Photo of cut out technique

Using découpé to find the story in the data

Découpé, or to give it its anglicised name ‘cut up technique’ is a creativity device that dates back to at least the 1920s, but was popularised in the 1950s by William Burroughs (the beat writer and artist). More recently pop stars such as David Bowie have made it famous as a device for creating the narrative of songs. The cut up technique can be a great way to find the story in the data when analysing market research information, particularly for teams trying to transition from traditional reporting approaches to a more narrative style. Here is one example of how to make this transition: Create a standard market research report, reporting the key questions, using the key breaks, addressing the key topics in the research brief. For each output (which often means a PowerPoint slide if the analysis has been delegated or automate), write a comment about what the main message on the page is. Put each comment onto a separate piece of card or paper (making a note of which slide number each comment links to). Now shuffle the cards and then on your own or as a team, try to arrange the cards in a way that creates […]

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Are you up to speed with mobile research? Probably Not!

I hear lots of people saying they are doing mobile research properly, but when I look at what many of them are doing, it falls well short of what I think is acceptable, and incredibly short of what we should be achieving with mobile market research. The Good News In the GRIT study we see some evidence of good news. One of the questions asked late in 2016 asked about which techniques were in use for market research. Key mobile-related answers included: Mobile Surveys 74% Mobile Qualitative 44% Mobile Ethnography 34% Indeed, the values for Mobile Surveys have been so high that this year’s GRIT survey asks about Mobile First Surveys. The Bad News There are three key elements to the bad news: Most online surveys are not optimized for mobile (see the chart below from Research Now). Many clients and researchers do not seem to be aware of the lack of representation they are creating by not fully embracing mobile. The additional benefits of mobile research are only being accessed by a tiny proportion of projects – because research has become stuck in a PC First mentality. Data from Research Now (Global Figures), this chart was shown by Sue York […]

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Why you should subscribe to NewMR’s newsletter?

Every week NewMR sends out one or two newsletters/updates that we think you will find useful. You can subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here. Last week’s mailing included: How to access the slides and recordings from our recent webinar on Artificial Intelligence and Market Research (8 great presentations). How to become a speaker at NewMR’s Festival of NewMR, to be held in February 2018. Three new webinars to be held this year: Maximising Mobile, New! But Not Tech, and Beyond Market Research. So if you want to be aware of all the new resources, of the chances to speak at events, and hear about new blog posts, subscribe to NewMR’s mailing. You can access last week’s newsletter by clicking here.

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When will surveys disappear? (2017 update)

Back in 2010 ,I caused a minor stir in the research world by predicting (at the MRS Conference in London) that surveys would have disappeared in 20 years (i.e. by 2030). This prediction was put into wider circulation when I clarified my prediction in a blog. The key point being that I was predicting the end of the commercial, long survey, and it being replaced with social media listening, online communities, new ways of researching, the use of open-ended questions, and the use of stored information to remove the need to keep asking questions. In 2014 I updated my prediction and showed some numbers from the ESOMAR Global Market Research Report. The table below shows the figures from ESOMAR for 2007, 2010 and 2013, and my projections for 2016 and 2019. Note the figures show the spend on research, not the volume. (Click on the tables to enlarge them.) So, how did my predictions stand up? The table below shows the ESOMAR figures for 2016, below my estimates. Note, I have added a new column which combines Other Quant (e.g. traffic and audience data) with Other (e.g. big analytics). In the future I will focus on Surveys, Qual, and a single […]


The Statistics and Statistical Tools Used in Market Research in 2017

In this post I am sharing the summary and two key charts. The eight-page version of the results can be downloaded. Summary The top four things that I want to share about the use of statistics and statistical tools are: Most statistical tests/approaches are not widely used. Only Correlation, Regression, z- or t-tests, and Cluster Analysis have been used by more than 50% of the participants in this research, during the first half of 2017 – and this sample probably over-represents people using statistics, and under-represents those using statistics less often. SPSS is the dominant software package amongst people using statistical packages. Given SPSS is approaching 50 years old, that may not be the sign of a dynamic industry? But, there are many people using tools such as Q, Sawtooth Software, SAS – and beyond them programs such as Latent Gold, Tableau, and XLSTAT. One of the growth areas is the use of tools is the use of integrated data collection / analysis solutions, for example Confirmit, Askia, Vision Critical, Qualtrics. The use of these tools requires the researcher to make fewer decisions. For example, survey monitoring flows into the analysis without any extra steps, the packages have a default […]

Albert Museum

Storytelling Starts with Finding the Narrative During the Analysis

Storytelling is very much in vogue. There is general agreement that research findings that employ storytelling are more likely to result in action than the reporting of facts and findings. However, the process of story creation is less well established, and the focus often seems to be at the reporting stage. However, I believe that finding the story is an integral part of the analysis, not something that happens afterward. The story or narrative is not a collection of numbers; it is an idea that can usually be expressed in words. For example, a tracking study might find that in two regions there was a dip in the main KPIs of 5% – but that is not a narrative. The business needs to know which of the following narratives is the relevant one: Minor downturn in 2 regions, worth checking further, perhaps during the next quarter. Important downturn in 2 regions, suggest further analysis. Major downturn in 2 regions, action required now. Knowing which of these three is the right narrative requires a combination of knowing about the business, understanding the business question that led to the research being conducted, and an ability to analyze the data in the context […]

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Survey about the stats we use in market research

At the moment (August 16 to August 31, 2017) NewMR is running a survey to collect data about the stats commonly used in market research. [Note, since August has finished, the survey is now closed. We will be posting the results soon. However, you can still see the raw data report below.]  If you have not already taken the survey, please do so [by clicking this link] before reading the data below. The background to this survey is that we are writing some materials for two university courses and for workshops that we are running. We would like a clear idea of which stats are commonly being used, and which are more specialist. Stats that are commonly used need to be taught in a way they convey how to use them as well as when to use them and how to interpret them. Our feeling is that stats that are more specialist should (in the context of the courses and workshops we are involved in) be focused on when to use them and how to find out how to use and interpret them. Below is an automated report of what the data looks like at the moment (you might want […]

104 Facts You Don’t Know About Mobile Marketing

Guest blog by Megan Arevalo, As well as the post below, Megan has contributed a really useful infographic about Mobile Marketing, click on the image to see all 104 facts. 5 Expert Tips on Maximizing your Mobile Marketing Strategy Before anything else, it is important to point out the fact that right now, mobile marketing represents one of the newest forms of marketing available, yet regardless of this, it has also grown to be one of the most popular methods being used all around the world. Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the fact that marketers can send location, but also time-sensitive pieces of information to users, via numerous channels including SMS, push-notifications, MMS, Bluetooth, QR codes, in-app advertising and more. Therefore, marketers can promote products and services, while also encouraging people to purchase, establishing a form of brand loyalty and increasing brand awareness. In a recent brief, published by the folks behind Website Builder, they have shed some light on the history of mobile marketing, its future and what some of the wisest tips for maximizing your mobile marketing strategy are. Without further ado, here are five expert tips that will surely boost your […]

Golden Egg

What is the best way to present numbers?6 tips for better conference presenting

A couple of weeks ago I was at a conference in Lisbon and spent five days listening to some very smart people share some really valuable information (see my summary of new findings in mobile market research). However, many of the presentations at the conference were rendered less impactful because of the way the presenters showed numbers. There are some easy ways to make numbers more accessible and impactful, and in this post I share a few of them. Note, this post does not focus on data visualisation – that will be another post. This post looks specifically at six easy steps you can take to ensure that the numbers you display can help tell the story, increase engagement, promote understanding, and make action more likely. 1)  Use Fewer Numbers The first tip is to simply use fewer numbers. Imagine that you had to pay 5 dollars for every number you included in your presentation; you would soon cut back the quantity of numbers. The key question to ask is whether each specific number says something useful. If it doesn’t, drop it from the presentation (even if it stays in the background data, notes etc.) Instead of showing the top ten, […]

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Major update on mobile market research

For a few years there have been relatively few new findings about mobile market research. We have seen the share of online surveys completed via mobile increasing and we have seen the number of mobile only studies (studies that require a smartphone, for example location-based, in-the-moment and smartphone ethnography) increasing. But the overall picture has remained fairly constant in terms of advice and practice. However, the picture has now changed. Last week saw five days of short courses and presentations in Lisbon, Portugal at the ESRA Conference (European Survey Research Association). There were over 700 presentations and most of the leading names in survey, web, and mobile research were present (including: Don Dillman, Mick Couper, Google’s Mario Callegaro, SurveyMonkey’s Sarah Cho, Edith de Leeuw, Roger Tourangeau, GfK’s Randall Thomas & Frances Barlas, and my colleague Sue York). There were more than 20 presentations particularly relevant to mobile market research – making it one of the largest collections of reports and findings from experiments reported anywhere. In this post I set out my key takeaways from the ESRA Conference in terms of mobile market research. But, I may update this post when I get access to all of the presentations and […]