Archive for the ‘online panel’ tag
by Josh Brezner, Panel Development Manager, uSamp
This is the third post of our Best Practices in Panel Management series.
Many of us claim to truly “know” our panelists. And why shouldn’t we? Through member profiling, we have the ability to capture everything from basic demographics to leisure, health and business information on respondents. We know what brands they buy, what food they eat, and where they bank. But profile data is often treated as a timeless portrait of a panelist, and not as a subjective snapshot of a person with changing consumer habits. If left unchecked, this approach can have devastating implications.
by Ben Leet, Sales Director, uSamp
I recently attended the MRS annual conference in London, and as usual it was an inspiring and thought provoking event. Of the papers or presentations that I was lucky enough to watch, very few were based on self-promotion and instead focused on what we as an industry can do to improve our craft. Topics ranged from gamification to NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), case studies on new or innovative methodologies, and of course, the odd interesting debate.
One thing struck me as distinctly lacking from any topic, and that is a very simple principle that uSamp has held for a long time – survey respondents are also people. People have a life outside of sitting on their computers / iPads / iPhones and taking online surveys. I really feel that the industry is losing sight of this. Maybe because there is no telephone or face-to-face contact with the respondent. Maybe because the appeal of mobile surveying has eclipsed attention to panelist experience (mobile does not mean that respondents are impervious to the invasiveness of answering questions that are poorly formatted to the medium). Maybe because we, as an online panel industry refer to our people as “assets”, “sources”, “panelists”, “traffic.” Whatever the reason, I’m calling on us as an industry to re-focus.
By now you’ve heard a variety of voices from uSamp, and hopefully learned a little bit about our culture and position within the market research industry. From debates on panel size and DIY to European Union forecasts and remote management strategies, uSamp’s has attempted to wrangle diverse perspectives and reveal our willingness to be transparent. We recognize the importance of contributing to the heated discourses that are happening in various MR forums across the web and at conferences. But at the same time, we realize that it is important to let you know how we operate. One of the key pillars to our success as a client-facing firm is our project management team and the methodology they use to put our panelists to good use. So without further adieu, let’s go behind the curtain, and find out how our PMs make uSamp tick. Norm Williams shares tips that are not only valuable to other PMs, but can be applied to client-services and consultants across the board.
by Norm Williams, Project Manager
In the world of project management, the definition of a successful project is one that is adequately completed according to clients’ specifications, and within their established timeline. Although this definition may sound simple, it is anything but straightforward. There are various nuances that go into managing a successful project. Years of market-research expertise certainly helps, but you never know what issues will come up that can throw even the most seasoned veteran for a loop.
All projects managers know there are a myriad of issues that regularly arise—which is why, communication, preparation, awareness and flexibility are key components in determining the success of a project.
uSamp’s CEO, Matt Dusig recently shared his entrepreneurial path with Sramana Mitra, founder of the One Million by One Million global initiative aimed at helping a million entrepreneurs to reach a million dollars each in annual revenue and beyond by 2020.
The case study can be accessed in its seven-part entirety on Sramana’s blog.
by John Woolard, Chief Financial Officer
What if we told you that one of our leaders was a big wave rider with a photographic memory who once was lost in the Saudi Arabian desert, and now can be found in a corner office in Encino? uSamp challenges you to find another CFO with that street-cred. John Woolard is a CPA with more than 20 years of diverse financial leadership experience in entertainment, retail, manufacturing and distribution, including positions as CFO, VP of Finance, and Controllership. Before taking this role as CFO, he led finance teams in the U.K., Netherlands and the Middle East. Woolard has a proven ability to manage and optimize financial results within rapidly changing environments. He possesses an extensive background in strategic planning, financial reporting, treasury operations and internal controls and has solid relationships in the investor and lending communities. Woolard earned a degree in accounting and finance from Cal State Northridge. Not listed on his resume, but worthy of mention: his ability to read minds and penchant for English pubs especially–when Chelsea is playing.
As we reach the end of a year of rapid growth, it is hard to imagine that three years ago, we were a small but ambitious start-up where office space was a non-issue, and elbow grease went a long way. uSamp has been successful in expanding its reach in terms of employees, projects, markets, and clients. But as with any success comes responsibility.
Over the next 12 months, we will continue to face key challenges like growing the business in proportion to the revenue, and managing this growth while maintaining quality. These challenges are not new nor are they unique to uSamp, but are an inevitable part of maturing in the venture ecosystem. At this stage in our own venture, we continue to think big but stay focused. These key points create the ambition and stability we need to keep our competition guessing in 2012.
Over the past year, uSamp expanded its reach across North America, Europe, and India, and hired 100 new employees for entry-level roles, software engineers, and senior level strategy heads. This fast growth was necessary to accommodate for our growing traditional sample business, and essential in building the optimal infrastructure for the suite of new products launched over the year. It all comes down to timing–investing in the right projects and resources, and hiring the right people at the right time.
uSamp announced the official launch of our European business and local presence in London. With the help of our Gaelle Normand, our Managing Director in Europe, our growth in Europe greatly surpassed our expectations. The excitement, energy and anticipation on Grays Inn Road is reminiscent of our early days in Encino.
Additionally, we have invested time and resources into our India presence. This past fall key executives including myself from our North American office had the opportunity to spend time in the Indian office, and to witness the intelligent and dynamic team in action.
We have done a solid job of managing many different moving parts, in large part due to our strong leadership team who operates independently. We do a good job of bringing new ideas to light, and constructing a plan to make those ideas a tangible reality.
But all of this growth doesn’t come easy. It requires the dedicated management of a global enterprise, and staying true to our original intentions. Which brings me to my second point….
As uSamp continues to grow in terms of revenue, market grasp, panel numbers, and product offerings, it’s important to remember our original mission and value proposition. At the heart of uSamp is our panel—one of our strongest assets. We will continue engaging current panelists, while sourcing new niche panelists. Our focus will be on cultivating business, medical and Hispanic audiences, and expanding our reach to the Asian Pacific in order to meet the demands of the marketplace and better serve our clients’ needs.
In 2011, we’ve are lucky to have been rewarded by tremendous growth in North America and around the world. But at the end of the day, it’s clients that matter most—the key contributors to our success. We have a dedicated operations team that is on call 24/7, so that we can efficiently meet all of our global clients’ needs day and night. In all of the noise, the excitement, the chaos, it is easy to lose sight of our intentions. But we will continue to prioritize listening to our clients, to our leadership, to our employees. And we will continue to imagine ourselves in start-up survival mode. This past year, uSamp was recognized by The Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the best places to work in Los Angeles. We will strive to live up to the praise, and bring a dynamic work culture to every office across the globe.
Fall 2011 marked uSamp’s foray into the market research blogosphere. The Greenbook Blog, Next Gen Market Research, Innovation Evolved, Research Access, Love Stats, Forrester, MRGA’s Social Advisory…you’ve certainly inspired and set the industry standards high! We wanted engage in the dialogue that is central to our field of work. We wanted to join in on the debates around DIY, gamification, privacy, sample quality, and consumer insight. It has been our objective to add value to a space already a-buzz with information.
uSamp is comprised of thought-leaders both wizened MR folks, and young innovative minds. We will continue tapping the intel we have inside in hopes that we can provide a feisty debate, a helpful take-away, a peek into how we work, even just a chuckle or two. We pride ourselves on transparency, and will continue to develop our blog to foster an open, intelligent and colorful community. We hope that you have enjoyed uSamp’s perspective thus far, as we will continue ramping it up in the new year.
To close out 2011, we decide to bring back some of the greatest hits from our freshman album. Without further ado, we invite you to revisit the following posts:
- The envelope pusher, cheekily titled: Does Size Matter?
- The European perspective, courtesy of London’s own Ben Leet: 2012 EU Forecast
- The standard seeker: Online Sample Quality
- The panel-whisperer: Sensitivity to Sample
As always, we encourage your feedback and live for your ideas. Thanks for a terrific 2011, and here’s to lots of discussion and insight in the new year!
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 Matt Dusig, co-founder & CEO
We, as consumers, are in an age of unlimited exposure. For efficiency’s sake, we agree to terms and conditions without bothering to scroll through 53 pages of stipulations. We volunteer credit-card information and secret passwords without second thought. We are at a crossroads where data mining can be beneficial or detrimental. The more information we give up about ourselves, the better our browsing experience. But at the same time, we often forget about the digital footprint left behind that can be manipulated if it falls into the wrong hands.
I am often reluctant to give 100% accurate information when registering for a website. When prompted to fill out my date of birth on non-legal sites, I’ll state the proper year but a different month and day so that I don’t compromise my privacy. It’s a scary world with all of the data leaks of major corporations, and I am hesitant to trust an unknown source with personal details. I can’t be the only person who feels this way, can I?
Joyce resides in Seattle, WA and joined uSamp in September 2010. She brings a decade of market research expertise spanning from client side to supplier side and even a few of those years spent on the buyer side. Krista spends a great deal of her time in the world of online panel and emerging DIY technology. In addition to her role with uSamp, she’s an advocate for modernizing industry methodologies to empower researchers and you can easily find her musings in many social media outlets including the #MRX communities on Twitter (@KristaJoyce1114) and LinkedIn.
There are several reasons that factor into why your client is interested in building a private panel, but the three most common motives derive from the universal pattern: faster, better and cheaper. With a private panel, your clients gain faster access to their customers, reap long term cost savings and yield higher quality data for their research. The rest of this article will provide you with tips for assessing your client’s interest in building their own panel, and help you identify the appropriate panel management platform.
Here are four important questions you should ask your client before collecting price quotes from various panel management platform suppliers:
1.) Why do your clients want to build a panel?
You may find it’s because they’re attracted to the economical model of owning their own panel compared to buying outside sample for their research studies. Or you may discover it’s because they want to access their customer list or database for more frequent studies. It’s essential to identify if your client is looking to build a fresh panel, or if they really want to migrate an existing asset into a more formal panel, as both require a different approach. Of course, they may only be asking because they hear other companies or brands have had success with their own private panel.