Tag Archives: MROC

Are you Pinterested? A Fashion Brand Evolves Research Communities

@JaclynDecell from Rachel Zoe Inc presented on, ‘The Insightful
Consumer: Using Social Signals to Drive Business Decisions.’ And this company
is doing something very cool.

The company is launching a pilot of a new kind of online
insights community: it’s a Pinterest community. People are being recruited to
the ‘Zoe Insiders’ shared boards. In exchange, they get exclusive access, such
as sneak peeks to new fashion collections, exclusive content and they may even
have the chance to be on the Rachel Zoe site (their 5 minutes fame?). No monetary
incentives.

Pinterest is a fascinating choice, since it’s all about images. Which certainly makes
sense for a fashion brand. And if you haven’t yet checked it out, Pinterest is HUGE.
And addictive. Check out this Mashable infographic
on why it is so addictive.

The shared Pinterest boards will be moderated, though the speaker
felt this wasn’t too big a challenge’as the participants are being heavily
curated to make sure they are on point with the brand and goals.

But where is the market research? While the Pinterest project
is new (it’s in pilot), the company has been leveraging social media insights
from other channels for some time’and the Pinterest project is just the next
generation of it. Jaclyn says that when people share content from or about the brand on
any social media channel, it’s an indication of the customer journey. Seeing
what they share can reveal what types of editorial and imagery Rachel Zoe should
be creating. Nail-related items are hot? Black and white images hot? This information
can inform editorial choices, content creation choices’allowing the company to really
be responsive.


Will this replace a deep analysis of brand perceptions or customer
satisfaction measurements? Of course not. But it is a fast, continuous way to
respond to customer wants and passions. And that is pretty cool.
 
This post was written by Kathryn Korostoff. Kathryn is the President of Research Rockstar, the only independent company dedicated to market research training (online and in-person).  Many of Research Rockstar’s classes are MRA-certified, and Research Rockstar offers class bundles leading to MRA Certification. She also currently serves as President for the MRA’s New England chapter.  KKorostoff@ResearchRockstar.com, 508.691.6004 ext 705, @ResearchRocks

Recruitment of participants for Online Research Communities, the role of Online Access Panels

If
you know the business of online access panels maybe because you sometimes need
that kind of service, you may know that providers of online access panels
position themselves on the ground of huge panelsizes or because
of delivered quality. The respective
underlying business model is correspondingly
either quantities or it is
defined by the quality of respondents’ information.
Both
models of course have several advantages and disadvantages.
Quantity
model

Advantages:
-
Even small audiences with low incidence rates can be reached adequately
-
High demands on field time and costs can be met
- Large numbers of cases
are possible

Disadvantages:
- Higher fluctuation
and “panel-mortality”
- Only
few qualifying information about the participants available
- Recruitment
methods are not always transparent
-
Only little knowledge about the influence of the panel model on panelists self-perception
as survey participants

Quality-driven
model
Advantages:
-
High quality responses on more strict rules of access to new panel members (eg
member-get-member)
- Extensive screening
-
Qualitative analysis of the panelists (eg minimization of screen-outs as the
basis of the relationship management)
 
Disadvantages:
- Limitation
in case of low incidences are needed
- Limitation on
the number of cases to be achieved
- Slightly higher costs
Photo by http://blog.allworkandnoplay.de/
In the
context of online research community projects it is necessary to recruit
participants not only to because of their target-group characteristics. You
rather put demands on communication skills beyond ‘tip-the-box’ as well as sufficient
intrinsic motivation to participate.

Wherever
it is generally a good idea to recruit participants via online access panels,
we prefer those providers with a
quality-driven approach. Results
always are extremely high response rates, low drop-out rates over time (even in
communities with longer durations) and last but not least positive effects in
terms of ??panelists’ appreciation being a participant in market research. Without
participants and their willingness to share their experiences, attitudes and
preferences, we would have a hard time. 
So it is always a
pleasure to read feedback like this after completion of online research
communities:
‘Thanks a lot to the moderators and creators of
this community. I had a lot of fun and I have learned a lot. I’m happy that I
was able to exchange with others and there were a lot of good hints. You, the
scribblers, have been a great group! Thanks a lot. I wish all the best to all
participants and perhaps we will meet one day on the internet or even in real
life.’
Make sure to join the discussions about panels and communities at the upcoming The Market Research Event  in Florida, hosted by IIR, USA. We’ll have plenty
to discuss…
About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches

Social Media: ‘Convenience Samples’ without the guilt?

by Kathryn Korostoff, Research Rockstar LLC

Two of today’s social media track speakers helped shed light on a great issue: using online communities as a convenience sample, and doing it well.

One was Dawn Lacallade from ComBlu. She spoke twice today, though I only had the pleasure of observing one of her sessions. I also enjoyed the presentation by Sean Bruich, from Facebook. Sean generously shared a lot of examples with real data, collected by Facebook. Sitting in these two sessions back-to-back gave me a great list of specific ways to think about the credibility and reliability of social media-based research.

As a starting point, let’s be honest: one of the challenges with social media research is, indeed, perceived credibility and reliability. Lots of folks are a bit skeptical that all of this ‘social media research’ hype is, well, a bit too hypey.

Now before I begin, I want to note that while may people use the term ‘social media research’ to be about sentiment monitoring, both of these speakers were more focused on using communities’whether private, branded ones (such as a company might build) or a broader one (Facebook)’as a place to conduct research. So the context here is online communities’open or closed, brand-hosted or not’as a sample source.

So How To Improve The Perceived Reliability and Credibility of SM-gathered Research?

1. Trust but verify. As Dawn suggests, ideas or results from a specialty community can be vetted at the brand’s website as a single question poll. For example, if you learn in your community that feature X is critical, ask a simple question on your website. Is it? Sometimes you may find that the larger group is aligned with the smaller, more specialized one. But in any case, you don’t want to over promote the results from the community without first vetting with a larger population. This will help overcome legitimate objections to community-based research results’such as, ‘how can we trust data from a group of people obviously already biased towards our brand’?

2. Educate research clients about the community, as a preemptive strike. Your audience may be making some incorrect assumptions about the community profile. Sean from Facebook shared some data that would make even the biggest cynics of convenience sampling take a second look. Here are some highlights:

  • ?? Analysis shows that the Facebook poll results about recent election outcomes were nearly identical to those from Gallup and Rasmussen. In fact, the FB results were closer to each than they were to each other!
  • ?? Facebook gives excellent international access; indeed, most users are non-US. And anyone who does global research knows how challenging data collection can be in some parts of the world.
  • ?? Research by Facebook suggests that a convenience sample from Facebook matches well with any sampling from the overall Internet population on nearly any measure.

3. Demonstrate affordable innovation. One of the powerful examples was from Facebook, on the topic of ad testing. Consider this scenario: Brand X plans to start a new ad campaign and wants to test effectiveness. On FB, the target market can be selected (based on interests, not just demographic data). Then the target is exposed to the ad, likely in multiple versions, while a small percent is held out as a control group. Next step: post a 1 question poll to the target market. The question might be on brand recognition, brand preference, purchase plans’whatever is relevant. One can compare these results easily between the ad-exposed group and the control group. But in this way, the brand can tie the ad testing to the polling question with whatever timing it wishes (even same day). Cool.

Bottom line

Many researchers maybe feeling skeptical about gathering data from communities. But as these points illustrate, it may not be as risky as one might assume. And also, we all just need to be realistic’nobody is saying this replaces the need for all traditional market research. Still, after these sessions, I am more convinced than ever that it will replace some.

[As a tangent, both speakers happened to emphasize the value of the one-question poll. It gets a much higher response rate than a link to an online survey. And since you are working with a known community anyway, tedious, invasive questions about age, gender, and such do not need to be gathered. So get to the point, don't abuse the audience, and ask a single question.]