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Weekly Wrap-up – How We Saw Things in July of 2010

Thank goodness for long weekends that enable intrepid bloggers to get caught up!

First, an interesting (and unfortunate) story from the world of polling. Markos Moulitsas of the popular political blog Daily Kos charges Research 2000 with fraudulent Data. Ben Smith of has the details:

“We contracted with Research 2000 to conduct polling and to provide us with the results of their surveys. Based on the report of the statisticians, it’s clear that we did not get what we paid for. We were defrauded by Research 2000, and while we don’t know if some or all of the data was fabricated or manipulated beyond recognition, we know we can’t trust it. Meanwhile, Research 2000 has refused to offer any explanation. Early in this process, I asked for and they offered to provide us with their raw data for independent analysis — which could potentially exculpate them. That was two weeks ago, and despite repeated promises to provide us that data, Research 2000 ultimately refused to do so. At one point, they claimed they couldn’t deliver them because their computers were down and they had to work out of a Kinkos office. Research 2000 was delivered a copy of the report early Monday morning, and though they quickly responded and promised a full response, once again the authors of the report heard nothing more.”

Guessing whether pollsters simply concoct their data — it’s cheaper, and more likely to please a client looking for a specific result — is a parlor game among political consultants. That’s what Markos Moulitsas is charging here.

Ouch. Things like this are NEVER good for the MR industry. Our industry Associations need an aggressive PR advocacy program to counter-act the “few rotten eggs spoil the bunch” effect.

The AMSRS has a great article on the broad impact of A world transformed by consumer connectedness. Regular readers know this is a topic of great interest here, and we’re in good company; the article is based on an interview with futurist Mike Walsh. Here is an excerpt:

‘I’d like to think this is the sign of a new customer focused revolution, but my gut feeling is that it’s a novelty. Right now it’s so new that people like the marketing director of Westpac are watching what customers are saying, but I think that will settle back down in a couple of years.

‘However, what we are seeing is that smart companies are starting to use Twitter and other social media not simply to solve problems but to deepen their understanding of their customers.

‘We are still in the very early days of monitoring people’s behaviour on Twitter and what they are blogging about and how that connects with their consumption behaviour. We look at positive or negative mentions in social media, or we make a knee jerk response to a product complaint, and they are at the superficial level of customer intentions. I believe we’re going to see people building much better databases that reach deeper into people’s transaction behaviour and start to combine financial transaction information with people’s social media commentary and their recommendations to their friends and networks. At that point I believe the research industry will be reborn because researchers will be like archaeologists, going back through the complete history of people’s purchasing behaviour.’

It’s a great article; enjoy!

On the topic of making sense of the new marketing landscape, there are 4 articles that are well worth the time to read:

  1. As usual WARC has two articles worth mentioning: Brand owners still focused on cost: WPP ceo and Online influence now “double that of TV”.
  2. Brandweek asks the question Consumers Have Changed, Have Marketers?
  3. takes at stab at defining The manufacturer’s role in shopper-centric category management.

Each article makes important points about the overall state of the market and provides some interesting insight into where we are headed. They are well worth the time, so please take a few minutes and read the full articles!

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