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UX Resolutions for 2014: Become a UX 'Champion'

conferences / market research / usability / user experience / blog

I attended UXCampDC on Jan 4, which was a new style of conference for me. There was no pre-planned schedule. I had no idea who I was going to hear speak (or if I would give a presentation) and what I was going to learn about. There was a board with time slots throughout the day, and people who were interested in speaking wrote their name and topic on a post-it note and posted it to a time slot. In the morning and after lunch, each speaker gave a 1-minute pitch about their talk so attendees had a little more information, and then we split up and went to the different talks. Some were planned – people had prepared slides and gave lecture-style talks... more


E-Cigarette Companies Ring in the New Year with New Ads and New Tricks

advertising research / behavioral research / health research / blog / social marketing

E-cigarette companies had a booming year in sales and marketing in 2013 and they’re not stopping until someone (the FDA) makes them. I first reported on e-cigarettes back in early November, but little has changed to federally regulate them. Companies are still able to promote their products in all media outlets, social media included.

However, some states and cities are establishing their own regulations. On December 19, New York City Council passed a bill that now bans e-cigarettes wherever smoking is also prohibited (1). This includes restaurants, bars, parks, and office buildings. Advocates of the bill said that e-cigarettes confused bartenders, waitresses, and other enforcers of the existing smoking ban (2). NY councilman James Gennaro, one of the lead sponsors of the ban,... more


Social Marketing and Beyonce Singing the Same Tune? Not Quite.

advertising research / behavioral research / in the news / blog / current events / social marketing

Last week Beyoncé set the Internet abuzz when she released a surprise new album in what some have called a stroke of social marketing genius. A great example of a common mix-up between social media marketing and social marketing, Beyoncé’s album release isn’t social marketing as we think of it. However, we’ve been excited to see social marketing (i.e., the application of marketing principles and techniques to plan, implement and evaluate social change programs (1)) trending in 2013 as well.

The appeal of social marketing lies in its utility in producing behavior change through a consumer oriented approach. More and more, evidence suggests there’s more to behavior change than a rational, well-thought-out argument. This is an idea that seems second nature for marketers of products... more


Data is Not Inspirational to Everybody: The Importance of Communicating Research Effectively

market research / blog / research design

As market researchers, we love data and numbers. So it is difficult for us to comprehend that not everyone is a numbers person (wait, what?!? Some people don’t like math?). We’re hired for a reason: we have the expertise to conduct quality research and answer tough questions. But part of this job is making sure we answer these tough questions the right way—not just maintaining the proper methodology and rigor, but answering so that our client understands. Therefore, we’ve had to learn to adapt how we communicate our research findings to resonate with clients of varying levels of research understanding. We need to communicate complex ideas data-heavy ideas in a way anyone can understand—clear, visually, not technical-heavy, and not text-heavy.

However, it is more than... more


The Psychology and Advertising Behind Black Friday

advertising research / behavioral research / blog / in the news

Hi MeganI have a confession to make – I am the woman in this Target Black Friday commercial. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving not only excite me because I know I get to spend time with my whole family, but it also means it’s the start of Holiday shopping – signified by Black Friday. After my family’s Thanksgiving feast, the women in my family, young and old, circle up with piles of ads and start discussing stores and deals. Over the years, 5 am alarms turned into 3 am alarms, which turned into shopping all-nighters. Nothing makes me happier than frolicking in the aisles of Target at 2 AM and grabbing the very last iHome that’s 50% off... more


Making the Most of an Ethnography Study

advertising research / behavioral research / ethnography / blog / youth

"Who is your typical rural teen male?" As market researchers, we often field these types of questions from clients working on a campaign. We need to be able to provide a portrait of the target market so that the strategy and creative teams can create a message and execution that resonates with the intended audience. Otherwise, how would any ad prompt people to buy that latest Apple product or eat more fruits and vegetables? One recent question we were tasked with was ‘who is your typical rural teen male?’ which was part of an overall effort focusing on rural teen males for a public health campaign.

So, who is your typical rural teen male? I have a confession: I have no idea about rural teen... more