The funniest marketing research joke #MRX

I have a favourite research joke. Have you heard it before? It has two possible punch lines and it goes like this.

What’s worse than a pie chart?
Answer 1: a 3d pie chart
Answer 2: several pie charts

I bet you’re rolling on the floor laughing aren’t you! Well, I have a treat for you because that is not the funniest marketing research joke I know. There are several formats of the funniest ever market research joke too so get ready…

We know 40 minute surveys are too long but no one’s ever going to stop writing them. HA HA HA HA HA HA
We know long grid questions are a bad idea but no one’s ever going to stop using them. HA HA HA HA HA HA
We know respondents hate multiple loops but no one’s ever going to stop writing them. HA HA HA HA HA HA

You think these aren’t jokes? I challenge you to prove otherwise. I’ve been in numerous situations where laughter is the standard response to these statements.

I find it infuriating to listen to smart and informed people overtly display a lack of effort to address the problem and laugh it off as silly. They generally feel they have no power. Clients feel they have zero alternatives in writing their surveys and vendors feel clients will take their business elsewhere if they refuse to run a bad survey.

Let me say this. Every single person out there has power to make surveys better. Imagine if we all worked together. Imagine if everyone spoke up against bad surveys. Imagine if everyone took quality surveys seriously. Imagine what would happen to our complete rates. Just imagine.

That’s not a sales pitch. THIS is a sales pitch.

It’s one of my favourite scenes from Crocodile Dundee. Our hero, Dundee, is confronted by mugger wielding a switchblade. Dundee smiles at him and, with a great accent, pulls out his own ridiculously terrifying knife.

With not so quite so many knives involved, it’s a predicament I face all the time with a slightly different context. I am fortunate that so many people submit a great variety of articles to Vue magazine. They cover every topic from qual to quant, from big data to little data, from neuroscience to storytelling. One thing many authors have trouble with is why did I reject their article for being a sales pitch.

“But I only mentioned our brand name three times.”
“But our logo is only shown twice!”

These are the obvious cues for me and now hopefully for you. But let me give you a few more examples for cases where it doesn’t seem quite so obvious. And if you could pardon my sales pitch in the process, I’d appreciate it.

Sales Pitch: We at Peanut Labs realized the need for easier access to research sample which is why we built Samplify, a self-serve automated sampling tool.
Educational: Researchers need easier access to research sample. There are a number of self-serve automated systems that do this. Some of the basic features of these tools include…

Sales Pitch: We partnered with CharitableOrganization to run a segmentation study about people who donate, and discovered six unique segments.
Educational: A segmentation study for CharitableOrganization revealed that there are six unique segments of people who donate. [side note – I am all for naming charities. They deserve all the press we can give them.]

What you’ll notice in both of these cases is that you can indeed write about the results of an entire case study without name dropping yourself AND without losing a single important detail.

The next time you write an article, do a word count of your brand name. Then do a word count of “we.” Can you reword most of them without losing any details? I’m sure you can.

Insert your sales pitch here in the boilerplate with your email and Twitter address. That’s what this part is for.

Marketing and consumer engagement in a connect world by Michael Becker #CASRO #MRX

Live blogged in Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– AIDA – create awareness, create interest, create desire, create action. this concept is 100 years old. [jeepers how irrelevant is that !]
– marketers chum – we throw stuff out there and hope consumption happens and we’re surprised when we catch someone
– once an individual shows up, we don’t know what to say to those people
– eras of marketing – manufacturing, distribution, information, consumers. Consumer marketers are facebook. IBM, Best Buy, Apple.
– reality today was the science fiction of yesterday
– the entire internet will change in five years [will APIs still be around?]
– the iPhone changed everything about phones – look at 2005 and 2013 when two popes were elected. remember those photographs? One pic no phones, and one pic all phones being help up.
– mobility causes and enables irrevocable behavioural change
– newspaper have been decimated, especially in 2010
– children don’t look at phones and see a telephone – they see a tv and a radio and a recorder
– girl scouts take credit card purchases of cookies now
– we are in a participatory economy, people vote on what they want brands to do, we share and tweet and rate publicly. this is the age of the consumer. people are in control
– nomophobia – fear of being without a phone
– mobile is the 7th mass media
– you can buy a living headstone at the cemetery – scan a code and get photos and audio and video of that person
– there is no longer one media path, there are ten
– the average person is carrying a supercomputer in their hands
– media is owned, paid, shared, or earned
– traditional path to purchase used to be one to many, but now it is one to one to many because of mobile and social
– marketers have thousands of tools to choose from now, messaging, media, advertising, mobile enablers
– advertising does work even if you think it doesn’t
– native advertising can put a flight purchase into someone’s Instagram picture feed of a sporting event in another country
– in Germany, there is a billboard that lets them check into facebook and spits out a treat for your dog
– digital displays in walgreens – up to 70% of people interact with those screens
– imagine getting a text message with a countdown of 99 seconds on it. the time it takes you to run to the store from a competitors store is the discount you will get. You’d better take only ten seconds to run between stores if you want 90% off your purchase.
– estimated that beacons will influence 1% of purchases this year
– download the taco bell app so that when you walk near a store, it asks if you want them to make your tacos now
– scan a virtual grocery aisle at the subway station and the food is delivered by the time you get home
– scan a beverage and it will tell you what snacks go with it and where they are [ok, thats the ultimate in stupid. i know what snack i want]

Educating the next generation research moderated by Melanie Courtright and Jamie Baker-Prewitt #CASRO #MRX

Live blogged from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– Gen Y is also called echo boomers, net generation, and global generation
– it’s a large group of people
– referred to as entitled, me generation, trophy kid, narcissistic, job hoppers
– open minded, social , confident, liberal, upbeat, socially conscious
– they want to be leaders, they want transparency, they want a mentor not a boss
– top three priorities in a job search – want culture and friends at work, salary mattered, wanted to learn and grow, wanted a company with industry presence that was respected, innovation and change, work life balance, have a purpose at work, want feedback on their work and to know what happened as a result of their contrition, want to ‘feel like these are my people,’ want to be part of a tribe, want to respect fellow employees, common was personal growth, culture, and salary [is this any different than other people?]
– what were turnoffs during job search – did not like that everyone asks the same behavioural interviews, makes you feel like the company is going along with the fad, want to understand who the interviewer is a person and those questions don’t do it, aren’t flexible negotiating salary or time off, a good interview was a tour around the office plus meeting people, team interviews are awful, its better to do a free-flowing conversation so you can see people in their natural habitat and get a sense for the real culture
– does social responsibility of the company matter – some care and some don’t care, don’t think about it, doesn’t resonate with them. it’s not social responsibility its more do you feel proud of what you’re doing
– entitlement – its a generation of instant gratification, want to be promoted every year, that’s an upper middle class notion,
– the education programs lead you to believe that certain jobs and salaries will happen, but the economy didn’t pan out that way
– people now want the rewards at year one, not at year ten
– can’t give that much loyalty to a company because it’s not a long term investment like it used to be
– how long should you stay at a job – why did you stay there that long sounds negative, you can make more money if you jump around, more sense to move jobs to get more experience, you leave your job when you’re not learning new things and adding to your toolkit, title doesn’t matter so much but it’s good for career building
– how do you reset expectations about reality of promotions being every year or every five years – want more purpose every year not necessarily promotion.
– what is the perception of #MRX among college students – students know nothing about it, they fell into it and weren’t targeting it, no one has an undergrad in #MRX
– how did you find out about #MRX – linkedin, google search,
– would participation trophies help? [hee hee]
– training should be self-directed but companies can foster this, companies that are committed to education is important
[insert fire alarm here :) ]
– want badges of the different types of work they are learning (not literally a badge)
– what is work life balance – some work 60 hours and some are 9 to 5, don’t mind busy times because it comes with a trough, when at home they want to be home
– job sharing is a good idea
– don’t want micromanaging, learning on the fly can be good
– don’t want to feel like you need to be a different person at home versus at work
– if you’re counting the hours at work, you need to move on

Gamification in survey research: do results support the evangelists by Lisa Weber-Raley and Kartik Pashupati #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– game mechanics include a back story, a game like aesthetic, rules for play and advancement, a challenge, rewards
– Gamification can be as simple as changing the way questions are worded [shout out to Jon Puleston : ]
– frame questions in way that makes responders WANT to answer them
– change a task into a game
– add an element of competition to a question such as putting a time limit
– “i engaged with a brand and all i got was this lousy badge” :)
– people don’t always think gamified is easier to read or answer, or quicker, or more fun, it’s a statistical different though not a substantive different
– should we trash gamification?
– greater survey engagement lies in dealing with the components of respondent burden. but creating a more enjoyable survey is still a worthwhile goal even if it doesn’t lead to all the claimed benefits
– did a survey on college experience, needed to develop a tool to build a tool for highschool students to choose a college, it’s not a genpop sample. it’s a sample that might be more inclined to gamification
– four survey types – standard, one with photo breaks, one with letter finding game throughout the survey, one with avatar
– not many differences between these four groups [did they all get the exact same words of questions?]
– photo break people may have actually used the photos to take a break
– picture break was more enjoyable for people
– there were no differences in data quality
[i wonder what would happen if the survey was actually gamified or the questions were worded differently]

Questionning the questionnaire – using games to real self-report biases by Amber Brown and Joe Marks #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– surveys that aren’t well designed have social desirability bias, aspirational biases, demand characteristics, satisficing
– games can help with some of these if they are properly designed
– purchase/visit intent can have problems as people want to please you, are aspirational in their answers with little follow through, similar to charitable giving and exercise
– study asked about prior and future behaviour of behaviours
– people were offered either cash or theme park tickets and then asked whether they planned to visit the park – would they take the cash (they probably won’t go) or would they take the tickets (they probably will go) (Cash is always less)
– for a charity company – will you donate your incentive to a charity or take the cash (cash is always less)
– for an exercise company – will you take a sports authority gift card or a cash incentive (cash is always less)
– for readership – will you take a book store gift card or cash
– the incentive choice was a good predictor of the intent question
– games engage instinctual thinking. you’re just trying to win. people play games every day. it’s faster and gives less time for biases to creep in
– the test is actual choice behaviour which his similar to the marketplace
– would you be willing to donate to wikipedia? real case study – do you want $10 in cash or donate $50 to wikipedia. 14% chose the 10$ donation but 2% chose the $30 donation
– the game comes much closer to real behaviour
– can help to counter biases that poorly designed surveys may have

[i want to read the paper on this one. very cool!]

Leveraging intuitive, emotional data more fully by Dan Hill #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– are you a purist or pragmatist about quality? [i like to think i’m both. you know what’s right. do it right. i don’t see why that’s so difficult]
– why do we need a revolution? maybe self-report doesn’t always work. men report using 1.6 billion condoms, women 1.1 billion condoms per year. but companies only sell 600 million per year. [hmmmm… who to believe :)]
– 95% of our behaviour is subconscious. how are surveys doing in this area?
– 95% of water below the waterline of the titanic is what sank it
– not everyone can be honest with themselves, not everyone understands why they do things, not everyone wants to be honest with you or themselves about why they do things
– you cannot think your feelings, you have to feel your feelings
– self-reported information is always filtered
– emotional metrics are subconscious – recall, call to action, preference, satisfaction, loyalty
– it’s not simply left brain, right brain. the emotional brain sends 10 times as much to the other side as it receives
– you can’t rewire the human brain. we are closer to homer simpson than Spock
– you can ASK when people are engaged during a commercial or you can measure each second
– in a commercial, people turn off in the last 5 seconds when it turns to the sell job [pay attention conference presenters]
– when people are asked to move a dial to show how they’re feeling, they forget to move the dial. that’s not very accurate
– people are particularly bad at sharing opinions about negative feelings.
– charles darwin did work on emotions – emotions are universal, even blind people across cultures has the same facial expressions, face is spontaneous and fast as the muscles are attached directly to the skin, we have more facial muscles than anywhere else on the body
– theory refined by Paul Ekman, matched emotions to specific muscles
– believes facial coding in 3 years will be good enough and ready to go [i’ll take that bet :) ]
– fMRI brain scans were the closest to their manual facial coding. automated facial coding isn’t there yet
– 40% of time during commercials have no reportable emotion. really, it’s not as interesting as the birth of your child.
– best joke of all time, you might laugh for 4 seconds
– political campaigns are the energizer bunny of fake social smiles
– people will say they are happiest for 12 seconds but that’s just not reality
– surprise and anxiety often go together
– need self report, we need all the data we can get and self report is about as good as other data right now
– there are many things that people won’t tell you, perhaps you can see it in their face

Combining a probability based telephone sample with an opt-in web panel by Randal ZuWallack and James Dayton #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– National Alcohol Survey in the US, for 18 years plus [because children don’t drink alcohol]
– even people who do not drink end up taking a 34 minute survey compared to 48 minutes for someone who does drink. this is far too long
– only at 18 minutes are people determined to be drinkers or abstainers. [wow, worst screen-out position EVER]
– why data fusion? not everyone is online [please, not everyone is on a panel either. and what about refusals? this fascination with probability panels is often silly]
– RDD measures population percents
– web measures depth of information conditional on who is who
– they matched an online and RDD sample using overlapping variables
– problem is matching can create strange ‘people’ that doesn’t explain real people. however, in aggregate, the distributions work out. we think about it being right on an individual level
– “The awesome thing about having a 45 minute survey”…is the statistical analyses you can do with it [made me laugh. there IS an awesome thing? :) ]
– [SAS user :) Have I told you lately….. that I love SAS]
– There were small differences in frequencies between the RDD and web surveys for both wine and beer. averages are very close but significantly different [enter conversation – when does significantly different mean meaningfully different]
– heavy drinking is much much greater on web surveys
– is there social desirability, recall bias :)
– not everything lines up perfectly RDD vs web, general trends are the same but point estimates are different
– so how do you know which set of data is true or better?
– regardless, web does not reproduce RDD estimates
– problem now is which data is correct, need multiple samples from the same panel to test

Data quality standards in mixed mode studies by John Bremer #CASRO #MRX

Live blogging from Nashville. Any error or bad jokes are my own.

– the most boring thing you can do with mobile is take a survey on it [HA! very true]
– it makes boring surveys more convenient than ever before
– dramatic growth in people starting surveys on mobile
– not all survey modes produce the same experience. there is differential completion rates. higher drop out rate on mobile particularly when the surveys get longer. different demographic set on mobile so quotas may overpopulate quickly.
– completion rates differ on mobile by country
– many people take surveys on multiple modes and this happens in every country. In the US, 60% of people ONLY take surveys on mobile [did i hear that right?]
– how do we treat quality in mixed mode studies. how should quality techniques be applied?
– why don’t we put quotas on mobile, should we?
– where 8% of people suspended a survey on tablet or computer, 20% of mobile phone starts were suspends
– tablets end up looking a lot of like computers
– think about your speeding metric. survey lengths differ greatly by mode. so if you’re including mobile phones times in you calculation, that raises the median time and raises the speeding time so that you’re cutting out more computer people than you ought to. you might need to use device specific speeder rules. [tell me now, who does this! we ought to! Love this :) ]
– one you remove speeders, you can use a generic rule for random responding and straightlining
– they have a dataset of people who have taken an omnibus on a computer and on a mobile. it’s a matched dataset. [and John wonders, is it omnibii? :) ]
– mobile responders always take longer and it gets worse the longer the survey gets. it’s not as far off for a shorter survey.
– we know there is a true mode effect
– must test quality at the mode level, must adjust speeding at mode level
– they recommend 5 to 10 minute survey though people still do 45 minutes on a mobile.
– you cut surveys into modules, they will take all the modules in a row.

[thanks for presenting data and tables John. i like that you don’t dumb things down. we need more of this because researchers KNOW NUMBERS even if people think its funny to say they don’t]

Taking multiple surveys in one session by Mark Kinnucan and Inna Burdein #CASRO #MRX

Live blogged from Nashville. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

– We want surveys short and simple. to avoid straightlining, and satisficing. reuce breakoffs, and dropping off the panel.
– but companies are ok with panelists taking multiples surveys in a row
– is multiple short surveys better than one long survey?, assume it lets people handle fatigue better, assumes if they do take another survey that that survey will be better quality. is any of this true?
– who takes multiple surveys, what are their completion rates, how good is the data, how does it affect attrition
– defined surveys as all the surveys taken within 1.25 hours
– 40% of surveys are completed in chains
– younger people make more use of chains
– moderate chaining is the norm. most people average 1.5 to 3 surveys per session. about 10% average more than 3 surveys per chain.
– completion rates increase with each survey in the chain. people who want to drop already dropped out.
– buying rate is unaffected by chaining. for people who take five surveys, buying rate increases with each survey.
– why is this? panelists will take more surveys if they did not exhaust themselves in the previous survey. or maybe those with lots of buying behaviours pace their reporting. or those people are truly different. [read the paper. it’s getting too detailed for me to blog on]
– poor responders are more likely to chain, but not massively more likely
– for younger panelists, heavy chainers have greater longevity. for oldest panelists, it results in burnout.
– people who agree to chain, do it because they are ready to do so. if they exhausted in a previous survey, they don’t continue. a small minority abuse the process
– chaining helps younger panelists stay engaged

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