Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Category: Marketing Research

Forget the stereotype: typical Australian teenagers?

Forget the stereotype:

Typical Australian teenagers are more likely to be found helping around the house after school than using Facebook or playing computer games, University of Canberra researchers have found.

Teenagers were asked about their typical after school activities with computer games only just scraping into the top 10 in 10th place and Facebook ranked ninth. Family time topped the list, with sport, homework, hobbies and odd jobs also in the top 10, compiled as part of a report commissioned by the Australian Computer Society Community Engagement Board.

“We really need to re-think our stereotypes of modern teenagers,” the report’s author, Dr Karen Macpherson from the University of Canberra Education Institute, said.

“No one would argue against the fact that teenagers have welcomed digital technologies into their lives with open arms. But it may be that the popular stereotype of teenagers as being consumed by Facebook and computer games needs some rethinking. Although technology is now woven into their lives, for example on a daily basis almost half of the teenagers surveyed access Facebook, this study suggested that young people today spend most of their time doing what they have done after school for generations: spending time with family; playing sport; doing jobs around the house; and doing homework. And as they get older, casual jobs are also common.”

Dr Macpherson said it was important to understand the role of technology in young people’s lives to have a clearer picture of what might influence them to take up a career in technology, to help meet the nation’s critical skills shortage. The study gathered comprehensive information from teenagers about the role of technology in their out-of-school lives; their attitudes to the use of technology in schools; their interest in studying technology at school and later; and in taking it up as a career.

“The driver of this project was a question of Australian national interest,” Dr Macpherson said. “We need more young people to take up careers in Information and Communication Technology.”

More than 200 teenagers aged 12-18 years participated in the survey, which was administered at a sample of ACT government and non-government schools during Terms 3 and 4, 2012.

The study found, as with many adults, the mobile phone is usually within arm’s reach. In fact by the age of 18 years, 82 percent of the students in the sample slept with their mobile turned on next to their bed either “always” or “sometimes”.

The research suggested a large discrepancy between teenagers’ confidence in using technology – which was high; and their competence. For example information literacy skills that are fundamental to effective internet searching need improvement.

The study suggested that use of Facebook increases for both boys and girls with age; while playing computer games is very much gender related, and peaks with boys aged 13-15 years.

Results indicate that early high school is a critical time in which to engage teenagers in the study of Science, Maths and Technology.

“In early high school, we see a mismatch between the number of students who are interested in ‘how computers work’, and the lower numbers of students who are interested in ‘studying ICT’. After these early years, interest in both declines. We have a clear opportunity to interest more students in ICT if we engage with them at around 12-14 years of age,” Dr Macpherson said.

A final issue is the significant gap between young people’s perceptions of work available in ICT careers, which many see as fairly limited, and their stated ambitions of working in interesting and well paid jobs that ‘make a difference’.

“Our job is to provide learning opportunities to students that help them join the dots between their stated career objectives, and the fact that many ICT and science careers can meet those objectives,” Dr Macpherson said.

The full report, Digital Technology and Australian Teenagers: Consumption, Study and Careers, is published today and available at http://theeducationinstitute.edu.au/eduinstitute/node/159


The teenager’s top 10

When asked what they do after school, the most common activities young people undertake on a regular basis (at least several times a week) are:

  1. spending time with family (90%)
  2. doing homework (82%)
  3. watching television (75%)
  4. doing jobs around the house (73%)
  5. spending time doing a hobby (72%)
  6. playing sport (67%)
  7. seeing friends (65%)
  8. reading (62%)
  9. Facebook(61%)
  10. playing computer games (46%)


Dr Macpherson is available for interview: 0407 896489

Contact the University of Canberra media team:

Ed O’Daly 0408 829 618

Claudia Doman 0408 826 362


Measuring Customer Satisfaction

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

The most common means of measuring client satisfaction:

* asking customers;

* investigating complaints;

* evaluating service attributes;

* asking customers what will increase their satisfaction;

* asking what is wrong or could be improved.

The difficulty that researchers have with measuring client satisfaction is that customers are not always able to define their satisfaction levels.

Moreover, customers more often than not do not know if they are satisfied. They can assume that they are satisfied because they use the service frequently, but this may not be the case.

Check out the main article in http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

Effective Planning

The Requirements of Effective Planning

The major requirements for effective marketing planning can be classified under three broad headings:

  • strategic requirements;
  • managerial requirements; and
  • operational (tactical) requirements

Strategic Requirements

Strategy comes from a Greek word, referring to the office of a general. It refers to the big picture.   It is the broad direction, the way we think we can succeed in a competitive environment

The Stakeholders

In the construction of the business strategy, there are 3 main stakeholders;

  • The Organisation.
  • The Market.
  • The Competition.

There are also many subsidiary players involved in the environment who can at times exert influence on planning;

  • Suppliers
  • Government Bodies
  • Employees
  • Action Groups
  • The public
Information – Research.

Good decisions are based on good information.  The first source of information will be your own records (internal information).  A Marketing Information System (MIS) will provide Market Intelligence, Market Research

Planning – Managerial Requirements

The major requirements of planning from management are:

1.         Commitment at all levels of management from chief executive down to individual line staff.

2.         Creativity and innovative thinking.

3.         Experience and sound organisation judgment:  planning cannot replace these – it can, and should augment them.

4.         The ability to analyse and synthesis data, information and events.

Operational (tactical) Requirements

Major operational (i.e., administrative and systems) requirements are:

1.         Good information and sound research procedures.

2.         Co-ordination and integration of data, people and resources.

3.         Standardisation and simplification of planning systems, wherever possible.

4.         Clear designation of responsibilities for planning and consequent action points.

Understanding Culture and Subculture in Buyer Behaviour

Culture and Subculture

As the internet is showing us, culture is more than a geographic, ethnic or national thing

Culture is the thinking, feeling, and believing that binds people together. It is not limited to the arts a geographic area or nationality, but embraces all the interactions involved with human activity. However, we are interested in buyers, so our definition of culture is:

the shared attitude and behavioural characteristics, such as values, customs, beliefs, morality, and ethics which strongly influences a groups buyer behaviour.

Culture varies from group to group- even within the same nation or geopgraphy. Culture is the foundation upon which all social interactions rest. It consists of the historical rules by which present interaction takes place.

The term subculture is used to recognise group variations that exist within a culture. We define subculture to mean:

any group that uses the principal characteristics of a dominant culture but provides values and beliefs distinguishable as its own.

It follows that a culture may have any number of subcultures.’ However, a culture is more than simply a summation of all the subcultures of which it is composed. Some of the more common bases for identifying subcultures are regions, nationality, ethnic origin, religion, age and sex. Within any particular culture, we can identify relatively homogeneous subcultures based on each of these classes.

Sources of Culture

Culture is acquired from almost any source of social contact. It is not necessarily passed down from senior to junior citizens. However, in every society there are certain institutions that become the focal points of cultural accumulation. In primitive tribes, this function was often handled by the village elders; but as societies advanced, more complex institutions had to be developed to deal with cultural knowledge. Today, the primary sources of cultural knowledge are family, school, church, political institutions, and other institutions.

It is difficult to pinpoint which institutions are responsible for which cultural values, because they all interact. However, some institutions do tend to take the lead where certain values are concerned. It can be helpful to identify some of these tendencies.

Read more about Culture and Buyer Behaviour at Smartamarketing.wordpress.com  – http://wp.me/p1d2cw-hq  And visit http://www.marketing.org.au for notes and short courses on buyer behaviour

Managing Brand Equity

Managing Brand Equity

According to the definition of customer-based brand equity, no single number or measure captures brand equity. Rather, brand equity should be thought of as a multidimensional concept that depends on (1) what knowledge structures are present in the minds of consumers and (2) what actions a firm can take to capitalise on the potential offered by these knowledge structures. Different firms may be more or less able to maximise the potential value of brand according to the type and nature of marketing activities that they are able to undertake.

Six general guidelines may help marketers better manage brand equity.

First, marketers should adopt a broad view of marketing decisions.

Second, marketers should define the knowledge structures that they would like to create in the minds of consumers.

Third, marketers should evaluate the increasingly large number of tactical options available to create these knowledge structures, especially in terms of various marketing communication alternatives.

Fourth, marketers should take a long-term view of marketing decisions.

Fifth, marketers should employ tracking studies to measure consumer knowledge structures over time to

(1) detect any changes in the different dimensions of brand knowledge and

(2) suggest how these changes might be related to the effectiveness of different marketing mix actions.

Finally, marketers should evaluate potential extension candidates for their viability and possible feedback effects on core brand image.

Read the whole article – Finally, marketers should evaluate potential extension candidates for their viability and possible feedback effects on core brand image.


(Really) Valuing Customer Feedback

Brian Monger

The biggest obstacle to knowing what customers really think about us is fear.

Many fear what their customers will say so the don’t ask and run from real feedback that appears to be critical.  This is very apparent in the way many firms think of  Social Media

We fear they’ll tell us our product stinks, and that we’re horrible people

Yet most organisations never hear that type of painful feedback. Successful organisations with strong word of mouth and customer devotion use customer feedback to drive their marketing strategies, product development and customer service expectations.

The less successful approach is to proactively gathering customer feedback or waiting for it arrive on its own. Research firm TARP has found that for every person who complains, there are 26 who do not. That means if you have 1,000 customers and 100 of them complain, another 260 may have quietly dumped you, never to call again. To know what customers are thinking, you need to ask.

Organisations that operate as feedback machines make improvements to their operations quickly and efficiently.

10 Rules:

1. Believe that customers are not fools and possess good ideas

How often does someone in your organisation respond to an innovative idea by saying, “Our customers don’t want that.” Asking customers to participate in your problem-solving and idea generation is not an act of weakness.

2. Gather customer feedback in every situation and at every opportunity

Every customer interaction is an opportunity for feedback.

3. Focus on continual improvement

As Peter Drucker once said, a business has two purposes: marketing and innovation. Enlist the aid of your highly affiliated, passionate customers to help you improve your business.

4. Actively solicit good and bad feedback

Try asking “what is the one thing you would change or improve about your experience with us or our product?”

5. You do not have to spend a lot of money doing it

Short, regular surveys deliver better response rates and allow you to react rapidly to issues raised. Solve one or two problems at a time, not everything at once. Tell your customers how their feedback directly contributed to your changes.

6. Seek real-time feedback

Call 8-10 customers every day.   (this takes some skills – I can help you get them)

7. Make it easy for customers to provide feedback 

Employ multiple input points: in person, email, Web sites, point-of-purchase cards or receipts, conferences and the telephone.

8. Leverage technology to aid your efforts

Programs like SurveyMonkey.com makes it very easy to gather feedback via a Web-based survey. It (among others) is fast, efficient, and inexpensive. It automatically tabulates data and doesn’t require a techie to launch. Your data is virtually complete within 48 hours of sending customers a link to the survey.

9. Share customer feedback throughout the organisation

Responsibility for customer feedback extends beyond the marketing department. Ensure that everyone in the organisation knows what customers are thinking by sharing customer feedback; product and service decisions will be better informed as a result.

10. Use the feedback to make changes – quickly

You may not be able to move a mountain in a day, but you can make it easier to climb by making a path.

Marketing has a lot of Guesswork – what makes good guesswork?

Marketing is often attacked as having too much guesswork and not enough research

Research gives us data – for guidance. But after the focus groups and the perception audits and the segmentation studies and the customer surveys – we make need to make decisions based on interpretation of  that research data That interpretation is  based on experience, knowledge and creativity.  Its why we are hired to do our jobs.  It still our best guess isn’t it?

Guess-making is a Learned Skill

That’s what makes marketing so difficult, so risky, and so satisfying. It’s those guesses, far more than snappy headlines or dazzling designs that push our creativity to the limit – and put our professional necks on the line.

The best marketers are those who make the best guesses the most often. This is the career path of the marketer: reaching increasingly important levels of guesswork – moving from executing someone else’s guesses to being the head guess-maker. From “what have you done” to “what do you think.” Marketing specialist to CMO. If we want to be great marketers, we must learn how to be great guess-makers.

Great guess-makers are not born – they are not the product of some partially predictable recessive gene. Great guess-makers are built, formed over time by diligent labour. A great guess is the product of the sum total of the guess-maker’s knowledge, and experience, and creativity.

So what makes a great guess-maker? I don’t know there is a definitive answer.  It is another set of guesses.  But I think they are good guesses.

I think the model could be the four Cs of guess-making:

1. Curiosity – Have a base ofgathered  knowledge to drive smart guesswork.

2. Confidence – Confidence in your ability to interpret the input data well.

3. Courage – Have the willingness to stick your neck out.

4. Creativity – To take what is presented and create something from it.

What might you add?

When To Resist Market Research

When To Resist Research

If managers become more aware of research approaches that are relatively inexpensive and relatively simple, they may do too much research, arguing that “- since the cost of the research can be kept so low, why don’t we go ahead and do the research anyhow?” Such why- not research can lead all too often to wasted research funds.

There are two major rules one should use in order to resist the urge to do unnecessary research:

The manager should resist the “research urge” if

(1) the research is not directly related to some decision to be made, and

(2) there is some reasonable degree of uncertainty as to the correct action to take.

The second danger in too much research is that attempts to do cheap but good research will quickly degenerate into the old faithful cheap and dirty research.

There are also a number of other situations when one should also be cautioned to avoid research.

1.         A manager should resist doing research if it is really designed to bolster the manager’s personal insecurities.

2.         The manager should resist research if it is designed only to provide ammunition to justify a decision to others in the organisation.

3.         A manager should resist research designed just to check up on how things are going.

4.         A manager should resist research that is, at base, a fishing expedition.

5.         A manager should resist research that is designed to appeal to the manager’s curiosity.

6.         A manager should resist research that keeps up with the Joneses.

7.         A manager should resist research just for the sport of it.

How Well do you Know your Customers?

How well do you really know your customers?

Doyou know the answers to these questions?

— What is really important to the customer?

— What is the customer’s connection with the product?

— What does the customer really want?

— How are customers motivated to buy?

— How do customers talk about the product?

To achieve successful differentiation in the marketplace, the complete picture must be captured.

The key is to understand the customer (their wants, needs, motivations, emotions and values) and evaluate the marketplace (looking for gaps, opportunities and unmet wants and needs) before embarking on the development of a new product concept or product extension.

Understanding the voice of the customer

Understanding your customer means understanding the your offer (product – both goods and services) through the consumer’s eyes — this means placing more emphasis on the consumer’s words than the opinions of management, R&D, engineering, marketing and all other “internal” folks.

Understanding is accomplished by:

  • focusing on root wants/needs/benefits of usage; and
  • understanding consumer language.

Understanding what your customer seeks as the important benefits

Understanding root benefits resides in the following questions:

  • What need(s) does the customer wish to fulfill with the product?
  • What problem is the customer attempting to solve through use?
  • What benefits does the customer wish to receive?
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