Archive for the ‘online market research’ tag
In 2013, consumers have become primary drivers of content, of product and of brand. Able to upload user-generated video to YouTube and broadcast affinities to Twitter fans, consumers have overturned the traditional model where a business builds a product in silo and offers it up to consumers. Sound archaic?
Recognizing this new, “empowered consumer,” many brands have turned to value co-creation or crowdsourcing. By involving the consumer in the creative process the brand temporarily suspends authority, and collaborates with the consumer in an effort to co-create the product. In this collaborative process, value is driven by the people instead of appropriated by businesses.
In the market research industry, value co-creation has been facilitated through survey research. IHUT (In Home Usage Testing) and diary studies are just a few examples that enable researchers to see through a consumer’s eyes. Yet the industry still has a long way to go in order to truly leverage the value of co-creation. To get there, we need to reach consumers whenever, wherever, while respecting their privacy. We want that front-of-mind, in-the-moment view of their experiences at a sensory level.
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.
by Dinaz Kachhi, Manager of Research Insights, uSamp
Over the last decade, we have witnessed a convergence of devices taking user convenience and experience to another level. The combination of iPod and phone led to the creation of iPhone, which was one of the best examples of unification on a mobile platform. From that point on, there has been a proliferation of devices that have the ability to perform multiple functions – the most recent hybrid? The“Phablet”.
In order to keep ahead of the curve and create a niche in the market, the mobile industry packaged two highly popular consumer devices (the smartphone and the mini tablet, in case you haven’t guessed yet). Samsung was one of the first movers in this space, introducing “Galaxy Note” which offers the unique combination of 5 x 7’’ screen along with smartphone capabilities. As other tech companies started to realize the huge potential, they came to market with similar offerings.
by Ben Leet, Senior Director HRT and Survey Solutions
Ben joined the uSamp UK team at the very beginning, and is charged with building out our new client relationships in Europe. Prior to joining uSamp Ben held senior positions with Decision Tree Consulting, Toluna and Ugam, the first of which saw Ben designing, conducting and delivering full service research programmes to blue chip clients for over 5 years, before joining the online panel business at Toluna in early 2008. This combination allows Ben to understand all aspects of the market research process, adding value to uSamp clients along the way. Ben is a Graduate of the Nottingham Business School in the UK with a BA (Hons) in European Business.
by Matt Dusig, Co-Founder/CEO
uSamp is a little over three years old. To date, we’ve seen over 6.5 million people globally register and double opt-in for our research panel websites. We register about 10,000 new panelists every day, adding over 300,000 panelists to our database each month. Sounds cool, right? But does the size of the panel at 6.5 million really matter?
Most sample companies market themselves according to panel size, quality of respondent data, variety of the traffic sources and customer service excellence. I am guilty about marketing the size of our panel. We announce the size of our panels to show scale, and to impress clients. Do you blame us?
by Scott Weinberg, Director, Enterprise Hosted Technology, uSamp
Scott resides in Minneapolis, MN and joined uSamp in February 2011. Scott is active with the Market Research Association (MRA) and is the President-Elect of the MN / Upper Midwest MRA chapter. He has spent the majority of his career in the Market Research industry, starting as a project manager on the supplier side, eventually moving into turnkey project design, before spending the last several years focused on online panels and in particular emerging panel management technologies. Scott earned an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin and is on Twitter @ScottWeinberg and LinkedIn.
Over the past 15 years in the Market Research industry, I’ve had the opportunity to work with companies to develop and implement strategies for organizing their customer feedback efforts. During this time, I’ve noticed two prevailing technology acquisition themes:
The first acquisition theme is the approach that results in a fragmented, piece-meal process that relies on a ‘blended’ supplier approach. On first blush, the blended approach seems reasonable, and financially sound. Specifically, in this scenario, different supporting technologies (i.e. survey program, reporting program, analytical application, panel management program) are each vetted and acquired independently.
During the past few years, there’s been a great deal of talk within the market research industry about online panels and sample quality. I’ve been in online sampling since ’99, when my business partner and I started our first sampling firm, goZing.com, which we sold to Greenfield Online in 2005. I’m currently co-founder and CEO of uSamp (www.uSamp.com), a technology company providing panel and sampling solutions to market researchers worldwide.
As someone with a vested interest in the long-term viability of quantitative research online, I want to share my thoughts about areas that need attention. My critique of what can and should be done to preserve the field’s integrity is intended to be constructive throughout, informed by more than a decade of observing both vendor/client and consumer behavior.
Addressing sample burn
Panelists are people. Over the past several years, brands across the globe have become increasingly invested in collecting, interpreting, and monetizing data. To many, data is a means to an end, quickly forgotten as results become more important than processes. We often refer to panelists as “sample,” not “people,” but to market research professionals working in an industry founded on such data, panelists should be regarded as living and breathing entities. They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. These panelists eat and sleep just like us, and understand the concepts of time management and reward motivations.
Participating in an online research panel can be a tedious experience, during which panelists attempt surveys with the best intentions, and spend a great deal of time trying to qualify inside of narrow quota segments — only to frequently be terminated or screened-out with little or no compensation for their time. Many opt-out and stop taking surveys altogether.
Sampling firms do their best to manage this panel burn, but due to complex business requirements and certain persistent gaps in technology between sample suppliers and research survey software, it’s impossible for sample companies to know exactly what quotas market research firms require. Sample firms are mostly blind to the real-time needs of survey quotas, largely because industry processes are heavily manual and lack full transparency.
Imagine that survey software was able to communicate with sampling databases, and, in real-time, deliver exactly the right people at the right time. Panelists wouldn’t waste time and sample companies wouldn’t disappoint panelists (in other words, burn sample).
When panelists stop taking surveys, sample firms need to refresh the panel with new people – and there are real costs associated with managing this attrition. These costs are passed on indirectly through the CPI (Cost-per-interview)-based pricing model. The fewer panelists used in a survey, the lower the price. Higher incidence (and better targeting) likewise means lower pricing.
As it gets harder and harder for sample companies to retain panelists, the industry has been placing constraints on sample companies. Many initiatives require address-validated panelists. Ask a family member if he or she is willing to give personally identifiable information to a sample company simply to earn $25 a year for taking surveys. Does this mean that panelists who are not willing to give personally identifiable information to a sample company should be left out of online sampling methodology? What does this do to the scalability of online quantitative research? Will we reach a ceiling where companies can no longer fill quotas?