Umass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Blog

3 of the best company blogs in 2016

Dr. Barnes was cited in an article titled “3 of the best company blogs in 2016”, published on December 15th 2016.

The article states:

Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., chancellor professor of marketing and director of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, said that corporate blogs should serve as a direct extension of a company and be a strong part of its overall image.

“Blogs humanize companies, provide opportunities for engagement and help establish thought leadership,” she noted. “They are free from the restrictions of platforms that host them and serve as an authentic image of a corporate entity.”

To read the full article visit


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The 5 Biggest Economic Trends for Small Businesses in 2017

Jessica Stillman, Contributor of the Inc. 500, notes that the 5 biggest economic trends for small businesses in the upcoming year include:

  1. Small business goes global
  2. Employees? Who needs Employees?
  3. Corporations embrace freelancers
  4. It’s all about the platforms
  5. Business coaches go mainstream


To read the full article and learn more about the 5 biggest economic trends for small businesses in 2017, visit

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Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017

Ryan Holmes, founder and CEO of Hootsuite writes about the top 5 trends in social media for businesses in the upcoming year.

To sum up his article, the five big movements that promise to change how businesses use social media in 2017 include:

  1. The “reachpocalypse” peaks
  2. Employees become your social media army
  3. The social media skills gap widens
  4. CEOs finally get the hang of social media
  5. Sales and customer service get more social

“The one constant that businesses can depend on is that social media itself isn’t going anywhere”, Holmes concludes. “It’s increasingly the one reliable place to reach consumers.”

To find out more about the Top 5 Social Media Trends for Businesses in 2017 or to read the full article, visit

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UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research Now Accepting Spring Clients

Have you considered marketing research to make your business more competitive? Interested in the satisfaction level of your customers and/or clients? Thinking about the possibility of a new location? Get the information you need from a source you can trust! Why not go through a local provider? The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR) is currently accepting requests from area businesses and other organizations to perform marketing research for the Spring semester, beginning in January 2017.

The UMass Dartmouth Center performs customized market research at very affordable prices. We can give you information you need to gain a more complete understanding of both existing and potential customers. With over 10 years of experience in marketing research, you can expect valuable results. The final report is presented to the client at a dinner reception at the end of the semester. CMR provides high quality, affordable marketing assistance utilizing Center staff, faculty, students, and expert practitioners.

Clients of the Center range from small and start-up businesses to Fortune 500 Companies and include both the commercial and non-profit sectors. Each semester approximately 8 clients are selected for participation in our ongoing research program involving our graduate and undergraduate Marketing students. The final project is a statistically valid survey research study that rivals the best commercial companies. Results will be presented at a client dinner in December.  For a full listing of past clients and testimonials from them, please visit our website:

If you or your business would be interested in becoming a client, please contact Center Director, Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes for more information regarding our very modest fees and semester timelines.  Nora can be reached at 508-999-8756 or

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Center for Marketing Research Cited in Forbes

On November 3rd, 2016, Forbes published an article called A Framework For Creating Millennial Brand Advocates, making mention of work done by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR).

In the third paragraph of the article, Forbes Contributor, Kyle Wong summarizes the findings of a CMR study on millennial purchasing behavior and social media. Our study explains that “millennials filter out advertising and commercial messages. They look for information before they make purchases, but they’re looking for it from their trusted sources, and their trusted sources are not manufacturers or providers of products – they tend to be people in their social networks.”

To read the full article and see the CMR’s work cited by Forbes, please visit the link below:

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2016 Fortune 500 Study

Use of Popular Tools Remains Constant as Use of Instagram Expands Quickly Among the 2016 Fortune 500:

Each year, The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (CMR) conducts a study analyzing the social media usage of the current Fortune 500 (F500) companies. This year, each company on the 2016 F500 list was identified by name, rank, last year’s rank, rank category, and industry. Each company was counted as having a social media presence on each platform studied (Corporate Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and LinkedIn) if the primary corporation showed evidence of activity within the past 30 days. The number of Twitter followers and Facebook fans were also noted for companies that had active Twitter and/or Facebook accounts.

The Fortune 500 list includes the top U.S. companies ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years. The 2016 list marks the 62nd running of the list.

Top 10 F500 companies in 2016:

  1. Walmart
  2. Exxon Mobile
  3. Apple
  4. Berkshire Hathaway
  5. McKesson
  6. UnitedHealth Group
  7. CVS Health
  8. General Motors
  9. Ford Motors
  10. AT&T

What did we find in 2016?

Instagram successfully made a double-digit leap in adoption for the fourth year in a row. Blogging, after losing much of its stamina in previous years, saw a boost from newcomers to the F500 2016 list. Twitter remains the preferred social media platform over Facebook, although this gap is continuously closing. LinkedIn is being used by 97% of the Fortune 500 companies this year, primarily for recruiting purposes, networking and gathering industry specific information.

Of the 500 companies on this year’s list, 6 do not use any of the social media tools or platforms studied.


For more information on the 2016 Fortune 500 study or other published CMR studies, please visit our website:

For more information on the Fortune 500 list, please visit

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Twitter’s New Ad Filter

Good news for all of you tweeters out there! Twitter has been working hard at their drawing boards to bring you a new ad filter, entitled “Twitter Ads Manager”. Although it’s currently only in limited release it should be live in the full and final version over the coming months. Users of the beta version have already found their projects faster to access and easier to understand. The main goal of this project is to “easily view and optimize performance at multiple levels – campaigns, ad groups, or promoted tweets.” It’s currently being achieved through the new centralized workspace used to handle campaigns.

“Due to the improved flexibility and customization in Ads Manager, it’s been a lot easier for our team to turn campaign data into meaningful and actionable insights for our customers. Twitter is thinking about our needs as marketers and we’re excited to see more changes like this in the future.” Said Tommy Trafton a Social Coordinator at Resolution Media

The following is a list of new features that are confirmed and additional ones will follow.

  • Custom filters ~ more quickly find your campaigns, ad groups, or even ads
  • Custom metrics ~ help you more easily monitor metrics that matter most to you
  • export only the necessary data


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

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Business Success on Instagram

We wanted to share with you the latest study from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research on how successful businesses were using Instagram.

Instagram was launched in 2010 as a free mobile app for photo sharing and social networking. It enjoyed rapid growth, fueled by Millennials, and had a million active users just two months after its launch. It currently boasts over 300 million active users. Facebook purchased the platform in 2012 for approximately $1 billion. (

While this highly visual platform’s rapid growth can be attributed to young people, it has also attracted the attention of businesses. This report focuses on the adoption and use of Instagram among 2015’s most successful companies. The first group looks at the fastest growing businesses in the US, the Inc. 500 (named by Inc. Magazine) while the second group looks at the wealthiest businesses, the Fortune 500 (named by Fortune Magazine).

Here are the highlights of our study:
  • Rank influences the adoption of Instagram. Forty-four percent of the top 200 on the Inc. 500 list and 49% of the top 200 on the Fortune 500 list are active Instagram users.
  • Those in the consumer products and retail/consumer products industries hold the most active Instagram accounts.
  • Nike extends its dominance of social media sites with over 40 million Instagram followers. Lesser known Inc. 500 companies capture 1-2 million followers for the most active companies.
  • Approximately ¾ of all posts in both groups receive 1-30 comments from consumers. Half of the Fortune 500 group replies to comments while 33% of the Inc. group does.
  • For the Fortune 500, the objective of using Instagram is to disseminate information about their products/product lines, brands, specs etc. and for product promotion.  For the Inc. 500 companies, there is almost an equal emphasis on product promotion and sharing company happenings/events. They also engage in posting content that demonstrates thought leadership in their industry.
The Center is now taking clients for the January semester.  If you need high quality research done at extremely affordable prices, please give me a call at 508-999-8756.

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Google Analytics

Readers, the year is 2016 and the Internet has long been cemented as the one of, if not, the most important tool when it comes to operating a business. This is especially true for marketing purposes. A huge part of operating a business is monitoring, therefore internet analytics should now be included on the list of importance. For this service, Google Analytics has you covered! Don’t know what that is? The simplest way to describe it is like a gas meter on a house except it’s digital and monitors your website’s usage. Among the information provided is the sessions (click rate), session length, bounce rate, and conversion rate. It also displays which country (and general area of the country) the visitors to the site are from. The following is basic vocabulary. A notable fact, the service is available free of charge!!

  • Sessions—A session is the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc., within a date range. All usage data (Screen views, Events, Ecommerce, etc.) is associated with a session
  • Conversions—Conversions are the number of times goals have been completed on your website
  • Campaigns—Campaigns (also known as custom campaigns) allow you to add parameters to any URL from your website to collect more information about your referral traffic

Dimensions—A dimension is a descriptive attribute or characteristic of an object that can be given different values. Browser, Exit Page, Screens and Session Duration are all examples of dimensions that appear by default in Google Analytics

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

How to Use Google Analytics: Getting Started

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Guess Who Now Owns LinkedIn!

Yep, you guess it…LinkedIn is now owned by Microsoft who forked over $2.6 Billion in an incredible bold move. Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella has been met with approval and criticism in making this purchase. Thanks to him, users will be thrilled that they can now embed LinkedIn with Skype, its email system and various other enterprise products. Think about it, Microsoft now (literally) controls “one of the world’s most influential, specialized, highly read, constantly-updated (and occasionally annoying) digital media companies.” Reportedly, much of LinkedIn’s value is generated via its content which is believed to be worth as much as 2.9 Billion. Also, the data collect by the site is said to be equally as valuable. The following are some facts on LinkedIn.

  • 433 million users, (1/4+ more than a quarter of whom are in the US
  • founded in California in 2003,
  • 4,500 members joined after its first month
  • 106 million monthly unique visitors to the site
  • 45 billion page views (first quarter of 2016)

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

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