Using Biometric Research to Measure Customer Reactions

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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Why Market Research Online Communities Make Sense

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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Quantitative Vs. Qualitative Marketing 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.

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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How Pier 1 Increased Consumer Response Through Data Strategy

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.

A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Services

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.

Decoding a Hidden World by Using a Pharmaceutical Naming Agency

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

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.