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The following highlights some of the key benefits of using online communities. #1. Results can be gathered quickly. Ad hoc research projects can have a lengthy timeframe from project kick-off to delivery of the final report, and projects may take several months. With online communities (depending on the size and level of member engagement), a research question can be answered in days rather than weeks or months. #2. Results cost less. Online communities allow costs to be lower. After the initial costs of the community tool and recruitment, numerous projects can be run within a community in place of several ad hoc projects. #3. Companies can instantly connect with their customers. Branded communities allow a brand to tap into one of its most important resources: the customer. Customers who join the community are interested and invested in the brand and provide a range of feedback. Some members may be extreme brand loyalists, while others may be less willing to champion the brand. In either case, feedback from these customers is extremely valuable. #4. Richer data can be obtained. Depending on the size of a community, both surveys and discussions can take place within a community platform. A survey can be sent to community members, and then, rather than relying on open-ended questions alone, follow-up questions can be asked. This allows the researcher to opportunity to reveal the “why” behind quantitative data. #5. Organic feedback can be gathered. Communities that have engaged members may contain discussions regarding the community brand or topic. Without implementing any specific research questions, unique insights can be obtained by listening to and observing the community. #6. Demographic profiles can be explored. Online communities allow researchers to compile and track community members’ demographic variables. Given a community where both customers and non-customers are recruited, profiles of each group can be created and explored to understand target demographics more fully. ...
 

A new independent Insightrix Research online poll finds voter intentions remain steady since the 2011 general election. Sixty three percent (63.2%) of decided voters state they would cast their ballot for the SaskParty, while 27.4% would vote for the provincial NDP if a provincial election were held today. Another 5.1% would vote for the provincial Liberals and 3.8% for the Green Party. Less than one percent (0.5%) report they would vote for another party. Voter intentions have remained strikingly consistent since the 2011 general election. Leadership Approval Ratings In line with voting intentions, public approval ratings for Premier Brad Wall remain very strong. Presently, 36% of Saskatchewan residents strongly approve of his performance, up notably from May 2013 (28%). Overall approval ratings (combining those who strongly approve and somewhat approve) have remained relatively consistent with past Insightrix polling (presently 66% versus 64% in May 2013). Approval of the Premier’s performance tends to rise with age (52% among those aged 18 to 34 versus 77% among those aged 55 years or more) and is higher among males (73%) than females (60%). Approval ratings for Cam Broten, leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, are on the rise. Currently, 38% of Saskatchewan residents strongly or somewhat approve of his performance, up from 32% from May 2013. This is also higher than approval ratings for those previously at the helm of the NDP in recent years (32% for John Nilson in June of 2012 and 31% for Dwain Lingenfelter prior to the 2011 election). Research Details A total of 807 randomly selected SaskWatch Research™ panel members participated in the online research study from April 9th to 13th, 2014. Quotas were set by age, gender, and region to match the general population of the province. Since the research is conducted online, it is considered to be a non-probability proportion sample and therefore, margins of error are not applicable. About SaskWatch Research™ Insightrix began developing its SaskWatch Research™ online market research panel in October 2007, using high-quality techniques including telephone recruitment and referrals from existing panel members. Presently, there are over 15,000 active panel members representing all regions of the province and distributions of the general population. The panel membership closely matches the 2011 Census based on age, gender, household composition, household income, and education. For more information, please visit http://saskwatch.ca. About Insightrix Founded in 2001, Insightrix Research Inc. is a full-service market research firm that helps clients develop, administer, and manage data collection and information strategies. From its office in Saskatoon, Insightrix offers a comprehensive range of research services. For more information, please contact Lang McGilp, Senior Research Executive Insightrix Research Inc. Tel: 306.657.5640 ext. 229 Cell: 306.290.9599 Email: lang.mcgilp@insightrix.com Web: www.insightrix.com * Note that the November 2009 statistic was from a similar poll conducted in partnership with Rawlco Radio....
 

With almost 600 volunteers in the city, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Saskatoon (BBBS) provides valuable mentorship programs to children in our community. Their volunteers are positive role models to children in need of guidance and someone to look up to and talk with. In February 2014, representatives from BBBS paid a welcome visit to the Insightrix office. Insightrix has supported the organization for the past six years through SaskWatch, Insightrix's online panel, as BBBS was one of the five original charities for the "donate to a charity" option for SaskWatch members. After some catching up, we learned more about BBBS's great initiatives, as well as some of the challenges they face as they continue to improve their services. Both Insightrix and BBBS are looking into identifying and bridging any existing gaps in the mentorship program. Insightrix is extremely pleased to be able to continue its partnership with BBBS and, together, we have decided to run a pilot project using Insightrix’s new online discussion platform to foster a strong network, improved communications, and information sharing among BBBS volunteers and staff. We are all very excited and looking forward to see what we can achieve with this new approach. ...
 

The Marketing Research Intelligence Agency (MRIA) is holding its annual conference in Saskatoon from June 8 to 10, 2014. If you haven’t registered already (or have registered and are looking for even more reasons to look forward to the conference), here are ten great reasons to attend. #1. Great Speakers There are many fantastic speakers lined up for the conference: Dr. Darrell Bricker, CEO, Ipsos Global Public Affairs; Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Kodak CMO, a global business celebrity and primetime television show host; Jim Hopson, CEO and President, Saskatchewan Roughriders, 2013 Grey Cup champions; and research, strategy, and insights managers from RBC, Yahoo, Hershey’s, to name a few. For more information about the speakers, go to http://conference2014.mria-arim.ca/speakers/index.php. #2. Fun and Entertainment If you are interested in having fun while learning more about the industry, then this is the conference for you. There are many great events planned, including a 1920s theme party, live music, awards, a riverboat tour, and a networking gala, offering the perfect setting to have fun while enjoying the conference. #3. Create Your Own Program Schedule For the first time, the MRIA conference will have TED-style sessions, giving you a great choice of speakers. The sessions will cover a range of topics from marketing to hands-on case studies to consumer insights to innovative methodologies, and you will be able to customize your schedule. The MRIA conference app (coming soon..) will help you create your custom schedule by selecting the sessions you want to attend and saving them in your calendar. #4. Great Value The conference will provide insights, and updates on trends, knowledge, and experiences, providing great value. The keynote speakers, featured speakers, and panelists will offer a chance to listen to and learn from their experiences in marketing, strategy, insights, research, and innovative trends. #5. Discover Saskatoon Ranked one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada, Saskatoon has an unparalleled entrepreneurial spirit, trendy shopping areas, art galleries, and much more to offer. Saskatoon is the biggest city in Saskatchewan and holds numerous events throughout the summer, including the Jazz Festival, Folk Fest, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, and the Fringe Festival. Some of the must-see attractions include Broadway Avenue (which has great shops, yoga studio, cafes, and restaurants), the Farmers’ Market, the Western Development Museum, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, Diefenbaker Canada Centre, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo and Wanuskewin Heritage Park. You can also explore the Meewasin Valley Trail, consisting of 21 km of riverbank trails that wind through the heart of the city. #6. Be an Early Innovator Attending the MRIA conference will give you insights into the latest market research techniques being used in the industry. The speakers and panelists will present world-class studies using various methodologies. Choose the topics that interest you, mark the sessions in your calendar, and learn about innovative concepts in market research. #7. Foster Relationships and Network Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have helped all of us to connect with others and build professional networks. From June 8 to June 10, you will be able to meet many of the people who you have connected with virtually, giving you the chance to put faces to names. Nothing nurtures relationships faster than a conversation, handshake, and a glass of wine. #8. Build the Research Marketplace The MRIA Conference 2014 will serve as the biggest gathering of both the market research suppliers and buyers. The MRIA conference provides the chance for suppliers to showcase their products and services. Buyers, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to meet the largest gathering of suppliers in one place. Click here to learn more about current sponsorship and exhibition opportunities. #9. Take Action The sessions are a chance to not only listen to thought leaders but also directly engage and interact with them on issues that matter the most to your business. Determine which sessions you want to attend, review the session agenda, and get ready to engage with the best and brightest in the industry. #10. Because Presley Thinks You’ll Have a Great Time! Presley, our Chief Morale Office, won’t be able to attend the conference (he’ll be judging an international dog grooming contest), but he thinks that you’ll have a wonderful time at the conference and in Saskatoon. ...
 

by Marcia Da Costa March 12th, 2014: Fourteen Hundred Hours Western Development Museum, Saskatoon, SK It was icy out. It was typical Saskatchewan mid-March weather that I have come to know well during my last eight years living in the province. Stumbling though the parking lot, I managed to remain vertical until I reached the front entrance of the museum. I laughed and remembered Brazil, my native country, with joy. No ice, no snow… but I repeat what I personally believe in: “-40 over +40 any day.” I like Saskatchewan weather. Posters at the front doors welcomed people to the event being held at the premises. I purposefully ignored the sign and asked my husband, who walked next to me, some ridiculously lame and out-of-place question, also known as my first attempt at avoiding embarrassing and unsolicited tears. I had been waiting for this day since the day I spent a good 25 minutes talking to a city council candidate who came to my door. It was a great conversation that ended with me giving him his flyer back, saying “Sorry, I can’t vote. I’m not Canadian.” Now it was here. Attempt number two at no tears happened after a chaperone congratulated me as I walked into the large room of McLeod Hall. I proudly held it together after quickly making a joke less than mildly funny (which currently escapes my memory). There was still hope for no tears. I had a system that worked. Emotional speeches went by, beautiful words, and examples of past generations...
 

by Bonnie Hughes I recently attended the Fuze Conference 2014 in Saskatoon. The conference, which was organized by the Saskatchewan Professional Marketing Association and the Saskatoon chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, was a sold-out event that, as promised, both informed and entertained. The conference was organized around the theme of the power of community and through a series of speakers, various facets of engaging audiences and creating a community of advocates for an organization were discussed. Maureen “Mo” Douglas shared her experiences with engaging people who may initially be resistant to a plan or idea and emphasized the importance of communication, transparency, and follow through. Leanne Bellgrade discussed the value and necessity of engaging Aboriginal people and provided insights into building relationships and engaging and investing in these communities. Khayyam Wakil’s presentation, “Video Killed the Marketing Star: The Content Revolution,” integrated multimedia elements and centred on innovations that are leading marketing, such as 360 video technology. The speakers also included a panel of successful Saskatchewan entrepreneurs, consisting of Neechie Gear founder and CEO Kendal Netmaker, 3twenty Modular co-founder and CEO Bryan McCrea, and Three Farmers Camelina Oil founders Natasha Vandenhurk and Elysia Vandenhurk. The panelists spoke about their marketing challenges, opportunities and transitions, as well as the support they received when starting their businesses. The afternoon keynote speaker was Aaron James Draplin, whose presentation “Tall Tales from a Large Man *PG-13*” covered graphic design, Draplin’s upcoming TEDx talk on freebie Fridays, designing a logo for the White House, and doing what you love. Draplin’s site, http://www.draplin.com, gives a sense of his design aesthetic, as well as his humour, enthusiasm, and charisma. The conference was interesting and engaging, and throughout the day, the theme of community was reiterated and built upon, offering many ways to think about marketing and communications in our increasingly connected and community-oriented world. by Dylan Cody During my undergraduate degree I took a few marketing classes and I have been involved in a few projects involving ad agencies since joining Insightrix, but the day I spent at the 2014 Fuze Conference in Saskatoon was a real eye-opener. I learned about how to interact effectively with communities from Maureen “Mo” Douglas and gained insights into engaging Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal people through a talk delivered by Leanne Bellegarde. Khayyam Wakil had conference goers tearing up with a few heart-wrenching videos during his talk on the content revolution while the panel of Saskatchewan entrepreneurs shared with the crowd their amazing stories about start-up marketing strategies, vision, and spirit. The afternoon keynote speaker Aaron James Draplin, owner of Draplin Design Co., took the crowd on a multimedia journey through his life, loves, hates and emphasized that doing everything for the almighty dollar may not be what matters most. Mr. Draplin had the crowd roaring with his outgoing personality, charm, keen insights, and his gratuitous and well-placed use of the F-bomb. I left the conference with a tremendously positive feeling from the conference theme, speakers, and attitudes of conference attendees and was able to engage a few people myself and begin some new relationships. The 2014 Fuze Conference was an absolute treat to attend and not only did I meet some great people and gain a new experience, I also learned more about the world of design, advertising, and marketing, all of which are immensely beneficial for a young market researcher....
 

Oscar had a great time visiting the Magic Kingdom in Los Angeles! He was able to visit both Disney parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), and he also headed over to Universal Studios for a day, where he went on almost every ride. For a Saskatchewan resident to be able to visit L.A. in February was wonderful, although coming back to the minus 50 Celsius was bit tough....