groups in existing social networks, though purpose-designed platforms can provide tools that make tracking and managing participants easier. In either case, it’s possible to host discussions, conduct polls, and even post pictures and videos.
  • Profitable: Having a way to gather high-quality information also helps businesses maximize returns from other marketing activities. For instance, they can learn how to target ads or which features to include in their product design.

Market researchers can trust the overall quality of the information they receive from these online groups. It’s easy to segment participants in real-time, based on their comments or demographics, and to tag verbatim quotes for qualitative analysis. Some people may perfectly fit the target but feel reticent about expressing their opinion in a room full of others. In-person focus groups generally have to stick to a tight schedule; however, online communities can allow more flexibility.

With the relatively anonymous nature of sitting behind a keyboard, participants often feel more relaxed about speaking up. Because they can log in online, respondents also have the luxury of chiming in when the existing discussion has helped them frame their thoughts. Sometimes, researchers even add an element of gamification or social engagement to the mix to help encourage participation.

Why online communities make sense

These days, consumers compare, shop, and even socialize online. It only makes sense to include marketing research online communities in every toolbox of marketing research techniques. When compared to more traditional forms of surveying the target audience, they also provide a robust solution that can help spare budgets and improve bottom lines.

BONUS: Listen to Stephen Cribbett and Terri Sorenson from Further discuss the benefits of qualitative marketing research online communities with Bigeye’s VP of Insights on our podcast, IN CLEAR FOCUS.

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Audience Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

You can split marketing research techniques into two basic types — quantitative and qualitative research. Read on to learn the differences between the two.

Quantitative research relies upon objective numbers, statistics, and hard facts. In contrast, qualitative user research seeks to explore more subjective questions, such as feelings and motivations. Your deep understanding of the difference between these two kinds of marketing research will help inform decisions that you make about investing in the information your company needs to thrive.

Quantitative and qualitative user research examples

To better understand the difference between these two disciplines, consider some simple examples of quantitative and qualitative marketing research:

Quantitative Marketing Research

You can gather broad insights about customer behavior using quantitative marketing research. For example, let’s say that your website currently sells high-quality, coffee-making supplies. Some examples might include coffee makers, filters, and so on. You have a good base of loyal patrons, so you think about adding high-end coffee beans to your online shop in order to increase revenue.

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How can you decide if your customers will want to buy coffee from you? Often, marketers use surveys to gather quantitative data. Your survey could ask your current customers how often they buy coffee online. Very often, you will give users a choice of a few ranges to make the information easier to collate or graph.

So you might begin by asking them if they buy coffee online:

  • Never
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • A couple of times a year

You may find that 50-percent of your current customers already buy coffee online at least once a month. That could encourage you to consider offering coffee subscriptions to satisfy your customers and of course, generate more revenue.

Qualitative Marketing Research

The research above helped you discover that your customer base is already open to the idea of buying coffee online. That’s good news, but you still don’t know for certain that you can motivate them to start buying their coffee from you. For that, you can turn to qualitative user research.

These are some qualitative marketing research tools you could employ:

  • You can still use surveys but ask more open-ended questions. Instead of asking multiple-choice questions, you might ask your customers where they buy coffee now, why they like that retailer, and what might encourage them to switch.
  • Other qualitative marketing research techniques include focus groups and interviews. Surveys are easier, but the brainstorming aspect of focus groups and interviews can help you uncover surprising insights that you may miss if you simply didn’t know to put the right questions on your survey.

Should you rely upon quantitative or qualitative marketing research?

Do you need quantitative or qualitative data to better understand your marketplace? Experienced marketers will generally suggest gathering both kinds of information in order to gain deep insights about any aspect of a business:

  • Quantitative information can give you a big-picture overview of customer behavior. You may also find it easy to gather numbers with surveys or even your own website’s analytics. Generally, you can rapidly plot or analyze these numbers to make them easy to understand.  It’s easy to say how much time average visitors spend on your website, how many prospects abandon shopping carts, or how often customers buy coffee. At the same time, quantitative data is better at describing behavior than motivation.
  • Since you won’t gather such neat, ordered answers as you would with multiple-choice, quantitative questions, it may take more time to organize qualitative answers into meaningful trends. Still, the more flexible and subjective nature of qualitative research can uncover surprising insights into consumer preferences and motivations. Your research group may answer questions you didn’t even think to ask. Also, you can find tools to help you analyze unstructured data. For instance, some software can pick out common and related words or phrases and arrange them into comprehensible diagrams.

Finding good quantitative and qualitative research companies

Of course, you might not believe you have the time or background to properly design and conduct market research all by yourself. You can work with quantitative or qualitative research companies. A good research firm should have the experience and training to provide the answers to your marketing questions. Right at the beginning, they should learn enough about your business concerns to help you decide if you should focus upon quantitative research, qualitative research, or a combination of both.

According to CFR, a market research company, you need to take care when asking for advice from some companies before engaging them to do your research. In the real world, many researchers have more experience with one discipline over the other. Naturally, that experience can give them an unconscious bias. On the other hand, you can certainly find a quantitative and qualitative marketing research agency with experience in both types of research and just as importance, the skill to blend them for the best results.

Why market research matters

You know that a stronger understanding of consumers will give you the chance to serve them better. In turn, that good relationship will help you retain loyal customers and attract new ones. The insights you gain can help inform your website design, the products you offer, and the kind of advertisements you run.  Before you plan your research, you need to decide if you should rely upon quantitative, qualitative, or a mix of the two. If you seek help from a marketing research company, make certain that they have experience to handle them both.

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Adaptable Creative Creative & Production Marketing/Business Qualitative Research

It’s time for a more data-driven approach, so let display advertising services take the wheel of your marketing strategy.

Here’s an astonishing statistic: CMOs spend 20% of their budgets on creative, yet 71% of them don’t believe creative actually drives results. It’s a statistic that points to a much larger crisis of confidence within the marketing realm.
So how are brands that are unwilling to accept this state of affairs responding? By taking a more numbers-based, scientific approach to marketing through display advertising services.

How Pier 1 automated its marketing messaging

The creative process in marketing is largely unchanged from its early history. People use a mélange of assumptions, guesswork and qualitative data to inform their creative approach. It’s art and science – a mix of intuition and information. Sometimes this approach works, but more often it results in work that’s too broad or somewhat misaligned with the audience.

In recent years, however, new data tools have been developed that allow for the creative process to be guided by fact rather than supposition. Today’s machines can analyze robust data sets with extreme precision, uncovering actionable insights and learning as they go.

Pier 1 offers an interesting example of this trend toward data-driven marketing. The company partnered with Persado to optimize the language used across customer marketing content. The technology involved in the campaign has the ability to alter the language seen in display ads in accordance with an individual consumer’s preferences.

Using the Persado platform & display advertising services, Pier 1 was able to compare customer engagement and response levels for various sponsored ads, each with different photos, captions, hashtags and headlines. The impact of each ad and its constituent elements is measured in real time to see how well or how poorly they resonate with customers.

In essence, the technology is a sophisticated form of A/B testing that includes a machine-learning component that composes new marketing messages guided by real-time feedback. All of it is based on linguistic science. The underlying technology analyzes millions of language variations to create an optimal message. The natural language processing algorithm used by Persado is designed to understand a brand’s specific voice and replicate it across all channels.

Why a data-guided approach is smarter

Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages. If they deign to give you their attention, you can be certain that concession will be almost instantly revoked if the message they are experiencing isn’t immediately compelling. Because of this, presentation is critical.

Data-focused tools such as the algorithm deployed by Persado & proper display advertising services can play a critical role in helping brands quantify audience response to messages. These tools play an equally important role in helping brands optimize their messages by incorporating this feedback and making informed adjustments in real time.

That doesn’t mean that marketing is now purely a science. As far as machine learning has come, it remains limited in many key respects. The optimal approach for most brands involves working with an agency that integrates data-based tools and human insight into one holistic marketing framework.

Partnering with the right consumer insight agency

Our display advertising team believes a data-forward marketing agency is your best bet for understanding and connecting with the right audiences. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn how we create modern campaigns that are rooted in human insight and executed with advanced digital tools.

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Audience Branding Consumer Insights Creative & Production Identity Marketing/Business Media & Analytics Media Planning and Buying Public Relations Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Website Development

If you’re a small to mid-sized business owner, you almost certainly don’t have enough time in the day to get everything finished to your satisfaction. Often, the day-to-day operational demands that come with running a business make it difficult to focus on the broader strategic picture — something that is essential for growth.

In order to create a truly high-performance enterprise, it’s sometimes necessary to contract with outside agencies for help with key creative and technical tasks. By working with a trusted agency, business owners don’t have to work outside the limits of their own expertise and have more time to focus on their own high-value tasks.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important services offered by today’s top creative agencies.

Marketing research

In order to validate their hypotheses, marketers need to collect hard data, and this comes in form of data collected by a marketing research agency. This research may occur through focus groups and brand awareness studies.

Many brands partner with a marketing research agency to help complete these tasks and conduct primary market research. By working with a consumer insight agency or focus group research company, brands can gather the kind of data that helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of their products and services, while also better understanding their target market.

Additionally, a usability testing company can help a company determine how an intended audience interfaces with a product or service, while Florida research companies specializing in market data can assist with consumer profile services and qualitative research services. This gives their clients a broader picture of who their audience is, and how those audiences are responding to products, services and marketing campaigns.

Creative services

Creative work is the heart of effective marketing and branding. Whether it’s print advertising, sales materials design, collateral design or annual report design, creative work is the conduit through which audiences and brands connect.

Most small to mid-sized businesses don’t have the budget or expertise to deploy an in-house creative team. That’s not an insurmountable hurdle, however; by contracting with a copywriting company, outdoor marketing agency, tradeshow display company or packaging design agency, brands can realize their creative vision and better connect with their customers.

Digital marketing

We’ve reached a point where the terms “marketing” and “digital marketing” are almost interchangeable. Most of us live, work, communicate and play online — which means that businesses need to do their utmost to connect with people in the digital realm.

This is accomplished by the following techniques such as email and content marketing and various forms of pay-per-click marketing services or display advertising services. By working with a digital marketing consultant, a content marketing agency or an email marketing agency, brands can help ensure that they reap the rewards of a digital approach.

A new and critically important trend is voice technology. Given the staggering adoption numbers for smart speakers and digital assistants, forward-thinking brands should also consider pursuing voice development services from an Alexa app company or a top Florida digital marketing company.

Strategy

Great marketing campaigns all begin with a smart, overarching strategy. This strategy should encompass everything a business does in terms of marketing creation and distribution, including various content types and channels.

Marketing data analysis conducted by a marketing strategy agency can play a key role in this process, as it provides a sound foundation on which to build campaigns and test assumptions. Businesses may also wish to focus on more niche areas by employing an audience segmentation consultant or social media strategy company, both of which can play an integral role in helping brands identify and engage with ideal audiences for their products and services.

Today, a comprehensive marketing strategy must cover a wide variety of channels, reflecting the nature of how audiences live, work and consume content today. This means that working with a multi-channel marketing company that specializes in this kind of approach is often a smart idea.

Media buying

When it comes to good marketing, distribution is just as important as creation. You can have the most compelling campaign in the world, but if nobody sees it, what good does it do?

That’s where media buying enters the equation. The right media strategy services or media planning agency can help ensure that your marketing content gains maximum exposure through every relevant channel, including print and TV.

Digital, too, is an important piece of the media puzzle. A digital media buying agency that specializes in this channel can help ensure your campaign gains traction, while an attribution modeling company can provide you with measurable data that confirms whether or not particular marketing or advertising approach is effective.

In today’s changing world, it’s also important to ensure that your media campaigns reflect the viewpoints of all consumers, which means that it makes sense to work with a multicultural marketing agency that has the perspective to connect with all audiences.

Web development services

Maintaining fully-functional websites with smooth and intuitive user experiences should be a key priority for just about any business. Websites serve as the public face of a business and also often play an important role in generating revenue. If a business can’t be trusted to offer the public a professional and reliable website, prospective customers may wonder about the quality of the products and services they will receive.

However, not every business is equipped to maintain a reliable, user-friendly digital presence. In such cases, it makes sense to partner with a web design company or website development company that can handle every aspect of creating and maintaining digital properties. Additionally, a good content management company can help ensure that businesses place high in organic search rankings by following the principles of search engine optimization and content marketing.

Continuity is also critically important, as downtime can result in lost revenue and angry customers. An Orlando web development firm offering website maintenance services can help local businesses ensure that their digital properties suffer from minimal technical interruptions.

By partnering with top Florida web design consultants, local businesses can ensure that their online presence serves the needs of their customers, while also attracting new business thanks to the compelling design and reliable functionality.

Branding

In order to be successful in a highly competitive landscape, businesses need a way to differentiate their products and services — and that’s where the art of branding comes into the picture. Branding agency services and brand naming services help companies establish compelling brands by developing product names, packaging, and other key design elements. For example, a business may choose to hire a logo design company as part of its overall branding strategy.

A brand story agency can also help businesses create a compelling brand narrative, one that communicates the values and vision of an enterprise to its audience. Brand messaging services can also help a company convey their value proposition to consumers while communicating a message that inspires, intrigues and motivates potential customers.

Branding, when done properly, should inform how a business communicates on every level. Hiring a brand strategy firm, or devising a brand style guide, can help brands ensure that their public-facing content maintains a consistent brand voice. Meanwhile, the practice of brand positioning defines precisely how the products and services a business sells differ from that of its competitors.

When looking at creating a new branding approach from the ground up, companies will often seek out the help of a brand strategy firm. These are full-service agencies that can help with all aspects of a new branding program, or the rebrand of an existing company, product or service.

Video production and marketing

Roughly a decade ago, businesses were in scramble mode to accommodate society’s shift to mobile devices. Within a very short period of time, the smartphone and tablet transformed with the way people live, work and consume content. Today, we’re experiencing another major shift, this time centered around video.

Because people (particularly younger demographics) prefer consuming video over other formats, the creation of marketing and promotional videos has become an essential marketing service.  By partnering with a video production company or video editing company, brands can reach new audiences and deliver the type of compelling content that leads to successful marketing campaigns.

Social media platforms, of course, are a powerful distribution channel for video content. By working with a social media video company, brands can leverage the expertise of these agencies and greatly increase the reach and engagement of their video-focused social campaigns.

For businesses seeking top video production, Florida is an ideal place to be located. Along with sunny weather and beautiful scenery, Florida is home to some of the world’s best creative agencies. This means that brands in the market for a corporate video production company to lead their latest campaign are perfectly situated.

Social marketing

Social media marketing services are one of the fastest-growing agency marketing offerings. That’s for good reason: The reach and power of social media are greater than ever, and social media advertising services are subsequently in high demand.

Yet while the right social strategy can pay enormous dividends, many businesses simply lack the experience and expertise to execute a high-level social media marketing campaign. In such cases, these businesses should strongly consider working with a social content agency or social media management company.

These agencies have the specialist skill to create high-performance social marketing campaigns that gain serious engagement among users. Social media can be a powerful (and cost-effective) amplifier for a brand. Yet without the right strategy, even the best content will be ignored.

To ensure that all company social media services are on point, businesses without an internal team of experts should strongly consider working with an agency, one well-versed in search optimization and audience-building techniques.

Influencer marketing

One only has to glance at Instagram today to see the power of influencer marketing in action. Social media influencers and brands have formed a symbiotic and mutually profitable relationship, as popular platform users use their followings and personal brands to highlight sponsored brand products.

Yet cracking the code of this emerging world of influencers isn’t always easy for established brands, many of which lack social media expertise. An influencer marketing agency (sometimes called an “influencer management agency” can help fill this shortcoming by pairing brands with the right influencers.

Most brands find influencer marketing to be highly effective, as it connects their products and services with people who have dedicated and highly motivated online followings. This is one reason why working with an influencer marketing strategy agency has become so popular in recent years.

Public relations

The work of a public relations agency is primarily centered on two objectives: Ensuring positive press and public perception, and getting a brand’s message out into the public sphere. A company may choose to do this by scheduling interviews, sending out press releases and other such services.

Because public relations is vitally important work, it often makes sense for businesses to use an outside agency with specialist skills. A media relations agency can help ensure harmonious interaction with the press, while a crisis communications company can step into the breach and manage public perceptions during a period of turbulence.

Press release services and media training services are two other functions often filled by a public relations agency. Businesses seeking help with such tasks can reach out to a Florida PR agency, or an Orlando PR company, for assistance.

The takeaway

The range of services offered by creative agencies has grown significantly. Today, a full-service Florida marketing agency can help businesses with all of the services listed above, allowing its owners to free up much-needed time — and benefit from the deep experience and specialist skill offered by modern marketing experts.

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Audience Branding Healthcare Identity Implementation Naming & Architecture Nutraceuticals Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

When is the last time you heard someone ask a pharmacist for a refill on N-methyl-3-phenyl-3-[4- (trifluoromethyl) phenoxy]propan-1-amine? How about fluoxetine? The answer is probably more common than you think. While the scientific and generic names for Prozac aren’t particularly memorable, they do provide a revealing look into the byzantine world of pharmaceutical naming.

Many small and medium pharmaceutical researchers and producers don’t realize how important naming is until the FDA rejects their patent and sends years of research and clinical trials back to square one. A pharmaceutical naming agency can help decode the mystery and ensure your work makes it to market.

Why pharmaceutical naming matters

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The FDA strictly regulates and subsequently rejects between 20 – 25% of drugs’ generic and brand names to avoid confusion that might lead to misdosing, confusion over a drug’s efficacy, or that might lead to patient stigmatization and privacy violations. Once approved, the naming process continues to play an important role in a drug’s success because a pharmaceutical company may only market their drug under a brand name, rather than a generic or scientific name, once it has been patent protected.

Competing companies may market the same generic drug under a different name to make the market more competitive. While Advil and Motrin are both brand names for ibuprofen, their name, positioning, and marketing plays an important role in which the consumer ultimately chooses.

How a pharmaceutical naming agency can boost your success

The average pharmaceutical naming agency creates between 2,000 – 5,000 names for each drug before beginning the FDA screening process and march to patent protection that will allow brands to compete in the market. A top Florida advertising agency like BIGEYE can help kick off that process by vetting names that may raise flags for the FDA or that will not stand out from the competition.

By partnering with a creative team, your brand can focus on the science and success of your product while your agency ensures your research and work does not get delayed because its name sounds too similar to another drug or accidentally includes the common shorthand for another scientific component.

Contact us today to learn more about how we’ve helped other drug producers enter the market and break through the clutter of competition from big pharmaceutical companies.