Tag Archives: Survey methodology

Do-It-Yourself Research is on the Rise

Roe vs. Wade, Gun
Control, Immigration & Capital Punishment. 
It wasn’t that long ago where a simple conversation about
Do-It-Yourself Online Research (DIYOR) among the Market Research community felt
like a heated debate with the same intensity of the aforementioned topics.
For all intents and purposes, let’s not debate the pro/cons and
the validity/invalidity of DIYOR within this space. These topics and arguments
are already well documented and discussed. Instead, let’s take a look at the industry’s past,
present and future.
DIYOR began in the late 1990′s and moved past the introduction stage of the product life cycle in the late 2000′s. Its current fragmentation
of companies resembles the fragmented Market Research Industry where a handful
of major players are accompanied by a majority of smaller companies.

DIY Research is in the growth stage of the product life cycle

The DIYOR Industry, as well as the NewMR Industry in which it
is a subset, is presently within the growth stage of the product life cycle as
revenues are increasing year over year.  Some
suggest the industry is cannibalizing Traditional Research. However, relatively
recent worldwide sales figures suggest that NewMR is supplementing Traditional Research, not cannibalizing it.

Some of the major players in the DIYOR market are beginning to behave as if operating within the maturity stage of the product life cycle and are buying competitors, forming
partnerships and extending product lines. This behavior seems relatively quick as only a few years have
passed since the industry outgrew the introduction stage.  Though, perhaps the move to maturity for some isn’t so
quick after all since first and foremost DIYOR companies are technology
that exist in an ever-changing market.
In terms of present offerings, two key factors have yet to
normalize in the DIYOR market: Service & Price.
Service and Research Design in the market range from truly unaided
services to aided / self-guided services. DIYOR vendors in the unaided market provide
the technology for customers to field quantitative and qualitative studies, but
do not assist the questionnaire design process and provide the results of the
survey as raw data without data analysis services.  Whereas aided / self-guided companies provide
a full suite of self-guided questionnaire design templates as well as data
analysis applications. For an extra fee, some aided / self-guided companies can
provide an experienced researcher to help design customers’ quantitative and qualitative
projects. And of course, there are DIYOR companies that exist somewhere
between both ends of the spectrum.

Both services and prices widely vary in the DIY Research market

The relative price of service in the DIYOR market increases or decreases relative to the amount of service provided and overall price points display a fairly wide
variance in the DIYOR market.  Charges range from free, to charging per respondent,
to charging per month, to charging per year, to charging with sliding-scale credits, to charging for a basic user profile, to charging for an intermediate
user profile, to charging for an advanced user profile, to charging for enterprise services, etc.,
etc. Get the picture?

It’s going to be a challenge for consumers to truly evaluate all the different price points, at all the different
offerings, for all the different users, at all the different levels of service.  Without a doubt, the rising DIYOR industry is in need of a solid pricing study that will ultimately optimize and ease consumers’ purchasing decisions.
So what lies in store for the DIYOR industry? My humble prediction
is within the next 5 years, larger full-suite, self-guided DIYOR companies will
continue to purchase smaller DIYOR companies that display attractive technology and operate within a niche of the market, in order to add to their portfolios of
services. Customers by this time will have determined for themselves which product
offering at particular price points makes the most sense.  This combination of vendor consolidation
and educated pricing from a consumers point of view will ultimately streamline the DIYOR industry as a whole and normalize its product offerings and
In your opinion, where is the DIYOR industry heading in the next 5
years? Please comment below.
Chris Ruby is an award-winning Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive with Fortune 500 consulting experience. His niche is the ability to turn complex data into compelling stories that induce a call for action among key decision-makers. His work has been featured by MRA, MRIA, IIR, Norstat Times, Chadwick Martin Bailey & the Optimization Group. Keep up with Chris Ruby by following him on Twitter @ChrisRubyMRX or by reading the Chris Ruby Market Research Blog.

Is That Multinational Research Project Multinational Enough?

Question: What percent of market
research projects conducted for multinational companies, are conducted with a multinational

It’s kind of a trick question. After all, how many countries is required to be ‘multinational’ in scope? Is three countries sufficient? Four? Or does it really need to be ten or more for truly global company?

The brutal reality is that most companies selling in numerous countries can only afford to do research in a subset of them. How does a market researcher deliver appropriate insights with this obstacle? Here are three steps that help mitigate the risk:

  • State the obvious. What’s obvious to you is often less
    so to the client. Even if you think the geographic scope is clear, state
    it clearly and multiple times. What is the geographic scope of the
    research? A specific country? Region? How many languages were involved? I have seen it happen many times;
    the audience assumes that since their company is ‘global’ the
    research is as well’when in fact the research may have been based on just 2
    or 3 countries.
  • Break with convention. Too often, researchers select
    countries based on past projects (‘We always do our research in the U.S., Canada
    and France.’). Challenge old assumptions! What mix of countries will give
    you the insights you need to inform current business initiatives?
  • Illustrate the importance. Educate the audience on how
    geographic variations impact customer behavior and attitudes. Here are a
    couple of examples that help increase sensitivity to the importance of
    geographic variations:
    • Different colors have different associations by
      geography. Red is ‘positive’ in some cultures but negative in others.
      This can impact reactions to ads and product packaging.
    • The role of male versus female heads of households as
      relates to purchase decisions for certain categories varies by country.
      Thus, research about purchase intent or product attribute preferences
      based on one country cannot be assumed for all.
Multinational brands don’t always have the time or budget
for truly multinational
.  So the onus is on the
researcher to make sure that market research is understood and interpreted
correctly. And perhaps by raising client awareness of how important geographic differences
can be, budget for broader geographic scopes will be allocated next time
This post is by guest blogger Kathryn Korostoff of Research Rockstar LLC (Training.ResearchRockstar.com)

Jorge Ruiz, Ogilvy on Cross Media Data

The inundation of consumer data thanks to the proliferation
of mobile devices and social media has inspired the term ‘Big Data.’ The
majority of data out there is unstructured and non-actionable causing many
companies across industries to be overwhelmed by the volume.

Luckily, cross-media
or communications is a solution as it establishes an interaction
between the different media elements. Cross media opens a line of communication
with an existing or potential customer produces results that are measurable.
Cross-media communications are structured to move the audience or prospect
across the different media using strong “calls-to-action.” Each touch
point builds on the experience and the “narrative bridge” teases you
to investigate. 
Since the inception of mass communication, marketers have
been issuing the same message on multiple channels. Coordinated TV, radio, and
print ads are nothing new. What makes a campaign become cross media is how the
responses are funneled into a single data collection point to generate a
dialogue. Marketers need to gather information from their clients and use that
information to generate the follow on communications ‘ regardless of channel.
These days, marketers have to deal with the overflowing
amount of data that businesses are having trouble keeping track of. They are
being bombarded with information about their customers via television, print,
digital, social, and mobile. As a result, there is an issue of understanding
the level of awareness, favorability and purchase intent amidst all of this
Jorge Ruiz, partner and director of Media Analytics at
Ogilvy, knows effective methods that help businesses utilize this valuable
information. He sat down with IIR’s Marc Dresner at last year’s TMRE to discuss key approaches to media data
in order to go beyond purchase intent. ‘There are effective methods for
executing brand studies with research partners. But, I have to go beyond that
because I have another component to look at, which is ‘how is it selling or how
is it moving acquisition numbers”? Ruiz told Dresner.
According to Ruiz, here are 3 approaches to cross media data:
Survey-Only Data
This works great for time-sensitive purchases. If you do
cross media studies and are able to send out the surveys and tag all your media
to recognize it the day after the event, you can ask purchase questions to
sample people who purchased it in the last 24 hours. It is important because
you want to be able to translate that number into an estimate ROI within the
survey data.
Cross Media Study Data
According to Ruiz, this works when you have the ability to
match to a sales panel. This is very scalable in the consumer packaged goods
world. It’s a matter of combining digital exposure data with sales panel data
and finding ways to create a probability model for your offline exposure data.
Google Search Data
Using data and long-term trends discovered from it, you can
use search as an indirect variable. As you are building consideration you are
actually seeing changes in search and it makes sense for certain categories. As
long as you know people are going to search for product line, it makes perfect
‘There are a lot of different approaches and methodologies,
but I love every single one of them,’ said Ruiz. ‘I worry less about which
approach has the best methodology, and worry about there is not enough scale.’
To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/12QG68P
Stay tuned for more on this topic at the upcoming TMRE 2013 in Nashville!