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ARF Re:Think 2014:
A #Social Retrospective

By The Editors


If you missed ARF Re:Think 2014, you only missed one of the biggest market research and advertising events of the year. Go ahead, #facepalm.

From March 23rd through 26th, more than 2,500 top advertisers, market research companies, ad agencies and more gathered in NYC to “Inspire Intelligent Growth” and push our industry toward making smarter, faster, and better business decisions. There were a lot of interesting talks given and exciting news announced. But if you missed it, don’t beat yourself up. We have you #covered with this quick recap of the most important happenings and news shared on Twitter.


Talks by Keith Reinhard of DDB Worldwide and James Burke and Euan MacKay of Kantar Media captivated audiences.

From our booth, we  spread love, not war–in the form of creamy chocolate hazelnut spreads, that is. Our live demo on mobile IHUTs featured results from a recent study on spreadables from Hershey’s, Jif, and Nutella (complete with samples!). Who did consumers crown as king nut? Check out the results here.

While meeting with hundreds of attendees and attending presentations, we definitely noticed more chatter over the importance of tracking and analyzing mobile data. Here’s what people were saying:

And in the mind-boggling-facts-department, presenters did not disappoint:

Legos: The Ultimate Time Killers

We also had a blast scooping Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and chatting with attendees at our booth. Plus, shirts!

All in all, the show was a great success, so much so it prompted a few post-event responses from Huff Post and Greenbook. If we missed you this time, be sure to come out and visit next year. We’ll be there, ice-cream scoops a ready.

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April 8th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Predictive Mobile Marketing:
Creepy or Cool?

By The Editors


“What makes sharing personal information worth it?” uSamp’s Vice President of Karyn Hall ponders in her new article for The Economist Group’s Lean Back, a blog for top thinkers in marketing. As we move into an increasingly mobile-driven world, Karyn asks how comfortable consumers are with receiving real-time coupon alerts in exchange for giving up personal information. Will they allow their purchases to be tracked and geolocated if it means time and/or money saved? She shares results from a recent uSamp study that polled consumers on whether they were interested in receiving some real-time mobile coupon alerts or were comfortable with the idea of their purchases being tracked. And the results are surprising, especially for those of us intimate with the world of mobile marketing.

Bottom line, Karyn emphasizes quality over quantity: As long as companies use mobile marketing to improve consumer shopping experiences, she reasons that people will be open to sharing their personal information.

Click here to read Karyn’s article and add your own thoughts on the issue.

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April 8th, 2014 at 12:23 am

Technomic Talks Pizza; uSamp Provides Aficionados

In a new study in partnership with uSamp, “Consumers are setting new standards for the quality and variety they expect,” said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic, Inc. “The fast-casual pizza segment is succeeding because it’s matching customers’ needs for quality, freshness and the ability to choose from among a broader selection of ingredients.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Written by lsozio

April 7th, 2014 at 3:31 pm

The Great Hazelnut Spread Wars

Nutella has been king of the hazelnut spreads for decades, but recently they’ve been facing sweet competition from big name competitors like Hershey’s and Jif. We wanted to find out if these challengers were eating away at Nutella’s long-dominant market share, so we launched a mobile IHUT study to collect direct feedback from consumers. This infographic summarizes some of the delicious details. Enjoy!

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March 28th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Live Dispatches From ARF 2014:
New Frontier of TV Engagement From @CBS


By Daniel Ross, SVP of Product and Technology


Brief notes from the featured CBS VISION Presentation: The New Lifestyle and Psychographic Dimensions of Today’s Dynamic U.S. Media Consumer by  Katie Clemency of The Cambridge Group and David Poltrack of CBS.

Some very interesting highlights from the talk:

  • 40% say TV is main source of entertainment
  • Total viewing is up 2+ hours driven by new models of access that enable viewer control (Netflix, DVR) – time shifted TV

Consumers are engaging with TV content in new ways:

  • Binge viewing – multiple episodes in a row
  • multitasking – using second screen to research or purchase something online
  • social engagement taking place while viewing

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March 25th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Quantifying Emotion:
How to Collect Data Based on a “Feeling”
Live from #ARFReThink2014


By Daniel Ross, SVP of Product and Technology


It’s no secret that we’re in the age of quantifying. In baseball, it’s all about the numbers – countless stats are collected and analyzed to try to predict the success and future of players and teams. However, that does not mean we can discount the “feel” of things, either. As Chairman Emeritus of DDB Worldwide Keith Reinhard told a crowd at ARF Re:think 2014 yesterday, when you hear the bat crack against the ball, you know it’s a home run.

The same, according to Reinhard, goes for advertising. As much as there is a science behind how to make a successful campaign, so much of it comes down to a gut feeling of what will do well. Specifically, Reinhard explained, success can come when connecting with your audience emotionally. Take State Farm’s campaign, for example. Their advertising isn’t centered on their policy, it’s about the hometown feeling they offer their subscribers. Their promise to be “like a good neighbor” and be there for you when you need them most is what attracts people to their business.

So if Reinhard is right, and successful advertising often comes from emotional appeals that develop based on gut feeling, how do you gauge when you have a successful campaign? That’s an idea uSamp is continually trying to address, most recently through our expansion into Mobile. We want to get that data from our users in the moment – capturing their emotional responses as they experience them.

The possibility for reaching consumers at the moment of truth is already out there. Keller Fay Group’s CEO Ed Keller and Discovery Communication’s Senior Vice President for Market Resources Beth Rockwood addressed this idea during their ARF Re:think 2014 session “Talking Social TV 2″ yesterday. Television viewers are socially connected, with 1 in 5 viewing occasions involving social media. People are already developing the habit of cataloging their in-the-moment responses to what they see and hear around them.

If Reinhard’s right and advertising’s success is the emotional response, then businesses need to collect that data instantaneously and to have an accurate understanding of how their company and products are perceived.


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Written by adrien

March 25th, 2014 at 7:49 pm

Brand Dependence Index:
Social Media Gets #Attachment Score

By The Editors


Do we feel the same about a “like” as we do a retweet? That’s what the Brand Dependence Index sought to discover in a recent study of  our attachment to social media brands. This is the second release of the Index, which was developed by UTA Brand Studio in partnership with uSamp. The latest findings were presented last Friday at SXSW and published in an article by Fast Company.

The word “attachment,” as intended by the methodology’s creators, refers to the degree to which consumers believe a brand is like themselves, and the degree to which thoughts and feelings about a brand easily come to mind.

The recent social media study specifically looks at social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, and the one trending highest may surprise you. Click here read the article and to learn how the BDI tells us more about our social media habits than RTs and “likes” ever will.

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March 12th, 2014 at 2:56 am

Hazelnut Wars:
Hershey’s and Jif Joust with Nutella

Until recently, Nutella held a monopoly over the hazelnut-spread market. There really wasn’t anything remotely comparable to the distinctly Italian substance that people enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or with a spoon straight from the jar. Now, nearly 70 years after Mr. Ferrero introduced hazelnuts to the world (in order to make the most of the chocolate shortage during WWII), America’s favorite chocolate factory, Hershey’s, has entered the market with a remake of the classic. Not to be left out, peanut sweetheart Jif threw their hats in the ring. The result: a lot of chatter over whether these American copycats could eat into the territory long occupied by Italy.

This was fodder enough to inspire the uSamp Mobile team to test out the emerging product concepts. Anything for an excuse to run an In Home Usage Test (IHUT). So we nerded out.

Over the weekend, we sent our Mobile Army out to the grocery store to conduct a side-by-side comparison of the three products in this market. Over 175 people actively participated in just under 48 hours, resulting in a rich compendium of consumer testimonials rich with flavor that rivaled the nutty spread.

Overall findings suggest that the brand’s equity had influence over taste. Some findings:

  • We also learned that new entrants had succeeded in creating quite the buzz. More than half of the consumers were more excited to try the Jif or Hershey’s brands over Nutella.
  • Overall, we found the hazelnut-spread bar is low: 56% reported that the spreads exceeded their expectations, Jif being a particular standout.
  • 66% don’t like the price/value of these spreads, even when it came to their favorite.
  • Several testimonials suggested that the hazelnut spread might even cannibalize the Herhsey’s and Jif brands’ core products (chocolate and peanut butter).

This video testimonial captures the essence of our findings:

What can the brand guys can take away?

This is not just a study of taste buds. This study showcases the key benefits of mobile market research story-telling. It reveals brand equity, provides competitive analysis, evaluates new concepts, and reexamines the old.

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Written by lsozio

February 24th, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Morpace Case Study:
Mobile Gives Electric Vehicle Owners a Voice

We love pushing the boundaries of mobile market research innovation. More importantly, we love providing our clients with the platform and the freedom to take mobile in directions that we never considered. Our latest collaboration with Morpace and their panel of electric car enthusiasts (see video below) highlights a creative execution of mobile research. Not only was the vertical intriguing, but the consumer feedback proved product altering for Morpace’s auto clients.

This also got us thinking about how we can best communicate the value of mobile research to those not yet invested in this space. Interested in expanding your mobile repertoire? Check out four more ways to make mobile research work for you.

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February 24th, 2014 at 4:29 pm

4 Things You Didn’t Know You
Could Do With Mobile

By Jared Smith, Content Marketing Manager

1. Collect video narratives about consumer experiences.

Most people like telling stories, but hate to write open-ended responses. Many can’t be bothered to put forth the time and energy that writing requires. This is part of the reason open-ended questions can yield lackluster answers. People are naturally oral storytellers, and mobile video or audio diaries give people them the chance to do just that. Plus, in-the-moment storytelling encourages honest, authentic feedback.

2. Identify patterns in product usage among customers.

Consumers have all types of different needs and reasons for purchasing products. Consider a recent study of electric vehicle owners in which a client learned how and why their users chose different battery recharging models for their homes. Cost, automobile use, and home electrical setup were just some of the factors that impacted their decisions. But each consumer’s story was unique. See for yourself in the Morpace video.

3. Reach consumers at the moment they are interfacing with a product.

PCs don’t travel well. But mobile is a different story. According to Nielsen, smartphones now make up 64 percent of mobile usage in the U.S., which means it’s easier than ever to reach consumers wherever they are located. By setting up a virtual parameter around a specific location—a technique known as geofencing—we can now send surveys to consumers when they are shopping, waiting in line for coffee, or right after grabbing lunch. This helps researchers learn what consumers are thinking, when they are thinking it. In other words, with mobile, consumer feedback is not filtered or obscured by the passage of time and limitations of memory. You get pure, uninhibited first impressions.

4. Learn where your product’s weak points are and why.

You threw hours of research, testing, and dollars at a new enclosure system on your shredded cheese packaging. Well, guess what? Consumers are taking the scissors to it. You could poll consumers to find out why, but the reasoning might be difficult to articulate. Mobile research could allow you to collect hundreds of videos of people opening the product, so you get down to the small nuances in product interface that could be contributing to the problem. That kind of intimate knowledge could take months upon months to gather in person. With mobile, only a few weeks.

Jared Smith has worked as an editor and content strategist in both the publishing and marketing industries for nearly a decade. His writing has appeared in Rangefinder, AfterCapture, and Orbit. Follow him on Twitter @jared_usamp.

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Written by lsozio

February 24th, 2014 at 4:12 pm