Non-Market Research Options for the Mobile Ecosystem

The material below is an excerpt from a book I am writing with Navin Williams and Sue York on Mobile Market Research, but its implications are much wider and I would love to hear people’s thoughts and suggestions. Most commercial fields have methods of gaining and assessing insight other than market research, for example testing products against standards or legal parameters, test launching, and crowd-funding. There are also a variety of approaches that although used by market researchers are not seen by the market place as exclusively (or even in some cases predominantly) the domain of market research, such as big data, usability testing, and A/B testing. The mobile ecosystem (e.g. telcos, handset manufacturers, app providers, mobile services, mobile advertising and marketing, mobile shopping etc) employs a wide range of these non-market research techniques, and market researchers working in the field need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. Market researchers need to understand how they can use the non-market research techniques and how to use market research to complement what they offer. The list below cover techniques frequently used in the mobile ecosystem which are either not typically offered by market researchers or which are […]

Does using the #MRX tag limit the conversation?

Most market researchers (IMO) who use Twitter do so with the #MRX tag, with the #NewMR, #ESOMAR and #AMSRS tags a little way behind. Indeed Vaughan Mordecai has recently posted an interesting analysis of #MRX contributor and content – and Jeffrey Henning Tweets a weekly list of top #MRX links and posts a biweekly blog on GreenBook about the top ten. But, is all of this just creating a cozy world where a few thousand market researchers tweet to each other, and nobody else really contributes, reads, are even cares? The quickest way to get recognition amongst market researchers is to use the #MRX tag, so it becomes the default, and in doing so, perhaps, it becomes a fence or boundary of our own making? Time add new links to the wider world? Other leading #MRX figures, such as Tom Ewing and Reg Baker have written about what happens if you ignore the #MRX audience, your figures quickly decline. But perhaps the key is to be adding more dimensions to what we do, and for those dimensions to have an external focus? By external focus, I mean using cues and clues that other people are likely to be looking for. […]

Facebook still dominant in the UK – even amongst the young!

Every week we seem to get a new report saying that Twitter, or Pinterest, or instant chat apps have knocked Facebook off its perch as the number one social media platform in the West, especially amongst younger people. One day this will be true, but not this year, nor next, nor (probably) the year after. In partnership with Vision Critical’s Springboard omnibus I have re-run a study we first ran in August 2012, looking at social media usage, and focusing on regular social media usage. The data show two big messages: Facebook dwarfs other social media. The pace of change between 2012 and 2013 is glacially slow. Table 1 shows how many people said that they had used each of the listed forms of social media in the last year. The Vision Critical Springboard omnibus is broadly representative of Great Britain, but since it is an online survey, the figures for social media exclude the (approximately) 15% of Britons who do not use the internet. Table 1 shows that in terms of social media used in the last year, in the UK, there was very little change between 2012 and 2013, other than a drop in the claimed usage of […]

Stand tall and if necessary ‘fake it till you make it’

For several years, when teaching presenting, I have been asking people to stand when they present and to adopt ‘high power’ body positions and avoid low power positions, for example not crossing your arms and legs, and not standing sideways on to the audience. I arrived at this advice based on my own observations, tips from other trainers, and by applying learning from other fields – but there was limited, specific evidence for what I was saying. However, I no longer need to rely on my homespun theories. Kristin Luck (a great presenter in her own right) has highlighted Amy Cuddy to me. Watch the video below, Amy Cuddy at TED, and you will understand the extent to which how you stand impacts a) how the audience receive your message, and b) the way you feel. The ‘fake it till you make’ it part has two elements. Firstly, standing in a power position changes the chemicals in your brain to make you more confident, even though you are ‘pretending’ to be confident. Over time, you will change and you won’t be faking it. So faking it till you make it means getting a benefit in the short term and changing […]

Is market research really a career?

Yesterday, at the BAQMaR Conference, the Fringe Factory launched its study into what young graduates are looking for in an industry and what is their perception of market research. The Fringe Factory surveyed over 1800 graduates across nine countries. The report produced five “eye-catching insights and recommendations”. But for me one of the key points was that only 13% of the young people surveyed said they would consider a job in market research, and only 3% listed it as the best sector. To find out more about the study, the Fringe Factory, and the other insights and recommendation, look at the presentation below. The presentation is hosted via SlideShare – this means you can advance the slides and by click on the four arrows in the bottom right of the presentation window, turn it into a full screen presentation. Is Market Research really a Career? from Fringe Factory The Fringe Factory is supported by ESOMAR. To find out more about the Fringe Factory, visit their website.

Why setting FaceBook likes as a KPI can be a bad idea

We are all familiar with the phrase that correlation is not the same as causality, but we also know that in many cases correlation is a really good indicator that something is important – so how do we judge how much importance to give to correlation? In the 1940s, British scientist Richard Doll conducted a study of 649 cases of lung cancer and noted that only two were non-smokers, causing him to a) stop smoking and b) to start researching the link between smoking and cancer. The correlation certainly did not prove smoking caused lung cancer. As a point on interest, in the 1940s about 80% of adults smoked, so it would have been expected that most people with lung cancer smoked. A simplistic view of correlation would have said that no action should have been taken until a cause was identified. We now know that smoking tobacco releases more than 70 different cancer causing substances. Sometimes a correlation is useful, even when the phenomenon being measured is not a cause. Waist measurements are highly correlated with health problems, but the waist measurement does not directly cause health problems. Having too much fat tends to cause the problems and having […]

Answers to Frequently Asked Mobile Market Research Questions

In collaboration with other authors we have produced an initial draft of the chapter on Mobile Market Research, for the ESOMAR book Answers to Contemporary Market Research Questions, and we are seeking feedback. The video below shows Sue York’s presentation at the recent NewMR Training Day and you can download a PDF of the current draft. Remember, the Contemporary Answers book is intended for people new to research or new to a topic – it is not supposed to be the definitive or comprehensive answer. We have already received some feedback (following the Training Day), but we’d love to hear more. So, please add your comments to this post using the comments facility. The mobile chapter, along with new chapters on International Research and Polling will be added in 2014.  

Facebook and ‘Mediawashing’, a Threat to Market Research? – Nikki Lavoie

Posted by Nikki Lavoie, Chief Commercial Officer, Sky Consulting, France. We know that research participants sometimes cannot or will not be honest in their responses. We know about behavioral economics. We know all the things to say to encourage open and honest discussions and survey responses. But what about our online and social media-based conversations? I’m a Second Generation Facebook user. By this I mean that I’ve been around on Facebook since almost immediately after it was released to universities in the Greater Boston Area (I’ll refrain from listing the year so you can’t do the math). What started out as a site intended to allow students to evaluate one another’s’ attractiveness has become a global commodity used for connecting, promoting, expressing, sharing, and now for market research. One of the interesting trends that has come up in relation to social media outlets, and Facebook in particular, is something I’m going to call “mediawashing” (you heard it here first, write that word down). Similar to greenwashing, mediawashing is the dissemination of disinformation that a person chooses to put forth, typically about themselves or their lives, using social media. In laymen’s terms: people paint pretty pictures of their lives, but it’s […]

The Opportunities and Threats Facing Market Research – Sally Joubert

Post by Sally Joubert, founder and CEO of Luma, Australia. The Biggest Threat We become irrelevant. If we don’t attract, train and develop the business leaders and thinkers of the future we will become the “typing pool” of 2010s. Businesses have changed and new business models are evolving all the time. We know business decisions are made on the basis of anything from gut feel (or someone else’s “gut feel”) to highly complex models based on more data than some of us could ever dream of getting our hands on in an entire lifetime. To help businesses make these decisions we need to be there at every step of the way. So as researchers/data scientists/marketers/leaders/entrepreneurs/gurus or whatever we want to call ourselves we need to be experts at uncovering, synthesising and most importantly communicating our ideas so that the best decisions can be made. If we continue to focus on teaching traditional narrow vocational skill sets at schools, university and in our companies we just won’t have the thinkers and doers to keep us relevant. The Biggest Opportunity To combine traditional MR with everything we can possibly think of to make a much smarter world. The technology we have created […]

Getting the recipe (and decoration) right – Karen Schofield

Posted by Karen Schofield Innovations Director at Join the Dots, UK. If you ask a consumer walking out of a supermarket why they’ve got so much junk food in their trolley (admittedly, you might want to rephrase that rather than sounding like you’re accusing them, or they’ll never stop to do an interview), they’ll probably give you a rational, and likely very plausible, reason. Probably something like ‘ready meals are convenient’, or ‘the kids like them’, or ‘I was in a hurry’. And to some extent, this might be true, but what they probably won’t be able to tell you is that if they were hungry when they got to the supermarket, the chances are that their hunger, a ‘hot’ – or emotional – state, took over and they probably would have stuck more closely to their list if they’d gone shopping on a full stomach. We’ve all been there – we’ve skipped lunch and someone passes by our desk with a cake which is so much more tempting when we’re hungry, even if we’re trying to watch what we eat. Giving in to temptation is part of what makes us human, as we’re often (and more than we might […]