Ep. 504 – HMRP Monday Edition: Understanding Consumers, Gen Z, & Metaverse

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This episode is brought to you by Michigan State’s Marketing Research program. Are you looking for higher pay, to expand your professional network, and to achieve your full potential in the world of market research?

Today, the program has tracks for both full-time students and working professionals.

They also provide career support assisting students to win today’s most sought-after jobs. In fact, over 80% of Michigan State’s Marketing Research students have accepted job offers 6 months prior to graduating.

The program has three formats:

  • The first is a Full-Time 100% Online program taught over 12-months starting in January 2022
  • The second is a Part-Time 100% Online program that is 20-months. This one starts in May 2022 and is specifically designed for working professionals,
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All programs include real-world experience and full-time job placement support.

If you are looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSMU’s programs at:

broad.msu.edu/marketing 


This episode is brought to you by  HubUX is a research operation platform for private panel management, qualitative automation including video audition questions, and surveys. 

For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com.


Today is January 24th, 2022. Happy Monday! 

You’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. I’m Jamin Brazil, your host. In today’s episode, we’ll cover: 

  1. AnalogFolks launch a new division based on behavioral economics 
  2. Meet a 12 year old
  3. An introduction to the Metaverse 
  4. Some tips on scaling your business 

Support for the Happy Market Research Podcast and the following message comes from Michigan State’s Marketing Research Program & HubUX. 

I’ve done hundreds of interviews with today’s top minds in market research. Many of them trace their roots to Michigan State’s Marketing Research program.

Are you looking for higher pay, to expand your professional network, and to achieve your full potential in the world of market research?

Today, the program has tracks for both full-time students and working professionals.

They also provide career support, assisting students to win today’s most sought-after jobs. In fact, over 80% of Michigan State’s Marketing Research students have accepted job offers 6 months prior to graduating.

If you are looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSMU’s programs at:

broad.msu.edu/marketing

HubUX is a research operation platform for private panel management, qualitative automation including video audition questions, and surveys. 

For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com. 

This is a shameless plug. 

Kristin Luck and myself are launching a new cohort for The Consortium. The Consortium is a 12-month long forum that connects and supports entrepreneurs and revenue focused sales leaders who are gunning for their next big breakthrough. 

Kristin Luck and myself carefully curate and moderate your group of peers designed to help you navigate through business challenges and break through your revenue ceilings by leveraging the collective intelligence of others, with direct support from serial entrepreneurs who have been in the trenches and successfully exited!.

For more information, check the link in the show notes or DM me on LinkedIn. 

This is episode 504 and according to Spotify, Glass Animals’ Heat Waves is the number one song across the globe.  

OK! Let’s get to this week’s news!

On January 19th, the folks at AnalogFolk launched a Behavioural Transformation Arm called MindWorks. 

Personally, I LOVE this.  

The new division will be led by Bradley Herholdt, Michelle Watson, and Mark Berry – all of whom previously worked together at AFG.

As we lift our eyes up from our survey data we’ll have better context for consumer actions. But, easier said than done. 

By combining economics and psychology we understand why people behave the way they do… in the real world. 

Often, as marketers and researchers, we opt for the simpler approach of just using a survey. And, assume that most people already know what they want and make smart self-interested decisions. But, it simply isn’t the case. 

Consider this 1950s ad from Betty Crocker that helped launch the world’s first instant cake mix…

This last week, Bill Bloom, CEO and Founder of FastFocus told me about an episode of Work 2.0. The episode started with a story about the evolution of cake mix. 

Before instant cake mix, it was expensive, time consuming, and risky to bake a cake. 

Top recipes were a thing to covet and protect. Women passed down receipts from grandmothers, to mothers, to daughters and granddaughters. 

Women would perfect their cake through trial and error.

Eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, butter, baking powder, milk, and many other ingredients had to be stocked. 

And, of course you don’t simply combine everything in a bowl and mix. Bakers had to carefully mix their ingredients in a certain way in order to achieve the perfect cake.

But, home makers were not really creating a cake. They were showing love.

So, when given the opportunity to save time and money by using an instant cake mix, they simply declined because they felt that taking the shortcut of instant cake was like cheating love. 

It took 2 decades for big consumer packaged goods companies to figure this out. 

How did they finally punch through so that bakers felt comfortable using instant cake mix? 

They took the powder eggs out and required bakers to use fresh eggs. This requirement to use fresh ingredients and a little elbow grease made bakers feel like they were baking not buying love. 

That’s it! 

Thankfully, today there is a lot of innovation around understanding consumers. Brands don’t have to wait for decades to uncover their hidden motivations. Jobs to be done and Behavior economics are just two well documented disciplines. 

Over the last 30 years, the internet has changed everything. It is even more important than ever to understand your consumers’ hidden motivations. Surveys themselves can not deliver these insights. Yet, for many of us, that is where we start and stop. 

The usual format looks like this: 

Have a business question? Do a survey. Get an answer. 

Modern brands must leverage qualitative techniques like ethnography, shop alongs, and in home usage. Additionally, we need to contextualize our insights in behavioral data, political landscapes, and economic trends.

I’d even go so far as to say, to know your customer you must become your customer. 

So, pause for a second. Think about your customers. Now, think about their purchase journey. 

What problem are they trying to solve when they hire you or buy your product? 

How are they solving that problem now? What companies or products are they using? What is bad about your competitors? 

Why are you better? 

Let’s look at another case study. When McDonalds had a sustained surge in their milkshake sales, they doubled down and, after doing a ton of market research, made a better shake. 

After rolling out their better shake their sales did not move. 

So, they turned to Clay Christensen, the father of Job To Be Done, who conducted exit interviews with shake purchasers. Here is a 2 minute excerpt of his findings…

What he found was that purchasers were commutters. These commutters purchased their shakes because they wanted something that would both sustain them and entertain them for their long drive. 

For the shake to do its job, it had to be better than its competitors like bagels and bananas. 

Bagels are messy and hard to manage while driving. Bananas are consumed too fast and leave consumers bored. 

So, McDonald’s R&D redesigned their shakes to be more commuter friendly and marketing had clear direction of what it needed to do. Sales were up! 

Now, lets pause again. Think about your customer. Think about their journey. Think about their purchase journey? 

How has the internet changed that journey in the last 10 years? Do your customers use the internet to discover your products or services? 

We’ve all heard it said, “The best place to bury a dead body is on the 2nd page of Google.”

The name of the game is digital relevance and young consumers like Gen Z and Gen Alpha both expect brands to create a contiguous experience across both.

In fact, today’s youth are making decisions like long term careers and what colleges they want to attend not from brochures or even friends, but from their experiences.

This Monday, I asked Gen Z members of the HubUX panel about what influences their big decisions like school and career. 

Here is one of the one-on-one in-person interviews I did with a 12-year-old boy. 

His life goal? Be the CEO of a Video Game company after graduating from MIT. Here is an excerpt of that interview. Please note, he had a parent present during the interview and they have approved the content for the use of this podcast only. 

After the interview I asked his dad for feedback. His dad said, “I had no idea he even knew what MIT was.”

Gen Alpha and Gen Z are being influenced by things that parents and teachers have literally no visibility into or, in many cases, knowledge of. 

This young man is deciding on what college he wants to attend solely on the basis of the gaming platform he is using is created by MIT students. And, this influence is so great that he is putting in the work to excel at school. 

What keeps 12 year olds up at night? 

I mean, besides the obvious bad dream about being chased by a poop stick? 

A million things. Some of them are as old as time, like wanting to fit in and being cool. Others are brand new and inconceivable by previous generations. 

Make no mistake, we are in unprecedented times. 

We all have to check out biases at the door and get to know this generation. 

Now, how will the metaverse change things? 

One of the best ways to check your bias at the door is to immerse yourself in your consumers’ lives. And, if we are talking about the future, we have to talk about the metaverse. 

I know what many of you are thinking, “Metaverse smetaverse. I don’t understand it and it isn’t big enough for me to care.” 

Roblox, an established gaming universe, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March 2021 at a valuation of $42 billion. One research report predicts virtual gaming worlds alone could be worth $400 billion by 2025, with the broader metaverse industry worth over $1 trillion. 

To me, it feels very much like the early days of the Internet. When websites were hard to make and nobody really understood the implications that the technology would have on the world and our lives. 

Next week we will be exploring the Metaverse. Who is using it and for what. 

Let’s talk about our consumer insights community. 

Sometimes, in life, things accidentally go well. In March of 2019 I started a weekly Virtual Lunch. There was no agenda other than to have fun and inject some mental health into our recently turned upside down lives. 

For many of us, this has become part of our lives. We schedule our Tuesday’s around it including internal meetings, sales calls, and even travel. 

Every Tuesday from 11-11:30am Pacific Time 50 to 80 consumer insight professionals would meet to simply connect. These professionals come from User Experience, Marketing Research, Customer Experience, and even students who are preparing to enter the workforce. 

Our topics vary but objectives and format stay consistent: 

  1. Have fun
  2. Meet at least 1 new person
  3. Learn one new thing 

This weekly event is a perfect way to inject some fun in your life while growing your network. And, I believe, career success has two primary components: 

  1. The size of your network
  2. And, the depth of your connections 

Our MRxPros Virtual Lunch facilitates both. Some of our upcoming speakers are Bill Salokar, Z Johnson, and Terrae Schroeder of Clorox. 

Want to attend? It’s FREE! Just contact myself, Julie Kurd, or Janet Standen on LinkedIn for details. 

I hope you’ll join us. 

For Further Consideration 

Thank you for listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. I’m Jamin Brazil. 

If you’d like to learn more about this show or our sponsors, please check the show notes. 

Happy Researching! 😊 


References: 

The Consortium: https://www.scalehouse.consulting/the-consortium/

Sponsor MSMU: https://broad.msu.edu/marketing

Sponsor HubUX: https://hubux.com

Neal Kreitman, Managing Partner ABN Partners: www.abnpartners.net

Glass Animals – Heat Waves (Official Video)

Clay Christensen, Jobs to be Done

Podcast Work 2.0: The Obstacles You Don’t See

People:

Jessica Richards

Bill Bloom

Bradley Herholdt

Michelle Watson

Mark Berry

Natalie Melder-Smith

Joanna Lepore

Julie Kurd

Janet Standen 

Bill Salokar

Z Johnson

Terrae Schroeder