Thursday, September 29, 2011

Free Webinar Thur 10/6/11 at 9AM: How To Run A Field Research Project with SurveyPocket’s iPad App

Thursday October 6th, 2011

9:00AM PST

It’s no secret that smart phones, iPads, and other mobile tablets are changing the way people keep in touch, reach books and news, and collect data. In market research, the prediction is that field teams will be replacing the pen and pad for one of these devices soon enough.

“The benefits of collecting and sharing data via the iPad call for a revolution of the field research design methodology-“ Andrew Jeavons, Chief Operating Offer, SurveyAnalytics.

If you’ve heard the hype and want to join in on the action, but are a bit overwhelmed on how to get started, then join us on Thursday October 6th, 2011 at 9:00AM PST for a free webinar hosted by Esther LaVielle and John Johnson from SurveyAnalytics. With over 12 years of combined experience in project management, market research, and software application training, we are here to train you and offer free guidelines how to:

- Create and manage your own field project

- Train and manage your field research team

- How to synchronize/organize all data into an online report

- How to quickly share your field research results with your clients faster than ever before with dashboards and alerts

- Follow a case study we are currently fielding about pro sports fans!

A Q& Session will conclude our 45-minute webinar. A recorded video and slides will be available to all who signs up for the webinar and subscribed to blog.surveyanalytics.com and blog.surveypocket.com.

Sign up here today: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/360043990

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are Traditional Online Research Panels Dead?

I write this feeling like I have one foot in the past/present and another foot squarely in the future.

Let me explain.

I've been a part of market research panels for YEARS.  In fact, I have to admit that because of my years of experience of actually calling respondents on the phone as well as sending mail surveys and now online surveys -- I always feel obligated to take the time and effort to go through any survey that is offered me.  I suppose you can call it paying it backward rather than forward.

$2 just isn't enough for 20 or 40 minutes of my time.

The last two panel survey requests I've received offered me $2 for between 2o and 40 minutes of my time.  I had prepared myself by taking the survey on a Saturday morning over coffee.  And then about 2 minutes into the survey -- I just bailed.  I tried not to -- but I just couldn't keep answering long matrix questions on attributes for a company I had NO experience with.

I also have to admit that this is not the first panel survey I bailed on -- I've bailed on several over the last month or so primarily because they are too long -- even online and even over lunch, I just can't seem to dedicate 30 minutes to answering stupid questions.  And the questions have terrible logic - I can absolutely understand asking me questions about a product, service or company that I used.  But if I'm not a user and have no experience - it doesn't work to ask me 50 questions about the detailed attributes on the subject.  It's fine and fair to ask me say 5 or 10 questions -- but anything more than that is just too frustrating.  As a respondent I hate having to repeat "I don't KNOW" and then not have an option for N/A.

Does the panel you paid for REALLY represent your target audience?

Anyone can sign up for a panel.  Anyone can be any demographic in a panel.  In the survey I bailed on, they were offering $2 for 20 minutes.  After going through the first 15 questions, I could see that their target audience wasn't going to spend the time required to give them the quality answers they wanted.

So are they getting the good data that they need from their target audience?  I don't think so.  In fact, I think they are paying $5 per respondent for garbage.

Yet I have to think that there is value in these old fashioned online panel studies.  I'd love to hear from the online panel research folks and have them explain the logic here.

Mobile market research panels are better, cheaper, funner

Over the last several months, I've been playing in the mobile market research panel sandbox and I have to say the experience is EXPONENTIALLY more engaging, valid and valuable to the company doing the research.

  • Real people.  When you use a mobile smartphone to answer a survey, your demographics are locked in.  We know who you are.

  • Location focus.  Your smartphone also has GPS feature that shows where you are.  This makes geographic targeting much easier,.

  • Super short surveys.  Only one to 5 questions per survey means you are in and out in an average of 30 seconds.

  • More fun.  The mobile survey panel questions occur as much more fun and engaging.  I'm not sure if it's how they are worded or the fact that the surveys are short.  I can only say that people like taking them.  You can take a survey in the grocery line, waiting at the doctor's office or during a boring meeting.  Either way, you feel part of a community and it doesn't take up much of your time.


I don't think online research panels are dead by any stretch of the imagination.  I think that we will see the use of panels increase.  But I certainly hope that the long surveys are done and over with because at this stage of the game, I'm not sure that any customer worth having will have the time or attention span to complete a survey that takes any more than a couple of minutes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Big Brands Take On Real Time Data Collection to Make Decisions

I found this interesting press release in my Twitter feed today: Levi's and P&G Champion New Strategies.



It seems that the big brands are taking interactive market research to heart and creating real time data sets with which to make better and smarter brand marketing decisions.

P&G "has created a meeting room housing two 30 feet wide screens showing all this data, which is also made available remotely, in real-time. "The key business benefit is the speed of decision making," Guy Peri, head of P&G's business analytics unit, said."

They also cite examples from Eli Lilly and FedEx where each company has found unique ways to interact and connect with customers in real time.

These aren't really surveys or polls, instead they are engagement activities that can now be measured WHILE the service is happening.

Will Market Research Become Embedded or Transparent?

I've heard it said that when technology is fully embraced by a population, it becomes transparent.  For example, notice how computer chips have become embedded into so many devices in our daily lives.  So far, the only thing that doesn't have a computer chip in it is my coffee cup.  OK, I'm exaggerating a bit, but just take a moment to notice how transparent technology has become in our lives.

Given this line of thought, it stands to reason that decisions that required extensive market research in the past, may now require a completely different way of engaging customers and gathering information about their preferences.

If and when market research becomes transparent -- as it's becoming today, you can count on more complexity in the process.  Just because social media gives us immediate feedback - doesn't make it statistically significant enough to make multi-million dollar branding decisions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Excel File Upgrade

We would like to notify you that SurveyAnalytics has recently upgraded our Excel download to the .xlsx format. Earlier the files were .xls.

What this means: The numerous limitations on the .xls files are now a thing of the past. Files in the format of .xlsx can generate and accommodate a lot more data and there are almost no limitations (Columns / Rows / Contents).

Please Note: The File Format has not changed. Just the file type has changed to .xlsx.

If you are a client who may have some process already set up for reading just .xls files make sure to your system can also read .xlsx files as well.

Excel file has changed for: Export Data, Excel export for Grouping / Data Segmentation, and FTP Reports.

Banner Reports still are in .xls format.

If you have further questions or comments please contact your dedicated account manager for assistance.

Thank you!

Challenge Yourself to Do Research That Debunks What You Think is True

I've been following the ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Market Research) conference which is going on this week.  Betty Adamou, our editor for the GameAccess blog is attending and reporting from the conference.

In a recent article on the ESOMAR blog, Dr. Lida Hujic that explores what's cool as defined by Generation X and Y.   Specifically she analyzes what defines cool and who is really driving what's cool.

Since the 1960's we've primarily linked youth with trend setting .  In other words, young people drive what's cool.  If you want to know what cool is, watch what younger people are doing.  This assumption has -- and continues to drive a lot of marketing and strategy.

Dr. Hujic's research shows that the younger Gen Y audience is now looking to Gen X to inspire and define coolness.  The definition of cool is transforming and becoming more of a mindset that is defined by network rather than age.

Are you Doing Research to Support What You Know or Learn New Things

This is a real light bulb moment for me because I know that I have lived under the belief that 80% of the survey results I get aren't going to surprise me -- I expect to see what I already know to be true and then I look for that 20% of insightful data that will change my world.

Dr Hujic's article showed me that I could have easily been designing research that was, indeed biased to show me what I expected to see -- rather than digging deeper and challenging my assumptions.

The lesson here is to challenge your survey structure and design.  Pick apart those questions and look for those questions or phrases that are using the research to prove a point instead of getting to real insights that will help you make marketing decisions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Free Webinar Thur 10/6/11 at 9AM: How To Run A Field Research Project with SurveyPocket’s iPad App

Thursday October 6th, 2011

9:00AM PST

It’s no secret that smart phones, iPads, and other mobile tablets are changing the way people keep in touch, reach books and news, and collect data. In market research, the prediction is that field teams will be replacing the pen and pad for one of these devices soon enough.

“The benefits of collecting and sharing data via the iPad call for a revolution of the field research design methodology-“ Andrew Jeavons, Chief Operating Offer, SurveyAnalytics.

If you’ve heard the hype and want to join in on the action, but are a bit overwhelmed on how to get started, then join us on Thursday October 6th, 2011 at 9:00AM PST for a free webinar hosted by Esther LaVielle and John Johnson from SurveyAnalytics. With over 12 years of combined experience in project management, market research, and software application training, we are here to train you and offer free guidelines how to:

- Create and manage your own field project

- Train and manage your field research team

- How to synchronize/organize all data into an online report

- How to quickly share your field research results with your clients faster than ever before with dashboards and alerts

- Follow a case study we are currently fielding about pro sports fans!

A Q& Session will conclude our 45-minute webinar. A recorded video and slides will be available to all who signs up for the webinar and subscribed to blog.surveyanalytics.com and blog.surveypocket.com.

Sign up here today: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/360043990

9AM: How To Run A Field Research Project with SurveyPocket’s iPad App

Thursday October 6th, 2011

9:00AM PST

It’s no secret that smart phones, iPads, and other mobile tablets are changing the way people keep in touch, reach books and news, and collect data. In market research, the prediction is that field teams will be replacing the pen and pad for one of these devices soon enough.

“The benefits of collecting and sharing data via the iPad call for a revolution of the field research design methodology-“ Andrew Jeavons, Chief Operating Offer, SurveyAnalytics.

If you’ve heard the hype and want to join in on the action, but are a bit overwhelmed on how to get started, then join us on Thursday October 6th, 2011 at 9:00AM PST for a free webinar hosted by Esther LaVielle and John Johnson from SurveyAnalytics. With over 12 years of combined experience in project management, market research, and software application training, we are here to train you and offer free guidelines how to:

- Create and manage your own field project

- Train and manage your field research team

- How to synchronize/organize all data into an online report

- How to quickly share your field research results with your clients faster than ever before with dashboards and alerts

- Follow a case study we are currently fielding about pro sports fans!

A Q& Session will conclude our 45-minute webinar. A recorded video and slides will be available to all who signs up for the webinar and subscribed to blog.surveyanalytics.com and blog.surveypocket.com.

Sign up here today: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/360043990

Monday, September 19, 2011

What Improv Techniques and Can Teach Us About Change and Innovation

One of my favorite things to do to unwind is watch comedy.  It's a different kind of presentation - one where keen observation skills and wit come together to tickle both your brain and your funny bone.

The other interesting thing about improv that you may not have considered is that it can actually serve as a framework for dealing with mind-bending change. Our industry and our world is changing so fast, that our brains actually struggle with it.

Brains don't like change because change is inefficient.  We've already learned ways of doing things that work, and the primitive part of our brain fights against changing these changes because it thinks that if we try something new -- we will get eaten by a mastodon.  In other words, our world is evolving way faster than our brains and we have to train ourselves to evolve with it.

One way you can train your brain to react differently to change is to play with the techniques that improvisational comedians use to create funny scenes and entertainment on the spot.

How to use the rules of Improve to deal with change

Did you know that improv comedy actually has rules and a structure?  I didn't until I saw it used as a training game.  When you think about it, if improv didn't have a structure, it would be complete chaos in the comedy club and wouldn't really be funny.

The structure of improv is built on one fundamental rule -- Say Yes -- and -- then add new information.   Instead of arguing with what is, simply accept it as true AND make your next move based on these facts.  Taken to an extreme it's hysterical, but in reality, it's transformative.

Here's a terrific example from Who's Line is it Anyway

http://youtu.be/Uan1b8l3Zjc
How often do you find yourself arguing with what is happening in the world around you?  You wish things were different and you spend valuable time, energy and money trying to hang on to a way of thinking that may not be useful anymore.  The rule of saying "Yes - and" - will free you up to think of other things that can be true given what's been said or encountered.

When we're thinking about the trends going on in market research - it's easy to get caught up in what we might have learned to be true in the past.  What would happen if we simply played "yes--and" with any of these trends.  Let's try some on for size:

  • Paper surveys are dead.  Yes -- and it's great that we have other ways of collecting feedback from customers; mobile, online, social media text analysis.

  • Let's treat surveys like games.  Yes - and I've created the survey equivalent to "cash cab" where we call people and ask them questions.  If they answer all the questions in our survey - they win CASH,


The next time you find yourself confronted with a statement that you don't agree with, play the "yes -- and" game and see what interesting insights you come up with.

Another key rule of improve is to Listen.  This can be really challenging because you will be drawn into thinking about what YOU will say next.  The critical skill comes in listening to what the other people on your team are doing and saying -- what facts, characters and information is being introduced.

Then listen with the intent to support their ideas and their facts.  The worst thing you can do in improv is take over a scene.  The star of the show is the idea and the story -- everyone else is just a supporting actor.

Another critical element in a successful improv piece is Trust.  Everyone has to trust that each performer is committed to moving the story forward and that they will support the other performers.

We have choices about how to deal with change

Change is the only thing we can count on.  We can choose to argue with the way the world is changing or embrace the change and play it out like a game.

The market research space has already embraced this idea with gamification.  Gamification isn't just for surveys and technology, we can choose to embrace the idea in every aspect of our business day.

So bring some fun and laughter into your next conversation by using the improv trick of "Yes -- and" to see where it will take your next big idea.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's on the Radar for Market Research in 2012

The GRIT Report (Greenbook Industry Trends Report) is almost out but Leonard Murphy has already shared some really interesting trends that will interest you -- the top emerging industry research techniques.  One very interesting outcome is that the results are consistent with last year and that means that the participants in the study are following through with the trends they were most interested in.  Here are the top trends discussed in the study:

  • Online communities

  • Data mining

  • Social media analytics

  • Text

  • Mobile Surveys

By the looks of the data, market researchers are extremely interested in all of these, and they are still looking at the best ways to utilize them.  

An interesting finding is that "client side" researchers are leading with suppliers lagging behind.  Murphy doesn't speculate much about why this is, but as a "client side" marketer, I suspect that the preponderance of social media tools, mobile marketing techniques and general access to customer feedback is driving the demand.

How can market research professionals leverage these trends?

While some client research departments are well staffed with savvy research professionals, many companies have cut costs in that area and this provides a big opportunity for research providers and professionals to help guide clients in the best ways to use and leverage the overwhelming amount of data that these new techniques provide and to help clients determine which techniques will yield the best results.

To read the article and get more detailed data results, click over to The


Market Research and Privacy

It was only a matter of time before the Facebook privacy debate hit market research.  We all want to have ACCESS to information about others, but we don't want anyone else to know what we are doing.  Well, technology doesn't always work that way.

For example, the great thing about using mobile devices for online surveys is that you can be fairly certain that the person to whom the device is registered is the person responding to the survey.  The same is true if you use Facebook to share surveys or log into or register for your site.  But this invariably brings up the privacy debate.

In this article re-printed on Research Access, Tamara Barber provides a summary of a lively and informative discussion on market research and privacy.  The discussion revolved around social media primarily, but you can expect this conversation to go further and deeper as more advanced market research techniques become the norm.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mobile Survey Response Rates ROCK

With so many new ways of gathering survey information, it can be confusing and risky trying something new.  But when you see the the response rates that Ipsos MORI got on a recent survey for the NHS Review of Children's Congenital Heart Services in England, you'll want to seriously consider trying mobile research surveys.
Over 75,000 responses were gathered over a four month period using a variety of response mechanisms. Using the OnePoint Global solution, a mobile response option was included for the first time in order to encourage a wider range of responses, especially from the younger population.

The results were outstanding. 25,000 text message responses were received from 23,500 unique mobile numbers in reply to a single open question on the proposals.

One important note about this survey is that they offered a MOBILE OPTION on their survey.  The logic was simple; with so many people carrying mobile phones, why not offer the options.  And the response rates proved out how right they were.

Survey Analytics has a mobile survey option over at SurveySwipe.   Try the introductory offer called "Instant Connect"  You can deliver your own surveys directly to your own customer list via smart phone or to targeted panel respondents.

Either way, if you've been putting of doing mobile research, start testing a survey or two on your own and see if you get similar results to the ones that Ipsos got.

 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Net Promoter Score Goes Mobile

Net Promoter Score

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a scoring model developed by Bain & Co. Consultant Frederick F. Reichheld. NPS allows you to measure your company or product's performance through your customers' eyes. To conduct a NPS survey, you ask your respondents to respond on a 0 - 10 point rating scale question - "How likely are you to recommend Company/Product to your friend/colleague?" - the scale is divided into three sections:

  • Promoters - Users who gave a 9 or a 10

  • Passive - Users who gave a 7 or 8

  • Detractor - Users who gave a score between 0 and 6

Survey Analytics has always supported Net Promoter Score for its online platform. However,  NPS question became much more interesting as we have recently added support for it via SurveySwipe - our mobile research platform. Apart from awesome user experience, we also have comprehensive support with a native app for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. For those of you that are following the smartphone market closely, you should know that we are aggressively working on supporting a native Nokia version as well. 

How it works?

Step 1:

Add the Net Promoter Question type to your survey

Net Promoter Score

Step 2: Deploy your survey

New Survey Project

Step 3: View Reports

Net Promoter Score

Grace Under Pressure - Why No Hardship is No Good

The economy is struggling, and small businesses have been hit the hardest. However, amid all the downsizing and leveling of growth there are lessons to be learned, ones which are forgotten in better economic times.


Money Means Frills – As a business owner, its easy to be seduced by things you think you need, especially when those in the same industry think they need them as well. I’m talking about spending money on premium designs and logos, fat stacks of high-gloss business cards, cutting edge ad space, and automated phone systems. As good as these made me feel, I honestly don’t think any of them really helped me make money. Sure they may have moved some more product, but too often they were tacked on expenses that didn’t do that much good. These upgrades are nice, but in times like these such investments should do two things: get customers to choose you over others, and keep them once they’ve done that. If it doesn’t do that, its probably a waste.

Debt and Focus – Reduced cash streams gets you focused on what matters. Less money means your unique sales pitch has to be absolutely top notch, since you can’t hide behind gimmicky layouts and flashy websites (see above). You have to rely on value alone. Your customers need to remember and talk about your products. In the end, low-budget marketing campaigns based on serious commitment to an excellent service is fun, authentic, and memorable, not to mention affordable.

Character. Innovation. Success. “Wax on. Wax off.” Like the Karate Kid, getting back to the fundamentals of business discipline will only generate revenue, and perhaps uncover possibilities you hadn’t seen before. Remember the scene from Gone With the Wind where Scarlet O’Hara makes a dress out of curtains so she can get $300. Desperate times lead to desperate measures, but ‘desperate measures’ often means efficient, bottom-line success.

“Bootstrapping”

For many of us, the idea of roughing it means reducing cell phone minutes. Here are a few guidelines for what effective reduced-cost strategizing should mean.

  1. Know who your customer, their needs, and why they would choose you. Answers to these three questions will help streamline your marketing decisions. If they’re hard to answer, think about other companies you go to as a customer. If you like Starbucks, describe yourself, what you look for in coffee, and why you go to Starbucks. Do the same thing for your favorite PC, insurance company, department store. Think about how your needs are being met, and do the same with your own business. And never be afraid to ask your customers!

  2. Tracking Expenses – Everything. And written down. Enacting a strategy where every coffee and ink cartridge gets recorded reduces these nearly invisible bleeds, and may even expose places where a significant amount of money could be saved. A little self-accounting could go a long, long way.

  3. Referral System – Referrals happen. They’re also great for business. Why not structure a simple referral rewards program that incentivizes loyal customers to spread word about your business and gives them a selling sheet to work from. Not only will your customers hear exactly what sets your company apart, your ideal customer, your campaigns, and how you treat new customers (reinforcing their loyalty to the business) but also generate new income by effectively drawing in new customers. All this for typing up a simple sheet!

  4. Embrace the Internet – Social media tools like blogs, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be thought of as “digital billboards.” Gone are the days of these as gimmicky, new-fangled arenas. They’ve been proven to increase communication with your customer base. Not only that, but your company appears up to date on the latest technological trends, and all this for free. Nowadays when people ask if you have a website, you don’t want to be the person who says no.


Companies who economize know the importance of close relationships. They know that loyalty and honesty are what matter most, and that will thrive in any economy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Spotlight Report - How much "sharing" is good?

Since we are kids, we are taught to share as much as we can. When we launched Spotlight Report a few years ago - we figured - either share all the data or none. We've now added in some more granular sharing options as part of our Enterprise License -- By default all the questions in a survey are shared as part of the Spotlight Report - Enterprise customers can choose to omit sharing some sensitive questions etc.

See the screenshots below to see how to enable/disable Spotlight Reporting on a question by question basis:



Thursday, September 1, 2011

To force or not to force



We've added in an option on MicroPanel to force users (panel members) to update (and fill out) their profile before they can start taking surveys. We've internally struggled with this - while on one hand, a deeply profile panel is very useful, on the other hand we are generally not big fans of forcing users to do something. We'll - who are we to decide. We just gave everyone the option of going one way or the other. By _default_ panel profile update is not "required" - but then we added in an option in the Profile Setttings to require as needed:

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