Archive for the ‘market research’ tag
By Allen Vartazarian, Director of Product, Mobile
As Market Researchers, we are no longer faced with whether mobile is a viable option, but rather how we are going to optimize it. We started planting the app seed early on, refining it to work across operating system and device, with the given assumption that consumers would go to the app store, download, install and play.
Apps like iPoll that leverage geolocation and rich media features on smartphones have provided deep and actionable insights by allowing panelists to submit photo, video and audio responses while verifying that they are on-location at a retailer. Naturally, there has been a land grab in the industry to get these apps installed onto as many people’s phones as possible; this approach, however, has presented two notable challenges:
- Getting their Attention: With over 1,000,000 apps available just in the iTunes App Store alone, a huge obstacle is getting consumer’s attention. Once you have their attention, you need to hold it long enough to convey the value the app provides.
- Improving Retention: Congratulations if you’ve achieved an app install, but that’s just the first phase – now you need to keep users engaged! People like to keep their phones free of clutter and tend to delete apps they don’t find them valuable, which helps explain why 90-day retention rates for some app categories are as low as 10 percent.
As a panel company that depends on respondent engagement to drive our insight platform, addressing these hurdles are our number one priority. While app downloads are voluntary, most smartphones have web browsers readily baked into them. uSamp has developed a mobile web technology that allows respondents to provide photo and video responses via their mobile web browser without having to install an app.
So what does this mean for market research?
First, it promises a broader audience reach. The mobile web has the potential to significantly widen the respondent pool that can take advantage of mobile capabilities. Not every smartphone owner has our app installed, but everyone does have a mobile web browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.). With almost half of emails now being opened on mobile devices, this adds a layer in which surveys that contain mobile-only response options can be delivered. Issues such as feasibility and sample size, that have made market researchers hesitant to use mobile in the past, can now be minimized. Coupled with the app, this has positive implications for expanding the audience that can take advantage of mobile features.
Second, it offers more distribution channels. Previously, if we wanted respondents to submit photo/video responses, we could only send survey invitations through push notifications in our app. Now panelists can be reached via numerous distribution channels including email, text message, and QR codes with a link to the mobile survey.
While the mobile app currently offers more robust features like geofencing and audio capture, this innovative mobile web enhancement is an attractive option to leverage for many projects that need greater flexibility. Regardless of outlet, it’s imperative that we don’t lose sight of the importance of designing mobile-specific surveys. The mobile web has seen a history of abuse by researchers cramming lengthy, online surveys into a small screen. We want to change all this by mimicking app capabilities and experience – auto-rendering and UX are critical components of making the mobile web a success. So why does it matter how we gather responses via app or web? It’s the potential for reach, and the promise of an alternative that keeps us motivated to continuously improve the way that mobile market research is done.
By Tina Day, Director of Organizational Development & Quality
As the Director of Organizational Development & Quality at uSamp, I keep my finger on the pulse of the many conversations that occur during the data collection process. We may all share the same research objectives, but we speak different research dialects based on our industry, our roles within our company, market-specific jargon, and many other factors that build our personal frames of reference. Because of these varying influences, there is room for interpretation with our use of research-specific terminology and therefore, there is also room for misinterpretation.
This guide is intended to help those who aren’t methodologists navigate semantics. We recognize that we haven’t fully detailed all aspects of the given term, but my goal is to cut through the terminology so that the research objective can be seen more clearly and executed successfully.
The first topic I want to tackle is a term that is widely used, and yet often the cause of much confusion: Census Representativeness.
Why does my client need their completes to be “Census Rep”?
The truth is that they often don’t. Sampling terminology is sometimes used interchangeably and sometimes even misused. The original definitions can morph over time and alternative meanings begin to seep into common vernacular. Thus, we end up using the same vocabulary, but our definitions have diverged.
Some common industry terms that have fallen prey to this disconnect include: Read the rest of this entry »
by Emily Tomasiewicz, Regional Manager, Bid Consulting
Welcome to the first installment of uSamp’s “Day In the Life of” series. In the upcoming months, we will spotlight different departments that help the company move the needle.
In 2012, uSamp received over 40,000 different bids from all over the globe requesting sample ranging from Type I Diabetics to lottery players in Nebraska. If you do the math, that comes to nearly 200 bids per day! Our Bidding Team is made up of over 30 consultants, each of who manage these 200 bids regularly. It sounds like a lot – and it is– but because our team is client-centric, organized, and well-educated on our panels’ capabilities, to them, the job is nearly effortless.
Consultants are assigned to specific accounts in an effort to not only manage bids quickly and efficiently, but to build trust and consistencies with our clients as well. Through training and experience, the team accurately determines our capabilities based on our proprietary panel assets as well as a network of publishers. Here at uSamp, there are few instances where we say “No.” If a job doesn’t appear to fit our capabilities in its current state, we’ll consult with the client on possible ways to tweak targeting or sample size to get the job done one way or another. Speed, full feasibility, consultation and competitive pricing are what drive our win rate.
More recently, uSamp has acknowledged the trending web-to-mobile shift in market research and has acted quickly to build innovative solutions. A division of our consultants is dedicated to all things mobile – a number of requests that is growing larger every day. At this juncture, education of mobile product becomes critical. Knowing the difference between geofencing and geovalidation can make or break the success of a project. Mobile research offers a higher level of data collection as well as quality. Our mobile app, iPoll™, is already capable of photo, video, audio, and barcode collection. As the industry turns to mobile, data collection will only become more rich and dynamic.
uSamp is a technology, surveying and sampling company, which is something that largely sets us apart from our competitors. With the use of our technologies such as iPoll™ and Instant.ly™, we’ve recruited a Mobile Army™ of panelists who are readily available and eager to take our surveys. We’re in the business of finding people who are “hard-to-reach,” with which we’ve historically had success in the online space Going mobile extends our reach even more and our Bidding Consultants are ready to take the plunge.
Emily is uSamp’s Central Regional Manager of the Bid Consulting team. She has been working in this department for nearly three years; first as an Account Executive, later as Account Manager, and is currently the Regional Manager of uSamp’s Dallas office. She’s tackled new initiatives and has been an early adopter of mobile bidding and product knowledge, including iPoll, Instant.ly, SampleMarket, and Panelbuilder. Emily is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and holds a BA in Psychology.
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!
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.
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?
What will be the next smartphone feature that will be differentiating and cool? Seeking Alpha Blog
At the intersection of the physical and virtual world lies a mobile capability called geofencing. A context aware app that reminds you to pick up your laundry as soon as you approach the drycleaners on the way home from work? Brilliant? Scary? We asked Director of Product for uSamp Mobile, Allen Vartazarian to explain the basics of the phenomenon, address privacy concerns, the trouble with battery drain, key applications and why geofencing has finally arrived in 2013.
Q: Can you explain geofencing to the layman?
A: Geofencing is a technology that provides the ability to create a virtual fence around a geographic location in the real world. Smartphones that are location-enabled can detect when someone enters or exits these fences, which can be as large as a city block or as small as a retail store.
A: In order to create a geofence, we first determine the latitude and longitude of a particular location, or set of locations. We then assign the radius of the geofences depending on the type of location. If we were to geofence a supermarket chain, for example, we might set a radius of 200 meters, but for coffee shops we would only set a radius of about 30 meters.
Once set, the location and radii of these geofences is communicated to the smartphone of those who have our mobile app installed. When and if the person then crosses into one of the fences, we record the date, time, and latitude/longitude of the event. In addition to logging this information, we can also choose to trigger a notification to the person, linking them to a survey within our app.
Q: How accurate is geofencing?
A: Geofencing is relatively (but not 100%) accurate. Though we can be very specific about defining the criteria for each geofence, there are certain technical limitations in the way that a smartphone determines your location, especially when the device is not actively being used (like when its in your purse or your pocket). Nonetheless, we are able to get a general understanding of someone’s location and can set an acceptable location accuracy threshold when attempting to understand when someone is within a geofence or not.
In a recent project, we setup geofences around a national fast food restaurant chain which triggered an alert asking if the person was dining there: over 80% of respondents said that they were at the location, with the remainder likely being at a store next door.
Stay tuned for Part II where Allen will address the applications of geofencing.
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.
I believe that competition is at the core of any successful tech company; pioneers lay the groundwork, new entrants build on top of that groundwork, and all parties become more fiercely committed to solving problems. Take search engines for example. Yahoo! pioneered a hugely popular early search engine for the web. Its limitation was in how quickly its database of human-powered results could keep up with the rapidly expanding web. Google saw a problem and created a better solution.
I was recently asked by Bob Lederer of the Research Business Daily Report about my thoughts on how Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) has impacted the Market Research industry. I’ll reiterate what I wrote in the first product review of GCS: “GCS’ move into the Market Research industry brings good visibility to on-demand SaaS insights.” I truly believe that competition propels innovation and everyone wins.
by Jacob Tucker, Research Analyst, uSamp
Over the past few decades, bulky desktops have been swapped out for sleek tablets, Walkmans (remember those?) discarded for iPods, and news consolidated into microblogs. In this age of continuous innovation, new technology loses its shelf life quickly. In the Market Research space alone, the methods for gathering insights have gone from a clipboard to a smartphone.
Research professionals, in the advent of big data, have found the need to dig deeper into the psyche of respondents, to see things through their vantage point, and to capture their behavioral experiences (in real-time). While this may sound like a tall order, the availability of the mobile platform puts these previously unattainable insights within reach. Read the rest of this entry »
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?
by Ben Leet, Sales Director, uSamp
I recently attended the Esomar 3D conference in Amsterdam and, unsurprisingly, much of the content focused on emerging technologies and techniques such as social media monitoring and of course, mobile devices. The content was wide-ranging, diverse, and thought provoking. I came away with one very clear message – the MR industry was about to experience imminent upheaval.
My philosophy behind this is very simple – there will come a point in the near future where our mobile devices (note: they are not just phones any more!) know more about our habits than we do, as they morph into our brain’s external hard drive. Since market research is all about delving into people’s brains, it seems only fitting to delve into mobile devices in order to more accurate access this data that we crave as an industry.
My phone already knows a lot about me; it knows which flights I have taken in the last year; it knows which shops I have recently visited; it knows where I ate dinner last night. And most of all, it knows my Facebook profile and my Twitter handle; hundreds of valuable nuggets of information, a goldmine of data waiting to tell a story about me, my friends, family, likes, dislikes, media consumption, the list goes on. And this is the tip of the iceberg when I think about how much more intelligent and familiar it will become in just a few short years.