Hump Day Weekly Round-Up — 30/11

When I first started at Ramius almost a year ago I tried my best to shorten the learning curve as much as possible. As Ramius designs and develops online community and social networking software, I found myself being exposed to topics like Web 2.0, social media, customer-centricity, customer communities, crowdsourcing, cloud computing — certainly not topics I’ve ever needed to be familiar with! And with the launch of our new Recollective software, I’m now being exposed to the marketing research industry with acronyms like MROC, IDIs, etc… The list is vast!

One way to immerse myself in all of this is to meet with my colleague Simon Chen from time-to-time and discuss trends and technologies in our industry. Recently, this was more formalized as a weekly lunch meeting that we have dubbed our Weekly Hump Day Roundup. We find it’s a fun way to set a regular time during our work week and keep up-to-date with what’s going on around us. Doing it together helps us build on each others insights. Since we do leverage social media to do this, we thought we would also blog, tweet — generally share with you what interests and inspires us. And we hope you’ll feed us back what you think!

For our inaugural Roundup post, I thought I would let you know of some blogs that I started to read early on.

As a technology company with know-how in online communities and social business software, we follow popular blogs like:

TechCrunch – Plain and simple we visit this site because Tech Crunch is the tech industry’s bible. That’s why we read it.

Mashable – Mashable is awesome. We’re never disappointed when we visit their site…. everyday! It’s a quick read and keeps us current with an emphasis on social media news.

ReadWriteWeb – For the similar reasons as why we like Mashable, we scan the headlines of RWW daily.

Bokardo – Simon still wonders who at Ramius borrowed (and never returned) his copy of Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter, the Bokardo author. Read it to be inspired by a guy that thinks and cares about user experience when designing web application interfaces.

Steve Rubel – Understanding social media through the eyes of an industry thought leader.

Web Strategy – Ramius has followed blog author Jeremiah Owyang for several years. Part of the reason is because Jeremiah covered our ‘white label’ online community and social networking platforms as an analyst. But also because he keeps us up to date with how companies can use technology to connect and engage with customers.

Alltop – With our new Recollective software, Ramius has designed an offering for the research and insights space. We scan blog aggregation sites like Alltop for the latest in Market and Qualitative Research.

Some daily blogs on our must-read list include:

Greenbook Market Research Blog – This blog is a good source of NEW market research thinking. The Ramius team very much enjoys the thought and research that goes into the GRIT Reports.

Building My Own Ladder and Spych- We consider Ben Smithee‘s personal blog, and the one for his company Spych, to be great reads. Ben ‘gets’ the impact of the Social Web on a brand’s relationship to their customers and applies this to challenge MR. Something the Ramius team very much respects and finds commonalities with.

Research Rockstar – For a firm that has expert know-how in online communities and designing and building supporting technology, the lot of us are not researchers beyond taking research method courses in Uni. Research Rocks is a good way to learn the basics of quant and qual research.

The LoveStats Blog – In a recent blog we mentioned that the Ramius TMRE Team was unable to leave our booth and attend any sessions. So instead of learning through them we did the next best thing and followed along with Annie Pettit as she live blogged summaries. In addition to providing insights into TMRE and other industry conferences, this blog is a good way to get a different take on market research trends.

As a new recruit, the first three sites on this list were tremendously helpful for learning the ins and outs of the industry space that Ramius occupies. Once we decided to build Recollective the rest of the sites/blogs on this list were immensely helpful for learning about the market research industry.

From these sites, and many others, Simon and I will regularly highlight individual blogs or blog aggregate sites that we find insightful, thought provoking, controversial and most importantly interesting. So stay tuned for more Weekly Hump Day RoundUps!

Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Congratulations to Candice Seiger, who is the winner of Ramius Corporation’s The Market Research Event (TMRE) 2011 booth iPad giveaway!

During TMRE last week, Ramius ran a draw at our exhibit booth. The deal was for attendees to come say hello to the Ramius team and, before heading off to the next booth, we invited them to drop off a business card for our iPad giveaway. Easy peasy and gimmicky, I know! Tablet and related accessories seemed to be the de rigueur booth contest prizes. That said, the draw was a fun ice breaker and the iPad allowed us to demonstrate how our new Recollective software works out-of-the-box on mobile platforms (HTML5). Thank you to everyone that came by, met one of our team and entered our draw. Candice stopped by with her colleague and, her business card was later drawn!

Candice was at the conference representing Luminosity Marketing*, where she is Associate Director, Research & Client Development. Candice wrote about her event experience at the Luminosity blog in her post The Market Research Event — A Twitter Review.

Candice: Enjoy! We hope you’ll use it to Tweet a picture of the unboxing when the iPad arrives!

 

*Not a current Ramius partner

A Ramius Reflection: IIR USA – The Market Research Event 2011 #TMRE

Late last Wednesday night the Ramius team returned from Florida tired but excited about their trip. The TMRE conference exceeded all of our expectations.

Before leaving, we drafted a schedule that was packed with sessions and keynotes to attend, booth duty and of course some time to network. However, when our team arrived they quickly realized this plan had to be thrown out the window.

The guys were so busy at the booth that they didn’t have a chance to leave it for the entire three days.On their return, Alfred Jay, CEO, Philippe Dame, COO and Simon Chen, Senior Consultant debriefed the rest of us and here are a few snippets from that conversation that I thought you might be interested in:

 

What are your overall impressions of TMRE?

Simon:TMRE 2011 was a great event for Ramius to exhibit at! Timing-wise, it coincided with our launch of Recollective, Ramius’ new cloud-based MROC software. TMRE was well-attended and our booth team enjoyed meeting many of the 1,200-odd delegates and introducing them to Ramius, the company, and to Recollective, the product. Hat tip to the IIR event team that planned the event.

Philippe: It was definitely worth exhibiting at TMRE as it’s a well-focused conference that clearly attracts the decision makers in the market research industry. We spent most of our time at our exhibit booth but I would have loved to attend the sessions. That said, I learned a lot in the conversations we had and look forward to attending again next year.

What did you enjoy about the event?

Alfred: The conference was certainly valuable in terms of speaking to a broad spectrum of people in the MR industry. The conversations we had were very valuable in setting our future direction.

Philippe: Meeting people from a wide range of disciplines that make up the MR industry. We got lots of valuable and positive feedback about Recollective.

What was the hardest part of the three day conference?

Philippe: We had planned to attend some sessions and thus alternate standing at our booth. It was busy enough that we never left the booth and so we stood for a very long time without a chair in sight. Standing all day just killed my back and is a reminder to hit the gym!

Simon: Not being able to participate in the main conference program which had a terrific line up.

What was your most memorable moment at TMRE?

Simon: Two come to mind. One was during my tour of the exhibit hall during the Monday evening reception. I walked by the Affinova booth and bumped into their CMO, Jeffrey Henning. Although I keep up-to-date with Jeff via Twitter and his blog, we probably haven’t had much of a chance to connect in person for a couple of years. When I went to say hello with a handshake, Jeff caught me off guard with a ‘bro hug’ instead to the laughter of his colleagues.

The other moment was watching the Peabody ducks march in on a red carpet to their daily digs in the hotel fountain. A nice tradition at a nice venue!

Finally, what could we do to improve for the next conference we attend?

Alfred: We should make more active efforts to visit all the booths and network the other exhibitors.

Philippe: Next year, we’ll be better setup to give a demonstration of our software right in the booth. We’ll have more tangible case studies to share and I think that will excite our booth visitors even more.

Due to the size of the conference centre, the exhibit hall and meeting rooms were a bit spread out. Not everyone mingled or came by the exhibit hall. As exhibitors, we’d obviously like as much foot traffic as possible. Anything that can be done to get attendees to spend time in exhibit hall is appreciated.

Simon: Although Ramius has been developing online community software for some 13 years, Recollective is our first product specifically designed for the MR industry, and TMRE 2011 was the first trade conference at which we exhibited. So, it was valuable for the Ramius team to gain direct feedback from visitors to our booth. Next time, we will have some of the team participating in the sessions themselves so we can offer and bring back more insights.

By all accounts, The Market Research Event was a success! Networking with and learning from the other delegates, gaining insights on industry trends and themes, and probably the most important of all, introducing the market research world to Recollective were well worth the trip to the conference. I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back next year, and will be on the lookout for other conferences to attend in the mean time.

The Market Research Event 2011 #TMRE #MRX

The count down is on. Ramius’ TMRE team is gathering their supplies, finalizing their conference strategy and saying their good-byes. This Sunday Phillipe Dame, Simon Chen (@sylc) and Alfred Jay will be jetting off to sunny Orlando where they will be meeting up with the who’s who of the Market Research community.

While there we plan on checking out as many sessions as possible, but with so many interesting presenters it was hard to choose. Official TMRE tweeter Nick Zeckets (@nickonbiz) lists his Top Seven Session picks. While I think they all look great, we’ve also compiled a list of must see sessions of our own (this list only represents a fraction of what we plan on attending):

  • “Valuing Website Ratings versus Traditional Survey Ratings: Do They Tell the Same Story”, presented by Dr. D. Randall Brandt from Maritz Research is one session that we won’t be missing.
  • Tuesday at 10:45am we plan on learning “How to Maximize the Relationship Between Social Media and Market Research, Improve Worldwide Customer Communications and Conserve Resources”, presented by Texas Instruments.
  • Symrise USA and Socratic Technologies Inc. are discussing how to “Sniff Out Enhanced Panel Insights By Bridging Multiple Research Methodologies”.

Aside from the many sessions we’re excited about attending and posting blog recaps on, we’re also going to be tweeting up a storm. I strongly suggest you follow @ramiuscorp for up to the minute conference updates.

For us November 9th isn’t going to be just about the conference. We’re very excited about launching our new market research platform Recollective that day! If you’re lucky enough to be attending TMRE be sure to stop by booth 809 to talk to our team about this groundbreaking technology, and what it could mean for your research. Look for the big red signs and you’ll find us. We look forward to seeing everyone there.