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2013 Year-in-Review: Top 5 uSamp Blog Posts

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Data, whether it was being leaked, mined, or modified by “big,” was on everyone’s minds in 2013. Mobile technology continued to push forward with lower-cost, higher-tech, sharper-pixelated options emerging in the market; while telecommuting, something that seemed the natural progression of the digitally savvy millennial, took a step backward. Many of these major developments also rippled through the market research community, so uSamp’s leaders took to the blog to weigh in and offer commentary on how these changes shaped the direction of our industry.

Here are our top five blog posts from 2013:


#5 An App Alternative: How the Mobile Web Expands Reach

A late entry in the year but an obvious contender for top blog post. In this piece, uSamp director of product Allen Vartazarian explains why mobile apps are not the only game in town when it comes to mobile market research.

#4 The Virtual Office Place: Productive or Disruptive?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to pull the company plug on all telecommuting sparked huge debates everywhere from the water cooler to Twitter and more. In an age where technology has made working remotely so easy, the ban seemed a counter-intuitive move on Mayer’s part. We took the polarizing debate to our panel and received surprising results, which we pulled together in this infographic.

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

Big data was certainly the buzzword of record early in the year, that is, until over-zealous jargon junkies sucked every last drop of meaning out of it. And while data may be the new gluten-free in the media, it’s a familiar face for those in the MR space. In this piece, our former director of analytics, Siva Venkataraman, took a moment to demystify big data and articulate its real potential.

#2 Mobile Apps and Data Privacy: How Much Information Are You Willing to Share?

In hindsight, it seems less surprising that during a year when we all marveled at the power of numbers, we also become painfully aware of abuses in data collection. With the public outcry over NSA practices, we couldn’t resist polling Americans about where they stood on personal data and privacy.

#1 A Geofencing Primer

2013 was a year to stay on the fence—the geofence, that is. One of the most exciting strategies to emerge in mobile market research was geofencing, the ability to use location-based technology in smartphones to connect with customers in-store, at the very point of purchase or consumption. We found this topic so interesting, we devoted an entire three-part series to it. Click here for parts two and three.

Consumer Intimacy: Can Mobile Help Us Get Closer?

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by Jacob Tucker, Research Analyst with Robert Clancy, Vice President of Insights & Strategy

It is an understatement to say that mobile has had a profound impact on human behavior. We, as researchers, cannot help but imagine the impact it will have on the market research industry as a whole. Mobile has irrevocably changed the mode, the means and the methods. The way we’ve been conditioned to capture, code and interpret data has been altered.

Have you ever interviewed someone, and while trying to transcribe what was being said, you missed how it was said? How about trying to interpret an open-ended response that could go one of two ways (Is “bad” colloquialism for “rad”?)? There is no doubt that it can be difficult to accurately record and make sense of the noise around qualitative data. Enter audio, photo and video capture.

There are many innovative mobile research tools available, but these rich-media response options take insights to the next level. These question types give us a sneak peek into the window of consumers, which is all sorts of wonderful, but begs the question: How can we effectively use that data?

At the most basic level, we can look at these photos, watch the videos, listen to the audio and find themes that emerge. We can then code these themes into nice, neat categories so that they can be quantified and analyzed just like any other data set. This many not sound novel; however, it is the in-the-moment context unique to mobile that enhances these particular data. The importance of in-context cannot be ignored, as it is more reflective of actual consumer experiences.

But we can’t stop there.

The real beauty that smartphone technology brings to surveys is consumer intimacy. We need to go a step further than just quantifying rich media responses and truly unveil the consumer experience. If all we do is code and quantify, we will miss out on the subtleties and nuances that provide deeper insights. In photos, there are surrounding objects. In video, there is background setting and movement. In audio, there is voice inflection and intonation. At times, you can literally see and hear the thought process that leads to a decision. This gives us so much more color than just knowing the actual decision itself. Mobile data helps us empathize with the consumer like never before.

So how can we, as researchers successfully report on this new-found consumer intimacy?

While it’s not feasible to show every rich media response in a study report, it’s important to represent the sample as a whole. Selecting a few testimonials that capture consumer sentiments really helps bring the complete story to life.

When insights emerge from both quantitative and qualitative perspectives, we get one step closer to the consumer. If what we’re really after is consumer intimacy, mobile is uniquely qualified to get us there. Taking insights to the next level? We’re on our way.

Written by lsozio

September 9th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

A Day in the Life of a uSamp ™ Bid Consultant

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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™, 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,, SampleMarket, and Panelbuilder. Emily is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and holds a BA in Psychology.

Written by lsozio

June 17th, 2013 at 1:42 am

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.

Written by lsozio

March 14th, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Geofencing Part III: Key Considerations

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In our final installment, Allen discusses some of the implications of geofencing from battery drain to privacy concerns.

How do we address privacy concerns?

It is completely understandable that some people may have privacy concerns associated with geofencing. The way we address these concerns is by being fully transparent about exactly what information is collected. By educating users, we empower them to decide if and when they would like to participate, and are able to preserve their privacy choices. Our Mobile ArmyTM is our most valuable asset, and we take all steps possible to preserve our relationship.

Does geofencing cause significant battery drain?

Any app that uses your device’s location will cause battery drain. The more frequently that app checks your location, the more battery it will drain. After months of development and testing, however, we have established a geofencing solution that has almost no noticeable effect on battery life. To date, we have not received a single complaint regarding battery life from any one of our mobile audience members. If you are considering running a geofencing project, be sure to ask the technology provider what steps they have taken (if any) to preserve battery life, and then download their app so you can experience it yourself (more to come in a future blog by uSamp’s Co-founder & President, Gregg Lavin).

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Written by lsozio

March 12th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Mobile Mindshare and The Future of Consumer Insights

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by Jacob Tucker, Research Analyst, uSamp

Mobile Shopping
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 »

Written by lsozio

November 28th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Man vs. MR’s Goldmine, Mobile: The Medium is the Message

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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.

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Will Market Research Still Exist In 20 Years?

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As published in GreenBook Blog

by Ben Leet, Sales Director, uSamp

Make no mistake, we are still at the beginning of a digital revolution. Much like the industrial revolution back in the 1700s and early 1800s when we believed steam power was the pinnacle of technological achievement, so today we are in that phase where we believe the Internet and mobile technology are the limits of human capability. Do I know what’s coming next? If I did, I would be a wealthy man, but I would nonetheless bet money that the digital revolution is still in its infancy, with many changes and challenges still ahead of us.

With new technology comes new applications, ideas, concepts. We in MR talk regularly about “mobile research”, “social media monitoring”, “big data”, and many others, as we seek to use these new tools for a commercial advantage, to offer something new, to convince a client that working with our company is good because we are innovative and forward thinking. However at this point it is worth mentioning that online research is no longer seen as innovative, it’s the norm for an ever increasing amount of our industry spend, which is why “online” is no longer an industry buzzword.

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Retailers, Meet Man’s New Best Friend, Mobile [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Men Are Bigger Mobile Shoppers Than Women

As the iPhone 5 enters the marketplace, uSamp decided to look at the mobile shopping habits of 1,100 men and woman, ages 18 – 75. The survey was conducted using uSamp Mobile, a platform that blends uSamp’s mobile survey technology with their targeted audience to gain consumer and business insights.

It turns out that men and woman practice much of their mobile shopping while they are out and about. According to the results, 12% of woman find themselves shopping on their mobile devices while in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. On the other hand, 25% of men most frequently shop on mobile while at the office.

The survey found that men are more likely than woman to purchase items over their mobile devices. What items are they buying?

  • 27% of males purchase consumer electronics on mobile vs. 8% of females
  • 23% of males purchase movie and event tickets on mobile vs. 11% of females
  • 30% of males purchase digital content on mobile vs. 20% of females
  • 13% of males purchase food and drinks on mobile vs. 8% of females
  • 8% of males purchase office supplies on mobile vs. 4% of females

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Written by lsozio

September 12th, 2012 at 2:56 am