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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?

Mobile!

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.

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.

uSamp’s CTO on Why Mobile, Big Data and Real Time Are Here to Stay

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uSamp's CTO, Carl Trudel

Recently, uSamp published a Q & A with CTO, Carl Trudel, who is pushing his team to think outside the box and anticipate client demand before it happens. Here he shares the challenges of recruiting, iterating and the importance of being device agnostic.

Q: How are you developing technology to keep up with clients’ needs?

A: It’s all about platform and flexibility. When you think in terms of platform, you don’t build custom development for clients. Instead, you configure features for specific client’s needs. This is much more powerful and allows us to move much faster. This is key to staying on top of the competition.

Q: What is different today than five years ago?

A: A lot! My top three would be mobile, big data and real time. Mobile is not the next cool thing anymore… it is our way, our basis, our framework. Big data is not about lots of data anymore; it is about the right data. And finally, real time is not just a nice thing to have – everyone expects real time information for anything we do. At uSamp, we understand all this and that puts us ahead of anyone else.

Q: How fast can you bring product to market?

A: At uSamp, we move fast. We follow Kanban agile methodology, which optimizes the flow from product ideation to production release. Our highly customizable platform offers flexibility and allows us to deliver new product very fast.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Unfortunately, everything. I always want more and to do better. I am very hard on myself and on the team. There is so much potential for what we can achieve – I wish I did not have to sleep at night!

Mobile is not the next cool thing anymore… it is our way, our basis, our framework. Big data is not about lots of data anymore; it is about the right data. And finally, real time is not just a nice thing to have – everyone expects real time information for anything we do. At uSamp, we understand all this and that puts us ahead of anyone else.

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Written by lsozio

October 2nd, 2013 at 6:02 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 Instant.ly™, 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, Instant.ly, 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

Can Tablet, TV, and Mobile Get Along? Understanding Cross-Platform Viewing Behavior in 2013

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NBCUniversal's Prime-Time Olympic Viewership Soars Despite Time Delay

With an estimated 219.4 million viewers, the London Olympics were the most-watched television event in U.S. History. In its broadcast of the event, NBCUniversal bet on a triple strategy of live Web streaming, live cable coverage, and tape-delay broadcast—an approach that would challenge old assumptions about when, where, and how audiences are engaged.

As a key participant in NBCUniversal’s Billion Dollar Olympics Lab research initiative, uSamp applied its consumer insights platform, to track consumers’ real-time reactions, sentiment and behavior during the Games.

Before the 2012 Olympics, broadcasters had assumed that a smaller number of viewers would watch primetime Olympic coverage if they knew the results before airing. Survey results by uSamp revealed the opposite to be true. uSamp suggested that the multiple platform strategy made it more likely that people would watch primetime coverage—not less. NBC Olympics Digital set records with engagement time, live video streams and page views, while NBCOlympics.com, its mobile site and apps, delivered unparalleled engagement, traffic and consumption.

The lessons of the 2012 Olympics illustrate how the convergence of mobile, online, and broadcast platforms is shaping behavior as consumers interact with multiple touchpoints.

What can broadcasters/marketers/consumer tech companies take away from this scenario? And how will it change in 2013?

For the full case study, please contact lauren@usamp.com.

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Written by lsozio

January 17th, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Pioneers Of DIY Online Sampling

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by Matt Dusig, Co-founder & CEO

I believe that competition is at the core of any successful tech company; pioneers lay the groundwork, new entrants build on top of that groundwork, and all parties become more fiercely committed to solving problems. Take search engines for example. Yahoo! pioneered a hugely popular early search engine for the web. Its limitation was in how quickly its database of human-powered results could keep up with the rapidly expanding web. Google saw a problem and created a better solution.

I was recently asked by Bob Lederer of the Research Business Daily Report about my thoughts on how Google Consumer Surveys (GCS) has impacted the Market Research industry. I’ll reiterate what I wrote in the first product review of GCS: “GCS’ move into the Market Research industry brings good visibility to on-demand SaaS insights.” I truly believe that competition propels innovation and everyone wins.

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Written by lsozio

December 12th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Email Sampling Is Dead: Long Live The Web (and mobile)!

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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?

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Written by lsozio

November 20th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

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

Best Practices in Panel Management: Incentives

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by Adam Sowers, Specialty Panel Manager, uSamp

The other week, I found myself agreeing to take a survey – after all I am in the business, and thought for good karma, I’d pay it back. The invitation stated that I could earn some pocket change for ten minutes of my time. Twenty minutes later, I was escorted to an over-quota page. With my head in my non-clicking hand, I closed my browser. I felt duped and wanted those lost minutes of my life back. Unfortunately, there are no reward options for regaining lost time – I’ve checked.

Unpleasant experiences like this contribute to panel burn. Jaded respondents don’t want to interact with your brand if they are left feeling unsatisfied, unhappy, or worse – betrayed. Establishing accurate expectations is the first, and most obvious, step to help reduce panel burn. I would like to share with you a few additional fundamental practices that should be instituted to maximize panelist retention.

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Written by lsozio

June 21st, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Quirks Article: Data Privacy and Social Media

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by Dinaz Kachhi, Manager of Research Insights, uSamp

The following article originally appeared in Quirk’s June 2012 Newsletter.

“It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen.” – George Orwell, 1984

We may be nearly 30 years past Orwell’s apocalypse but we are closer than ever to his Big Brother predictions. While readers may have once shuddered to think that the walls of privacy might crumble to reveal private thoughts publicly, the above quote seems but a mundane observation in an age where status updates and hashtags make public what was once private – or at least confined to a tight-knit circle. Security concerns are becoming more pronounced, as more and more people engage in social networks and as data breaches force them to think and interact differently.

The topic of privacy is especially important in the world of survey research. Our industry is built on the premise of getting inside people’s minds. We pride ourselves on being able to tap in to the private and make it public for market consumption. We are not only trying to gauge perceptions but also to understand how demographics impact online interactions.

To that end, uSamp conducted a study on social media usage across three groups (U.S. and U.K. general population and Hispanics) to compare, contrast and better understand of how social media usage and willingness to share information varies across and within these groups. The studies were completed over the course of six months. The U.S. and U.K. studies were conducted with 600 respondents each and the Hispanic study was conducted with n of 650, all drawn from uSamp’s online panel. The sample was controlled for age and gender.

The results outlined variation in usage of social media platforms by these groups, along with differences in measures taken to control privacy. Additionally, there were distinct trends in the types of activities performed and willingness to share information on social networks, demonstrating different patterns for each group.

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Written by lsozio

June 13th, 2012 at 2:36 pm