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The Moment of Truth: Why We’re Putting Mobile First [VIDEO]

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With the latest GRIT Report revealing mobile within the top five emerging methodologies, and with clients reporting that a vast majority of their 2014 budgets will go toward mobile, it’s critical to get in touch with the underlying trends in the field. uSamp’s SVP of Mobile Business Solutions shares the latest and greatest findings of the hottest mode of research on the market.Wilding-Brown speaks to the advantages of mobile including rich media features, contextual analysis and cost and time savings. Find out why this “moment of truth” is game-changing:

[As featured on the Research Business Daily Report, December 9, 2013]

December 9th, 2013

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Stop Before You Download: Test Battery Drain Before It Takes Down Your Mobile Research

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by Gregg Lavin, Co-founder and President

Most talk about mobile optimization tends to focus on responsive design and customized content (see Matt Dusig’s blog on Why User Experience is the Key to Quality). Consumers expect mobile sites to not only be catered to their eyes and thumbs, but also to their tablets and operating systems.

Scott Kevdon, the CEO of Urban Airship sums it up well: “Gone are the days when you could get away with just taking what works on the web and shoving it at mobile.”

Yet even though companies continue to invest more in mobile, there has been little discussion about one of the key issues of development that could make or break the experience as a whole, especially as it pertains to the Market Research industry: Battery drain.

A recent study by Stanford University on mobile-browser energy consumption highlights how even some of the most popular websites like the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) and Wikipedia fail to optimize for mobile. The study is a wake up call for the trigger-happy companies who go to market with their mobile offering without considering the consequences. The study warns that “sites who do not [consider this], end up draining the battery of visiting phones [which] can potentially reduce traffic to the site.”

No one is more aware of this than the mobile carriers themselves. Verizon just issued a warning to their customer base about “high risk” apps. We can only expect this type of communication to increase as more apps involve geolocation technology that drains the battery-life out of smartphones.

So how does this apply to the MR space? As more and more firms start turning out mobile research apps in response to client demand, it becomes even more critical that we, as an industry, develop apps that respect the integrity of our panel.

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May 15th, 2013

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Big Data in Market Research: Big Deal or Big Hype?

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Over the past year, big data has become part of everyday business vernacular. McKinsey has done an impressive job reporting on the topic, HBR has admirably attempted to  tackle and dismantle it, and TechCrunch has campaigned to “kill” it, but what’s often lacking is the perspective of those who work in the thick-of-it daily.

Instead of waxing poetic on the future of big data, we decided to recruit our data experts-in-residence to weigh in on the discussion and provide a fresh take on this vast topic before it makes the Ridiculous Business Jargon dictionary. Here at uSamp, we’ve collected over one billion data points in the five-year lifetime of our company. In our big data blog series, we’ll look at the obvious and not so obvious truths from its predictive powers to its shortcomings. Is the revenue invested in mining big data a burstable bubble? What separates the men from the boys sitting on this wealth of info? Answers to these questions and more can be found in the following series of blogs.

by Siva Venkataraman, Director of Analytics, uSamp

Defining Big Data:

No other technology in the past few years has shown both the potential and hype in equal measures as “Big Data.” Yet the meaning of big data is ambiguous and not very well understood.

For some, big data means using new technologies such as map-reduce or Hadoop to crunch multiple petabytes of data; while for others – especially business folk – it has become more of a generic term for analytics, loosely used to describe any opportunities related to data.

Gartner provides a framework in defining big data as the “3Vs” – ‘Big data are high-volume, high-velocity, and/or high-variety information assets that require new forms of processing to enable enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimization.

However, none of these definitions offer a clear guideline to marketing executives on how much to invest in big data or to market researchers on how to use big data technologies to gain more insights about consumers and the market.  A more useful way of thinking about big data is as a set of technologies that enable collecting, storing, and processing large volumes of unstructured data in an efficient way.

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May 8th, 2013

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Link Dump: April 2013

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Welcome to uSamp’s bi-weekly link dump: A compilation of all things trending in Market Research, Mobile, Social Media, Gamification and more. We hope you’ll find this aggregation as informative and entertaining as we do. Let us know if there are items that you’d like to see included in the next link dump!

President William Jefferson Billy Jeff Rodham Clinton

President Clinton is still learning how to tweet.

Market Research

Flex, future researcher
Jeremy Rix follows Jay Simpson, fictional future insight executive, during a typical working week to see how the job might change in the coming years.

UK MR budgets up in Q1, says IPA’s Bellwether
UK — Market research budgets in the UK were revised up on balance in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest Bellwether Report from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Is BrainJuicer ambitious enough?
Recent unflattering results from growth darling BrainJuicer surprised some observers, including Surinder Siama of innovation researchers mngful. So he asked BrainJuicer CEO John Kearon about what went wrong and what this means for BrainJuicer’s future.

ActiveGroup ‘to Close on Friday
US-based ActiveGroup, which provides video streaming to the market research industry, is reportedly to cease operations on April 5 after fourteen years in business. The firm is part of MVL Group, which also owns companies including PhoneBase and QuickTest/Heakin.

WorldOne Secures $35m for Physician Community
Healthcare research specialist WorldOne has secured $35m in funding, most of which it will use to expand its Sermo online physician community.

GroupM Consolidates Multicultural Insight Services
WPP’s media investment management group GroupM has expanded its line-up of multicultural insights services and brought them together in one until called GroupM Multicultural, led by Hispanic media specialist Gonzalo Del Fa.

Social Media

Social media drives increase in TV programme engagement says study
AUSTRALIA — Interaction with social media while watching TV drives a 9% increase in programme engagement according to research released today.

Stephen Colbert Helps Bill Clinton Send First Tweet
In a recent interview with Bill Clinton, Stephen Colbert tweets from @PrezBillyJeff on behalf of the former President.

Justin Bieber Twitter followers ’50% fake’ says report
Around 50% of Justin Bieber’s followers on Twitter are fake, suggests a report which looked into social media profiles on the microblogging site.

Five Social Media Lessons From the US Ambassador to South Korea
As the Korean peninsula teeters on the brink of war, US ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, has a bit of a social media mess on his hands.

Facebook Home Puts Facebook First and Everyone Else Second
“We’re not building a phone and we’re not building an operating system.” That’s what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday as his company launched Facebook Home, something that essentially turns an Android phone into a Facebook phone, and keeps you inside the social network in such a way that it might feel a little bit like an OS.

Facebook Expands Ad Targeting Based on Purchases
Do you buy a lot of children’s breakfast cereal? Then you might see some new Facebook ads for those products cropping up on Facebook thanks to a new program from the company called Partner Categories.

Twitter Shuts Down Ribbon’s In-Stream Payment Option Hours After Launch
Ribbon, a San Francisco payments company, made headlines early Wednesday with the launch of anew in-stream payment option for Twitter that lets users buy and sell items directly through the news feed on the social network. Now, just a couple hours later, Twitter has killed off the feature.

‘Facebook Home could change our brains’
Leading neuroscientist Susan Greenfield says Facebook’s new phone and app encourage us to live in the moment. That could change our brains, she claims.

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April 15th, 2013

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Smartphone, Smart Research: Will The Industry Adopt Mobile Methodology Faster Than Online?

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By Leslie Warshaw, Vice President, Research Solutions

Traditionally, the research industry has moved cautiously when it comes to embracing new technology. For example, it has taken a number of years for the industry to embrace the transition from paper to telephone to online. There are perfectly good reasons for this, which have to do with concerns about data integrity, validity, security, representativeness and the need to minimize disruption in trend measurement for our longitudinal studies, which were (and will always be) important measures for our businesses.

Now, with the huge growth in consumer smartphone usage and the variety of functions that the latest technology has to offer for collecting consumer and shopper feedback, we find ourselves at the beginning of another major shift in data collection mode. We have become an app culture. The growth in smartphone usage is even more intense than the growth of the internet in the late nineties – and  that was considered an unprecedented phenomenon at that time. This begs the question:

Will it take the research industry years to embrace this latest mode or will the use of smartphone technology be incorporated into our research plans at a faster pace than online?

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April 10th, 2013

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Link Dump: March 2 – 15 2013

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Even The Pope Tweets! Image courtesy of USA TODAY

Welcome to uSamp’s bi-weekly link dump: A compilation of all things trending in Market Research, Mobile, Social Media, Gamification and more. We hope you’ll find this aggregation as informative and entertaining as we do. Let us know if there are items that you’d like to see included in the next link dump!

Market Research

Adapt to survive, warns latest Grit survey
US — Traditional researchers will have to move away from data collection if they are to survive in a world of social media monitoring, according to the latest survey on market research trends.

Shock of the New – an interview with Jane Frost
The MRS Annual Conference kicks off next week with sportsmen, artists, broadcasters and scientists on the agenda. But what does it all mean for research? Avery Dennison’s Edward Appleton asked MRS chief executive Jane Frost to explain all.

Social Media

The top 10 most irritating social media updates
A new survey has revealed the 10 most annoying types of social media update. How many are you guilty of?

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March 18th, 2013

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Best Practices: Managing Mobile Research Projects [Whitepaper]

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by Dinaz Kachhi, Sr. Manager of Research Insights, uSamp

It is not news that mobile has emerged as a key platform for data collection. It has the unique advantage of gathering in-the-moment feedback through multi-media such as photo, video and audio uploads. But before we get caught up in technological promises, it is imperative to take a step back and discuss how we can maintain the integrity and quality of our research. In our latest whitepaper, Managing Mobile Research Projects, uSamp explores the implications for researchers and project managers in terms of designing, targeting and fielding surveys. It is with this understanding of the nuances of mobile market research that we, as an industry, can create new standards and outline best practices that will define the future.

For the full report, please contact, or visit our website to download a copy.

March 14th, 2013

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Link Dump: February 18 – March 1 2013

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Courtesy of The New Yorker


Welcome to uSamp’s bi-weekly link dump: A compilation of all things trending in Market Research, Mobile, Social Media, Gamification and more. We hope you’ll find this aggregation as informative and entertaining as we do. Let us know if there are items that you’d like to see included in the next link dump!

Market Research

Ipsos slams Europe’s political failings for constraining growth
FRANCE — Global market research company Ipsos has slammed the on-going lacklustre political response to the Eurozone’s troubles in its full-year results.

Coping with complexity
Complex, unpredictable systems are a fact of life, says GfK’s Colin Strong. So market research needs to become more nimble-footed to help marketers adapt and achieve success.

Launch for self-service analytics tool Colabo
US — A self-service marketing analytics tool called Colabo has launched with a 30-day free trial.

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March 1st, 2013

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Business Panel In Action: Is Cold Calling Dead?

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by Kevin Gaither, Vice President, Inside Sales

One of the perils of being in business in 2013 is finding the best way to reach new customers. Whether you are in sales, marketing, or in the survey business, you are constantly looking at ways to keep your core assets awake and alive in an age of overwhelming modes of communication.

As a Sales exec, I’ve come across many articles that declare cold calling dead and instead, promote a new software, technique, training program or social selling method that has replaced the human connection. As somebody who’s been practicing for almost 20 years, I wanted to dig deeper into the argument, and test the hypothesis of whether a “cold call” has indeed become irrelevant.

I’m fortunate to work for a consumer and business insights company that has access to over 12 million qualified panelists worldwide. So I thought that this would be a great question to pose to uSamp’s B2B Panel.

The goal was to survey 100 respondents to find out about their perceptions of cold calling. Instead of asking the Yes/No question right out of the gate, I asked respondents to self-identify as either a sales or business development professional, provide their own definition of a cold call and if they felt that their definition of a cold call was dead, and whether or not they agreed with my definition:

If a Cold Call is defined as a phone call where the person didn’t fill out a lead form, didn’t download your content, doesn’t know you, is not a referral and is not expecting your call, IS COLD CALLING DEAD?

In light of all the rhetoric out there, the results might be surprising:
87% of respondents felt that their definition of a cold call was “not dead”:

and 82% of respondents felt that my definition of a cold call was “not dead”:

I also posed this question on several LinkedIn Groups and Twitter to add a qualitative flavor to my research. Paul Castain of The Sales Playbook wrote:

“I don’t think it’s dead . . . I think it’s lonely and in need of other kinds of ‘touches’ to keep it company.”

And Trish Bertuzzi of The Bridge Group wrote:

“Apparently cold calling is alive and well and AMEN to that! BUT it is the cold that is dead not the calling.”

So what we’re left with is that, while cold calling is “alive and well,” there’s more to it than that for a cold call to be effective with today’s savvy buyers. Armed with FACTS and not self-serving opinions, I was able to crystalize the focus of my team and change strategies based on the level of the decision maker.

Bottom line:  This is just one example of how a business panel can be useful for professionals. This is bigger than the simple question of whether cold calling is dead. This is about gaining better business insights, improving productivity, and testing and justifying methodology with FACTS. Why businesses should start employing research to examine daily practices –and improve upon them, making for a better work environment all around. Market Research is not just for industry professionals but spans to any individual role within a growing company – helping each team function more intelligently and ultimately, improving and refining their skill set to make them more successful.

What do you think?  What business questions do you want answered?

Kevin is a passionate and recognized Inside Sales Expert & Leader with an 18+ year track record of growing early-stage and multi-million dollar businesses. Find him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

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February 22nd, 2013

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Email Sampling Is Dead: Long Live The Web (and mobile)!

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by Matt Dusig, Co-founder & CEO

Every once in a while, I like to rock the boat. With this blog title, it seems I’ve just predicted the demise of one of the core functions of sample delivery and it’s not only a challenge to the MR industry, but to uSamp as well. This doesn’t mean we’ll stop recruiting panelists into surveys using our email sampling systems — that would mean cutting off the lifeline of the millions of panelists that come through our systems every month. But, having experienced many technological changes in my life, I have become more adept at recognizing the decline of traditional methodologies. And in this case, the next casualty of panelist recruitment and engagement will be email delivery.

Technology eclipsing itself is nothing new. Look at the terrestrial radio industry and the constant decline of listeners and advertising revenue to online and satellite streams. Over-the-air broadcast radio still works and millions still use it, but it’s on the decline and the industry is undoubtedly changing forever.

Market researchers may not being dealing with the loss of radio listeners, but they can certainly learn a lesson from their peers in the music business. The writing is on the wall: Over time, email-based sampling and recruitment will diminish in value.

When I started in sampling in 2000, email response rates were high and email marketing was a valuable way to drive web traffic for lead generation and monetization. But today, just like radio, response rates for email continue to decline.

So what’s next?

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November 20th, 2012

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