Gen Lamorie-Wallace is a busy woman. By day, she is an Ottawa, Canada-based Vice President with market research consultancy Phase 5. By night, she runs a restaurant with her chef husband in a trendy city neighbourhood. Sometimes, Gen's worlds collide and inspiration strikes. For her, it's when a 'foodie' patron pulls out a smartphone and starts tweeting an online commentary about his dining experience. This experience as a restaurateur informs Gen's belief that market researchers need to understand how our communication culture is shifting and to be able to offer to clients new approaches that mimic this "new normal" for communications. Following her presentation Lessons Learned When Adapting Technology Platforms for Qualitative Research at the recent MRIA QRD Conference, we had a chance to talk to Gen about the forces that are transforming consumer culture and the opportunities for businesses and MR.
For Americans and Canadians, multicultural consumers are a rapidly growing demographic. Understanding the social lives of such consumers -- their values, beliefs, habits and preferences -- is of great importance to brands and their marketers. An annual day-long event called the Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum will explore this demographic. Presented by marketing research consultancy Horowitz Associates, the March 21st, 2012 conference will focus on ". . . how the concept of community impacts programming, marketing, and advertising geared toward America's new multicultural audiences."
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!
A shout-out to the folks attending the American Marketing Association's Research and Strategy Summit in Orlando, Florida this week! I've met and learned from many marketing research professionals having had the chance to attend this conference in 2009 and 2010. Well-produced by the AMA and the event organizing committee, it offers excellent opportunities for networking and conversation among an engaged community of researchers.
From time-to-time, Ramius has the opportunity to work with the American Marketing Association to produce some interesting content for its members. We're pleased to announce our next Ramius-sponsored webcast on Wednesday, September 14th: