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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.

December 30th, 2013

Posted in Industry Trends

Geofencing Part II: Delivering
Real-Time Insights

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In Part I of our Mobile Research Trends series, Don’t Mess with the Geofence, our Director of Mobile Products for uSamp, Allen Vartazarian lays the groundwork for geofencing. Here, he explores some of the various applications, and we begin to see how geofencing might be the best way to capture in-the-moment insights.

One of advertising’s greatest pain points is measuring ad effectiveness from the point of impact to the point of purchase. What if we said that geofencing could link an ad’s influence to purchase behavior? Geofencing is a powerful tool that can provide this feedback while adding a whole new dimension to mobile research. Here are some ways that we are using geofencing to provide valuable insights today:

  • Out-Of-Home Ad Effectiveness: By setting geofences around out-of-home advertisements, we know when someone in our Mobile Army™ (our robust mobile audience), is nearby and “exposed” to the ad. By setting geofences around specific businesses, agencies can better gauge ad effectiveness by comparing store visitation of exposed consumers to those who were not exposed.
  • Real-time Feedback: Whether it be a trip to the grocery store, or a movie that just came out, its imperative to gather feedback as close to the time of the experience as possible. With geofencing, we can trigger an alert as someone enters or exits a location with an invitation to answer a few questions while the experience is still fresh in one’s mind.
  • User Behavior Monitoring: We can track store visits, time on site and other key metrics vital to retailers and advertisers. Combining this with other collected data, i.e. web-browsing and purchase activity, helps identify the true impact of the OOH ad exposure.

These are just a few examples of geofencing applications. Imagine how geofencing can apply to competitive analysis, field research and in-store missions. The opportunities will continue to grow with the technology and methodology. Geofencing is truly an innovative method for gaining insight into customer behavior because researchers no longer have to rely on a user’s activation since surveys can now be automatically triggered.

Our final post will explore some of the challenges seen with geofencing, what can be done to address them, and why 2013 is the year of mobile maturity.

March 5th, 2013

Posted in Mobile Research

Mobile Solutions II: Why User Experience is the Key to Quality

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by Matt Dusig, Co-founder & CEO

uSamp Mobile

With smartphone adoption at an all time high, more and more people are checking personal email on their phone. So when a survey invitation email comes to your mobile inbox, shouldn’t the experience be mobile friendly? You’d think so. Why haven’t all the major survey-scripting platforms made it simpler to author a survey that is automatically formatted for mobile?


To find out, I took the liberty of visiting 10 survey panel websites using my iPhone. In order to better understand the experience of taking surveys, I looked specifically at the following criteria:

  • Navigation
  • Overlapping text
  • Ability to view graphics
  • Landscape vs. Portrait view
  • Use of scales

Most experiences were weak and frustrating, not to mention bad for the market research industry as a whole. Poor design has a direct impact on data quality and response rate. The more work a survey respondent has to do (beyond just answering the questions), the higher the likelihood of burnout.

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August 1st, 2012

Posted in Mobile Research

Mobile Solutions: 3 Ways Businesses Can Leverage Mobile Research

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Matt Dusig, Co-founder & CEO and Allen Vartazarian, Senior Product Manager

Global CommunicationEveryone in Market Research has mobile on the tip of their tongue: mobile surveys, mobile panelists, SMS, push notifications, geo-location, geo-fencing and app installs are just a few of the features being discussed. A recent article in Quirk’s argued that mobile research is not just about translating desktop surveys to a small screen; instead, it’s about creating media-rich experience of profiles, location and commerce.

But what does this all mean? What does it take to successfully execute a mobile strategy today? Is it as simple as formatting surveys for the smaller screen or do more robust capabilities need to be baked into this on-the-go solution? Should we look for technology, panels or both? What’s the experience for panelists?

Taking these questions into consideration, it is important to focus on simple but effective mobile business solutions, where you can connect and learn from your customers. Here are some mobile strategies for your company to take into consideration:


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