Picture of a bridge in Lisbon

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 […]

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An Introduction to Market Research Tables – Request for Feedback

Most market research textbooks (for example Malhotra) do not really cover the sort of tables we use in market research. The main reason being that there is almost no academic justification for the way we market researchers use tables. We tend to use data that ought not be in tables, frequently use the wrong types of statistical tests, and our tendency to cross everything by everything is more like a fishing expedition that a scientific evaluation of hypotheses. However, whatever the rights and wrongs of the issue, tables are probably the most widely used tool in commercial market research. A few years ago, I wrote some notes on how to use market research tables and I currently updating my notes with the intention of publishing them as a book or at least as an eBook. I have reached the first draft stage and would really appreciate some feedback. In particular I am looking for feedback from: People who are unsure how to use tables – do these notes help? What else would you like to know? People who use tables regularly – what have I missed? What is wrong or inadequately correct? People who supply tables – what have I […]


5 Rules for How to Chair a Conference or Webinar

OK, to some extent I am going to stick my neck out here, and I would love to hear alternative opinions. I am lucky in that I have chaired hundreds of sessions at conferences, webinars and workshops, with audiences ranging in size from over one thousand through to just two. Note, I am not going to cover, in this post, how to help create and curate an event – the focus of this post is entirely about the event on the day. Let’s assume that somebody else has selected the speakers, the topics and checked the presentations. Rule 1 – It’s not about you You should be honoured that you have been selected to chair the event, and it is probably going to be good for your profile, but it is not about you. Your role is to make sure that the objectives of the organisers, the presenters, and the attendees are met. What does this mean? It means no long introductions for the session, you, the speaker or anything. No stories about you (e.g. ‘This reminds me of the time I first saw Hans Rosling present …’). You only ask questions if the audience doesn’t come forward with a […]

Two key challenges to measuring the ROI of social

Want to know how you should be evaluating social media campaigns? Do you want to know how to balance short-term activation events with long-term effects? The answers are in the recently launched #IPASOCIALWORKS Guide to Measuring Not Counting. As one of the authors of the Guide I have been involved in several events, including the launch at the IPA, workshops, and conference sessions. Whilst these events have been generally positive, two major challenges have been exposed by our interactions with attendees and people working inside advertisers and agencies. These two challenges do not include the complexity of econometric modelling and experimental design. Although those topics are complex, there are people who can help. No, the two problems are: Being asked to measure social too late Not having access to sales data Measurement needs ‘baking in’ to social All too often the agency or social team are asked to evaluate campaigns that are about to start, or perhaps underway, and even sometimes that have finished. Occasionally this is possible, but usually it is just folly. As the Guide points out, the measurement of a campaign is about much more than likes, shares, downloads, and plays. The measurement needs to be in […]

The use of tense in writing up market research results

This blog post has been written as part of a project I am working on to produce a series of short books that will act as guides to different aspects of market research. The specific post looks at two key aspects of writing up market research results, i.e. differentiating between the ‘facts’ and the judgement/opinion elements, and using past, present, and future tense to make reporting clearer and more actionable. I am very keen to hear other people’s views on the advice in this post – all contributors to this series will, of course, be listed and thanked. Market research results consist of two elements, which we can loosely call: Facts Judgement/opinion We can argue about the meaning or existence of facts, but in this case I am talking about the material revealed by market research that is not disputed. For example, we might find that 75% of the sample said they were male. The term judgment (or opinion, or insight) covers things such as: How good/appropriate you think the research was. What you think the research means. For example, you might discover that trial is an important driver of purchase. What you think the client should do. For example, […]