Link to article:

An article found on The Sacramento Bee applauds SIS International Research on reaching their 30 year mark. Since its founding, this company has been a leader in business research and market intelligence consulting. The company serves 120 countries!

I found it interesting to read about the evolution of the industry, how it has evolved from even before the internet. It is amazing that over so many years, and such enormous changes to the industry, that they have been able to remain one of the global leaders.

The video to be shown at the New York City celebration can be found here:

I found a rather interesting article on The Guardian in their Small Business Network section. The article overall was aimed at providing helpful tips on how to manage a successful start up business. The interesting part to me was that the main thing they advised in the article was to do intensive market research in order to determine whether or not the small business would even be viable from the beginning.

The author's advice specifically mentions that from thorough market research an owner will be able to gain a deep understanding of any changes needed to make to their product of service in order to have it be successful in the actual market.

This is an obvious idea and it is clear why it would be beneficial to participate in market research prior to opening a small business or startup company. However, I think articles like these are vital to exist because many people do not consider the implications that may come from delving into a startup a little underprepared. Only through market research will a company be able to narrow down a unique selling point (USP) of their product or service that will actually sell. I think the author gives great advice in this article for anyone considering becoming involved with a startup.

Link to article:

Link to article:

According to a study done by a Marketing Research Firm, Apple Inc.'s iOS operating system is now back on top above Google's OS operating system by a few percentage points. This claim is a result of their market research study that was conducted over a 12-week period. The only catch to this study is that during the period they were conducting the study the Apple iPhone 5 was released. This may have been the cause of Apple's return to the top, but no one can be certain that this would not have happened regardless of the new iPhone model coming out. This discrepancy is a perfect example of outside factors affecting the results of a study. Since the two operating systems at battle are so close in numbers it is hard to say how long one will remain above the other, or, if the difference is even statistically significant.

Found on the blog, "The Client-Side View: We Ignore Social Media Research at Our Peril" written by Edward Appleton was very interesting. Appleton mentions his reasoning behind making sure we do not disregard social media in our research. He says it is and will continue to become a very helpful tool that can be used in market research studies. The level at which consumers are interacting with products on these various social media websites makes it a very beneficial place to study different markets - we just don't have the best way to do it quite yet.

Appleton mentions that many people tend to overlook using social media in market research studies because of all the negative reasons and the difficulties people have with text analytics. However, and many things in technology, we will find an easier way to use information from social media platforms. I look forward to hearing more about what possible ways social media will be used in market research as this article focused on encouraging others to not disregard the possibilities that are in front of us.


Good Market Research - Getting to Know Your Customers

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A blog entry I found through searching on entitled Good Market Research - Getting to Know Your Customers stood out to me for a few simple reasons. First, I thought the concept behind the article seemed so elementary. Maybe it is because I have taken so many courses on marketing and this semester, market research, but it seems obvious to me that in order to have successful market research, you need to know your customers.

Although a very basic thing to understand, it is still important to keep reminding people. It is as simple as that. Understanding what your target market is motivated by can increase sales dramatically. If you target a segment the correct way, it is guaranteed the marketing will be successful. The tricky part? Determining how to effectively motivate your customers.

To fully understand your customers, you need to be able ask the right questions. This relates to so much of what we talked about in class especially when we discussed survey and experiment designs. The design is the most important part of a research study... it doesn't make a different who you ask if the study is not valid and reliable. Without actually testing for what you want to discover, the research is a waste of both time and money. This article gives a few specific tips on how to effectively design market research in order to be successful with your results. I found it to be very interesting and helpful.. much of it related to concepts we had talked about in class.


The Mobile Future of Market Research

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An article found on discusses the fact that "digital natives" who have grown up with the internet, mobile phones and more feel at home with technology. This is the reason market research is becoming more mobile and focusing on opportunities with the new generation of "techies".

Moving to become more mobile does not mean one thing, it includes many different channels. Mobile market research adds the benefit of location and time based data. Because the use of mobile phones has become such a hobby, using them to yield research results makes so much sense. More and more users browse things completely unrelated to phone use by using their phones. This means that in order to appeal more to consumers, mobile opportunities would be the best option.

There are ethical implications as well as slow adopters of technology that mean certain things will still take time to catch on to this trend. However, it is definitely the direction market research is heading.

The Real Mystery of Political Polls

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A research study conducted by Copernicus Marketing Consulting and Research back in 2008 about the phenomenon of polling failure and response bias related to the presidential election. The link is here:

I found this to relate to what we have been learning in class because they talk about the issue known to be a common mistake in research studies: response bias. More so, the study was interesting to me personally because it was related to the presidential election and how the polls are not always correct. I find this topic interesting to learn about, so I wanted to see what they discovered in their study.

The article mentions that it is historic that the polls leading up the the election typically are not correct, or there is no pattern of them being so. Polls are not usually accurate because the people who conduct them have typically had a following more dominated by either Democratic or Republican voters. This makes their results swayed one way or the other because of response bias; the people who are responding to the poll is not a collective sample of the entire U.S. population.

It is interesting to me, and they even say it in the article, why pollsters disregard this response bias in their polls. They continue to conduct polls the same and do not seem to care about the bias that shows through and the unreliable results they find for each election. I would think there would be interest in yielding an accurate poll, but I suppose that would be extremely difficult to do for the entire United States population.

Top 10 Market Research Companies Perceived to be Innovative

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Here is a preliminary list of the top 10 market research companies found to be innovative from the GreenBook Industry Trends Study:

TNS Global
Vision Critical
Anderson Analytics
Peanut Labs

This is interesting to me because you don't typically hear about the companies conducting the research, only the companies research is done for. The behind the scenes work should get more credit sometimes. Personally, I didn't know all of these different Market Research companies and it was helpful for me to see who they are and what they do. It allowed me to learn more about companies and how what we are learning in class applies to what people do in "real life".

Why Should My Company Care About Being "Green"?

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Above is a link to the article about why companies should care about being green.

I found this article particularly interesting because in today's society it is very apparent that many companies/services are advertising themselves as being consciously "green". Although the average consumer knows that being environmentally conscious is a good thing, I feel that many consumers don't fully understand what it means to be green, nor do they take the time to investigate the accuracy of a company's "green" claim.

This article tells that a mere 10% of Americans are green-leaders. This small amount are the people that are educated about being green and tell others why they should be green too. Along with that statistic, 18% of Americans are followers. This small amount are the ones that listen to the leaders' messages and do as they are advised. There is a graph given in the article that I believe to be a good impactful addition to the article as it shows the importance of having people pick up on the trend. The largest segment is sympathizers. This doesn't necessarily mean they are taking action, which is where we hope the trend is going. Showing the visual is always a more effective way to present data findings from research.

Carlson students conducting primary research

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The Carlson business school here at the University of Minnesota is constantly creating projects for their students that require them to reach out to peers and have surveys conducted. Friends of mine, and myself included, are usually emailing our friends, or posting on group pages asking friends to participate in a quick survey that will help us with our final projects. Attached is an image where a friend of mine posted on our Gamma Phi Beta group Facebook page to help gather primary data.

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I think it is beneficial that in so many Carlson classes, we are required to conduct our own research... and not only are we asked to conduct surveys or focus groups, but we actually have to report how we did it and how we decided to design the surveys to make sure we are using the guidelines for creating effective questionnaires. It is a real learning-by-doing experience that effectively prepares us for the business world after college.