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Showing posts from June, 2009

A Taste of Our Own Medicine: Researchers Using Research

In professional services firms you always hear the "cobbler's kids have no shoes" mentality about their look and feel, use of research, etc. Well, we may not (and you may not) have huge budgets but that doesn't mean we can't follow our own advice and find out what our market is looking for and move in that direction.

For years we have been conducting client feedback but like many of our clients it has been used largely for score keeping. Right now, we're wrapping up a broader A&U project about what companies are looking for from value-added research firms and now we have the opportunity to take a fact based approach to addressing it.

The takeaway - even if its a simple methodology find out what your customers are looking for and find a way to provide it to them.

My favorite comment from the research about why they would choose a small/medium provider over a large one:

"Smaller providers are more like a Partnership. They are easier to meet with the enti…

Was this worth the time?

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I love the USA Today. I do. It has been a staple since my college days for quick hit news and charts with pretty colors. But as I got into the research industry a decade ago I started to wonder if anyone thinks about finding something interesting before they conduct these surveys or if they just want something to fit in a pie chart.

Primary exhibit is today's breaking news that frequent fliers don't like US airlines' food and service. Really? I am shocked.

Well thought out custom research reports struggle to get read in corporate America yet this survey is leading news in an international setting. Clearly we all are working way too hard!

The World's Worst Survey? Or Think Before You Act

Up front, I admit that I am "borrowing" this right from the Fresh Minds Research Blog but this is too good to ignore.

The BBC is conducting an online poll asking people if they are one of the 30% of UK citizens without internet access. Read that again. Or read it at the site of the Register.

Just one of those classic cases where people didn't think about the audience before launching a poll or survey. I love online research, especially with interactive functionality, but its not for everyone. Much like music and beer, there is a time and place for everything. And sometimes that means a mail survey, an in person interview or the dreaded telephone interview.

Should Panel Companies Lower Costs for Engaging Questionnaires?

Most people agree that including interactive elements in questionnaires is a good idea and produces similar data to traditional formats. From a research analyst perspective, i understand the "who cares then?" sentiment because good data is good data. But from a brand or panel company perspective its imperative to make participating in research a positive experience. After all, like any interaction, its a brand interaction that need to support your positioning in one way or another.

Thanks to Jen from iModerate for re purposing her CASRO presentation on this topic for the group at CMBearlier this week. It was interesting and sparked a great discussion about cost vs. benefit for research providers and panel companies in programming interactive elements. Seems to me that panel companies should actually discount data collection for more enjoyable surveys. It keeps panelists engaged and eager to participate more.

Perhaps that is too much common sense. What do you think?

Studying Social Media

With all the talk about social media and specifically social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it is amazing that most of the research associated with social media revolves around counting numbers and presenting them in pretty pictures (everyone loves a word cloud).

Well, we love word clouds too but have found that just getting a count of what is going on is not enough. And not paying attention to message boards, blogs, etc. can lead to some wild misrepresentations of the truth. Especially when you consider, according to our neighbors at Harvard University, that only a tiny fraction of the world is actually posting on twitter.

Both in stand alone projects and in conjunction with trackers, we use a multi-faceted approach to understanding what is going on, what best practices exist, the rules of engagement and what you can do about them. Counting is important, but these mediums are about information exchange and emotion.

Want to learn more?

Still not sure what social media is all…

Studying Social Media

With all the talk about social media and specifically social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it is amazing that most of the research associated with social media revolves around counting numbers and presenting them in pretty pictures (everyone loves a word cloud).

Well, we love word clouds too but have found that just getting a count of what is going on is not enough. And not paying attention to message boards, blogs, etc. can lead to some wild misrepresentations of the truth. Especially when you consider, according to our neighbors at Harvard University, that only a tiny fraction of the world is actually posting on twitter.

Both in stand alone projects and in conjunction with trackers, we use a multi-faceted approach to understanding what is going on, what best practices exist, the rules of engagement and what you can do about them. Counting is important, but these mediums are about information exchange and emotion. Want to learn more?

Still not sure what social media is…

Studying Social Media

With all the talk about social media and specifically social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it is amazing that most of the research associated with social media revolves around counting numbers and presenting them in pretty pictures (everyone loves a word cloud).

Well, we love word clouds too but have found that just getting a count of what is going on is not enough. And not paying attention to message boards, blogs, etc. can lead to some wild misrepresentations of the truth. Especially when you consider, according to our neighbors at Harvard University, that only a tiny fraction of the world is actually posting on twitter.

Both in stand alone projects and in conjunction with trackers, we use a multi-faceted approach to understanding what is going on, what best practices exist, the rules of engagement and what you can do about them. Counting is important, but these mediums are about information exchange and emotion. Want to learn more?

Still not sure what social media is…

Shop Til You Drop?

I have long thought that while the recession has slowed spending, people still have their needs and desires. Or on the business side, things that need to get done and cost money.

USA Today agrees (at least on the consumer side).

"There are positive signs. Shoppers are less willing to "limit their spending, seek deals or trade down to lower-priced brands and retailers" because of the recession, finds a survey by market research firm Retail Forward."

Shop Til You Drop?

I have long thought that while the recession has slowed spending, people still have their needs and desires. Or on the business side, things that need to get done and cost money.

USA Today agrees (at least on the consumer side).

"There are positive signs. Shoppers are less willing to "limit their spending, seek deals or trade down to lower-priced brands and retailers" because of the recession, finds a survey by market research firm Retail Forward."