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Marketing Research 2.0

I enjoyed speaking today to over 150 people at the Marketing Research Association annual meeting in Philadelphia on the subject of Market Research 2.0 (slides can be found here). We discussed how market researchers should be expanding into user generated content and Web metrics, so they can help companies sort through the news from the noise in market information. As usual, I learned something when one of the participants asked me a question at the end of my presentation that I had never considered before. I hope you are interested, too.

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It was such an incisive question that the first time around I didn’t even understand it. (Some expert, huh?) A market researcher stood up and asked, “What role market researchers play in attracting user generated content, specifically ratings and reviews?”
This was a new idea to me.
Now, I am familiar with companies offering incentives to get the ball rolling. In an interview for my book, David Seifert, Director of Direct Marketing Operations for outdoors retailer Bass Pro Shops, explained how they offered a discount coupon in return for a customer review in the early days of seeding their site. But market researchers know that incentives can be fraught with danger. (Nothing ever seems to be fraught with happiness.)
Market researchers understand that incentives, done improperly, can lead to the wrong people providing feedback. Or worse, they can lead to people providing any old feedback just to collect the incentive. Market researchers struggle with offering just the right incentive every time they conduct a survey or a focus group. The incentive must be just good enough to attract the right people, but not so good to attract the wrong people.
And here I was standing in a roomful of people who do incentives for market research for a living. Of course they have something to contribute. If you are figuring out how to jump-start your user-generated content, you could do a lot worse than to ask a market researcher to give you advice on the proper use of incentives.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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