Social Media Insights from the #TMRE13

Discovery Research Group, more specifically our Focalytic brand, recently attended the Market Research Event in Nashville, TN (10/21/13 – 10/23/13).  When we realized the amount of Twitter “chatter” that was surrounding the speakers and presenters at the event, we decided to measure what they were talking about to see if we could pull some key insights from the conference.  Below, is a brief summary of the conference insights we found compelling.

TMRE word cloud

Cutting through the chatter to discover the trends and major themes from more than 2,250 tweets with the hashtag #TMRE13, Discovery Research Group uncovered a few interesting insights.

Not surprisingly, most conversations focused on the simple, with exhibitors encouraging people to stop by their booth or attendees commenting on the conference speakers or location. Some of the more rich insights came from attendees tweeting and re-tweeting quotes or points of interest they gained from attending a conference session.  Below is a word cloud around that conversation.

This word cloud begins to tell us part of the story, but honing in on “why” particular words occur in high frequency we learn what conference attendees found most interesting.

One of the first words to stand out among the content is around the word “brand”. Conversation associated with “brand” came largely out of Keynote speaker Jeremy Sack’s presentation on “The Pragmatic Brain”. Below are some of the comments and quotes that many attendees considered to be worth tweeting about on the subject of branding:

  • Avoid gen pop research when crafting your brand’s identity; your brand’s most passionate consumers matter most!
  • If you’re (a brand) simply talking AT tweens, prepare to be eclipsed by a competitor.
  • Don’t mix up heavy brand users with brand lovers.
  • Focus on only why your brand needs to be consumed. That’s how brands dominate!
  • Heavy users are not always the “lovers” of your brand. It’s the deep emotional connection with your brand that makes a lover a “lover”.
  • Your customers are having an experience with your brand, even if you aren’t managing the experience.
  • Brand relationships fall into 4 categories – beat friends, colleagues, star-groupies, and love-hate.
  • Brand stereotypes create reality.  Brands resist change, but CAN change, and are part of who we are.
  • By addressing the non-conscious first, you can change your brand stereotype for the better.
  • To improve brand stereotypes, the change effort must feel authentic and the interaction cooperative.
  • Brand trackers should track identity. This is the relationship brands most want.
  • Product testing should always be branded. The brand inherently changes the consumers’ experience.
  • Embrace the fact that brands create reality – and think of how this affects your research.
  • Mere pleasant contact with a brand cannot always drive change in brand perception.

The word “curve” also stands out as being somewhat unusual. There were two reasons why this word was prominently featured, the first is multiple re-tweets of a quote by Keynote Jeffrey Cole with regard to his advice to brands on the future of the internet, “Your learning curve must be steeper than your action curve”. This quote was re-tweeted more than any other single Tweet from the conference. The second is Keynote Malcolm Gladwell’s talk on the application of “inverted U curves” in society.

Although not especially prominent, the word “Millennials” also stands out as a word worth further investigation. Several attendees tweeted insights about Mellennials that they gained from the conference:

  • Don’t make new products for Millennials, but seek strategies to tap into the ethos – it’s a generation that cares and shares.
  • First Wave Millennials think they are smarter than any other generation.
  • Millennials are heavy binge TV viewers because they get hooked on character, start-to-finish.  They catch-up.
  • By the age of 18 almost 50% of Millennials have already decided what career they want.
  • Millennials: are raised to ask questions, empowered by tech & connect with inspiring brands. Give them a story to believe in.

Finally, it’s also interesting to not only note what is being tweeted and re-tweeted, but who is doing it. While most people who tweeted sent only a handful of tweets or less, there were some conference attendees who clearly dominated the conversation on #TMRE13 as seen on the chart below of the Top 20 Tweeters.

#TMRE13 Tweets by Author

We found the content of this conference extremely interesting and met a lot of new friends and associates at the conference.  Hope to see you there next year!

Vaughn Mordecai is president of Discovery Research Group, a market research company established in 1987 that has a reputation for successfully assisting companies in finding solutions to their market research questions and organizational business concerns. He has been involved in all aspects of market research for the entirety of his career, ranging from all areas of methodology, operations and sales, to executive leadership.


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