Monthly Archives: May 2009

MRA’s Industry Index Down Again

MRA just released its Research Industry Index for 1st Quarter, 2009.  The index is at its lowest point since the Index was first calculated in 4th quarter, 2007.  Staffing levels, booked revenue and RFPs began their decline in the 1st quarter, 2008 and have continued through this past quarter. 

The report suggests that signs point to a bottoming out for the industry.  Presumably this conclusion is drawn from the optimism about new business prospects by the research firms reporting.  The indices for “We have more new clients this year” and “Our business prospects look good” were both relatively flat and were the only statements that did not show a decline in optimism. 

Somewhat surprisingly, survey participants said that 10% of their qualitative projects were online.  This is higher than our previous estimates that online is about 5% of the qualitative projects being completed.  However, it does reflect the enormous activity and interest we see in online qualitative at every level.  Qualitative methodology breakout in the report was:

  • Focus Groups – 41%
  • IDI – 17%
  • Phone 15%
  • Online 10%
  • Mixed – 5%
  • Other – 12%


Listening to Buzz: Threat or Opportunity

How are qualitative researchers going to incorporate passive listening when we have spent our lives being trained in active listening techniques?

The proliferation of social media, blogs and other user generated content has spawned a new form of research that aggregates millions of online discussions related to a brand or concept or anything else.  Marketers can track the “buzz” surrounding a brand on Facebook, blogs, Linked-in and other sites to hear what people are saying about a product or brand when they don’t think we are listening.  The comments are real and unfiltered. 

At the QRCA Symposium this week, Kristin Bush, Digital Research Senior Manager at P&G for Consumer and Market Knowledge, presented P&G’s strong emphasis on “listening” to the online buzz surrounding its brands and marketing.  She even defined “listening as observing and interpreting naturally ocurring behaviors.” She also promised that P&G will strive to create an ever-more systematic approach to “listening” and integrate “listening” activities into their marketing research plans. 


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10 Tips for QualBoard Moderating

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about moderating online bulletin boards (QualBoards).  So, I decided to list some recommendations for people who might be new or just want to see if they can pick up a new tip or two.  The tips are in the “Pages” section of QualBlog to the right ===>

If you have any additional suggestions, please leave them in the comments section to this post.  I hope it is helpful!

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