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/...

Research can be conducted for a number of reasons, one of which is to shape policy. Advocacy research’s main purpose is to influence formal and informal policies created by policymakers. Therefore, it is important to gather solid data so that your research clearly shows the needs or problems you want addressed. In February 2013 the federal government of Saskatchewan hired Insightrix Research to investigate the need for a provincial anti-bullying strategy, the Saskatchewan Government challenged Insightrix to develop and deliver the most effective public consultation process using both in-person interview sessions as well as using Insightrix Communities software for online engagement. The needs for researching bullying and coming up with a solid anti-bullying strategy within the province is great. Bullying is a serious issue in schools, work, and the community. The effects of bullying can pose long-term issues and complications. For the study Insightrix conducted in-person interviews coupled concurrently with Insightrix Community software. 16 in-person consultations were run throughout the province, which drew a total of 400 participants to these consultations. At the same time that these in-person consultations were running, Insightrix created an online community which both the government and Insightrix promoted. This online community led to 600 Saskatchewan residents joining the online community. Both the in-person sessions and the online community had moderator presenting questions which allowed the government and Insightrix to listen to residents and gather new insights regarding the topic. Based on the discussions both in-person and online Insightrix was able to compile a report detailing people’s thoughts and experiences regarding anti-bullying initiatives and strategies. The report showed that the online consultation was well-received by residents, and the dialogues conducted within the community were deep, and thoughtful providing insights that were unable to be gathered during the in-person sessions. The online community also allowed members from all over the province to participate creating a broader audience. The online community software allowed access to every single comment made, and allowed the government access to read, and monitor comments at any time. The online community stayed open two weeks past the in-person consultations allowing the findings of the in-person sessions to be tested with the online community.  By using geo-IP data the Insightrix Communities platform was able to show participation and input from all across the province. From the in-person sessions as well as the online community discussions Insightrix was able to come up with key findings about the type of bullying that goes on within Saskatchewan and help the government create policies to reduce bullying in schools, and the community and provide the support and education needed to combat it. By conducting the research online, as well as in-person the government was able to ensure inclusion for all geographic regions in the province. This was a great example of using research to guide policy making so that each community member could feel fairly represented. If you would like to find out more about how our online community software can be used to help you create policy please feel free to contact us. Want to read the full blog? Click Here Interested in more case studies? Check out others like it: CASE STUDY – Online Voting with 26,000+ Members https://insightrix.com/saskcanola-online-voting-case-study/ CASE STUDY – The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia Advertising Concept Testing https://insightrix.com/reiwa-advertising-testing-using-facial-expression-analysis/ CASE STUDY – City of Saskatoon Youth Engagement Strategy  https://insightrix.com/city-of-saskatoon-youth-engagement-strategy/...

With the large amounts of data that market researchers deal with, finding ways to present data in a creative, interesting way can be a challenge. Here's a list of the six best ways to present your research data. #1: Interactive Dashboards Interactive dashboards let you communicate important information to your audience. A dashboard is a visual display of the most significant information from a project. The information appears on a single screen, offering a quick and simple way to monitor and evaluate a study’s progress. Dashboards are a highly effective way to present data to executives who don’t have a lot of time and need to be able to check data at any point in a project. #2. Infographics Infographics illustrate data and combine text, images, and design to tell the story of a study. They are becoming increasingly popular and since infographics present data in an engaging and easy-to-understand manner, they are frequently shared on social media, boosting the viral capabilities of your information. Infographics can drive increased traffic to your website and highlight key elements of your data. #3. Prezi Prezi is a new way to present information that engages audiences, visually demonstrates how ideas relate to one another, and allows collaboration in virtual space. Prezi is cloud-based, so you can present from your browser, desktop, or iPad and you will always have the most recent version available. Prezi offers visually engaging features such as zooming in and out of images and barrel rolls. Prezi is engaging and memorable, helping you make great presentations. #4. Videos/Vox Pops Videos let you put a face to the research, making study results more relatable and memorable. Vox pops are another effective way to bring research to life: vox pops (or streeters) are interviews with members of the public where people speak on camera and tell the viewer what they think and how they feel about a particular subject. Videos and vox pops can supplement both qualitative and quantitative research and is compelling way to involve the viewer in the research. #5. Motion Graphics Motion graphics are graphics that use video footage or animation technology to create the appearance of movement. They are often combined with audio and used in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are a captivating way to present your data and they help create a story for your data. The graphics help people understand concepts more clearly and make your project more appealing. #6. Web & Mobile Apps The increase in the number of smartphone users has led to the development of new ways of presenting data. In the increasingly fast-moving world, people need to be able to check reports and research data at any time, and apps are the perfect solution. Web apps let users check research data on their mobile devices, and the interactive nature of the apps lets the user control the research data they want to access and present. Apps are intuitive, easy to use, and an engaging way to view data and results. Related post: 4 Chart Tips to Turnaround Your Report Quickly ...

We’ve all been there - your client needs the report by noon tomorrow, and though you may have the meat and potatoes, you scratch your head at the prospect of presenting all that data in a visual way. In anticipation that you will communicate your study’s results in a way that is attractive and straight to the point (but in a time restraint), time management can be problematic. Don’t fret, a few simple chart tips can save some of that precious time. Many researchers cling to the standard bar graphs, and when creating a report with a fast turnaround, disregard data visualisation in lieu of time management. When under pressure, these few, simple practices can help you create a quick and clean visual that your client can truly understand. #1. Plan ahead – When inserting a graph or chart in your report, it is important to decide what information you wish to display. If you’re skipping lunch to finish said document, then chances are you do not have extra time to fiddle with changes in the display of data for each chart. Each time you re-make a format decision, you could run into time management issues. Simply formulating a plan allows you to save time in the long run. Choosing a simple chart will allow for more time to control the quality before the report lands in your client’s hands – and often simpler is better anyway. #2. Consider your target audience– Even with a formulated plan, it’s important to think about the purpose of charting to begin with. A great chart must achieve its purpose – it must be meaningful to the beholder. As well, keep in mind as to who is all looking at the report. Different levels in the organization require different levels of detail. Often a chart geared toward an executive needs less detail than a manager responsible for that particular product line. #3. A graph isn’t always the answer– I know, contradiction much? Not everyone reads charts every day. At times, using a chart can cloud the result instead of giving it clarity. By simply contrasting white space within your report, tables or textboxes can be just as visually impactful as charts. Highlighting differences with colour, especially when dealing with qualitative or open-ended responses, can also help to effectively convey a message without using a chart. #4. Perform a clarity test – Sometimes when working too close to a document, one needs a fresh set of eyes to graze over the information. Before pushing the report out, have a co-worker or peer review the visual data information without any context. If they can read the data without needing extensive background information, then you have succeeded in representing the data in a way it can stand alone. Studies with a smorgasbord of charts can prove puzzling, and may be curtly disregarded by a client short on time. Your clients expect that the report findings will provide clear answers to their objectives, and most importantly, illustrate the story behind the data. And at the end of the day the researcher is the illustrator, whereas the data remains the ink to craft the story. Have a plan, know your audience, provide clarity and generalize data in a way it can be read across the board. Related post: 6 Creative Ways to Present Your Market Research Data...

Cell phones: they can be used as video cameras, for shopping lists, as gaming platforms, to keep up with friends, as a news source, in place of a weather station…and…Oh right, they can also be used as telephones. Mobile devices are already ubiquitous. Many of us sleep with them beside us and the phantom notification of a text message is a hallucination nearly all of us have at one time experienced. Mobile devices have changed the way we live in a major way. More importantly for the market research industry, they are often the device used to complete our research surveys. At Insightrix, we’ve kept an eye how many respondents complete our surveys on a mobile device, and that number has been steadily increasing over the last few years. The change in how respondents are participating in research is especially important for the younger demographic where smartphone penetration is high and participation in surveys tend to be lower. Making surveys more mobile-friendly has become an imperative to make sure that we get participation from these key demographic groups. Size Matters Screen sizes vary considerably between mobile devices. For a survey researcher, this means that careful consideration must be given to making sure that the question and answer options display correctly for the respondent. The best practice is to detect the screen size and adjust the way the question displays accordingly. It is generally preferred to have the scrolling vertical-only while avoiding the horizontal scroll. This means that scale questions may have to be altered to become drop-downs, vertical sliders, or an open-ended response text box. And let’s face it, we’ve all probably had the misfortune of having to scroll and zoom into a non-mobile-optimized web page in order to click the link we wanted – resulting in significant frustration, and more often than not, an uncompleted survey. Similarly, usability is important for surveys as well. Give thought to how respondents will answer the survey questions. Most devices have a touch screen, so it’s best practice to make sure that the selections are finger-sized or otherwise easy to select. If they need to type a text answer, if possible, ensure that the question remains visible as they type. Size may also be an issue with regards to bandwidth. Although nearly all devices today support videos and pictures, it may take time for the media to download which can be a pain-point for the respondent. Also, including videos in a survey can cause the respondent to use a significant portion of their data plan. Be choosy. If including multimedia questions, warn participants before they get into the survey that there are large data requirements to participate. This could alter the decision in which mobile device the respondent may use. Streamline the Survey More often than not, respondents are reluctant to complete a long survey on a mobile device, which can result in a high drop-off rate and difficulty getting the participation needed. To make your survey more mobile-friendly, be prepared to take a serious look at what issues are most important to include on the survey – and which can be cut. There are many important components to making sure that respondents have a positive survey experience. Because it’s difficult to type lengthy answers using a mobile device, keep the number of open-ends to a minimum. Tighten up the wording as much as possible for both the questions and answer options. Consider the question style. See if there is anything you can do to simplify it. For example, it may be enough to ask a respondent to choose one item from a short pick list, rather than rate each item on a scale. At times it may be better to allow the respondent to provide the answer in text format, rather than choose from a drop-down list. Endeavor to modernize the look of the survey as well as the questions themselves – extra nice-to-haves like unnecessary introductory sentences, logos, or footers should be eliminated for an improved respondent experience. If your research absolutely requires a long survey, consider the option of a split sample approach. You can use an abridged list of questions for those completing on a mobile device while sending those on desktops through the longer survey or send all respondents through one of two optimized versions. Take advantage of the methodology Researchers may need to give up on some things, like certain question styles, multimedia elements and lengthy or comprehensive questions to make sure that the survey experience is mobile friendly. But that doesn’t mean that catering to respondents completing surveys on their mobile device is necessarily a net-negative for the depth or breadth of data quality. In fact, the methodology also has a lot of positives that can be advantageous to market researchers. Because mobile devices are often with us out-of-home, it provides the opportunity for researchers to get top-of-mind insights, wherever the respondent happens to be. This can be especially fruitful when using SMS survey invitations. Nearly all mobile devices are equipped with a camera and microphone, which means that using video recording, audio recording and picture capabilities can be used to gain insight that would be difficult or impossible using other methodologies. Integrating survey research into the respondents’ lives by allowing them to use the device that’s most natural for them makes for a positive experience. We hope that this will lead to increased participation in market research in the long run – whether that participation takes place on the telephone, desktop computer, mobile device, or whatever new technology the future will bring.   hbspt.forms.create({ portalId: '374811', formId: '05fef899-65c7-408e-9c1d-d9e972faf0c7' }); [/fullwidth]...

With the ubiquity of mobile devices and smartphones, many researchers are asking how mobiles and smartphones can be successfully incorporated in a research setting. Whether your aim is to improve existing research projects or you’re looking to try completely new research methodologies, these devices can augment other research methods and are also important research tools in their own right. #1. Add Impact with Video and Picture Libraries Most smartphones have camera and video capabilities, which can both greatly enhance a research program. Respondents have the ability to film themselves completing a research task, such as describing the products they purchased at a store or how they interact with a new product. It’s a great way to communicate the results too: a montage of the pictures or videos can help make the research findings more impactful. #2. Quick Data Collection via Pulse SMS Surveys A one- or two-question survey via text message is a viable way to collect data very quickly (usually within minutes). Younger age groups use email less frequently, making an SMS survey a more effective way to reach this demographic. #3. Feedback via User-initiated SMS Surveys A short code can be used to allow potential respondents to initiate a survey using a key word (e.g., Text JAVA to 78789 to start the survey). User-initiated SMS surveys are a useful way to gain feedback on a transactional basis. Using a variety of start words allows you to track where or when a respondent learned about the survey. #4. Make Reminders More Effective Text messages are an easy way to remind respondents to complete an online survey or to attend a focus group. Since most people carry their cell phones, the reminders are often more effective than by telephone or email. Many will have internet capabilities on their phones and may opt to complete the survey right then and there. #5. Support Your Mystery Shoppers Mystery shopping often requires the shopper to notice many different things during the task, such as the time spent in line or the number of people in the store when they enter. Smartphones provide an easy way for mystery shoppers to record the key points in a discrete manner so that they don’t have to rely on memory. Using technology in this way provides a more accurate result for the client and means the mystery shopping task is less onerous for respondents. #6. Aid Auto-ethnography Ethnographic research can provide holistic, qualitative insight into consumers’ lives, but having a researcher in-home is expensive and has the potential to introduce bias into the results. Fortunately, technology can partially automate this involved research process and allow participants to compile much of the information themselves. Rather than have a researcher observe the subject’s behaviour, the participant can fill in a diary about his or her daily activities at specific times. Auto-ethnography relies on the participants to remember to record their activities at specific times, and since many of us have our phone with us at all times, sending a timed prompt to record the necessary information works well. A smartphone can even be used to record the necessary information. #7. Run Co-research Programs & Spotter Diaries Empowering research participants as co-researchers can provide a viable way to understand complex cultural factors that researchers may not be able to identify on their own, and these methods are nicely augmented by the use of smartphones. Co-researchers can take pictures or record their thoughts surrounding a common topic as they go about their day. These reflections can be used to uncover market gaps and to design new products. Additionally, since marketing campaigns usually encompass executions across various media, it is difficult for marketers to understand the overlap of the various channels. Having respondents record each time they come across an advertisement for a certain brand (creating a spotter diary) can provide a better picture of the whole campaign’s reach. #8. Collect Location-Based Data Using GPS functionality, researchers can better understand location based information as it relates to consumers: how far they travel to a store or other location or their travel patterns within a venue such as a mall or leisure facility. This data can demonstrate issues with congestion, help to optimize within-venue placement, and provide a reference point for advertising metrics. #9. Use Gamification Methods Although gamification in research is relatively unexplored, an ideal venue for research games may be on a smartphone. Canadians are already playing games on their smartphones: sixty percent of Canadians do so, according to the 2012 Rogers Innovation Report. If a game is well-designed, analyzing how users play the game could allow researchers to gain insights into consumer behaviour that could not be measured by a survey. #10. Get Beneath the Surface with Passive Data Using the functionality of participants’ smartphones, passively tracking data can be used to gain insight that might be impossible using a survey methodology. A user can opt-in to provide information about websites visited, health statistics captured via GPS, communications, or any number of other types of data from their smartphone. This data could even be linked to survey responses in order to compare or to augment the dataset....

#1. Understanding online community research methodologies: Community research can be quite different from ad hoc research. Research goals may range from answering only one question over a few days to pursuing many questions and topics. The key here is to understand the goals of the research in order to moderate properly for the study objectives. Understanding the methodology allows those moderating the community to know how much detail to provide, how to phrase questions, and when to probe and follow-up. #2. Engage early and consistently: Prior to the launch of any online community, a plan should be in place to determine how to engage members as soon as they join. This plan should be ready to be executed as soon as the community is launched and drive initial participation. Throughout the life of the panel, constant feedback and follow-up engagement should also be implemented. Examples involve sharing articles or incorporating news feeds relevant to the community members and providing quick follow-up feedback regarding member participation in community research. #3. Pinning the main questions: To make discussions easier to follow and participate in, key questions the moderator asks should be pinned somewhere (preferably at the top) of the discussion group. The names of each discussion group can be the research question, which will help community members readily understand the topic being discussed. #4. Pop-up announcements are your friend: Utilizing pop-up features in a community software platform will help with engagement, moderation, and management. Rather than having the moderator post details over and over again, create a pop-up announcement to inform community members of details that do not fit directly into a discussion group. #5. Keep it simple: Depending on the audience, it is generally best practice to stay away from language that is too technical, trendy, or ambiguous. Community members want to provide straightforward insights, which will come from being asked clear questions. #6. Be creative: There are ways to “spice up” a relatively boring topic. Think of all the long and un-engaging surveys you may have completed and turn questions into punchy, insight-focused statements. This may include developing a research game for members to participate in. Prizes help too! Check out this article on 6 Creative Ways to Present Your Market Research Data for more ideas. #7. Last but not least, have fun: This is definitely a huge benefit of moderating an online community. If you interact with community members and show that you enjoy conducting research with them, odds are members will feel more comfortable opening up and sharing their insights....