November 2012 Archives

Nordstrom Survey

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Today I received an email receipt from Nordstrom for my purchase I made there today. At the very bottom of the receipt in tiny print it said, "Take our 2 minute survey" so I did. The survey took me about three minutes to complete.

It prompted me by having me insert the transaction code from the receipt that was emailed to me. After I inserted the code, it asked me specific questions regarding my experience at the Mall of America Nordstrom. The first question it asked me was to explain my experience, so I typed up a few sentences about what I purchased and why I purchased it. It then asked me a series of Likert questions regarding the store environment, sales associate, and product that I purchased. After that it listed a series of statements regarding views on fashion and prices and had me check the statement that I felt best described me. After that question I was asked if I would like to have a store representative contact me. I was given three options, Yes-by phone, Yes-by email, and No. After that I was asked to enter my age and gender.

I think that this survey would provide the company with valuable information regarding consumers' purchases and experience at the store. I looked at one of my printed Nordstrom receipts and say that the survey was also listed there. It is shown at the bottom in very small print, so I feel like not many people complete it and those that do probably had a problem while they were there that they want to report. I also believe that very few people that receive printed versions of their receipts complete this survey. You have to find a computer and log onto the site listed as well as enter a very long transaction number. Since I had the receipt emailed to me I was able to click on a link in the email receipt to bring me to the survey. I was also able to copy and paste the transaction number instead of typing it out (It's a combination of 20 numbers and letters). I think that if they put this survey information at the top of the e-receipt as well as offered an incentive, such as being entered into a drawing for a gift card more people would fill them out.

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Share your vote on Facebook and Twitter

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A phone survey conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates International found that 22% of registered voters let their friends/followers know who they voted for in the United States Presidential election on their social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

This year was the first year that I along with many of my friends could vote in the presidential election so naturally we were all very excited to voice our political opinion and cast our vote. I think a majority of the people I followed posted who they voted for or encouraged others to vote. I think almost every single post I saw on Twitter or Facebook that day was about the election. I saw brands also post and encourage people to vote. It seemed like more people than usual were posting their political views on Facebook and Twitter than usual. This also could be because this was the first time many of my friends could vote. I am surprised that this survey found that only 22% of registered voters shared who they voted for and only 20% encouraged others to vote by posting messages on their Facebooks or Twitters. The survey had 1,011 adult participants from within the United States.

I would be interested to know the ages of participants. I also would be interested to learn if younger age groups were more likely to post on Facebook than older age groups. I would also be interested to know how it was divided in regards to voting Republican or Democratic. I also think it would be interesting to know demographic information as well.

Ascendancy Research

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Ascendancy Research is located in Minneapolis and is a full service qualitative research provider. I started browsing on the site because this was the first site that I stumbled upon that was a Minnesota based company. I enjoyed that they provided photos of their research facilities for clients to look at. I think that is important because some focus groups and interviews need to be conducted in spaces that give off certain vibes or feel a certain way. I also thought it was helpful that the site provided hotel and dinning information on their site for clients that are from out of town. That shows that they have clients that come from out of town to use their research facilities. I also think that it shows that they care about the comfort of their clients.

They provide usability labs such as test kitchens, office and sales training, and full group rooms. They offer many different types of research. They offer consumer research, website usability research, retail research, mystery shopping, display shelving and legal research: mock juries just to name a few.

Ascendancy Research focuses on qualitative research so they offer a lot of interviewing and focus group options. They also specialize in mothers and seniors. Something that I found neat about this site is there was a link for people to sign up to participate in a study. I did not see a link like this on other sites that I have looked at. They have over 30 years of experience and are rated number one for recruiting. Although it does not say who rated them number one.

Parents concerns about teens online privacy

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Pew Internet and American Life Project conducted a study regarding how parents felt about their teens online and their online privacy. The survey was conducted on the phone and had 802 parent participants as well as 802 teens ages 12-17 participate between July and September of 2012. The survey was conducted in both Spanish and English and respondents were reached on both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error was + or - 4.5%.

The survey found that 81% of parents are concerned with how much advertisers can learn about their teens through their online behavior. It also found that 72% of parents were concerned with their teens interacting with people they do not know online. Something I found interesting was that 69% of parents were concerned with how their teens represented themselves online. I found this statistic interesting because I feel like this is something that is not touched on enough. People focus a lot on privacy and who their children talk to online, but I don't think enough focus is put on who teens present themselves. I have heard teachers talk about when talking about look for jobs or applying to schools, but I have never really heard parents talk about it. I have had parents talk about sharing of information online as well as only talking to people you know. I would be interested to know how many of these parents have access to or have seen their teen's online social network profiles and what they think of them. I think this was a well thought out survey and is reliable.

Gopher Sports

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I would love to conduct an experiment to see how users view Every time I go on the website I get confused about where to find what I am looking for. The website is overly cluttered with 78 buttons on the home screen alone. I would like to conduct a usability experiment to see if others find the site difficult to navigate.

I would select students of the University, faculty/staff, as well as season ticket holders that do not fall into either of those categories. From each of those groups I would use volunteer sampling to gain participants. I would send an email out to students, faculty, and season ticket holders requesting they participate in the experiment and would also give them something such as a voucher for a free meal at a game to thank them for their time after participating.

In the experiment I would give them three tasks to complete. I would have them find the score of the latest football game, print a ticket for the upcoming game, and donate to the Golden Gopher Fund. I would have eye trackers on each of the monitors for the study so I could better track where participants are looking for each of the tasks. After each task is complete I would also ask them to rank from 1 to 7 with 1 being extremely easy and 7 being extremely hard how they felt about each task.

I think that this experiment would be beneficial in updating and cleaning up the website. There is so much information on there that needs to be on there, but needs to be on there in a different way. The way it is currently set up is confusing and cluttered making it difficult for users to complete tasks and find information. I believe an experiment would be an effective way to gain insight from a variety of users, it would also show how different users interact with the site.

Experiments are the way of the Future

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I found a very interesting article on Advertising Age today while I was browsing the site. The article by Michael Dezso, titled "Being Right IS No Longer Enough- You've Got to Experiment" ( argues that we can no longer rely on surveys to gain consumer insight and create worthwhile campaigns, we must experiment. I thought this article was interesting because I do think that experiments although expensive, are very effective in finding out how best to reach consumers and communicate to them. The article says people must use a "field researcher's mentality" to find the answer. The article uses Red Bull as an example of using this mentality and incorporating experiments into its research instead of surveys allowing them to create high levels of social engagement. As we become a more digital world it is becoming even more important to connect and engage with consumers. Engagement is the key to any brands success in todays world.

Eye Tracking Study

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I was interested in watching an example of an eye tracker study, so I went on You Tube where I came across a display advertising eye tracking study that observed how people interacted on websites with an iPad and a PC and analyzed the ad performance between the two. ( I really enjoyed watching this research study and seeing visuals of the findings because I am a visual person. I was also able to understand the study and how eye tracking works because I was able to see parts of the study. I was also interested in what the study found. It found that users were more engaged and saw ads quicker on a desktop which I found surprising. I found this surprising because I feel like I see ads so quickly on my iPad and I am more likely to click on them on my iPad than I am on my computer for some reason.

Jobs after Graduation

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As a senior I am constantly reading articles about employment rates and finding jobs after college. Yesterday ABC News ( posted an article about a recent survey that predicts that this year employers will increase hiring of 4-year college graduates by about 5% and graduates with an associate's degree will increase by about 30%. The article says that Michigan State University's College Employment research collected hiring plan responses from over 2,000 employees within the United States. That is the only information given about the survey and how it was conducted. There is not a link given with further information on survey results or on how it was conducted. I would be interested to learn more about what fields they looked into and how they contacted employers. As I said before I am a senior and I am seeking a job after graduation so I would be interested ot learn more about this survey!


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I was searching the web for research vendors and came across one called Spych ( Spych provides "innovative solutions for companies seeking a better understanding of their customers and desired market segments." They use a holistic research as well as empathetic research approach. They offer a variety of research such as full spectrum development, brand and re-branding eye-tracking, experience groups, and ad testing to name a few. Their website makes it seem that they are targeting older users because they mention many times that they are "young and savvy" and can serve as your "liaison to the Gen Y and Millennial segments". This caught my eye, because what if you were looking at this and you personally were a Gen Y or Millennial segment. If it were me I would feel as if since I am in that category I cannot use their service because I am not old enough, or I shouldn't need their service because I am the same age as them. I think that they should find a way to reword this because I am sure other people around my age are in the market for research that they offer and may be offended or turned away by this.

Math can be painful

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The LA Times recently wrote a story on a survey that found that math can cause you physical pain. I found this story interesting because I have always said math makes my head hurt, because I do not enjoy it. So I was intrigued to find out what exactly this survey found and how it was conducted.
Sian Beilock, a psychologist at the University of Chicago along with a former graduate student recently published their study that attempts to explain why math can cause physical pain in some people. They study was conducted on 14 people with high math anxiety and 14 people that were comfortable with math. All participants were asked to solve algebra problems while their brains were watched by MRI scanners. The study found that the anticipation of the math is what is painful to some people.
After reading this study I have a few questions. How did they find the 14 participants with math anxiety and the 14 participants that were comfortable in math? What kind of algebra questions did they ask and how did they decide to ask these? Did anyone with a math degree assist in creating the math questions? What does it take to identify ones self as comfortable with math and how do you identify that you have math anxiety? What were the ages of the people surveyed? Were they male or female? Knowing the answers to these questions would allow for a better understanding of their findings and would make it seem more credible to me.

Carlson Focus Group

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While I was in Murphy Hall I noticed a sign posted on the wall for a Focus Group. The part that caught my attention was the red bolded word "Free" followed by Food. I think that free food is a great way to motivate students to participate in a focus group. However I do not think it is motivation enough. I did contact the person in charge to participate in the focus group, nor did it seem like a lot of people did. I observed the sign for three days in a row and saw that on the third day all tabs with the contact information was still in tact. Personally I was a little wearing in saying I would participate because I felt uninformed and did not know exactly what it was for. All the flyer stated was that they wanted opinions on the next big social sharing site that they were launching. I was also not aware of who was conduction this. It says the actually study will take place in Carlson and it gives a contact name, but it does not state who is conducting the survey or who they are conducting it for. Had I known this information I may have been more willing to participate.

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Kate Spade

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I seem to be getting a lot of surveys emailed to me lately, or I am just noticing them more from being in this class. The other day I received a survey from Kate Spade that said if I completed it I would receive 25% off my next purchase. I took the survey and it took me about 2 minutes to complete. It was a variation of questions using the likert scale and questions where you checked boxes of what you agreed with. I felt that this was a bit of a leading question, because I realized I was checking things that I would not have come up with had it made me list things. (Example picture attached)

I think that Kate Spade will receive a good response rate on this survey, because after you take it you receive 25% off, which is a good amount for a designer brand.

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This past summer I had the opportunity to have an internship at a creative advertising agency in New York City. Well I was there the main client we worked with was Bulova watches. Bulova recently created a new ad campaign that is currently running in People Magazine. I would be interested to know how effective the campaign is, every time I see one of the ads in a magazine I want to know how many people notice it. I would be interested in conducting an email survey to subscribers of People Magazine. An email survey would be the best because it is quick and allows for the use of images. Many of People's subscribers subscribe via tablets where the internet is needed so many are online.

I would ask them if they remember seeing a watch advertisement in the last issue of People. I would then ask them to write in the watch ad they remember seeing. I would then show them a picture of the advertisement and ask them if this is the advertisement that they remember. I would go on to ask them questions in a likert scale format regarding their feelings towards the advertisement and towards the brand. I believe that these questions would help gain an insight into learning peoples attitudes towards this ad.

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About this Archive

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

October 2012 is the previous archive.

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