Get Connected to the Future of Research 

  • 07 Jun 2016 12:11 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    From Jasper Lim, CEO Merlien Institute

    Mobile is the device of choice for consumers today - but content is King! Companies are paying increasing attention - and budgets - on content to engage, attract and retain customers. We have asked Footlocker, CNN and AOL to share their mobile research and engagement strategies at MRMW on July 18-19 in Fort Worth,Texas. See:

    - Hear how Footlocker developed a multi-channel approach for customer engagement
    - Get tips from AOL on producing content that captivates digital consumers
    - Learn how CNN has embraced mobility as a critical component of its engagement processes

    Many more research buyers are coming to MRMW this year to share their experiences, learn, network and explore new partnerships. They include:

    Heineken, Pepsico, BMW, Walt Disney, Footlocker, CNN, AOL, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, InterContinental Hotels Group,Shell, IBM,, Pinterest, American Cancer Society, Firmenich, Heinz, Alcon, Mama Gaia, Arcade City, Allure, Roy Rogers Restaurants, CSM, Acturus, Jiffy Lube, Marriott International, CMA, Slingshot, Kellogg's, Verizon, Azure Advisors, Electronic Arts, Pizza Hut, Bayer, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Dean Foods, Groupon, Kraft and many more!

    Learn, network and explore new partnerships at MRMW!
    Book your tickets now by clicking the link below. Use code MMRA20 to save 20% on registration.

  • 26 May 2016 2:26 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    This is from an article on from March 24, 2014

    Interesting to note how fortunes have changed for some of the companies listed (GetFeedback was acquired by email marketer Campaign Monitor) and how mobile has become much more mainstream and valued by clients even more than the research companies.

    People are moving to mobile devices in droves, but researchers haven’t followed. Online survey companies are trying to change that.

    FORTUNE — The days of lengthy online surveys are numbered, and the startup GetFeedback and online survey leader SurveyMonkey are both poised to benefit.

    Countless millions of dollars are spent validating the mobile revolution with adoption statistics and usage metrics. Ironically, the field of market research itself appears to have overlooked this shift, relying on outdated technology and techniques that are increasingly at odds with mobile attention spans.

    According to Forrester Research, just 17% of researchers had taken their survey processes mobile as of December 2012. The most obvious side effect is falling response rates. But businesses also risk alienating existing or prospective customers by seeming out-of-step with their communications preferences. There’s a lot of money at stake: A staggering $18.9 billion on a global basis is spent annually on telephone polls, online surveys, questionnaires, and other market research, says the Council of American Survey Research Organizations. Roughly $2 billion is spent on online surveys in the United States alone, according to the market research firm IBISWorld.

    “People have been using online surveys for a very long time, but now at least 50% of these emails are being opened on a mobile gadget of some sort,” says Scott Holden, a vice president of marketing for Salesforce  CRM 0.01% , responsible for the company’s Salesforce1 platform. “If you’re not thinking mobile-first, you’re going to be left behind for sure.”

    Forrester analyst Roxana Strohmenger is more blunt in her annual report, “The Mobile Market Research Landscape.” She writes: “Consumers have already decided for us: If you want to connect with them, mobile is the way … For every new research study you commence moving forward, think about how mobile can play a role. Let this mobile mindset shift your perspective on how you approach testing your research questions. For example, rather than asking consumers to write about their experience at a festival, you can ask them to record through video or photos the parts they like and don’t like and even have them write down their immediate thoughts and feelings.”

    Technology startup, launched in December 2013 by two former employees, hopes to get out front of this transition with a service designed to create surveys for smartphones, tablets, and mobile web browsers. The more than 1,000 early users of GetFeedback include high-tech powerhouses Salesforce, LinkedIn  LNKD -0.53% , Facebook  FB 1.30% , and Dropbox, and outdoor apparel company The North Face. Prices range from $20 per month for up to 100 responses to $125 per month for up to 10,000 responses.

    “This was a personal pain point for me,” says Kraig Swensrud, co-founder of GetFeedback, who fielded numerous research studies in his previous role. “I asked myself, ‘What experiences are we delivering in the process of getting these questions answered?’ and ‘How are we representing our brand when we’re having this conversation?’ ”

    One big consideration for mobile surveys is optimizing them for far smaller screen sizes, so that they can be scrolled and processed quickly — maybe during a two-minute cab ride or between meetings, Swensrud says. In markets where bandwidth is a concern or smartphone adoption is limited, some companies have also found success with SMS or text-based surveys. “This approach is also beneficial if one wants to reach a wide cross-section of a population: for example, both younger and older generations,” Forrester’s Strohmenger says.

    Visual elements are critical: GetFeedback’s templates integrate video clips, photographs, or images that reinforce a company’s marketing. “You can use these surveys to create an emotional reaction to your company, product, and brand,” says Salesforce’s Holden. “You can make it fun and make it look like a representation of things you’re looking for feedback on.”

    The GetFeedback software also integrates with Salesforce, so results can be shared and marketing teams can see how many different surveys are being fielded simultaneously (important for reducing respondent fatigue); additional integrations with leading marketing automation software platforms are forthcoming. This makes results far easier to interpret, Holden says.

    Going mobile requires marketers to become far more disciplined about keeping surveys succinct and simple, says Dave Goldberg, CEO of online survey software company SurveyMonkey. His advice: Keep the entire process under 10 minutes. “People are going to resist long, complex surveys,” he says.

    How can you shorten a survey? One future method would be to integrate them with a person’s identity on a social network, which could be used to collect basic demographic information. “That would be a shortcut, but it is also clearly a privacy concern,” Goldberg says.

    As the de facto market leader with more than 15 million customers including the likes of Kraft Foods  KRFT 0.00% , Sirius XM  SIRI -0.13%  and Facebook, SurveyMonkey says it has seen a 14-fold increase in mobile traffic over the past three years.

    The company is adjusting its platform accordingly. In late February, it released a mobile app for Apple iOS devices that marketers can use to launch surveys, and monitor and analyze results in real time. In addition, SurveyMonkey is planning technology for late 2014 that software developers can use behind the scenes to track how users interact with their mobile applications: essentially another way to gather feedback, in the moment. “Right now, they can see what people are doing, but they can’t ask them why,” Goldberg says.

    Correction: An earlier version of this story misquoted Holden on the percentage of online survey e-mails opened on mobile devices.

  • 22 May 2016 9:26 AM | Deleted user

    This originally-authored article first appeared on MarketingProfs.

    Any good marketing campaign strategy strives to answer this essential question: Are we reaching the right customer, with the right message, at the right time?

    Answering that question isn't easy, but doing so is vital. By collecting data on concept and product development, market trends, branding key performance indicators, campaign measurement, customer satisfaction, communication, and creative, you'll be empowered to take a more strategic marketing approach.

    Moreover, selecting the right medium for gathering feedback can reduce cost, improve reach, and speed up your data collection. The trick is to get data quickly enough that it can guide internal decision-making—which makes mobile surveys a great option.

    Mobile: Market Research's New Frontier

    Agencies and clients need to consider that traditional methods of gathering market research (such as door to door, in person, via a live operator, and robocall surveys) have their limitations and biases.

    People see door-to-door visits, live-operator calls, and robocalls to mobile phones or landlines as the most intrusive forms of survey invitations, according to a recent study. 

    By contrast, mobile surveys assure anonymity, eliminate interviewer bias, and reach and engage participants within their time-constrained schedules.

    How do marketers know whether they're targeting the wrong survey audiences or taking antiquated approaches to data collection? 

    Consider these top four mistakes that marketers make when launching surveys.

    1. Forgetting to consider context

    A 20-year-old and a 55-year-old will have different responses to a paper-based survey. Moreover, someone accustomed to interacting with your brand on social media may balk at an email survey.

    Know your audience and which mode will work best to reach your customers (e.g., in person, on paper, or by telephone, email, social media, or mobile). Make sure you know the pros and cons of each methodology, and consider how you will compile data from multiple sources.

    2. Failing to put mobile first

    Daily use of the mobile Internet is increasing across all age groups. Americans between ages 18 and 24 check their phones an average of 74X a day. Those between 25 and 35 look at their devices 50X per day, and 35- to 44-year-olds check them 35X a day. Phone addiction is a real phenomenon—and one that can benefit mobile marketers.

    The promises of mobile are scale, reach, and efficiency. If you need quick turnaround on your concept, mobile is the fastest, most economical, and most efficient way to obtain results. Case in point: My company recently conducted a survey on the "Brexit" (i.e., whether Britain should leave the European Union). We reached out to mobile users in the UK, and we needed only to connect with 771 users to receive 750 completed surveys in just over an hour.

    3. Overlooking the customer journey

    People don't differentiate their online experiences by what they do on different screens, so the onus is on you to provide the best experience based on where you reach consumers.

    For example, the US has about 207 million smartphone users, and 91% look to their phones for ideas in the middle of tasks, which means most customers will be on their mobile devices at some point in their journeys. What better way to evaluate your mobile impact than with a survey designed to reach the mobile user?

    4. Overcomplicating survey content

    People make decisions on the basis of functional, economic, or emotional benefits. Reaching a core understanding of which benefit compels your customer within just a few questions is better than having the results of an exhaustively long survey. 

    If a survey is too long and respondents tire out, the information they provide can become convoluted.

    The nature of mobile encourages people to be concise. Every time consumers pick up their devices, it's to take action—and that means your survey needs to be clear, succinct, and time-sensitive. Plus, because consumers often multitask on their smartphones, they're more likely to drop out when the survey takes more than a few minutes or contains more than 15 questions.

    * * *

    A well-designed survey that reaches the target audience benefits you by helping you to collect, analyze, and understand customers' opinions. Those insights allow you to test concepts beforehand and avoid costly mistakes (e.g., the Gap logo in 2010 or Netflix Qwikster) so that you can focus your resources on developing products and features that really matter to your customers.

    Remember that a survey should answer the following questions:

    • Who cares?
    • Why?
    • What's the best way to reach the people who care?
  • 16 May 2016 10:38 AM | Deleted user

    This originally-authored article first appeared on Memeburn.

    The marketing community’s obsession with finding the right audience has only intensified in the digital age. With so many ways to track consumer behavior now, we’re constantly seeking the next best method for getting inside people’s brains. Once we’ve cracked their compulsions and preferences, we can convert them by serving up the perfect products for their needs.

    We fixate on producing the rights ads, content, products, and services, and then we’re frustrated when conversions don’t go through the roof. Where did we go wrong? 

    No matter how much money you invest in products and advertising, you’ll never see the numbers you desire unless you’re selling the right products to the right people. Not only that, but you also need to sell to the right people in the ways they want to be reached. 

    That’s no small task, and it’s critical to your business performance — which is why surveys are so appealing. Hearing directly from your audience helps you improve your marketing messaging, customer satisfaction rates, brand awareness, competitive monitoring strategies, and product development — when surveys are done right, that is.

    Question-and-answer formats are fundamental to human communication. The key is asking the right questions of the right people to gain insights from your target market. Here’s how to knock your next survey out of the park:

    1. Define your audience

    Many researchers mistakenly focus more on the questions they’re asking than on the audiences they’re trying to reach. But even the best questions won’t provide the information you’re seeking if you ask the wrong people. Be clear about what type of information you need and from whom. Do you want feedback on a new product or insights into brand loyalty? Establish your survey goals, and then go after the right people.

    Identify their personas: their demographic profiles and current behaviors, as well as which platforms are most likely to engage them. People of all ages will likely prefer a mobile survey they can complete in a few minutes on their smartphones. But your 20-something customers may only be reached that way — nearly 20% of them are mobile-only. To get high-quality data, make it simple and comfortable for people to respond.

    2. Reach customers on their own turf

    Standard survey methods return low-quality responses for a number of reasons. Most people dislike telephone surveys when brands target them on their home landlines. Phone interviews are also becoming less effective, with 57% of Americans relying predominantly on their mobile phones and 41% using them exclusively. Moreover, in-person interviews provide in-depth, qualitative information but are limited in scale, so the data may not be broadly representative.

    Paid panels also return nonrepresentative data; you have to account for bias because people receive something in exchange for participating. And online surveys demand that you pay for traffic to get people to the questionnaire site. But the biggest problem with all of these methods is that they’re not one-size-fits-all solutions. Millennials who live on their mobile phones aren’t going to be interested in sitting for in-person interviews or filling out lengthy surveys on a desktop site. 

    Fortunately, mobile survey methods hold the key to the best data, and smartphones provide affordable, unparalleled access to your audience members. You can invite them to complete simple surveys via smartphone apps. Considering that 89% of users spend most of their smartphone time in apps, it makes sense to target them there.

    3. Ask the right screening questions

    Screening questions play a major role in finding the right audience for your survey. If you want to select an audience based on common traits, behaviors, or opinions, your screening questions should help identify them.

    Get specific here. Rather than focus on age, gender, or income level, ask, “Who is the ideal customer for my product?” That approach nets the most relevant responses, whereas targeting by age alone brings in people with too broad a range of perspectives. 

    Properly worded screening questions establish participants’ credibility and filter out respondents who don’t have strong opinions on your brand or don’t fit the core criteria. They lower costs, improve data quality and analysis, and reduce respondent biases. 

    Let’s say you want fresh, candid responses, so you decide to weed out frequent survey takers. One of your screening questions might be “Have you taken an online survey in the past six months?” Anyone who answers “yes” can be eliminated. Questions about educational background and lifestyle can also narrow the pool to the most relevant participants. 

    Be conscientious about the audience you want to engage with your surveys. As you become more specific and focused in your surveys, you’ll receive data that’s of higher quality. When you’ve connected with the right people, you can hone your product and marketing strategies to really meet your target market’s needs.

  • 15 May 2016 10:03 AM | Deleted user

    From the Pollfish blog, this originally-authored article appeared on NewsCred Insights.

    Mobile technology is not only the future of marketing, but also its immediate present. Effective modern marketing requires both an analytical approach to evaluate what consumers really want and mobile execution strategies to deliver content whenever and wherever they want it.

    The mobile user base is colossal and is only expected to continue growing. Nearly 6 in 10 people in the U.S. use their cellphones as their primary means of communication. What’s more, more than half of the planet’s population will have access to the internet by the end of this year, largely thanks to smartphone technology.

    With so many mobile users across all age groups, why would you try to reach people any other way? The real question is: How can you most effectively gather the information you need to fuel a strategy that will reach this audience? In many cases, mobile surveys are the solution. People are more likely to respond to online surveys on mobile than on desktop computers because they can complete them from anywhere. And mobile technology can provide more accurate data through features like geolocation to better inform your mobile strategies.

    Creating a Mobile Survey

    When building a mobile survey, you need to answer a few basic questions:

    • Where do prospects spend their time?
    • Who are their influencers?
    • What drives their behaviors?
    • What do they search for?
    • What are they talking about?
    • What content will they share?

    The answers to these questions allow marketers to tailor an approach that will not only be based on accurate data, but will also resonate with audiences and increase response rates. You shouldn’t simply come out and ask your survey audience these questions, though. To get honest answers, pose the following questions instead. The responses will help you find the information you need to launch more successful campaigns.

    1. How much time do you spend online in each of these categories?

    This question helps content marketers determine where their core audiences spend the majority of their time online as well as what kinds of content might attract new users. Possible answers include:

    • Shopping or researching products
    • Social networking
    • Search engines
    • Email and communication
    • Reading content
    • Multimedia sites

    2. What types of content do you like to view online?

    The content format, tone of voice, and distribution channels are equally important in attracting users, particularly for a native advertising campaign. Possible answers include:

    • News
    • Entertainment
    • Business
    • Self-help
    • Health or medical information
    • Hobbies
    • Weather
    • Inspirational stories
    • New technology
    • Sports
    • Jokes
    • Animals
    • Other industry-specific topics

    3. How do you prefer to obtain your information?

    Determining the target audience’s proverbial “watering hole” allows marketers to determine the right channel and format for every audience. Whether that’s mobile versus desktop or email versus in-app advertising, everyone has a preference about where he feels most comfortable receiving information. Possible answers include:

    • From trusted websites
    • Push notifications on phone
    • Forwards from peers, family, or friends
    • Social media

    4. What formats do you prefer?

    The previous questions can tell you what users want and where they want it. This question helps you learn how respondents like to consume content. Possible answers include:

    • Infographics
    • Amateur videos
    • Professional videos
    • Articles
    • Live streams
    • E-books
    • Blogs

    5. When do you prefer to consume most of your content?

    If you know what kind of content consumers want and when they want it, then your next step is to discover when they’re most likely to see it. Possible answers include:

    • In the morning
    • Lunchtime
    • During a commute
    • Whenever breaking news happens
    • In the evening
    • Before bed

    6. Why do you share certain pieces of content?

    This is, perhaps, the most critical question to determine a piece of content’s vitality. Figuring out what compels users to share certain content is as important as learning what, when, how, and with whom they share it. Possible answers include:

    • Humor
    • News, facts, or information
    • Inspires critical thinking
    • Is valuable to someone I know

    We ran a survey of 1,000 people on their mobile content preferences, see results here:

    Determining the Survey Length and Format

    The optimal length of any survey is a function of time, the number and type of questions, and the order in which they appear. Typically, mobile users begin to suffer “survey fatigue” after 15 to 17 questions. Any more than that, and you will sharply reduce the respondents completing your survey. Survey fatigue can also set in if those questions are not quick and easy to answer.

    Two to three open-ended questions are fine, but people vastly prefer multiple-choice options (although 10 straight “strongly disagree or strongly agree” questions will bore them). People like to be engaged, so mix up the question styles while keeping them as simple as possible. No one has time to sit down and type out thoughtful responses to 15 survey questions on a desktop — less so, a smartphone — so keep it two minutes long, max.

    Most important, be considerate of people’s time and aware of the context of the environment in which they take the surveys. A user taking an in-app survey as distributed on our platform has a different frame of mind than someone responding to an email survey on desktop. Use fewer questions and shorter answers. And, to preserve the purity of responses, never ask someone to scroll back to see the answer to a previous question before he can answer the next.

    Survey goals are different for every researcher. We’ve helped companies generate surveys on topics ranging from opinions on political issues to brand awareness to who the true criminal is on “Making a Murderer.” When approached correctly, surveys can provide valuable information on just about anything. No matter the source content, delivering a survey into the hands of respondents through mobile can yield deeper, more actionable insights than any other medium.

  • 13 May 2016 9:39 AM | Deleted user

    This originally-authored article first appeared on SEMrush 

    The most common marketing advice is “know your audience.” If that’s the stepping stone for any good campaign, the next logical question becomes “How do I get to know my audience?”

    The core of market research is to help the modern marketer make informed business decisions and develop messaging to the best target audience. It predicts and drives marketing strategy, allowing brands to follow the advice of Craig Davis when he said: 

    We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.

    — Craig Davis

    Market research was once a tool solely for large corporations with big budgets. But advances in technology now make it possible for small enterprises and individual entrepreneurs to use market research to save time and money.

    And because users spend more time on mobile than on desktop, it’s imperative to reach them in that medium. The current approach to mobile marketing is to assume it’s just another channel for existing advertisements. As a result, there is a deluge of ads, which is just not what people want – the addition of ad blockers in recent iOS and OSX systems renders them less effective. Instead, consumers want personalized content that solves a problem or makes them laugh.

    How do you discern what content your audience really wants? It used to be through retrospective split testing, but that really only tells you which one of your guesses worked best. Alternatively, using surveys for market research will help you understand that before you spend any time or money creating content, offers, messaging, or even products and services.

    Mobile Is the Winning Platform for Market Research

    Surveys have been around for ages, and a general pen-and-paper survey or even a desktop online survey won’t cut it anymore. Why would you use an old medium – like landlines or even desktops – to find out what people want on their mobile devices? It seems silly to call consumers on their landlines to ask them what their in-app mobile device preferences are. The world is all about mobile these days; taking any other route would be counterproductive.

    That’s what makes mobile surveys so powerful; people are already on their phones. So it’s the perfect time to ask them what they want to experience on those phones. Here are five tips to do that:

    1. Consider the entire mobile experience. Mobile experiences aren’t only about beyond screen size. Consider the types of actions users will take: scroll or swipe? Tap or type? Does your survey require a two-handed task to enter information, or can the user flow through it with just thumb movements? Designing your survey around these expectations will create an experience that’s engaging to the end user.

    2. Focus on optimizing for mobile vs. catering to all channels. When you create mobile surveys, remember that “mobile-optimized” is different than “mobile-friendly.” There are many elements to consider, and you can’t just reformat your online desktop survey for a mobile device.

    3. Keep it brief. The mobile user is pressed for time. No one wants to take a six-minute survey. In fact, the best surveys take less than two minutes. Keep the number of questions short, and the answer options even shorter.

    4. Make it engaging (but not onerous). Use images and videos to keep a user’s attention, but make sure the content doesn’t take up a lot of bandwidth, screen space, or time to understand the concept. If any single piece takes too long, the user will quit taking the survey and move on to something else.

    5. Test your survey out before you send it. Is this a survey you would stop and take? If you aren’t willing to take it, users who aren’t invested in your idea definitely won’t be. Well-designed platforms enable you to preview the survey and take it like a user would. You should also be able to share a preview link with others so you can get unbiased feedback about the overall flow and experience.

    Because anyone can have an online presence and a voice, the modern marketer is faced with the enormous challenge of trying to be seen and heard in a cluttered space. The success of any business hinges on product-market fit, and business opportunities can be revealed through relevant, meaningful market research. If you use the five tips mentioned above, you’ll find out exactly what your customers want, where they want it, and how they want it – directly on their mobile devices.

  • 26 Apr 2016 10:06 AM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    Published on Apr 26, 2016

    Watch video by clicking here

    Proponents and users of mobile research face a dilemma. They want to aggressively move ahead with their mobile research surveys, but at the same time they are inflicting poorly constructed and overly long mobile surveys. It soon may be too late to reverse mobile user attitudes about ignoring survey requests. Innovate MR EVP Global Operations Lisa Wilding-Brown revealed attempts through CASRO to tackle this problem.

    RBDR is sponsored by 4iUniversity, which explains that as companies continue to reduce their market research budgets while demanding faster and deeper insights, the skill sets required to execute on these demands has drastically changed. 

    4i University is the only training service that delivers the necessary skills through a firm foundation for growth, with a focus on a consultative approach, leveraging foresight analytics, all based on 4i’s deep expertise developing future driven growth strategies and foresight analytic and research solutions.

    Visit to find out how.

    Don't spend your time "searching" for today's RBDR video. Subscribe to receive a personal email as soon as the new RBDR is uploaded. Click here:

  • 22 Apr 2016 4:21 PM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    I was checking out the Wikipedia on Mobile Marketing Research and noticed it said: 

    This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
    This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia(June 2011)
    This article is an orphan, as no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from related articles; try the Find link tool for suggestions. (June 2011)
    This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents(June 2011)
    This article is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay that states the Wikipedia editor's particular feelings about a topic, rather than the opinions of experts(June 2011)

    The MMRA has an opportunity to help define Mobile Marketing Research and the issues around it such as the benefits, types of research studies, professional standards/ethics and any limitations.

    If you would like to work on updating this Wikipedia definition, please get in touch with

  • 13 Apr 2016 9:52 AM | Ross McLean

    As the designer and developer of a qualitative smartphone platform, the prospect of big data seemed really scary to us at first.

    We imagined big data’s immense potential to capture actual behavioral data, pure and uninfluenced by the effects of observation. Massive numbers that we could manipulate and cut down to tiny subgroups without fear they’d disappear below the threshold of projectability and confidence. Getting insight into actual consumer behavior and motivation at a fundamental level (like qualitative is meant to do), and doing it on a massive, projectable scale. In short, we imagined big data rendering the qualitative we help our clients do less necessary.

    But the more we’ve worked with clients who have big data at their disposal, the more we’ve come to understand big data’s ability to make qualitative better, and for qualitative to help fill the insight gaps that big data points to but can’t answer. Big data is amazing at answering “what’s happening.” But it almost always leaves you wondering “why?” And when brands go out to innovate and communicate, the “what” without the “why” isn’t enough.

    So, as it turns out, big data has been a huge boon to the smartphone-based qualitative work we enable our clients to execute. Big data lets them see mass-scale behavior and lets them pinpoint crucial moments and points of influence that used to be invisible. It guides smartphone qualitative to focus on exactly the right moments where consumer motivations, perception and attitudes need to be better understood.

    Here’s an example. One of our clients is an industry leader in collecting, managing and mining big data, then helping their clients build communication platforms based on the insight it provides. One of their data strategists shared a story with us about a retailer who actually used big data analysis techniques to reliably identify consumers who were pregnant based on other behavioral data they collected. Though the tactic proved problematic, the power to identify a target is impressive.

    Now, imagine you’re a marketer for a company that manufactures baby furniture. Big data would let you know know exactly who is about to need baby furniture, what brands and retailers they’re likely to favor to buy it, and what media they consume so you can communicate with them about it. Goldmine.

    But if you want to do anything more meaningful than send them a coupon, you’ll need to understand more. If you want to innovate and communicate effectively with people who are about to bring a child into the world, you need to understand things like: “what kind of an environment they’re hoping to create in their child’s nursery, and why.” You’ll need to understand how they perceive the different brands of furniture you’ll be competing with as they shop and what’s driving those perceptions. You’ll want to understand what’s special and different about your products, and how you can talk about your furniture as something that actually brings greater value to its users. You’ll still need to find insight into the consumer need your brand and product can satisfy better than anyone else.

    Would you like qual with that? And now, with smartphone qualitative, you can get that insight easily. A simple, week-long smartphone qualitative project with 50 of the consumers your big data identified can let you complete the picture, You can ride along on their smartphones and have them show you the room they’ll be turning into a nursery, and share their plans, wants and dreams. And you can bring that richness right back to your team in photo collages, audio confessions and HD video. You can ride in their pockets and purses and have them journal the pathway they take as they decide what furniture they’ll buy, and document every in-store, online and other influence along the way. You can send them out to shop your product (and your competitors) and tell you exactly what your designs are doing that’s right, and how you’re faring at retail.

    And it’s not just us wondering how to add the “why” to the “what” that big data identifies. We saw a panel discussion called “Qual VS Big Data.” at Qual 360 in Washington last week where insight leaders from Cirque du Soleil, Merck, Travelocity/Orbitz and Gallup weighed in. One of the key themes that emerged? It’s not “Qual vs Big Data” at all. It’s more like “Big Data lets me see what’s happening, and Qual let’s me understand it and make it meaningful to my internal audiences.”

    Suddenly, big data and qualitative are more like Batman and Robin, and less like Lex Luther and Superman. Rather than fighting for space in the insight world, our experience has taught us that big data and qualitative are more of a dynamic duo helping to raise the bar for effective innovation, brand development and communication by working together to present the whole picture. And now instead of feeling threatening, big data starts to feel exciting.

    Got a Big Data "what" and want to understand "why"? We'd love to hear from you.

  • 30 Mar 2016 9:45 AM | Mark Michelson (Administrator)

    Linked from

    Maximize Your Success Rate With Mobile Market Research 

    by John Papadakis, Pollfish

    Startup owners face a unique business challenge: Their ideas, products, features, and businesses themselves don’t have solid, market-proven research backing them up.

    Basically, everything entrepreneurs do is new, and sadly, a whopping 70-90 percent of startups end up failing because the owners didn’t do their research.

    To be successful as a startup founder, you have to conduct your own research and build a strong foundation to support every step you take. One of the best research methods that entrepreneurs can adopt is surveying both current and potential customers.

    Surveying provides key information that helps determine whether your business is on the right track.

    Typical Survey Avenues and Their Downsides

    Startup owners can take a variety of approaches when it comes to customer surveys. Here are a few of the most common methods:

    • Surveying friends and family
    • Posting surveys on Facebook or sending them in emails
    • Promoting surveys through advertising

    Each of these approaches has major disadvantages. Surveying your friends and family, for example, is a terrible way to gain true customer insights. Similarly, posting surveys on Facebook or emailing them out generates skewed results because the target audience (people you know) is biased.

    Additionally, promoting surveys through advertisements is way too expensive because you pay per click rather than per completed survey. Honestly, not many people want to take a survey they hear about through an online ad anyway.

    But perhaps the most egregious customer surveying error that startup owners tend to commit is not surveying at all. There are tools out there that have been built to help you effectively survey your true target audience. You just need to find a platform that targets the right audience and collect the data you need.

    The Key Is to Go Mobile

    Engaging your audience members — on their terms — is a crucial part of being an entrepreneur. So mobile surveys are the best way to discover your potential customers’ opinions and perceptions, their likes and dislikes, and how to better serve their needs.


    • You can “rent” the right target audience. Getting feedback from real, unbiased consumers is the only way to gain insights that matter. With mobile, you can zero in on your target audience based on location, gender, age, network provider, and more. This way, you’re sure to collect valuable data from impartial consumers.
    • Consumers are already on mobile. The exponentially increasing number of smartphones proves that mobile is the leading way people communicate, get information, interact, shop, and access entertainment. As Google’s Zero Moment of Truth describes, mobile use and searches are natural parts of our daily routines.
    • Quick results equal money well spent. With ad-promoted surveys, the entire budget can be spent on something only a random, untargeted audience might see. Results aren’t guaranteed. They are, however, guaranteed on a mobile app network, where you only pay for qualified, completed survey responses. You know the cost from the beginning, and making timely, cost-effective decisions is crucial for all entrepreneurs.

    No matter the industry, people are going to interact with and research your business on their mobile devices. So why not take advantage of that pre-established connection?

    Understanding your target consumers is the secret behind successful product and concept development, brand awareness and engagement, ad testing, and identifying market trends. And surveys conducted via mobile devices not only receive more responses than other methods, but they also receive them more quickly and at a lower cost.

    Don’t waste time and money on other options. Get the results you need by going mobile.

    About the Author

    With a focus on the mobile domain space, John Papadakis, co-founder and CEO of Pollfish, is passionate about platforms and businesses that scale. In line with John’s expertise and passions, Pollfish is an online survey tool utilized by both small and high-profile clients to transform intelligence with the most accurate, cost-effective, and rapid survey completion times.

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