November 2012 Archives

Google Research Provides Input for Mobile Phone Providers

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Google posted on their blog today research that can predict the success and sales of smart phones. After analyzing their search results, they found interesting figures for phone companies.

Google found that 52 percent of "purchase-related searches" occur before the company
actually launches the product and that for every one million views a product's video receives the week before its launch, there is an additional 11 percent rise in sales.

What does this information do for phone companies? Well, the findings suggest certain trends within the industry and show proof that more people are researching phones than ever before.

For more on the findings, I encourage you to check out Tech Crunch's article.

This just in-- Kansas State researchers are beginning to analyze Twitter statuses to see if they can use this medium in the prevention of disease. According to e! Science News, "researchers are studying whether a well-timed post from a public authority or trustworthy person could be as beneficial as flu shots, hand-washing or sneezing into an elbow."

The research team is comprised of countless researchers from numerous different backgrounds. So far researchers have surveyed people on various concepts such as how college students use social media and what preventative techniques they use to reduce their chances of acquiring an illness. The end goal is to see if a strategically placed tweet could prevent disease and to determine who would be the best person to distribute this message.

While the article is informational, it doesn't list any other survey techniques. In my opinion, I think a good method would be to implement a focus group where college students could have an open discussion on opinion leaders or where they receive their news and whether or not they would take initiative from a tweet urging them to get a flu shot, etc.

Definitely an interesting topic- I'll be sure to keep you posted on further research.

University Brand Perception and the .xxx Domain Survey

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This evening I participated in the University Brand Perception and the .xxx Domain Survey via the SJMC research pool. Based on the questions, it is obvious that the researcher set out to determine people's opinions towards .xxx domains and the perceived image participants have of universities that buy these domains to protect their online image. The survey was completely composed of Likert Scales and didn't give any open-ended question.

Although I think this type of scale is qualified for the type of results the researcher is looking for I worry that because this is an extra credit survey, that few people will actually read about what a .xxx domain is and therefore, the researchers could receive inconsistent or skewed data. Thus, I think that this survey would be better suited for an audience that has experience of prior knowledge of .xxx domains. Without this prior knowledge, it would be hard to gauge such newly formed opinions solely from likert scales.

SJMC to Conduct Focus Group

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Recently, I received an email from a fellow SJMC undergrad urging me to sign a petition to keep the SJMC media lab open on weekends. Two weeks later, I received the above email. Undoubtedly, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication is responding to our petition to make the SJMC library's hours more flexible and I am extremely impressed that they have chosen to do a focus group to assess our needs. Although the two focus groups are limited to eight participants each, I agree that a focus group will enable the proper, open-ended communication that the school's administration needs to hear. Additionally, I feel that the group dynamics will allow more in-depth conversation and from this, I wouldn't be suprised if a solution was generated.

Unscientific Versus Scientific Polls

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On Thursday, I sat down to a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and all the fixings and overheard a conversation between my cousins about how more people like restaurant "A" than restaurant "B" because of a news station's recent poll illustrated this. As I listened to the two of them bicker over whether they agreed or disagreed with the results I found it my duty to explain to them that the results of this unscientific online poll shouldn't be trusted. To do this, I referenced my 3251 coursework and presented them with these two points.

1. The poll did not select a sample or "target audience"

This was a voluntary survey conducted online. Due to the structure of the website, we have no idea who participated. Additionally, there were no demographic questions asked prior to placing votes so the survey cannot be replicated.

2. The results are not representative of the population

Random selection is necessary to provide an accurate representation of a community. Because this was a voluntary survey, the news station didn't use random selection and therefore, the news station can not draw conclusions about the perceptions of the entire community.


Surveying Weight

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This morning, I reviewed a survey entitled, Americans Continue to Adjust Their Ideal Weight Upward, from the Wellbeing section of Gallup. The survey found that Americans' self-reported actual weight has steadily increased since 1990.

The study shows that the average weight for Americans is 176 pounds and the average ideal weight is 162 pounds.

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The study was conducted via telephone and included questions regarding dieting habits, and opinions about constituents' current and ideal weights. The telephone interviews were conducted Nov. 15-18 of last year and randomly sampled 1,015 adults using random-digit sampling.

Although I am not concerned with the sampling error in this survey, I would be curious about how many people report their actual weight correctly and whether telephone sampling is the best method for surveys related to weight or sensitive health topics.

In an effort to understand, I consulted the Journal of Ethnicity & Disease, which dissected data from the 2007-2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey which surveyed 2,672 men and 2,671 women on height, weight, and BMI.

The researcher, Doctor Lori Kowaleski-Jones, found that both men and women overestimate height and women tend to underestimate their weight.

With this being said if I were to conduct a survey that is dependent on exact weights and heights and time and money weren't factors, I would conduct this survey in-person and have a medical professional conduct physical assessments of weight and height before asking questions about ideal weight and opinions. Thus, eliminating inaccurate data.


NPD's Music Aquisition Monitor

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The NPD Group serves as the "leading global provider of consumer and retail market research solutions" for various industries and provides them with consumer behavior and POS information, as well as industry advice.

The company offers consumer and retail tracking, special reports,and custom research to help their clients decipher consumer and retail trends. Specific to the entertainment industry, NPD offers the Music Aquisition Monitor which illustrates how consumers listen and buy music.

The Music Acquisition Monitor is a bi-annual report that helps clients understand who is listening to music from paid or unpaid services and why consumers use streaming services such as Pandora.

The monitor measures consumer demographics, purchasing motivations and habits, listening tendencies, social borrowing, awareness and audience engagement.

This November, the group found that 50 percent of Internet users listened to music through an Internet radio or on-demand source.

I find this new technology very interesting. Having a music background myself, I understand the struggles of understanding what type of music sells and this type of data is extremely helpful to music business professionals. I also did research to see if any other companies provided this type of data. While few tried, most of the companies didn't offer numerous types of research methods, usually just statistical data. Look's like NPD found a niche here.

For more on the findings visit npd.com

For decades, Coca-Cola has pioneered the fountain drink industry. The company continues to integrate and innovate and is successful at meeting the needs of their customers. But more recently, Coca-Cola produced the Coca-Cola Freestyle which dispenses 104 different flavors of soda, sports drinks, flavored waters, etc. Not only is this machine innovative but it allows consumers the freedom to enjoy any Coca-Cola product they desire all while sending valuable Supply Chain research back to Coke.

Richard Gross, Group director of Enterprise Business Solutions for Coca-Cola explains, "Coca-Cola Freestyle also provides valuable data collection to customers. On a daily basis, each dispenser can gather data related to machine performance, micro-dose cartridge usage and beverage consumption." Allowing Coke to, "react for the first time in a pure demand driven Supply Chain ecosystem to keep the brand cartridges in stock."

Undoubtedly, the implementation of these machines into restaurants worldwide will aid in Coke's Supply Chain efforts but how else could Coca-Cola Freestyle be leveraged?

With such a brilliant hard drive in each machine, it only makes sense to use this machine for more than just Supply Chain research. It could be as simple as asking a question to determine the consumer's age before he or she selects their beverage, or clicking 'female' or 'male' before being able to select a drink. This market research would be of little cost and time to Coca-Cola but could serve as an easy way to test out new flavors.

Want to learn more about how Coca-Cola Freestyle works? Check it out here.

For more information on the Supply Chain process, click here.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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