Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Google Without Side Ads?

Yes it is true…much to the approval of users, Google has opted to end displaying ads on the right side of its Google Desktop searches. Like us at the Center for Marketing Research Google spent a great deal of time, 5 years since 2010 to be exact, to deliver the best product possible. The study was conducted within the United States and internationally as well. A fact the study produced was a common feedback from users was that they saw top-only ads most frequently. The ads will be moved from the right side down to the bottom of the page and increased from 3 to 4. This modification will be experienced by all Desktop users worldwide. An added fact is this change will streamline the service with Google’s Desktop Mobile service, although in mobile only 3 ads are typically shown. In true technology nature, these changes are still subject to change. Google maintains that further tweaks to the ads and other elements of the program will take place. Let’s all be on the lookout for further changes to Google Desktop!

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A Wikipedia Search Engine?

For about a year now there have been some rumors and speculations circulating the web development world. Now, it seems like they are actual fact, but there’s a bit of a twist. It appears Wikipedia will eventually launch a search engine, but it’s somewhat strange and not everyone is thrilled about it. reports that Wikipedia received a grant of $250,000 from the Knight Foundation to go towards advancement of media. Maintaining the custom of transparency, the organization has released the following statement. “We are not building Google… The Wikimedia movement’s vision is to make the sum of all human knowledge freely available to everyone.” We at the Center for Marketing Research are very excited to see this new service launch!

Sources say that Wikipedia has settled that establishing better linkage between it’s existing asset is the project’s first priority. The addition of new data sources and expanded search to include contextual items has also been mentioned. “This could include a new ‘public curation of relevance,’ versus something like keywords and links, driven by Wikimedia’s Wikidata project. But is also believed to include new, scaleable machine-driven tools to ensure more search queries are answerable” says Also in the works is a Wikipedia preload onto new handsets to expand it’s audience reach therefore adding new income. At this time, the organization has not released too much more information and we assume they’re still deciding what they would like to attempt. Stay informed on this topic, it might turn out to be amazing!


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Wikipedia is building an open-source search engine – but it’s a little confusing

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Social Media and Decision 2016

Much like the 2012 Presidential Election, social media has been heavily utilized and is a huge influence on prospective voters. But let’s be honest, four years is a long time in the social media world and there are some changes. 2012 say YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as the media workhorses. Now that we’re in 2016 the weapon of choice has added Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine to the mix. While the idea of using celebrity endorsements is not new, social media has completely revolutionized it. It’s all too simple for a star to provide a photo to be featured on the campaigner’s accounts, or simply repost something from that politician. One must never underestimate the value of publicity from the meme category. These days, the effectiveness of a campaign is often measured in the number of followers, likes, and reposts.

Hillary Clinton enlisted Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls, to promote her social media and 43,500 likes and more than 1,800 comments on one of her pictures since then. Bernie Sanders scored a hit with rapper Killer Mike in the form of a six-part interview on YouTube. Said video garnered upwards of 1.8 million views with another 275,000 views on Facebook. Ted Cruz recruited Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty for a one-minute video depicting the two on a hunting trip which accredited him with 1.2 million view in just one week. Trump himself hasn’t appeared in YouTube videos quite like the others, however he has a very popular twitter account with 6.36 million followers to his name.

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Center of Digital Marketing: Email

Thanks to Retention Science the world now has some valuable new information about emailing. The company set out to determine the best criteria of a “perfect email”: which email enabled the best return on investment and which channel was repeatedly the most effective. The study found that with all the new technologies in audio-visual communication, email is still the core of every effective digital marketing method. The study found that, surprisingly, “47% of respondents chose email as the preferred channel, while only 6% selected social media.” The study also found that dollar-off savings and novelty items are effective, but only to a certain degree and under more specific situations instead of the broad spectrum.

Okay, okay, we know you want to hear about how and what to do to make your business’ email so big and bad…For starters, including any type of punctuation mark will get your email opened 9% more often. Using a question mark is engaging and will earn you an increase of 44% on your open rate. Keep your subjects lines bound to a range of 6 to 10 words. The summer time (August to be specific) is usually a slow sretch and is responsible for about 28% of the yearly unsubscriptions. Also, be mindful of the ever-lucrative holiday season. Surely you are familiar with the influx of demand for just about ever last item available. Click rates will hit about 30% in November then slightly decrease to 27%. Of course there will never been an email format that reaches100% conversion, but the tips stated above will get you as close to that as possible.

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We at the UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research have a reminder for you!. Don’t forget to buy your tickets for our Celebrity Scholarship Dinner with New England Patriots hall of famer Willie McGinest!! The event will take place on March 29, 2016. Tickets are $90 per person or $850 for a table of 10. Tickets will sell out, do no miss this amazing event!!


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UMass Dartmouth Students Provide Valuable Help to Businesses

The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR) held its bi-annual Client Dinner at the SouthCoast Business Center in Fairhaven, MA. The purpose of the dinner was to deliver semester-long research projects to clients. Student teams worked with New Bedford Credit Union, Burgo Basketball Association, Dartmouth Mall, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP., UMass Dartmouth Graduate Studies and Admissions, IMTRA Corporation, UMass Dartmouth Marketing Office and the Venus de Milo.

Each student team sat at a private table with their client and shared the findings of these customized studies. Clients expressed their surprise and satisfaction.

Eric Braitmayer, President and CEO or IMTRA said he appreciated “the effort his student team made to learn the language and nuances of his business.” He told the students he was “very happy with the final product and their engagement with the company”.

Christopher Jacobsen, expressed his gratitude to the students and to the Center for Marketing Research for being “so passionate and involved with the study”. He praised the opportunity for collaboration with the students and called the program “invaluable” for businesses.

In total, 8 projects were conducted using a range of different methods. Some of the students worked in the field doing intercepts while others conducted telephone surveys. The class as a whole worked over 1000 hours during the fall semester to collect thousands of surveys.

Each research study presented to the clients is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Through the CMR research program, all clients were able to get this work at deeply discounted prices.

Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, Director of the program, explains, “There is nothing more valuable for these students than having a real world business experience”.

Steve Byron, Chair of the CMR Advisory Board and General Manager of the Dartmouth Mall, talked to the clients and students and told them how important he felt the work of the Center for Marketing Research is to the student experience at Umass Dartmouth. As a past client of the program, he also spoke about the high quality of the work provided.

Steve Burgo for Burgo Basketball Association said, “I believe in the region and I believe in our young people. I am very proud of my research team and all the work they did on this project to help us. It is invaluable for us.”

His feelings were reiterated by New Bedford Credit Union’s CEO/President, David Borges, who promised to return as a client in the future and offered to donate a scholarship to the Center’s program at the upcoming Celebrity/Scholarship Dinner featuring NE Patriots Willie McGinest. (see for details).

Several members of the CMR Advisory Board were also in attendance, including Paul Burke (HadleyInsurit), Kevin Harris (Titleist), Joyce Brennan (SouthCoast Hospitals), Helene Sousa (Colonial Beverage), Steve Byron and Beth Zager (Dartmouth Mall). Charlton College of Business Dean, Angappa Gunasakaran expressed his appreciation for the contributions of the Center and its students to his efforts to increase internships and employment opportunities for UMass business students.

After a buffet dinner, the students had an opportunity to tell their clients about the many challenges they faced during the course of the projects. They were also quite vocal about their ideas to help the client succeed. Virtually all clients commented on the knowledge and enthusiasm of their student research team.

The program repeats in the upcoming spring semester. Any business interested in becoming a client can call Dr. Barnes directly at 508-999-8756.


Alan Abdulah, General Manager of the Venus de Milo in Swansea MA, addresses the students and clients at the bi-annual Client Dinner for the Center for Marketing Research.

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The Center for Marketing Research is pleased to announce that New England Patriots Willie McGinest will be our celebrity speaker at its 16th annual Celebrity/Scholarship Dinner to be held on March 29, 2016 at the Venus de Milo Restaurant in Swansea, MA. BayCoast Bank and the family of Frank B. Sousa, Jr. are sponsoring the event.

The purpose of the dinner is to bring attention to the Center’s work and to help Umass Dartmouth students stay in school by awarding scholarships. To date, approximately $150,000 has been awarded to more than 200 students.

The Center for Marketing Research is proud to have hosted 15 Celebrity/Scholarship Dinners. Past Celebrity guests have included 4th man to walk on the moon, Alan Bean, CBS 60 Minutes Andy Rooney, Celtics great Bill Russell, Red Sox Hall of Famers Carlton Fisk and Dennis Eckersley and Patriots Hall of Famers Troy Brown and Ty Law.

The latest addition to the Patriots Hall of Fame, William Lee McGinest, Jr. was born December 11, 1971 and played fifteen seasons in the National football league. He was drafted by the New England Patriots fourth overall in the 1994 NFL Draft and was one of the cornerstones for New England’s success in winning the Super Bowl in 20012003, and 2004. He was named to the Pro Bowl twice, in 1996 and 2003. His 78 career sacks rank third all time for the Patriots.

Following retirement, McGinest joined the NFL Network as a football analyst, and appears on various programs, including NFL Total Access. Prior to joining the NFL Network, McGinest served similar roles at Fox Sports and ESPN.

McGinest will be sharing some of his personal story as well as some special Patriot’s related highlights. There will be Q & A following his talk. At the end of the program, 8×10 pictures of Willie will be available for sale and an autograph. There will be a Silent Auction that includes McGinest memorabilia as well as Patriots items.

Tickets are $90 or $850 for a table of 10 and include a full course dinner and access to the Silent Auction and the celebrity guest. To donate a scholarship, take an ad in the program book or purchase tickets, please contact Ava Lescault at the Center for Marketing Research at Tickets can also be purchased online at

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Real Time Marketing and Large Scale Events

Real Time Marketing is defined as marketing that is based on up to date events. Instead of creating a marketing plan in advance and executing it according to a fixed schedule, real time marketing is creating a strategy focused on current, relevant trends and immediate feedback from customers. states that such strategy occurs when a popular trend or a large-scale event happening around the world, and a brand joins the conversation then pushes it forward. Caution! “Trolling” and “jumping on the bandwagon” for every notable trend will not be effective in any way, shape, or form. In this case it’s a good idea to zero in on aspects that differ from the norm. provides three tips on how to be influential in real time marketing and they are as follows. First, you must have an active base of followers. Your content needs to be received regularly so having followers that are active and engaging is crucial. Second, do not put much effort into being first. Sure, the earliest tweet may initiate that momentum but it doesn’t always attract the most attention. The initial Facebook post may not stay at the top of the last. The third tip is to be cautious. Social media marketing is not always performed properly and they’re never a guarantee when it comes to a successful campaign. Having a backup plan or other options to explore ready is a good idea.

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Pay for YouTube? What?!

In the 10 year history of Google’s video sharing website YouTube, it has always been free of charge to call yourself a user. Would you be willing to pay for a new service provided by the company? Well, needless to say YouTube hopes your answer is “yes”. The concept of this soon to be launched streaming service is by no means a new idea. About a year ago the concept was first drafted up but no much hype was placed around it due to the lack of an official timeline. However, content owners who share revenue with the site were recently notified they were required to agree to new specifications or their material would no longer be made publicly available. The timeline provided by Google called for an October launch date, but that has since been surprised; it’s widely expected to be delayed into 2016.

Surely you must be curious what services YouTube plans to offer that warrant a price tag. We at the Center for Marketing Research have half of that information for you, and the other half…we are just as curious as you. Reportedly, YouTube plans to bundle multiple services into one. The only confirmed portion of the new offering is an updated version of its music service, which launched last fall. A rumored service to be offered is using the site without the disruption of ads and commercials. That will definitely turn some heads, however a $10 rumored price tag may also have the same effect.

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New Study!

Fortune Magazine annually compiles a list of America’s largest corporations, aptly named the “Fortune 500” (F500) given their size and wealth. Due to the hugely influential role that these companies play in the business world, studying their adoption and use of social media tools offers important insights into the future of commerce. These corporations provide a look at emergent social media trends among America’s most successful companies.

Each May-June the list of the top 500 corporations is released in a special issue of Fortune Magazine. The F500 list includes publicly and privately held companies for which revenues are publicly available. For more information on the methodology used to select the F500 corporations, please visit

In 2008, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research released one of the first studies on social media adoption among the F500 and has repeated that study every year since. Initially only focusing on the use of blogs, the study has been expanded over the years to include the use of Twitter and Facebook, two popular mainstays in social media, as well as other popular social media platforms and tools (Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Foursquare), business networking platforms (LinkedIn and Glassdoor) as well as indicators of engagement such as the number of Twitter followers and Facebook “likes”.

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