Usability-first Search Engine Optimization

The Emerging Vision for Market Research

If there’s any question in your mind whether social media is merely a passing trend or a major consideration in any internet marketing campaign, wonder no longer.


Last month, more than 200 major advertising and market research executive representatives attended the sold out Industry Leader Forum – “Transforming Research. Are You Listening” – held by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF). The ARF, a leading Research Transformation initiative, will enable members to stay ahead of the curve in a fast-changing, consumer-driven world.

The event, which took place in New York on Oct 29, focused primarily on methods of tracking the ubiquitous online discussions of brands, companies, products and services that numerous social media web sites and platforms host. Bob Barocci, President and CEO of The ARF, shed some light on several of the newer terms being used by advertising researchers, such as ‘listening pipes’, ‘storytelling’, ‘inspiration’, ‘content masters’ (referring to millennials), ‘consumer backyard’ and ‘brand backyard’.

Case histories of “listening” in action were presented by General Mills, MTV, Sony Electronics, and Unilever. Obama pollster Joel Benenson, revealed how public perceptions were gathered in the president-elect’s leading-edge electoral campaign.

The Arf’s Research Transformation Council are:

  • Joel Benenson – Founding Partner & President, Benenson Strategy Group – Co-Founder, iModerate, & pollster for Barack Obama
  • Jonathan Carson – President, International, Nielsen Online
  • Kim Dedeker – VP, External Capability Leadership-Global Consumer & Market Knowledge, Procter & Gamble
  • Jeff Flemings – SVP, Renaissance Planning, VivaKi
  • Gayle Fuguitt – VP, Consumer Insights, General Mills
  • Stephen Kim – Senior Director, Microsoft Branded Experiences and Entertainment, Microsoft Advertising
  • Michael Perman – Senior Director, Levi Strauss
  • Eric Salama – Chairman and CEO, Kantar
  • Patti Wakeling – Senior Manager, Media Insights, Unilever

Pete Blackshaw, the Executive Vice President of the Digital Strategic Services group at Nielsen Online gave a presentation on the “Six Signals of Listening to the Unprompted Voice of the Consumer.“. Pete is a recognized expert in interactive marketing, word of mouth, and consumer understanding, and originally coined the term consumer-generated media (CGM). See Pete’s summary of the highlights from October’s event in his video below.

The ARF’s next Forum will be a one day workshop from 8:00AM to 6:00PM on January 27, 2009 at Bently Reserve, San Francisco. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Kim Dedeker (Proctor & Gamble)
  • Joel Benenson (Benenson Strategy Group)
  • Michael Perman (Levi Strauss)
  • Pete Blackshaw (Nielsen Online)

Very exciting stuff!