December 2012 Archives

Research Trends

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Social Media has become a key part of how advertising and marketing is presented to the consumer, but it is also revolutionizing the other end of marketing; Marketing research.
Social media is especially a great way to get both quanitative and qualatative research.

Forrester Global Research

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Forrester is a global research firm that provides research servieces to various fields such as information technology professionals, technology industry professionals, and marketing and strategy professionals.

When I originally viewed their website, they invited me to take a survey. I took some pictures of the survey to provide information about the quality of service they offer.

forrester feedback2.png

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Survey Results About Surveys

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Logically, doing research on marketing research is one of the best ways to improve future marketing research techniques. Survey Monkey's Hackathon data mining project to find algorithims regarding wether questions are good or bad.

The results? People like saying yes. People like agreeing more than dissagreeing. In general, people will pick a more positive answer wether or not it is true.

This studies findings may change how research questions are worded in the future to prevent significant positive skew.

Shopping Infograph

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This Infograph is an example of being creative with data presentation, similar to the activity we worked on in class with our alcohol survey information. This visual representation is great because it refrences relevant information from muliple studies (and provides the links to the full information on the bottom). This is a grate example of "research with legs", or showing how research results can be taken and used to show specific significance. The "so what?" or the research is apparent. Why do we need to know all this consumer data? So we know how to best advertise to increase holiday sales is one example implied by this graph.

Crack the Holiday Shopping Code

by Anametrix.Learn about infographic design.

Sneak Marketing Research

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captcha research.png

A new method of consumer research is Captcha research. This technique takes the Internet security tool of a captcha, a test tool used to ensure that the respondent is a human and not an Internet bot, and changes it into a marketing tool asking viewers brand association and other similar forms of questions. This advertising method utilized by Solve media is innovative and taking off quickly.

However, it can be argued that captcha research is manipulative, it forces a consumer to respond in order for them to move on to viewing the video of page they are attempting to view. Will this new marketing technique be labeled as unethical or simply moderately annoying?

Brain Juicer, Innovative Research Vendor

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Brain Juicer is an innovative marketing research company. The company has received numerous awards in their 10+ years innovation and thought leadership.

They utilize their own company specific research tools such as "SatisTraction", "TracefFace", and "MindReader" to provide clients with research data.

Marketing Research Website

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A great source for marketing research innovation is Greenbook blog.

This site, edited by Leonard Murphy, provides articles on global marketing research and has a section specifically about innovation. This site is a great reference for articles and news on research technology and ideas.

Email Invitation for Surveys

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This is an invitation I received to participate in a survey through my student email account. It appears that the University of Minnesota gave it's students information out to this company as a potential research audience.

Here is a description of the company taken from their website:

"The NPD Group, founded in 1967, is the leading global provider of integral market research data to Fortune 500 companies in a wide range of industries. Our research is an essential component in the strategic planning of over 1,700 manufacturers and retailers, and our insight into the marketplace enables them to make fact-based, profitable business decisions.
NPD utilizes two types of information in order to provide our clients with a comprehensive view of the marketplace -- point-of-sale (POS) data directly from retailers, and consumer data from members of the NPD Research team. POS data tells us what people are buying, and your survey input fills in the who, what, where and why. Combined, they provide NPD's clients with an unparalleled understanding of how to best succeed in a turbulent economy."

NPDOR (NPD Online Research) is a MRA (Marketing Research Association) member that follows the code of marketing research standards.

Bad Survey Example

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To continue with the topic of "Bad Surveys", here is an example of bad survey question. This survey was taken from the University of Minnesota umn myU homepage.

According to the survey it is physically impossible to have 5 finals.

This single question survey has poor question formatting. This is an example of an error of categories not being mutually exclusive/exhaustive. It is a closed question, forcing respondents to choose one of the offered responses. The problem is that the choices are not fully inclusive. They survey goes straight from "4" to "more than 5", excluding the option so simply choose 5.

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When Surveys are bad...

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Here's a great article about how research participants want to complete quality research.

One key point of the article are they importance of question hierarchy and how it effects a participants experience. As we discussed in class, the flow of questions should be logical. Screening questions should always be first. The article agrees, stating that the author was confused and actually angry about the main body questions being placed first.

Another point the author has an issue with is uneven scale and forced answer questions. They describe how they had an issue with "attitudinal questions using an agreement/disagreement scale without a neutral or "Don't Know" option."
What is being described here is an incorrect formatting of a Likert Scale. Excluding a neutral option forces a participant to answer with responses they don't actually believe.

Another interesting point discussed is the use of a progress bar. A lack of progress bar keeps participants in the dark about how long a survey actually is, and they may feel distrustful and decide to leave the survey early without completing it.

The article continues to list more insights from the perspective of a participant.

The information in this article leads up to a great point; the quality of information you receive is based on the quality of the questions you create for respondents.

Conan Focus Group Parody

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Have you ever wondered how talk show hosts get feedback about their shows? Probably not like this:
(you should skip to about the 1:00 minute mark)

Here is an example of a great research parody. Conan attempts a focus group for his show. While entertaining, there are many issues with the group that would not be acceptable in real research. These issues are what show that the focus group is a parody and not actual useable research.

For example, Conan's focus group is not representative of his audience and therefore any information gained is not applicable to his actual audience.
There are many ethical issues that would be a problem if this was a real focus group. For example, the kids were told that their responses would be anonymous, however Conan was standing in the focus group viewing room watching and commenting on the groups responses. See if you can spot any other issues with this research that make it a parody.


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Here is an interesting visual interpretation of marketing research; similar to the activity we did in class 11/29 with our alcohol research data. This research discusses a study by EROI digital marketing agency and discusses the findings that email, mobile devices and social media are the new marketing trifecta. This research can be utilized by marketing and advertising agencies to better create better campaigns that reach a larger consumer base more effectively.

The visual image is very colorful and eye-catching, but does not provide important information about the study such as the sample information, the error rates and confidence intervals, or the date that the research was collected.

When do you need a vendor?

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Here is an interesting article discussing DIY research and research completed by professional research vendors.

This article provides an interesting and straightforward insight to when an agency or company would benefit outsourcing their research needs versus conducting research themselves. The main points are pretty straightforward. It is worth outsourcing research when the external company can benefit one of the benefit criteria:

Offer expertise and skills not avail┬Čable within the DIY market research team.

Provide validated methods and innovative approaches.

Alleviate workload for time-strapped DIY marketing research teams.

Provide neutrality.

Guarantee the anonymity of respondents and confidentiality when this is an issue.

Provide credibility to research results.

Offer access to target populations of interest.

Another interesting point that the article discussed is a reminder that DIY research can be just as pricey if not more than outsourcing research.

This is a great source to use when deciding on how to get research completed for advertising projects in the future.

The Walking Dead Sponsorship Debacle

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Fans of the show The Walking Dead may have picked up on this unusual advertising placement during the shows mid-season finale episode. For anyone unaware, or grossed out by zombies, this episode contained one of the most gruesome and graphic scenes of a zombie attack in the history of the show. The scene ends by transitioning into a message from KFC stating, "come in today to taste why fresh is better".

The scene is available through the article link below, but contains very graphic images.

While KFC deemed this advertising placement as "unfortunate", others (AKA me) consider it hilarious regardless of the controversy surrounding the 17-second clip. I believe that this situation brings up a great opportunity to evaluate how relevance to a show affects sponsorship effectiveness. Another factor this issue sheds light on is the question of how advertisement placement can affect how effective the ad is. For example, would KFC have a more successful campaign if they had placed their ad midway through a commercial break, or is the media buzz caused by this particular placement benefitting the brand?

Survey Invitation

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A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to take part in a survey via email. The survey was for Lunds and Byerly's. The target audience for this survey appears to be consumers who are Lunds and Byerly's shoppers, a convenience sample due to the fact that they have already provided their contact information to the company. Unfortunately, when I clucked the link to the survey it had already been closed.

This is a great example of a survey that likely had a low nonresponse error rate. The survey closed earlier than expected due to the unexpected willingness to respond from participants.

Lunds and Byerly's survey invitation: Survey

About this Archive

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

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