Monthly Archives: September 2010

Congrats to AMA’s Emerging Market Research Leaders: 4 under 40

On the concluding morning of the AMA Marketing Research Conference, the AMA recognized its Market Research Emerging Leaders, 4 under 40. We want to extend our congratulations to these outstanding market researchers who are shaping the future of our industry. Here are the winners and a little about them.

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Tom DeRuyck: Senior Consultant ForwaR&D Lab, InSites Consulting.
Tom is also deeply involved in one of the leading research sites in Europe BAQMAR.be. His specialty is online research and social media use in research. He is very active in the blogosphere and is often quoted as an expert in online market research.

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Kristin Luck: President of Decipher, Inc.
Decipher is a technology-driven firm in the survey data processing space.
Previously, Kristin was one of the founders and an EVP of OTX which was the fastest growing market research firm in 2002 and 2003. The company was recently sold to Ipsos. She is very active in the industry appearing and speaking at numerous conferences.

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Nick Harrington: Consumer Research Manager, Procter & Gamble
Nick was educated in the UK but now works in Cincinnati with P&G.

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Tom H.C. Anderson. CEO, Anderson Analytics.
Anderson Analytics is a market research consultancy that leverages new technologies, such as data and text mining, with traditional market research techniques. Tom has been active in industry associations including ESOMAR and the Merlien Institute. He is very active in leading discussions on many market research sites.

Conferences Show DIY Market Research on Everyone’s Radar

Everyone wonders about the impact of DIY (do-it-yourself) market research. However, the proliferation of easy-to-use and inexpensive tools on both the qualitative research and quantitative research sides leave little doubt that DIY research will grow.

A couple of weeks ago at the ESOMAR Congress in Athens, we noticed organizations attempting to better understand the depth and speed of DIY proliferation. This week at the AMA Marketing Research Conference in Atlanta, a session on DIY research was one of the best attended break-out sessions. In addition, when talking to end-user “client” researchers, I notice that they show a high level of interest in easy-to-use solutions that allow them to save their budget and conduct more research.

Currently, most researchers think of DIY as “fast and dirty” Zoomerang surveys or maybe a large community that they can access themselves. However, DIY will grow into many other methods as social media gets easier to access, qualitative research software becomes simpler and mobile qualitative research grows.

Everyone is anxious about this trend. Research firms worry about the amount of business they may lose. End user research teams wonder how much more work will be added to their workload, yet they also see opportunities for broader research capabilities on limited budgets.

So, a significant trend to watch is the spread of DIY research and the support it gains (or loses) among the various industry players who have skin in the game.

AMA Research Conference: Challenging Researchers to Be BOLD

Day 1:  Direct from the AMA Marketing Research Conference

Market researchers and research agencies are being challenged to step out of their “research” roles and step up to being a catalyst for transformation in their organizations.

Words used this morning to describe the best “researcher” have been:

  • Bold researcher
  • Game changer
  • Creating business impact
  • Provoking transformation
  • Focus on business outcomes, not research outcomes

End users are tired of researchers who are good at supplying data but don’t impact the business. Gayle Lloyd of Batesville Casket Company says  69% of executives want a researcher who is a business partner. In that same survey, 29% said they had one.  Researchers and agencies are “head down” in data and not “heads up” addressing transformational business issues. She notes that the corporate researcher should be an “oracle” within the company as a source of knowledge and insights, not just a databank.

It seems to me that this transition is difficult and will require a different personality type. For most researchers, the functional research process is easy and comfortable. It is the rare researcher who can accept Gayle Lloyd’s challenge to be a “Bold Researcher” and become a true asset to the decision-making for strategic initiatives in an organization. As an industry we will need to change how we hire, motivate and compensate the research team.

Using Online Qualitative to Connect With Physicians

Physicians are notoriously difficult to recruit and interview, which makes sense. Like CEOs, they’re a busy bunch. But they’re also an important bunch. So what do you do to reach this key group? As Jim Bryson explains in the September 2010 issue of MRA Alert! Magazine, use online qualitative tools. Online research software offers several benefits over in-person focus groups and IDIs, including:

• A wider geographical reach: Online is not location specific, so you don’t have to worry if your three regular doctors can come to your Miami focus group facility, for example.

• Good for hectic schedules: How many doctors do you know with 90 minutes in the middle of their day for an IDI? Besides those three who show up at your Miami focus group facility time after time? Not many. Online qualitative research, on the other hand, is available whenever the physician is–3 a.m., even.

The article details two ways to connect with physicians online — through a webcam focus group and a bulletin board focus group. The complete article is posted on our website (click to read), or can be downloaded as a PDF (click to download).

Photo credit: Rosmary

Online Qualitative Removes Global Research Barriers

Even if it’s just a study comparing consumers in the United States to consumers in France, global research can be an expensive, exhausting undertaking, not to mention a logistical challenge, for researchers and their clients. You need the passport, the plane tickets, the moderator who’s fluent in the language, and the list goes on.

Unless, of course, you’re doing online qualitative research.

With online research software like the bulletin board focus group, reaching participants around the world doesn’t require any of those things–good-bye, travel budget! In fact, online qualitative research can actually enhance your research results–hello, happier clients!

We talked to Betsy Hoag and Katerina Makatouni of Kairos Consumers, a Chicago-based research firm specializing in global consumer and B2B research, to better understand some of the benefits of conducting global research using online research software.

Cost: They explain that with in-person focus groups, the cost of the project depends on the region or country. But that’s not the case with online: “Whether they’re all in the same focus group or different groups, the price tag is the same across all groups–not to mention much lower,” Hoag says.

Consistency: Because a bulletin board focus group is asynchronous, you can run multiple ones at the same time–which means you can use the same moderator.

Richer results: Hoag and Makatouni suggest staggering country-specific groups by a few hours. That way you have time to review the conversations in one group and use them to probe participants in another. “You can already see where the conversations are going and use that information in other boards,” Hoag says.

Hoag and Makatouni will be presenting the 20|20 Research webinar “Jumping Feet-First Into Online Qualitative: How to Take Your First Project From Vision to Execution in Less Than 30 Days” on Friday, Oct. 1 at noon EST. Seating is limited to the first 150 registrants, so register today.

ESOMAR Congress: Research Buyers Driving Agencies to Online Qualitative Research

Update from Steve Henke at the ESOMAR Congress in Athens:

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better… Day 2 at the ESOMAR Congress was even better than Day 1. Excitement was high as more and more people from around the world came by the booth anxious to find out about online qualitative research. Countries as diverse as Australia, Hungary, United Arab Emirates and many more seem to genuinely want to know how they can do online qualitative research.

Interestingly, the interest seems to be driven by international clients who are asking their suppliers for online qualitative solutions. The research buyers are driving the research agencies to get up to speed with the technology and methodologies, and the buyers are pushing the innovation to the agencies.

In those countries where Internet penetration is low, interest in QualAnywhere (our mobile qualitataive research platform – using mobile phones) is very high. In these countries, people may not have access to a computer but they all carry mobile phones and use them for communicating via voice, text and on the web.

Report from Athens: Online Qualitative Research a Hot Topic

From Steve Henke at the ESOMAR Congress in Athens
Greece:

The first day of
the ESOMAR Congress was an
exceptional day for us with very good attendance and a high energy throughout
the exhibit hall and the sessions. There is a really good vibe
here! Researchers are here from around the world — we talked to people in
our booth representing at least 15 different countries on the Congress’ first
day.

Online qualitative research is a hot topic. The consensus seems to be that Europe is a
bit behind the US in online qualitative research adoption – but not too
far behind. It’s also a very hot topic in the sessions. So, online
qualitative is growing in Europe almost as fast as the US.

Also, Judy Langer and Sharon Dimoldenberg’s presentation on current and emerging trends in qualitative research was very well received. Many thanks to them for
their confidence in the 20|20 Research online research software.

By the way, Athens is a remarkable place to visit! I encourage
anyone who can to get here and enjoy this city. More on the Congress tomorrow.

Report from Athens: Online Qualitative Research a Hot Topic

From Steve Henke at the ESOMAR Congress in Athens Greece.

The first day of the ESOMAR Congress was an exceptional day for us with very good attendance and a high energy throughout the exhibit hall and the sessions.  There is a really good vibe here!  Researchers are here from around the world, we talked to people in our booth representing at least 15 different countries on the Congress’ first day.

Online qualitative research is a hot topic. The consensus seems to be that Europe is a bit behind the US in online qualitative research adoption – but not too far behind.  It’s also very hot topic in the sessions.  So, online qualitative is growing in Europe almost as fast as the US.

Also, Judy Langer and Sharon Dimoldenberg’s presentation on Current and Emerging Trends in Qualitative Research was very well received.  Many thanks to them for their confidence in the 20|20 Research online research software.

By the way, Athens is a remarkable place to visit! I encourage anyone who can to get here and enjoy this city.  More on the Congress tomorrow.

It’s Official: 2009 Was a Bad Year for the Market Research Industry

It’s September 2010, so the numbers are finally being tallied on 2009. The findings confirm what we all knew, 2009 was a bad year. In fact, it was the first down year for market research in the past 15 years. Here are some specifics:

ESOMAR reports that the worldwide research industry was down an inflation-adjusted 4.6% in 2009, the first decline since 1988. Still, our industry billed $28.9 billion last year. In case you are keeping track, qualitative accounted for 13% of worldwide research spending. When I do the math, qualitative research is a $3.75 billion industry worldwide. 

23 of the top 25 countries showed a decline. Every major region was down — Europe down 5.9%, North America down 3.5%, Asia/Pacific down 2.2%, Latin America down 4.6% and Middle East and Africa down 10.2%.

Similarly, the American Marketing Association released a Honomichl report detailing the performance of the top 25 research firms.  As a group they showed a revenue decline of 4.5%.

Goodbye 2009. Welcome 2010.

QualLink Helps Make Error-Ridden Process Foolproof

Inexperience with hybrid research wasn’t the issue for Susan Saurage-Altenloh when she came to us earlier this summer with a problem. She had been combining quantitative and qualitative research for decades. Her problem had to do with logistics. Specifically, what do you do when 2,500 members of a large employees’ credit union opt in to do a follow-on bulletin board focus group but you need only 30 participants?

The answer: QualLink, our patent-pending system that allows seamless integration of a quantitative survey and a qualitative bulletin board.

Before trying out QualLink, Saurage-Altenloh and her staff at Saurage Research were going to tackle the opt-ins manually, which would have opened the door to error. But making mistakes wasn’t really an option: “We had to be very careful about the way we treated them, because we were talking about someone’s valued customers, and their brand was associated with this,” she says. “That’s a problem with sorting through respondents manually–it’s not foolproof.”
But Saurage-Altenloh knew QualLink would be. “We have a lot of confidence in 20|20 Research,” she says. “You never have to worry about something going wrong. There are no glitches. Everything always runs the way it’s supposed to–all the time.”

Read more about this online research software solution and how it can help you.

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