Monday, August 30, 2010

Main Street CEOs Optimistic on Future and Looking to Innovation

The Vistage Confidence Index evolved from a "customer survey" to the largest survey of chief executives from small and medium sized businesses in the U.S.  Over 2,500 small business CEOs answer the same set of 9 questions based on the economy and another 5-7 questions relating to current economic issues.  All of the respondents are members of Vistage International.

The Results for Q2 2010

Here is a quick summary of the Q2 results that were published in July, 2010.

  • CEOs have made adjustments based on a leaner, meaner economy and feel that they are positioned for success.

  • New opportunities and profits will come from innovative new products and services, generating new customers and maintaining business with existing customers.

  • 50% plan to finance their growth with cash.

  • 87% feel that the government doesn't understand the challenges well enough to expand opportunities for small business.


The actual Confidence Index for Q2 2010 is 94.4 and is significantly higher than the 69.0 at the same time last year.

What does all this mean?

If you're in the market research business, then it means that the survey recommendations that you make have to be focused on collecting information that's going to help small business owners identify new, more profitable customers .  Other kinds of research to recommend would be anything that will help them increase the level of innovation within their products and services.

Research that helps small business CEOs identify competitive advantage and increase the profit-level of their existing customers while attracting new ones is money well spent.

Get the full Vistage Confidence Index Report and read more about Vistage here.

http://www.vistage.com/media-center/confidence-index-archive.aspx


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Friday, August 27, 2010

Q & A session from Webinar: How to Use Conjoint Analysis in the Innovation Process

On Thursday August 26th, 2010 over 90 participants signed up for Survey Analytics and Dorian Simpson of Planning Innovations presentation on: How to Use Conjoint Analysis In the Innovation Process.

Conjoint Analysis is a powerful and often under-utilized marketing research tool that can provide powerful insight into how your customers actually think. The resulting information can be used to prioritize features, develop pricing strategies, and estimate market share… all before you develop your product or spend valuable marketing dollars.

Participants posted the following questions and both presenters, Dorian Simpson of Planning Innovations and Esther LaVielle of Survey Analytics, responded to each one.

1) I Do straightforward quant work like cross tabs, but I wonder if I can really do conjoint - does it take super high skill to set up and analyze the conjoint, or can a relative newcomer do a decent job.  Should I try to work with a mentor?

A: There are a lot of resources and white papers available to learn about conjoint analysis. When working with SurveyAnalytics, you will have a dedicated account manager who walk you through your projects, offer guidance and tips to get statistically significant data. You may also work directly with consultants such as Dorian Simpson from Planning Innovations who can train and help your understanding of conjoint analysis.

Q: Can you spend a minute or so explaining how the conjoint questions get embedded ina survey? does it integrate with outside survey tools? What is the form of the data output? Excel? SPSS?

A: The conjoint question template can we used in conjunction with other question types in SurveyAnalytics so this does not need to be embedded into another survey tool to work.

Q: How do we choose between a full factorial design (all combinations, costly but highly accurate approach) versus a partial factorial design (selected combinations of attribute levels, cost-effective, relatively less accurate) in the conjoint analysis studies?

A: We do partial. We generate a orthogonal set of profiles which you then chose how many the respondent sees. Full factorial is something we add later, but as you say, it is costly.

Q: How do you determine what "task count" you assign to a given study? Presumeably there is a trade-off here between overburdening the respondent and getting low quality results? Are there rules of thumb you use?

A: Our experience has shown that there is a precipitious drop-out rate after about 15 tasks. Unless there is a strong personal incentive for the end-users to complete the survey, we would suggest to keep the number of tasks to under 15 especially in cases where users are volunteering to take surveys. Please keep in mind that conjoint product selection is a little more involved than simply "answering a survey question" -- users have to comprehend each of the attributes/concepts and then make a choice. This is a lot more involved than say choosing "Male/Female" on a gender question.

On the lower side, we would suggest that 6-8 tasks be the minium for a conjoint model with 3 attributes. The more attributes you have, the more number of tasks users have to fill out.

It is obvious that it's a balancing act between the number of tasks, concepts per task and the total number of attributes/levels than need to be displayed.

Two factors determine the overall utility:

  • Concepts Per Task

  • Total # of Tasks


The system provides the "Concept Simulator" - with the concept simulator you can see the TOTAL number of times a particular level will be displayed (given the total number of respondents)

Q: Is it important to describe attributes or is it better to let less knowledgeable respondents use their best guess what it means?

A: This depends on many factors. You may want to review how homogeneous your respondent list is, number of times you've surveyed this particular group, and also if the features and levels you are presenting are familiar to your respondents or not.

With SurveyAnalytics, you can add tips, definitions, instructions and visuals for respondents to make a better trade-off decision.

Q: Are slides available?

A: Yes. Click below to review slides from both presenters







About the Presenters:

Dorian Simpson founded Planning Innovations in 2002 to help technology-driven companies launch successful products and services through focused innovation management and planning. He has significant experience in both engineering and marketing to help build the bridge between these two critical innovation functions.

http://www.planninginnovations.com

Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

http://www.surveyanalytics.com

Webinar Review: Learn How to Use MaxDiff Analysis to CreateProducts/Services People Want To Buy



On Tues August 24th, 2010, SurveyAnalytics teamed up with Chris Robson, Chief Scientist and Co-Founder of Parametric Marketing to present : Learn How to Use MaxDiff Analysis Create Products People Want To Buy

We had 80 guests in attendance. In our session Chris Robson covered the following:


What is MaxDiff?


-Why all the fuss?


-Problems with Ratings Scales, and why MaxDiff is better
-Fielding and Analyzing MaxDiff questions

-Getting Started using MaxDiff tool from SurveyAnalytics

Maximum Difference Scaling (MaxDiff) is a way of evaluating the importance (or preference) of a number of alternatives.It is a discrete choice technique: respondents are asked to make simple best/worst choices. It has the advantage that it is very simple for the respondent, but gives extremely rich information to the researcher





Slides from the presentation are available for download here:


Q&A from Webinar



Q: When is it more appropriate to use Max-Diff instead of Discrete choice Conjoint?  Conjoint is also about making trade-offs.

A: MaxDiff and Conjoint are related discrete-choice methods. Conjoint works best when the features to be tested can be structured into attributes with mutually-exclusive levels – e.g. the ‘attribute’ color has ‘levels’ red, blue or green. Also, Conjoint can be used to test price sensitivity. MaxDiff works well when there is a ‘laundry list’ of unalike features.

Q: What is your opinion on the question type, "Constant Sum" or "Continuous Sum" it is sometimes called.  With this question type you can "Rank" the attributes, but are able to see to a certain degree how much more important something is over another.  It seems like the end result of max-diff is similar.  Are they comparable in effectiveness at all?

A: One of the main problems with ‘Constant Sum’ questions is that they get unwieldy for the respondent when there are more than a few options to consider. When there are many options respondents start to use different strategies, like “Give all points to best item” or “Spread thinly over many items”, which gives problems for analysis.

Q: Where can we find the paper he is talking about?

A: I recommend: Chrzan, K. and N. Golovashkina (2006) "An empirical test of six stated importance measures," International Journal of Market Research, 48, 717-40.



A simpler overview of the problems with importance scales by the same authors can be found at: http://www.maritz.com/White-Papers/Research/Testing-Alternatives-to-Importance-Ratings.aspx

Q: Is share of preference similar to TURF?

A: TURF analysis can be used with MaxDiff results to identify optimum feature configurations.

Q: Is there a risk of forcing a difference between 2 attributes when they are actually equal?

A: It is wise to avoid including two features that are essentially the same. If, however, there are real differences forcing a choice is a good thing.

About the Presenters:



Chris Robson

Co-founder Parametric Marketing LLC and serves as Chief Scientist, leading selection and development of all analysis capabilities.

Chris Robson co-founded Parametric and serves as Chief Scientist, leading selection and development of all analysis capabilities. He is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in both marketing and technology. Prior to co-founding Parametric, Chris was Vice President of Engineering for WebCriteria, Inc. (acquired by Coremetrics, Inc.), and was responsible for the development of Site Analyst, described by Forrester as “a smart – and unique – choice for Web Managers struggling to define success metrics”. Prior to that, he spent thirteen years with Hewlett-Packard in a variety of senior management roles in R&D, Marketing, Business Development and Advanced Research. He started his career as a mathematician building complex statistical models of radar systems. Chris is a native of England and holds an honours degree in Mathematics from Brunel University of West London.



Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

http://www.surveyanalytics.com







Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How Small Businesses Buy Technology -- Like You and I

Industrial buyers are people too!

I used to go crazy working in a manufacturing environment and hearing sales people or executives go on and on about how "our customers" were different.  They were "industrial buyers".  They were part of a buying center or committee -- as if they had no pulse or something.  (Well, that part was true for some of them).  But in most cases, buyers are actually people; living breathing human beings who had a cup of coffee that morning or took their kids to school.  They thought about what they would do with that bonus and how they might get a little something nice for their spouse.

PEOPLE Make Decisions - Not Titles or Committees

So,  you can imagine how happy I was to see this latest study come out of Ivy Worldwide,  an integrated social media marketing company.  The short skippy of the results is that even when they are buying technology, business buyers behave like regular consumers.  Yup.  They buy computers and servers much like you and I buy a laptop or TV.

First they search the internet looking for what criteria they should be considering.  The same way that I've been searching for the internet trying to figure out how to compare these new HDTV's; should I care about whether it's 60Hz or 120Hz?  What about WiFi?  Nothing in the results points to any behavior that's unlike standard purchasing behavior by the rest of us.

Next, they rely on word of mouth.  Once they understand what criteria they are looking for and which alternatives have that criteria, they are checking online reviews and  experiences by colleagues and friends.  The study also showed that most purchasers were not committed to a brand as they went through their purchasing process.

However, random conversations on Twitter and Facebook have little influence .

Buying technology for business is often an online purchase.  The study shows that 70% of their respondents purchase online.

And finally, the respondents said that large companies miss the mark when marketing to the small and medium sized business owner.  That's no surprise.  I remember needing to update my virus software and going to McAfee.  While the site was very nice looking,  it was completely targeted to the large industrial IT buyer.  I couldn't easily find the product I was looking for and quickly got frustrated and left.

What Can Provider's Do

While this particular survey focused on technology purchases, I think the results are extremely useful for every company selling into the small and medium sized business market.

Who's doing it well?  Hewlett Packard comes to mind (and was also mentioned in the survey) as a company that's really committed to connecting with the small business.

I have personal experience with their small business marketing and they consistently show their commitment to connecting with and understanding the particular nuances of their market.

Download the full technology buyer results here and tell us what YOUR feedback is.

What company do YOU think does a great job at selling to you and which one does the worst?


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Monday, August 23, 2010

Free Webinar Tues 8/24/10 9AM PST- Learn How to Use MaxDiff Analysis toCreate Products/Services People Want To Buy



Tuesday August 24th, 2010

9:00 AM PST

Ever thought about using Max Difference Scaling as part of your research strategy?

Maximum Difference Scaling is a very effective method of establishing the relative priority attached by an audience to a large set of items (up to 30). These items might be:

* Features or benefits of a service

* Areas for potential investment of resources

* Interests and activities

* Potential marketing messages for a new product

* Products or Services used

In our presentation we’ll answer:

1) What is MaxDiff Scaling and what are its benefits to using it in a research project?

2) How can you develop MaxDiff studies that provide unique data vs. using a standard rating scale, etc?

3) How MaxDiff studies differ from other trade-off analysis techniques.

This webinar will answer these questions and more as well as provide a forum to discuss specific challenges.

Sign Up Here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/971418706

About the Presenters:



Chris Robson

Co-founder Parametric Marketing LLC and serves as Chief Scientist, leading selection and development of all analysis capabilities.

Chris Robson co-founded Parametric and serves as Chief Scientist, leading selection and development of all analysis capabilities. He is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in both marketing and technology. Prior to co-founding Parametric, Chris was Vice President of Engineering for WebCriteria, Inc. (acquired by Coremetrics, Inc.), and was responsible for the development of Site Analyst, described by Forrester as "a smart - and unique - choice for Web Managers struggling to define success metrics". Prior to that, he spent thirteen years with Hewlett-Packard in a variety of senior management roles in R&D, Marketing, Business Development and Advanced Research. He started his career as a mathematician building complex statistical models of radar systems. Chris is a native of England and holds an honours degree in Mathematics from Brunel University of West London.



Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

http://www.surveyanalytics.com

The 24-Hour Customer Brings Out TIME as a Way to Squeeze Into Your Customer's World


The 24-Hour Customer:Time-onomics from Adrian Ott on Vimeo.

If you're part of a market research organization, you're probably acutely aware of the shifts that have been going on in Market Research.  Maybe they upset you.  But this is a good thing.  That's your brain's way of telling you that it's time to do something different.  And the good news is, the sooner you get to finding something different - the better for your bottom line. The 24-Hour Customer Gives Strategists Insight on Creating New Opportunities by Focusing On How Customers Spend Time In my latest book review on Small Business Trends, I looked at "The 24-Hour Customer" by Adrian Ott.  If you are reading this blog -- then you need to get this book.  If you're in marketing or a CEO or in any way responsible for identifying new niches -- you can't afford to miss this book. "The 24-Hour Customer" explains exactly how and why it is that people can waste hours on Facebook Farmville and yet not give your product the time of day.  Ott names exactly 111 companies as examples of how strategists were able to observe how customers prioritized time with relation to Habit, Motivation, Convenience and Value -- and then develop products and services that fit right into those crevices.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Zipcar used a “Time Slicing” strategy that broke up car ownership into much smaller slices of time instead of years.

  • Hulu and Netflix used time-shifting to movies on-demand.

  • Nike and Apple co-created a mobile app that measured and reported on a runner’s progress on a Nike+ website.


There are many more examples and the data to support them.  Did I say you should read this book yet? Applying These Time Slicing and Time Shifting Strategies Means You Have to Love Your Customer Romi Mahajan talks about building deeper customer relationships in his latest article on Research Access.  He's not talking about social media, he's not talking about focus groups.  He's talking about participating in conversations that are going on around you. You've heard me talk about market research as becoming more of a "Listening" function.  And the combination of Romi's article and reading "The 24-hour Customer"  will inspire you and open your mind to other possibilities. Successful market research isn't going to come from having the best technology or running the best multi-variate regression.  It's going to come from possessing great listening and observation skills and then having the brains to quantify those inklings and intuitive insights. Who's up for the job?
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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Getting Attention: A Whole New Way to Interact With Your Market

I bet you didn't know this guy's name is Matt Lesko.  You probably know him as "that annoying, screaming, question mark suite wearing guy" -- yeah -- THAT GUY.  He's made millions being bold and annoying and he didn't spend millions to do it.

I was recently a presenter at a conference where I heard Jim Kukral, the author of "Attention! This book will make you money.  How to Use Attention-Getting Online Marketing to Increase Your Revenue".   If you're working for a large corporation -- you need to pay attention to this.  If you're a small business struggling to get more business -- you need to pay attention to this.  If you've seen or heard anyone on the news or online and wondered why it is that THIS DOOFUS is getting more attention and making more money and stealing market share that should be rightfully yours.  YOU need to pay attention to this.

Kukral is talking about a dangerous combination; cheap accessible technology, good ideas, and people with enough guts and no sense of ego who are willing to do what you won't to get attention and make money.

Market Research Needs to Pay Attention to This

For as long as I've been working and longer -- market research was how "respectable" businesses found new trends and figured out how to grab that valuable market share point.  This is still the case - but I want to warn corporations and timid businesses that doing research the same old way just takes entirely too long.

Your competition is getting bold and creative.  And they no longer use the kind of money and time that has kept corporations insulated and safe from the little guy.

Your market research will have to get bold and focused on identifying what YOU do well and what's missing in the market.

Do you have experience with research that has inspired bold attention-getting people or products?  Take a look at the presentation below and leave your thoughts.

[slideshare id=4466812&doc=jimkukralattentionoms10-100610124558-phpapp01]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review of Webinar: Innovative Technologies for Fall 2010



On Wednesday August 18th, 2010, SurveyAnalytics participated in a free webinar hosted by Peanut Labs featuring panelists: John Dick, Chief Executive Officer of CivicScience; Esther Rmah LaVielle, Chief Education Director SurveyAnalytics; and Dean Wiltse, Founder & CEO of Thumbspeak.

In this webinar we presented:
- A new method of attitudinal research that captures opinions from broad segments of the consumer population
- How to use conjoint analysis in the innovation process
- Solutions to the challenges of conducting market research via the mobile phone.

If you missed the opportunity to join us that day but are still interested in discovering new technology that will heavily influence the future of research, please click on the links below to review the recording, slides, and review from Peanut Labs:


Click here for Slides


Download Audio here


Webinar Review from Peanut Labs

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creative Segmentation Methods That Will Help You Identify New Opportunities



Segmentation has been around for so long, that we often take it for granted, and yet it continues to be the most powerful, lowest cost and most effective marketing tool we have access to.

In the most basic sense, we segment our audience and our customers because it's more cost effective and more efficient to group them into clusters that will react similarly to a specific message.  For example, men between the ages of 19 and 25 who are currently attending college are very different from women between the ages of 35 and 45  who live in mid Western suburbs.  Although both of these groups might purchase Hamburger Helper, they have different reasons and different perceived benefits.

Malcolm Gladwell Talks About Spaghetti Sauce Segments



This is a fascinating story about how Campbell's Soup discovered an unmet need by looking at their customers' preferences for different types of spaghetti sauce rather than just their demographics.

Segments Can Come From Anywhere

Don't get stuck in the rut of simply creating segments out of demographics, psychographics or benefits.  S-T-R-E-T-C-H  yourself and your outlook and start exploring segmentation opportunities.

In the new book "The 24-Hour Customer" Adrian Ott explores the new product opportunities and ideas that were uncovered when researchers realized that we only spend about 28% of our time shopping (this includes researching as well as buying).  That's not so shocking.  But get this -- given out increased exposure to new products and services as well as our ability to shop online hasn't made an impact on that figure anywhere in the world.  In other words - there are more products competing for that same slice of time.  In this case, pulling out TIME and our interaction with it turned out to be an interesting segment.

Take Another Look At Segmentation

If it's been a while since you've looked at segmentation -- then read this article by Nico Peruzzi over at Research Access.  He pulls together an outstanding overview of segmentation that you can use to get your creative juices flowing.

What have been your experiences with segmentation?  Have you ever found yourself finding a new opportunity by segmenting differently?  Share your segmentation tips and experiences in our comment section.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

How Can Re-Framing Research as Listening Improve Your Decisions

I have this client that is completely number-obsessed.  Sometimes I wonder if they do the research we do to avoid actually talking to their customers.  They find comfort in the decimal places of the ratings.  They track each movement week by week, quarter by quarter.  They also analyze each of the open ended responses and contact customers to hear more and get more insight around what the customers meant when they responded to our survey.  They are analyzing and hearing.  They are moving toward listening.

What Does Listening Have to Do With Research

Listening implies  understanding.  And when we are understanding what our audience is saying, we can move forward in creating offerings that are appealing to them.

Listening implies caring.  The only way our customers know that they've been heard is when we take what they've told us and react to it; maybe you explain why you will NOT be adding a feature, maybe you add a feature and tell them it came from their responses.  Either one builds loyalty and engagement.

How do you LISTEN to your customers?  What tools have you used?  How have you communicated the fact that you've been listening?

Have you used IdeaScale as a listening tool?  Tell us about your experience.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Free Webinar: How to Tailor Diversity Initiatives in Your Recruitment Strategy Using Online Surveys



Tues September 28th, 2010 at 9:00 AM PST


Sign Up Here


Interested in learning how to use online survey tools to hire new employees?

Sign up for this joint presentation with the global leader in human capital solutions: Personified, a division of CareerBuilder.


Diversifying your recruitment strategies is an important initiative for organizations to ensure they are attracting the right talent. Despite what people think, recruitment needs to be customized to an organization’s target talent.

Personified, a division of CareerBuilder will highlight the following topics:

-Demonstrate how the recruitment experience differs by demographics (i.e., gender, ethnicity, and generations).

- How your recruiting strategy must be tailored to these specific populations.

Using benchmark data, best practices, and additional insights Personified will provide intelligence on where to spend your recruiting dollars based on desired messaging of different demographic groups and organizational initiatives.


Sign Up Today!


About the presenters:




Brian Di Bartolomeo, Director, Talent Intelligence and Consulting
As Director, Talent Intelligence and Consulting for Personified, a division of CareerBuilder - the global leader in human capital solutions, Brian Di Bartolomeo manages the talent intelligence projects related to human capital metrics for pre-employment studies. Using his skills as an industrial organizational psychologist, Di Bartolomeo has played a major role in the creation of talent intelligence reports for various Fortune 1000 organizations as well as designing and re-launching Personified’s top revenue producing product to 800 sales representatives nationwide.
Over the past 12 years, Di Bartolomeo has specialized in building strategic relationships in diverse settings and industries while using expertise in survey program design, team leadership, project management, contract negotiation and client retention. During his career, he has focused on collaborating with influential consulting firms, national associations and multi-national Fortune 500 organizations in the healthcare, financial, and manufacturing sectors.
Brian completed his Masters’ work in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Elmhurst College and holds a B.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from John Carroll University.

Andrea Briggs, Project Manager, Talent Intelligence and Consulting

As Project Manager, Talent Intelligence and Consulting for Personified, a division of CareerBuilder - the global leader in human capital solutions, Andrea Briggs works with numerous clients to improve the efficiency of their recruitment strategies. Prior to working at Personified, Briggs worked for International Survey Research (ISR), analyzing data for clients’ survey research engagements and for United Airlines, specializing in the areas of selection and talent management.
Briggs has both a professional and personal commitment to diversity. She has worked on many research projects throughout her career, including her Master’s thesis on racioethnic diversity and how it affects team interaction. Briggs also has an upcoming publication in the Journal of Management looking at team demographic diversity and its relationship to performance.
Briggs currently holds a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from DePaul and is working on her dissertation to complete her Doctorate.

Feature Enhancement: Microsoft Exchange / Corporate Mail Server Integration

Sending emails to respondents just got easier.

With Microsoft Exchange / Corporate Mail Server Integration on SurveyAnalytics, you now can send to thousand of respondents using your own email without having it go to junk mail.
What is SMTP Relay?

SurveyAnalytics SMTP Relay lets you send survey invitation emails using your existing email service. SMTP relay uses your corporate SMTP server settings for sending emails and providing authenticity and thereby avoiding being caught as SPAM/Junk mail.
How to set up mail server integration?

Go To:

  • Login » Surveys » My Account (Top Right Corner) » Multi-User Accounts











Screenshot
Survey Software Help Image

Does my IT have to do anything?

It depends - but very likely yes. The way the SMTP Relay system works is that, your servers will be the initial receivers of the email - even if the email is not destined to your domain. This makes sure that your servers are the initial point of contact as they email out to the wider world.

Your IT staff may want to know the IP address from which we'll be sending emails (to be allowed to relay.) - Please see the references section below to get a list of the IP addresses for our ourbound servers.
How is this different than just whitelisting IP addresses in our mail servers?

By using the SMTP Relay, all emails that you send are routed through your servers. For example, if you are sending email invitations to gmail, hotmail etc. - and you would want to route all the emails through your servers - for corporate accountability, standards, archiving etc. - the SMTP Relay functionality will make sure this happens.

How Can Taking Surveys Become as Addicting as Farmville?

Have you ever noticed that there are people out there who say they are just "too busy" to do something, yet you see them on Facebook spending hours on end tending to their "Farmville" account.

So what explains our apparent information and multi-tasking overload on the one hand and our simultaneous ability to scrounge together hours in the day to
play on Facebook or Farmville or Twitter or whatever your internet addiction may be.

As it turns out, interacting with our "screens" is actually addicting (as if we didn't know).  Really!  To learn more, check out the new book "24-Hour Customer" by Adrian C. Ott. In this book you'll learn how these little screens have actually changed customer behavior in a MAJOR way.  She goes on to explain that we're not just competing for dollars, we're competing for time.

Surveys USED to be Time Sucking Interruptions

You know and I know that one of the main reasons people hate doing surveys is that they perceive them as a time-wasting activity.  I can't tell you how many times I'd called on a respondent asking for 10 minutes of their time only to have them spend 15 minutes telling me how busy they are.

We need to re-frame how we look at surveys.  Vivek has already talked about using the word "listening" instead of "research" so what if we started thinking about surveys as being addicting and eagerly sought out by respondents?

Thumbspeak Changes How We Look at Surveys

Vivek has already introduced Thumbspeak as a whole new way to gather responses using the iPhone.   I'd like to start a discussion about changing how we think about surveys or collecting feedback.

Take a look at this video from a typical Thumbspeak user.  And think about the fact that a growing number of people are literally killing time with their devices.  In an interview with Dean Wiltse, CEO of Thumbspeak, Dean shared a story of a user that went to his Thumbspeak iPhone App to take a survey instead of playing a game on his iPhone while he killed time.  This user was having so much fun, that he engaged his wife in the process as well.

So what do you think?  In what ways can WE as researchers reframe and reposition surveys from a pain to a pleasure?
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Free Webinar: 6 DIY Marketing Research Trends You Can Use to Build Your Brand



Thursday September 30th, 2010

9:00 AM PST

Sign Up Here!

Interactivity, collaboration and open source concepts are changing how we collect feedback. Marketing research is evolving. It’s more than surveys and focus groups. It’s more than those thousand dollar reports produced by Freedonia or The Conference Board. Today, finding out what your customer is thinking is a hands-on process.

SurveyAnalytics is proud to be a part of this free live webinar featuring panelists: Ivana Taylor, Marketing Strategist and Editor of DIYMarketers.com; and Esther Rmah LaVielle, Senior Account Manager of SurveyAnalytics.

In this fast paced session, we’ll be exploring:

- 6 of the top research trends that have influenced how we collect feedback

- Resources where you can see examples of these trends in action.

- Tools that you can use today to get started

Register today to discover how your peers are leveraging insight into defined opportunities to innovate via today’s technologies for tomorrow’s research!

Sign Up Here!

About the Presenters:

Ivana Taylor is the President and Chief Marketing Officer of Third Force (http://thirdforce.net), a strategic marketing firm that helps small to medium sized companies get and keep loyal, profitable customers regardless of price. She is the author of popular marketing blog called Strategy Stew (http://strategystew.com) where she dishes out marketing how-to’s for small business owners and in-house marketers. Ivana is also an instructor with Cleveland State and the University of Akron and has created and co-written the Applied Marketing Management Certification Course which was voted best new Continuing Education Course for 2005. She is co-author of the book “Excel for Marketing Managers.”



Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

http://www.surveyanalytics.com

What You May Not Know About Local Search - But Need to Implement NOW

You don't have to be an Search Engine or Marketing expert to understand the basic rule of marketing -- it's all about getting chosen.  But if your customers can't find you - you won't get chosen.

Local Search Isn't Just for Local Retailers

At a local conference sponsored by GetListed.org I picked up the following lessons that I'd like to share with you.

  1. Local search is INDEXED.  This means that if you want to get found, you need to be listed.   Mike Blumenthal, and expert on local search said it best "Google is like a vacuum cleaner; it sucks in data and amplifies it."  Please be sure to visitMike's site for slides and details about the GetListed.org University.

  2. The Trend is Toward "Decision" Engine. Maryam Gholami, a product manager from Bing.com was there to explain exactly what "Decision Engine" meant.  Bing.com's research showed that people were using search engines to decide on where to go and what to buy.  They also learned that not nearly enough businesses were listed in their data bases to make that effective.  "Every small business needs to get to the Bing Local Listings Center and fill out a full profile.

  3. Post Reviews .  Every business should encourage their customers and clients to post reviews.  EVEN if you're not a retail business.  Remember, local listings are indexed and searched.  Companies with a local listing, keyword rich description, reviews and pictures will give potential customers a more complete picture and show them that you are serious and REAL.  Another hint is to be sure to ask customers to rate you with the star ratings.  And don't worry about bad reviews -- they actually help you.  Would you really believe any company that had ALL positive reviews?!

  4. Post Pictures. Again, this isn't just for the local folks to post pictures of their restaurants.  If you're a consultant or business to business company, post pictures of your product or people using your service.

  5. Consultants, Freelancers, and Home Offices Need to Post an Address. There is no easy way to say this.  Search engines like real addresses.  They don't like PO boxes.  Anita Campbell recommended going to a UPS store and getting a real address there (if you're hesitant about posting your home address).  Another option is to use the address of a temporary office space - such as Office Space Co-Working which has locations all over Northeast Ohio.  Google wants to see a real address.  You will have to make the decision of whether the reward of being found is greater than the risk of being stalked.

  6. Use Social Media Creatively to Promote Your Local Business.  Matt McGee, the expert on local blogging and social media marketing for local small business was also on hand.  His big message was to get your content out there.  Your biggest defense against large corporate companies is to provide valuable content and lots of it to your local audience.  Use contests, Twitter and Facebook to run promotions.  (Check out Wildfire - an App that will get you started quickly and easily).  And check out the Matt's plethora of slides from the GetListed.org University Presentation in Cleveland for ideas, resources and examples.

  7. Get Help. Anita Campbell from Small Business Trends was the perfect salve on the set of presentations with her advice to learn a little - but get help.   Learn enough to ask good questions, automate your social media as much as you can without sacrificing authenticity and get as much help as you need in those admin areas of running your search and social media marketing.  I loved her recommendation to look at virtual assistants for this task.


If you were at all like me and thought that local search was just for local businesses - I hope that this article has opened your eyes to the marketing possibilities that are open to you whether you're a local retailer or a national or international consultant.  Get your local search listing in order -- TODAY.

What's been your experience with local search?  Got any tips?  We'd love to hear them!  Leave your tip or comment below!

Get more information on the GetListed.org Local University
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Monday, August 9, 2010

10 Major Marketing Strategies We Can Learn from Today's Celebrities

There are people who truly deserve to be famous because of their talent and contributions to this world. Oprah, Kanye West, Steve Jobs are a few examples of people who are well deserved of their notoriety. Then there are those who for some god-forsaken reason the media loves to follow: Kim Kardashian, Speidi (Barf!), Ashton Kutcher, and all those "Housewives," to name a few.


The word celebrity is used very loosely these days because there is such a crap shoot of "famous" people out there.


Setting aside guilty pleasures of reading smutty celebrity news, let's take a look at these celebrities objectively - What kind of marketing strategies can we learn from people like LeBron James and Jennifer Lopez? And as a socially conscious marketer how can we implement celebrity marketing strategies into my everyday work environment?


Here are 10 major marketing strategies used by celebrities today:



1) Control What Gets Leaked into

the Press




Let's face it everyone. Mel Gibson is pretty screwed right now. His baby momma's got all the power with the leaked tapes and her exclusive interviews with Radaronline is making her boku bucks. Lebron James and his PR team sure know how to rile up NBA fans by making a big fuss about his free agent announcement. I was bored to tears with the NBA until all this crazy buzz about Lebron started happening. Where is he going? Chicago, New York, or staying in Cleveland? Leaks upon leaks came through but nobody could confirm any stories. ESPN PAID King James to televise his announcement! He is quite the "balls" handler, eh? David Stern, commish of the NBA, denounced LeBron's actions, but secretly, I bet Mr. Davey's pretty jazzed about it.


Lesson: Control the leaks/Control the story. Simple.



2) Be Everywhere



How can you miss Kim Kardashian's sweet sweet uh....smile on every red carpet?
I don't even know what she's famous for, but for some reason she's always striking a pose on every red carpet around the world. And she looks good. Girlfriend definitely knows how to work it and get into all those super market magazines with a tight outfit that shows off her "assets."


Now I'm not going out there wearing stilettos and hot pants to get people to notice my marketing efforts. I'm going to leave that to Miss Kimmy. Instead, I'll be looking into more work-appropriate opportunities to like local happy hours, promoting and doing online presentations, blogs, commenting on other blogs, and associate myself to anything and everything positive related to my company's industry.

Lesson: Go where the action/buzz is whether online or in-person and make an appearance.




3) Pump Ample Time and Effort into Social Media Networking




Can you name one adolescent female who hasn't caught Bieber fever? OMG, this Justin Bieber kid is the new Jonathan Taylor Thomas of our time (I grew up in the 90's with Home Improvement). Even my 14 year old nephew went out and got his hair cut like Bieber's to appeal to the ladies. Bieber fever started with this kid posting performances on YouTube and the next thing you know Usher and Timberlake all wanted to record this kid's album. His YouTube videos are #1 and he puts in time to tweet and update his blog regularly, or at least he has Bieber minions keeping him plugged in with his audience. The kid's got a genius marketing strategy...and he's not a bad singer either.


Lesson: Spend more time connecting with others through social media outlets and see your core audience grow.



4) Stay Relevant by "Reinventing" Yourself




Heidi Montag, Madonna, Jennifer Hudson, Lady GaGa - What do all of these ladies have in common? Reinventing themselves! JHud lost a ton of weight and she looks spectacular, Lady Gaga not only entertains us with her music but also with her never-ending display of outrageous costumes, and Madonna never stopped reinventing her music, personal style, and along the way she tried out a couple of religions (Kabbalah, anyone?) and adopted a Malawian baby. Who ever spoke of Malawi until she went there?





Unfortunately for Heidi Montag, whom many of the tabloids now call Franken-Heidi, not all reinventions (ie. 10 plastic surveys in 1 day) garner expected results.


Lesson: Don't be afraid to reinvent yourself or your company to stay relevant within your niche. Also know that reinvention can also come with pitfalls that may unhinge you from your core audience so choose your reinvention strategy wisely.



5) Publicize Comments on News, Blogs, and Press Releases and Turn it into News About Yourself

Nothing annoys me more than stories on celebrity's comments on other celebrity news. Do I really care about Michael Lohan's opinion on the Tiger Woods cheating scandal? No but I saw that he commented about it anyways. Yes, it's sad that I know the name of Lindsey Lohan's parents. Nobody really wants to see this grubby man's face all over TMZ, Perez, Radar, etc., but he keeps popping up all over in a terrible attempt to reconcile with his daughter. So far his strategy has not worked. Sorry Michael, but if my dad ever did this to me I'd pretend he didn't exist too. (Picture of him not included in this section...purposely.)


Lesson: Comment and share opinions on press releases that are in tune with your marketing goals. Be clear with your intentions and you will become well-known and respected by PR firms, readers, bloggers, and other commentators.



6) Quickly Come Clean when

Scandal Breaks



Who doesn't love to read about a good scandal these days? But when the tides turn and the scandal happens to you, what would you do? Despite the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal, Bill Clinton is still considered to be one of America's all time favorite presidents. How did he do it? Simple: He televised a carefully crafted statement of what he did, asked Americans to forgive his actions, and showed everyone that Hilary supported him 100%.


Lesson: Carefully choose the words to address the scandal and make sure your strategic partnerships will stand by your side during this time.




7) Build Partnerships with other Brands that Compliment You




Before the massive cheating scandal, everyone wanted Tiger Woods to promote their product. Money from golf tourneys paled in comparison to the endorsements deals he pulled in. At his peak Woods earned over $100 million dollars a year from his endorsement deals and it is estimated nearly 90% of his income comes from endorsements. Tiger's team strategically selected endorsements that fit his former squeaky clean image. Gatorade? Nike? Gillette? Yes. Online gambling website? No.


It's said that Tiger instantly lost over 30% of his endorsement revenue after the scandal broke. Yikes, that's got to hurt!


Lesson: Network and partner yourself with other like-minded firms and promote like crazy. Also re-evaluate partnerships. Ask, "Does this partnership remain strategically significant to my brand and overall goals?"





8 ) Accept That Any Kind of Media is Good Media






If you love reality tv (like me), then you just finished watching Ali pick Roberto during The Bachelorette. Her show was the highest rated Bachelor/Bachelorette show ever. It wasn't because Ali's personality and good looks that made it the most watched show. Rather, it was the major media buzz on smutty magazines and blogs such as RealitySteve.com (awesome blog, BTW) that really had people watching. ABC tried everything to shut Reality Steve down and forced E! to cut his segment out of an E! special"Bachelor/Bachelorette: Where are they now?" In the end, ABC should have sent this blogger a fruit basket for it's success.

Lesson: Publically acknowledge media coverage from others with appreciation and clarify the truth if needed.




9) Give Back to Your Community &

Tell Everyone About It!




Angelina Jolie is modern day's Mother Theresa. The UN really hit PR gold when they asked Jolie to become one of their prestigious ambassadors. Nobody ever talks about her pre-Maddox days when she was married to Billy Bob Thornton and wore a drop of his blood around her neck or that she used to cut herself and was slightly manic depressive at times. Nope! Instead she's really turned her life around and is giving back and shining light on those who are less fortunate and desperately need help. As a result, she is one of Hollywood's top-paid actresses.


Lesson: Find a charity or opportunity to give back and share with all your fans and readers via press release, website, and share why you are involved in these programs. People like spending money with companies who do good deeds.




10) Bring More Than One Talent

to the Table




Hello J.Lo! Jenny from the block markets herself as the ultimate entertainer: singer, actress, dancer, clothing designer, restaurant owner, co-producer, the list goes on and on. Sure, her notoriety has died down a bit, but she's still around making money "entertaining" the masses. How many girls from "In Living Color," do you know ever reached the height of J.Lo's success? Sorry, but the judge, Cari Ann, from Dancing With The Stars doesn't even come close. In an uncertain economy we need to show everyone that we don't play just one note on the keyboard.


Lesson: Be flexible and offer a whole array of untapped talent or skill your employer could use to further the business. More than likely you will be the one to get/keep the job.


About the Author: Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.


http://www.surveyanalytics.com

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Use Conjoint Analysis in the Innovation Process

Webinar Presentation
Thursday August 26th, 2010
9:00am PST


Ever thought about using Conjoint Analysis as part of your research strategy?

Your customers are constantly making trade-offs when making purchase decisions between you and your competitors. Traditional research questions, such as ranking features and asking pricing sensitivity questions are valuable tools, but often leave you wondering which features are really important and how you should price vs. real competition. So how can you simulate a real-world purchase decision before you go to market?

Conjoint Analysis is a powerful and often under-utilized marketing research tool that can provide powerful insight into how your customers actually think. The resulting information can be used to prioritize features, develop pricing strategies, and estimate market share… all before you develop your product or spend valuable marketing dollars.

Join Survey Analytics and Planning Innovations for this one-hour webinar on how to effectively use Conjoint Analysis in the innovation process to prioritize needs, explore pricing options, and validate your product and service concepts.

We’ll answer:

1) What is Conjoint Analysis and how does it work to simulate real world trade-off decisions?

2) How can you develop Conjoint Studies that provide guidance in innovation planning?

3) How can Conjoint Studies help you predict potential market share for new product concepts?

This webinar will answer these questions and more as well as provide a forum to discuss specific challenges.

Click Here To Sign Up: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/447044739



About the Presenters:

Dorian Simpson founded Planning Innovations in 2002 to help technology-driven companies launch successful products and services through focused innovation management and planning. He has significant experience in both engineering and marketing to help build the bridge between these two critical innovation functions.

http://www.planninginnovations.com

Esther LaVielle is a Senior Account Manager at QuestionPro and Survey Analytics, which was started in 2002 in Seattle and is now one of the fastest growing private companies in the US. Prior to her adventure at QuestionPro she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager at the Gilmore Research Group.

http://www.surveyanalytics.com

Paper Surveys are finally dead


OK - This is a bold prediction, but I think I can make it safely - the iPad will change the Field Survey business. I recently penned my thoughts on Research Magazine.

Here is my synopsis:
  • Field Surveys / Mall Intercept is needed - 75% of all purchasing decisions are made in-store
  • They are expensive/low margin business - so any gain in technology will add to the bottom-line.
  • iPad - Its sexy, its cool - Its connected
  • Throw away the paper-clip - get an iPad and run a survey on that!

Here is a link to the full article:

http://www.research-live.com/comment/will-the-ipad-kill-the-paper-survey?/4003283.article

If you want to take the Survey Analytics iPad app for a drive go here:

http://www.surveyanalytics.com/field-surveys/index.html



Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Annoucement: University Site License now available on QuestionPro

QuestionPro is now launching a university-wide and a department-wide site licensing model for QuestionPro Survey/Research Software.


The University Site License allows every faculty member and student access to the QuestionPro Corporate Edition.
How It Works


  • The Site Licenses is issued to a university assigned email domain (Eg. @ohio.edu)

  • When students/faculty signup with the university assigned email address, they automatically get the upgrade to the Corporate License for free

  • Site License can be purchased at the department level (dept.university.edu) or university wide access (university.edu)


Google Apps Education Edition


  • If your university has a Google Apps Edu - Ask about the Google Apps Discount!


Next Steps?


  • Please contact Aditya Bhat - aditya.bhat [at] questionpro [dot] com for more information


More information on the QuestionPro OpenAccess Site License:

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