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5 Things Every Survey Programmer
Wishes You Knew About Mobile Research

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By Joe DiGregorio, Senior Director, Global Programming

As is the case with any trend in market research, large or small, the rapid growth of data collection on mobile devices has brought with it countless new tools and methodologies.

Having started my career at the dawn of the transition from computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to online as a method for data collection, I’ve lived through many of the challenges associated with this type of transition before. There’s a game-changing medium in town, and (almost) everyone wants a part of it. Clients are told they need it but not all of them know why or how to use it. Research methodologists brainstorm how to transition the old methods to the new without impacting historical data, and they invent brand new methods never before feasible with the old research methods. Developers race to create every new application they can think of, hoping enough people can be convinced they are useful. Some of them stick and become part of new way of doing research.  Some of them gather dust as they are replaced or fail to prove their worth.

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Written by adrien

September 4th, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Choosing a Sample Partner: Three Tips
for Vetting Your Vendors

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By Joe Jordan, Vice President of Panel Operations

In my many years of managing custom market research projects in all study type varieties, one issue constantly lurked in the underground of all sample providers: Where is this sample being sourced?

Many times I discovered that the sample vendor I chose for my high-priority, top secret, critical study was just a mere middle man to other various sample vendors I specifically did not choose because they had wronged me in the past. Much like elephants and the IRS, researchers never forget vendors who have failed them at the final hour. They have nightmares of that 4 a.m. email the day a study should close, saying “We are reaching out to other partners” on a “best efforts basis.” It makes finding a sample provider for your next project all the more daunting.

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Leveraging Mobile and Online
Communities to Gauge Customer Context

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By The Editors

How do your customers view your products and services? In a marketplace where constant change is the new normal, being able to see the world through your customers’ eyes is essential to growing your business and finding new and retaining existing customers. In the video below, “Mobile Research Communities: An Agile Approach to Customer Context,” Allen Vartazarian, VP of product at uSamp, and Julie Vogel, VP of Communities at Morpace, discuss the following:

  • How new mobile research capabilities let you interact with your customers in-the-moment
  • How online research communities can help you build customer partnerships that strengthen and deepen your understanding of customer context
  • Why one Fortune 500 company changed its approach to a target audience based on a combination of these research approaches

Mobile Research Communities Webinar: An Agile Approach to Customer Context from uSamp on Vimeo.

Written by adrien

June 13th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

Removing Respondent Bias from
the Research Equation:
Why Mobile Makes Us More “Honest”

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By The Editors

At MRMW this year, Justin Wheeler shared fascinating research in a presentation that probed one seemingly simple question: Are mobile respondents more honest? Wheeler’s research is trying to get at the twin problems of social desirability bias and consumer satisificing. The former describes the phenomenon of respondents providing answers that they think researchers will want to hear or that they think will make them appear in a more positive light in researchers’ eyes. The latter describes the mental shortcuts or paths of least resistance consumers will unconsciously take when asked to recall specifics of advertisements or products in an online survey. Wheeler’s research indicates that mobile could be an antidote to both of these problems. How? In-context mobile surveys remove interviewers from the equation, mitigating the influence of social desirability, and also eliminate the need for consumer recall.

See below for a video of Wheeler’s entire presentation at MRMW:

uSamp’s Justin Wheeler discusses why mobile research is better from uSamp on Vimeo.

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June 2nd, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Being Pulled into the Future:
A Review of MRMW

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By Jacob Tucker, Senior Analyst of Insights and Strategy

The Market Research in the Mobile World conference in Chicago was filled with emerging technologies, new capabilities, and aspirations to push the limits on the type of data we can collect. Be it simply adapting online surveys to mobile, using geolocation technology to intercept shoppers during purchase decisions, or experiencing personal moments with consumers through wearable computers like Google Glass, it is clear that many organizations in the market research industry are trying to pull us forward into the future. As I took in presentation after presentation, a few common themes emerged.

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June 2nd, 2014 at 4:49 pm

9 Tips for Designing Better Research Questionnaires

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By The Editors

Designing an effective market research questionnaire is all about approach – a backwards one, that is. Before you can delve into the question-writing process, you need to conceptualize your ideal answers in order to derive the appropriate measurements. Check out this 9 tips for improving your questionnaire.

9 Tips for Designing Better Research Questionnaires from uSamp

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May 29th, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Satisficing and Social Desirability Bias:
Is Mobile Poised to Solve These Problems?

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By The Editors

Are mobile respondents more honest? We know that mobile lends itself to in-context surveying, but mobile devices themselves may have an enormous impact on how honestly consumers answer questions. Why? Research shows that respondents will often take the path of least resistance when answering difficult survey questions, a phenomenon called satisficing. Additionally, traditional in-store market research requires positioning researchers on-location to ask consumers questions, and that face-to-face interaction causes consumers to want to give the answers they expect researchers want to hear – versus what they really think, a problem known as social desirability bias.

The good news? Mobile helps us get answers while consumers remain in the store, in front of the products, but adds a level of privacy that at-home research provides. Additionally, with the ways that smart phones have become a natural part of our everyday lives – studies show that we look at our smart phone once every three minutes – consumers don’t find mobile surveys to be disruptive. Therefore, mobile may just provide the key to unlocking two of market researchers’ thorniest data quality problems.

In this video, Justin Wheeler explains more about how mobile may be poised to solve these problems.

To learn more about this study, visit uSamp at the Mobile Research in the Mobile World event May 27-30th in Chicago, or stay tuned for a post-event recap.

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May 12th, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Creating Your Questionnaire Part II:
If You Don’t Know What You’re Aiming At, You Won’t Hit Anything

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By Scott Worthge, VP, Research Solutions

In my first post about creating effective questionnaires, I started with the broad premise that most survey writers follow the wrong process in crafting what they think will be a “good” survey. Oftentimes, survey writers can jump into the question-writing process too early. If they followed my advice, they would have a better understanding of what the client needs from those up-front conversations one must have to start the research ball rolling, and use that as an immediate check on how the survey was to be structured.

In the second stage of my three-part survey-writing process, I’m still not ready to delve into question writing just yet. Instead, you must define your measurements first. “Really?” you may ask, “Why start with the answers?”  Because the answers will define the questions you need to use, not the other way around!

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May 7th, 2014 at 4:06 pm

ARF Re:Think 2014:
A #Social Retrospective

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By The Editors


If you missed ARF Re:Think 2014, you only missed one of the biggest market research and advertising events of the year. Go ahead, #facepalm.

From March 23rd through 26th, more than 2,500 top advertisers, market research companies, ad agencies and more gathered in NYC to “Inspire Intelligent Growth” and push our industry toward making smarter, faster, and better business decisions. There were a lot of interesting talks given and exciting news announced. But if you missed it, don’t beat yourself up. We have you #covered with this quick recap of the most important happenings and news shared on Twitter.


Talks by Keith Reinhard of DDB Worldwide and James Burke and Euan MacKay of Kantar Media captivated audiences.

From our booth, we  spread love, not war–in the form of creamy chocolate hazelnut spreads, that is. Our live demo on mobile IHUTs featured results from a recent study on spreadables from Hershey’s, Jif, and Nutella (complete with samples!). Who did consumers crown as king nut? Check out the results here.

While meeting with hundreds of attendees and attending presentations, we definitely noticed more chatter over the importance of tracking and analyzing mobile data. Here’s what people were saying:

And in the mind-boggling-facts-department, presenters did not disappoint:

Legos: The Ultimate Time Killers

We also had a blast scooping Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and chatting with attendees at our booth. Plus, shirts!

All in all, the show was a great success, so much so it prompted a few post-event responses from Huff Post and Greenbook. If we missed you this time, be sure to come out and visit next year. We’ll be there, ice-cream scoops a ready.

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April 8th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Data Privacy Part III:
Will a Leader Step Forward?

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By Justin Wheeler, VP Product Innovation & Business Development

In my first two posts in our data privacy series, we learned that Americans are strongly in favor of personal data protection and want an amendment that explicitly makes data privacy a guaranteed right. From a political perspective, this seems like an easy lob for someone to step up and knock right out of the park, or at the very least use to mobilize a national conversation. We polled our respondents to find out if Americans already have someone in mind to lead this charge. So who’s at the top of the ballot? That’s still a big question mark.

No Heroes Here, Only Survivors

Respondents were asked to identify which current political figure “best represents” their own views about appropriate protections for data privacy. As Richard Pryor championed in Brewster’s Millions, we got the answer that few politicians are going to like: “None of the Above” is currently carrying a double-digit lead over any challenger from our list:

Political Figure Who Best Represents My Views on Data Privacy

None of the Above 38%
Barack Obama 17%
Hillary Clinton 14%
Rand Paul 8%
Chris Christie 6%
Other (Write In) 5%
Joe Biden 3%
Marco Rubio 3%
Ted Cruz 3%
John Kerry 2%


It’s worth noting, of course, that Democrats were much more likely to indicate Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton here, and Republicans were more divided among several players. Also of note: Nearly 1/3 of “write-in” votes were for Ron Paul (retired), and there were a few “Edward Snowdens” thrown in for good measure.

The following charts further break down these rankings by the respondent’s political party:

Democrats Republicans Independents
Barack Obama 31% None of the Above 37% None of the Above 43%
None of the Above 30% Rand Paul 15% Barack Obama 13%
Hillary Clinton 27% Chris Christie 13% Rand Paul 12%
Joe Biden 4% Ted Cruz 9% Hillary Clinton 10%
Other 3% Marco Rubio 7% Chris Christie 7%
John Kerry 2% Other 5% Other 7%
Rand Paul 1% Hillary Clinton 3% Marco Rubio 3%





As we head into the 2014 election year, one thing is clear: Protecting data privacy is a key issue among voters, and a strong bi-partisan majority support the cause enough to want to amend the U.S. Constitution. Although Americans still have mixed feelings about who should lead the charge, rest assured change is on the way. In fact, this morning CNN reported that Sen. Rand Paul will file a class-action lawsuit against the NSA for their surveillance programs. Paul is filing the suit with former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli and Matt Kibbe, president of the political group FreedomWorks.

The next couple of years will prove whether Paul or another from this list is up for the challenge. Then again, the 38% “None of the Above” response suggests that the people could be looking for a newcomer to fill that void.

Justin is entering his 15th year in the SaaS space, having helped to build and manage DIY business service and marketing platforms at Overture/Yahoo!, Perfect Market Technologies, and Spot Runner. Since joining uSamp, he has managed the insights platform providing Online and Mobile insights to over 40,000 clients in only 18 months of operation.

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February 12th, 2014 at 7:48 pm