Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

Happy Summer!

Here at the Center for Marketing Research we hope you are all enjoying your summer of 2016. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or suggestions. As always we are looking forward to starting another successful school year in September, but until then be safe!

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Millennials and Social Commerce: Brands and Buy Buttons

Social Commerce is a term that describes the intersection of e-commerce and social networking sites and has changed the face of business as we know it. Social commerce refers to electronic commerce that uses social networks to assist  in the buying of selling of products. Social Commerce utilizes user ratings, referrals, online communities and social advertising to facilitate online shopping. Millennials, those that are between 15-35 years old, have been quick to adopt and utilize social commerce. According to Forbes there are 80 million Millennials in the United States and they spend more than $200 billion annually. This makes Millennials an attractive segment for marketers.

This influence that Millennials have on commerce is causing companies to focus their approach on the online buying habits of Millennials. According to a study done by Deloitte, younger adult consumers are heavier users of digital than older generations. Forty-seven percent of all Millennial consumers use social media during their shopping journey, compared to 19% of non-Millennials. Similarly, 37% of Millennial consumers spend more due to their use of digital, versus only 23% of non-Millennials. Nineteen percent of Millennial shoppers purchase their shopping basket items online prior to picking them up in-store, compared to 12% of non-Millennials.

In September 2014, ShareThis released one of the first studies focusing on Millennials and social commerce, gathering data by observing online browsing and social patterns of Millennials. They conclude that for these young consumers, interactivity and discussion are central to purchase decisions. The study did not report on behaviors for any specific platforms and reported findings only in relation to the non-Millennial population, for example saying Millennials are “3x more likely” to behave in a certain way.

This study, conducted by the Center for Marketing Research (CMR) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, is an in-depth look at current purchasing habits of Millennials using three of the most widely used social networking platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest). This is the third study conducted by CMR on the topic of Millennials and social commerce. The others were conducted in 2013 and 2014 and changes over time will be noted. In an effort to discern what turns a like, follow or pin into a sale, this study, like the previous studies, explores and analyzes lead conversion tactics as identified by Millennials themselves. Also included is a look at mobile technology and its changing role in online purchasing. The potential for “buy” buttons is explored along with specifics on what products Millennials are buying from popular platforms.

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Good News for Video Marketing

So it turns out that the small screen video is actually a very effective marketing tool. Videos draw their relatively newfound strength from the smart phone’s jump in usage. This information was realized through a recent study conducted by Howard Blumenstein and Celie O’Neil-Hart, both Product Marketing Managers from YouTube. According to them, 40% of users who visit a business’ website and were able to view useful audio-visual content. In addition to that, another 28% actually went further to make a purchase either online or in the brick and mortar store. Their findings say that on YouTube, 6 in 10 millennials view new content from their favorite producers within 24 hours and that 6 in 10 will follow their advise. Meet the 21st century’s version of the ever-iconic pitchman. Thanks to Google Preferred (service that allows for marketing through YouTube) the top creators on the site have enjoyed a 65% increase in watch time, 66% more likes, and a 65% jump in their number of subscribers. We at the Center for Marketing Research love the idea of this as we look forward to the future.

We want to hear from you! Tell us with you think! For more information, visit the link below.

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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!

We want to hear from you! Tell us with you think! For more information, visit the link below.

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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!


We want to hear from you! Tell us with you think! For more information, visit the link below.

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.

We want to hear from you! Tell us with you think! For more information, visit the link below.

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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.

We want to hear from you! Tell us with you think! For more information, visit the link below.

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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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