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Why not collect data, produce great messaging,
AND create great content at the same time?

Chocolate Covered Focus Groups is a new type of marketing research company, and ally of of marketing researchers, that combines data mining/webscraping/programming capabilities (Python, R, Processing, Databases) and independent video production (a small but complete studio of equipment, editing skills and After Effects graphics talent).

Not to mention, the glue that holds it together is an Emmy Winning Creative Director / Copywriter with over 25 years of big agency experience. And yes, it's all within your budget. In fact, CCFG actually makes your budget go further, as the end result isn't just research, but marketable content that can be iteratively used to promote your brand and do further research. Clients love that.

First, let's talk about firelogs. You know those sawdust fireplace logs you buy in the store? Years ago, some smart folks realized that pencil manufacturers were throwing away all their pencil shavings and sawdust because they had no use for them. So these folks offered to haul it away, for free. They then took that useless material and mixed it with wax. And a warm Holiday tradition and multimillion dollar business was born.

Research InfoGraphic

R U throwing away $Millions in Data?

During my 25 years of working in the ad biz as a Copywriter/Creative Director, in over 200 ad agencies in LA and San Francisco, I've often wondered if researchers, planners, companies and Ad/PR agencies aren't doing the same thing - throwing away the "sawdust". They spend millions on research, only to type it onto dead tree material that ultimately winds up in the office trashcan.

Are you doing all the difficult research and interviewing of a documentary filmmaker – but forgetting to turn the camera on? Many researchers are now beginning to realize that if "the Medium is the Message", choosing the Xerox and PowerPoint mediums can often interfere with their ultimate goal – to inspire brilliant creative ideas and innovative marketing.

Why now? Any Statistician worth their Bayesian hyperparameters knows that being able visualize data is one of the real keys to mining and making sense of data.

data visualization

VIDEO IS DATA. Movie crews, who now shoot 99% video, have DATA WRANGLERS on set. Trained professionals who go to GREAT lengths to protect that DATA. (Multiple backups, different locations, vaults, etc.) Because they understand the intrinsic treasure-like value of that data.

Fortunately, many Researchers, Planners, companies and Ad/PR agencies are coming to that conclusion as well. They're beginning to realize that collecting data/video and the many, many uses for that data/video (especially as "Big Data" grows even BIGGER) means it has become cost-effective to use video to record, and repurpose, more and more of their research efforts. Clients who used to set aside a portion of their ad spend for viral videos and social media are now realizing that pulling some of that money forward in the sales funnel allows them to create "beta", research-centric content that offers a bigger bang for their buck.

Think about it – if it's true that up to 90% of human communication is NON-verbal, then the real casualty of the "sawdust approach" is that so much of what's really powerful in your research – emotions, humor, body language, level of belief and passion, never even make it into a PowerPoint. In the age of Social Media and "Content is King", that's truly unfortunate.

Some researchers are now becoming aware that since there are no SAG guidelines for non-SAG talent in New Media, the talent costs for the people you are interviewing may already be included in the fee you've paid them for your research.

During my quarter century as a Madman, technology has exploded. Content that used to be unthinkable, impossible, or "way too expensive"... is now being produced by "keyboard kids" getting high in their parent's basement.

So instead of disposable research, smart marketers can now wind up with an evergreen catalog/hard drive of insightful consumer content/data. Raw data that can then be wrapped in CHOCOLATY SWEETNESS (edited and Beauty-Boxed, with motion graphics, music, sound effects, etc.) and turned into delicious content.

This content can then be used, and re-used, in a variety of cost-amortizing ways. Beta-testing more precise messages, getting feedback from social channels, more useful focus grouping, sales films, in-house presentations, new business ventures, etc… over a number of months or even years.

Welcome to the innovative approaches of Chocolate Covered Focus Groups. We look forward to working with you to help make your marketing efforts more precise, more creative and far more cost-effective.