December 2012 Archives

Tim Hoskins provides a good guideline describing the benefits of both qualitative and quantitative research and when it is best to use each. They are as follows:

"Use Qualitative Market Research when you want to:

Further explain and explore quantitative studies
Determine the underlying root of an issue or problem
Better understand your respondent's opinions and perspectives
Gain more authentic and untainted views and reactions

Use Quantitative Market Research when you want to:

Appeal your marketing to a larger population
Identify your market size and course of action
Gather information for statistical application
Opt for the quickest and more conclusive research"

I think Professor Ball and our class came to very similar definitions of each type of research and I think I have a firm grasp on what both research types are and when they are beneficial.


Apple vs. Android -- Who's ahead?

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Sam Grobart explains in his article how market research can be misinterpreted or misguided. Sometimes market research is just plain hard to understand. Apple leads the market share with 48.1%, but Android is not far behind with 46.7%, down 16.6% from last year. Android however leads the global market share by a landslide with a whopping 75% compared with Apples 14.9%. Market share does not relate however to profit where Apple took in 77% of the mobile sales in the second quarter of 2012. So to interpret, Apple sells better in the U.S., but not internationally. Apple makes way more profit from their iPhone as well.

The message is to make sure you're understanding the market statistics or else your interpretation could be completely different than what the study is telling you. This could be in a negative effect where the study/survey could be hiding some information from you, or that you are just not understanding the information which will give you the wrong interpretation.

U of M Tobacco Survey

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I was emailed a survey by The Tobacco-Free Initiative Work Group that asked various questions about tobacco use around campus, personal tobacco use, and thoughts on the current University smoking policy. The questionnaire was well designed and contained no structural flaws as far as I could tell. They also offered a drawing for 5 $100 bookstore gift cards as an incentive to get people to take the survey. Even though I wrote in an earlier post that email sampling may die out, I still think that is the best way to get me to take a survey because I can take it on my own time.

Consumer Insights Gained From Mobile Technology

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In Jacob Tucker's article found here, Tucker talks about how research professionals have had to learn to adapt to the mobile world. No longer do they carry clipboards, but smartphones with all their information. The consumers as well have to be reached in a different way because of the dynamic technology landscape. Polls can now be done in real-time and through geo-targeted mobile polls. If someone is grocery shopping or watching a movie, they can provide up to the moment feedback on products or services. It brings researchers even closer to deleting the "recall" step and learning exactly what real-time behaviors are like. Learning and developing the ways of collecting this information and changing it along the dynamic landscape is the hard part.

In the latest report "The Global Military IT, Data and Computing Market 2012-2022" by, the U.S. was valued at $43.7 billion by the end of 2012 and is expected to increase to $68.8. The United States, Russia, China, India and the UK are are all developing their technologies and will bring changes to warfare.

These market research capabilities also allow consumers to see how and what changes are happening globally and give the common people knowledge about the market. These research reports can all be found with their methods at

According to the "10 Global Consumer Trends for the Next Five Years" report, today's consumers are frugal, interactive, diverse, health conscience, and connected. Conspicuous consumption is no longer the focus but, with physical appearance and well-being are bigger priorities than tangible items.

This will no doubt change the landscape of advertising in finding that cultural tension to create successful advertisements. Advertisements will follow the current trends to fit the world of the consumer so it's more part of their life rather than a message being thrown at them.

Is Email Sampling Over?

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Matt Dusig proposes in his article that email sampling is nearing it's end. He says email is like radio and is a declining medium that will slowly fade. Even though radio is still used my many people, it's not even close to what it used to be. Dusig believes the future of sampling is through directly online, through the pop up prompts that ask you to take a survey (I've noticed these especially on Best Buy and, and through mobile technologies. Even though I think I would respond to an email survey, I definitely agree with Dusig that it is a dying sampling technique and that the future is through online and mobile technologies.

A Whole New Market of Consumers

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Technological advances have led to a whole new wave of market capabilities and a different type of consumer. Today's consumers are more involved with the media than ever, and social media in particular have led to that, and with that comes a different way to take on the younger generation of consumers. Now with the ability to connect with the younger generation than before also comes with the older generation becoming more familiar with common technologies. Mobile technologies have also made connecting with consumers easier than ever before. Everyone has their smart phone on them at all times, and that includes people from every age group and many different demographics. Mobile technologies and social media advancement have also made connecting internationally more possible because of the common boundaries and familiarity.

The advancement of technologies have brought about a whole new market of consumers and is on a different playing field than ever before. Marketers are learning how to use the new technology as quickly as the consumer is adapting and demanding for newer products. These advances will be interesting to watch and learn to see if they will have a positive impact on research capabilities, or if it will just be a different way of connecting with them.

Article written by Alexis Siegle and can be found here.

24% of Americans now say right now is a good time to find a job, triple the amount from March 2008. In January 2007, 48% of Americans thought it was a good time to find a quality job. The poll was conducted by telephone and reached 1,015 participants. Pictured below is a chart of the American's thoughts on the job outlook:

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Why has job outlook increased? Is it because more people don't have jobs, so they think that their is potentially more openings? Is the economy actually getting better? Stats are skewed all the time and just public perception of what a "quality" job is. Also as I posted earlier, the American confidence in television and Congress is at an all-time low, so how can we trust the information the media is giving us, and should Congress start to change something about themselves and the economy to make them well-liked and trusting again?

Most Trusted Careers -- Congress Stands Low on the List

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Among the most trusted careers, nurses stand high on the list with 85% of the population very highly trusting them. Journalists come in with 24% being very highly trusted, and 43% coming through as average. Advertising practitioners did not do so well with 11% being very highly trusted, 50% being average, and 36% being very low. Pictured below is the rest of the chart:

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The poll was conducted between Nov. 26-29 by telephone with a sample of 1,015 people. Respondents ranked each career on a five-point likert scale ranging from "very high" to "very low." Other interesting finds were that state congress memebers are more trusted that federal and that nurses are more trusted than doctors.

American Confidence in TV Dropping.

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Americans this year expressed that only 21% of people have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television. This dropped from 27% last year and from 43% when Gallup started tracking this stat in 1993.

Below are the survey methods that Gallup used:

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With confidence in television dropping, who can we even trust to deliver information to the masses? If people become less and less trusting of television, why should they feel the need to be completely honest? Because everyone has biases and opinions, it's tough to get a completely straight news story because everyone is going to tell a story with their spin on it and their tone of voice, which will skew how the message and information is received. Who can we trust? Ourselves and our ability to seek out our own information, from our trusted sources. With so much information out there, someone as to be telling the trust.

Happiness Poll

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Featured on is a daily "happiness" poll that gauges the amount of "happy" Americans. The poll is conducted by telephone calling approximately 1000 Americans and asking them to relfect on the previous day. 44% said they had a lot of happiness/enjoyment without stress/worry while 13% had it the other way around. The problem I have with this is what accounts for the other 43%? Are our fellow Americans losing their emotions, and losing touch with their feelings and outer world? Who knows...

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Should Market Research be more invovled with Big Data?

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Tom Anderson critiques and expresses his opinions on market research and if big data should be used more frequently. Even though typical current evaluation software can't handle this "big data", Anderson thinks that software will rapidly become more cheap and available. He says that most research professionals that do customer segmentation (Groups typically are from 1500-4000) have the same skill set to work with big data, it's just that the software needs to be more available. The software also has to include typical marketing research information so that junior analysts also can use the software and become familiar earlier. This is what Anderson is working on at Anderson Analytics.

Anderson thinks that researchers already have the big data; they just need the software and capability to harness it. He states, "What I find hardest to believe is that many of these firms are sitting on large amounts of customer service data (call center logs and email complaints and suggestions from hundreds of thousands of customers), while this data really isn't being analyzed by anyone client side researchers seem to prefer trying to go for a wild goose chase for what Twitterers may or may not be saying." I agree that being able to make a database of a large group makes sense, but is it necessary? I think the current working groups of 1500-4000 people provide a good sample size. I would be willing to bet that after 4000, not many changes occur amongst demographics and could be working projections. I also disagree with his notion that we should stray away from social media. I think that social media gives an excellent opportunity to break into the younger demographic. I think many people this age would agree. Most people are connected every day through social media. Mostly, I think researched should be focused on gaining more in-depth knowledge with the numbers you have rather than getting more of the same answer from a larger amount of people.

According to the results of a poll displayed in today's Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, and displayed on, support of Same-Sex marriage and legalization of marijuana is now favored and has had a dramatic increase from 2008. The study was directed at Quinnipiac University and surveyed 1949 registered voters nationwide by both landlines and cell phones, with a margin of error of 2.2 +/-.

The link for details of the survey can be found here.

Voters today favor same-sex marriage 48-46%, a large difference from the 55-36 opposition from a survey conducted by Quinnipiac University in 2008. Support of the legalization of marijuana stands at 51-44%. The legalization of marijuana however had a vast difference among age demographics. Ages 18-29 year olds supported legalization by a whopping 67-29%, while voters over 65 opposed 56-35%.

The study also included questions on other hot-button issues such as immigration laws, involvement in Libya, and the suggestion that climate change caused Hurricane Sandy. I think the study had a good turnout for a phone survey and provided a good sample size of many different demographics. The margin of error of 2.2% I thought was acceptable for a telephone survey because they tend to be harder to reach through that medium.

Thoughts on Social Networking and Surveys

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There has been an abundance of student-conducted surveys floating about the last few weeks especially through emails and social networking. So this led me to think, is social networking an effective way to conduct surveys? I think from a general sense it is a very quick, easy and inexpensive way of getting your survey out to the masses. If you are passing on a survey through a Facebook post on a page that has over 100,000 likes, chances are you are going to get a good sample for your survey. However, this is only going to reach those consumers that "like" the page, and therefore would be best used for gaining information on internal topics with your consumers you are already connected with. Social networking would not work to get others who are not socially connected with you to take your survey and that could skew your sample and information.

I think social networking is very effective however for college students because of the ease of use and the fact that it is free. We don't have the resources or time to get an extremely large sample size, so we go to the largest community we can reach people by and that is our social networking community.

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

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