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Change Agent June 2004 - trial & error

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A Magazine published by Synovate.Trial & Error: America's Top Trial Lawyers Test Their Prowess With Mock Juries - Tracking The Vanguardistas - The Sachet Vs. Supersize Economy - Dos And Don'ts Of Research In Asia

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THE MARKET RESEARCH MAGAZINE THAT IS DRIVING CHANGE IN GLOBAL BUSINESS � ISSUE 2 / JUNE 2004

CHANGE AGENT
TRIAL & ERROR
AMERICA�S TOP TRIAL LAWYERS TEST THEIR PROWESS WITH MOCK JURIES

TRACKING THE VANGUARDISTAS 22 THE SACHET VS. SUPERSIZE ECONOMY 10 DOs AND DON�Ts OF RESEARCH IN ASIA 28

CHANGE AGENT
THE MARKET RESEARCH MAGAZINE THAT DRIVES CHANGE IN GLOBAL BUSINESS EDITORIAL TEAM
ALICIA KAN Founding Editor MICHAEL M. CLEMENTS Managing Editor EMILIO RIVERA Design Director RAYMOND Editor PHATHANAVIRANGOON PAUL SMITH Senior Writer

EDITOR’S NOTE

CONTRIBUTORS
VICTORIA DAVIDSON Marketing Manager Synovate STEVEN KNIPP Writer / reporter Washington DC, U.S.A. TINA ARCEO-DUMLAO Writer / reporter Manila, Philippines PETER SNELL CEO Synovate (Asia Pacific)

T

MAYBE DARWIN WAS RIGHT

urn on any broadcast television channel anywhere in the world during a weeknight and you are bound to find a show about lawyers. This is particularly true in the court-obsessed land of America. Whether you are watching programmes like The Practice, Law and Order, Kevin Hill or Ally McBeal, or real-life dramas like the Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson court cases, there is no doubt�law sells. But it�s a dog-eat-dog existance in the courtroom, and only the strong survive. Step into the world of Steven Knipp�s article on mock juries�the safe tidal pool lawyers choose to hone their skills in before swimming into the deep�if they can keep those egos at bay, that is. Like natural selection, research can be applied to both things big and small. Which is clearly shown in Tina Arceo-Dumlao�s article on the Sachet economy of the Philippines. Tina takes us inside the Asia Pacific archipelago to peak at how social, economic and cultural factors affect product packaging and marketing. From shampoo-by-the-wash to cigarettes-bythe-stick, just about anything and everything in the Philippines can be bought bit-bybit. On the other hand, in the States, it�s a �bulk world�. In either case, in the strictest Darwinian terms, marketers are adapting to the needs of the consumer to survive. Adaptation is also a skill companies display tracking down the trendy Vanguards of the world. These influencers are on the top of the consumer food chain for many brands, but their fickle nature and penchant for hating corporate messages makes tracking them an art-form. None the less, taking a page out of nature�s own survival book, brands are cleverly disguising their come-ons with slick buzz marketing campaigns in order to harness the power of viral marketing. At its core, research is about having the courage to face these adjustments and adaptations�perhaps that is what makes it so interesting for researchers and marketers alike. The challenge of having the facts in front of you and having to decide how you and your brand are going to grow and survive, is a challenge we can all revel in. And you thought the Galapagos were the only place to see natural selection at work?

PUBLISHING AND BUSINESS TEAMS
ALICIA KAN Publisher [email protected] BJORN FJELDDAHL Publisher [email protected] CHRIS BAKER Advertising Director [email protected] ALIENA LAI Circulation Manager

Have a great idea for CHANGEIAGENT? Contact us and tell us what you’re thinking! EDITORIAL OFFICE 2106 Causeway Bay Plaza II, 463 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Tel (+852) 2892 1322 Fax (+852) 2893 0320 www.m8publishing.com SUBSCRIBE: www.synovate.com/changeagent FEEDBACK: Michael Clements [email protected] ADVERTISING Chris Baker [email protected] Tel (+852) 2836 8910

Respectfully,

“Change Agent” is published by Motiv8 Publishing Ltd. on behalf of Synovate Ltd. All rights reserved. This publication may not be sold. No part of this publication may be otherwise reproduced, adapted, performed in public or transmitted in any form by any process without the prior authorization of Synovate Ltd. ©Synovate Ltd., 2004.

MICHAEL M. CLEMENTS MANAGING EDITOR

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 3

ESSENTIALLY... TRIAL
& ERROR
16
AMERICA’S TOP TRIAL LAWYERS TEST THEIR PROWESS AGAINST MOCK JURIES
OJ, Wacko Jacko and Martha – they’ve all benefited from a mock jury dress rehearsal.

CELEBRITY TRIALS

19

ADDING UP THE SACHET ECONOMY

10

When thinking big means going small.

M CAN BU Y AL

LIP PINES,YOU

“IN THE P HI

OS

T ANYTHING IN SACHETS.”

. . .IN THIS ISSUE
TRACKING THE VANGUARDISTAS
They’re the influencers, the connectors, the creative, the trendy – the people you want to target – if you can find them.

EDITOR’S NOTE TREND AGENT FIELD REPORT CASE FILES LITERARY AGENT CLIENT SIDE FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING TALES FROM THE FIELD

3 6 8 14 27 28 30 31

22

BRAIN SCIENCE

When MSNBC.com switched its market research focus, it got more than it bargained for.

14

NO CAN DO

26

Tips to consider the next time you think about research in Asia.

THE LATEST TIPS, TOOLS AND MARKET RESEARCH INTEL

TREND AGENT
OUR AGENTS GO DEEP INTO THE FIELD, SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT: PHONEY RESEARCH
If it were up to Bob Papper and the Center for Media Design at Ball State University in Indiana, researchers would be in your home instead of on your phone. His team questioned 401 individuals by phone while also “shadowing” the behaviour of 101 of them for a whole day, recording their media consumption. Direct observation indicated that people’s actual media consumption was far greater than what they typically reported by phone. For example, phone respondents reported watching TV for an average of two hours a day, while people “shadowed” were observed to watch TV for five hours and 19 minutes—nearly three times as long. Likewise, average time devoted to home computer use was, according to phone respondents, 21 minutes, but direct observation recorded 64 minutes. Agent’s report: a researcher in every home in America by the year 2007? ▲
IER E DOSS ts: ERENC r conference agen CONF dercove

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6 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

OFF THE WIRE
A report says that… China now has more than 30,000 registered market research institutions with a collective turnover of 3.2 billion yuan (US$387 million) Market research industry in Brazil sees growth of 30% this year The most effective market research departments not only supply data to marketing managers, they give information and advice to a variety of executives within a company Telemarketing is by far the most resented form of advertising (93% negative score) and newspaper ads the most popular

MYTH OF THE UNICORN
It’s ordinary people—not business superstars—turn good companies into great ones writes Adrian W. Savage in the recent article “Myth of the Unicorn”. “The ‘war for talent’ is a mirage,” says Savage. “Even the most talented person cannot transform a messed-up, misaligned organisation into a winner.” Management guru Jim Collins agrees: “Organisations that transform themselves from good to great rarely use high-profile individuals imposed on the organisation. The process is driven by a group of dedicated leaders working together, most of whom have been in the organisation long enough to know exactly how to make things happen.” Occasionally, an organisation gets lucky and finds a unicorn— but rarely does it know what to do with its new star, Savage writes. “They try to graft this alien growth onto the organisation, which proves to be stronger than any individual. The star is later blamed for not changing things singlehandedly.” “Most organisations have a great deal of trouble absorbing unicorns, which is why such people usually start their own businesses or stay outside the organisational world altogether,” Savage argues. “They’re demanding, clever and they know it. They don’t follow instructions and they don’t like being told to fit in with less able people.” ▲

UK market research spending grew in 2003 by 3.9% to GBP 1,220 million, according to the British Market Research Association

LIGHTER SIDE

AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC
“It is striking that the drying process familiar to most people, namely, that of drying laundry hung from a clothes line, does not seem to have been investigated in a quantitative, scientific manner.” With those words, researcher Eric B. Hansen introduced a generation to the subtle mathematical pleasures of damp cloth with his 1992 treatise “On Drying of Laundry”. The 10-page paper was released in the Siam (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) Journal on Applied Mathematics in 1992, but was aired out in full two years earlier at the International Conference on Free Boundary Problems in Montreal. Drying laundry is a complex and subtle phenomenon, yet Hansen did a laudable job of keeping it fresh by wringing it down into 21 crisp, clean equations. Skeptics may try to write this off as a fluff theoretical exercise, but they would be wrong. Proving to also be a true master of “spin”, Hansen went beyond theory and performed an experiment with a wet T-shirt. ▲

COUNTER INTELLIGENCE
The Market Research Society, the British Market Research Association and the Association of Users of Research Agencies have announced they are entering into discussions regarding “the structure of the market research associations”. (Agent’s note: a structure for the discussion has yet to be determined) ▲
Illustrations by Emilio Rivera III

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 7

© Randy Glasbergen

TREND AGENT

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8 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

SIX COSTLIEST MISCONCEPTIONS OF MARKETING TO WOMEN
MISTAKE 1: Women are a “niche” REALITY: Women represent an economic powerhouse,

making over 85% of the consumer purchases (in the United States) and influencing over 95% of total goods and services. They also purchase 50% or better in traditional “male” categories like automobiles, consumer electronics and PCs.
MISTAKE 2: Female consumer marketing opportunity requires less funding REALITY: As a consumer group, women have not been the “minority” for years. Efforts to connect with your women consumers overall should have fully dedicated funds (and corporate commitment) behind them. MISTAKE 3: Dividing markets along purely gender or

demographic lines REALITY: Within all those demographic categories lies the key–consumer behaviour.
MISTAKE 4: More men are on-line

SUPERWOMEN Biting into Clark Kent’s pie.

MISTAKE 5: Women like to browse and be entertained while

than women REALITY: According to the US Census in 2000, women became a slight majority of web users in the United States for the first time in history (51% female/49% male). Women make up almost half of firsttime web buyers.

online shopping REALITY: Making informed purchasing decisions is an online woman shopper’s goal. Seventy-eight percent of women in the US use the Internet for product information before making a purchase and 33% research products and services online before buying offline.
MISTAKE 6: Focusing on women will alienate men REALITY: Focusing on women delivers the best to everyone.

RE:

Astrological Res earch

AstroDatabank.co m is also looking for couples to vo astrological compa lunteer to help te tibility. Specifically st , they need exam marriages and ho ples of both good rrendous separatio ns. The study de couple as one whe fines a compatib re: The marriage le has lasted for at le partners believe th ast eight years, bo e marriage to be a th solid, productive, that meets their re loving relationshi spective needs, an p d both partners w marriage commitm ould make the sam ent again if given e the chance. It defines an inco mpatible couple as one where the mar ugly, bitter, acrim riage ended in an onious divorce, ea ch person believe hopelessly flawed s that the union w , and hard feelings as continue long afte r the divorce. Agent’s report: C an the same pers on be eligible for both?
Illustrations by Emilio Rivera III

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 9

CHANGE FEATURE

THE SACHET ECONOMY
WHEN THINKING BIG MEANS GOING SMALL
BY TINA ARCEO-DUMLAO

UE NIQ “THE PHILIPPINE MARKET IS U

IN A

SENSE THAT IT HAS TREMENDOUS

10 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

IN THE UNITED STATES, MANUFACTURERS ARE DRIVEN BY THE “SUPER-SIZED” AND “BULK-OBSESSED” CONSUMER—AND VISA-VERSA. IN THE PHILIPPINES, HOWEVER, THE ORDER OF THE DAY COMES BIT-BY-BIT, SERVING-BY-SERVING— WELCOME ONE AND ALL TO THE SACHET ECONOMY.

I

n the Philippines, big profits come in small packages. From cigarettes sold by the stick on the city streets to little plastic packs of pepper hanging from local stores’ shelves and P2 mobile phone credits, this archipelago has become one of the world’s biggest markets for goods sold in small quantities. This has caused the Philippines to be often referred to as a “sachet” economy, after the sachet packaging of most personal care products such as shampoo, soap and toothpaste. Across the Pacific in the United States, big is beautiful and bulk is profitable. Drive to your nearest Costco, Target or Walmart and you will find large cartons of cigarettes, pepper by the pound and rows and rows of bulk-sized packages. This is shopping—the American way. But doesn’t it add up? Buying individual aspirin, as we all know, is more expensive in the long term than buying a 1,000 in one shot. Logic would say those with less disposable incomes should buy bulk, while the wealthier could more afford buying unit- by-unit. Long-term logic apparently has nothing to do with it. The local arm of global manufacturing giant Unilever knows this only too well, having done business in the Philippines for more than 75 years. Unilever Phils. chairman Howard Belton notes in an interview that more than half of the Ponds facial care products it sells in the Philippines come in sachets. Same is true for as much as 70% of its shampoo products.

Unilever Phils. has also made a name for itself in the Unilever universe for having pioneered the manufacturing and sale of Rexona deodorant mini-sticks that come in 8-gram packages. “We were fortunate because we invested in a manufacturing facility for deodorant sticks that produces more than the country needs. Now we are exporting to Eastern Europe, Indonesia and Thailand,” says Belton. He notes that deodorant sticks have become so successful that even the United States got on the act and recently placed its first major import order for the deodorants. Still, don’t expect the sachet idea to catch on too quickly in the US. Americans like the convenience of not having to return to the store on a daily basis to buy shampoo, soap or deodorant. Different consumer needs mean companies must adapt. Selling oral care products in sachets is something new for the Watsons group, a unit of Hong Kongbased conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. Watsons set up shop in the Philippines in 2002 through a joint venture with local retail giant SM group headed by Asian retail giant Henry Sy, Sr. The Watsons head said that the sachet packaging phenomenon is something it has gotten used to. “The Philippine market is unique in a sense that it has a tremendous market for products in small sizes. You can buy almost anything in sachets. Sachets are sold in other countries but the market is not as big,

and selling oral care products in sachets is something new,” he says. Sachet packaging is not limited to fast-moving consumer goods. Virtually all household products have long been sold in sachets. These include liquid detergents, fabric softeners, bleach and dishwashing liquids. Even face powders produced by Johnson and Johnson come in mini packs. The Filipinos’ penchant for products sold in sachets can be attributed mainly to their limited disposable income. The latest figures from the Asian Development Bank showed that 39.5% of Filipinos live below the poverty line of US$1, or P55 a day, and more than 55% exist on less than US$2. The latest data from the National Statistics Coordination Board showed that Filipino families spend as much as 44% of their income on food (39% of which is consumed at home and 5% outside the home). Only about 2.3% are allotted for household goods and 3.6% on personal care and effects, thus, making it difficult for most Filipinos to invest even P100 for a bottle of shampoo. As the Soap and Detergent Association of the Philippines says, the introduction of sachets, made possible by the use of composite materials, has made quality products offering hygiene benefits, such as toothpaste and shampoo, accessible to the poorest part of the population. A typical 10-ml shampoo sachet sells for about P3.50 compared to P48 for a 100-

MARKET FOR PRODUCTS IN SMALL SIZES. YOU CAN BUY ALMOST ANYTHING IN SACHETS.”
JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 11

CHANGE FEATURE

“A LARGE CONSUMABLES MARKET WITH LIMITED DISPOSABLE INCOME HAS BRED A THRIVING SACHET BUSINESS.”
FILIPINOS AND AMERICANS ON THE SACHET BUY
A recent Synovate TeleNation Omnibus study of consumer preferences in package sizes in the Philippines and the United States revealed: 60% of US respondents said they bought sachet-sized servings with the most popular item being toothpaste (40%). When asked why they chose the smaller sizes, 55% replied that it was “easy for travelling”. 85% of US respondents confirmed that they bought big-sized items with laundry detergent being the item bought most (77%), then shampoo (62%), toothpaste (57%) and condiments, (55%). Asked why they bought in bulk, 37% of respondents said “the price was right”. Only 4% said that bulk means “easy to use”, and a mere 1.4% said they had a big family or were big users of the product. In the Philippines, nearly 90% of consumers said they bought items in sachet sizes. Of these, 99% said they bought non-food items in sachets. Shampoo topped the list, bought by 90% of respondents, followed by toothpaste (47%) and detergent powder (13%). Another Philippine custom is to buy items in tingî. This is basically consumer items sold in very small units, probably in ways not intended by the producer. In the Philippines you can buy a large variety of items in a single serving, such as a single cigarette, a bottle of petroleum, a single disposable diaper, one painkiller pill. The survey found that 63% of all respondents bought items in tingî. Respondents indicated that perceived price advantages were behind most tingî preferences.
If you’d like more information about this study, please email [email protected]

ml bottle. Toothpaste sachets, on the other hand, go for P6 per 10 ml pack, versus P40 for a small 50-ml tube. “With sachets, the consumer pays for the product, not for the packaging,” SDAP data shows. Having a huge market of 86 million Filipinos with a limited disposable income has also warranted a change in the business model in the Philippines. This according to Antonio Herbosa, head of the corporate finance group of Punongbayan and Araullo, a member firm of global consulting firm Grant Thornton International.

Herbosa describes the Philippines as a “farm” economy that is not marked by a humming manufacturing sector, but by a growing service sector, a significant force of knowledge-based workers and economic growth buoyed by over US$7 billion in remittances from 8 million overseas Filipino workers. “A large consumables market with limited disposable income has bred a thriving sachet business,” says Herbosa. The success of the sachet business in the personal care category made the

sachet packaging go out of its traditional stranglehold in the personal care and household products sector” to include the thriving telecommunications business, Herbosa says. “Leading the sachet business is mobile texting, which is essentially consumption texting (the local term for sending short messages),” he adds. The Philippines has been referred to as the texting capital of the world, with over 170 million short messages sent out daily by 22 million cellular phone users, of which 95% use pre-paid cards. Pre-paid cards used to be sold at denominations of P100 to P1,000, but leading telecommunications firms Globe Telecom and Smart Communications extended the concept even further by selling phone credits for as low as P2, primarily through the widely popular Share-a-Load or pasa (pass) load programmes where mobile phone users can “e-pass” part of their phone credits to other users. Surprisingly, the food manufacturing sector was a little late in getting on the sachet or small packaging bandwagon, even if it has been argued that the by-the-piece selling actually started with food. Long before the established manufacturing firms came up with the small packages for products such as corned beef, canned tuna, liver spread, sardines and luncheon meat, the wet markets have already been selling cooking oil, spices and even garlic in small packages for as low as 50 cents a piece. And these continue to do so. This explains the continuing popularity of the wet markets and traditional sari-sari stores

HAVING A HUGE MARKET OF 86 MILLION FILIPINOS WITH A LIMITED DISPOSABLE
12 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

A CH INCOME HAS ALSO WARRANTED A

NG E IN

THE BUSINESS MODEL IN THE PHILIPPINES.

among Filipino consumers. Almost all of the products sold by the traditional stores and wet markets are in sachets and small packages. The array of products include canned goods, personal care products, household items such as detergents, dishwashing liquids and cleaning solutions. Contrast that to the expansive megastores meccas in America where US consumers flock and the cultural and economical differences are apparent. The Issaquah, Washington-based operator of wholesale clubs, Costco, reported US$38.7 billion in sales in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. They are the undisputed leader in the US$75 billion warehouse-club business. Here you can also find almost everything you need, but at a higher cost, initially. It seems Americans don’t mind paying more, knowing they won’t have to return anytime soon to restock. In the end, both of these markets are a test case illuminating the fusion of economy, culture and society. It also shows that for manufacturers and marketers to survive, they must adapt to the needs of the consumer. Companies such as Unilever have obviously done that in the Philippines and the US. But now, as manufacturing firms flock to other countries, particularly to China and India, it will be interesting to see what types of packaging and distribution “cultures” will emerge. Will Chinese consumers’ love of name brands and bargains lead to something entirely different? Perhaps, sachet sari-sari markets in one neighbourhood and wholesale clubs in the next? ▲

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 13

CASE FILES

BRAIN SCIENCE
BY MICHAEL CLEMENTS “MSNBC.COM FOUND THAT BY PARTNERING WITH REPUTABLE AND ESTABLISHED NEWS OUTLETS, IT COULD INCREASE ITS USER BASE.”

14 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

WHEN MSNBC.COM SWITCHED ITS MARKET RESEARCH FOCUS TO UNDERSTANDING PERCEPTIONS OF ITS BRAND ATTRIBUTES, THE ONLINE NEWS AND INFORMATION PROVIDER GAINED AN INSIGHT INTO ITS USERS—AND THE FUTURE.

M
EARLY ON

arketing legend and author of the recent book, The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR, Al Ries, states that brands “go wrong” when they attempt to go against what is in the psyche of the consumer. He’s quoted as saying, “clients always wanted me to say something that was different than what was in the consumer’s mind—and we always said “no”, let’s run our advertising focusing on what people already believe in.” He has a point. The question is—how? MSNBC.comfaced the same question after the launch of its revamped website at the end of 2003. Until that time, the company had been placing their stock on measuring online behaviour instead of brand equity. Mapping brand equity uncovers the strengths and weaknesses of a product or service within the mind of the consumer in comparison to competition within the market.

and personal finance. We also looked at everything from radio and magazine to television, broadcast and cable.” But the study, based on telephonebased surveying, or random digit dial (RDD), wasn’t enough. Explains Crowther, “We were at point where we were getting ready to field another AAU, but it felt as if we were not really learning anything that was going to be specific to our business in the long term. “We wanted to understand what our awareness was—to get a better understanding of our representation and where we were in the market. In terms of ratings, we knew that we are one of the top two Internet news sites, and we’ve held that position for years. So we had that information, but still needed to know, even with those kinds of numbers, what our brand awareness was. So we began to look at brand equity.”
GETTING RID OF THEIR HANG-UPS

MSNBC.com, like other content providers, began regular user tracking studies after launching. Internally, they referred to this research as the Attitudes, Awareness and Usage Study (AAU). “We were basically taking an assessment of the news market and looking at news consumers,” says MSNBC.com Vice President of Marketing and Communications Cherylynne Crowther. “We wanted to see how people were using Internet news, what medium they turned to, and what types of news they liked—everything from breaking news to health information

One of the first changes MSNBC. com made was to move from telephone to online surveys. “There were a couple clear advantages. First, you are talking to people already within the Internet environment where they use our service. This was particularly important because RDD response rates had been dropping. Plus it made the survey more financially feasible moving forward.” More key, however, was the fact that the new measurement tool they were using—The Momentum Engine—gave them the ability to chart specific attributes

of their brand. “We were able to drill down more into the consumer mindset and see which of our attributes resonated best with the consumer, andhowthiscomparedagainstother brands,” she says. The new emphasis on brand equity also allowed MSNBC.com to apply these attributes to their overall growth strategy. For example, research showed that the “at work” news segment was the most valuable segment for MSNBC.com, along with Internet news in general. It also indicated that individuals who searched for news at work were concerned with reputation of a news source. In such, MSNBC.com knew that by partnering with reputable and established news outlets, it could increase its user base. It further provided insight into how their competitors fared and how well they in turn fared in specific attributes against each competitor. “We ‘scrub’ the results—meaning we remove overlaying attributes, breaking the information down to the most directly correlated,” explains Synovate’s Fran Jones, who worked with Crowther on the project. The online-based brand equity survey allowed them to see whether or not their revamp choices were the right ones. “The survey showed that we are headed in the right direction. We made some right decisions. So, you can say that it does validate our choices,” says Crowther. She adds, “Research sometimes is just confirming that you’re making the right decisions. Managing your business, you want to have an understanding of what it is you need to do to deliver to the audience and what you need to improve upon.” ▲
JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 15

COVER STORY

16 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

TRIAL &
BY STEVEN KNIPP

WHY AMERICA’S TOP TRIAL LAWYERS TEST THEMSELVES WITH MOCK JURIES
“A JURY CONSISTS OF TWELVE PERSONS CHOSEN TO DECIDE WHO HAS THE BETTER LAWYER.”

ERROR
– Robert Frost
will adopt any tool, technique or trick that might help them win more cases. Increasingly today, America’s best trial attorneys are winning their cases through the ingenious use of specially created focus groups, which act as ‘mock jurors’ weeks, or even months, before the actual trial begins. Using a focus group as a mock jury serves four main purposes for trial lawyers. First, it tests how persuasive their client’s case is. Secondly, it demonstrates the impact that various arguments or various witnesses will likely have on a real jury. Many attorneys have had the frustrating experience of working with a witness whom everyone thought would make an
JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 17

W
Illustrations by Emilio Rivera III

ith the possible exception of prize fighter pilots, trial lawyers are probably the most fiercely competitive people on the planet. When a fighter pilot fails, however, he merely goes does down in flames. But when a trial lawyer loses an important case, it could well mean he is quietly crossed off his law firm’s list of possible future partners. And for most lawyers that’s a fate far worse than flaming out at 12,000 metres. So it’s with good reason that for lawyers, who spend the greater part of their careers inside courtroom fighting to convince a jury that their client is the Good Guy, they

COVER STORY

“SOMETIMES THE VIDEOTAPES OF MOCK JURY DELIBERATIONS CAN BE A POWERFUL INFLUENCE UPON THE CLIENT’S ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOUR.”

excellent impression on the jury, only to discover during the trial that the witness is an absolute disaster. Presenting a witness to a jury for the first time is like going in for a first kiss – you only get one chance to make the right impression. Thirdly, a mock jury helps a lawyer decide which type of jurors he should avoid when selecting the actual jury. “The practice of using focus groups to help trial lawyers goes back at least 25 years, but the concept did not become widespread until the last 15 years,” says Jerry W. Thomas. “Today, thousands of mock juries are held annually in the US, and the use of mock trials is on the up trend.” Thomas knows of what he speaks. As president and CEO for the past 25 years of Decision Analyst Inc – a leading Texas-based international marketing, research and consulting firm – Thomas has helped put together thousands of focus groups for clients ranging from major consumer goods packagers and telecommunications firms, to those in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Thomas says the mock jury concept is a direct descendent of focus groups first developed by American marketing firms in the 1950s. “Typically,” says Thomas, “a mock jury consists of eight to 12 ‘jurors’ who are assembled to hear a summary presentation of both sides of a case. Once the case is presented, participants then discuss the evidence and the arguments.

JERRY W. THOMAS: “The use of mock trials is on

the up end.”

AMY MERRILL: “The mock jury should mirror the

demography of the actual jury.”

In order to be effective, however, Thomas says it’s crucial that mock jurors “be representative of the types of jurors likely to be on the actual jury. The mock jury should be conducted in the city where the case will be tried, or at least nearby in a similar city.” Thomas also cautions you should “set quotas for men, women and minorities, so that the mock jurors are representative of the people likely to appear on the actual jury.” But he adds it is also important to “screen out anyone associated with the judicial system – including law enforcement, the legal profession or news media – as these

people’s views would not be typical of a real jury. Generally, the concerned lawyers observe the group discussion from behind a one-way mirror or via remote video transmission, with a typical mock jury discussion lasting up to two hours. “Mock juries are valuable in any type of legal case, if a jury is involved,” says Thomas. “They are less valuable – but still have merit – if the case is heard only by a judge.” Interestingly, like fighter pilots, many successful lawyers have sizeable egos. So it’s probably not too surprising that not all attorneys immediately fall in love with the

“WHEN PUTTING TOGETHER A MOCK JURY, SHE PURPOSELY ‘STACKS THE DECK’ AGAINST THE ATTORNEYS, SO THAT THEY CAN LEARN TO UNDERSTAND AND OVERCOME OBSTACLES THAT MIGHT HURT THEIR CASE.”
18 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

idea of using mock juries to set the direction of their cases. Few lawyers like to be second guessed, especially by lay people. In most cases, lawyers who’ve had personal experience with mock juries tend to really like them, says Thomas. But at times their egos can get badly bruised when jurors are critical. “One of the biggest problems in trying to help lawyers is arrogance,” explains Thomas. “Many attorneys assume that because they’re good lawyers, they know how to run the mock jury discussion and how to interpret the results. This arrogance becomes an impediment to getting real value out of the mock juries. If you hire experts to do the groups, then pay attention to them, and let them do the mock juries the way they should be done.” If lawyers can handle the “sticks and stones” sometimes tossed at them by mock juries, the knowledge gleaned from groups can dramatically increase the chances of winning in front of a real jury, says Thomas, because mock juries “can help a lawyer determine those themes he should emphasize and those ideas and concepts to avoid – as well as what he should do to counter the arguments and evidence from the other side.” “A mock jury can also be an effective tool to help an attorney manage his client,” explains Thomas. “If the client is overconfident, in a state of denial, or refusing to face up to the risks of the case, sometimes

MOCK SHOT Michael Jackson gestures to a photographer in the Santa Maria Superior Court.

CELEBRITIES & MOCK JURIES
For obvious reasons, trial attorneys are among the most discrete of professionals. And for that reason alone, it’s extremely difficult to know with any certainty how often focus groups and mock jurors are used. This impenetrability is doubly so for socalled celebrity trials. But because celebrities are often wealthy enough to hire the finest law firms, and their reputation is often crucial to their careers, it’s common knowledge that focus groups and mock jurors are regularly used by America’s top celebrity lawyers in the defense of their illustrious clients. It’s assumed that focus groups were used in the famous O.J. Simpson murder trial, and based on the reading from these mock jurors, Simpson was never put on the witness stand. He was acquitted of all charges. It is also widely acknowledged that a focus group was used by Martha Stewart’s defense team to determine what prospective jurors might think of the billionaire blonde domestic diva. Apparently they were not impressed, because Martha’s lawyers refused to allow her to testify on her own behalf. Nonetheless, she was convicted of obstructing justice in the New York stock market scandal. Michael Jackson has recently hired Thomas Mesereau Jr. as his new lawyer, the noted attorney who defended actor Robert Blake in his murder case and boxer Mike Tyson against rape charges. Mesereau is expected to use both focus groups and mock jury to ascertain how actual jurors will judge the man that US tabloids have labeled “Wacko Jacko”. ▲

UNIMPRESSED

Martha�s lawyers refused to allow her to testify on her own behalf.

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 19

COVER STORY

“I WOULD NEVER TRY A MAJOR CASE WITHOUT FIRST CONDUCTING A MOCK TRIAL. EVEN IF I THINK THE CASE CAN BE SETTLED BEFORE TRIAL, I OFTEN USE MOCK JURIES TO HELP US ASSESS ITS VALUE.”
the videotapes of mock jury deliberations can be a powerful influence upon the client’s attitudes and behaviour.” Amy Merrill, president of the Ohiobased marketing consulting firm of DecisionPoint Marketing & Research, has made mock juries one of her company’s specialties. So much so, in fact, that Merrill’s firm has even designed special facilities specifically to meet the needs of a mock jury trial, including a main presentation room, a jury deliberation room and a viewing room for their lawyer clients. Having personally managed over 5,000 market research projects since 1987, Merrill believes strongly that the mock jury concept is still only its infancy stage. “In the future,” she says, “there will simply not be a case that is tried without the attorney doing their homework in order to understand how the case sits with the jurors.” When putting together a mock jury, she purposely “stacks the deck” against the attorneys, so that they can learn to understand and overcome obstacles that might hurt their case – before actually stepping in front of a real jury. “For instance, ” says Merrill, “if there is a medical malpractice case and the attorney is defending the physician, we probably would not want a wife of a physician to sit on the mock jury. But if they are a relative of an individual that is a practicing

CAROLE BOS: “It’s a great way for clients to

hear real people discuss their cases.”

BARRY RICHARD: “The exercise is not a contest

of skills between the opposing lawyers.”

physician, they may be sympathetic to the case and offer insight that may help to formulate their strategy.” Like Jerry Thomas, Merrill says it’s important that the mock jury mirrors as much as possible the demography of what the actual jury will look like. To do this Merrill uses a database of some 35,000 possible jurors in her area, using voter registration lists. Amy Merrill also agrees with Jerry Thomas in that trial attorneys are, for the most part, skeptical about trying new

techniques, but says many of their clients are now actually insisting on having a mock trial before they go into court. Merrill notes that in some cases mock juries have even been used to mediate a case to actually eliminate the need for trial. Considering that America is arguably the most litigious nation on earth (70% of the world’s lawyers live in the US) that benefit alone is considerable. Merrill says that the mock jury process is often used for medical malpractice cases and for plaintiff trials against corporations.

“THOUGH MOCK TRIALS USING MOCK JURORS ARE INDEED ABBREVIATED STRIPPED-DOWN VERSIONS OF REAL TRIALS, THEY CERTAINLY DON’T COME CHEAP.”

20 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

“SOMETIMES IT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET AT THE UNVARNISHED TRUTH.”

“I believe that any trial litigation could be supported by the mock jury trial processes. The voice of the (mock) jurors is invaluable to our clients in formulating strategy and winning their cases.” Michigan-based trial lawyer Carole Bos might well be considered a “top gun” in her trade. Bos’ law firm, Bos & Glazier, has handled cases ranging from complex commercial issues to wrongful death claims in both state and federal courts throughout the country. She served as Special Attorney to the United States and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum – a prestigious organisation restricted to trial lawyers who have won multi-million dollar verdicts. Bos, who has used mock juries for nearly two decades in all types of civil cases and for both plaintiff and defense, says that “unlike many firms whose trial lawyers haven’t put a case to a jury in years we actually try case and so we use this tool on a regular basis.” “Generally speaking, I would never try a major case without first conducting a mock trial. Even if I think the case can be settled before trial, I often use mock juries to help us assess its value.” In some instances, Bos has hired expert outside firms to assemble a mock trial, but in instances where her client has budget worries, her law firm puts together the

mock trial itself, using a local employment agency. Bos also always makes it a point to have her client on hand to personally witness the mock trial, even though the mock jurors will not know who they are. “It is a great way,” says Bos, “for them to hear real people discuss their cases. Sometimes it is the best way to get at the unvarnished truth.” Another American top-rated ace attorney who swears by focus groups is Florida-based lawyer Barry Richard, whose firm, Greenberg Traurig, has offices in New York City and Washington, DC, and clients around the world. Among the high points of his 30-year career, Richard was the lead litigation counsel in Florida for George W. Bush, during the historic Bush-Gore election dispute. Richard’s clientele has included such diverse corporate clients as Aetna Insurance, Anheuser-Busch, Caesar’s Palace, Ford Motor Company and the Hard Rock Cafe. Writing about mock juries in the March 2004 issue of the prestigious

National Law Journal, Richard says, “The exercise is not a contest of skills between the opposing lawyers. In fact, care should be taken to be sure that the opposing lawyers are evenly matched in terms of skill and experience. The exercise is necessarily a highly truncated version of the actual trial. The jury will see only selected issues and evidence that counsel have determined should be tested.” Though mock trials using mock jurors are indeed abbreviated strippeddown versions of real trials, they certainly don’t come cheap. The detailed research necessary to carefully select and vet the proper jurors takes considerable time and money. The jurors themselves are paid several hundred dollars per day, and the opposing counsels can charge US$300 per hour. So the total cost of putting together a mock jury, says Jerry Thomas, can range from US$5,000 up to US$10,000 or US$15,000 per group – depending upon who the jurors are, how elaborate the ‘court’ facilities are, and on the reputation of the moderator.” But if that’s what it takes to shoot down their opposing counsel in a legal dogfight in a real courtroom in front of an actual jury, there are few legal eagles who wouldn’t leave their egos outside, and use the technique to bring victory to their clients. ▲

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 21

CHANGE FEATURE

TRACKING THE
THEY’RE LIKE SHADOWS SHIFTING FROM ONE PLACE TO THE NEXT. ONE MOMENT YOU SEE THEM, THE NEXT THEY’RE GONE. THEY’RE THE INFLUENCERS, THE CONNECTORS, THE CREATIVE, THE TRENDY —THE PEOPLE YOU WANT TO TARGET—IF YOU CAN FIND THEM.
BY MICHAEL CLEMENTS

VANGUA

22 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

RDI STAS
R
oberto is a 33-year old creative director at one of the city’s top ad agencies. In his spare time he plays in a local band, meets with friends to talk film, and runs his own website. He smokes occasionally, is out four nights a week and makes enough money to afford an apartment in the trendiest neighborhood in town. But Roberto detests commercials. In fact, he goes out of his way to turn them off. Direct mailings? Forget it—straight into the bin. And bottle-top promotions? Please… He’s an ideas man, an early adopter, someone other “creatives” look up to. He’s a “Vanguard”—and some companies desperately want to recruit as a brand ambassador. But this is no easy egg to crack.
BUZZED AND BRANDED

Like the 49ers digging for gold in mid1800s America, marketers know their “nugget” is out there. Sifting through the populace for a rare Vanguard stone, however, is no simple task. For many brands, buzz marketing has been the answer. Buzz marketing states that we not only reach Roberto, but we also enlist him as a trendsetter to subtly push and talk up the brand to friends and admirers. By coordinating this current of communication, marketers simply hope to replicate the pattern set by sudden sensations such as the independent film The Blair Witch Project, the

Harry Potter book series and the rebirth of Puma. In each case, the “buzz” that seemed to come from out of nowhere transformed what otherwise would have been a niche product into a mass phenomenon. This is the great pursuit of buzz marketing, where brand come-ons are veiled like a hunter in the bush and where consumers are lured into the task of “moving the heard”. Sure, generating great buzz for their products has been the holy grail of marketers since P Barnum famously .T. exclaimed: “Come see the great Egris.” But today the stakes are much higher. Since that time, a virtual who’s who of traditional advertisers have stepped up to the buzz marketing plate: Ford, Hasbro, Lucky Strikes, VF Corp, IBM and Vespa, just to name a few. For example, rather than saturating the airways with TV commercials for its Focus subcompact, Ford Motor Co. recruited a handful of trendsetters in a few markets and gave them each a Focus to drive for six months. Their duties? Simply to be seen with the car and to hand out Focus-themed trinkets to anyone who expressed interest in it. Who is lucky enough to get a free car like this? The influencers—or as they say in Spain, the Vanguardista Urbano No Convencional or “VUNCs”.
LET’S GET VUNC-Y

Daniel Calabuig, Director of Madridbased buzz marketing company, Seis

Grados has been tracking the elusive VUNC for years with the skilled prowess of a big-game huntsman. He tells me, “VUNCs are people who are close to the creative movement of the city. They work in creative workplaces, with creative people, or they are at least close to this kind of work. They work in advertising, design, art, music, literature— they could even work in bars, clubs and discos. Secondly, besides their creative work, they are well-connected–they need to know a lot of people to do their work.” To reach the VUNCs, Seis Grados, like many buzz marketing companies, gets creative. “The first thing we are doing is trying to contact them at ‘real determined’ points of contact such as exclusive events like, for example, in Barcelona recently, at the first trade show of Trend Magazine. It wasn’t a very crowded event, but Trend Magazine is all over the world, so many VUNCs came for the three days to show their work.” Seis Grados ceased the opportunity to build brand awareness for one of their tobacco clients, whom they wish to keep anonymous. Instead of being overbearing and overt, they created an interactive art installation. “People could record images and music just by moving their bodies,” Calabuig explains. “To participate people had to exchange their email, so we could send them what they created. This way, we had their email and a viable next point of contact.”

THE “BUZZ” THAT SEEMED TO COME FROM OUT OF NOWHERE TRANSFORMED WHAT OTHERWISE WOULD HAVE BEEN A NICHE PRODUCT INTO A MASS PHENOMENON.
JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 23

CHANGE FEATURE

Buzz marketers must tread lightly though, for like a woodsman up wind or a fisherman who jumps clumsily into the water, a sure-fire way to induce a frantic VUNC exodus is to be obtrusive with your message. “They want something smart,” says Calabuig. Luckily for the Trend Magazine event, Seis Grados chose subtlety. At the entrance of the interactive installation, there was a poster simply saying, “Have we met?”. At the exit there was another sign that said “By the way, my name is…” It was something understated and smart, and not overt.
GENESIS OF THE VANGUARD

“IT’S AN ATTITUDE. IT COULD BE A MAN OR WOMAN THAT IS 20 OR 30 OR 50—IT DOESN’T MATTER.”

With all the doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women around, creative types tend to be in the minority. According to Calabuig, about 8% of the population in Barcelona could be considered as Vangaurdistas. Still, many brands make the mistake of attempting to fit the VUNC into a specific demographic based on age, gender or religion. “It’s an attitude,” says Calabuig. “It could be a man or woman that is 20 or 30 or 50—it doesn’t matter. Their career is about what’s happening, it’s who they are. They want to be updated and connected. They are aware of what is happening—they have to be.” But artists and creative types, as the stereotype goes, aren’t exactly overrun with spending cash. So why the fuss? “They influence more people than a normal person. They have a very high communication potential,” explains Calabuig. It’s that communication potential, which brands are hoping to plug into.

24 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

FORD MOTOR CO. RECRUITED A HANDFUL OF TRENDSETTERS IN A FEW MARKETS AND GAVE THEM EACH A FOCUS TO DRIVE FOR SIX MONTHS.
SUCCESSES AND LESSONS

The social sway of the VUNC can be particularly valuable for brands that have certain limitations when it comes to their ability to market in traditional mediums such as television and print—prime examples being alcohol and tobacco brands. Yet, VUNCs can also appeal to such well-known brands as Nike and Sony Playstation, who want to expand their reach substantially without losing their “street creed”. As such, they tend to use separate communication strategies: one appealing to the mainstream and the other to VUNCs. This two-pronged approach has paid dividends for Sony Playstation. Seis Grados has been one of the agencies helping Playstation influence VUNCs online during new video game or product launches. Says Calabuig, “VUNCs are hungry for information and actively searching for it. They use the Internet to get informed before other people.” Marketers of course are attempting to quantify how often their message will be passed along and how many downstream consumers they’ll have to influence before a fad is born. VF Corp. contacted 200,000 carefully selected web surfers in the opening stage of a buzz campaign for its Lee Dungarees. Within four months, they tracked that 436,000 visitors had made their way to their specially created game site.
OVER BUZZED

WHO’S BUZZED?
4 IBM stenciled wordless images of a peace symbol, a heart and a penguin on Chicago and San Francisco sidewalks to build buzz for its “Peace Love Linux” effort. The result was a flood of media coverage—and Big Blue’s portrayal as a corporate vandal.

4VF Corp. contacted 200,000 carefully selected web surfers in the opening stage of a buzz campaign for its Lee Dungarees. Within four months, 436,000 visitors had made their way to a specially created game site. 4Ford Motor Co. recruited 120 trendsetters in five key markets: New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco and gave them each a Focus to drive for six months. Their duties? Be seen with the car and to hand out focus-themed goodies to anyone who expressed interest. 4Hebrew National dispatched “mom squads” to grill up its hot dogs in backyard barbecues.

Given the essentially uncontrollable nature of “buzz”, there is always the risk of a backlash. “Our clients have to know that if you are trying to be subversive and you are found out, it can be dangerous,” says

4Vespa importer Piaggio USA hired bike gang impersonators to hang out on near cafés in Los Angeles. Compliments on their Vespa scooters over an iced latté led to them pulling out a pad and scribbling down an address and phone number— not theirs, but that of the local “boutique” where you could buy your own. 4Lucky Strike sent out teams to bring iced coffee and beach chairs to exiled smokers trying to catch a smoke outside urban office buildings. 4Hasbro Games “deputised” hundreds of fourthand fifth-graders as “secret agents” to tantalise their peers with a new POX electronic game. ▲

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 25

CHANGE FEATURE

“THEY INFLUENCE MORE PEOPLE THAN A NORMAL PERSON. THEY HAVE A VERY HIGH COMMUNICATION POTENTIAL.”
Scott Leonard, CEO of ADD Marketing Inc., an agency that uses street teams and chat-room “cyber-reps” to spread hot, not-always-flattering gossip about client company recording artists. Even Big Blue had a run in with the law after one of its agencies stenciled wordless images of a peace symbol, heart, and penguin on Chicago and San Francisco sidewalks to build buzz for its “Peace Love Linux” effort. The resulting flood of media coverage did more than pay for itself, but IBM’s portrayal as a corporate vandal probably wasn’t the image it was looking for—or was it? And no, not everyone is happy with the covert marketing trend. Many critics decry it as a form of cultural corruption at a time when advertising already pervades the landscape. “It’s a much more insidious kind of development, because now, all of a sudden, marketers are creating culture on the grassroots level, on the streets and in the places people live,” says Kalle Lasn, editor of Adbusters magazine and an orchestrator of “media democracy” protests against multinational marketers. But the fact that the media landscape is so saturated is exactly why buzz marketing, and for that matter, the anti-corporate mindset of the VUNCs exist. How else can marketers reach this influential, yet fickle, group? As long as marketers are handing out free cars, iced coffee and cigarettes, the VUNC probably won’t mind—as long as the brand doesn’t get too pushy, that is. Because as soon as a VUNC detects corporate courtship, they are on the move. Then it’s time for the search to begin all over again—happy hunting. ▲

“OUR CLIENTS HAVE TO KNOW THAT IF YOU ARE TRYING TO BE SUBVERSIVE AND YOU ARE FOUND OUT, IT CAN BE DANGEROUS.”

26 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

LITERARY AGENT

GLOBALISE OR DIE: THE FUTURE OF ASIAN BUSINESS

FACING ASIA’S NEW CHALLENGES
AUTHORS: Frank-Jurgen Richter, Pamela C.M. Mar, Arnoud De Meyer, Peter Williamson IN SUM: Provides a descriptive analysis of the gloablisation challenge for East Asian firms
and a framework of how they can manage the internationalisation process

REVIEW: Heavy title, heavy read. Straight business without the bull. If you are looking for practical examples of successes and failures, along with testimonies prepared by CEO’s and leading entrepreneurs, here’s your intellectual guide. While it’s common knowledge that Japanese and Korean companies cracked the proverbial international egg years ago—and continue to do so now—many are continually surprised at the lack of East Asian global brands. This helps explain why in an informative read without the fluff. AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE:

DRIVEN

LUXURY READ ABOUT A LUXURY CAR AUTHOR: David Kiley IN SUM: An exclusive look at one of
the world’s most successful automakers–and the family behind it

important people in business are the shrewdest, smartest and sometimes most difficult people around. Stories on Richard Branson, Robert Goizuetta, Southwest Airlines’ Herb Keller, Steve Jobs, Luciano Benetton and more. AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE:

REVIEW: Although I finished reading this heading to the airport in the back of my friend’s Mercedes, it still rang a bell. A classic business study that at times swerves into the oncoming lane of a PR exercise, there are certainly lessons to be learned from the value of sticking to your core values. Most interesting part has to be, however, getting behind the walls of the Quandt Family to hear the story of Johanna Quandt—Europe’s second richest person. AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE:

THE END OF ADVERTISING AS WE KNOW IT
TIME TO BREAK OUT THE MUMS AUTHORS: Sergio Zyman and Armin Brott IN SUM: Coca-Cola’s renowned former Chief
Marketing Officer argues that the business of advertising as we know it has passed beyond the living

DREAM MERCHANTS AND HOWBOYS

MAVERICKS, NUTTERS AND THE ROAD TO BUSINESS SUCCESS AUTHOR: Barry J. Gibbons IN SUM: A book packed with
biographies and stories of some of the business world’s oddest and most successful business men and women

REVIEW: Through the use of real-world examples, Sergio casts a critical eye on how advertising, with its misguided focus on art and entertainment, neglects the important rule—sell, baby, sell. Video might have killed the radio star, but Sergio explains how advertising died, what killed it and how to revive it in his no-holds-barred ad background approach. Could this be the fire the advertising industry needs to bring it back to life? ▲ AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE:
BOOK RATING Read now Read soon Read later Wait for vacation Don’t bother

REVIEW Biographies on steroids. Who wants to hear all the good stuff? Get your hands dirty finding out why some of the most

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 27

CLIENT SIDE

“LET’S CONDUCT RESEARCH IN ASIA,” YOU SAY? EASIER SAID THAN DONE. WITH NUMEROUS LANGUAGES, CULTURES, CUSTOMS AND SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS TO DEAL WITH, ASIA IS FILLED WITH POTENTIAL VALIDITY TRAPS. HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO CONSIDER NEXT TIME YOU THINK ABOUT DOING SOME FACT-FINDING IN THIS IMPORTANT REGION.
METHODOLOGIES Telephone

DOs & DON’Ts OF RESEARCH IN ASIA
up—serve drinks and use projective techniques.
Depth Interviews

An important consideration for telephone interviews, for either consumer or business-to-business, is that they shouldn’t last over 20 minutes. Also, reliable consumer telephone interviews in underdeveloped markets such as Vietnam and, particularly, in rural areas of China, India and Southeast Asian countries, are also not possible because of low telephone penetration levels.
Random Door-to-Door

Tend to be difficult in markets where traffic is congested (Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpur) as research executives need to take a lot of time out for each interview. Therefore, avoid in these markets if possible.
ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS GROUPS

In some countries, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, this is becoming harder and the results less representative because of security guards restricting entry to up-market housing estates. In Hong Kong, it is even becoming difficult to gain access to some of the less affluent estates.
Central Location Tests

In this particular instance, Singapore has always been expensive because of a lack of available facilities. If your client insists that you must do CLT in Singapore, be sure to warn them to book well ahead.
Focus Groups

In some countries there is a diversity of ethnic groups, something which needs to be considered in any sample composition (whether for qualitative or quantitative) and treated with due sensitivity. Malaysia and Singapore each have three groups (Chinese, Malay and Indian), which do not easily mix in groups (unless business or affluent groups). In other countries, sample design is made more simple because the population is fairly homogeneous: Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Thailand. For the ethnically diverse countries, clients need to be made aware of the possible need for additional focus groups and segments, as well as additional translation.
QUESTIONNAIRES

to plan in terms of cost and timing. For example, English can be used in several countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. However, clients need to be advised as to which groups of people are comfortable speaking English. Some may need to have the choice of both English and the local language (e.g. in the Philippines). Considerations include business, consumer, age and ethnic groups. Care needs to be taken with Chinese language. Not all clients understand that written Chinese is slightly different in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Even the fonts required are different.
Subject Matter

These can be done everywhere, depending on the target respondents and taking into consideration certain issues such as difficult respondents. Do not try to bring doctors, CEOs or frequent flyers together for group sessions—use depth interviews instead. Other problems to consider are that traffic difficulties in Bangkok, Manila and Kuala Lumpor can affect starting times and turnout. Also,formal respondents in countries like Japan and Korea need lightening

Questionnaires are one of the more complex areas of regional research planning because they raise many issues: ● Language ● Subject matter ● Length ● Question phrasing
Language

When planning multicountry studies, it is good to be able to advise clients about the language requirements in each country. This shows knowledge and helps

Not all subjects can be discussed easily in all markets. In Korea, for example, a recent attempt to question consumers on their total personal financial affairs was a near disaster. “If I tell you all those things, you will know everything about me,” one potential respondent protested and declined to be interviewed. Indeed any financial questioning in Korea (and Japan) needs to be broached gently. Brash, undisguised efforts to know how much people earn and invest will not be fruitful. Therefore, don’t expect much from a short telephone interview to assess household income distribution. In Singapore, political research is not allowed, nor is smoking research. In Thailand, beware of overtly sexual themes—not suitable—or anything referring to the monarchy or religion. Be wary of taking questionnaires designed in affluent countries or Western markets and simply translating them for use in places like China. A recent questionnaire designed in the US and intended to be used in China asked people

28 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

“CONSUMER TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS IN UNDERDEVELOPED MARKETS, PARTICULARLY IN RURAL AREAS OF CHINA, ARE NOT POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF LOW TELEPHONE PENETRATION LEVELS.”
about their golfing habits and their length of car journey to work.
Length

A rule of thumb is to add 25% to the English language interview time—a 20minute questionnaire is likely to take at least 25 minute in local language. This has implications for methodology as the maximum length of a telephone interview in most markets is around 20 minutes. Guidelines for face-to-face interviews are: ● Door-to-door up to 40 minutes ● CLT up to 30 minutes ● Street intercept up to 15 minutes ● Business up to 30 minutes Guidelines for telephone interviews are: ● Household up to 25 minutes ● Business up to 25 minutes ● Focus groups up to 2.5 hours ● Depth interviews up to 1 hour
Questions and phrasing

Be aware of phrasing where Western statements may not be appropriate in Asia.For example, the description of oneself as impulsive or confident (for use in attitudinal questions) needs to be toned down in Hong Kong where these are considered to be negative or exaggerated.Be careful about politically sensitive issues, such as calling Taiwan a country in a questionnaire for mainland China.
SCHEDULES

It is important to consider details of public and religious holidays around Asia when planning research in other countries. The last thing a potentially tricky regional study needs is unforeseen delays. For major holidays, allow for at least a week before and after as people tend to go away for longer than the public holidays. ▲

Illustration by Emilio Rivera III

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 29

FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING

JUNIOR TAKES THE

WHEEL
46%
of Indians agreed that their kids’ needs influenced their choice of car. Meanwhile, the results of this survey indicate that kids are an afterthought for most French and Korean drivers, and to a lesser extent, Germans.

HOW MUCH INFLUENCE DO KIDS HAVE ON THEIR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS WHEN IT COMES TO NEW CAR DECISION-MAKING?

of parents received a request from their kids for in-car entertainment such as DVDs and videogames. The idea only came up with 8% of qualified respondents in France.

37%

52%

of respondents reported complaints on the vehicle by kids. The biggest global gripe was temperature—a concern of 16% of respondents. The biggest complaints came from China. Seat belts were the next biggest source of moans—nearly a third of kids in Brazil don’t like to be told to belt up.

of Italians get their children and grandchildren involved to some degree in the carbuying process.

92%

of Americans said that carmakers are kid-friendly. In Korea, only 18% felt their children/grandchildren were being suitably looked after, and 32% of Chinese felt car companies weren’t particularly kid friendly.

78%

of respondents admitted some involvement of kids in the purchase process.

60%

52%

of parents and grandparents were influenced by kids when choosing car colour. This was closely followed by the size and styling, which averaged 52%.

Note: The findings here are taken from a Synovate TeleNations survey of nearly 5,000 qualified individuals conducted in USA, Brazil, France, Germany, UK, China, Korea, Thailand, India and the Gulf Region. A qualified respondent is a parent with at least one child in the household or a grandparent. A child/grandchild is defined as being aged 17 and under. If you’d like more information about this and other studies, please email [email protected]

30 CHANGE I AGENT JUNE 2004

TALES FROM THE FIELD

MISSION REPORT
IT’S AN URBAN JUNGLE OUT THERE. . . JUST ASK ANY RESEARCHER IN THE FIELD
POCKET ROULETTE

An MR Director goes to a client meeting in Paris. He has been out the night before and for some reason put his dirty underpants in the pocket of his jacket. The meeting went fine and all was well until he found later in the day that he’d picked up the client MD’s identical jacket.
THE ILL-ADVISED HANDSHAKE

An MR Director walks into a room full of clients and feels for the door handle behind him to pull it shut. Unfortunately, his client was walking in behind him at the time.
TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN

A researcher begins a focus group by handing out envelopes of money and collect respondent signatures to volunteers filing in. But as the number of respondents swell it becomes apparent they have hijacked another researcher’s respondents. Money is given back, names crossed off and the process begins again. This time, a more sedate selection of elderly respondents are signed up and given money. As they make their way to the room, one elderly man hobbles off to the gents, money in hand, never to be seen again.
BURNING SENSATION

The MD of a major MR company is preparing to give a presentation to a large audience of electricity board members in their experimental kitchen. He carefully places his acetates in a convenient position–which, unbeknown to him, is the top of a ceramic cooker. Thank heavens for PowerPoint.
HUNGRY FOR A COMPLIMENT

A researcher sits behind glass with about eight clients as a focus group kicks off. After about 15 minutes one of the respondents asks if she could possibly open the plate of sandwiches, at which the researcher replies, “Of course. That’s the best thing you’ve said all night!” Nervous laughter erupts from the client room.
BIG BROTHER

A researcher borrows a car to go to Tesco and deliver a presentation. He puts all the necessary equipment in the boot, but when he goes to retrieve them, the key to the boot snaps off in the lock. For the next hour he pulls the car apart trying to get into the boot. Meanwhile, the board of Tesco watches from above.

JUNE 2004 CHANGE I AGENT 31

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