Showing posts from September, 2008

ESOMAR Congress

This past week I made my first trip to the ESOMAR Congress, where Peter Mackey and I presented on Tuesday. Part 2 of a busy conference season! There were some great presentations which I won't get into but you can read a write up of many of them at the WARC blog at

We'll be presenting again at the upcoming Market Research Event along with our client from Liberty Hardware. You can read what's going on at that one through their blog at:

AMA Research Conference Observations: Part 2

One of the sessions I attended was a panel discussion of how to use the internet to its full advantage and improve the respondent experience. Some best practices:

Respect the survey taker
Take your own survey (I have a hard time believing the 70% of the room that claimed they did this on a regular basis)
Clearly define the value proposition for the survey taker
Do not ask the same question over and over
Listen to the supplier and demand creativity
Collaborate more effectively and leverage new tools to bring new solutions to clients
They went on to remind the group that online surveys don't just compete with each other for respondent attention, they compete with all online entertainment options. Some of the online companies/tools that they thought helped compete and engage respondents were:
Visual questions
Dial research
Web bytes
Discussion boards
Nielsen IAG
OcucomIt was good to see the non-traditional methods coming to the forefront and will hopefully drive continued adoption.

AMA Research Conference Observations: Part 1

I spent much of this week at the AMA Research Conference here in Boston and am continually surprised at one fundamental disconnect between buyers of research and providers of research. Providers don't grasp that not every study needs to be "perfect" to be useful while most buyers are forced to settle for slightly less in exchange for speed.

We definitely see the difference. That's why its not surprising that a large percentage of our clients rely solely on the Live session experience, automated reports, and a consultative discussion to make their decisions instead of waiting for a full report. They don't have time to wait so we give them everything we can in a couple of weeks so they can move forward.

The Way of the Web: Ample Open Ends

Over the weekend I was catching up on back issues of The Marketing News and came across an article by Elisabeth Sullivan titled Delve Deeper: Online Research Developments to Understand Consumer Motivation. The article quotes Nora Ganim Barnes of UMass Dartmouth's Center for market research about the need to do better than traditional online feedback mechanisms.

"The last thing you want to do is have someone go to your web site and you say 'Click on this link' to provide feedback,' and you have a box pop up that's limited to 120 characters. That's cold, impersonal." She continues to say "...while online feedback surveys give customers the sense that they're throwing their opinions into the void, blogs provide a forum in which customers can interact with one another."

Throwing opinions into the void. I agree. Our (Invoke) research sessions simulate a live discussion experience so respondents feel like they are part of a group. It als…