9 posts categorized "Inspiration"


Mesh planning: T-mobile case study

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An inspiring case study in tracking real consumer experiences by Mesh planning. (CLICK HERE  for the full presentation).


The head of Mesh planning Fiona Blades will join us for London in Prague workhop, on 5th of April, 2012. For registration to the workshop CLICK HERE


And now back to the case study with the text and presentation taken from Mesh planning website


Problem:T-Mobile pre-tested communications and tracked brand health but needed to understand how multiple campaigns were working by each element as well as impacting on the brand.

Approach: MESH works alongside T-Mobile’s research, creative and media agencies tracking experiences in real time to help optimise campaigns as they roll out.

Action: At a media level, MESH helped T-Mobile identify the strength of its magazine
strategy for the agency to fully capitalise on this. As the branded value ‘Night In’ proposition
was launched with a variety of executions, the MESH rapid feedback was used to optimise
future executions. At a strategic level, T-Mobile’s online trading team and its agency in
charge of store windows have used MESH insight to feed into future planning. With Orange
and T-Mobile coming together, MESH has gone back over a year’s data to evaluate Orange’s
direct response strategy.



Fiona Blades in London in Prague on 5th of April!


It is a great pleasure to welcome Fiona Blades to Prague - Fiona will join us for a workshop on "Tracking real consumer experiences" on the 5th of April in Prague, from 10am to 4pm, at Long Tale Café, situated at the Mfactory, Osadní 35, Praha 7. 

Fiona is an experienced planner and researcher. Following a career as a Marketing Manager for Spillers Foods and as an Advertising Planning Director, Fiona set up MESH Planning in 2006 to create a new real-time research approach to evaluate every touchpoint from TV advertising to In Store to Word of Mouth.

This award-winning approach to tracking experiences, resulted in Media Week listing MESH in ‘10 to watch, the new Facebooks’ and was described by industry insiders as ‘Millward Brown orthodoxy-busting’. Fiona has been listed in the entrepreneurs section of Research magazine’s 50 Faces to Watch in 2007, and sits on the Cranfield School of Management MSc Advisory Board and Hackney and City Carers Partnership Board.



John Kearon in Prague


It is a great pleasure to welcome John Kearon (back) to London in Prague.

John is the Founder, CEO & Chief Juicer of BrainJuicer Europe's leading online research agency. John was Ernst & Young's 'Entrepreneur of the Year 2005' and the company's innovative approach to research has garnered a number of awards including 'The Most Innovative Use of IT' and 'Service Business of the Year'.

Most important of all, John is passionate about innovation - innovation of marketing and market research techniques.

The workshop with John will take place on 10th of November at Long Tale Café, Osadní 35, Praha 7. We will start at 10am and we aim to finish at 3pm.

This is the agenda:

  • The future of online research, moving beyond "fast and cheap" (10-11am)
  • Finding and engaging the creative consumers (co-creation and crowdsourcing) (11-12.00pm)
  • Building communities of interest (12.00-1pm)
  • Lunch 1.00-1.30pm
  • Moving from "me" to "we" research - mass ethnography (1.30-2.00pm)
  • Group excersise: creating real case in Czech Republic where we put to practice the principles of co-creation, crowdsourcing and "we research". We will select 1 or 2 cases at the end and we will put make them happen!

Looking forward to see you in Long Tale Café on the 10th of November!

Here is a link for registration: http://www.londynvpraze.cz/registrace/lip/

If you want to know more or would like to register please write to us on info@londynvpraze.cz or call us at +420 773 552 225.


The Other Half of The Equation: with Virginia Valentine

Perfect Crowd is extremely pleased to welcome 
Virginia Valentine to Prague! Virginia Valentine pioneered the use of semiotics in UK market research. She is a fellow of the Market Research Society a multi-award winner and speaker at conferences worldwide. Virginia will lead us through a one day workshop on semiotics (19th of March 2009) more here


Esomar Innovate Conference, Copenhagen (1 of 2)

I attended the Esomar Innovate Conference in Copenhagen  (16-18 June) but I wasn't able to see all the presentations. Here is a handful of thoughts and observations about the bits I did see:

* The giant step that market research could take to help innovation everywhere hasn't yet happened. We're still waiting for the moment when the representatives of the big research factories arrive on  stage and acknowledge that they are running on empty, that it is becoming harder for them to sell the dream of certainty even to the weakest of clients and,  that after helping to deliver mediocre products and communication and helping to kill the many dreams of enthusiastic brand managers, planners  and creatives, they are closing their factories down.

* The majority of speakers came from the UK, western Europe and the US. The majority of people in the audience came from the developing world.  Either there is nothing very innovative happening in the developing world or those of us from the developing world cannot write very good papers (the 20-page-long variety that Esomar requires for entry).  My feeling is that the problem is with the papers themselves and the dominant, Western rules of discourse.  The people who judge the papers are from the West and they will naturally prefer a style and thinking process that is close to their own style and thinking.  The problem with the Esomar papers is similar to the problems with most of research reports: they tend to get out of hand and dilute insights and issues in an avalanche of words.

* Gregg Fraley was the keynote speaker and  I really enjoyed his speech  while I was watching it. I am trying to remember now what he was talking about. I recall a picture of the iPod. And a picture of Steve Jobs.  And a slide saying "Starbucks is dead".  Watching the speech was  like watching a good Hollywood movie - enjoyable but without providing a lasting experience that could really touch your life.

*The presentation of Márta Hoffman (RI, Hungary) and István Kozári (Initiative) was the highlight of the conference for me, and and not just because it was the only presentation from the developing world.



In a nutshell, Márta and István have changed the way in which Tic Tac connects with consumers online in Hungary.  In the past Tic Tac had a reasonably good but very static site. The site celebrated the brand but was not particularly useful for consumers.  Márta and her agency found gifted young people and co-created with them a concept for new online community for Tic Tac. 

The community is based on a strong insight into Hungarian society (not only) that the  research  uncovered and that lead to the "Networks of Favours" idea:


The  "Network of Favours"  is the concept for the Tic Tac community. People join the site to exchange little favours : walking a dog, watering plants, and such things. 

It ticks several boxes:

  1. It is useful to people and doesn't celebrate the glory of the brand (and being useful is a must if a brand wants to join an online conversation);
  2. The scope is  bigger and more important to people than the category and related territories e.g. "freshness", and;
  3. It is the right territory for Tic Tac.

The role of research in the development of the community was crucial: Márta and her agency found the right people to co-create with. They didn't just utilize creative consumers but included people from agencies and the client's company. They created an engaging environment for them. They facilitated,  moderated and interpreted the sessions in an informed way that was  in-line with the thinking on the brand. All of this led to the insight, ideas and real results.  And it was fast and affordable. This is what good research should do.

For everything else (technical innovations in market research) there is Google and Facebook. Ironically, it seems easier for the researchers lacking the intuition needed for doing the research job properly to displace the issue and create the need for a new, high-tech, silver bullet research methodology that will deliver pre-packaged ideas for innovations to clients' desktops.

I think that we need more case studies like the one on Tic Tac to dispel the "silver bullet" myth.

I work on Sure/Rexona and one of our key tasks at the moment is to find a way for the brand to join (get a permission to join)  the relevant conversations that are already taking place, online and off. The case that Márta and István presented was an inspiration for me, worth much more than the general discussions about innovation (with inevitable calls to actions, figures of percentages of innovations failing in the market and pictures of  iPods and Steve Jobs).

Here is the presentation that Marta has kindly shared with me:

(I have copied the photo of Márta and István from Henrik Hall's article.)


London in Prague - looking back... and looking forward

A short video capturing the  speakers and the atmosphere of  London in Prague.  Number of people who attended the conference, have since contacted me and told me how inspired they felt by the speakers and their ideas. 

I hope that we will use the inspiration and start putting some of the ideas into practice. We could start by "getting real" when it comes to market research:  observing more and asking less,  bridging the gap between the world of business/marketing and the world of academia (using semiotics, anthropology to understand people better) and making use of online research in order to start a real dialogue with consumers.


Perfect Crowd in Prague

Here are four short films featuring the speakers who will be at the "London in Prague" conference.

"It doesn't matter how exciting a new technology is if it has no human relevance. And it is human relevance and appeal to our senses that distinguishes a winning product," says Richard Seymour and it is hard to add anything to that.

Greg Rowland's work has been a great source of inspiration for me. Encountering with Greg and semiotics was a bit shocking at first to the Eastern European and researcher in me. The Eastern European part of me, conditioned to believe that there are ideas and ideals set in stone and that "eternal truths" awaits to be discovered. The researcher in me was taught to believe that if you drill deep enough into the minds of people you will eventually discover the "truth". Semiotics helped me to see people and brands interacting in a way that is fluid, ever-changing and much more colorful and inspiring than the descriptions provided by traditional market research. This clip shows Greg Rowland exploring the world of "feminine intensity ":

John Kearon is a true innovator who re-defined the way in which online market research is conducted. Instead of taking the "pen and paper" questionnaires and throwing them on the internet, John approached online research using the nature of the internet as a medium for a different kind of interaction. The surveys that John designs are engaging and interactive, enabling the respondents to tag each other's answers, long before "delicious" was came about...

Matt Hart's role is crucial in the innovation process. Matt leads teams to use  raw materials - what we might call ‘sophisticated observations’ (generated by semiotics, ethnography or online research) - and trawl for productive insight, and then use this insight as a  inspiration for creative ideas.  The film here was created to support Matt's TV show called "Sick Day".  Matt uses the same principles he uses with people on the show that he does with companies. He forces us to think out of the box to a point when one starts to worry where it is all leading. But he brings us back, in surprising and elegant way, to the box - to the category, the brand and the business.


London in Prague


London in Prague is a conference that this blog is organizing with Ogilvy.  The key goal of the conference is to offer an alternative to the traditional way in which we gather knowledge about people and how to translate this knowledge into ideas for new products and communication.  The members of the "Perfect Crowd" who will appear in Prague on the 11th of October - Richard Seymour, Greg Rowland, John Kearon and Matt Hart -  are successful at what they do. And they are "being real" when it comes down to understanding of people and their interactions with products and brands. They have replaced the one way mirror, the deep drills into the minds of consumers and the 19th century quantitative research with its dreadful, endless questionnaires by observation of people in their homes, semiotics and wisdom of the crowds. I hope that the people attending the conference in Prague will have similar feeling to that I had when I met the guys in London and learned about their work: feeling of liberation knowing that it is possible to get real and do things differently.


From the top of a fridge


Mirand July and her site.

Just brilliant! Simple and very impactful.  Every message coming from a TV and/or flashy Power Point presentation seems like a fake (or even more of a fake) after one has seen a message written on the top of a fridge.   

Via  Design Observer and thanks to Jan Sabach for the tip.