Five Billion Data Points Synthesized to One Implication: Storytelling is Better than Fact Delivery, Dah!!

Advertising must interpret a person’s media consumption and engage/convince them to change or reinforce the behavior – all in a few seconds. Storytelling principles have been used for years to help advertisers succeed and win in this competitive environment. There have been 10,000’s studies on advertising effectiveness and we hope this article will validate those findings and provide heuristics for the rest of us.

We started by exposing 1,410 consumers to 400+ ads and collected over five billion data points using a medical-grade EEG (electroencephalogram) system consisting of 32 sensors tracking neurological activity. These sensors collect data 500 times a second to capture activity across key regions of the brain as consumers were exposed to the advertisements.

Our findings were:

Validation (further evidence to what we already know)

• TVCs that used a storytelling approach had a 20% greater brand cut-through as compared to TVCs without a storytelling narrative.

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Bias in Marketing Research: How to Avoid and Minimize

Author’s Note: I’ve always been interested in biases. A poster of The Cognitive Bias Codex hangs in one of our home offices; and, I’ve bookmarked and often look at that interactive wiki to learn more. Just like I looked to two industry experts to learn more about bias in research for this article: Jeff Henning and Ray Poynter. Many thanks to you both for serving GreenBook as expert sources. We value your contribution to this piece, just as we value our readers.

Have you ever asked a question while assuming you already knew the answer? That’s a simple example of a bias. As humans, we inadvertently experience bias in every aspect of our lives. Our personal biases influence the lens through which we look at the world. And while some biases are innocuous, some are harmful; and, bias in market research can have a negative effect on the findings.

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When in Doubt, Bootstrap it Out!

We marketing researchers can create quite complex data systems that start to push the limits of formulas in stat textbooks to determine confidence intervals.

RIM weighting

Using RIM weighting (also called Raking and Iterative Proportional fitting) is the start. There is a formula for that that tells you the effective sample size you are working with for stat testing purposes which is always less that the nominal number of interviews (how much less depends on the variance in the weights across respondents).

Now layer in weighting top box purchase intent twice as heavily as second box. And let’s consider differences in differences in that index, such as test vs. control across two advertising treatments. Is the lift from one tactic significantly greater than the lift in another tactic, exposed minus unexposed? You are going beyond simple formulas at this point to determine if a difference you are seeing in the

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The Big-Idea Wheel of Fortune

You would imagine that a lot has changed since I commenced my career four decades ago. Not everything has. Creative agency practices have been remarkably resistant to change. Back then, most advertising was considered ineffective at changing the relative trajectory of the brand. That remains the case today.

At the core of this inefficient allocation of resources, is the intuition based ‘big idea’. I like to call it “The Big-Idea Wheel of Fortune” and the problem at play here resides squarely with the communications message – that is, “what to say”. Instead of being based on the scientifically derived drivers of behavior, the communications message has, and continues to be, based largely on best guesses and gut instinct.

Being “creative” should not be permission to be unaccountable. Accountability in marketing communications requires the discipline to align advertising performance with the commissioning organization’s objectives. If the client wishes to gain relative

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Interview with Monika Rogers, Co-Founder and CEO of Digsite, and Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of QuestionPro

Recently we wrote about the implication of the QuestionPro and Digsite M&A deal, calling it a key signal in the next phase of the “Platformification of QualiQuant“. In this latest entry in the CEO series of interviews I dive deeper with Vivek Bhaskaran of QuestionPro and Monika Rogers of Digsite, exploring their thinking on what synergies will be unlocked by them joining forces, the challenges of integration, and the broader implications for the industry as the line between qual and quant blurs further driven by technology platforms.

This is a fun and insightful conversation that I am sure you will enjoy. Perhaps more importantly, it delivers a rare insider look into how technology leaders are assessing opportunities and making moves to create new models for research.


This text has been edited for clarity.

Lenny Murphy: Hello, everybody. It’s Lenny Murphy here, with another in our interview series, separate from

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A Conversation with Kim Smouter

Kim Smouter, Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee for ESOMAR, sits down with Eyes4Research CEO Rudly Rapahel in a wide-ranging conversation about the lessons he has learned in his career, his role with ESOMAR, and his mission to achieve racial equality in Europe.

What did you want to do professionally when you were younger? How did you end up on your current career path?

When I was young, I wanted to be a cardiologist. When I was a teenager, I realized that I get queasy with blood and I hate dead bodies. And at that point, I decided I want to be an ambassador. I felt like my international background, my mixed-race heritage, and the fact that I lived in different places, probably made me suited to the role of an ambassador.  I moved back to Europe and ended up learning a bit more about that.

I ended up doing

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Is Walmart the Future of Market Research?

Editor’s Note: Earlier this year, we had Linda Lomelino on our podcast to discuss how Walmart is now leveraging shopper data and serving commercial customers as a research supplier. This strategic decision positioned them as not just an iconic retailer, but a competitive vendor with a solid value proposition. We want GreenBook readers to know about this important development, not just our podcast listeners, so have a look and let us know what you think in the comments!

For more information on how Walmart is influencing the market research industry, tune into the GreenBook Podcast episode How Walmart is Commercializing the Power of Data Science streaming now!  

“For an industry that’s experiencing a mass acceleration in change, understanding what customers want can give companies a competitive advantage.”


The GreenBook podcast recently sat down with Linda Lomelino, the Senior Director of Product Management and data ventures at Walmart,

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Monthly Dose of Design: Innovation Strategy Series (Part one)


Last month, we discussed about Learning by Doing and how market researchers can use this learning process to expand their knowledge and skills through the experience of executing work. All while improving their innovation process.

This month we’ll begin on a new series on innovation strategy and how it can help you.

What is innovation strategy?

An innovation strategy is a list of items one must consider to grow an organization via innovation. It’s also a great way to understand how to develop a new product, brand or service and plan accordingly

In short, an innovation strategy is a set policies or behaviors needed to achieve a specific goal.

Why do you need an innovation strategy?

Failure is common in innovation initiatives. An innovation strategy helps prevent failure by giving structure and give you guidance to maintain your product’s performance once it’s released in the market.

There’s 3 reasons

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When to Rethink Your Insights Management Strategy

If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? And if an insights team throws their research into a shared drive or email thread, does anybody see it?

No one wants to dedicate time (and budget) to a research project that has a limited impact, which is why it’s so important to have an insights management strategy: an approach to capturing, sharing, and driving engagement with your organization’s market research and insights. But it’s all too easy to establish an insights management approach and then set it on autopilot, without thinking about how it may need to change to meet the evolving needs of your business.

Let’s take a look at four common scenarios when you may need to reevaluate your existing insights management strategy.

Your team is restructuring

There are a number of reasons your current team might restructure: your company could be changing where different

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People & Technology: Finding Balance in ResTech

A lot of businesses in the ResTech sector are great at tech. A lot of businesses in the sector are great at people. The issue is, I’d wager too few are truly great at both. Companies will have to balance people and emerging research technology if they want to succeed moving forward.

Striking the right balance in combining people and technology is hard, and even harder to do really well. Often companies are torn between wanting to be positioned as a technology business versus trying to capitalize on opportunities and revenue that frequently requires a service component. How much do you lean into one or the other, and what are the implications on your addressable market, your margin profile and, ultimately, your ability to drive revenue?

Tech is first and foremost an enabler

Increasingly, winning companies are those recognizing that it is the “team” and first-class customer service (commonly known

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