Research Motivations and Engagement in an Online Era

Guest post from Paul Hudson of FlexMR. Paul Hudson, CEO & Founder of FlexMR, a research agency based in the UK. Paul has over eight years of market research experience. A regular guest speaker at AQR and ICG events, Paul is an experienced online qualitative research who is actively involved in developing new research techniques for online application. Here Paul shares his insight and findings from a career of market research, and what researchers should bear in mind when engaging online participants. I am a firm believer that engaging participants lead to better market research. It sounds obvious, and no-one, that I know of, would disagree. But what seems so simple is something that is often overlooked or ignored. We must, as researchers, recognise that traditional methods of engagement are no longer effective. As more research is conducted online, researchers and participants become more distant. There is no longer a face to face connection, and little common ground to build a strong emotional connection. So, when working with new clients and new participants, I try to take a step back and ask a few basic questions. 1. Why is this participant interested? The obvious answer is the reward – but this […]

The world is changing, so market research must change too

Market research is an applied discipline; its core purpose is to help organisations make better decisions. When the needs of the organisations change then market research needs to change to, to ensure it remains relevant. I’ve been involved in market research for over 35 years and during that time the world has changed dramatically and the problems confronting organisations and brands have changed also dramatically. However, a growing number of organisations are saying that market research has not changed. The fear is that market research is becoming less and less relevant to the complex, digital, hyper-connected world of today. Whist it is easy to find plenty of examples of market researchers leveraging the new realities, for example the growth in the use of behavioural economics, passive data collection, and insight communities, there is a feeling that the main body of market research is losing touch with the needs of today. To help tackle this issue I have written an eBook on the topic “The Smarter Researcher”, which you can download from the Vision Critical website. The book spells out the nature of the changes that have happened over the last few decades, such as the shift of power from manufacturers […]

What’s special about Dub?

The post below is the result of a discussion between Ray Poynter from NewMR and Stephen Cribbett from Dub. Q: Can you describe Dub for me in 140 characters? A: We enable researchers, designers and strategists to use technology to better understand consumers’ attitudes, behaviours and emotions. Q: Can you tell me a little bit about what these technologies are and how they help people understand consumers? A: We provide a platform (available on all devices) and support for researchers, strategists and designers to get as close as possible to people’s everyday lives, enabling online qual projects, short and long-term communities and ethnographies. With over 30 languages available and a global team, we provide agility and the research capbility in over 150 countries. We help our clients take a more human-centred approach to research and brand building that delivers an extremely positive research experience. This in turn helps design better experiences, products and services at a time when a great product alone is not enough to capture the hearts and minds of consumers. Q: Could you give me an example of one of these projects? A: At one end of the spectrum we are working closely with LinkedIn to help them understand […]

The Long Survey Will Be Replaced By the Sparse Survey

Guest post by Jeffrey Henning. Jeffrey Henning, PRC, is president of Researchscape International. He is a Director at Large on the Marketing Research Institute International’s Board of Directors. You can follow him on Twitter @jhenning. Ray Poynter argues that the long survey will be replaced by ongoing discussions, in-the-moment research, and observational data. I think it is far more likely that the long survey will be replaced by another type of survey. This is much less of a change for corporate researchers and research agencies than shifting to radically different methodologies. Researchers today are very comfortable with developing long and complex surveys. And of course an entire industry exists providing access to panelists who will take surveys. Long surveys, however, produce lower quality results than shorter surveys, as Ray points out. Respondents tire, and begin satisficing, providing less accurate answers as survey length increases. Respondents who stick with a long survey often differ in key ways from the target demographic; this bias is exaggerated even further when researchers throw out incomplete responses. Respondents are increasingly taking surveys on mobile devices, where long surveys get even longer as compound questions such as matrix or grid questions get rendered as a series […]

Running, Everyday, for 1000 Days! For life, and against cancer

Guest post by Vannessa Oshima, insights professional, VP of Strategy and Insights for Coca-Cola Japan. This is about Me (Vanessa) and Caroline… we have known each other since we were kids. Both growing up in the small town of Matamata in New Zealand (now famous as it is Shire in lord of the rings – yes we are from Hobbiton …and No we do not have hairy feet …or at least yet!) Like with most small town high school friends – we ended up in different universities and different towns (in our case different countries – Caroline in New Zealand and Vanessa in Japan). We hadn’t really kept in touch. And then came along Facebook smile emoticon… and this is when we got reconnected. On September 11th of 2012, Vanessa posted on her Facebook page a simple message “felt great to get out there a run – it really livens you up” … a fairly simple “daily FB comment”. That Evening a message was waiting in Vanessa’s messenger box … It was from Caroline. Caroline had been diagnosed with Breast cancer one month earlier and had just been through her mastectomy. She was getting ready to start Chemo in October. […]

Why do organisations conduct customer satisfaction research?

One of the great things about teaching an undergraduate course in market research is that it makes you re-visit fundamental questions, such as “Why do organisations conduct customer satisfaction research?” The flippant answer would be because a) everybody else does and b) the textbooks say you should. But if we address the question properly, I think the answer is something like: The Business Case There is a widespread belief that: Satisfied customers are good for business Dissatisfied customers are bad for business Key assumptions, factors and beliefs Customers have choices, if they don’t like what you are offering they can take their business elsewhere. Acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers. Satisfaction makes re-purchase more likely and leads to positive word-of-mouth (WOM). Dissatisfaction makes re-purchase less likely and leads to negative WOM. Customers can tell you useful things about your own products and services, including how to improve them and how to meet unmet needs. The process of engaging and empowering the customer is itself a good strategy for improving brand equity/loyalty/affinity/love Note, many of the assumptions above may not actually have been tested in your specific business and may not always be applicable. However, they are […]