The Power of Conversation

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.

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Why Paid Research Technology is Essential for Safe and Accurate Studies

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?”

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Why Location Continues to be a Difference Maker

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”

Tell Me a Story: How MR Can Leverage the Power of Narrative

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”

Why Won’t They Return My Call?

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?”

Stay in compliance with ever-changing governmental regulations.

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.”

County Level Cell Phone Only Estimates

Probability based telephone surveys must utilize a dual frame approach in order to capture the ever increasing cell phone only population.   Until the day comes where it’ll be a single frame approach of only cellular numbers, researchers need to ensure they get the appropriate blend of cell only vs. dual phone users in their sampling allocations. Continue reading “County Level Cell Phone Only Estimates”

Access & Control – Just Like the Family Fridge

Complying with the new GDPR rules means giving panelists more access to their data

When I was growing up, just about everything my family or someone watching us needed to know would be affixed to our refrigerator with tape or magnets. This included a calendar of events, important phone numbers, report cards, receipts, images, to-do lists and more. The fridge was the central repository for upcoming events for our family.

If you wanted to see what was going on in our lives, first you needed to be invited into our home (or have a key to gain access). Only trusted friends, relatives or service providers could get in and see the refrigerator to learn what we were up to.

Just as access to the family fridge was limited, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been designed to enhance an individual’s control over their data and restrict outside access.  Now, allow us to read your rights!  You have the right to be informed when your data is being processed, the right to access your data and confirm its lawful processing. You have the right to be forgotten, the right to data portability, rectification, objection to direct marketing, restriction of processing personal data, and safeguards against AI related decision making. One of the primary aims of GDPR is to give an individual total control of their data, and organizations with access must comply with the demands. Continue reading “Access & Control – Just Like the Family Fridge”

Verifying Important Data Points

I trust my kids. No really, I do. My oldest is at the age where she spends a lot of time with her friends—getting picked up to go shopping, going out to eat, hanging out at parties, sleepovers—in all cases, she is not at home and not with me. Like I said, I do trust her, but for the sake of my own sanity (and of course her safety), I have taken the necessary steps to verify that she is doing what she says she is doing.

Yes, I take a quick look at the cell phone GPS while she is out, I text to make sure her location matches, and I call her friends’ parents to verify that she is spending the night. Not every time she goes out, but enough. Just so you don’t think I’m snooping on her unawares, my daughter understands perfectly well that I am verifying all these details. I want her to know, and it is good that she knows. Not that she is looking to intentionally deceive, but honestly, weren’t we all kids once? We know the script. Just knowing that someone is checking in—well, that keeps everyone honest. I hope, it also brings her a sense of security, too. Continue reading “Verifying Important Data Points”