Get Connected to the Future of Research 

  • 04 Mar 2017 2:45 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    From SSI blog Feb 24, 2017

    Mobile phones offer researchers critical features: the ability to gather visual information through photos and video recordings. These features can help researchers develop a much more nuanced understanding of context and customer behavior. The practice of mobile visual ethnography—using pictures and videos to gather important context clues about consumer behavior—is growing. What is Ethnography and… Continue reading →

  • 03 Mar 2017 3:52 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    Mark Michelson, Executive Director of MMRA gives his view on current mobile qualitative platforms and iPhone apps.

    Click here to view webinar recording

    Or copy and paste this URL in your browser:

  • 03 Mar 2017 12:55 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    Check out the latest use of voice recognition with Mobile/IoT technology in this post. Are you ready for the future of MobileMR beyond the smart phone?

  • 03 Mar 2017 9:03 AM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    I recently watched this webinar presented by SSI and Greenbook on leveraging the power of mobile to understand the customer journey. 

    There are some terrific mobile benefits, study design tips and case studies featured in this webinar. Check it out by clicking the link below:

    Click here for the SSI Customer Journey Webinar

    Or copy and paste this URL in your browser:

  • 02 Mar 2017 8:51 AM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    Link to Original Article - - Feb. 23rd 2017 4:03 am PT 

    More areas of the country are likely to see gigabit LTE, say carriers, as the FCC has approved the use of the 5GHz spectrum for mobile data.

    The 5GHz band is currently used for WiFi, and there had been concerns that there would be conflicts between the two, but the FCC accepted that equipment manufacturers had demonstrated that LTE and WiFi could co-exist in the same spectrum …

    “LTE-U and Wi-Fi stakeholders worked together under the auspices of the Wi-Fi Alliance to develop co-existence guidelines and an evaluation test plan that was released last fall,” pointed out FCc Chief Engineer Julius Knapp.

    Testing showed that mobile data networks can automatically reduce their usage of the 5GHz band in areas where there is heavy WiFi usage, and ramp it up in areas where the spectrum is under-used.

    LTE-U is so called because it refers to a spectrum that is currently unlicensed. The FCC’s approval of devices operating within this band does not amount to licensing it, but rather to an acceptance that use of the spectrum does not prohibit device approvals. Essentially, both WiFi and LTE industry players have said it’s ok, and the FCC is happy with that.

    Multichannel News reports that carriers are excited by the prospects LTE-U will bring. T-Mobile said that it will start using the spectrum in the spring to bring gigabit LTE to more areas, and Verizon says it will mean customers are able to use more data at faster speeds.

    There’s no telling when iPhones will support the LTE-U band. Historically, Apple tends to be a little slower than most to adopt new data standards, but it’s almost certain to do so at point.

    Ben Lovejoy @benlovejoy

  • 06 Oct 2016 12:59 PM | Deleted user

    In the most comprehensive survey of its kind, Pollfish, in partnership with PredictWise, has been surveying 1,000 mobile respondents per week since February on 13 key issues in the upcoming election. 

    The three key wedge issues that are going to decide this year’s election are guns, taxes, and immigration.

    This is the first mobile survey of its kind and you can check out the results in the interactive infographic 

  • 08 Sep 2016 12:05 PM | Deleted user
    Surveys are one of the best ways to conduct market research from the public. With an effective survey, you could gather sufficient data to build buyer personas, and more. However, there are inherent risks involved with surveys. Survey Respondents might not continue through to the end, they might purposely give false answers, or they could get confused by some of the questions in the survey. There are ways to write survey questions, though, which will help reduce or eliminate the risks, and achieve the best possible results for your market research surveys.

    1. Confirm Your Survey Goals

    Before you sit down to write out survey questions, you need to confirm the goals of the survey. This is particularly important if the person who ordered the survey is different than the person writing the questions. There must be no miscommunication between the two regarding the intended purpose of the survey. After the final results are in and the data has been organized, the answers should solve for the original intent.

    2. Be Prepared To Crunch the Data

    When the survey results come in, it’s just going to look like a bunch of questions and answers with few connections unless you are prepared to crunch the data. Survey results can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t used to using surveys in market research. When you have some system prepared ahead of time to organize and analyze the data, the whole process of market research will go more smoothly. You’ll be able to immediately hand over the survey responses to the data entry operator. Then, you’ll be able to drill into the data and start using it to formulate your next move.

    3. Start Wide and Funnel Down

    Survey questions should always begin with very general questions and then funnel down into the specifics. This helps respondents to get comfortable with using the survey interface and answering the questions. If the first questions are very easy and general, the respondent will feel confident that they can take the survey. It’s important to nurture the respondent’s confidence in the survey, both with regard to your intention behind the survey and with their ability to answer the questions. If the survey seems like it’s going nowhere or has no discernible path, the respondent may lose trust in the company giving the survey, and quit midway through it. If the respondent doesn’t feel they can answer the questions, they are also more likely to quit before the end.

    4. Avoid Leading Questions; Get to the Point

    Survey questions should be very straightforward, with obvious answer possibilities. The respondent should never be made to think, “well, it depends on how you look at it,” or “that has a double meaning.” If a question can have a second meaning, then it needs to be rephrased or omitted. First, the respondent might get frustrated and abandon the survey. Second, the answers you receive on double-meaning questions won’t be definitive, and will be harder to analyze.

    5. Keep the Survey as Short as Possible

    It’s better to run multiple short surveys than it is to run one overly long survey. Long surveys have a higher chance of being abandoned before the last question than shorter surveys. If you are asking the right questions and phrasing them in as straightforward a fashion as possible, you should be able to get all the data you need from a short survey of 10 or 15 questions.

    6. Keep Respondents Informed

    Respondents deserve to know what you hope to gain by having them take the survey. At the outset, tell them the reason. You don’t have to give away corporate secrets; the reason can be vague, such as “we want to better understand our customers’ buying habits.” At the end, thank them for helping you…and repeat why they took the survey. In addition, offering running question numbers helps respondents know where they are in the survey and how many questions remain.

    7. Ask the Same Question in a Different Form

    Some respondents get enjoyment out of giving fake answers. You can weed these out of your data by asking some of the same questions in a different form. Those who are being genuine will answer the same way both times. Untruthful respondents will become evident with this technique and you’ll be able to eliminate those particular survey results.

    Use these seven tips every time you use a survey for DIY market research to ensure the highest possible completion rates and accuracy.

  • 17 Aug 2016 5:38 PM | Deleted user

    Running a business sounds simple enough: All you have to do is create value for customers in a unique and meaningful way that generates profit.

    To do that, you know you must first understand your customer. Entrepreneurs and small business owners who don’t consult with target customers to validate the demand for an idea, product, or service before launching one risk failure.

    What you may not realize is that the same validation is needed when making critical decisions — even after your successful business is up and operating.

    Never Make a Critical Business Decision Without Asking Your Customers First

    Customers: the lifeblood of any business

    Each year, about 400,000 new businesses are created, but 470,000 shut down, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Businesses fail for many reasons, of course. But with 66 percent of customers switching to a new company because they were unhappy with a service and 82 percent saying the business could have done something to retain them, customer satisfaction is a major factor.

    This is why you should regularly assess your customers’ satisfaction, opinions, and loyalty and use those factors to help navigate your decision-making process. Many tools exist for gathering customer feedback, but market research — done correctly — is one of the most effective.

    Getting to know your customer

    Market research provides insight into your most valuable asset — your customer — allowing you to make precise and reliable decisions in several ways.

    First, it helps you understand both your customer and your competition. It also identifies the level of interest in a product or service and what customers are willing to pay for it, effectively guiding the messaging needed to reach your target market.

    Key steps in market research include:

    · Choosing the questions that get the information you want.

    · Figuring out what kind of data is needed.

    · Determining how to collect information.

    · Deciding how to analyze the information.

    · Developing a plan for using that information.

    Successful research and development, product management, branding, pricing, and marketing — all core business functions — depend on customer insight. And great entrepreneurial leaders in today’s ultracompetitive marketplace leverage this information to foster essential innovation.

    Why market research works

    Entrepreneurs begin with a vision. Market research can affirm the strength of that vision or identify needed tweaks; the success of an idea hinges on a firm understanding of customers’ buying behaviors — the functional, economic, and emotional reasons that customers make purchases. These insights shape product development, marketing, and the ways businesses reach target customers.

    You need to know how and where a product fits within a market, what your customer expects, product and market strengths and weaknesses, and what kinds of similar products already exist. This information is impossible to intuit without performing market research.

    Market research also helps you develop a cost plan (e.g., pricing models, investments, and resources) and create a marketing strategy (e.g., types of campaigns and channels, how to reach customers, and how to deal with competitors’ reactions).

    A good example of business owners putting this into practice involves Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, founders of a locational iPhone app called Burbn. After spending a year developing Burbn and releasing it, the pair re-evaluated the market and identified some issues with their product — it had too many features and seemed cluttered, making it difficult to compete with market giant Foursquare.

    Systrom and Krieger chose to remove many of the features, except for photos, commenting, and liking, and rebrand their app as Instagram. Only by examining the market, customers, and competitors did they find their way onto that new, incredibly successful path.

    4 paths to quick, affordable market research

    Many entrepreneurs incorrectly believe conducting market research is too time-consuming, too expensive, and too intimidating. However, today’s digital world provides several quick and affordable ways to gather information to help you make smart business decisions.

    Here are four methods small business owners and entrepreneurs can use to gauge customer sentiment through market research.

    #1. Focus groups

    Focus groups capture in-depth, qualitative feedback, but they come with a few challenges. Focus groups take time to organize, and they require an experienced moderator to avoid bias and keep the conversation focused.

    Bias is a focus group caveat, which makes selecting a qualified moderator so important. Experienced moderators know how to ask questions to gather data while eliminating bias. Qualitative research depends on valid and reliable data. If bias exists in a focus group, the results will be skewed, potentially swaying your business decisions in the wrong direction.

    If you choose to organize a focus group, asking 8-10 questions would be ideal, but definitely limit the number to a maximum of 12. And be sure to over invite to ensure an adequate number participate, as 10-20 percent of those invited will, on average, be no-shows.

    #2. One-on-one interviews

    One-on-one interviews can be conducted quickly and affordably to uncover great feedback about products and services, but limitations exist. Reach is often limited because it’s difficult to access a large group of people due to time and geographical constraints.

    While interviews can be conducted via phone or face-to-face, many business owners report better results with phone interviews. People tend to be more open to sharing opinions over the phone because they’re in their own environments — and phone interviews are cheaper because no travel is required.

    #3. Online research

    Online research allows entrepreneurs and business owners to connect with a large number of potential customers in a quick, affordable way. To successfully conduct online research, first decide whether the audience you want to reach consists of new or existing customers. Then, develop questions to ask and decide how to reach those people — through your email subscriber list or social media, for example.

    Always reach out to people in the way that’s most convenient for them in order to create more potential for open, honest, and bias-free feedback. If you can, locate similar surveys your competitors may be conducting to make sure you don’t end up over surveying any one group. And pay close attention to the timing of your online survey — avoid sending them out around holidays or on weekends, for example.

    Keep them short and simple. People often avoid surveys that take longer than 5 or 10 minutes to complete. If the survey must be longer, use page breaks, allow respondents to take the survey in stages, or split it into a few separate surveys.

    #4. Mobile surveys

    Mobile surveys combine the principles of traditional market research with the scale, reach, and affordability of the smartphone-enabled economy. While customers enjoy interacting with brands online, only 17 percent of researchers use mobile surveys as part of their strategy.

    This presents a huge opportunity for you to get ahead of the curve by using mobile to gather customer feedback. Many people prefer to use smartphones as their main tool of communication. Consequently, 60 percent of the world’s population should have internet access by 2020, thanks to the increasing ubiquity of smartphones.

    What’s more, people are more likely to respond when they can do so quickly on a mobile device. Plus, mobile’s unique features, such as geolocation, allow for more accurate data collection.

    Customer feedback is absolutely paramount to your business’s success throughout its lifetime, and market research is the best way to solicit their input. Using one or more of these four methods of market research, you can validate a new product, service, or business idea, guide your internal decision-making, ensure that your existing customers are happy, and create strategies for attracting new ones.

    Image: The Customer Service Target Market Support Assistance Concept

    This article first appears on Tweak Your Biz, and was co-authored with John Papadakis of Pollfish.

  • 15 Jul 2016 10:07 AM | Deleted user

    In today's cluttered digital world, understanding the customer isn't a nice-to-have -- it's a must-have. Unbeknown to most marketers, though, many online research companies recruit participants from paid panels. While paid-panelist research is expedient and generates high response rates, it may not deliver the high-quality data and insights necessary to make critical business decisions. Therefore, the information you gather may be off-target, and your market research may be killing your brand.

    Beyond paid panels, countless other surveying methods are at the modern marketer's disposal, and in this age of smartphone ubiquity, mobile is one of the best survey mediums marketers can use. To receive the most useful feedback and generate actionable data, marketers should optimize their surveys' conditions, designs, and convenience for respondents and use these three methods to ensure survey responses are effective.

    Make it worth their while

    Many respondents expect to be compensated to make taking a survey worth the time spent. To strike a proper balance, make the reward enticing enough to tempt participants but not so appealing that it becomes their primary motivator. Consider thanking respondents by entering them into a drawing for a fun prize so that their end goal is to give genuine responses, rather than just to receive compensation.

    Panelists are paid for each response (often poorly), so many of them speed through surveys. Consequently, paid panelists who take dozens of surveys at once might be disengaged, distracted, or fatigued, which compromises the quality of the responses.

    Be strategic with design

    Survey design is just as important as reducing survey bias. Ask only questions that are relevant and meaningful to the survey's goal, and be cognizant of the respondent's frame of mind, access device, and even the time of day. Engaging respondents on their terms provides the best opportunity to capture and understand their insights.

    Surveying the wrong audience or collecting useless data could harm your brand if it leads you to make bad marketing decisions. Therefore, you need to understand both where your target customers typically consume content and how they prefer to interact with brands. Then, design your survey with a goal of touching on as many of those pleasure points as possible by making it convenient and easy for them to take. If your survey design doesn't appeal to your target audience, then you won't glean the valuable insights you need. Instead, you could receive opinions from people who might never even consider your brand, and decisions based on that faulty information could end up hurting your brand's image in the long run.

    Give your audience the home-field advantage

    Go where your audience is most likely to be willing to provide candid answers. It's difficult to get useful data when the audience you need to reach doesn't respond well to the channels you use. People rarely answer telephone surveys, and in-person interviewing isn't practical or cost-effective when trying to obtain responses from a geographically diverse audience, so opting for randomized phone surveys could lead you down the wrong marketing avenues. And if the survey isn't mobile-optimized, it'll miss out on reactions from those who are smartphone-dependent

    Similarly, online surveys don't always see enough traffic to succeed, especially those tailored to desktop users. It is in your best interest to follow customers who are abandoning landlines and desktop applications for the convenience of smartphones. With 57 percent of Americans communicating primarily through their cellphones and 41 percent living without landlines at all, marketers can reach people across many different demographics using mobile technology without sacrificing the quality of the resulting data. Moreover, the popularity of smartphones also allows marketers to easily gather unadulterated customer information through apps, as nearly 9 out of 10 users spend their mobile time on them. Making it simple for respondents is the key to getting the information you seek, which is why mobile surveys are such a good option.

    Focusing on mobile surveys is the easiest way to get the feedback you seek, but if you decide to pay panelists, make sure your surveys are worth their time and energy by compensating them appropriately. You'll find more engaged and informed respondents whose candid insights will help you make brand decisions on the basis of accurate feedback, instead of useless data. And, ultimately, you will move that much closer to seeing higher revenue and real customer success.

    This originally-authored article first appeared on iMediaConnection.

    Ray Beharry is an accomplished leader with a passion for providing and marketing technologies that engage, enrich, and empower others. Ray’s areas of expertise collide in his position as Head of marketing at Pollfish, a company whose online survey tool helps businesses make educated decisions by providing relevant, meaningful, and customizable consumer opinion data in real time. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor of Marketing at New York University and a mentor at the New York University Tandon School of Engineering’s Startup Incubator.

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