Speed has become the new currency: The Engaged Web part II

The engaged web is organic and fluid, meaning that it changes rapidly.  What was a positive comment can turn into a negative one within minutes and the social community expects rapid response.

Take the below as an example of just how quickly things can change.

During the recent UK election, the Labour party released this campaign poster depicting David Cameron as the Ashes to Ashes character DCI Jean Hunt with the following tagline.

Less than 24hrs later, the Conservatives had turned it round with the following alternative tagline.

Note the quip “idea kindly donated by the Labour Party”.

Organisations which spot things early and have the ability to respond quickly and effectively will gain significant competitive advantage.

The days of rear view mirror reporting are gone.  Receiving a quarterly evaluation report, no matter how pretty and intelligently assembled it is, has limited value in today’s connected world because it will be too late to do anything about the information contained in the report by the time you receive it.

There are some really good examples of how some companies have lost out due to the speed of their response.  Earlier this year, a freelance Paperchase illustrator who created the Hidden Eloise character, noticed that some of her work was being used without her permission.  Having attempted, without success, to contact Paperchase, to ask for royalties or to issue a desist notice, she began tweeting about the incident.  This resulted in coverage in The Independent and the Channel 4 News.  This done untold damage to the image of Paperchase right before one of the busiest times of the year, Valentine’s day.Read the article in The Independent here.

Consider on the other hand, Sony Playstation’s agility in handling its console woes earlier this year.  Some consumers were left unable to use their Playstation 3 consoles after their systems mistakenly calculated that 2010 was a leap year.  Bloggers were the first to identify this issue and while Tokyo investigated it, they put up holding statements as well as the eventual solution to the problem on Twitter.  Although they certainly experienced reputational damage, it could have been much worse than it was, all but for the speed and methodology of Sony’s reaction.

Real time ‘v’ right time analytics

The ability to have good digital listening posts that allow us to see true meaning when it most empowers good decision making, means we need to be able to analyse information in real time but we need to get the full picture at the right time.  If we don’t, we run a real risk of knee jerk reaction tactics.  You wouldn’t want to alter the corporate strategy in reaction to a Twitter storm which was later to prove inconsequential.

Staying with the games console industry as an example, if say Nintendo were to spot some negative comments around the pricing of one of its systems, it may be inclined to reduce its pricing.  However, if it notices that there is an overall pressure on pricing throughout the industry, including its competitors, its reaction is likely to be very different.  Hundreds of millions of pounds are likely to be at stake on these kinds of business decisions.

The measurement industry is therefore evolving from a ‘what has happened’ industry to a ‘why it has happened’ industry, but there remain some real challenges.  In part three in my Engaged Web series, I outline just what these challenges are.


UK workplaces come out top in helping their workforce support their team

Since World Cup fever took hold of the Glide office last week (dream teams have been chosen, sweepstake bets have been placed and the plasma screen has been wheeled into reception) we’ve been wondering how the work forces of the UK will be taking in the games being played during the 9-5.  So, we decided to use our market research tool, GlideInsight to tap into the psyche of the football loving 9-5’ers in the UK, Germany and France to find out who’d be playing by the rules and who would be bending them slightly.  We received over 3000 responses within 24 hours, find out the results below.

The majority of UK respondents (23.55%)* said that their place of work would be “showing the games in the office”.  For those not so fortunate, the old “working from home” line was being wheeled out by 19.20% of you with the other popular options included “on the radio at work” (18.11%) and “online at work” (14.49%) so look out for your office internet slowing down a certain points throughout the day.

The most popular disingenuous option for the UK was to “take a sick day”.  However, only 5.43% of our respondents opted for this.  It would seem that the companies who will allow their workers to watch the games during working hours will benefit most.

We asked our panels in France & Germany the same questions.  In France, watching “online at work” was the number one response at 28.44% “showing the games in the office” coming in at number four with 11.93% a lot of faith in Domenech’s troops it would seem).  In Germany, listening to games “on the radio at work” is the favoured option at 26.58% with “showing the games in the office” coming in at number 3 with 15.82%.

glide insight world cup research graph

The answers from each region are ranked below.


1.    online at work
2.    on the radio at work
3.    working from home
4.    work are showing them
5.    holiday time
6.    meetings
7.    parental leave
8.    sick time


1.    on the radio at work
2.    online at work
3.    work are showing them
4.    working from home
5.    holiday time
6.    parental leave
7.    meetings
8.    sick time


1.    work are showing them
2.    working from home
3.    on the radio at work
4.    online at work
5.    holiday time
6.    sick time
7.    meetings
8.    parental leave

*We surveyed 3020 people for this research; 1009 from the UK, 1005 from Germany and 1006 from France.  The results have been extrapolated from the 1727 respondents who liked football.  All results were returned within 24 hours.

Part two: who won the undecided voters after the first live TV debate?

So,  after our first round of research showed that there was quite some work for the various parties and their leaders to do to win over the undecided voting public, we decided to ask who came out on top after the first UK televised election debate.

As the post debate polls suggested, it seems that Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg had the most success in swaying the undecided. Unsurprising I thought as he seemingly did everything out of the guide to public speaking – looking directly down the camera, remembering the names of those who asked a question and by separating himself from the other main parties, he gave the public a reason to remember him by.

Back to the results.  Looking at the research we ran on the 13th of April, the Liberal Democrats have increased their popularity among potential voters by  10.2%.  On the other hand,  Labour’s popularity has decreased 3.35% (I thought that it would have been much higher) with the popularity of the Conservatives decreasing by 4.83%.

election vote graph

However, it would seem that neither leader did quite enough to sway the majority of the voters as the undecided only dropped by a measly 1.8%.

So, there’s still work to be done as the next round of televised debating approaches.  Stay tuned to find out who will win the battle of ‘the undecided’.


Part One: who will win the undecided voters?

Every time we pick up a paper from now until the 6th May we’ll be bombarded by images of politicians /smiling/holding babies/waving enthusiastically and generally doing everything in their power to persuade us that they are the right person for the job.

As the use of the internet and social media in particular is providing the parties with new ways to reach the voting public (think Barack Obama’s all conquering campaign team – is he the first social media president?), it’s hard to believe that everyone is talking about a possible hung parliament for the 1st time since 1974.

Maybe that’s because some people in the UK are still getting this hideously wrong.  Either that or someone forgot to send the ‘How To’ memo to Stuart MacLennan.

This interesting little tool was passed round the office last week .  A great attempt by a not for profit organisation aimed at helping you cut through the spin and get straight to the policies.

However, it would seem that the first round of campaigning has done little to sway the mood of the voting public as the results from our own research showed.

We asked 1,000 people who they were going to vote for in the coming election. A massive 27.16% of people were still undecided, with 32.77% of that percentage being females compared to only 19.02% of males. There are also considerably more undecided’s in the 16-54 age bracket compared with those in the 55+ age bracket.

glide insight undecided voters graph

As the first unveiling of party manifestos gets underway and the PR and marketing strategies of the parties go in to over drive, it’ll be interesting to see who is the most successful in swaying ‘the undecided’.

We’ll run this poll again after the historical election TV debate to see who, if any, has managed to win over the undecided majority.


Reasons to be cheerful…?

The UK is now formally, if not convincingly, out of recession. But does modest growth at the end of 2009 bode well for the immediate and long-term future? Perhaps more importantly, as the man or woman in the street plays such a key role in translating any feel-good factor into parting with cold hard cash – or credit – how optimistic do they feel? Using GlideInsight, we asked 1018 respondents from a range of ages, incomes and geographical areas across the UK to find out.

Analysts can’t agree on whether the UK economy is due to take another nose dive before it picks up again (the so-called ‘double dip’). Are our panel equally undecided? Well, no.

UK economy worse or better graph

Overwhelmingly, the mood is pessimistic with nearly three-quarters predicting a further downturn ahead of any improvement. Most optimistic in outlook are the Midlands and Wales, with Scotland and the South and North of England taking a far more cautious line. Annual income appears to play little part in overall perception, with around 75% of all income groupings up to £80,000 per year predicting a double dip.

So far, so potentially depressing. But looking longer-term, where do our panel of respondents see the UK economy by the end of 2010? Continuing the trend, little more than one in ten see the country’s finances ending the year in a position of strong growth, though interestingly only 16% predict a descent back into recession in the next 11 months. The remaining 72% forecast weaker growth, which may be as optimistic as can be hoped in the present climate.

By region, respondents in Scotland and the North of England are nearly three times as likely to predict further recession rather than strong growth.

UK economy end of 2010 graph

The Midlands, Wales and the South of England display more polarised tendencies with roughly equal numbers of respondents forecasting either strong growth or further recession in each geographical area. The 16 to 34 year old age group is split between cautious optimism and outright pessimism, with older respondents adopting a progressively gloomier stance.

Regardless of perceptions, it is clear that the political parties need to do more to engage large sections of the populace in the general dialogue.

One in four of the 16 to 34 age group is planning not to vote in the forthcoming General Election. Panel members from the Midlands and Wales display similar levels of apathy. And with more respondents across the board falling into the ‘Don’t Know’ category than expressing an allegiance to any one political party, expect the landscape to change frequently in the run up to Election Day. It’s still all to play for.


kraft’s takeover of cadbury – what the public think

As a chocolate lover, I was more than concerned about the recent take over of Cadbury by American giant Kraft… many thoughts went through my head but biggest concern (due to my love of chocolate) is ‘will the chocolate go all Americany?’.  Sabrina, who sits next to me and is from Texas will disagree on this point, but American chocolate just doesn’t taste the same (and no Sabrina, it doesn’t taste better)!!!!

Now I know that I should be worried about the bigger picture: how this affects share prices? are jobs going to be lost in the UK as a result? etc etc…. but the media are covering that angle so I feel that I don’t have to!!!

So – I used GlideInsight, our online panel research tool to see what everyone out there thought about the takeover and quite rightly, over 45% of you are very upset that the take over has happened.

kraft cadbury takeover graph

Whilst 27.72% (29.87% of women) worry about the chocolate not tasting the same (see it really does matter!).

kraft cadbury takeover graph male female

For a serious angle I did also put a question into GlideInsight about whether people thought there were going to be job losses and a massive 59.21% (65.53% from the region of Midlands and Wales) of people agreed that it was inevitable as “it always happens in these circumstances”.  Only 7.23% of people thought that there wouldnt’ be job cuts in the UK (Kraft aren’t going to be too popular when the take over begins!).

So, I guess that Cadbury chocolate from Britain may never be the same (sniff, sniff) I guess I ‘ll just have to wait and see….  or maybe I’ll have to pledge allegiance to Nestle instead.

BA strike, the results from GlideInsight

So in answer to Emma’s question about the British Airways strikes, drum roll please!…. 65.18% of people in the UK are backing British Airways and not the cabin crew over the potential strike at Christmas. Surprisingly though if the strike were to be held at any other time a lot more of you, 50.6% to be precise, would get on board (or not as the case may be!) with the cabin crew.

As somone who is flying over the Christmas period, I would be horrified if someone told me I couldn’t escape to the sun. I’ve been waiting all year (well since the end of May anyway) to work on my tan and sip cocktails on a sun lounger and it would be detrimental to my health, and my colleagues as they would be the ones who have to live with my rants in January, if I couldn’t get away.  So, I hope that everyone gets to where they want to be this Christmas, I’ll be thinking of everyone while I soak up the sun in Florida.

ba strike blog graph

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