Dec
0

Video Will Rock the Market Research World in 2015

I’ve been reading a lot of predictions for market research—the typical pontification we see at this time of the year. Some of it has been very inspiring, but too many just rehash the obvious.

Personally, I think there are a lot of interesting theories, a lot of long-term shifts taking place. But as for something we will truly experience in 2015? Something that will really change what we do, how we do it? It’s simple: video. Specifically, video-based methods and video-based reports.

In 2015, we will see a notable spike in use of video IDIs, video focus groups, video ethnography, and video diaries. These methods are superior to others in terms of truly discovering and gauging consumer emotions, aspirations and values. Why is that important? We are more aware than ever before of the limitations of self-reporting such things (thanks to the popularity of research on irrational decision making and behavioral economics). Yet these are exactly where market researchers are often most needed, especially in the face of big data, which increasingly owns the questions “what” and “how”—we market researchers find ourselves increasingly tasked with “why.”

And the video momentum isn’t just about methods, it’s about reporting as well. Video-based reporting will transition from rare to common. Research buyers will increasingly expect video deliverables including video reports, montages and supplemental deliverables.

Remember, “Video killed the radio star?” Well, for market research, video is killing projects and deliverables that don’t capture emotions, convey authenticity, or tell a compelling story. In 2015, video will be the star.

 

[We are so convinced of this trend, we are putting our money on it. Research Rockstar will soon be launching its first class on video-based research methods. Want to take part by being a tester? Email Info@ResearchRockstar.com and request “Video Class Testing”]

 

Nov
0

110 Ways to Handle Project Overload

Rent-a-ResearcherEnd of year can be a surprisingly busy time for market researchers. Some clients have “left over” budget they need to spend. Others are trying to get a head start on 2015. And then you get a few of those “rush” projects that seem to pop up at the worst possible times.

What if you could temporarily expand your research team with the precise skills you need to cover these temporary spikes? You can.

And we have 110 ways to do it. Or, to be precise, 110 people.

Rent-a-Researcher Program Now 110 Consultants Strong

We have had over 230 people apply to become Rent-a-Researcher consultants. Of these, 46% passed our 15-step screening process.

That means we have 110 people available to help you by the hour, day or project. You “rent” our researchers to do the precise work you need. And since this is a staffing service, you never have to worry about 1099s, insurance or employee status questions.

Report Production, SPSS, IDIs, Ethnography & More

Our Rent-a-Researcher consultants represent diverse qualitative and quantitative skills. You just tell us what skills you need, and we give your our three best matches. You get to phone interview and select your candidates.

Market research project overload can be stressful. But by temporarily expanding your team with the precise skills you need, you can increase capacity without making long-term commitments.

Check out our Rent-a-Researcher Infographic to learn more about our consultants.

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Phone: (508) 691-6004 Ext 703
Email: RAR@researchrockstar.com
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Oct
2

Article Synopsis: Quantitative or Qualitative Research Methods, Let’s Go Back to the Basics

Quirk’s October 2014
“Quant or qual, let’s go back to the basics”
By Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray’s article is chock full of tips, reminding market researchers to pay as much attention to “how they think” as they do to what research methods they use. He offers his thoughts on what he calls “research thinking.”

Gray breaks research thinking into specific parts: verifying data, defining relationships, understanding and avoiding data interpretation traps, and probabilities versus categories.  In verifying data, not only must researchers be sure to uncover flaws in the raw data, but also be aware of inferring cause and effect relationships. Additionally, when investigating relationships within data, different statistical methods and models can give different readings.  Gray states, “Causation requires correlation of some kind but correlation and causation are not the same.”

When looking at probabilities and categories, Gray cautions the researcher to, “Avoid confusing the possible with the plausible and the plausible with fact. It’s also not difficult, though, to miss something of genuine practical significance that lies hidden beneath the surface of our data.”

Additional tips from the author:

  • Do your homework. Many phenomena have more than one cause.
  • When designing research, first consider who will be using the results, how the results will be used and when they will be used, and then work backward into the methodology. Don’t let the tools be the boss. 
    • This point really resonates; in today’s world, researchers can get distracted by technology that may or may not have merit.  So it is easy to select the shiny new tool even if it is not the right fit.

Two more great tips:

  • Develop hypotheses, even rough ones, to help clarify your thinking when designing research.
    • This  may sound obvious but it is often overlooked. As a result, we have all seen cases of muddy thinking resulting in weak research.
  • Take care not to over-interpret data.
    • Or, as some researchers say, “don’t beat your data to death.”

Gray’s tips are a good reminder to market researchers to be aware of their “research thinking.”

This synopsis was written by Lynn Croft, independent marketing and market research consultant. With 15 years of experience at companies such as Genzyme, Bayer Corporation, Shire, and Eli Lilly, Lynn has expertise in market research and market analysis regarding product launches, pricing and lifecycle management. 

Sep
3

12 Actionable Tips from the 2014 MRA Corporate Researcher’s Conference

By Kathryn Korostoff

CRCThe MRA’s Corporate Researcher’s Conference (CRC) was full of great sessions and first-class attendees. And I came home with a pile of business cards that are covered with scribbled down notes for follow-up. If you didn’t make it to CRC this year, here is a sampling of my notes from this 2.5 day event.

  1. Sally Hogshead: High performers tend to specialize & tend to over-deliver in one area. I find this to be true, though she said it more articulately than I ever have.
  2. Sally Hogshead: Successful brands know how they are different and what they do best. They avoid the “all things to all people” trap.
  3. Adam Cook, Pilot Media: Watch Moneyball—it has lots of lessons for market researchers who want clients to take bold action with research results
  4. Adam Cook: metaphors and analogies (especially from pop culture) resonate with an audience, helps them see why your results are relevant.
  5. Stephen Paton, AGL (Australia): people experience a dopamine effect when they find out they are right. So research reports that confirm what they know will always feel better.
  6. Stephen Paton: the importance of social norms to change behavior. As a utility, AGL added data on electricity usage so people could see how their usage compares to neighbors’ usage. Goal: get them to reduce usage.
  7. Stephen Paton: 3 steps to applying Behavioral Economics:
    1. What is the behavioral challenge?
    2. Which BE concepts might be involved?
    3. Select appropriate response.
  8. Roddy Knowles, Research Now: Current data on survey completion rates by client type:
    1. Desktops: 76%
    2. Tablets: 70%
    3. Smartphones: 59%
  9. Research Now on mobile surveys: avoid questions that offer multi-response. Participants unlikely to select more than 1 item on mobile devices.
  10. Darcey Merriam, Adobe Systems: to engage clients, use language they like. For example, for a while she used the language of “lean” because the company culture was focusing on the lean start-up concept.
  11. Adobe presenter on how to do great research with a small department
    1. Do projects where there are specific hypotheses to test
    2. Data collection using “crowdsourced” panels (uses Mechanical Turks to recruit panelists!!)
    3. New tools. Example: UserTesting.com
    4. Let internal colleagues do qual research, involve them in the process. And gives them tools to determine if they should go “DIY” or work with the MR department.
  12. Michael Carlon of Hall & Partners & Joe Indusi of Research2Video: Videotaping in-depth interviews (IDIs)? Three great tips:
    1. When the participant gives an amazing sound bite, wait 3 seconds before asking the next question. This gives the video editor room to work with.
    2. If doing in-home research, be sure to take some outside shots. Gives nice context. Example: a study on couponing, some of the homes were clearly expensive—yet the residents are passionate about couponing—revealing a great insight.
    3. Screen out dog owners. Dogs bark. Perhaps especially when strangers are in the house.

For more CRC Session summaries also see:

  • Paul Long’s great article on DISH Network’s shift to a market research-friendly culture.
  • Annie Pettit’s live blogging on the Roddy Knowles’ presentation caught even more mobile research tips here.   And for laughs, check out the selfie Annie took of us, where I look like I had had waaaay too much coffee.

 

[Free Training Sweepstakes ending soon!! Enter today to win a year’s worth of FREE Market Research Training!!]

 

Aug
9

5 Ways You Know You Are an Awesome Market Researcher

  1. You use multiple research methodologies. You are familiar with multiple research methods, and can match a project’s goals to the best available method. You don’t assume every project is either a survey or a focus group.
  2. You think carefully about sample source. You know when to use panels, communities, social media, and fresh recruiting. You know that all sample sources have limitations, and you don’t just default to the easiest option.
  3. You have an uncanny ability to challenge your own assumptions. Even when your research points you to what seems like an obvious story, you have the discipline to test other ideas before reaching your conclusion.
  4. You can write and speak concisely. You know how to make a point with few words. You know bigger words and longer paragraphs don’t impress your audience, they put it to sleep.
  5. You help people understand how to apply the research. Rather than just delivering research findings and moving on, the awesome researcher gives the client specific examples of how to apply the data. Better still, the awesome researcher checks in with the client after the research is delivered to remind them how the data can be used, because sometimes clients need an extra nudge.

Are there other attributes of an awesome researcher? Of course. But these five are the core. Make sure you have these nailed, and your clients will quickly begin to appreciate your awesomeness.

[Interested in more great Market Research Project Management tips? You’re in luck! We’ve got another session of this live, online Power Program starting soon! Click here to learn more.]