Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Recording and Slides from TURF Analysis Webinar Available Now

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[slideshare id=7451438&doc=surveyanalyticsturfv4-1-110330132601-phpapp01]

Thank you to all who joined us for our webinar presentation on TURF Analysis. This tool is currently available on QuestionPro corporate edition license and SurveyAnalytics enterprise license. Slides and recording are available for download. Please review and let us know if you have further questions and we'll be happy to answer them.
Thank you!

Follow These 5 Tips to Turn Your Blog Into a Customer Magnet

It's one thing to keep saying that you should have a blog, but having a blog that actually attracts customers and builds loyalty means that you have to provide great content.

Here are some tips for providing great blog content:

  1. Make a list of the 5 -7 top reader frustrations. In the same way that our eye is drawn to the crooked picture in an otherwise perfect room, we tend to focus on frustrations and peeves that drive us crazy.  Whenever someone mirrors those frustrations, we feel a sense of camaraderie.  Use these frustrations and your solutions as the anchor and mission of your blog.  You want each article to be a salve against the painful frustrations that your readers are experiencing.  Literally make this list and keep it handy use it as a rotating theme for your content.

  2. Identify keywords and phrases from that frustration list.  Recent studies have shown that people aren't exactly looking for solutions first.  BEFORE they look for a solution, the search out their problem -- looking for ideas and options on what the solution is.  For example, "Leaking Roof" is a problem that I will search on hoping to see what options are available to fix it.  Is this a quick fix or do I need a roof replacement.  Or I might search on a term such as "sales process" because I feel like I have no control over my sales process or I'm not getting consistent results.  So all these terms are hot button issues that you can write about.  Your audience is searching for guidance on how to buy.  They are more likely to buy from the company that helps them understand and choose.

  3. Answer customer questions. The easy way to do this is to have a board or Google Document  that people can contribute customer questions to so that you can create content that answers them and gives advice.   Take a helpful and educational tone in your writing and be open about where the question came from and then simply answer it.  Keeping tabs on customer questions will also give you ideas on additional kinds of content such as video.

  4. Recruit contributing experts for each "frustration" your customers have.  Blogging can becaome a daunting task -- but not of you recruit experts in your company or in your industry to be contributing experts.  Ask if sales, customer service, technical or engineering folks would be interested in writing out answers to customer questions or writing about events they've attended.  Also think about writing about events that you're attending such as trade shows and what you'll be featuring there.  Another win-win strategy is to recruit the experts in your industry to write for your blog.  Trust me - they would be honored and happy to do it.  It's a HUGE promotional and marketing opportunity for them and a big help for you and information for your customers.

  5. CEO or president is a regular contributor.  I've separated the CEO writing for the blog as a separate tip because it is so very important.  You don't have to be a journalist or the next Tom Clancy to communicate what you're up to as a company.  CEOs miss a HUGE PR opportunity in NOT writing for their blog.  You'd be amazed at the CEOs who blog.  I mean if the CEO from GM can find the time to blog -- so can YOU.

Referrals are still the number one way of getting the best, most profitable customers.  And don't think that just because you're in a more B2B or industrial market that referrals don't work -- I'm working on a heavily industrial project right now where the most popular way that people choose suppliers is by calling other suppliers and customers and asking who they would recommend.

Your blog is a tremendous promotional and advertising tool - don't let it go to waste.

Monday, March 28, 2011

App Stores Galore - Amazon App Store for Android?

You have probably heard of everyone talking about or building their own app stores? Let me tell you - I have - in the software development circles it is a hot topic. When I was at Microsoft, every aspiring manager wanted to build an app store. App stores in Mac, PC, TV and for software plugins?

App Store is a hot topic because Apple made it successful. The truth is Apple's app store was successful not because of the fact that you could download software remotely but because Apple was able to create a hot distribution platform by building a revolutionary smartphone. Apple didn't follow the "build and wait" approach but focused on delighting its users - app store followed as a natural by product.

In my view, any application platform eco-system  needs the following key ingredients:

  • A delightful product

  • Distribution - partnership and technology

  • Continuous innovation - developer brainpower

Android has been able to take second place in the smartphone market because it was originally able to place itself as the "next best thing" to iPhone. Android has an open market place, a vibrant group of developers - barring severe fragmentation - I believe Android based smartphones are here to stay.

It's also interesting to note that Amazon chose Android to build its own app store. Is Amazon going to build its own phone based on Android eventually or is it building it purely to take advantage of its vast user reach  (largest online retailer in the United States) to sell apps? Amazon certainly has the resources and has been hiring with guns blazing - my former colleagues from Microsoft who have recently joined Amazon, any comments?

SurveySwipe is already approved in the Amazon app store for Android - it is not yet visible in the app store (beta bug?). You can download the SurveySwipe application from here though.

Survey Analytics Featured as DIY Marketing Research Tool for Manufacturers

In a recent article on Thomas Net Industry Market Trends, Michael Keating,  senior editor for Government Product News and a contributing editor for American City and County, mentioned Survey Analytics as a terrific tool for DIY Market Research that's available to manufacturers.

Manufacturing companies invest heavily in engineering and operations.  But when it comes to market research and all things sales and marketing, they get a little skittish.  And that means that a lot of times, the customer satisfaction surveys that they ran got low response rates and even worse useful information that the manufacturer could use to make good decisions.

This is unfortunate because many manufacturers have to be ISO 9001 certified and that means having good customer satisfaction data that can be tracked and implemented as well as show improvements in the quality system as evidenced by customer satisfaction scores.

Here is just a short snippet of this well written article -
"Yes, some manufacturing execs do rely on DIY research in an effort to save money; and this method of acquiring critical information can produce disastrous results," according to Cathy Williams-Owen, president and CFO of Port Washington, N.Y.-based Dri Mark Products, Inc., a manufacturer of writing instruments, security marking systems and inks. "It is somewhat like working in a vortex. The information obtained may not produce the valuable insight that, say, a well-formulated focus group can provide. The conclusions that are reached can skew results with the potential for a disastrous outcome."

Manfred Bluemel, Ph.D., at Seattle-based Zeitgeist Research, is a proponent of DIY research tools like Survey Monkey,Survey Analytics and Zoomerang, with a caveat: "They work as long as you have a skilled market researcher who knows what to do with those tools."

"To use DIY market research most effectively, you need to talk to a marketing expert or consultant that understands research or product management and can help you design a good survey — then use the online survey tools that are available to help," Ivana Taylor, publisher of the online resource DIY Marketers, says.

New tools and technology are speeding up the acceptance of DIY research. More customized survey apps are being developed for both Apple's iPad and Google's Android-based tablets that will enable small manufacturers to do their own market research. (For examples, see and

Thursday, March 24, 2011

QR Codes and Surveys

We are excited to announce a nifty enhancement to the QuestionPro and SurveyAnalytics systems - QR Codes. If you are not familiar with QR Codes - they are those new "barcode" like patterns that everyone is talking about. Print magazines are using them to give out more information about some article or even advertisers using QR Codes for "offers" etc.

PS : The QR Code you see above points to real live survey about the NFL Lockout that our mobile division - SurveySwipe is running along with ResearchAccess. Go ahead - take out your smartphone and take that survey!

Here is a quick FAQ on QR Codes:

What is a QR Code?

A QR code (short for Quick Response) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on a white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

How do I access my survey's QR Code?

Login->My Surveys (Select Survey) -> Send Survey (See the QR Code along with the Social Media section)

Survey Software Help Image

What are some uses of QR Codes?

QR Codes can be used very effectively for POS feedback system. Users are generally adopting to QR Codes slowly but steadily and in general, QR Codes promise to be the bridge between the offline and the online world.
Is any software/hardware required to read QR codes?

Yes. Respondents phones/devices should have QR code reader.

Google's mobile Android operating system supports QR codes by natively including the barcode scanner (ZXing) on some models, and the browser supports URI redirection, which allows QR Codes to send metadata to existing applications on the device. In the Apple iOS, a QR code reader is not natively included, but over 50 free Apps are available with reader and metadata browser URI redirection capability. Nokia's Symbian operating system is also provided with a barcode scanner, which is able to read QR codes,while mbarcode is a QR code reader for the Maemo operating system. HP/Palm's webOS operating system also does not have a native QR code reader, but a reader app named QR deCODEr is available.

My personal bias on the iPhone is Neo Reader - Search for "neo reader" on the App Store.

Is this option available with all licenses?

Yes - We are slowly rolling this out to ALL our users. Over the next few weeks, this option will surface into your account when you login to the system.

Final Side Note : I want to extend a personal thank you note to Paul Becker from Pro Sports Club here in Seattle for taking the time to listen to my crazy ideas and help me distill it. Paul is the CIO of Pro Sports, which is one of the largest health and fitness clubs here in the Seattle area. Paul is also a client of QuestionPro/SurveyAnalytics and over the years become a friend. If you are a Microsoft employee, you know "Pro Club" -- We've been thinking of doing something like this for over 2 years and we wanted to do it using Microsoft Tag. Microsoft, about two years ago, came out with the Tag from Microsoft Research. At the time, QR Codes were not readily recognizable and even the smartphone adoption rate was low. Today - the smartphone adoption, especially in places like the Pro-Club is very very high and is a non-issue.

Happy QR Coding!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

QR Code Magic

QR (Quick Response) codes are two dimensional bar codes that allow you to encode text, url and other kinds of data and looks like the figure above.

We are excited to announce that we recently launched integration with QR codes - you can now send QR codes instead of urls to invite your respondents to participate in surveys. To learn more about QR code integration read the blog post by Vivek.

If you haven't used QR codes, find a QR code scanning app (available for free) and scan the above picture - you will be taken to the download page for SurveySwipe application.

Can you think of creative ways to use QR code for feedback?

SurveySwipe Webinar Recording Now Available

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Thank you to all who attended our SurveySwipe webinar. The interest in mobile research is growing and SurveySwipe is poised to be the leader in offering clients the most flexible integrated mobile research platform.

To learn more feel free to watch and review the slides from our presentation.

Check Out SurveySwipe Blog For All Things Mobile Research

The Survey Analytics team has been a busy bunch lately.  Have you seen the new SurveySwipe blog?  If not, check it out for the latest trends and happenings in mobile research.

The trend toward mobile everything shows no signs of stopping.  In this article Liz Nelson talks about when we can expect mobile research to hit mainstream.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

  • Mobile research will come and it’s inevitable that it will succeed, however the market research industry is slow and is risk averse.

  • It will take several years for mobile research to be profitable drawing upon the experience with online market research when it replaced paper and telephone based market research.

  • The only difference between mobile and online surveys is the questionnaire design.

We've been talking about mobile research as a trend for a while - but it's still a new phenomenon for business.  A recent ComScore study found that for the first time the number of smart phone users exceeded the number of non smart phone users.
The study found that the number of Smartphone users accessing mobile content through browsers and applications now surpasses that of Non-smartphone users. In the 3 month average ending August 2010, Smartphone subscribers made up 60 percent of those who used a downloaded application and 55 percent of those who used a browser.

About a year ago, most mobile survey applications were targeting young audiences because they were the predominant users of the technology and would take the time to answer survey questions.

But today, we see that this phenomenon is going to start evening our as more and more mainstream users are downloading applications and making their smart phone an integral part of their life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Free Webinar Wed 3/30/11@ 9AM PST: Research Your Full Market Potential Using TURF Analysis

Tuesday 3/30/11

9:00AM PST

Sign Up Here

Have you ever wondered which combination of products or services would sell the best? How about which marketing and placement campaigns are driving consumers to you? Are you working with a limited budget and what to research what's the best way to spend your marketing dollars? Then it's time to run a TURF Analysis.

TURF Analysis : "Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency", is a type of statistical analysis used for providing estimates of media or market potential and devising optimal communication and placement strategies given limited resources. It helps analyze which marketing campaigns motivate consumers to purchase a certain product. This can determine which products and/or services to offer, and which not to offer.

Join SurveyAnalytics as we present basic TURF analysis concepts and introduce you to tools that you can use right away including:

* How to analyze the number of consumers who will use each offering in the product line (reach)

* Calculate the volume and frequency of usage for each offering in the product line

* Uncover the nature of consumers' usage among offerings in the product line

* What numbers must you hit to reach the minimum reach.

SurveyAnalytics is the only enterprise research platform in the industry with the technology and resources available for clients to run a TURF analysis.

Join us for our 1 hour presentation on Wed 3/30/30 at 9AM PST. Slides and a recording will be available on our blog:

Sign Up Here Today

Webinar on Mobile Research 3/22

GotoWebinar Link :

I'll be updating this post with the Presentation as well as the recording later this afternoon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Day - Another blog - Introducing the SurveySwipe Blog

I want to introduce you to the SurveySwipe Blog ( - The main editor behind the blog is Chandika Bhandari - also known as "Chad" around here.  He's the technical brain behind SurveySwipe and has been actively developing apps for the mobile platform over the last 6 months. Prior to joining the Survey Analytics family, Chad was a Lead Developer at Microsoft for over 10 years right here in Seattle.

If you have a minute, please check out two of his recent posts:

Oh - we are also doing a quick webinar tomorrow about Mobile Communities and Location Based Surveys  - Tomorrow - 3/22 - 9AM PST

GotoWebinar Link:

Will Video Make Focus Groups Obsolete?

What if you could actually watch consumers interacting with your brand in their natural habitat?  That is what a new application, Qualvu is offering brand managers and marketers.  In the video explanation on their home page, they show how their platform allows you to target consumers all over the world and get video from them as they interact with your brand.

What do you think?  How would you use this new tool?

Want to Be A Research Rockstar? You Can, For Free

Our Friends at Research Rockstar have made a very exciting offer for blog readers of SurveyAnalytics

As you may know, Research Rockstar provides online training on market research topics. Their classes are Flash-based, interactive and most are under an hour. The classes typically sell for $129 per class or $600 for a one-year “full access” VIP membership.

But today Research Rockstar is giving away three (3) FREE VIP memberships to readers of this blog. Winners will have 24x7 access to classes on:

Market segmentation

Questionnaire planning

Product concept testing

Delivering research

And more

To enter the drawing, click here:

Three winners will be picked at random on March 31, 2011. The winners will be announced on our blog and the Research Rockstar blog in April, 2011.


For an official announcement of the winners, visit Research Rockstar’s web site at on or after April 5, 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Free Angry Birds

One of the keys to getting good quality responses is to incent people to participate in feedback. It has worked in the past, works today and will continue to work in the future. However, there is a big challenge we must overcome - there are a lot of posers. At SurveySwipe, we have aligned our operations to reward people who participate in our research - honestly and without hassles. We are aligning our operations to provide the following:

Constant Supply of Surveys

We are committing ourselves to provide participants with a constant stream of surveys - with more relevance. Recently, we have been testing integration with SimpleGeo service that allows us to provide surveys that are more contextual to participants. For example, we can send out surveys to provide feedback about the local Starbucks coffee shop that you are currently visiting. We can also allow you to provide feedback about the efficiency of the airlines' checkin staff at the airport that you are currently flying from. We will be sending out surveys to get a pulse on current events as well. These efforts mean that our participants have more opportunities to participate in general purpose and contextual research as well as earn points.

Easy Access to Reports of Research

There have been times when I have participated in surveys but I never got to see the results of what I participated in. That is frankly very annoying and detracts me from participating in more surveys. I would love to know which Starbucks coffee shop has the best customer service and the least amount of wait time - especially if I contributed in research with my time. At SurveySwipe, we are testing how we can provide instant access to results of the surveys we are conducting. Soon you will be able to see an aggregate view of wait times across all Starbucks - in most cases realtime.


We launched a new effort to promote a way for research participants to get the hottest game on the planet - Angry Birds - for free. You can download the SuveySwipe application, participate in surveys and after a few short surveys you will earn enough points that you can use to redeem Angry Birds. You tell us when you want to redeem and we will send you an email with instructions on how to get it. We have also partnered with Amazon to provide instantaneous gift certificates. We are looking for other creative ways to reward you and show our appreciation for participating in our research.

All we ask of you is to participate in research that are pertinent to you honestly and with a purpose to make things better for everyone else. We are committed on our side to continue to work harder  to get you even more exciting iPhone/Android/Blackberry/WinMo games, applications and other forms of rewards.

Please share your thoughts on how we can make research fun and useful - as well as creative ways of distributing rewards.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mobile Market Research - How long before it is mainstream?

I recently watched a preview from Liz Nelson, program committee chair of the Mobile Market Research Conference. She makes the following points about mobile research:

  • Mobile research will come and it's inevitable that it will succeed, however the market research industry is slow and is risk averse.

  • It will take several years for mobile research to be profitable drawing upon the experience with online market research when it replaced paper and telephone based market research.

  • The only difference between mobile and online surveys is the questionnaire design.

I want to further comment on each of these.

Mobile Research Will Come, it's Inevitable BUT Market Research Industry is Risk Averse

I think Liz is right on the money about mobile eventually becoming a major market research channel. The challenge is as Liz says how we as market research service providers convince market researchers that mobile research is already possible and may mean better response rates and thus provide better return on the marketing dollars spent.

Like every innovation in any industry, it takes time for people to build mindshare around an innovation. It takes time for people to wrap their heads around economic value of something new that is disruptive. Along with the mindshare, tools take time to mature as well. SurveySwipe has conducted realtime mobile research during State of the Union address, SuperBowl and PSAMA/SDMA joint production MarketMix Conference. The common theme across all these efforts have been that people are more likely to take a survey on a smartphone because it taps into impulse of people to provide feedback in close proximity with an experience that they just had. We have consistently seen about 40-45% response rates in the mobile research projects that we have conducted.

It will take several years for mobile research to be profitable drawing upon the experience with online market research when it replaced paper and telephone based market research.

While it is true that online market research took a long time before it was profitable, I disagree with Liz about the fact that it will take as long for mobile research to be profitable. The reason is simple - online market research had more barriers to entry than mobile market research will have. While smartphone is a quantum leap in technology with respect to traditional cell phones, the concept of having a powerful device is not new. In other words, a smartphone is simply a smaller laptop that has an identity (you as a person carry it with you), access (always on, notifications tell you about events on the phone), and is as close to a conventional telephone (but with mobility) as you can get in this rapidly evolving digital age.

In addition to this, the infrastructure that provide reporting and analytics already exist and in most cases don't have to be rebuilt for mobile. The maturity in tools will come and will come quicker than most people realize.

The only difference between mobile and online surveys is the questionnaire design

Liz is right about this from an operational point of view of mobile market research. With SurveySwipe, you use the same tools that you use to run an online research project in SurveyAnalytics and QuestionPro. With the powerful research engine already time tested, it is incremental work in terms of building mobile functionality for conducting surveys. However, mobile research presents more opportunities that needs our collective creative juices flowing.

i) Location - SurveySwipe provides access to location of the user so that you as a community owner can decide to send out surveys based on location context of the user. For example, it is not far fetched for a gym to send out surveys 10 minutes after a member finishes a circuit training.

ii) People are motivated by rewards. Traditional rewards have been in the form of points that can be redeemed for promotional offers, and in some cases cash - we know that it works in the online world but in the mobile world we can get even more creative about rewards. For example, we have our operations setup to give out free Angry Birds app for iPhone. We have also partnered with Amazon to give out instant electronic gift cards. We hope that by providing rewards that people spend time in consuming (like Angry Birds), they will come back and participate in more research.

iii) Push notifications - Conducting surveys at the right time is one of the keys to drive response rates higher. Besides supporting push notifications on all four major smartphone platforms (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and WinMo), SurveySwipe allows community owners to schedule push notifications so that research projects can be sent out when it is appropriate to do so with instant access to power reporting and analysis - in realtime.

Apple resurrected the smartphone market not very long ago and the number of users using smartphones has nowhere to go but up. The smartphone reach in the United States is about 31%, projected to be close to 45% within a year or two.  We believe that mobile market research will grow faster than most people realize and at SurveySwipe we are well positioned to provide market researchers with the most advanced technology solutions. We are focused in building the right set of tools for market researchers to build mobile communities, reach users in real time and provide services and framework to engage users to improve response rates.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Follow up to from:Learn How To Develop & Manage Your Very Own Online Panel

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Thank you to all who attended our presentation on "Learn How To Develop & Manage Your Very Own Online Panel". Here is the recording and slides for you to review. Please contact us if you have further questions about Online Panel Management.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Private Community at Work - MarketMix 2011

We recently conducted a live conference feedback project at MarketMix 2011, organized by PSAMA/SDMA. We built a private community of conference attendees a day before the conference. Using the community features, the organizers of the MarketMix 2011 conference were able to send out instant polls and surveys - asking questions for feedback about not only the overall logistics of the conference but also the performance of keynote speakers and breakout sessions real-time. I am excited to share some of the highlights from this conference.

  • A whooping 72% of the people said they didn’t mind getting up to three or four polls - highlights how focused surveys can enable great response rates

  • We got close to 50% response rates on instant polls - response rates believe it or not were lower because folks on Android phones did not get push notifications due to a software glitch

  • We got 50% response for the welcome survey and 60% response rate for the thank you survey - highlights how easy access to mobile phone can potentially increase response rates

  • About 25% of the participants downloaded the application - extrapolating that to the larger US population (~ 30% households have a smartphone), the number bodes really well for the future. Note that we sent out a promotional email a day before the conference.

Here are links to more detailed reports of surveys and polls we ran during the conference.

Welcome Survey
Thank You Survey
Breakout Session #1
Breakout Session #2
Breakout Session #3
Rod Brooks Keynote Survey
Lunchtime Panel Survey
Porter Gale Keynote Survey

We would like to thank the organizers of MarketMix 2011 conference and especially Brian Dowdy, Sr. Research Analyst at Memory Lane who also served in the organizing committee for the conference.

Follow up from Voice Of the Customer VOC Research Webinar

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[slideshare id=7274790&doc=surveyanalyticsvocresearchv3-110315151253-phpapp01]
Thank you to all who attended our presentation on Voice of the customer VOC Research. Here is the recording and slides for you to review. Please contact us if you have further questions about VOC Research.

Recruit Your Own Survey Panel

Sometimes a survey panel is exactly what you need -- and for that, you can use any number of panel providers such as Peanut Labs or EMI.

But sometimes, a panel can be overkill and just too expensive for your project.  And for that, it's a good idea to have recruited a panel of your very own.

Here are a few ideas as to how to have an ongoing panel recruiting effort and panel survey:

  1. Decide on the audience you want to target. That's fairly straightforward.  Get clear on the industry, title and any other demographic that you're after.

  2. Create a valuable free download. This can be an eBook, report or even a webinar that you want to offer.  The primary requirements are that it's educational, informative and not a sales pitch.  We don't want to sell them anything other than the opportunity to have their opinions counted in a survey.

  3. Build a landing page with a form. Landing pages are nothing more than focused pages with a form where people can register.  You want to keep it as simple as possible.  If all you need is an email - than that should be the only field that's required.  If you need to qualify your sample -- keep those down to a minimum.  The fewer fields, the more likely people will be to sign up.

  4. Use an email marketing tool. I recommend an email marketing tool because it allows you to manage, segment and communicate with your list easily and quickly.  You can always export the lists and import them into QuestionPro and SurveyAnalytics to send customized invites.

  5. Nurture your list relationships. Don't just USE and ABUSE your list - build relationships with them and engage with them.  Send them articles, newsletters or incentives to stay loyal and participate in your surveys.  The more you engage with your list, the higher your response rates.

  6. Leverage your panel. If you create a large panel with more than 10,000 people, you may have another revenue channel on your hands.  If your panel is specific to a region, discipline or any other super-niche (such as Chihuahua owners) you can build this list with the intent of actually sending them surveys.  Just be sure to get their permission and give them a good incentive.

So now you can see that panels can come from panel providers OR from your own targeted industry audience.  Besides - your panel can also become your customer.  Just be clear on your objectives and be sure to get legal advice on how to manage your panel.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Maps are worth a thousand words...

Here is a great new way to get attention in SurveyAnalytics!

Working on the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words SurveyAnalytics has introduced a great new feature for respondents! Now you can use a set of predefined maps to ask location information of your respondents, for instance where they currently live or were born.  Using maps such as the one above is a great way to make a survey more interesting and engaging for a respondent.  The predefined maps currently cover the USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Europe and the World with more being added all the while. By simply moving the mouse over the map respondents can indicate with a mouse click. Mouse over text (such as shown above) makes sure that they make the right choice by giving a longer name for the area the mouse is over. This new feature is available under available under the “Add on Modules” section, subheading “Image/Multimedia” “Maps”.

It is all as simple as point and click !


Monday, March 14, 2011

99Designs Uses Crowd Sourcing to Help You Design Logo's, Business Cards and More

I'm launching a subscription, members-only site for CEOs with no marketing department.  If you've ever watched Rachel Ray on "30-Minute Meals", you'll understand what it's all about.

There is no shortage of marketing advice - -and it all sounds good.  But it's the DOING that seems to get everyone's undies in a bunch.  So, the idea is to create a space where CEOs with no marketing department can take 30 minutes out of their day, read, learn and implement a simple marketing concept and be done with it.

How 99Designs Uses Crowd Sourcing to Design and Choose Logos

I need a logo!  I have a designer that I normally use, but this time, I thought I'd try  It's a crowd sourcing design web site where you post your idea as a project and watch the designs pour in.

They've systematized the design interview and I have to say that I'm impressed.  I posted the project less than 24 hours ago and have already received 6 design options and 3 of them were really - really good.

But the feature I'd like to share with you is their new voting feature that actually allows you to send a link with the designs to your network and allow them to vote for their favorite.

The voting basically occurs as a poll - here's the link to take a look and vote yourself if you like:

Should Freelance Designers Crawl Under a Rock?

So you might think that freelance designers should be in an uproar about this DIY Marketing tool - huh?  Well I say that freelance designers should REJOICE !  This is an amazing opportunity for freelancers to promote themselves for other higher-profit work.

It's targeted advertising - you invest your time for a smaller fee, but the design you submit and the designs that win will win you happy, loyal customers who would be happy to pay a higher price for what you're offering.

The Versatility of Crow Sourcing is Growing

IdeaScale has been our crowd sourcing tool and has been really popular - but the point of this post is to show you that the crowd sourcing trend is moving into all kinds of applications.

A few lessons from the 99Designs experience:

  • Integrate your survey with social media.  The voting process they have is easy and fun to use.  It easily integrates with my social media accounts AND my Gmail account.  So I was able to invite my colleagues and friends to vote as well.

  • Look for ways to integrate crowd sourcing into other aspects of your business.  Chances are that you may not have considered all the different ways in which you can now quickly and easily integrate the wisdom of the crowds into your projects.  Put simply, if it's not proprietary - it's a candidate for crowd sourcing.

So let's see which logo wins and if the wisdom of the crowds matches my preference!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Free Webinar Tues 3/22/11@ 9AM PST: SurveySwipe - Mobile Research Platform

[brightcove vid=777433724001&exp3=69413262001&surl=,AAAAEB37SCE~,qPzYMoHg_QVXfN_ppi7Wcrgb-jDlNozv&w=486&h=412]
SurveySwipe – Mobile Research Platform

Tues 3/22/11 @ 9am PST

Click Here To Join

As consumers move their lives into their smartphones it’s imperative that we follow and innovate on that trend. Along those lines we've launched SurveySwipe. The solution will allow you to:

* Build a community of users who've downloaded the SurveySwipe smartphone app.Available on all 4 major smartphone platforms – iPhone/iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry

* Allow users then get points for filling out surveys – incentivized research. Better engagement.

* Let users customize their profile for segmentation purposes (Gender, Age, et. al.)

* Push Notification and Location – obviously both these constructs play a huge role in collecting feedback. Smartphones give us that ability right off the bat.

We’ve partnered with Amazon and Apple to give AMAZON Gift Certs. and Apps as the currency for redeeming points. We believe that, the App model for incentivizing users to take surveys, is not only the appropriate one, but the one of the most innovative solutions in the marketplace today. In fact, we think is innovative enough to apply for a patent in this!

Here is our “Pitch Deck” on SurveySwipe:

The presentation will include a Q&A session and slides and recordings will be available on our blog:

If you are interested in learning more about SurveySwipe and how it can used for your research initiatives join us for our webinar on Tuesday 3/22/11 at 9AM PST.

Click on link to Join:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Market Mix 2011 kicks off – with SurveySwipe!

One of the most exciting marketing conferences in the Northwest kicks off today, Market Mix 2011 (

This event brings together some of the most well known and dynamic marketing practitioners in the country.  The range of subjects covered is impressive, from mobile marketing strategies, partnership building and leveraging social media to career development skills for marketing professionals and  cost effective lead generation approaches.

Along with this exciting programs is another innovation: SurveyAnalytics new smartphone interviewing system, SurveySwipe,  will be available to all of the attendees to MarketMix 2011. SurveySwipe works on Android, iPhones and iPads. Versions for Blackberry and Windows 7 will be available very soon. SurveySwipe provides a flexible smartphone survey system with a range of advanced features for real time data collection. It is also available on iPads and Android tablets. A related product, SurveyPocket allows data collection when users are out of range of an internet connection.

Using the SurveySwipe application attendees to the MarketMix 2011 conference can provide real time feedback and comments while they are at the conference. Instead of surveys carried out long after the conference has closed the attendees can voice there their opinions during sessions, breaks, in fact any time they like!

Vivek Bhaskaran, CEO of SurveyAnalytics, said “ We’re really pleased to be teaming up with MarketMix 2011, we know it is one of the most prestigious conferences in the North West for marketing professionals. SurveySwipe is the ideal tool for this sort of event , it means the organizers can get real time feedback on how the conference is going.”

To learn more about SurveySwipe and how it's leading the charge into mobile application research methodology and design please visit -

Multicultural Marketing is More Than Translation

When Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat wrote his book.  It was a whack on the side of the head moment.  In the past, we used words like international to describe anything that was outside our own country - but was still separate.  Then we migrated into worlds like global, which had this connotation that an organization was unified - even though they had operations all over the world.

What Friedman showed us was that neither of these was an accurate representation of the world we live in.  We are an extremely mobile population where people will often move from one country to another just for the experience.

This means that as marketers, we are selling to a multicultural population.  Some countries are more multicultural than others, but with so much marketing happening online, you might as well assume that you're talking to everyone in the world.

A Primer on How Multicultural We Are

While cruising my blog feeds, I ran across this outstanding article by Jeff Henning at Vovici blog.  In it he outlines a presentation by David Morse, author of Multicultural Intelligence.  I've paraphrased from the article here.

American demographics:

  • The percentage of foreign-born population in the United States has increased to 14%, a level not seen since 1910.

  • Hispanic immigration is at an all-time high, and Hispanics will make up 20% of Americans by 2050.

  • By 2044, white Americans will be a minority according to projections from the U.S. Census department.

In his book, Multicultural Intelligence, David Morse talks about the eight rules that you should follow when you're marketing to a multicultural population.   I'm giving you a short summary here:

  1. Boost your multicultural competency.  When doing focus groups, be sure to match the moderator's race to that of the respondents.  You can do the same thing with surveys.  Make sure that they are reviewed by a representative of the race that you are studying.

  2. Divide and conquer.  Don't accept old stereotypes as true.  Segment your audience not just by race, but by their generation of being in your country.

  3. Don't trust experts.  Again, don't make assumptions, do your own research- you may discover something new.

  4. Don't let the joke be on you.  Watch out when using humor.  We've all heard horror stories or most embarrassing stories when someone tried to be funny and failed.

  5. Don't get lost in translation.  Don't skip the step of reviewing your survey, your discussion guide or any marketing materials that you have with a NATIVE speaker.  There is a difference between speaking a language and KNOWING a language.

  6. Find and understand cultural cues.  Use your research with natives to find the emotions and words that resonate with your audience.  This is hard enough in your own language, let alone a foreign one.

  7. Use a wink and a prayer.  Using your research and consultation with natives of the country, insert a subtle cultural reference.  This goes a long way toward building relationship with your customer.

  8. Make up, don't cover up.  If your marketing runs up against an advocacy group - stop immediately.  Don't get defensive, rather learn from the experience.

How Can You Start Thinking Multi-culturally

Chances are you've already started thinking multi culturally.  And Google Translate makes that even easier by translating web sites and blogs instantly into any language you'd like to see.  But there is more to it than that.

David Morse recommends researching your audience fully and not defaulting to old truths or stereotypes.  This means that it's a good idea to run a thorough profile update of your customers and your overall audience.

You can do this by creating a series of Micro-Polls or recruit a panel of customers, readers or general market population to participate in an ongoing survey.  Be sure to have rewards ready for them.  These might include free product or sharing the results, gift cards, etc.

McDonald's does 40% of its U.S. business with ethnic minorities, and half that group is younger than 13. In response, McDonald's runs focus groups with disproportionate numbers of minority participants. The company has also introduced performance standards for its advertising agencies, requiring them to measure how well their work addresses ethnic "insights."

A small business wanting to get more international clients might progressively test small changes in writing more specifically for a wide multicultural readership.

Don't forget, not all English speakers are the same.  A website written for a multicultural audience will always be at least slightly different than a website specifically targeting an all American audience, or an all British audience, or an all Australian audience.

Don't assume that you're multi culturally aware just because you do business with people all over the world.  It's time to start segmenting and understanding the subtle differences in our audiences so that our targeted marketing can do its job.

Monday, March 7, 2011

How Can Manufacturers Use DIY Market Research

I just gave an interview for an industrial marketing magazine and I thought I'd share my answers with you here.

Do manufacturing executives rely on do-it-yourself market research?

Yes.  Manufacturers rely on DIY market research, but not with very good results.  Since we're using the term DIY, let's make the analogy to building something.  If you're not a professional contractor -- and even if you are, you often have a drawing or a plan for what you're going to do BEFORE you purchase materials and start building.  A lot of manufacturers, have a mindset that a survey is just a series of questions.  They use the online survey tools to ask those questions and get answers, but the bigger issue is - are the answers useful?  Will the answers you get help you make a good decision?  And often times, the answer is no.

Let's use a standard customer satisfaction survey that you might have to do for ISO certification as an example.  When I review these surveys I often see questions that are entirely too general.  A basic example is something like "How satisfied were you with our service?"  Let's say the results came back and the average score was 6 out of 10.  Now, you have a busy management team sitting at the meeting or maybe a work team that's assigned to improve on this score.  Specifically, what would you do to improve this score?  You don't know -- the question is too general.  A better question is more specific such as "How satisfied were you with the speed with which your issue was handled?"  This question targets speed and service, so you know where to improve.

To use DIY Market Research most effectively, you need to talk to a marketing expert or consultant that understands research or product management and can help you design a good survey -- THEN use the online survey tools that are available to help.

Not sure where to get one of these experts -- check your local university, they always have graduating seniors who have a project to do and are supervised by a professor or need a project.  My favorite resource is LinkedIn - or -- just post a question on there and you will get flooded by wonderfully qualified people to help.

What tools do they use? How useful is DIY research? Do you have any
advice for manufacturing executives on this topic?

There are a TON of tools - but it's hard to choose a tools without understanding what you want to know and when to use each tool.  I'll outline a process that you can use and ny favorite tools to get the job done -

Figure out what you want to decide on.  The biggest mistake businesses make is gathering research to get information instead of gathering information to make a decision.  First decide what you need to know to make a decision.  Say you want to launch a new product and your analysis says that unless you can sell 50,000 of these widgets, it's not a good idea.  So you would do research to find out who might want these widgets and if there's a chance to get 50,000.

Tools and Methods: The best method to use for this is qualitative research and this is where your social media tools really come in handy.  (If you're not on social media -- you will have to spend a lot of time and money on this step, but it will be worth it).  Jump on LinkedIn and start searching for groups in your target industry, start asking questions and don't be afraid to share what you're up to -- without revealing anything proprietary.  Also search keywords that you're interested using Twitter.  I'm in the process of doing some research for Compressed Natural Gas fuel systems and have gotten some of my most useful information from my contacts in that industry.

Run some in-depth-interviews. That's the official name, I just call it talk to some people.  Call people who are in the buying center of your targeted companies and literally have conversations with them about what you're intending to do.  This is actually stealth marketing at its best.  Not only are you getting valuable marketing information for your plan, but you are also doing PR and early sales and marketing to people who might (and often are) interested in buying what your'e selling.  Keep in touch with them and keep them informed about what you're doing.

Tools and Methods: A good list is what you need with good contact names, reach out to your sales team and manufacturers reps for help.  They won't be eager to just hand over their valuable customer lists, so be sure to include them in the process.  Write an introductory or explanatory letter and have the reps send it out to the list.

Start a crowdsourcing space on the web. A lot of manufacturers are not aware of this fantastic tool out there.  I use IdeaScale from Survey Analytics, it's free and it will not only engage your customers in telling you exactly what they want and how they want it, it will create this brilliant virtual focus group space that is FREE and allows your company to comment on your customers ideas and your customers to give feedback.  The government has been using IdeaScale for years as have a lot of consumer and industrial companies.  It's a terrific way to have an ongoing improvement conversation around the things that are important to your customers.  But you have to make sure to TELL them about it and send them there often so they can see what you're up to and provide feedback.

Tools and Methods: IdeaScale, Get Satisfaction are two big names out there to try.  Visit the sites, open an account.  You'll receive a custom URL where you can send your customers.  You can also create widgets to place on your website where customers can go to give feedback.

Do an online Survey. NOW you have enough information to do an online survey.  Keep it short.  Your customers should be able to complete it in under 5 minutes.  This will drastically improve your response rates and give you better information.

Tools and Methods. Just google online survey and you will be overwhelmed with choices.  I use QuestionPro/SurveyAnalytics, but you can also use Survey Monkey.  AND email marketing tools like Constant Contact also offer the ability to manage your customer list AND do simple surveys.  So that it a great choice if your survey needs are simple.

Participate in social media. Many manufacturers think that social media tools are for telling people what you're doing.  But they are actually much better tools for listening.  If you don't have a social media presence -- get one.  Start a blog, get on LinkedIn and Create a Facebook Page - you'll be amazed at how many people are there from your industry.  Granted it won't be thousands, but there will be some that you can connect to and reach out to.  So use those tools.
So I hope that I've shown you that there's more to DIY Marketing and DIY Market Research than just getting out there and using the tools -- you have to know what tools to use to achieve the results you'd want to achieve -- and for that you need professional marketing advice.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Free Webinar Tues 3/15/11@ 9AM PST: Voice of the Customer (VOC) Research - Tips & Tools to Help Listen To Your Clients Better

Tues March 15th, 2011

9:00 AM PST

VOC Research: Tips & Tools to Help Listen To Your Clients Better

Click here to sign up!

Voice of the Customer (VOC) Research is often the core research methodology for many companies who want to get feedback from customers. What do customers think about your products/services, your brand image, what do they love, what would they like for you to improve? It is the in-depth process of capturing a customer's expectations, preferences and aversions.

As easy as it appears often times businesses will miss many great opportunities to tune into what their customers are actually saying. Join SurveyAnalytics as we share with you practical tips and tools to help you listen to your customers better than ever before!

This session will include steps to:

1. Incorporate research methodology with technology to capture a detailed understanding of the customer’s requirements.

2. How to define & identify segments of your target customers' common language/range

3. Apply key settings/appropriate design specifications for the new product or service

4. Identify feedback and trends that can springboard towards increased product/service innovation.

The forum will will include a Q&A session.
Recording and Slides available to view on SurveyAnalytics blog after conclusion of webinar.

Space is limited so sign up today!

About the Presenters:

As the SurveyAnalytics Executive Vice President, Andrew Jeavons has over 25 years in the market research industry. He is a frequent writer and speaker for various publications and events around the country. He has a background in psychology and statistics, and currently focuses on innovation within survey research.

Esther LaVielle is the Chief Education Director at QuestionPro and SurveyAnalytics, 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 SurveyAnalytics she spent 3 years as a Qualitative Project Manager and has a background healthcare, hospitality, legal, and market research.

New Feature: Need Respondents to Take a Survey in 5 min? Add a Countdown Timer

If you've ever needed to limit the time a respondent has to take a survey now you can easily do this on SurveyAnalytics!

How do I set up a time limit for my survey?

To set up time limit for the survey, go to:

* Login » Surveys » (Select Survey) » Survey Control » Security

Set up the time limit in minutes and save changes. Minimum Time Limit available is 1 minute. Maximum time limit is 60 minutes.Survey Software Help Image
How does the time limit work?

A countdown timer will be displayed on the survey. Respondents have to finish the survey within the specified time. If respondents do not finish the survey within the specified time, the survey will end and the response will be marked as incomplete.Survey Software Help Image

This new feature is only available on SurveyAnalytics. To learn more about SurveyAnalytics' enterprise research platform go to and contact us for more details.

Research on Email Use After Social Media

You may have heard that email is dead and that most younger folks are ditching their email for social media communications.  But this isn't necessarily true.  In the same way that we didn't ditch paper when computers came along - we're not ditching email either.

Check out this new research done by Merkel
Merkel which found that, despite claims otherwise, email is still a marketing powerhouse, with 87 percent of Internet users checking their email daily in 2010. And that number has been steady over the past three years. Perhaps to kill the argument that social media is overtaking email, they also found that social media users are actually significantly more likely to check their email more than four times a day, and less likely to check infrequently.

The study found that the trend of PERSONAL communication via email is, indeed dropping, but the use of email for business communication is still very, very strong.

The opportunity that this study brings up for market researchers is to find ways to hone in on what our audience wants to see in emails and what emails they will open.

Entrepreneurs have the tendency to wing it and while that's not at all a bad thing - market research can play a critical role in helping entrepreneurs, sales and product managers learn more about what emails their customers want and then deliver on that.