We’ve known for thousands of years that people can derive meaning directly from symbolic pictures such as emoticons. That’s why there are ancient hieroglyphics on cave walls and written on tombs in Egypt. But how can these smiley-faced signifiers influence survey response in the modern, digital era?
Social media has been one of the hottest trends in technology over the last decade. It has changed the way we talk to one another. We meet online. We converse online. We share online. And we complain together, online. Market researchers were quick to seize upon the opportunities provided by mass adoption of social media. Social media and “listening in” on the social chatter helps us better understand how brands are perceived, which points the way forward towards better campaigns and better targeting. Continue reading “The Arrival of Social Media Analytics: What Took So Long?”
When the term Virtual Reality (VR) comes up, many people will immediately conjure visions of kids with goggles, hands gesturing into thin air. The stereotypical VR kid is using the technology for gaming and immersive role playing. VR is certainly a high-profile, high-octane market. Estimates say it will be worth tens of billions of dollars by the early 2020’s. What is maybe less visible but no less important is the fact that market researchers are using VR to take their work to unforeseen levels.
Observers of the market research industry have been noticing a trend of late: researchers are acknowledging the limitations of large-scale surveys and are rediscovering the value of qualitative research, namely, real conversations with real people. Why?
That’s precisely the question, and also, the answer. “Why.” Quantitative research often has difficulty answering the “why?” questions. While it is true that much insight can be gained by analyzing big data, why not go directly to the source and talk to them? By interviewing and hearing people’s stories and insights, you can understand data better. Why do products sell? Why is growth not taking off? Why do preferences emerge for one brand and not another? Some answers are more readily gained by simply talking to people, then interpreting the results.
We live in a day and age where a lot of the tools we use are free. There are free word processors, free search engines, free video editors, free photo editing tools — free everything, it seems. But one question we’ve often thought about is, “should we use free research technology?”
Last Christmas I wanted to buy a turntable for my daughter. Thanks to an online message forum, I discovered that Target was selling a new brand of turntable at an affordable price point with features typically seen on higher-end models. It was early in the Christmas buying season, and I had a hunch that a product like this might sell out quickly. So I researched the Target.com website, checked their inventory and used the store locator to find the nearest Target with the turntable in stock. At this point many would click the “buy now” button and have the product shipped. Instead, I hopped in the car and drove to the store. Why, you ask? I wanted to see the product for myself before buying it. Once inside the store, my smart phone told me which aisle to go to. With a little help from my friend the store clerk, I located the turntable, looked it over, bought it, and wrapped it up for Christmas. What this very short story teaches us is that while technology has become a key component in the way we consume, we aren’t quite willing to let go of location-based purchasing decisions. Continue reading “Why Location Continues to be a Difference Maker”
Sometimes old habits die hard. Take market researchers, for instance. They used to take comfort in the assumption that they were in control of their brands and the stories told around them. It was driven and steered by MR, with an assured direction for which to navigate. Brand messaging would be beamed to audiences, and follow-up surveys would tell researchers what was working and what wasn’t. That was then, but this is now. The world has changed. Continue reading “Tell Me a Story: How MR Can Leverage the Power of Narrative”
I’m sure you’ll recognize the following scenario. A customer chooses a new company to do business with and begins receiving service(s) from them. They forge a relationship. Promises are made. Maybe the first time or two or three, they are satisfied with the results. Time passes. They come back once more with a question, a special need, a complex task in need of expert advice. They call the salesperson or the project manager. And wait. No reply. What went wrong? Was it something they said? Why the cold shoulder? Is there anybody out there? Continue reading “Why Won’t They Return My Call?”
The United States Census has long been a treasure trove of data for market researchers, and the riches have just gotten more rewarding. It now offers data regarding computer usage and internet access. Continue reading “New Census Data Available for Computer Ownership and Internet Subscription.”
Alert! Alert! Alert!
In this new age of “always on” technology and communication, it seems like something is always vying for our attention. We get so may alerts. Weather alerts, traffic alerts, health alerts, vehicle recall alerts, food safety alerts. I could go on and on. Our first tendency might be to get a little irritated about all of these alerts, as they interrupt our daily flow and can produce anxiety. But then again, think of why we are receiving the alerts in the first place. They are there for our benefit—the safety and security of ourselves, our family and our neighbors. By getting that important information out to us quickly, we can act immediately and take the necessary steps to either be prepared or be protected. Continue reading “Stay in compliance with ever-changing governmental regulations.”