Extra Credit ComScore

Posted On May 5, 2012

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On March 27, 2012 I went to see a presentation from ComScore Inc.’s Vice President of Marketing Solutions, Geoff McHale.  He received his MBA at NIU in 2005 and has worked at Toyota, Tribune Company and an interactive corporation before landing his current position with ComScore.  ComScore is company that offers marketing solutions to large corporations by having about two million people on a panel in the United States give information without having to be paid that most company can’t get.  The only compensation these panel members get is they either have a tree donated in a 3rd world country in their name or they are given software in exchange for joining.  This is a great trade off, because it’s such a low cost for ComScore to provide these two options and they are able to get a 360 degree view of consumer behavior.

 The one thing that I found really interesting is what Geoff called fingerprinting.  They are able to tell who’s on the computer in a panel member’s household just by them using the software.  They are able to do this because it tracks and monitors each individuals different typing techniques.  I think this is both a creepy and helpful tool that marketers can use to get different perspectives from everyone in a specific household, but it is an invasion of privacy to those who didn’t sign up to be a panel member.  I wasn’t surprised that the number of people shopping online has increased or that the number of transactions has decreased because shoppers are buying more during one transaction than waiting and buying at a different time.  I was surprised to hear that the average order value increased from $92 in quarter four of 2010 to $97 in quarter four of 2011.  I was also surprised that 54% of consumers will stop a transaction during check out and won’t buy a product if the site doesn’t offer free shipping.  I don’t shop online a lot, but I usually don’t look at shipping costs, because even with shipping, I still save money by buying it online instead of trying to find it in a store.

 Another thing I found interesting was the increasing trend to market through smart phones and tablets.  I had a feeling marketers were going to shift their focus to these devices soon, so it wasn’t a surprise when Geoff told us this.  Some of the statistics though were kind of surprising.  I was shocked that there were 6.5 million new smart phones activated in December 2011 and that one in three consumers use their phones to find a stores location.  I am also one of the 22% of consumers who take a picture of a product and its price to do research on it.  When I was thinking about buying a new laptop, I looked at a few models at different store and researched the brands and prices online.  In the end though, I didn’t make a purchase and continued to use my old laptop.  The statistic that most surprised me was that less than 1% of people go back to a fan page after liking it and that companies should focus more of their money on content on their pages instead of the number of friends they have.  Out of all the fan pages I have on my Facebook, I probably only visit or read their page or posts on three or four of the companies.  Overall, I really enjoyed this guest speaker and I learned a lot about the retail industry as well as new marketing research techniques that are used.