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First, thank you to the MRIA for hosting this event. It was well attended by about 160 people, most of whom stayed until the very end. THAT is a key performance measure with substance.
Second, thank you to Ronald McDonald House Charity, RMHC, for permitting me to share some of their social media research story. I think that seeing real data helps people really understand how research works.
Alrighty! We started the morning session with a focuse on online panel quality. We had some great name brand speakers who shared a lot of very important industry information. Unfortunately, I must be honest. I didn’t hear one single new piece of information. In fact, the info was three years old. In my opinion, all researchers should know these things hands down:
- Panels are different
- Different panels generate different data
- Don’t switch trackers between panels
- There are fraudsters in panel data
- Panels aren’t probability samples
I guess if you are a brand new researcher, it would have been helpful. I was disappointed. :(
After lunch of butter tart squares and chocolate mousse bites (I think there was meat and veggies too but I don’t remember that part), the afternoon began with a focus on social media. Finally something really new and actually innovative. This information was new for many, if not most, people. Many attendees admitted to not being on twitter. In fact, only about 10 of 160 said they were on twitter. But, I met with several people who said that because of today, they were going to try it out. If you’re in this group, go try it now and give it two full weeks of real testing before you give up.
We learned about some ways social media can be used for research.
- Online communities are huge now and provide a way for researchers to talk to consumers about focused topics.
- Facebook groups are great for talking to really low incidence target groups.
- Virtual currencies can be used as incentives.
- Social media research is still research though it uses a different dataset.
I found the afternoon more interesting because new ideas were being talked about. It wasn’t online surveys or panel or cell phone surveys. It was the next generation of research. I’m excited to see that the MR industry is finally branching out into new areas. Let’s keep it up.
Finally, it was my pleasure to speak at the conference. So many people said so many nice things to me about my presentation. I even met a few tweeters I’d never met before. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me and left me feeling appreciated.