Tag Archives: humanization of data

How to humanize a survey

I recently wrote an article about humanizing surveys
which suggested that more casual language may create a better survey experience
for responders while not comprising data quality nor research results. Here are
a few tips on how to achieve those results for yourself.
  1. Don’t
    compromise on grammar
    . Even though we’re trying to loosen up and use a more
    casual writing style, we don’t need or want to compromise on grammar. This is
    not the place to forget how to use a comma, switch around your verb tenses, or
    generally be sloppy.
  2. Shorter is
    better
    . Charles Dickens is well known for his ability to write perfectly
    crafted sentences of 100 words or more. Surveys are not the place for that. Once
    sentences creep over the 15 word mark, figure out they can be broken down into
    more readable lengths. This long question can easily be shortened: ‘For each of the following descriptions of
    shopping behaviors, please indicate whether the description is highly
    characteristic, somewhat characteristic, slightly characteristic, or not characteristic
    at all of you when you visit a membership-only warehouse club store
    .’  Instead try, ‘How descriptive are these characteristics when you visit a membership-only
    warehouse club store
    .’
  3. Don’t
    over apply grammar
    . We’ve all heard the adage of not ending a sentence in a
    preposition. Well, as part of natural language, we do it all the time. Don’t be
    scared to do it in a survey if the language sounds natural. Instead of awkwardly
    yet correctly saying ‘Into which of the following groups do you fall’? why not
    simply say ‘Which group do you fall into’?

Avoiding ending a sentence in a preposition is not something you need to strive for.

  1. Keep grid
    headers short
    . Researchers like to be as descriptive as they possibly can
    when writing surveys, perhaps to the point of being over-descriptive. Do we
    really need to ask what someone ‘currently
    owns
    ‘ instead of just asking what they ‘own.’
    Do you we really need to ask what someone has ‘used in the past week‘ instead of just asking what they ‘use a lot.’
  2. Loosen up
    your wording
    . Try using some different scales. Instead of using a scale
    from ‘Strongly Agree‘ to ‘Strongly Disagree,’ what about a scale
    of ‘Love, Like, Neutral, Dislike, Hate
    or ‘Awesome‘ to ‘Terrible.’ Yes, the words are much more casual but they will create
    differentiation among your responders and that is your true goal, and could
    even generate more meaningful results.
  3. Add a
    little humor
    . There’s no denying that humor is tricky. Jokes about politics,
    religion, and the usual iffy suspects remain off the table but that’s no reason
    to avoid all humour. Mention a currently popular meme (‘This survey may not be as fun as your favorite cat playing the piano
    video but we hope you like it anyways!
    ‘), a generally popular movie (‘May the survey force be with you‘), or
    spice up your answer options with some fun descriptors (‘Zero, Zip, Zilch!‘).

This survey may not be as fun as your favorite cat playing the piano video but we hope you like it anyways!

  1. Say
    please and thank you
    . Whether it’s minding your manners or treating others
    as you’d like to be treated, don’t forget to be polite throughout the survey
    experience. There’s no need to plaster it onto every question, but a little
    reminder now and then is much appreciated. Research participants like to know that
    there’s a human being on the other side of the research. And of course, use
    your Ps and Qs in a more casual way. Instead of ‘Thank you for your participation,’ why not try ‘Thanks a bunch for all your help‘ or ‘You’ve been a great help. Thanks so much!

If you apply these techniques carefully and don’t overdue
it, you too could benefit from happier responders. May the survey force be with
you! 

Speaker Spotlight: Christopher Gutierrez

We were lucky enough to catch up with Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 speaker
Christopher Gutierrez of AIRBNB before the event in a few weeks. Gutierrez shared
with us his thoughts on the humanization of data, and how technology has
changed the way we do things and the way we understand people. 
We are fortunate to have him share this critical insight
with our FOCI community. This year, FOCI
explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge
points – insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and
intelligence with technology as a central driving force and profound connector.
We are barraged by information – and within this sea of data
we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can
we use this convergence of information to better understand people.
 Translating the new “understanding” into future opportunities
means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI accelerates disruptive
innovators in the research space and pushes people to take risks, to think
outside of traditional research methods and insights gathering and explore new
and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will bridge the gap between what
people say they are going to do and what they actually do.
Here is what Gutierrez had to say:
IIR: A big theme
of this year’s conference is ‘humanization of data.’ Why do you think understanding
PEOPLE (not consumers) presents an opportunity for strategic action?
Gutierrez: Data
*is* the user experience. Customer tickets are the direct voice of a person.
Data logged from people’s actual site sessions highlights problems and the
magnitude of problems.  With A/B testing, logged data can lead products to
potential solutions. Data is the distillation of the human experience.
IIR: How is
technology not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the
world, business, and people?
Gutierrez: Technology
increases the impact an individual can make. Prior to the advent of recent
technologies, a company needed to be large before it could impact a significant
number of people. As technology advances, it reduces the necessary size of a company
before the company is impactful. Airbnb itself was impactful at 100 employees.
More importantly, Airbnb hosts are impactful at an individual basis. Uber,
Lyft, and others are making it possible to have many successful ‘companies of
one’.
IIR: How has
consumer intelligence strategy and action planning helped drive your business?
Gutierrez: People
are communicating with us simply by using our site. How they traverse the site
tells us what is frustrating or confusing to them. Data gives our users a voice.
The data science team translates their experiences to the rest of the company.
IIR: How has the
role of ‘the researcher’ changed?
Gutierrez: A
researcher has always developed a hypothesis. A modern researcher spends less
time writing proposals, and more time testing hypotheses.
IIR: Describe a
situation where you’ve taken a risk or thought outside the box of tradition
market research methods. How did that benefit your business?
Gutierrez: I
replaced a complex model, with a carefully constructed GROUP BY query. It
allowed the system to run in line with daily updates and more features and
records. Often, something simple and with better data, can beat a sophisticated
model. Maintenance was easier, and profit was higher.
Want to hear more
from Christoper in person? Join him at 
Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 in Los Angeles, CA in May. To learn
more about the event and register, click here: 
http://bit.ly/1hchuzK
** As a reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15%
discount on your FOCI 2014 pass. Use code FOCI14BLOG when you
register **

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the 
Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology.
Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including 
Next
Big Design
Customers
1st
, and ProjectWorld
and World Congress for Business Analysts
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

Why Habits are the Lifeblood of Your Business

Editor’s Note: This
essay is adapted from Hooked: A
Guide to Building Habit Forming Products
by Nir Eyal. Nir also blogs at NirAndFar.com.
Habits are one of the ways the brain learns complex
behaviors. Habits form when the brain takes a shortcut and stops actively
deliberating over what to do next.1 The brain quickly learns to codify
behaviors that provide a solution to whatever situation it encounters.
The success of many companies depends on their ability to
find a way to get users to go from infrequent use to being dependent on the
product. It is at the point when customers start to use it on their own, again
and again, without relying on overt calls-to-action such as ads or promotions,
that the product becomes a habit.
These habit-forming products change user behavior and create
unprompted user engagement.  Habit formation is good for business in
several ways. Building for habits increases customer lifetime value, provides
pricing flexibility, supercharges growth, and erects competitive barriers.
1. Increasing Customer Lifetime Value
Fostering consumer habits is an effective way to increase
the value of a company by driving higher customer lifetime value (CLTV). CLTV
is the amount of money made from a customer before she switches to a
competitor, stops using the product or dies. User habits increase how long and
how frequently customers use a product, resulting in higher CLTV.
Some products have a very high CLTV. For example, credit
card customers tend to stay loyal for a very long time and are worth a bundle.
Hence, credit card companies are willing to spend a considerable amount of
money acquiring new customers. This explains why you receive so many
promotional offers, ranging from free gifts to airline bonus miles, to entice
you to add another card or upgrade your current one. Your potential CLTV
justifies a credit card company’s marketing investment.
2. Providing Pricing Flexibility
Habits give companies greater flexibility to increase
prices. For example, in the free-to-play video game business, it is standard
practice for game developers to delay asking users to pay money until they have
played consistently and habitually.
Once the compulsion to play is in place and the desire to
progress in the game increases, converting users into paying customers is much
easier. Selling virtual items, extra lives, and special powers is where the
real money lies.
As of December 2013, more than 500 million people have
downloaded Candy Crush Saga, a game played mostly on mobile devices. The game’s
‘freemium’ model converts some of those users into paying customers, netting
the game’s maker nearly a million
dollars per day
.
3. Supercharging Growth
Users who continually find value in a product are more
likely to tell their friends about it. Frequent usage creates more
opportunities to encourage people to invite their friends, broadcast content,
and share through word-of-mouth.
Products with higher user engagement also have the potential
to grow faster than their rivals. Case in point: Facebook leapfrogged its
competitors, including MySpace and Friendster, even though it was relatively
late to the social networking party. Although its competitors both had healthy
growth rates and millions of users by the time Mark Zuckerberg’s fledgling site
launched beyond the closed doors of academia, his company came to dominate the
industry. Facebook’s success was, in part, a result of the more is more
principle ‘ more frequent usage drives more viral growth.
4. Creating Competitive Barriers
When it comes to shaking consumers’ old habits, better
products don’t always win ‘ especially if a large number of users have already
adopted a competing product. For example, August Dvorak designed a keyboard in
1932 that is far more efficient than the QWERTY most people use today. Dvorak’s
design of vowels in the center row proved to increase the speed and efficiency
of typists. However, despite having built a better product, the switch to his
keyboard never happened. Why? QWERTY survives because the costs of switching
user behavior after habits have been formed are too high.  
For many products, forming habits is an imperative for
survival. As infinite distractions compete for our attention, companies are
learning to master novel tactics to stay relevant in users’ minds. Today,
amassing millions of users is no longer good enough. Companies increasingly
find that their economic value is a function of the strength of the habits they
create. In order to win the loyalty of their users and create a product that’s
regularly used, companies must learn not only what compels users to click, but
also what makes them tick.
You can hear Nir speak
at the upcoming Future of Consumer Intelligence Conference 2014 in Los Angeles,
California.  The Future of Consumer
Intelligence 2014 explores the emerging role of decision science and the
convergence of knowledge points – insights, foresights, social science,
marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving force and
profound connector. For more information
on the event, click here to download the interactive brochure: http://bit.ly/1h9MG2Q
Register for FOCI and see Nir in person! http://bit.ly/1eozvcg

1. Dickinson, A. &
Balleine, B. (2002) The role of learning in the operation of motivational
systems. In Gallistel, C.R. (ed.), Stevens’ Handbook of Experimental
Psychology: Learning, Motivation, and Emotion. Wiley and Sons, New York, pp.
497’534.

Ray Kurzweil On Intelligence When Minds & Machines Become One

“WHY DID YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND?”
Every researcher’s dream is to truly understand what
motivates, persuades and changes behavior. 
Technology is a disruptor, and when
paired with science the possibilities are endless.  

Come explore possibility with us at The Future of Consumer
Intelligence and discover how to translate genuine insight into confident
decision making.
The Future of
Consumer Intelligence 2014
May 19-21, 2014 // Sheraton Universal // Universal City, CA

Download the brochure
for full conference details: http://bit.ly/1fLunmf
2014 Keynotes
include:
  • The Web Within Us: When Minds & Machines Become One, Ray
    Kurzweil, Director of Engineering, GOOGLE 
  • The Need for BIG Privacy in a World of Big Data, Ann
    Cavoukian, Information & Privacy Commissioner, 
  • ONTARIO, CANADA
  • Making Data More Human, Jer Thorp, Former Data Artist, THE
    NEW YORK TIMES
  • How to Generate Word of Mouth, Jonah Berger, Author,
    CONTAGIOUS: WHY THINGS CATCH ON 
  • When the Future Begins – A Guide to Long-Term Thinking,
    Magnus Lindkvist, Trendspotter, Futurologist
  • Designing Habit-Forming Technology, Nir Eyal, Habit Design
    Researcher, NIRANDFAR.COM

Topics Covered Include:

Consumer Intelligence // Big Data & Analysis // Strategy
& Action Planning // The Future Consumer // The Connected Consumer //
Research at the Center of Marketing Strategy // Data Visualization //
Crowdsourcing // The Future Researcher // Beyond Data Driven // Social
Listening //
Designing Intelligence // Privacy in a World of Big Data // From Consumer
Understanding to Empathy // Leveraging Technology to Uncover Deeper Insights //
Designing Habit-Forming Technology
And much more!
Mention code FOCI14BLOG & Save 15% off the standard
rate. Register today:
 
**Plus, don’t miss your special video invitation from
conference Chairman Ben Smithee to find our why you need to attend The Future
of Consumer Intelligence: http://bit.ly/MuI2CO
Interested in learning more? Download our new, interactive
conference brochure loaded with exclusive content that can’t be found anywhere
else: http://bit.ly/1fLunmf
We hope to see you in California!
Best,
The FOCI Team
@TMRE
#FOCI14

www.themarketresearcheventblog.com

Earn a Free Pass to The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014: Become a Guest Blogger

Earn a complimentary all-access pass to The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 by
serving as a Guest Blogger at the event. As a Guest Blogger, you’ll have access
to FOCI’s comprehensive agenda attracting the best in market research and consumer
insights from around the world, right in L.A. in May.
You’ll get a pass to the annual FOCI event plus exclusive
access to a networking community and on-demand webinars, to help you grow and
learn throughout the entire year.
Guest Blogger responsibilities will include submitting at least
one post per week to The
Market Research Event blog
between now and the conference and attending
specifically assigned sessions at the event and blogging live or same day.
By participating as a Guest Blogger leading up to and at the
event, you’ll receive an all-access pass for the 3-day FOCI event, taking place
May 19-21 in Los Angeles, California.
In addition, Guest Bloggers are responsible for their own travel and lodging.
Learn more about the event by visiting our website:  http://bit.ly/1mKSI11
Apply today by sending your name, title, company, short
biography and links to your blog or writing samples, along with a few sentences
about why we should choose you to be our 2014 Guest Blogger to Amanda
Ciccatelli at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. We will review your submission and
contact the chosen Guest Bloggers directly with more details.
All readers of our
blog receive an exclusive 15% discount off the standard registration rate with
code FOCI14BLOG. Register here:  http://bit.ly/1mKSI11

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the 
Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology.
Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including 
Next
Big Design
Customers
1st
, and ProjectWorld
and World Congress for Business Analysts
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web
Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology
industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at
@AmandaCicc.

FOCI Speaker Spotlight: Earl L. Taylor

We recently sat down with Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 keynote
speaker Earl L. Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Science
Institute. Taylor discussed the humanization of data and how the role of the
researcher has changed and evolved over the last few years.
We are fortunate to have him share this critical insight
with our FOCI community. This year, FOCI
explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge
points – insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and
intelligence with technology as a central driving force and profound connector.
We are barraged by information – and within this sea of data
we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can
we use this convergence of information to better understand people.
 Translating the new “understanding” into future opportunities
means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI accelerates disruptive
innovators in the research space and pushes people to take risks, to think
outside of traditional research methods and insights gathering and explore new
and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will bridge the gap between what
people say they are going to do and what they actually do.
Here is what Taylor had to say:
IIR: A big theme
of this year’s conference is ‘humanization of data.’ Why do you think
understanding PEOPLE (not consumers) presents an opportunity for strategic
action? 
Taylor: With the
rise of social/mobile networking, the role of ‘consumer’ is increasingly
intertwined with the many other roles people play in the course of their
lives.  A holistic understanding of how people today juggle overlapping
identities is essential if marketers want to understand how–and how not–to
engage them on their own terms.
IIR: How is
technology not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the
world, business, and people?
Taylor: Continuous
and nearly instantaneous access to almost every kind of information has the
potential to enrich our lives, but also to overwhelm and distract us. 
Designing rewarding customer experiences in such a data-rich environment
presents both opportunities and challenges.  Increasingly, the necessary
insights may come from studies of play, art, ritual and other ‘immersive’
experiences.
IIR: How has the
role of ‘the researcher’ changed?
Taylor: Traditional
concerns about research design and hypothesis testing will be supplemented by
(or give way to) observation of social media and other sources of insights
and/or machine learning algorithms applied to large masses of transactional
data.  Deriving actionable insights in real time will require the skills
of both data scientists for inductive ‘data discovery’ and of ethnographers
trained in ‘thick description’ of social actions and structures.
IIR: How has the
increasingly connected consumer affected market research?
Taylor: Historically,
market research often claimed to understand consumers better than they
understood themselves and was needed to guide companies in developing a limited
number of options to appeal to broad demographic segments.  The
availability of individual-level behavioral data and predictive analytics and
the increasing role of social networks in influencing consumer choice up to the
‘zero moment’ of truth may finally make possible true ‘one-to-one’ marketing
where consumers themselves in effect do the market research by sharing data and
preferences allowing customization of offers ‘on the fly.’
Want to hear more
from Earl in person? Join him at Future of Consumer Intelligence
2014 in Los Angeles, CA in May. To learn more about the event and
register, click here: 
http://bit.ly/1nNOnoY

** As a reader of our
blog, you get an exclusive 15% discount on your FOCI 2014 pass. Use code FOCI14BLOG when you register **

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the 
Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and
technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including 
Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts
, and a regular
contributor to 
Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.

FOCI Speaker Spotlight: John Havens

We recently sat down with Future
of Consumer Intelligence 2014
keynote speaker John Havens, who is also founder
of The H(app)athon Project, Author of “HACKING H(APP)INESS- Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking
it Can Change the World.” Havens discussed with us the importance of the humanization of data, the
impact of technology on market research, 
the new buzzword ‘data science,’ among much more.
Havens has recognized and experienced, first hand, the
evolutionary changes happening in the market industry as of late. We are
fortunate to have him share this critical insight with our FOCI community. This year, FOCI explores the emerging role of decision
science and the convergence of knowledge points – insights, foresights, social
science, marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving
force and profound connector.
We are barraged by information – and within this sea of data
we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can
we use this convergence of information to better understand people.  Translating the new “understanding”
into future opportunities means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI
accelerates disruptive innovators in the research space and pushes people to
take risks, to think outside of traditional research methods and insights
gathering and explore new and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will
bridge the gap between what people say they are going to do and what they
actually do.
Here is what Havens had to say:
IIR: A big theme
of this year’s conference is ‘humanization of data.’ Why do you think
understanding PEOPLE (not consumers) presents an opportunity for strategic
action?
Havens: Defining
someone as a “consumer” already defines them by a behavior
(consuming) versus measuring them in the larger context of wellbeing or other
metrics.  People do a lot in their lives outside of purchasing/consuming
so taking these things into account (health, happiness, career) provides a lot
of opportunity for strategic action.
IIR: How is
technology not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the
world, business, and people?
Havens: Technology
can be a lens to see people in a new light.  Literally, this can happen
with something like Google Glass or similar augmented reality
technologies.  While there are huge opportunities for positive change with
these technologies and how they’ll help improve our lives, it’s also critically
important at this juncture in time to analyze the ethical implications of these
types of tools today.  The lenses or filters we choose to view the world
through can narrow our vision as much as expand it.  
IIR: How has
consumer intelligence strategy and action planning helped drive your business?
Havens: In my
current work, I’m focused on measuring individual and collective
wellbeing.  We’re not focusing specifically on consumers.  However,
gaining analytical insights based on subjective wellbeing (how people rate
their wellbeing/happiness) and other similar data drives the foundation of what
we do.
IIR: How has the
role of ‘the researcher’ changed?

Havens: In
regards to analytics, research can now be done with large data sets of existing
information versus creating customized surveys and individual research. 
So in many ways, in those types of situations, “researchers” are
becoming “analysts.”
IIR: Describe a
situation where you’ve taken a risk or thought outside the box of tradition
market research methods. How did that benefit your business?
Havens: We’re
still young in our work/research, but our use of passive sensors in mobile
phones is what we hope will distinguish our work in the wellbeing arena. This
type of work has not been done that much yet to the best of our knowledge.
IIR: Where do you
see the emerging space of marketing science and role of data scientists in the
next five years?
Havens: I think
IT and marketing departments will essentially become as one pretty soon. 
And they should.  There’s currently a huge disconnect between CMO’s and
CIO’s and how those two departments can effectively communicate and work
together.
IIR: How has the
increasingly connected consumer affected market research?
Havens: How have
they not?  There’s more data than ever before contributed not just
directly by consumers.
Want to hear more
from John in person? Join him at Future of Consumer
Intelligence 2014
in Los Angeles, CA in May. To learn more about the event
and register, click here:
http://bit.ly/1hNKD5o
John Havens 

About the Author:
Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts
, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,.
She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where
she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She
can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.