Market research and data science are related entities; combining the insights from both disciplines leads to a deeper understanding of marketing issues. In general, there seems to be confusion about what “data science” is, and how it relates to traditional market research....

Three of the Biggest Market Research Trends Since 2010 The world of market research has changed, meaning the role of a research supplier has been forced to change. With the evolution of technology, pressure building on clients to solve critical business problems and the need for more agile research solutions, the role of a market researcher can now be defined as an insights professional. Insightrix has responded to the evolution of trends in the industry by shifting our client service philosophy to provide innovative solutions and actionable insights, and by becoming more of a partner to our clients. The following infographic outlines how Insightrix has responded to three of the major trends impacting the market research industry over the last decade and the innovation we've engaged in to meet them. ...

What's the difference? The terms data visualization and data representation can be easy to confuse. They sound pretty similar, and at first glance, one may find it's tricky to keep the two straight. And since data is ubiquitous these days, we are seeing more examples of both almost everywhere from our watches and fitness bands to the apps on our phones and dashboards on our computers.  Both have been employed in insights research and reporting for some time and they both fulfill specific functions. They both sound pretty similar, too, and they do similar things – it’s no wonder how it can be hard keeping data visualization and data representation straight. So, we've created a new downloadable infographic to explain the differences between the two and how they are used. We've been using it around our offices to help our researchers and data professionals explain the styles of data representation or data visualizations we might utilize in our reports. We've also been employing it to work with research professionals who are new to the field to help them also become acquainted with the uses and development of both - and now it's available for you to download for your own use! Scroll to the bottom of this article to download the infographic right away, or read on to learn more about the differences between data visualization and data representation for market research. Data visualization crunches numbers Putting it simply, data visualization is the process of taking information and representing it graphically. Common in insights and market research reporting, data visualization makes it easier to communicate the story in the data. When one is looking at a complex, large and perhaps varied data set, data visualization can be a great choice to impart that data story in a way that can be quickly and easily understood. Data visualizations are developed programmatically; that means they are built through the use of software. Think Google Maps or complex GIS systems - they crunch large data sets through sometimes sophisticated algorithms to find trends and correlations in the data, producing interactive representations that allow one to communicate or understand data more easily. Common examples of data visualizations include heat maps, streamgraphs and word clouds. Download your own copy of our infographic, The Difference Between Data Visualization and Data Representation for Market Research, by filling out the form below to see more data visualization examples and how they are used. Data representations support data reporting Sometimes referred to as infographics, data representations can support almost any kind of data reporting. They allow one to drill down to and communicate the most important parts of a data story graphically. Data representations, unlike data visualizations, are human generated. Design software is employed to build them (like Adobe Creative Suite, Canva or Piktochart), but they require a professional to take an editorial role in deciding which data to include to tell the data story best. Infographics communicate information creatively and stylistically to engage and create memorable experiences. This makes data representation ideal for executive summaries or to highlight key data points that may not be as well communicated in a data table or chart. Some ways data representations are used are in timelines, hierarchical representations, flow charts and comparisons.           Want to know about data visualization? Listen to Ep. 14 of Stories of Market Research: The Insightrix Podcast - it's all about how to use them, best practices on how to build them and more. Always know which to use and when We’ve developed an infographic that will help you remember the differences and uses of both data visualizations and representations. This rich and engaging chart offers insights into how both visualizations are representations are used and why, as well as the most common forms of both. You can hold onto it to refer to later, or share it to help teach others about infographics and visualizations. Go ahead - put it on your wall and never be unsure which chart or graphic to use to tell your next data story! Fill out the form below to access your own copy of The Difference Between Data Representation and Data Visualization for Market Research infographic.   Want to access the entire infographic? Fill out the form below to receive an email to download your own PDF copy.   hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: "374811", formId: "ae9b4751-7c2e-41f9-bde5-07da17ec7a90" }); ...

Using qualitative approaches is nothing new in research. It is often applied to help strengthen quantitative approaches to give answers to questions that cannot always be obtained by measurements alone. Qualitative research – as a broad approach – often employs in-person focus groups, in-person interviews or online survey open-end text boxes to tap into a respondent’s thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behaviours. Insightrix has been collecting qualitative data for years – and we’ve directly benefited from using these approaches to enrich survey data. Using qualitative data in online surveys can be engaging (and, dare I say… sometimes fun?) for respondents, while research groups find it easy and rewarding to support quantitative data - and that can be a game changer in presentations to your board members. In the past, Insightrix has employed qualitative tools for many exciting projects with partners and clients. We’ve used qualitative methods like: Observational research – like ethnography – and we have been served well by using this approach. Market research online communities (MROCs) – using MROCs in select research projects allows for much larger participant groups and exciting opportunities for survey design. Open-ended text questions on online surveys – these can be fun for participants and can really help provide researchers with a more complete picture Focus groups - we even travel across the nation to facilitate focus groups. Yes… still. In-depth interviews - for many consulting projects that require explicit details from participants, IDIs are essential. But what do all these approaches have in common? They require human intervention, human coding – and time. Yes, qualitative research takes time to dig into. It’s a way to uncover more about a subject rather than determining the research narrative by crunching the numbers. But when insights are wanted quickly and are expected to come with depth – are these qualitative methodologies the best approach to get the whole story? That depends. By using these approaches, will it take the research team time and effort to develop the insights? Absolutely. We know that, going into a new decade, our research participants are changing – they expect quick survey experiences, they appreciate best-in-class user design and have more immediate distractions than ever before. So, if our clients’ demands are changing and survey participants’ experiences are evolving rapidly – shouldn’t market research be innovating qualitative approaches at the same pace? Here are three ways to optimize your next qualitative research project that will appease both your research participants, as well as your clients:   Find a unique way to tell the story through another person’s lens. For example, if you are an ice cream producer who is curious about the visibility of your packaging in a specific chain superstore you operate in – you may want to conduct market research to find out what is most visible to your customers and who frequents these chain stores of interest. Your business would then work with a research team who may use an ethnography approach to answer this research question about your product and its visibility in stores. Ethnography would allow the research team to find participants who have purchased the ice cream in the past 12 months and those who frequent the chain store. The participant/ice cream connoisseur may be tasked with a research scenario that employs video response using an application to help the respondent tell their experience in their own words. The brand could follow up by asking about a competitor’s visibility and how it compares to your own. You could even have the participant travel to other locations to explore the same research question. While the incentive would have to outweigh the work involved for the participant, the research team would be able to gather rich qualitative data which the ice cream brand could then include in their next product packaging or distribution decisions. Let video responses tell a larger-than-life story for consumer research. Video is one of the most effective ways to provide a short survey experience for your participant. Not only does it provide the opportunity to see through the eyes of the consumer – it allows for rich storytelling that can bring life to research findings. Take Vox Pops – they are a fly-on-the-wall video research approach that are quick and cost effective, and they allow us to share market research information while gaining hot topic insights from the general population. Insightrix uses Vox Pop video research for consumer-curated content that gives greater engagement and deeper interaction with our brand. It gives us an opportunity to share video research with the general population who may be interested in the topics discussed while exploring the insights of the gen pop through video that is digestible for social media audiences. Vox Pops are quick and easy to turn around – avoiding the time a qualitative survey would take to set up. A short and informal interview can be a great way to simplify collecting public opinion that can be applied to many business needs – like marketing! We have recently done Vox Pops on subjects like quality of life, opinion on professional sports, holiday shopping and purchase habits – and even favourite beer brands! These Vox Pops can be done in 48 hours from question to completion. Use a video response tool to gain insights into your target market’s desires and expectations. One easy and cost-effective way to improve qualitative research online is the inclusion of video responses. Video responses can assess attitudes or immediate reactions associated with a question. Survey participants are more likely to elicit feedback and give the researcher more diverse data to evaluate. Video responses provide the participant the opportunity to answer authentically because they are in a comfortable setting using one-way communication – instead of driving to a strange facility or sitting on the other line of a one-on-one interview, answering thoughtful questions. This approach can provide video reels that capture multiple respondents’ answers and allow clients and stakeholders to view responses from the consumers themselves. Video insights are deeper than an open-end at the end of a market research survey – they provide an opportunity for the survey participant to tell an authentic story, they let the researcher ask for a unique answer and they give video research data that can be applied to internal stakeholder presentations that provide more depth than any well-designed PowerPoint slide. Video response questions can be applied in ad hoc market research projects – they require very little work to include in an online survey and provide a value add to any quantitative research project. Without being intrusive, video questions can be easily opted out of and the same question can be applied in other methods, so as not to lose data, and not have to re-involve your participants either. We do not require video responses to be mandatory, and we know the response rate is important. An extra (small) incentive to provide a video response is important – but so is the question you ask! Make the survey experience is rewarding and don’t ask a question that can be effortlessly typed out in a text box or that will create any bias. Ask a question that allows the respondent to share a story. Ask about an experience or get feedback on something they have just been shown – like a new logo or new product packaging. Video responses are a great storytelling solution for your survey that will both enrich your qualitative data while providing the top of mind feedback that can take your research report to the next level.   ...

Adding video responses to your research project can build on your insights story One of the qualitative tools our clients have recently requested more of lately has been the adoption of online video research (video surveys) to tap into consumer behaviours. Video surveys are a powerful tool to evoke customer feedback in a way that is simply unmatched by more traditional approaches than say...

There is a new leading-edge tracking technology making big waves – recognition software. Global recognition (e.g., biometric recognition like infrared, odour, face recognition, fingerprint, retina, iris, palm print, voice, signature, DNA, etc.), and geolocation are emerging technologies used for examining people and their experiences - in an attempt to collect personalized information - while avoiding the disturbance of their privacy. In terms of the emerging technology itself, recognition tools are able to track your identity and keep note of things you regularly consume at a near-constant basis, and these tools have been revered as the next big market trend. The fact is, the demand is high for various industries in the race of the global recognition technology market. Government and utilities, military and homeland security, retail, banking, financial services, insurance, digital signage and web and mobile applications all have a stake in the future of recognition technology. They all want to know what you purchase, where you purchase and (the stiffest to measure) why you purchase? It is no surprise the market research industry are major contributors in the capacity to measure emotions and experiences, and with all the emerging recognition tools and technology, it begs the question - how will recognition technology effect the future industry of market research? Retail Juggernauts   Take retail into consideration. The wholesale industry is expected to experience significant growth in the use of recognition technology. Retail companies are interested in per market strategies in order to analyze customers based on target quotas, such as age, gender and other categorical attributes. Retail juggernauts are interested in campaigning to the consumers’ wants and needs, solely to hook you as a loyalist. For example, imagine waltzing into your favourite café and having your coffee already on its way to being made based on your ID via recognition technology. Imagine responding to the real-time notification to pay for your coffee. Sounds pretty forward thinking, right? Many retailers are already experimenting with recognition technology, such as with geolocation tools like iBeacons – a Bluetooth feature that can detect and record the location of smartphones. Like the purchase of a quick coffee, these beacons are often used to employ special offers to tempt consumers into purchase whether a consumer enters the store, or even when outside window shopping and passing by. Geolocation technology has a large market stronghold – with mobile media giants like Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare all adopting this special technology. Industry analysts have been skeptical for years about consumers broadcasting their locations and were fairly uncertain if this technology could even be monetized. Despite this criticism, geolocation has since created a digital bridge between communication, the Internet and the target quota where on-the-go consumers will likely benefit for years to come. How does this effect the future of market research? With target quotas come innovative methodologies such as Sentiment Analysis. And with the adoption of recognition technology, associations and organizations, both public and private, can expand on anecdotal evidence such as the type of gender and age of recognition. Sentiment analysis can lead to major breakthroughs when analyzing a consumer’s wants when it comes to special retail features. It is commonly used in targeted advertising in order to understand the voice of the customer, and where the company can then analyze consumer interactions and decide if they are being done well. Of course, with the rise in technology growth, there is sure to be a rise in security concerns as these retail giants are rapidly adopting big brother-like technology (such as CCTV recordings), which are analyzed by facial recognition techniques and used for alarm systems, source-tagging and even aggressive advertisement.   Aggressively Advertise, Analyze, Reprise   Today, recognition technology is widely used as an effective advertising campaign tool. By measuring how an advertisement spot sells has been (for years) the No. 1 question on the minds of advertisers, brand developers and marketers alike. Understanding how to sell based on buyer emotions by way of advertisement can prove useful when attempting to quantify emotional expression regarding new products and services, and even promotional events such as media trailers and advertising campaigns. Ever see the film “Minority Report”? This science fiction, neo-noir, Spielberg/Cruise flick (set in the year 2054) features a futuristic city dogged with optical recognition systems (retinal scan), exploited by a militarized government emergency service and used to scan distinctive features in the iris. In “Minority Report”, this technology is further used in the place of security badges and identification, as well as for tailored billboards and ads. Wherever Captain Anderton (good ole, handsome Mr. Cruise) goes, he is tracked by cameras and biometric sensors and, as a result, is consistently bombarded with invasive, personalized ads. In 2002, it seemed out of this world to experience the thought of mind-reading advertisements. But, what was once considered futuristic technology is now on the brink of reality. Though retina recognition devices are still considered in beta, with the progress and high interest in facial recognition, it can’t be that far behind, can it? Do you ever feel like the world of Advertising doesn't speak to you?  Well, much like in the film “Minority Report”, a German beer making company, Astra , is looking to cash in recognition technology as a vehicle for targeted advertising. In 2015, Astra introduced a new beer advertising campaign focusing on a Bavarian brand geared toward women. By using a digital billboard, a built-in web camera and the latest in facial recognition technology, Astra was able to detect if a passerby was male or female, and based on the demographic the digital billboard, would either try and sell you a beer (female) or tell you to take a hike (male) – a bold move by a company that generally sells a product focused on men. The real kicker is the public billboard was able to tell if advertisement onlookers were not legal age, and advised the minors that walked by to just keep on moving. Innovative use of recognition technology or obtrusive product selling?   Sometimes this type of targeted advertisement can be used for social awareness campaigns, too. For example, to coincide with the 2014 International Women’s Day, a London, UK-based agency teamed up with Women’s Aid and Ocean Outdoor to create some noteworthy digital billboards that brought awareness to domestic violence. With the use of facial recognition, when an onlooker paid attention to the billboard of a battered woman, the billboard would remove the injuries. As more onlookers gazed directly, the cuts and bruises on the victim’s face would completely disappear - communicating that with each bystander we can make a difference in eliminating domestic abuse.     Make way for Biometric Recognition   The human face has approximately 43 facial muscles that can produce roughly 8,000 different combinations of smiles, smirks and upside down frowns. Expressions are not voluntary, nor are they dependent on social origin or ethnicity. That is the neat thing - facial expressions happen automatically, and at a flash speed (no more than 10 to 20 milliseconds). To be able to tap into a technology that can capitalize from recognizing standardized expressions will arguably change the way that advertisement designs are conceived and tested, making them more likely to succeed in the long run. Not only will advertisement benefit from biometric technology, but as the recognition tech industry rapidly evolves as a whole, high-tech enhancements will help lead us toward a future of adapting a level of behavioural recognition across all major industries — including market research. Behavioural research (or biometric recognition) often refers to an automatic recognition of individuals based on a particular feature from their physiological or behavioural characteristics. By using biometrics, a person can be identified based on who they are (e.g., face, finger scan, retinal scan, etc.) rather than what they are (card, token, number), or what they know (password, PIN). Traditionally, passwords and key cards have been used to restrict access to secure systems, but these methods can and have been breached before. The technology has become industrially unreliable and, therefore, biometric technology can make identity virtually impossible to steal, forget or forge - creating a lust for behavioural recognition technology among those organizations with the need for high-security clearance. How does this effect the future of market research? Emotional (and behavioural) recognition is a new frontier recognition technology. This method is accomplished by identifying patterns of certain behavioural triggers as they correlate to facial expressions – which are considered universal. By doing so, researchers are able to collect psychographic data at an unprecedented rate and at a much lower cost than what we’ve ever been able to do before. This is the opportunity marketers have been waiting for –  the capacity to acquire a much deeper understanding of their customers’ needs without the barrier of being obtrusive. Not only can the market research industry benefit from the use of biometric technology as research, MRX can also benefit from its use as a security measure to house its sensitive databases.   The Push to Quantify Emotions   With these emerging technologies come promise to clients that market researchers are now able to quantify emotions. Better tools for tracking emotions hold better promise for bringing awareness to how we feel through via outer feedback. This type of technology also promises to make it easier to understand websites, mobile applications, advertisements and a consumer’s emotional state or response to the product or service. For example, qualitative tools such as speech emotional analytics work to analyze vocally-transmitted emotions in real time. This kind of technology can decipher the speaker’s mood, an attitude toward the subject and emotional personalities (drivers for decision making) – an example of the innovative methods that market researchers can utilize in order to provide a deeper meaning when attempting to achieve emotional feedback. How does this effect the future of market research? Techniques like speech emotional analytics can be employed to sort voice messages according to the emotions portrayed by the caller in call centre applications. Among other things, a dialogue system may deploy knowledge on emotional user states to select a strategy in speaking with the potential respondent. This type of technology may even change the way we survey customers on their satisfaction levels - imagine being able to deploy a customer satisfaction survey with the use of emotional analytics. Interested in how Insightrix uses recognition technology? Visit: https://insightrix.com/case-study-neuroscientific-market-research/...

In a recent Insightrix article on neuroscience, we discussed the trend of neuromarketing, or as preferred for our purposes, using neuroscience tools and methodologies in the field of market research. Aside from leaving many wracked with existential dread, the article on neuroscience raises a few questions about how the processes described in the post actually work and how they are useful in the field of market research. If you haven’t yet, you may want to give it a read, as it will fill in any blanks from this post and tell you why this is relevant to market research. As Insightrix is all about providing answers, we decided to write another blog article to talk about it and provide some clarity regarding the ways neuroscience is used in market research. In the last post, we mention EEG, eye tracking and facial coding, so we’ll go from there. EEG (Electroencephalogram)  EEG (electroencephalogram) can be a powerful addition to the toolkit of market researchers. In the field of market research, EEG biosensors are used to measure changes in participants’ brain activity to try to track changes in participants’ levels of attention to what they are seeing and/or hearing. With interpretation, this can be a useful tool for researchers wishing to know what parts of their content (video/commercial/film/etc.) held an audience’s attention best, and where that audience’s attention strayed from their message. EEGs monitor changes in the electrical activity in the brain and allow researchers to measure changes in the levels of attention participants  experience when viewing and/or listening to content (video/advertisement/movie clip/etc.), or when trying a new product. Theoretically, when attention is high, electrical activity in the brain increases, and when attention is low, electrical activity falls. With data derived from this process, market researchers can discover what points of the experience were most interesting (held participants’ attention), and what parts caused attention to drift. EEG biosensors are relatively small and, as a result, they are portable. This means marketers can use them almost anywhere (stores, theatres, wherever) to get responses and data in natural settings.   Eye Tracking    Now that you are armed with the understanding of what your participants’ attention levels are doing, you’ll need to have some kind of way to find out where that attention is being directed. That’s where eye tracking comes in. Eye trackers are usually portable, multi-camera apparatuses that track participants’ eye-movements (of course), how long something is looked at and (in some models) even track the number of times a participant blinks. The data generated from this lets market researchers know just where participants are looking, and for how long they looked at it. Many eye trackers are extra useful, in that they come with software that allows researchers to designate specific elements in the test material to see how many times a specific field was looked at, and how long and how many people looked at it. This can be very useful if you want to know how noticeable a brand logo or your visual messaging is. Data from eye trackers is represented with the help of some handy and sophisticated software in graphic visualizations. Generally, these visualizations can be in the form of Heat Mapping, Bee Swarms (no, not real bees) and/or Gaze Plotting. If you want to see what this looks like, check out the video attached to this post.  Like EEG biosensors, eye trackers are relatively inexpensive and can be set up almost anywhere – some can even be attached to laptops or phones.When used in conjunction with other neuro tools and tried-and-true techniques like in-depth interviews and focus groups, eye trackers can provide very powerful data.  Facial Coding Now that you think you understand at what points your participant is interested and attentive, and to where and at what your participant is looking, it would be nice to have some idea about what your participant might be feeling in regards to what she is looking at. This is where facial coding can be useful. Facial coding uses existing facial recognition technology (like the kind they use to track down criminals or create matches on dating sites) to try to learn about participants’ emotional state in relation to test materials. With cameras and some really complicated software, researchers try to detect seven basic, universal emotions in participants. These emotions have been proven through a great deal of testing and re-testing (of the scientific kind) to be associated to seven basic facial expressions (disgust, delight, sadness, skeptical, surprised, fear and negative emotions like anger). These facial expressions are universal and are the same in everybody, regardless of age, culture or ethnic background. It is hoped that using facial coding technology as a tool in market research can allow researchers to read their participants’ emotional responses before they are able to rationalize them into thought and words. The goal is to give an impression of the knee-jerk responses your test materials engender in observers – data that is useful if you want to know if your product is being well received or not. And there it is… There you have it – some of the most common tools used in the field of neuroscience, and particularly, in neuroscience as it employed in the field of market research. It doesn’t take a degree in neuropsychology or neurobiology, or even one in marketing, to understand how, when put together with the other tools described in this article and adept interpretation, combined with tried-and-true market research methodologies like in-depth interviews and focus groups, can come together to make a powerful toolkit for market researchers. With that said, these techniques require a caveat when used in market research in that they are useful and appropriate only in specific settings. The human mind is ridiculously complex, and attempting to understand its processes through machines can produce less trustworthy data if well-defined and rigorous research design is not put in place. Most market researchers who employ neuroscience methodologies advocate their use in conjunction with tried-and-true market research methodologies like focus groups and/or in-depth interviews. If you’d like to understand more about why neuroscience in market research is used in the first place, check out this article about just that. Keep checking back to the Insightrix blog regularly for updates on how Insightrix uses neuroscience and other cutting-edge techniques and methodologies in its own client projects.     Sources: neursky.com/neuromarketing-and-eeg-measuring-engagement-in-advertising scholar.google.ca/ijps/article lcbr-online.com/index_files/proceedingsemc12 greenbookblog.org/neuromarketing-identifying-the-fact-from-the-fiction/...

 A person is able to articulate their wants and desires through conscious, reflective deliberation, through weighing facts and arguments and through making rational decisions, right?   Right? Actually - probably not. While most of us think we are consciously creating all of our thoughts and decisions through rational processes, research in the field of neuroscience has actually told us something else might be going on. Making decisions or forming opinions like this may not actually be the reality when it comes to our reactions to new situations, ideas or even products – really, in any situation in which you react emotionally. According to neuroscience, that’s because most emotional decisions of this kind are made unconsciously. Think about it. When you see something new, and you feel a certain way about it, do you think about why you should feel the way you do first - or do you just feel a certain way about that thing or situation and then try to find reasons for the reaction you are having? Most likely, you thought about your feelings a bit, and decided why you felt the way you did. If that is the case, you are normal – or as normal as the rest of us, anyway. According to neuroscience research, qualitative decisions of an emotional nature are often made on the unconscious level – meaning these decisions are made with little or no authorship of the observer. Aside from the existential angst this may provoke (remember to breathe), this has more than a few implications when it comes to market research.   Neuroscience in market research People’s knowledge and understanding of their own wants and desires is usually dependent on their own power to describe and articulate those wants and desires to themselves. This self-articulation allows them to form opinions about those desires. This state of affairs might create all kinds of issues in the field of market research, as so much of what market researchers do depends on asking people what they think and feel about a certain thing, situation or idea. What happens when the participants in market research might not actually know why they feel the way they do – that they just feel a certain way about a thing or situation and think up reasons for their feelings after feeling them? You can imagine that in situations like this, the data gathered might be problematic at best. Many traditional, qualitative market research methods (focus groups, surveys, etc.) rely on participants’ conscious thoughts and their conscious creation of ideas and words to express those thoughts to the researcher. To try to get around this challenge, many market research firms have adopted neuroscientific techniques and methodologies, adapting them to fit the demands specific to market research. Used in the field of market research, the use of neuroscience techniques is referred to as Neuromarketing. This term, though, gives many in the field of market research serious pause, as the practice in question has little to do with marketing itself and more to do with the market research process – it has more to do with discovery than selling. For our intents and purposes, then, for this article the practice will be referred to as the use of neuroscience in market research.       So what’s it all about? Neuroscience is not about reading people’s minds or predicting consumer behaviour. As far as we know, nothing can do that. Rather, using neuroscience in market research is about attempting to use technology to get around the need for participants to describe their feelings, bypass participants’ conscious reactions and their conscious creation of thoughts and words and try to uncover participants’ unfiltered reactions about a product, idea or situation. The means by which researchers try to read participants’ emotional reactions are through an array of techniques and gadgets that monitor changes in participants’ physical states, allowing researchers to interpret these changes. It is these interpretations that result in data. Some common techniques and tools to attempt this are EEG monitoring (to try to track participants’ levels of attention to what they see and/or hear), eye tracking (to track where participants are looking) and facial coding (to attempt to track how participants feel about what they experience). All of these tools and techniques may give market researchers a look into participants’ unrationalized feelings and reactions, without having to get participants to describe how they feel. These feelings that we are told have been provided by participants without their filtering or rationalization could, ostensibly, provide much more reliable qualitative data.   For a case study describing neuroscience tools we use for market research, click here. This is probably why the neuroscience market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.9%, reaching a market value of over $30.8 billion by 2020. That’s not to say tried-and-true qualitative market research techniques like focus groups and in-depth interviewing are doomed to obscurity. Far from it. There is no one market research tool or technique that will give you all the answers – including neuroscience. In fact, most market researchers who employ neuroscience techniques and tools in market research rely on the established and dependable methods we’ve all come to count on in conjunction with neuroscience. Most market researchers believe there is a great amount of value in participants’ own descriptions of their feelings and their involvement in the research process, itself. A Proven Method? Who’s to say what the filtering and rationalization we all use to describe our emotions actually plays in decision-making and the formation of emotional reactions? There is still much that is unknown about this process. For this reason and others, forthright market researchers who employ neuroscience techniques and tools usually adhere to proven methods like focus groups and in-depth interviews to back up and gain insight from the data acquired through this form of research.  The field of neuroscience and its tools can provide a lot of data when it comes to understanding the reactions of market research participants. Through a mix of the use of neuroscience technology and methodology in addition to proven market research techniques, market researchers can better access the feelings and attitudes of their participants. For more information on neuroscience techniques and tools used in the field of market research, check out the Insightrix Blog. Also, have a look at a case study describing one of the Insightrix research projects in which these techniques were used.   Sources: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2016/29822/what-neuroscience-can-teach-us-about-marketing http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/neuroscience-market https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/278922 http://www.greenbookblog.org/2017/01/19/neuromarketing-identifying-the-fact-from-the-fiction/ http://essay.utwente.nl/65342/1/Roth_BA_MB.pdf...

We recently used our online community software to complete a small-scale, three-day Bulletin Board online discussion with 20 participants we recruited from our 15,000-member online panel, SaskWatch®. The purpose of the online discussion board was to look at how effective a three-day online research project could be. In the first two days, we asked participants about their favourite sports teams and their preferred way of watching television and movies while on the third day, we probed for feedback on the actual bulletin board, itself. This online format proved to be an excellent way to gather input from participants, as well as create an engaging experience that will keep members participating in further research projects. This ongoing participation is different from traditional focus group participation. Focus groups are great when in-person product interaction is needed. An example of in-person interaction would be a company producing a product on which they want feedback, in regards to shape, design, texture, weight, etc. Another example would be if a company or restaurant wanted to do taste tests. In instances such as these, the focus group is imperative. However, in other instances where in-person feedback is not necessary, focus groups prove to have their limitations. They are very time-intensive, and often involve travelling to various locations to gather feedback. These time and travel costs can grow exponentially, and the amount of input and time participants can commit are limited. This is where online communities prove to be invaluable. Online communities allow participants the opportunity to join in and participate, regardless of location or time of day. The findings from this project showed the online bulletin boards are flexible, and help steer research based on objectives while allowing the ability to probe for deeper insights as the research progresses. Convenience was another key finding. Participants were able to log into the bulletin board at a time that was convenient for them, allowing time for reflection that ultimately produced better quality research.     Unlike focus groups, the bulletin board research project proved to be very cost-effective with a fast turnaround. Partha Roy is a senior research executive at Insightrix Research® and he was the lead researcher in charge of this bulletin board project. Partha began working for Insightrix Research last year and, prior to that, he worked for Millward Brown as an associate account director, both in Singapore and South Korea.   Want to read the case study? Interested in this topic? Check out others like it: The Science of Stupid http://insightrixcommunities.com/the-science-of-stupid/  Anti-bullying - Using an Online Community for Public Consultation  http://insightrixcommunities.com/anti-bullying-using-online-community-public-consultation/ The Rise of Marketing Technology http://insightrixcommunities.com/the-rise-of-marketing-technology/...