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Archive for the ‘Mobile’ tag

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.

1. Researchers are increasingly tasked with understanding the “why”
in addition to the “what.”

Knowing that 74% of shoppers are likely to try Product A while just 48% are likely to try Product B can only take us so far. What is it about Product A that speaks to consumers more than Product B? We think that mobile methods are better equipped to give us these “why’s.”

2. Segmenting data by standard demographics is diminishing in favor
of behavioral characteristics.

We’re less interested in the differences between men and women, for example, as we are the differences between someone who is on five social networks compared to only one. These behavioral characteristics have a more significant reach in the marketplace, and mobile opens the door to discovering more behaviors which can help us understand just how far that reach is.

3. Consumer intimacy is the underlying concept that researchers seem to be dancing around as it pertains to mobile.

We’re trying these new methods in order to get closer to the consumer. It makes sense that if we can feel what the consumer feels, we can market better experiences for them.

4. Mobile is here to stay, now let’s prove its value.

The next necessary step I see for mobile is evidence that it actually works. Now that we’ve been exposed to its potential, we need to find out if companies are indeed making better business decisions because of it. What information are we gathering from mobile that we couldn’t get from other methods? Would the best business decisions be out of reach without this information? Those of us diving into the waters of mobile believe it to hold some uncharted answers, and now it’s
time to prove it.

Jacob Tucker is senior analyst of insights and strategy at uSamp. In this role he supports all aspects of mobile research projects. Prior to joining uSamp, Jacob worked as a research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Texas. He also served as an independent researcher for the Cooper Institute in Dallas. Jacob received his B.A. in Psychology from Howard Payne University and his M.S. in Kinesiology from the University of North Texas.

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June 2nd, 2014 at 4:49 pm

uSamp University:
The Wonderful World of the IHUT

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By Tina Day, Director of Organizational Development and Quality

uSamp University is our column for breaking down some of market research’s thorniest concepts and terms. We write for both industry newbies and seasoned pros looking for a quick refresher. Because there are often differing schools of thought about the application and value of many of these techniques or methodologies, our intent is not to be the final word, but merely provide an introduction for curious researchers. At the end of each post we’ll also suggest a few links for further reading.

Not to be confused with everyone’s favorite pancake house, an “IHUT,” or simply “HUT,” is, at its most basic, a type of in-home study that involves consumers using and evaluating a product. IHUT stands for in-home usage test, and it has long been one of researchers’ go-to studies for detailed, in-context consumer feedback on anything from pillow cases to, well, pancake mix.

IHUT 101

As the name implies, IHUTs are used to test products with real consumers in their homes. This type of study is particularly useful for testing prototypes before they hit the market, newly released products, or existing products that may be in need of a redesign.

Consumers are shipped the product or sometimes instructed where to purchase it. Their feedback is gathered in follow-up surveys, or, in the case of mobile research, in real-time using smartphones or tablets. IHUTs can give market researchers deep and important insights into many facets of how a product is perceived and used, and how it fits into a consumer’s regular routine. Maybe consumers are overlooking an important step in preparation, or maybe they’re having trouble with the enclosure system. An IHUT can reveal such product challenges.

Here’s what an IHUT can help you do:

  • Learn how consumers interact with the product in a natural environment.
  • Understand sequencing of consumer interaction with the product.
  • Collect in-the-moment consumer feedback about the product as it is used or consumed.
  • Gauge the popularity and satisfaction of the product.
  • Discover new uses for the product.

Going Mobile, Baby!

Mobile technology greatly streamlines home-use testing and can decrease time to field. Mobile can also replace time-consuming, costly follow-up methods such as phone surveys and the outmoded in-home visit.

Perhaps most important, mobile expands what was previously possible with an IHUT. Respondents can offer feedback at every step of their journey with the product – from their first encounter with the product to final use or consumption.

Mobile IHUTs also allow for types of data that we only dreamed of before. For instance, respondents can take pictures and even videos while interacting with a product. Is the packaging too difficult to open? Video tells the frustrating story. Do people find surprising uses for a product that could drive innovation? A picture is worth a thousand words.

Click here to learn more about in-home mobile research solutions.

Simple, But Substantive

The whole point of in-home testing is to get accurate, quality feedback from consumers or potential consumers of your product. To do that, your goals as a researcher should be clear going in, as should your questions.

Here are examples of questions businesses typically hope to answer through in-home testing:

  • How do consumers use my product? It’s likely that the overworked team down in product development overlooked some really cool uses for your product. Consumers won’t.
  • Is the packaging engaging and attractive? This is often your customer’s first encounter with your product, so it can really set the tone for what you can expect from sales.
  • What suggestions for product improvement do customers have? You’d be surprised how honest and thoughtful your consumers can be. They’ll openly tell you about the proverbial good, bad and ugly if you give them the opportunity.
  • How satisfied are consumers with my product overall? If you could only get one data set back, this might be the one. Do they take it to bed at night and tuck it in with them or leave it in the corner of the garage? That could be the make-or-break question.

Size Matters

There are a few key factors to remember with IHUTs, whether mobile or traditional. First, over-recruiting is crucial. Product types, respondent pools, whether a product is purchased by a respondent or delivered through a fulfillment company all affect completion rates, so determining the sample size is an intricate and important stage that needs to be considered. Often, the sample size needs to be well beyond double the responses desired.

For this reason, many suppliers have prescreened pools ready to go. They could have tens to hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of consumers who fit varying demographics. These consumers can often be reached using mobile apps and geofencing technology to locate, recruit and validate willing participants. So much for the pen and clipboard days, huh?

To learn more about home-use testing and IHUTs, here are some suggestions for further reading:

Tina Day is uSamp’s Director of Organizational Development and Quality. With over 15 years in the market research industry, she has a well-rounded understanding of the end-to-end research process and uses her expertise to drive training and development efforts throughout the organization. In addition, Tina supports key initiatives related to quality and operational efficiencies, with a strong focus on uSamp’s Mobile Solutions..

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May 21st, 2014 at 4:55 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

The Power of Convenience:
Mobile Market Research in an On-the-Go World

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By The Editors


It’s no secret that we at uSamp are excited about mobile technology. Smartphones and tablets open up a whole new realm of market research – often resulting in richer, more interesting data. Mobile enhances in-context product testing by introducing convenience. Consumers can provide feedback and record smartphone video responses while still in the store aisle, and they can continue while in home and testing out the products. uSamp VP of product innovation Justin Wheeler recently sat down with Bob Lederer of the famous Research Business Daily Report to talk about what exactly mobile technology can do for market research and the benefits of having another platform to get insights. Watch the entire video interview below.

Written by adrien

April 23rd, 2014 at 6:11 pm

GRIT Review: Are We Pioneers?
Market Research’s Foot-in-the-Past Problem

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The industry’s final word on all things market research is here at last! The winter 2014 GreenBook Research Industry Trends (GRIT) Report released this week, and it’s chock-full of fascinating insights, trends, and discussions about where the industry is headed. Our very own Robert Clancy, VP of Insights and Strategy, adds his commentary on the slow adoption of mobile in the industry and what might be holding researchers back. See below for more.

2014 Year-in-Preview:
Ben Leet’s Predictions

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In this post, Ben Leet shares his predictions on where the market research industry is headed in 2014.

What is your New Year’s resolution in 140 characters?

Stay ahead of the game! The pace of change will not slow down anytime soon.

What do you anticipate being the biggest trend for 2014, and why?

As mentioned before, I think the wider marketing world is going to move increasingly into big data analytics to find uplifts in marketing ROI, and I still think research has a big part to play in this area. And, of course, mobile methodologies will continue to evolve and adoption of them will increase.

What companies/brands do you think will do well in 2014, and why?

Those that understand how consumers think and move with them will do well across all verticals, but those that continue to “do what we’ve always done” will start to fall by the wayside pretty quickly.

Any thoughts on what 2014’s biggest buzzword might be?


What will success look like in 2014?

For my company it will be to continue innovating and bringing new concepts and ideas to the marketplace, and I hope the same is true for the industry at large.

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January 15th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

2013 Year-in-Review:
Lisa Wilding-Brown’s Reflections for Research Magazine

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In this interview with Research Magazine, Lisa Wilding-Brown shares her thoughts on the events that shaped the market research industry, marketing, and technology in 2013.

Looking Back

What has been the biggest development of 2013?

Mobile market research has profoundly impacted the industry in 2013 because it has added a contextual element that other research methodologies lack. Real-time interaction with the consumer at the point of purchase or consumption yields rich findings that might not be possible to ascertain from a consumer who is removed by time and space. What’s more, mobile is much less invasive and more time- and cost-efficient than traditional strategies.

What was 2013’s biggest buzzword?

Geofencing. Although still in its infancy, a technology like geofencing  is critical to implementing effective mobile campaigns. Using smartphone geolocation, we can identify consumers entering or exiting specific vendors and then send highly targeted studies that get us closer to that moment of truth at the shelf, aisle, or restaurant.

What was, in your opinion, the best campaign (ad/brand/political/social) of 2013, and why?

The recent media blitz for the new Anchorman 2 movie has been impressive. Will Ferrell’s character Ron Burgundy has been showing up in all kinds of real-life situations and spawning dozens of viral videos. He even co-anchored the nightly news at a local station in North Dakota. I love to see creative media campaigns like this one; it’s fun when fiction seeps into reality and we can see our favorite characters come to life.

What has been the year’s biggest success story?

Netflix’s dive into original content was one of this year’s greatest successes, proving that listening to the consumer is one of the most effective strategies for developing an excellent product. Their ability to cull data and preferences from their large subscriber base to find a winning combination in producer David Fincher and actor Kevin Spacey is a great reminder for all of us that the consumer still knows best.

What has been the year’s biggest disappointment/anti-climax, and why?

The launch of the website was so highly anticipated but will likely be remembered as one of the most bungled product launches of the past few years. The implementation of the marketplace was executed poorly, and consumers were left out in the cold. We actually surveyed our panel to better understand the user experience and learned that 4 out of 5 people encountered technical difficulties ranging from error messages to not being able to create an account.

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.