Tag Archives: mobile

The Right Place and Right Time: The Google Pixel Launches

 

Since the first release in 2007, the iPhone has become the world’s most popular smart phones – selling more than 800 million devices worldwide. Nine years later, Apple has kept the innovative trend, by introducing a series of new models of the iPhone, each with new cutting-edge features. Apple’s latest edition, the iPhone 7, boasts new specs such as its waterproof capability and a 12 megapixel camera. Of course Apple’s competition is not far behind. Apple has been competing against major players such as Samsung, which has sold more than 200 million Galaxy models, since their first release in 2010. However, with Samsung experiencing a series of glitches with their Galaxy Note 7 release, the company is losing market share and possibly loyal customers. This could result in a serious momentum shift for Apple, but there is another competitor entering the market. On October 4th, 2016, one of the world’s leading technology powerhouses launched the Google Pixel. To Google, it is not just any smart phone, it is a Google phone.

The Google Pixel and Pixel XL have been positioned in the market as premium devices with the capabilities to compete against major players such as Apple and Samsung.  Ana Corrales, Vice President of Global Operations and Google Store, claims that the Pixel is a device that will give users choice. “We’re not necessarily trying to compete against Apple. We’re just trying to provide choice at every level and continue our Android strategy.”   Google might want to claim that they are not trying to directly compete against major players, but their latest device suggest otherwise. The Google Pixel comes with a dedicated switch capability that allows users to transfer photos, videos, contacts, messages and more from one device to the other. The Pixel also hosts a feature called Google Allo, which allows users to video call their contacts. These features are coincidentally quite similar to the iCloud and Facetime function available on the iPhone. With this new capability, Google is able to target a wide range of customers, beyond just iPhone and Samsung users. The Google Pixel is targeting anyone with a Gmail account.

There are millions of individuals utilizing Gmail and Google services for either personal or work related purposes. Subsequently, there are also thousands of corporations and institutions that use the Gmail platforms as their internal business communication tool.  The Google Pixel phone will allow users to seamlessly integrate their work and personal documents in one space without compromising storage – a feature that could be attractive to millions of Google users. Although Apple provides its users with 5GB of free iCloud storage and Samsung offers 15GB free storage, the Google Pixel provides users with free unlimited cloud storage – something the competition simply can’t match at this time.

Google is finding its own voice in a market that Apple and Samsung have dominated for almost a decade. The introduction of the Pixel gives Google another opportunity to showcase their capabilities as another telecom tech giant. According to Digitimes, approximately 3-4 million Google Pixel units are expected to be sold by the end of 2016. The Google Pixel might not set record numbers, in terms of worldwide sales, but it has the opportunity to show consumers what the first generation of Google phones are capable of doing. The Google brand’s prestige will attract a myriad of customers trying to find the next generation of smart phones. This is an opportunity for the Pixel to become a huge success. It is still uncertain what the main impact of the Pixel will be against major players like Apple and Samsung. Regardless, the Google Pixel is raising the bar for new parameters in the smart phone industry. We are standing by to see what happens when the Pixel hits the market this October.

 

The Nine Circles Of Survey Research Hell

 

When Dante Alighieri was composing the Inferno section of his epic poem, the Divine Comedy, he was surely thinking of online survey content and execution. Okay, maybe he was thinking of something else. Nonetheless, Dante’s visionary landscape of falling into a place where everything around you burns to ruin can apply to various situations. It certainly applies to how shoddy survey research can incinerate your market research.

Let’s keep it heavenly then, by avoiding these survey circle hells.

 

First Circle (Limbo)

 

 

This place (or state of being) is not that bad. It’s full of nice gardens where pagans like Plato, Virgil and Julius Caesar hang out. They never had a chance to convert to Dante’s religion, but get a pass for being notable and thus hang out in blandness for eternity.

Here on earth, that’s the problem when it comes to market research. Nothing happens. You’ve released a survey, and it’s as quiet as a Nickelback internet fan site. Response rates are low. Why is this happening?

How to get out of this hell: There are many explanations, as you will see, found by plunging deeper into the rest of the survey circle hells.

 

Second Circle (Lust)

 

 

In Dante’s poem, the condemned here float continually by the fury of strong winds. It’s an allegory of what happens when one lacks emotional control. Helen of Troy is imprisoned here, and surely Bill Clinton and Don Draper will join her in time.

For researchers: You’ve allowed your passion for the project to pollute the survey. You have a bias, and it’s often unconscious. As one researcher wrote:

One of the leading causes of misleading survey data is researcher bias that comes directly from the survey writer. This bias is sneaky. It’s caused by survey creators who innocently influence the results to reach an outcome they hope or expect to reach. It’s sneaky because survey creators are typically unaware it’s happening.

How to get out of this hell: Allow others to edit the questionnaire; keep questions concise and neutral; offer opt-out questions so other souls don’t drink (and later spew) your Kool-Aid.

 

Third Circle (Gluttony)

 

 

Here the three-headed mutt, Cerberus, makes sure that all gluttons linger in frozen, dirty slush (people in Chicago can relate when commuting in the wintertime).

For researchers: You’ve overstuffed your questionnaire. As our research reveals, respondent fatigue sets in at approximately 20 minutes of a survey. Respondent fatigue may result in respondents exerting less effort and spending less time thinking about their answers.

How to get out of this hell: Keep questionnaires as short as possible; keep your vocabulary simple or at least at the level of your audience; place important questions at the beginning.

 

Fourth Circle (Greed)

 

 

Greedy and hoarders end up stranded in this dimension, forever carrying bags of money they can never enjoy, under the control of Pluto (the Roman god of death, not Mickey’s dog).

For researchers: You’re pressured by a budget and end up skimping on respondent incentives. Bad move.

As we’ve reported, incentives have these benefits:

–  Response rates that are 10-15% higher
–  Improved response rates from hard-to-reach groups
–  Increase efficiency, especially when it comes to non-response follow-ups

How to get out of this hell: Reward your survey participants, bro. With online surveys flooding the market these days, it might not be an option—unless you want to carry around bags of non-filled surveys for Pluto.

 

Fifth Circle (Anger)

 

 

For some reason, Dante envisioned this place being the River Styx with the condemned floating on or under its icy waters. We do find a city called Dis that is about as attractive as Gary, Indiana.

For researchers: You won’t let anyone edit your survey, or you place too many trap questions (which we revealed can harm survey data—by shifting the thinking of respondents to critical thinking from “optimal thinking,” the state of mind they reason as they normally would in daily life). No one better get in the way of your research project, or it’s Khan wrath, baby!

How to get out of this hell: Place fewer trap questions and make sure there is a second or third set of eyes on your questionnaire. Yes, these circles overlap like an infernal slinky.

 

Sixth Circle (Heresy)

 

 

Welcome to an eternal landscape of flaming tombs. You should avoid this place at any cost unless you’re doing a heavy metal video.

For researchers: What is worse a heresy in market research than not checking your data? As examples, you don’t notice that some respondents are finishing surveys in less than 30%-50% of the median time; that others are marking the same line in each question; or that some are even leaving a Christmas Tree pattern in the survey (it does happen!).

How to get out of this hell: Double-check, my friend, like we keep saying, and don’t go at it alone.

 

Seventh Circle (Violence)

 

 

Witness a place where all violent thugs spend time beating each other up, under the governance of a Minotaur, harpies and whatever monster Dante must have found in his ancient copy of World of Warcraft. It’s a cosmic Fight Club!

For researchers:  Your survey research may not be threatening you, but a lack of empathy can be just as perilous. As qSample’s president Rudly Raphael stated:

Companies need to have more empathy for the research participant. The person(s) who writes the survey instrument should ask themselves if they could sit through that survey for 25-30 minutes. Companies should make surveys fun and engaging, regardless of the topic. They should test their surveys over and over again to identify the fatigue points in the survey. This is usually the area where data integrity is compromised.

How to get out of this hell: Did you not hear Rudly through the din of the harpies? Cultivate empathy. Picture yourself taking the survey, perhaps on a smartphone waiting for a bus in the rain. Picture the vocabulary of your audience as well as their habits.

 

Eighth Circle (Fraud)

 

 

Some monster called Geryon goes around in this place harassing all manner of fraudsters. We’re sure that this includes the founders of the startup you invested in back in 2012.

For researchers: It’s still surprising that so many researchers don’t communicate to participants the length of the questionnaire or clearly explain the purpose of the survey. They avoid placing progress bars or timers. They don’t engage the respondents after the survey. It may not be a scam, but it certainly makes survey participants provide lesser data quality.

How to get out of this hell: Like the figures who guided Dante in Inferno, take a journey with your respondents. That in itself lets them know that they’re actually heading to a paradise.

 

Ninth Circle (Treachery)

 

 

This level is the sucky-suck of all places. It’s hot, and you’ve got the company of such fiends as Cain, Mordred, and Judas. Need we say more? Should we include Carrot Top to seal the deal?

For researchers: We don’t have to say anything else, really, pointing to the vibe of the Seventh and Eighth Circle. Your survey ultimately represents your brand or client. You are truly your respondent’s keeper. Anything but utmost professionalism can go beyond compromising survey data and response rates. It may hinder future surveys.

How to get out of this hell: If you’re this low, ignored all the advice from the other circles, then may it’s time switch to selling insurance or swindling people by founding a startup. There is little hope.

 

Conclusion

 

 

At the end of Inferno, Dante crawls through the center of the earth and enters Purgatory. If you avoid these circles in your survey research projects, you won’t have to worry about any purgation. You’ll be already rising through heavens of quality data.

 

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Ingredients To Surveys Consumers Will Actually Want To Take [Infographic]

Man holding smartphone with survey written on screen

 

Your survey will probably be ignored and hated. It might be hated more than Pharma Bro or the Star Wars prequels…unless you offer Jar Jar’s head on a platter with each complete.

Those are bold words, you might be thinking, and bringing in Jar Jar Binks is just hitting below the belt. Well, take a look at data on online surveys:

–  Survey cooperation rates have nosedived from 43% in 1997 to 14% in 2012. Online survey responses rates are even lower. Some studies have participation rates averaging 2 percent.
–  It seems everyone and their market research dog is entering the survey research game, including Google and Twitter. This has logically created more competition and more glut. Hence, respondent fatigue has settled over the population like a Fukushima’s reactor cloud. As illustrations, one survey firm, Mindshare Technologies, conducts 60 million surveys every year (at a startling 175,000 surveys a day); another company, ForeSee, conducts around a million surveys per month.

These statistics don’t even consider the barrage of information on consumers that has, in effect, shortened their attention spans and patience for survey research.

Worry not. Your survey can exact high participation rates. You just need to afford more care in writing questionnaires and delivering the survey. The “more care” is presented in the below infographic, based on our article 7 Hellish Ways You’re Burning Your Online Survey Respondents.

Really, don’t worry, and I promise not to mention the Star Wars prequels again. With the data from the infographic, you’ll be delivering online surveys resulting in the market research insights you deserve.

4 Ingredients to a Good Survey

 

 

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The Dominance of Email: Penetration and Performance

light exploding email icon

 

Many in the research industry banged the mobile drum as if mobile data collection would replace online in only a few years. This mindset, like other delusions of grandeur, ignored the clear challenges ahead for such a victory. Mobile data collection certainly managed some progress in the space and according to the latest GRIT industry report published by Greenbook.org, it is producing some respectable numbers. However, it still has a long way to go; furthermore, it fell short of other outlandish claims like its potential to end email. The emergence of new research methods without question tears market share away from online data collection, but is that enough to say email is dying?

The tyrannosaurus and email belong to the same species according to many analyzing the impact of email in the age of mobile apps, omnichannel integration, and other competitive technology. Though other options certainly perform well, and possess growing user bases, email remains king with no signs of slowing down.

Users find email, as allegedly the most used application type, trustworthy, valuable, and comfortable in contrast to other options. It offers the versatility and ease of use other applications, even the most well-engineered, do not.

In the age of choice, with so many competing technologies and services, a stalwart like email endures attacks from all sides. Email stands in the way of new media organizations and application organizations that see an enemy rather than a resource to leverage, a view likely resulting from the dramatically different profit margins of email and SaaS. This article explores the state of email both as a channel and web application type, and its relationship with users.

 

The Birth of Email

 

 

The concept of mail, passing messages verbally or in written form, likely began ages ago. Documented evidence reveals Pharaohs utilized couriers to deliver documents throughout Egypt. Other regions eventually caught up to the infrastructure and theory of Egypt employing their own mail systems.

The United States’ mail system began in the late 1600s with personal mail delivered by associates and assistants. In this era, a governor established the first formal post system, between New York and Boston. 5 It took roughly over 200 years for the postal system of today to develop from poorly-constructed, individualized systems relying on various transportation methods. These cobbled together systems relied on odd combinations of coaches, horseback, steam ships, trains, and hot air balloons.

Military communication, in its never-ending quest for new and better technology, spawned a plethora of tools, however, the military nor its internet birthed email. Email began humbly in the early 60s as nothing more than shared access (i.e., time-sharing) to a system, much like the collaborative software used today. People placed messages in another user’s directory through the mainframe they shared and accessed with workstations.

When the military’s ARPANET grew, like other aspects of computer use, email experienced dramatic changes in use and technology. Email, a defining moment for ARPANET, arguably saved the project and gave us the internet.

Today, email remains the most important type of application on the internet. Some believe it transformed the internet from something critical only to certain users to something the average person wanted to use.

 

Trends

 

 

Business Email 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Average Daily Email 105 110 115 120 125
 
Average Received 72 75 78 81 84
 
Average Sent 33 35 37 39 41

Table 1: Corporate Emails Sent and Received Daily Per User 2012 to 2015 23

 

Daily Email Traffic 2013 2014 2015
Sent/Received Per Day 182.9 191.4 196.4
Growth 5.00% 3.00%
Business Emails 100.5 108.8 116.2
Growth 8.00% 7.00%

Table 2: International Daily Email Traffic 2013 to 2015 22

 The steady growth, and continued growth, of email coincides with penetration of communications technology and services. Email began with expensive computers only accessible to public organizations, businesses, and those of means; however, as the technology developed, prices fell.

The early 90s saw the internet opened to the general public as prices continued to drop, and distribution of product expanded. The internet reached substantial public penetration by the late 90s, and connection speeds grew. Mobile technology prices, as a result of Palm devices, plummeted, and found their way to the general market. Mobile devices and supporting wireless service too began to see prices dip, improved speeds, and more penetration.

The cultural response to the technology held just as much power as its progress and expansion. Though absolutely absurd, the average person was convinced (by marketing and their peers) to acquire a cell phone. This came after years of viewing the devices as practical only for critical professions (e.g., medicine and military). Mobile technology morphed into a status symbol and trend with entertainers singing about the latest devices. Individuals and organizations also promoted the idea that people without the devices were troglodytes. Despite trends and marketing, the technology did (and continues to) enhance quality of life such as supporting education, productivity, and socializing.

In this era with new connected devices continuing to emerge and support related technology, the presence of services like email only grows. Email clients for Apple mobile devices currently dominate the client market space.

email statistics graph

A readership survey from Success magazine reveals in-person and email (40%) communication as the two most preferred forms.15 A study conducted by NewVoiceMedia found 19% of respondents considered email the  most effective way of contacting businesses and solving problems.16 A MarketingSherpa study shows 72% prefer for this communication to occur via email; furthermore, email outperformed traditional media and new media. Email proved popular across almost every demographic.

An ExactTarget survey found email to be the favored channel for deal searching, sharing content from family and friends, and financial alerts.18 A recent syndicated research conducted by qSample.com  explored workplace productivity tools, and more than 51% of those surveyed preferred email to in-person meetings, email besting all other forms of business communication.

 

The Big 3: Gmail, Yahoo, and MSN

 

 

Three free online email services currently dominate the space and public awareness: Gmail, Yahoo! mail, and MSN (an umbrella for Outlook, Hotmail, and Live mail) mail. Hotmail began as one of the first free webmail services, and shortly after launch, Microsoft acquired the service. Yahoo benefited tremendously from the dotcom era, and quickly acquired a promising company for its Rocketmail webmail service. Both companies enjoyed popularity and a high profile during their eras as fresh and appealing companies. At the time, Google remained an almost obscure metasearch engine.

Both email services generally satisfied users, but suffered from performance issues due to their simple HTML design. Google, one of the first large organizations to recognize its potential, developed a service using dynamic code now known as AJAX. Their design featured a robust service with function more like an application than a site.

Gmail boasts 900 million users as of May 2015 with MSN claiming over 400 million (as of January 2016), and Yahoo estimating 273 million (as of February 2014). Outlook’s support for over 100 languages and Gmail’s support for over 70 further extends their reach in existing and growing international markets. 26 Litmus, an email marketing testing and analytics application, analyzes and publishes email market share data. 11 Litmus data reveals Gmail holds 15% of the market while MSN holds 5% and Yahoo stands at 3%.

Users associate certain email addresses with professionalism, and consider email as essential as a phone number. A report from Visible Logic, Inc. reveals 70% of respondents believed non-domain-level email addresses made an individual appear unprofessional, “lazy,” and “cheap.” They ranked a branded email as most professional, with Gmail in second place.

 

The Future of Email

 

 

Email use, applications, and the needs it satisfies remain essentially the same as decades ago. Only its integration has experienced substantial change such as creating accounts, customer support, account management, and more.

Email serves a need not easily replaced because strong options (e.g., text, collaborative software, mobile apps, and social media) fail to pull users away.6 Many SaaS based research tools, like QuestionPro, collect hundred of thousand of surveys monthly, using email as a vehicle to invite users to participate in such surveys. These numbers continue to increase steadily year after year.

Of course, one cannot argue that the medium is causing some level of fatigue, among email recipients who are constantly exposed to a barrage of product offers, sales pitches, network invitations, etc. It will be up to email marketers to find a better way to sanitize and communicate their message. However, the argument that email is dying is as absurd today as it was 5 years ago when people like Facebook’s co-founder (Dustin Moskovitz) made that claim.

Writing the Perfect Email Subject Line

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8 Killer Apps For Moving Or Remodeling Your Home

 

Remodeling and selling homes is complicated enough as it is. Fortunately, technology is making it a whole lot easier. Here are some of qSample’s favorite apps for getting the job done (some feedback provided by our contractor and home buyer online panels).

 

1. Homeselfe

Homeselfe gives you a step-by-step walkthrough of your home to help you check its energy efficiency and search for problems. That new ultra-efficient furnace isn’t going to do you much good if all the heat is escaping out the walls, right? You don’t need to patch up anything you’re going to be replacing in the near future, but otherwise, patching up the house is a great first step for any major remodeling project. It might improve the sale value, too.

 

2. iHandy Carpenter Tools

There are a lot of tools needed to remodel a house, but many families don’t own a full toolkit. You could go out and buy all of them by yourself… or you could get a digital version of some of the most-used tools.

Note that this won’t replace physical tools (like hammers), just several of the most common measuring tools.

 

3. Homestyler

This handy app focuses on digitally redesigning rooms, allowing you to get a better sense of what an area would actually look like if you remodeled it in a certain way. This sort of “try before you buy” setup is extremely helpful for ensuring the final design is something you’re going to be happy with, and it’s currently available for free.

 

4. The Handyman Calculator

When you’re remodeling your home, there are a lot of different measurements you’ll need. For example, how much paint will you need to cover the walls, and how much carpet is going onto the floor? This calculator helps you answer those questions, and comes with some shopping list features to help make sure you buy everything you need for the project.

 

5. 360 Panorama

This useful application stitches images together to create a 360 panorama view of a given area. One shift we’ve seen in the housing market is that people want to quickly and easily take a look around the home – without necessarily having to go to the trouble of actually visiting the house. Apps like this can help you reach that particular crowd, and might just result in a faster, easier sale.

 

6. Zillow Mortgages

Really, the whole Zillow series is useful, but the Mortgages one is especially helpful when you’re talking price. Pulling this out in a meeting with a potential buyer helps you talk budget and see what they could reasonably afford to pay. If buyers know that a home is affordable, they’re more likely to follow through and seal the deal.

 

7. PDF Pen Pro

“But this has nothing to do with selling houses!” you say? That, my friend, is where you’re wrong. You’re going to be signing a lot of papers during the process of selling a home, and apps like this one give you the chance to do most of that signing digitally. This is especially helpful when documents need to be submitted by a given deadline and you’re busy dealing with other matters.

 

8. JotNot Scanner

Speaking of paperwork, there will also be times when you have to send it to others. JotNot Scanner is one of the most reliable scanning apps available, and it includes a variety of messaging systems (including fax) to get your paperwork where it needs to go.

 

Uma Campbell is a green loving yoga instructor and freelance writer. She currently lives in Southern California where she enjoys writing about natural living, health, and home design. For more information, please visit the Uma Campbell Blog.

 

Home Improvement Projects Infographic

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Why Are Veterinarians Not Embracing Mobile Devices?

Veterinarian holding iPad besides two curious horses

 

Technological advances in medicine continue at a seemingly breakneck speed. That would certainly include the veterinary field. For example, laser therapy is now employed in veterinary clinics to neuter pets as well as manage their pain—unheard of a decade ago in any scientific consideration.

Yet being tech-involved doesn’t seem to be the case for veterinarians in their relation to mobile devices. Veterinarians—in both personal and professional respects— appear to have not fully entered the fast-paced yet advantageous stream of the Mobile Era.

For instance, in a recent study conducted by qSample using its proprietary veterinarian panel, we found that only 17% of veterinarians utilize their smartphone as the primary device to surf the internet. That is below the general population (21%, according to statistics from Pew Research).

Here is the complete breakdown when it comes to veterinarians and their principal device for going online:

1. Desktop computer (58%)
2. Laptop computer (18%)
3. Smartphone (17%)
4. Tablet (6%)
5. Other (4%)

Why the lag of veterinarians in using mobile devices?

One reason might be that the Mobile Era hasn’t calibrated itself to the veterinarian industry, as presented in the findings of a Journal of Veterinary and Medical Research study.

The study found that there is “a clear need for the development of mobile apps and devices for veterinary medicine.” It also found a lack of widespread use of mobile devices in the veterinarian profession—even if most veterinarians were open to more usable functions in their in mobile devices.

Moreover, the study showed how medical apps were readily available on the internet for download, while veterinary apps were still behind the proverbial times.

In conclusion, the study stated that when it came to smartphones and veterinarians:

The biggest lack is educating veterinarians about the options available and discovery of more technologies that can be widely used to improve the field.

In other words, between a lack of knowledge of apps from veterinarians and a shortage of apps from providers, a void exists when it comes to veterinary mobile device usage. After all, one of the vital functions of smartphones are apps. Consumers spend 85% of the time on smartphones in apps.

In essence: if you build it, they will come. If more apps are designed for veterinary practices and interests, veterinarians will focus more on mobile devices—which are replacing computers when it comes to spending or researching.

Thus, the opportunity to capitalize on veterinarians as mobile consumers is clear: create mobile apps for veterinarians while at the same time educate them on their utilities.

Veterinarian apps are a relatively wide-open field now, even if there are more than three million apps presently available from Google and Apple alone. Even if veterinarian apps flood the market, this will only spark the veterinarian market to catch up with the rest of the world…at least when it comes to mobile devices and the Mobile Era in general.

 

veterinarian and raptor

 

12 Sage Tips To Optimize Mobile Surveys [Infographic]

Smartphone bursting with information and symbols

 

Video may have killed the radio star, as song goes, but mobile might be killing the PC star. Mobile is certainly killing it when it comes to consumer attention, something important to bear in mind as marketing researchers. The Mobile Era is here and it’s more like a conquest.

I could go on all day about mobile, toss in several more analogies and metaphors. Instead, why not present some sound data:

More Americans use mobile devices for web browsing than they do PC’s
– Online surveys completed from mobile devices will approach 50% in 2016
– 60% of cell phones are smartphones
– Worldwide mobile advertising revenue will expand by 3.5 times its present size in 2016
– 74% of mobile Boomers use their phone while shopping (yes, that’s boomers, just think of Millennials and Generation X’ers)
– More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including Japan and the US

See the writing on the wall? Even you, PC star?

Thus, it’s imperative to make market research mobile-friendly, a notion that many experts feel hasn’t happened fully. As one marketing thought leader said about 2016 market research trends: “Finally, we’ll continue to muck up mobile research and bludgeon unwitting respondents with interminably lengthy surveys.”

Let’s not do any of that. To assist in mobile research, our latest infographic provides several tips to ensure your next survey is mobile-friendly. Or, at the very least, as another marketer said, that your surveys are “device agnostic and optimized for mobile by design.”

Here you go:

 

Infographic with list of tips to optimize mobile surveys

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The Top 5 Market Research Trends In 2016 (Infographic)

 

The Holidays are over, the decorations are coming down, and the weather isn’t getting tropical anytime soon.

That doesn’t mean festivities need to be done, though. Marketers have much to celebrate with potentially game-changing trends paving the way for a bright new year. We can go right back to the future of energetic research. Enter our infographic, based on the data and tea leaves from our two recent articles:

2016 Tech That Will Make You A Market Research Blade Runner

Market Research Trends To Follow In 2016 Or Die

This year certainly seems a time when the balance of technology and human experience, paired with the blurring of quantitative and qualitative research, become major themes in market research.

As always, this or last year, we hope you find the infographic useful in your quest to become a market research Dr. Who. We also hope to hear from you if you have any feedback on these predictions or anything else.

infographic with a list of market research trends in squares

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Market Research Trends To Follow In 2016 Or Die

 

Okay, the headline might be a tad sensationalistic. Your market research position is probably as safe as the video store or the phonebook. But just in case, palpable trends loom in 2016 that require your attention. These shifts  will alter the landscape of market research—and perhaps to infinity and beyond (depending on the data).

 

Surveys Will Have To Be Better

 

The online survey business is booming like a Star Wars box office. It seems everyone is getting in on that quantitative action. Many tech giants are now offering integrated surveys, the latest example being Twitter and its nascent Twitter Polls. The field is getting crowded.

What’s more, budget-conscious companies are demanding surveys in the name of caution. The result is a watering-down effect. As we reported, this is causing participation rates to drop, with some studies “showing participation rates averaging 2 percent.”

We’re not alone in our findings. Market research veteran Leonard Murphy recently wrote:

Market research surveys are increasingly alienating customers and citizens. As a consequence, response rates for commercial market research are fast reducing below 1%. This means most surveys annoy people and it means they are reflecting the views of a tiny minority.

Between online surveys becoming akin to Nigerian email spam and every company deparment potentially having the ability to provide polls, the solution is not desperation at the glut but just a better, more customer-exciting execution from market researchers.

The question many in the industry are concerned with is not whether surveys are dying, but, as one market researcher put it: “Who will own surveys within the organization in 5 years from now: Marketers, Technologists or Market Researchers?”

I’m betting on market researchers who take this article to heart.

 

Market Research Will Be More Human

 

Advances in technology should not mean a less humane approach. After all, tech giants like Amazon or Apple seem to increase customer experience with every tech evolutionary step. The same should go with market research.

In his GreenBook article, Are You Alienating Your Customers With Spam Surveys? Ray Poynter details the robotic attitude of market researchers. Drawing upon data and thought leaders, he proposes two obvious way to improve the industry:

Treating customers like people
Engaging with customers over time

That certainly goes for sample providers. The GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report states that only 40% of researchers are very or completely satisfied with their provider.

We all gotta step it up. (Although, to be fair, at qSample we’re ahead by being a boutique company with an always direct pipeline of communication to our clients).

 

Market Research Goes Fully Mobile

 

Everyone has been saying it, but it’s time to fully accept it. More Americans are using mobile devices to browse the internet than on PC’s; and already 60% of cell phones are smartphones. The data will only tilt more in 2016. We’ve written extensively about the advantages and trending of mobile surveys.

As market researcher JD Deitch wrote on the important of going mobile (also in GreenBook):

Research buyers, if you’re still running long desktop-only studies, you are a fundamental cause of this problem. Blaming your suppliers for the quality of their panelists is like blaming the bartender for your hangover. I get that the change is difficult, but unless you really don’t care about people under 35 or moms with kids or ethnic minorities, you’re increasingly buying junk. This has to be part of the 2016 plan.

I can’t think of anything to add to this quote, except to quote Deitch again in the article, who said that all research should be “device agnostic and optimized for mobile by design.”

Just like every website will be by the end of 2016.

 

Market Research Will Still Be Talking About Big Data

 

There was a lot of this palaver in 2015, but no actionable illustrations from market research. It looks to be 2017 before Big Data can make even a small difference.

Big Data is still just too big and too costly, unless you’re Microsoft, IBM or Tylor Swift’s wallet.

Take, for example, the words of research executive Annie Pettit:

Big data caught the attention of market researchers and the search for people who know statistics and data and consumers is now full steam ahead. Given that big data is massively relevant to our clients in that it is their consumers, their data, and their intelligence, we need to be ready to merge insights from traditional research with insights from big data.

That’s a lot of talk leading nowhere…

One of our executives, I feel, put it best when it comes to Big Data:

It’s like teen sex. Everyone talks about it, everyone wants to do it, everyone thinks they know it, but no one is doing it.

Like I said…2017…

 

Market Research Will Focus On Experience And Convenience

 

The points mentioned above on customer treatment and survey experience should be enough to understand this notion. To highlight this idea even more, take the words of qualitative marketer Rhiannon Price:

Market research is founded on unpicking human character, but this has perhaps become a little lost as research and respondents have become more and more commoditized.

The issue is broader and more prevalent. In our recent breakfast with Google, one of the tech giant’s marketers told us in essence that “consumers are now more convenience-loyal than brand-loyal. Making it easy for consumers to find and buy your product is imperative.”

The same goes with respondents.

Consumers (and respondents) want an experience as much as a product—as much as they want convenience more than a brand. As Eye Faster CEO Kirk Hendrickson recently stated

Retailers are focusing more on what goes on while their customers are in the store and focusing research efforts on the entire experience as opposed to interactions with a given product or category.

As many market researchers have predicted, the lines between qualitative and quantitative are blurring, often on the screens of a mobile device held in a store aisle.

In short, the proverbial journey matters as much as the proverbial destination.

 

Conclusion

 

Experience, Mobile, humanity…these overarching themes will continue to sparkle in 2016. They are all interrelated. One could add video, but that’s part of the mobile era. Regardless, keep this in mind and you won’t be the next video store owner—alone and unemployed in Greenland,  moping about and talking about…Big Data perhaps?

The Advantages of Mobile Research

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May The Focus Group Be With You (Infographic)

‘Tis the Season…the Season for Star Wars, it seems, as The Force Awakens opens this week. Hopefully, the movie will improve on the dreaded prequels. Hopefully, Disney commissioned some focus groups before handing the reigns over to JJ Abrams.

Hopefully, in your market research, you have used or are considering using focus groups for qualitative projects. As qSample’s latest infographic details (channeling Star Wars for Jedi wisdom), 70% of all market research dollars at Fortune 500 companies are spent on focus groups. That’s stunning and telling at the same time.

Sure, only a minority of businesses can afford focus groups, but there are other options. Online focus groups are becoming more accessible with advances in technology. Furthermore, don’t forget that there are unscientific yet insightful focus groups in your digital domains: blog comment sections, product review posts, social media threads, and other online consumer projections.

You could also harness qSample’s QualStorm, a qualitative platform that combines internet and mobile technology to harness respondent feedback in a real-time. You can conduct in-depth interviews immediately after a respondent has completed an online survey. This allows a deeper probing into a respondent’s mind to achieve a higher level of granularity from your quantitative methodology.

Regardless and with that plug out of the way, we hope you enjoy our infographic on the fascinating journey to the Light Side that are focus groups.

Focus Groups Infographic

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