Hallmark’s online research success story

Hallmark, the Kansas City-based greeting card company, has employed online consumer research for three years now. Based on a comparison of the results with those of traditional research (i.e., focus groups), the online efforts are now a regular part of the company’s research effort. In a Marketing Sherpa interview,  Tom Brailsford, Manager of Advancing Capabilities, notes:

“You can do three focus groups and hear from about 24 consumers and it’ll cost you two or three weeks and $10,000. We can hear regularly from 150 consumers in 36 hours on a particular issue. We have evidence from linguistic analyses that suggests that the content we…

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What it takes to be an A-list podcaster

Wired News offers a nice look at podcasting with a focus on the A-list podcasters. The piece quotes “Cluetrain Manifesto” co-author, blogger and podcaster Doc Searls: “To me, it’s sort of like evaluating an ecosystem when there are three blades of grass pushing up through the dirt.“I think it’s the future of whatever the people will replace radio with…. It’s a way for the demand side to supply itself.”

The article delves into some of the characteristics of early podcasting success, including the need to be quirky, cliquey and cultish. Neville and I are listening. Does the PR profession qualify as a cult?… Read More »

IM benefits outweigh risks

There seem to be two types of articles these days about the role of instant messaging in business. One points out the hazards—exposure to viruses, employees wasting time in non-work-related IM conversations—and those that tout the business benefits. Both sides of the issue are addressed in a piece today from CNN International in a way that makes perfect sense to me: Take steps to deal with the risks so you can reap the benefits.

If only the company profiled weren’t UK’s Betfair, an online gaming company. The company offers a legitimate business perspective, with its infrastructure director noting, “We do 300 transactions a second and… Read More »

Blogs and copyright

Back when I was in journalism school, Journalism Law was a required class. The late Dr. Ken DeVol did a great job teaching us about libel and a host of other legal issues of importance to journalists. Copyright was among them. Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t have the benefit of being required to take a class in law, leading many to make assumptions that are—at least, so far—false.

LLRX.com has a worthwhile piece that lists eight copyright myths that have been taken for granted on the Net for years but have been exacerbated by the explosion in blogging. The article provides detail about each myth. Here’s the short list:

  1. It???s okay… Read More »

SMS joins blogs, wikis in tsunami relief effort

Amidst all the coverage of the role blogs and wikis have played in the Asian tsunami disaster, it was interesting to note in a Poynter Institute posting today that SMS has also been employed.

SMS—short message service, also known as text messaging—is one of those technologies still viewed as a conversation tool for teens; it hasn’t yet penetrated the world of business communication in a big way. There have been some applications that transcend youth, such as the service offered at the Republican National Convention that alerted protestors where a protest was taking place about which the authorities had not yet learned. And there’s a… Read More »

Nearly half of Net users have taken virtual tours

Next September, my wife and I are traveling to Chicago for a wedding, then on to the East Coast for our 30th (you heard me right, 30th) wedding anniversary. Our original thought was to do a self-guided fall foliage tour. We’re both natives of Los Angeles and, except for her stint at Washington State University, neither of us has ever lived outside the Golden State. I’ve seen some of the spectacular colors when traveling on business, but Michele hasn’t really experienced the spectacle that occurs annually in places like New Hampshire.

The obvious place to set our route was the Net; we never even considered an alternate source. We… Read More »

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