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news October  2011

Information Fatigue

I recently attended the annual CASRO conference—aptly themed “Success in the Re-Defined World—which addressed best practices and insights in rapidly evolving opinion gathering and business analytics market research. Findings from a survey of top corporate executives and market researchers were presented and revealed that 60 percent of those surveyed predict major transformational change in research by 2020, some 70 percent of whom envision major change by 2015.

During the keynote address “The Seven Question Meeting,” Chris Frank of American Express and Openet Telecom’s Paul Magnone, co-authors of the book Drinking From The Fire Hose,” set the tone of the conference, suggesting a contrarian take on how big data should be utilized in order to make more astute decisions without drowning in the process.

In keeping with their out-of-the-box thinking for achieving novel and innovative marketing insights, Frank and Magnone propose taking a disruptive approach to big data by asking the hard questions ‘What,’ ‘So What’, and ‘Now What’ and never forgetting to pose the seminal statement “I wish I knew...” to your researchers after the 100 pages of findings you may never read have been delivered. Both experts also suggest asking seven pragmatic “fire hose” questions as a best practice for converting data and information into insights and actions.

Frank and Magnone advocate seven tips for “brilliance” that include:

  • Reveal indispensable information: Ask “I wish I knew...”
  • Illuminate the unexpected: Where do you want to go?
  • Be “irritatingly objective” and counter short-term thinking. Don’t get caught up in the squiggly line.
  • What surprised you about the research? Permit real dialogue.
  • What does the lighthouse reveal? Champion objectivity.
  • Revive the customer conversation: Ask “Who are your swing voters?”
  • Make your bottom line your top line. Expose insights: Ask yourself what the data really means: What? So what? Now what?

To be sure, the research paradox never has been more acute. As Amelia Strobel of Kraft put it, their new corporate paradigm is “more with less is more,” underscoring the need to place high value on strategic partners. Strobel even suggests a new supplier retainer model, stressing the corporate researcher’s challenge to be “in-sultants” and rely on strategic partners for new insights.

Elevating the art of story-telling in market research insights, Coca Cola’s Stan Stahnunathan advocates moving market research from explanation to inspiration—from 80 percent rear view MR to to 50 percent forward thinking insights.

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iPhone - Spanish Case Study

As our NetBase partner prepares for the 2012 release of its global social analytics engine, currently available only in English-speaking countries, Localspeak was asked to provide Spanish language analytics for a demo case study. Absent the benefits of the automated sentiment analysis available in the English NLP-processing social engine, we were required to use traditional manual in-language coding and charting.

For this Spanish demo we selected Apple, a brand famous for distinctive intuitive research pre-eminence. The brand test case we chose was the ubiquitous iPhone.

NetBase extracted from its servers a sample of about 65,000 in-language verbatims from an array of diverse micro blogs, forums and domains throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Employing our traditional in-language team of human market research coders, we decided initially to code and visually chart the data for themes, sub-themes, and then to further distill the primary sub-theme. To support our coded findings, we also selected key sound bites for translation, some of which are mentioned here.

We created sample charts representative of the coded data in both English and Spanish.

“Mejoras” (improvements) topped the positive sentiment chart, with improved camera, speed, phone and better specs netting out as enhancements with the highest frequency. Among the apparent revolutionary product enrichments, this one was cited:

And with AirPlay Duplication, everything you see and do in the iPhone will appear simultaneously in your HD TV set.
[ Spanish source ]

Speaking to the Apple brand heritage, many commenters shared their loyalty, eschewing would-be imitators as in this post:

We are living the age of the iPhone, the iPad and the era of an army of Androids ready to dethrone them bite by bite.
[ Spanish source ]

Among the primary improvements subthemes was a common theme: Better camera

The sensor of the iPhone 4S is faster and brighter, two main features in a camera that are rarely addressed by cell phone manufacturers (with the exception of Nokia, that was really focused on solving this issue both in the Nokia N8 and in the recent Nokia N9).
[ Spanish sources ]

Following “superior phone” was anticipation for the new iPhone 5 announcement, which continues to generate excitement among brand loyalists as reflected in this post:

The expectation for the arrival of the next iPhone increases day by day.
[ Spanish source ]

This post portends the disclosure of the iPhone 5 specs:

It seems that without wanting to do so, the Cupertino boys may have confirmed the next presentation of an iPhone 4S. The code we are showing you below will provide all the details of this involuntary disclosure.
[ Spanish source ]

On the negative side—for those who like playing games on their cell phones—
S4 speed was an issue, as was screen size compared to the Galaxy II and Android.

Among the comments expecting superior technical improvement:

If I feel so disappointed it is because Apple is an elite company. I pay for this and this is why I expect innovative products, not a 6 month-old A5 chip in its most important product: the iPhone and an identical exterior design to the one launched some 20 months ago... do you understand?
[ Spanish source ]

Disappointment was strongest over the much-anticipated iPhone 5 non-events; with some brand loyalists even feeling “deceived.” Drilling deep into the Spanish subthemes some complained that Siri doesn’t speak Spanish —referring to the iPhone’s voice recognition function.

Yet, among the improvements noted in 4S was its artificial intelligence:

And the answer is that this is where the power of Siri is: with Artificial Intelligence and pattern deductions, in addition to the use of the GPS in the iPhone 4S (to determine your current coordinates), and analizing the pattern of things you have done previously, Siri can deduct what you want to say.
[ Spanish source ]

Once again in a brilliant stroke of marketing genius, Apple set the stage in true Steve Jobs-style for the launch of iPhone 5 and beyond, as this comment notes:

In truth, I’m not going to change my iPhone 4, because of all this “great disappointment” crap when 90% of all the forecasts about cell phones, and that everybody loved, have been fulfilled...
[Spanish source ]

This Spanish language exercise prompted us to create a new social analytics service for Localspeak clients— Spanish Brand Social Insights and Analytics. Intended to provide complementary social insights to researchers, product and brand managers, innovation and ideation consultancies, we initially will be offering ad hoc Spanish brand insights, contingent on samples available for specific brands and brand categories requested with data provided by the NetBase engine.

Data collection and analysis of a reservoir of untapped, unbiased and unsolicited social discussions is available, and fresh new insights await your brand clients.

To learn more about our new global Spanish brand insights analysis service, please contact Localspeak today.


Veronique Bodoutchian — Translation Associate, Spanish

Veronique Bodoutchian joined Localspeak in 2002 to translate a Mattel Toys campaign into the Spanish language and has since assisted in translation for a variety brand marketing research projects.

A language and communication consultant for more than 25 years, Veronique offers private and public sector clients customized solutions for language use, translation and interpretation. Her consultancy practices include market research, trans-creation, copywriting, needs analysis, design and the implementation of executive communications, presentation, negotiation/conflict resolution, ESP and FSP programs.

An active member of ASETRAD, the Spanish translation association, Veronique is the author of Diccionario Bilingüe Jurídico-empresarial (2000), a bilingual dictionary, and the quarterly column “The Marketing Whizz” in the pharmaceutical newsletter Farmarketing. A certified Linguist and active member of Proz.com, she holds her EN-ES-EN translator certification from the Ministry of Justice in Venezuela.


Localspeak international staff and services meet and often exceed the expectations of our clients. Call us today to discuss your in-language coding, translation and social media brand equity and tracking projects.

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