Tag Archives: online surveys

Get ready to ROC! (MROC, that is)

Today’s post comes from TMRE Guest Blogger, Katie Clark. She is also known as @InsightsGal on Twitter and is a client-side market researcher, project manager, and social media maven.   

I have a confession to make’

I have a favorite. Favorite research method, that is’

Market Research Online Communities (MROCs)!

You see, I spent some of my formative market research years at one of the industry leaders in MROCs and I’ve seen firsthand the benefits of online communities to gather deep insight and perform some really interesting longitudinal studies. 

Are there things communities are not good for? Sure! For example, they’re not the place for large quant studies (obviously), and they’re not the place for a final go/no go on a product launch (where you’ll want big numbers to back you up). But they are fantastic for research like longitudinal studies as they allow for iteration, for getting to the language and emotions around a product or service, and many other uses. Not only having that researcher-to-respondent interaction, but being able to have a view into the member-to-member interaction in a community can be research gold.

One of my favorite uses of a MROC is digging deep into a topic that is difficult to discuss in a traditional researcher to respondent format.  What’s a difficult topic? Death, disease, bullying, family issues, and products that deal with those markets (think hospice care, etc.).  Sometimes a quant survey can’t get you what you need and a community can give you rich insight through hearing how members talk to each other and discuss these difficult issues, and through creative formats in the community software such as photo galleries.  I won’t name names, but a former client who worked in an industry dealing with some of those difficult issues was able to really get to the language and emotions around those topics  which led them to more nuanced and polished marketing and advertising.   

When I started in MROCs, it was the Wild West out there with only a few players in the marketplace’ 

Now other powerful and productive players are in the space (Ypulse, C+R Research, and 360 Market Reach to name a few). Some offer short-term communities for a single project, others have communities that have been up and running for 3+ years. It’s also no longer such a hurdle to convince clients that utilizing a community for research can yield some great insights

MROCs definitely have a presence at #TMRE13 this year, from presentations that focus on utilizing communities such as ‘Exploring Brand Affinity Across Hispanic & Gen Pop Generations: Stretching Online Panels and Communities’ to talks where the research came out of a community such as ‘A Fresh Perspective on the Aging Consumer.’ Sponsors and exhibitors in the community space will also be there.  

Have you used MROCs for your research? 

How do you feel MROCs are changing from the early days?  

Share your thoughts in the comments below!


More about Katie: Based in Portland, Maine, Katie is the Senior Research Manager at Diversified Business Communications, managing a team of skilled researchers busy gleaning insights for products around the globe. She has worked with companies large and small in industries such as software, seafood, fragrance and entertainment to help companies move their business forward supported by actionable insights derived from market research. She loves to find the story in the numbers and is passionate about bringing the ‘Voice of the Customer’ inside the organization. Active on social media as @InsightsGal, Katie actively tweets and blogs about the market research industry. The opinions expressed here are her own and not those of her employer.

EXPLOR Award Winners AOL and BehaviorLens Use the Topology of Moments to Understand People

At last year’s TMRE,
Chuck Miller, President of DM2 and Founder of the prestigious annual case study
competition, EXPLOR; Alec Maki, Vice
President of BehaviorLens Research and 2012 EXPLOR award winner; and Vicki
Draper, Senior Manager of Media Insights at AOL and 2012 EXPLOR award winner, sat
down with IIR’s Marc Dresner to discuss what stood out about the winner’s submission.
The EXPLOR award recognizes breakthrough innovation in
technology as applied to market research. ‘At the end of the day, the EXPLOR
winner really needs to resonate in terms of organizational impact,’ explained Miller.
BehavioraLens Research did just that.
The company’s case study represented a few things, according
to Miller. First, it was the insights into the mobile space, which is a channel
that marketers are trying to figure out, and is something researchers are
struggling to collect data in. Secondly, is the data integration element. More
often, researchers are being challenged to use multiple data streams, get out
of our comfort zone of primary survey data, and this is a case that truly represented
that with an ethnography study, a mobile survey, and metered and behavioral
‘The combination of those three things really derives
insights as something that stood out from everything,’ added Miller.
It all began when AOL came to BehaviorLens with a big idea. ‘They
wanted to rethink mobile,’ Maki said.
Maki and his team talked with them and tried to understand
what their hypotheses were in terms of the marketplace. It turns out, AOL wasn’t
sold that the conventional wisdom of the market was quite right, but they weren’t
exactly sure what the right way of looking at the marketplace was.
‘We realized we had to go beyond the ‘what’ and ‘how’ people
are using mobile apps and websites to understand why they were using those apps
and websites,’ Maki explained. ‘So, we thought of our approach of understanding
moments and using those moments as the unit of analysis would be ideal
application to better understand what is going on with mobile and what is
really driving mobile.’
By applying that idea, BehaviorLens was able to integrate research
information across multiple modes qualitatively to understand the topology of
moments. According to Maki, moments are ‘the context of engagement for brand or
a product in terms of where people are, what they are doing and what their
goals are.’
BehaviorLens then took this information and put it into a
survey to be able to measure these moments across 3,000 different moments, and
segment the moments based on the motivators of choice. Ultimately, Maki and his
team recast the marketplace based on different segments of behavior that were
characterized by their motivators of choice, providing phenomenal results.

Check out the full
interview below:

Want to learn more and meet experts just like Miller, Maki, and
Draper in person? Register for TMRE 2013 today! Click here: http://bit.ly/16LQrIW
In 2013, TMRE is
focusing on elevating the researcher to a strategic, consultative leader. The
2013 conference will be combining best in class business cases with
professional development sessions on building skills like data visualization,
story-telling and strategic thinking and transforming researchers into game
Amanda Ciccatelli,
Social Media Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print
journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and
technology. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web
Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the tech
industry.  She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her
at @AmanadCicc. 

TMRE 2013: Breaking Records and Making History

This year’s attendees represent the highest client ratio in
the history of TMRE.  Real take away value
lies in aggregating the right mix of people with the right expertise, content
and experience.

Don’t miss your chance to network with
the best in the industry:

20|20 Research
3M Company
7th Sense Research
20th Century Fox
A & E Television Networks
AAA Northern California
Abbott Nutrition
Absolute Value LLC
AcuPoll Research Inc
Added Value
Alcoa Inc
Alpina Productos Alimentarios
Altria Client Services
American Cancer Society
American Heart Association
American Honda Motor
Amgen Inc
Amway Corporation
Analytics Quotient Inc
Annik Technology Services Pvt.
Applied Marketing Science
Arbitron Inc /Scarborough Research
AT&T Mobility
ATK Federal Cartridge Company
Aviador Group
Avnet, Inc
Bacardi USA
Bank of America
Barilla America Inc
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc
Bellomy Research
Belmont University
Best Buy
Bloomberg Wealth
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Print Research Group
Borders Inc
Bose Corporation
Bovitz Research Group
BP Fuels Value Chain
Brand Integrated Consulting
Broadband Dynamics
Brown Forman
Burke Inc
Bush Brothers & Company
BuzzBack Market Research
C+R Research
C&C Market Research
Campbell Soup Company
Canadian Tire Corporation
Canon USA Inc
Capital One Financial
CareCredit A GE Money Company
Centene Corporation
Center for Strategy Research
Centrac DC Marketing Research
CFI Group
Chadwick Martin Bailey
Charles Schwab & Co
Chattem Inc
Cint USA
Cisco System
Clear Seas Research
Clearvoice Research
Cleveland Clinic
Colgate Palmolive
Communicus One
Connection Research
Connexion Research
Consensus Point
Constellation Brands Inc
Consumer Insights
Converse Inc
Copernicus Marketing Consulting
Corey Moore
Cotton Incorporated
Crimson Hexagon
Critical Mix
Crown Imports
Cuna Mutual
Curiosity Research
CVS Caremark
Davis Research LLC
Daymon Worldwide
Decision Insight
Deep Marketing Alliance
Del Taco Inc
DIG Insights
Dine & Associates Inc
Dine Discoveries
Directions Research Inc
Discovery Research/Focalytic
Dole Fresh Vegetables
Doyle Research
Dunkin Brands
E & J Gallo Winery
Edward Jones Trust Co
Elanco Animal Health
EMI Online Research Solutions
EmPower Research
Erickson Living
Ernst & Young
Estudio Silvia Roca
Experience Renewal Solutions
Farm Credit Mid-America
Farmers/Foremost Insurance Company
Fast Future

Florida’s Natural Growers
Focus Coast to Coast
Focus Groups of Cleveland
Forbes Consulting Group
Ford Credit
Ford Motor Company
Fordham University
Foremost Insurance
Fresh Intelligence
Frito Lay
Fuld & Company
Gadd Research Inc.
Gap Inc
GE Capital
General Mills
General Motors
Georgia Pacific
GfK Knowledge Networks
Global Market Research
GMO Research
GOJO Industries
Gongos Research
Google Consumer Surveys
Hall & Partners
Hallmark Cards Inc
Hamilton Beach Brands
Harris Interactive
Hasbro Inc
HAVI Global Solutions
HawkPartners LLC
Healthways Inc
Heineken International
Heinz North America
Hotspex Inc
Hub Media Research
Ideas To Go
IFC & Sundance Channel
In4mation Insights
Information Alliance
InsideHeads LLC
Insight Express
InVivo BVA
Ipsos Loyalty, North America
JLG Industries Inc
John Deere
Johnson & Johnson
JM Smucker Company
JP Morgan Chase
K12 inc.
Kao Brands Company
Kellogg Co
KeyStat Marketing Inc
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
KL Communications
Kohler Company
L & E Research
Lands’ End
Latitude Research
Libran Research & Consulting
Lieberman Research Worldwide
Lincoln Financial Group
Lufthansa Cargo
Lundberg Farms
Luth Research LLC
M/A/R/C Research
Manthan Services
Market Logic
Maritz Research
Market Decisions Corporation
Market Strategies International
Marketing Resources Solutions Inc
Marketing Systems Group
Marketing Workshop
Marketlab Inc
MarketVision Research
Marriott International
Mars Chocolate
Mars Petcare
MAXimum Research Inc
McDonalds Corporation
Mckee Food Corporation
McNeil Consumer Healthcare
Mead Johnson Nutrition
Meredith Corporation
Meritus Analytics
MFour Mobile Research
Michigan State University
Microsoft Corporation
Millward Brown
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Inc
Miner & Co
MIT Media Lab
Mktg Inc.
MMR Research Worldwide
Morpace Inc
Motivequest LLC
Motorola Inc
MSW.ARS Research
Murphy Research
myCLEARopinion Panel
Napkin Labs
NBC Sports
NBC Universal
Nestle USA
Netpop Research
NetQuest Mexicana
Nutro Company
O2 Integrated (a Gongos Enterprise)
OConnor Market Research
Oklahoma Department of

Opinion Access Corporation
Optimal Strategix
ORC International
Panera, LLC
Parker Consulting Inc
Participant TV
Pepsi Co Inc
Performance Research
Pert Group
Philips Healthcare
Phoenix Marketing Intl
Precision Opinion
Procter & Gamble Company
Prodata Team
Provide Commerce
PT. Kadence International
Publix Super Markets Inc
Q & A Research Incorporated
QualQuant Signals
Radius Global Market Research
RealityCheck Consulting Network
Remington Outdoor Co.
Research & Marketing Strategies
Research Now
Research Panel Asia
Roll Global
Rosetta Stone
Rousch Fenway Racing
Russell Research
Sachs Insights
Sage Publications Inc
Sample Solutions
Sam’s Club
Sargento Foods Inc
SC Johnson
Schlesinger Associates
Schreiber Foods Inc
Scotia Bank
Seagate Technology
Sentient Decision Science
Sky Consulting
Smith-Dahmer Associates
Society of Actuaries
Soctratic Technologies
Sonoco Products Company
Stericycle Expert Solutions
Strategic Research Partners
Sun Trust Banks
Sundance Channel
SuperValu Inc
Swedish Match
Symphonyiri Group Inc
Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc
Target Corporationc
Target Insights
Teach for America
Tervis Tumbler
Teva Pharmaceuticals Ind
TGaS Advisors
The Center for Creative Emergence
The Family Room/Just Kid Inc
The Garage Group
The Hartford
The Hershey Company
The Integer Group
The Johns Hopkins Health System
The Millennial Train Project
The Modellers
The Nielsen Company
The NPD Group Inc
The Olinger Group
The Pert Group
The Return on Innovation Project
The Shullman Research Center
The Stevenson Company
The Walt Disney Company
The Weather Channel
Thoroughbred Research Group
Time Warner Retail
TiVo Inc
TTI NA Incorporated
TracFone Wireless Inc
Travelers Insurance
Tuned In Research
UBS Financial Services Ugam Solutions
UL Workplace and Health
Universal Music Group
Universal Orlando
US Cellular
USC Annenberg School for Comm
Van Meter Inc
Vanderbilt University
Vision Critical
Vital Findings
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Washington Speakers Bureau
Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc.
What They Think Research
Whirlpool Corporation
Wilson Jill Associates, Inc.
Wisdom Professional
Wizards of the Coast
Wolverine worldwide
Wood Care Products of Sherwin Williams
Yahoo! Canada
Yankee Candle
ZS Associates
Download the brochure for the full agenda here: http://bit.ly/19tvwJC
October 21-23,
Nashville, TN
Mention code TMRE13BLOG & Save 15% off the
standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/19tvwJC
The TMRE Team

The ‘Insight’ Scoop into the Job of a Market Researcher

A market researcher’s job is crucial to the success of
marketing. Market research can identify market trends, demographics, economic
shifts, customer’s buying habits, and important information about competition. Knowing
this information is essential to the success of your business as it will guide
you in making strategic business decisions, uncovering unmet customer needs,
and in many cases, help you discover new ideas.
At TMRE 2012 last year, IIR’s Marc Dresner sat down with Frederic
John, Senior Business Leader, Global Intelligence Team, MasterCard, Principal
at C Frederic John & Associates, Vice President, Esomar, in an exclusive interview
to discuss the changing role of the market researcher and the increasing need
to the specific market research candidates.
According to John, the industry can no longer rely on people
stumbling into the profession as it has done historically. Market research has
been lucky historically that it has attracted people out of three groups
including, people with quantitative statistical skills; people with psychology
or sociology backgrounds; and a people including who simply fell into the
field, realized they loved it and never left.
‘The reality is we have benefited from these generalists who
didn’t go in with a math or psych background, but were able to learn the basics
and then apply a lot of other characteristics and skills to their projects. So,
it is very important for us to make an active effort to get these people to
consider us,’ he explained.’
So, what makes a great market researcher?
‘I think disposition is more important than discipline,’ said
John. He believes that what truly makes a successful market researcher is someone
with curiosity, who likes to solve puzzles, and who is interested in understanding
how things work. This requires people who really are trying to get at the nuts
and bolts of what’s driving human behavior.
‘Our greatest contribution to business is essentially understanding
consumer motivation – getting at what people do, why people do things, and
ultimately why they change or what may get them to change behavior,’ commented
John shared some advice to fellow market researchers: ‘You’ve
got to have fun on the job!’ he said. ‘We’ve all been on projects that send us
home depressed. But, most of the time, you’ve got to enjoy what you are doing.’
To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/12v2p54
Stay tuned for more on this topic at the upcoming TMRE 2013 in Nashville!

Live from FOCI 2013: Utilizing Mobile Devices to Obtain Customer Timely Feedback on New Products

Presented by Nina Leask ‘ General Motors

An inside the box presentation about mobile research on new
product launches.  Nina stressed the
importance of translating tech talk to consumer language when conducting
research ‘ and then translating the insights into technological language for
application by engineers and product developers.
Nina took the audience through a consumer market research
assignment designed to obtain consumer perspective about a new car design.  The up-front mobile market research risks
that Nina highlighted included: respondent commitment; level of engagement;
quality of feedback, and video quality.  Clips
of ethnographic videos produced by consumer respondents were a great value-add.
Camera operation by consumers was generally quite good, and
functioned as a useful companion tool to their in-situ comments in the vehicle for which they were providing
feedback.  Respondent commitment was
good, with consumers providing both verbal and visual input.  Consumers took hold of the conversations,
embellishing on the questions market researchers asked.   The video quality was sufficient to give a
‘living with it’ feeling, and was not distracting.
With mobile engrained in our lives, Nina illustrated how
easy it is to see and hear ‘first hand’ what the consumer experienced.  Market researchers could be engaged with
respondents throughout their assignments. 
Responses are provided on the consumers’ schedule, and there were no
geographic limitations.
Overall, this was an excellent presentation with practical
tips about using mobile devices to conduct market research. The high quality
illustration of the concepts presented underscored the strength of this
approach’one that consumers seemed to enjoy. 
This was a fantastic session.  Check out Nina’s contact information and learn more. 
 ~Gigi DeVault
Market Research Guide

The Importance of Market Research for a Successful Startup

Some say that successful entrepreneurs are born, not made.
Others disagree, saying entrepreneurship is a talent that can be learned. The
truth of the matter probably lies somewhere between the two. The desire to
create and grow a business, no matter the size, requires a combination of character,
talent, vision, timing, and market research.
As an entrepreneur, the market for your product is the pool
of consumers or businesses that have a need that your startup business may help
them address.  So, you need to define
your market before conducting research. Once you define the scope of your
potential business and the potential market for your product, you can then find
out why a consumer or business would purchase from you rather than a
competitor. Before investing in starting your business you need to find your
niche and determine your clients’ willingness to pay for your product ‘ which is
where market research comes in.
In order to gather this information, entrepreneurs use resources
to conduct market research including the chamber of commerce, the U.S. Census
Bureau, and the SBA, provide valuable information to business owners.  For instance, Shawn O’Connor, founder and CEO
of Stratus Prep, recently told
about a tool made available by the SBA called SizeUp. It allows you
to put your business’s industry and city and it maps out your competition,
highlighting areas with a lot of competitors in orange and areas with potential
customers but few competitors in green.
In addition, be sure to conduct your own research to get
information specific to your business and the consumers you hope to attract. A
few research tools to consider include interviews, surveys, and focus groups,
which can identify information about the importance of price and features as
well as the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.  In fact, before starting Stratus Prep, O’Connor
held focus groups to determine the market size and willingness to pay for his
offering. This process also helped him identify which features were most important
to potential customer. Then, he compared the consumer information to cost
structure to ensure that after expenses; the business would be profitable based
on the price consumers were willing to pay.
According to O’Connor, it is important to be open-minded when
conducting market analysis as the feedback you hear may not be what you were
expecting. ‘You may feel attached to your business idea and wish to change
nothing about it, but after conducting a survey you may find that customers are
looking for different service or additional features. So, don’t scrap your
idea, but consider adjustments to accommodate your customers’ demands,’ he
An example of a company that performed this market analysis
is JetBlue, which prior to launching, determined that airline passengers cared
more about comfortable leather seating and TV entertainment than the other
‘amenities’ offered by legacy carriers. JetBlue invested in upgraded seating and
TVs and emphasized a relaxing journey at a modest price. Turns out, the
strategy was so successful that other airlines followed suit and numerous
imitators emerged.
Additionally, Starbucks identified and catered to unmet
consumer needs, which turned an everyday beverage into an experience. While Starbucks
is known for its coffee, it is also renowned for its atmosphere, where
professionals, college students and anyone who wants to kick back can set up
shop with free WiFi and a comfortable workspace. ‘The modifications made to the
industry standard drew an enormous and loyal following, which is why there is a
Starbucks on every corner,’ commented O’Connor.
By doing your market research homework before starting your
business, you will make company a powerful force in this competitive business world! 

Lessons from an online survey taker

Robert Bain of Research recently decided to spend a month taking online surveys. Through is month adventure, he faced many challenges, from being kicked out of surveys and failing to qualify for many. In the end, the experiment received 150 email invitations, clicked through to 99 surveys, started 73, got kicked out of 39, completed 30, crashed out of three and gave up on one.

What were some of the take aways he gathered from 73 surveys in 31 days?
-Note the design of your surveys, focusing specifically on creativity and quality
-Be honest with your survey taker. If they do not qualify, let them know why.
-Surveys don’t provide enough answers. Give your respondents enough room to tell the truth in the survey.

Read about Robert’s full 31 day experience here.

How to Write a Survey

Here’s an interesting post I came across on the PcQL blog that gives somes tips on how to write a quality survey, quality being the key word. Here are 3 easy tips from the post, that if followed, is a guaranteed method to getting quality results.

1. What are you trying to find out? – A good survey is designed to answer your question, so the results should tell you what you want to find out.

2. How are you going to use the information? – Make sure you know why you are asking the questions in the first place because if they are not going to be used, there is no point in conducting the survey.

3. Telephone, Postal, Web, Face-to-Face? – There are many ways to conduct surveys and each method has its pros and cons, but which is best for your survey? You must properly research the benefits of each method to make a informed decision on which style is best for what you are trying to answer.

Changes Needed in our Surveys to Improve Quality

Bill MacElroy, Socratic Technologies
Bernie Malinoff, element54

Research needs to be interactive to get consumers more involved with products. Usability is important. If a user doesn’t understand the survey system, they can’t or won’t complete it. Telephone surveys are now online on computer screen and now they’re getting boring.

People want take fun surveys . Researchers will get better results. Data consistency and respondent usability will also improve. Data is not consistent, and usability matters.

How do we get consumers engaged? If people are having fun doing a survey, they’re more likely to be engaged with it. The challenge is not to make a ‘cool’ survey, but how does this affect your results? Radio buttons are the traditional way to look at a survey layout. Another option is a slider, and this can be changed throughout the survey.

We write complex survey questions, and how are consumers suppose to get through these surveys? If a consumer can’t get off a page, they could create information to get off of the page. Do you filter out data after an error message is given?

If there’s an error message, highlight the row. That’ll provide more reliable answers.

We must understand usability principles
- There are ways to make all questions/surveys more appealing, intuitive and future-relevant
- Responsible innovation is the key
- Questions around interfaces, not just one common set of variables, must understand interface and the guidelines.

They key reason people decline a survey invitation is they say the last one they took was boring. Surveys have got to be more like video games. As an industry, we’ve got to be more engaging and through.

Largest reason people take surveys is because they want to be a partner, both acknowledged and treated like one. Respondents are people, and they need respect, not an input into a machine. No need to over invite them. They need to be compensated realistically. They also want to feel like what they’re giving is of importance.

We have to get back to basic research. All of the technology is great, but if you don’t get the question across and the right answers, the market research question isn’t getting answered.