Nielsen Twitter TV to Launch in Australia

Nielsen has announced that it will launch its Twitter TV solutions in Australia in the second half of this year, capturing and analysing chat on the social network as it relates to specific television programmes.

The services include the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings, announced for the US in December 2012 and scheduled for roll-out in Italy in the autumn. Twitter also works on ratings with GfK in central Europe, and Kantar in the UK and Spain.

Read the source article at Welcome to MrWeb

Social Media Community Firm Opens in Sydney

London-based social media community management and moderation firm Emoderation has launched a regional headquarters in Sydney, from where it will provide services to clients across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Founded in 2002, Emoderation delivers social media consultancy, listening and crisis management services in over 50 languages, to clients across a wide range of industries.

Read the source article at Welcome to MrWeb

Precision Opinion Opens Mobile Research Division

US company Precision Opinion, which provides market research field services to the entertainment industry and political polling for the government, has opened a mobile division, Turning Point Research, at its headquarters in Las Vegas.

The new division is developing a free mobile data collection app which will be available on both Apple and Android platforms.

Read the source article at Welcome to MrWeb

This year, create your own research

Jason McGrath

by Jason McGrath

Welcome back. Work break is over for the most part. I hope everyone had as great a holiday season as I did. Fully refreshed, recharged and ready to tackle a new year!

In this blog entry I am going to focus on companies who are considering conducting research themselves. Perhaps it is the first time you are doing research or perhaps it is the first time you are considering doing research without the help of an external research company.

The research basics

First, let me explain that conducting research is not something that should be taken lightly. It is a science that absolutely requires education and training in order to do it correctly. One needs to fully understand how to design a survey instrument, as well as properly analyze the results. That is not to say that only market research companies can conduct research. Training is available through the various research associations and degree-granting institutions. Learning the research process should be one of the first and most important steps undertaken in considering conducting research for your organization internally. I highly recommend that you look into what training exists and either learn it yourself or have someone within your organization learn how to properly conduct research. Hiring an external consultant to assist with the survey design and analysis of the results is another good intermediate step between outsourcing and doing the entire job in-house.

Create your own surveys internally

Whether you are a researcher who comes from the industry, an individual who was educated in conducting research or someone who is interested in learning more on how to conduct research, there are many tools available today to assist companies conduct their own research in-house once they know which direction they would like to take with their research.

Granted, some research is better handled by external market research companies. I am not here to suggest what research should be outsourced and which should be done in-house. Though I can provide guidance of various tools that exist and what types of projects are well suited for conducting research yourself.

There are many research methodologies:

  • Mail surveys
  • Telephone surveys
  • Web surveys
  • Focus Groups

Reasons to create your internal surveys

Internal SurveyWeb surveying lends itself very well to being administered by organizations in-house. The resources required are minimal; no interviewers, no phone room, no focus group facility. There are also many Web survey turnkey solutions where you program the survey, send out the email invites, monitor the progress of the study and abstract the results for reporting.

The most obvious and number one reason for a business to administer their own research in-house is cost savings. Speed, agility and control over the content, which can be both beneficial and constraining, depending on who is asking what questions, are others.

Three of the most common and important types of research being conducted in-house today are the following:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee Satisfaction
  • Employee Performance / Evaluation

These three types of surveys lend themselves very well to on-line web based surveying. There are a number of websites and resources out there to assist you in when, how and why to conduct research. I am listing a couple here but feel free to share your sources.

Regardless if you decide to take on your own research projects in-house or hire an expert firm to help you with your study, I really highly recommend that you consider conducting research this year if you haven’t done so in the past. The results will most likely surprise you and you will be very happy you did.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Do not hesitate to post your thoughts below and I will respond. You can also contact me at jason.mcgrath@voxco.com.

“PS: If you think this is information other research specialists might find useful, tweet about it!’”

Posted by Eric Perreault

Planning on How Best to Interview the Next Generation of Survey Participants

Jason McGrath

by Jason McGrath

With response rate challenges continuing to haunt the industry, we collectively need to start thinking about how to survey the next generation of survey participants. Youth today are very much driven by technology. They are also very used to being entertained and stimulated. Unfortunately, taking a survey isn’t always the most exciting activity one could do with one’s time.

Educating the next generation to the importance of market research is the first step in getting participation. This is a very large initiative and may need the full support of the industry as a whole in terms of marketing and advertising. Schools and universities are probably the best places to start. Something to think about!

There is debate in the industry today

As far as making research fun and exciting, there is debate in the industry today as to the bias “gamifying” surveys creates. I myself have posted before on being aware of the potential traps utilizing technology just because it exists. The participant needs to be thoughtfully providing honest and open responses to questions and not simply enjoy the experience of taking the survey. For this reason, more research needs to be put into investing rather than simply into making surveys games.

New landscapes

There have been a number of new elements added to the survey mix; web/mobile surveying, crowdsourcing, research panels, and market research online communities all provide new sources of data collection participants. Panels lend themselves particularly well to younger respondents due to the fact they are being paid and typically can complete a number of studies quickly and easily using mobile devices (the young person’s trusty side arm!).

Would you like an incentive with that?

Credit: Within Advertising

Credit: Within Advertising

From my experience, the youth today tend to be less motivated and making the surveys easy to get in front of the respondents is going to be key for getting participation. Incentives are also going to play a bigger and bigger role in getting completes.

Last but not least, another consideration is having research topics that are very specifically relevant to the target audience. Having a survey pop up on a teenager’s smart phone as they walk out of McDonald’s on their experience of the meal they just took along with an incentive for a free meal just might do the trick. This employs smart interviewing technologies and expensive incentives but will give the edge on getting the completes needed!

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Do not hesitate to post your thoughts below and I will respond. You can also contact me at jason.mcgrath@voxco.com.

“PS: If you think this is information other research specialists might find useful, tweet about it!’”

Posted by Eric Perreault

The Dreaded Summer Research Time of year!

Summer is a time of year when everyone slows down and business slows down. For the research data collection industry, nothing is truer! Vacations, nice weather and weekends at the beach all make the already difficult respondent even more difficult to reach. So how are we to maximize our resources and manage our time more effectively to get projects completed? The following is meant to provide some practical ideas for making the most out of the summer months and assist in getting those research projects completed.

Weather – Weather is a big factor in determining if people are outside enjoying the sunshine or home sheltering from the rain. Knowing the markets you are calling into and checking the weather forecasts daily when calling on the weekend is a quick and easy way to help hedge your bets that people may be inside. I understand this is not always practice when planning shifts but should be factor whenever possible.

Type of projects – The type of projects you take on can greatly assist your productivity. Web projects are easy to deploy and do not require costly interviewer time. If at all possible, try and take on web projects more during the summer month. The reality is that even during their vacations, people can become bored and look for something to pass the time. A quick and relevant web survey coming down on their mobile device may catch their eye!

All businesses need to keep running during the summer months. A healthy mix of business to business interviewing in addition to consumer research is another way to ensure respondents are available and you are making money.

Incentives– When you do catch people, and the budget allows, offering local fun summer incentives are another way to increase your response rates. Offering a family pass to a local water park for example may just do the trick of turning a “no” into a “yes” when interviewing a parent about their spending habits at the local grocery store. Know your target respondent and know the areas you are calling into in order to reach them. A little bit of planning with the client will always help in getting better results!

2013-08-20Your Own Interviewers – Another way to increase productivity on a project is incenting from within. Offer your interviews summer based incentives during the summer months to see increased productivity. Paid days off on nice days or a get out of your shift 2 hours early with pay are some quick and easy ways to use the summer to your advantage. Who doesn’t want paid time off? Again, the idea of using local summer attractions with passes to the local fairgrounds, for example, for the interviewer who gets the most completes on a project.

Planning shifts – Keeping on topic with interviewers, planning shifts to accommodate slower or down times, try shortening shifts. Even an hour or two a day, when response rates are down or contact rates are low, make a huge difference on a project budget. Keep your interviewers on call as well if response rates and contact rates are particularly high during a shift, and provided you have the capacity, you can even call in extra interviewers to maximize the opportunity.

If you have other ideas or approaches you have used or can think of, please share!

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Do not hesitate to post your thoughts below and I will respond. You can also contact me at Jason.mcgrath@voxco.com.

Jason McGrath

by Jason McGrath

Sharing our private space: our new relationship with our phone!

Surveys that use smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly popular and unavoidable. They make it possible to reach respondents who have become “invisible” to the other means of data collection. They represent a new challenge, but also bring great opportunities to the table. You don’t conduct a survey on mobile devices as you do with more “classical” collection means. Here are some tips that will help you to become aware of these differences and to imagine how far your mobile surveys may lead you.

The first lesson is about the relationship that respondents have with their smartphone and, to a lesser extent, their tablet. The cell phone is one of the objects with which we have the greatest bond of personal attachment: we always have it on us, we customize it, we share practically all of our private life with it and, most of the time, we take good care of it.

This commitment is reinforced by the pattern of consumption of smartphone services, or applications. To install an app on your phone is like inviting someone into your home. It’s the equivalent of giving a not so restricted access to your intimate space. It is accepting to constantly look down upon the logo of a brand that you accept in your circle of trust. For the application user, it is the creation of a direct link with your company.

This trust must be maintained. Otherwise, the sanction will be brutal: your application will be deleted and the link broken in symbolic (you are no longer visible) and practical ways (the respondent cannot answer your studies).

The key elements that will maintain this privileged link are the following:

1. Simple and effective applications, as well as short questionnaires (no more than 5 minutes). Unlike the Web, you don’t “surf” in an application. You open it, access a service or information, and then close it. The cycle is very fast and rarely exceeds a few minutes, but may instead be repeated frequently. It is thus also possible to question respondents more regularly.

2. A presentation that is optimized for mobile use. Do not try to reproduce your Web questionnaires in a mobile version. Instead, reduce the amount of displayed data, be concise. If you have many things to say in a question, try to divide it into several sub-questions. Also try to keep each question on a single page, but be aware that it will never be guaranteed, because the presentation will be different depending on the terminals. There always comes a point where the user will have to scroll down to see the different answers. In that case, consider mixing your answer choices to limit bias.

3. A response mode adapted to mobile. Limit the amount of text input by the respondent. On smart phones, there are many other ways to gather information: selection in lists, choice of date from a calendar, photo taking, automatic geolocation, etc. Thus, if you already have access to the information, do not ask for it again, except if absolute imperative validation is needed. Use the known data of the respondents to skip unnecessary questions and go straight to the point.

4. Solicitation mode: a phone is primarily a personal tool. Respondents can often be uncomfortable answering a questionnaire about their personal tastes when they’re at work, or a questionnaire about their work during the weekend. Try to match your invitations with periods adapted to your respondents’ schedules. These invitations can take the form of “push” notifications. These are considered less intrusive and generate much better returns than emails. Use this function to solicit respondents more efficiently, and to invite or remind them about a pending invitation.

5. Proactive questionnaires. Offer questionnaires in which the respondents decide when to answer, at the frequency of their choosing. Rather than offering a questionnaire on the last movie they’ve seen, offer them the ability to give their opinion whenever they leave the movie theatre… Respondents always have their phone at hand and are better able to judge if they can or want to answer a survey. Remind them periodically through “push” alerts, if needed.

6. 100% mobile features. Ask your users to take photos or videos to illustrate what they’re saying, allow them to send voice comments, etc. All these features make the questionnaires more attractive and will allow respondents to be more involved. They will also allow you to extract more information, if you have the tools to exploit them.

7. Instant feedback. On smartphones, applications are used to obtain a result quickly. The simplicity of the questionnaire is important, but so is the feedback that the respondent gets at the end of a survey. The user could receive such a feedback, allowing him to appreciate the time he or she took to answer: results of the latest survey on the subject, recalling the points earned (in the case of a panel), discount coupon, exclusive content, etc.

Keep these things in mind when setting up your mobile studies and adapt them to your own context. There is no single recipe, but a multitude of ingredients that can be used to build an effective solution for your needs.

Mobile surveys should be seen as a way of collecting data in their own right, offering exceptional opportunities by redefining the relationship you have with your respondents. The technology is still new and evolving really fast, and its uses remain largely to be invented.

Photo David Lacan

Imagination is a must in order to allow your studies to take their place, and especially keep it, on the respondents’ telephones.

The author of this article is David Lacan, Mobile Solutions Director at Voxco.

For more information, you can reach David at david.lacan@voxco.com.

Have a good summer!