Tag Archives: Bernie Malinoff

Fad or Foible: MR Trends by Bernie Malinoff #NetGain8 #MRX

Live blogging from MRIA’s #NetGain8 conference in Toronto. Any errors or stupid jokes are my own.


“Fad or Foible” MR Trends Affecting the Industry, and Skill Set Needs To Delight Your Client, Bernie Malinoff, CMRP, President, Element54, Montreal

  • remember “second life”   – just because it’s a shiny new toy doesn’t mean it’s relevant
  • researchers tend to be conservative, risk avoiders, it’s a strength to some degree, people trust that we will be disciplined about our work, but this can also hold us back
  • we used to be data poor, now the problem is data obesity – Hal Varian, Google
  • [Bernie has written out tweets on our slides that we can write into twitter, now isn’t that thoughtful 🙂 ]
  • don’t be concerned about the person sitting next to you, worry about people who’ve never been to a market research conference and possibly never consider themselves market researchers
  • the dirty dozen – are you afraid of gamification, online communities, social media, crowdsourcing, facial analysis
  • many emerging technologies are now mainstream
  • you can now capture emotions of 43 facial muscles and vocally detected intonations – add that to your basic film plus sound – now you have what i said and HOW i said it. these are off the shelf products you can buy now
  • supplier selection is often based on more creative and energetic modes
  • researcher of the future is a strategist, synthesizer, method agnostic, story tellers – now it’s use the right method for the research objective, not the tool you’re most familiar with
  • blend technology with rigour, find a fit for purpose technology when it’s appropriate
  • 3 cases do not make a norm, a new method will not and cannot replace all other methods
  • replace fear of the unknown with curiosity

Mixing up your survey data for better results #MRMW #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the Market Research in the Mobile World Conference in Cincinnati. With so many sessions, I’m only blogging about a few sessions each day. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.  I’ll also be providing end of day summary blog posts for Esomar so keep your eyes peeled for those as well.


Julie Wittes-Schlak Communispace; Jennifer Furia P&G: Using mobile technology to Deepen your understanding of consumer and shopper needs

  • Researchers are experts in “Skin care” or “hair care” and yet all people use both skin care and hair care.
  •  Mobile is here, now, me, my workplace, my health
  • People submitted pictures of what is in their shower, the 6 kinds of shower gel on the shelf
  • Mobile gives people insight into their own behaviour “I though I shopped there a lot but it turns out I don’t”
  • People will be very open when they trust you – videos of trying on pants or how bras don’t fit
  • [The mobile question was much shorter than the online survey question… hm… can we learn from this?]
  • There is a physical description and an emotional description. Sometimes, a short mobile response that gets at the emotion is better than a long physical description
  • Material incentive is important to get people INTO the community, once there, being heard and listened to is more motivating

Bob Yazbeck Gongos Research: Breaking the Survey Length Paradigm

  • They found surveys up to ten minutes long gave good results
  • 75% of people censor themselves on social networks, they focus on big purchases, they don’t want to look foolish. but when you put mobile in the loop, it changes everything. We hear about the tiny things and the embarrassing things
  • Mobile has 3 camps: quant, qual, MROCs
  • Use online for pre work, go to mobile for in-store display evaluation, do post research with online survey
  • $30 is the sweet spot to have people go and do in-store research.
  • Don’t assume people know how to upload photos, you need 24 hour support, work with lower-res photos
  • Mobile enabled doesn’t mean mobile abled 🙂
  • Be prepared for ambient noise and bad lighting
  • Experiment now before you are set in your ways. Start with multi-model to mitigate risks.

AJ Johnson Brainjuicer: Evolution of 360 degree mobile community

  • Global community, fast access, allow people to view comment on, and rate content [Sounds like fancy word for MROC]
  • People enjoyed sending photos about frustration.
  • People sent mostly food pictures about indulging.
  • Five words are: Authentic, Fun Fast and Easy, Frustration, Indulgence, Premium
  • [Like this method: each of five days people were asked to send a photo about one of five adjectives. Then asked to rate a separate photo using those five images. very neat!]
  • Photos are more popular than videos. They like hunting out the right photo. More content on weekdays, not weekends. Some themes didn’t translate across cultures.

Betty Adamou Research Through Gaming: Speaking to 7 yo 70 year olds using Games for Surveys

  • Sneezing panda is the most popular video on YouTube. So people are online but they won’t take our surveys.
  • People LOVE Tom Selleck as the representation of research. Sexy but old and out of it.
  • It’s ok to use regular language and slang and emoticons with the appropriate crowd. ZOMG and zits are appropriate words for teens.
  • You can go too far with games so know the limit
  • How do you survey 7 year olds? [with 2 hour surveys and tons of grids, that’s how]
  • Let the kids choose an avatar, let them choose objects in a virtual room, let them guess about the contents of a puzzle
  • e.g., if kids are able to guess a hidden celebrity, then that celebrity is more top of mind and a better choice as a magazine cover
  • 85% of kids liked the research and a number of them came back to do it again

Bernie Malinoff Element54: Impact of linguistic and visual changes in survey design

  • If you change something in your research, you will change your results. let’s not debate which one is right [often there is NO right unless the question is ‘did you buy’]
  • Do you measure NPS? Have you coloured the scale? Then you changed the question. Different font? You changed the question.
  • Change survey questions for a purpose – eliminate straight lining. Try Flash, a game, a slider.
  • 5 different ways of asking a question led to 40% variance in results. [you should NOT be surprised]
  • “Don’t muck with trackers”  Some research doesn’t lend itself well to change
  • Happy with current trackers:
  • Changes made in past 12 months:
  • Trackers are like freight trains: boring, ugly, reliable, know the contents
  • “Thanks Bernie for making me feel miserable about my trackers”  [sorry Bernie, I was already there!]
  • Don’t keep asking questions just because you’ve always asked that question


Market Research 20/20: Levy, Murphy, Skillen, Sandler #MRIA #MRX

mria 2012Welcome to this series of live blogs from the MRIA Sample the Edge conference in St. John’s Newfoundland. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.


  • Steve Levy
  • Top Priorities in 1991: New product development, brand equity, customer sat, marketing effectiveness, talent
  • Top priorities now: Market productivity (ROI), brands and branding, managing customers, growth innovations, attracting new talent
  • Different rank order, same issues, more ponderous words [yes, bigger words means it’s more important]
  • Lenny Murphy
  • How do we compete against globalization
  • Predictive analytics and big data are growing quickly, massive massive new data that we never had before
  • Now we have big data in behavioural data – CRM, social media data, loyal data [sure it’s new data but we always had big data]
  • The world is interconnected from data and we didn’t have this just a few years ago – we can use this for predictions
  • Recall the case where a teenager was sent marketing materials about pregnancy, which upset her dad because “my teenage daughter isn’t pregnant!” But she was. Her behavioural data predicted it – e.g., the types of lotions she bought.
  • In 2020, big data will be the defining technology factor of our lives and research will fit into this warehouse
  • data is meaningless unless you do something with it
  • Imagine if Target knew you bought shoes 2 years ago and they send you a text that said if you go buy shoes in the next 20 minutes, we’ll give you 20% off
  • Tim: Researchers consult, advise, partner – he never said “collect data”
  • Corrine Sandler
  • Imagine being able to connect unconscious emotion states nionverbal cues purely based on visuals
  • Adidas uses facial recognition software to scan your body to ascertain your age gender height and serve up product/promotion specific ads as you walk by their store
  • Mobile is your “alter ego”
  • Mobophobia – fear of being without your phone [I do NOT have that]
  • Imagine doing your shopping but NEVER going to a cashier. You just walk out. Every product has a tag which is associated with your tag and the payment is automatic when you walk out the door. [COOOOL!]
  • Immigrants know nothing about our brands – we should better understand them, we should quota sample for immigration groups
  • Social networking is going purely visual like pinterest, it is things you are passionate about, aspire to be

    Photo from Bernie Malinoff

    Photo from @BernieMalinoff

  • How do you convert a pin to a purchase – that will come in 8 years
  • Shane Skillen
  • We don’t treat respondents well – we call them at dinner, knock on their door, screen them out, give them really long surveys, and give them no incentives
  • The future of survey research is questionnable
  • How do you get a grunge rocker to answer a 25 minute U&A survey?
  • Kids today don’t even talk in full sentences – they talk in text speak
  • In 8 years, data will be voice and automatically collected as you go about your day
  • Will social media replace surveys? No. What you look for creates the answer.
  • Social media is an early warning system. When a big decision needs to be made, we need to use traditional survey methods.
  • Eric Kandell – memories are embedded at our cellular level.
  • We will be able to reverse engineer the human brain at some point
  • You can measure how people are feeling just by measuring their bodily fluids
  • 90% of the worlds data has been created in the last 2 years [i think 3 presenters have hit this stat, soak it in people]
  • 900 million people on facebook. where was it 8 years ago?
  • facebook is not going to go away unlike what corrine said
  • Watson, the computer, will soon be able to answer “How can I be happier”
  • Steve Levy could be on the cover of Time in 8 years time
  • The more you spend on research, the less likely it is to fail
  • Huge product mistakes – Coors, new coke, tropicana packaging due to poor research
  • Tassimo bar coder was the differentiator – it came from RESEARCH
  • What do you DO? Be inspirational. Market researchers shape where we are going.
  • Panel
  • Fad or trend? We need to get into people’s heads without huge expensive machines
  • Understand unpoken is not a fad. The process to get there will get sorted out. Can we analyze video pictures automatically? Not just yet.
  • Is anyone paying for SMM? Do we expect it for free? People are paying for the REAL services.  People don’t need to pay for it [oh I so disagree, quality costs money] Need an expert who knows how to pull out insights
  • SMM will be much better in 8 years
  • Sentiment can’t be done by machines [ouch again 🙂 ]. You must have context or its meaningless
  • Big data early warning signals is a fantastic use
  • Don’t base business models on data collection. Human element is what matters.
  • We don’t speak to “respondents” as if they are human. People don’t SPEAK like this. ten point scales? who does that? [Hello mother, please describe the nutritional supplements that you prepared for our family of two adults and any associated children in the last 24 hours.]
  • Story telling is massively important. People don’t always write what they think but their stories do.
  • [I couldn’t help it. I had to bud in with a comment and demonstrate that human coders have strong weaknesses just as automated coders do. Do YOU know what SMH, lekker, clutch mean? Do YOU know when I’m being sarcastic?]
  • If something is in the public domain, we have a right to use it
  • Are people buying multicultural research today?  Yes, it’s expensive and harder to obtain. Sample sizes are smaller.

Panel: Improving Respondent Relationships; Singh, Acton, Malinoff, Froman #MRIA #MRX

mria 2012Welcome to this series of live blogs from the MRIA Sample the Edge conference in St. John’s Newfoundland. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.


  • Adam Froman begins…
  • Consumers have control now
  • Consumers want to unsubscribe because of huge long grids. We don’t have a problem with respondent participation. We have a problem with s*** surveys.
  • We must change how we ask questions
  • Motivators – Trust, privacy, reciprocity
  • People don’t really realize how much privacy they’ve given up. The potential for major companies (e.g., facebook) to lose a ton of business is right there
  • People want to know what happened to their results but we aren’t used to sharing back
  • The real change is how will we engage consumers to share opinions in the digital age
  • Innovative methods – Don’t let tech lead, let tech enable. Don’t fear tech, test it.
  • Voice of the consumer – ask + listen + observe
  • The mayor of markham held an online townhall – over 7000 people. Ever had that many in a physical townhall?
  • Respondents WANT to participate in research.
  • And now…. Margot Acton
    St John's
  • It’s not a question of if we move into tech, but how we move into tech. We need to use them and still deliver business decisions, not just excitement. Take rigour with you.
  • Choose a consumer centric design:  Simple design, site speed, signup processes, authenticity, usability. Sooo. less is more, flash is heavy, easier access, is this real, best practices.
  • KISS Keep it super simple – shorter surveys, avoid reptition, fewer grids, minimize complexity, fewer open ends, write to be understood, avoid unnecessary, use simple language, stay conversational
  • Survey tools – use dynamic grids, drag and drop, click and fly, slider bars and surveys will be more interesting, varied, easy, fun [i always wonder about fun vs validity in these cases]
  • Approach to loyalty – use a catalogue of incentives, not one but thousands
  • Measure success – an index, predictive modeling, applied to EVERY survey, surveys with low scores cannot be fielded [DAMN RIGHT!]
  • Mobile has huge implications – easier to retrieve meaningful data, collect instantly, repHappy Birthday Adamort immediately
  • Passive adds greater insight
  • And last but absolutely not least… Bernie Malinoff!
  • Venn diagram of what you’re good at and what you like to do is where you must focus
  • Check out Jon Puleston [agreed, he’s doing some cool stuff]
  • Would you like response rates to increase from 10% to 30% [is there a right answer here? YES!]
  • Avoid long, boring, repetitive, and useless. This not rocket science.
  • Five years ago, we did not realize what the competitive set would be today.
  • Discussion is no longer representative, the discussion is not relevance.
  • Google is doing more to educate junior researchers than we are with their research tips in their research product
  • Apple even has a very short survey for its product and they end it off with a big thank you
  • Now time to discuss
  • Are we in the era of surveytainment? It’s simply to make the experience better, we want to focus people’s attention. Anything we can do to enhance the quality of attention is good.
  • Gamification is bringing back the younger generation
  • There is no perfect method. There are purpose based methods. [Darn tootin! Forget qual, forget quant, forget surveys, forget focus groups – What is your PURPOSE!]
  • Accept that you are not good at everything and have partners who pick up your slack

Yin and Yang of Gamification: Bernie Malinoff #Netgain6 #MRIA

netgain mriaWelcome to my #Netgain6 MRIA live blogs. What happens at St. Andrews Conference Centre, gets blogged for all to read about. Each posting is published immediately after the speaker finishes. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any silly comments in [ ] are my own. Enjoy!

Bernie Malinoff, President, Element54
The Yin and Yang of Gamification

  • Grids are toxic for consumers and addictive for researchers
  • Bernie accepts he has a problem 🙂
  • Survey “Engagement” space race
  • Just because you have a flash question doesn’t mean you should use it – a yes no question is still a yes no question
  • DIY is beneficial to all and makes us better consultants
  • You could do the same question with  a radio button vs slide vs facial expressions vs visual skiier game – Why not first decide WHY you would choose one of the methods, take a purpose based approach
  • Issue of straightlining – Grid was 10%, flash question was 6%, flash question plus “bet $20” was 0% straightlining
  • Data cha0s – 40% variance in answers due to different methodologies
  • Gamification can be visual or linguistic
  • Do you put a little bit in a survey when it’s boring? only at the beginning? only at the end? pepper it throughout? THINK what makes sense
  • Flash surveys are 20% longer. Game version is 73% longer. But these options are much more enjoyable.
  • Adoption hurdles: norms (blow on a tracker and the results will change), scalability (efficiency of programming all surveys the same way, surveys go off to Santa’s workshop and come back all done)
  • I Love Lucy’s factory is an example of efficiency and creativity…. maybe. Is this how our survey programmers feel today? We treat it as just a production process.
  • You can’t replace the fundamentals with software
  • Most researchers are analytical but maybe not spending much time being creative about our approach to research
  • Big or small supplier/client, we share the same goals of better research and better data

How Far is Too Far by Bernie Malinoff #Eso3D #esomar

This is a live blog posting from the Esomar 3D conference in Miami. Written, summarized, and posted just minutes after the speaker has finished. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side-notes are mine as well.

***                                                                                                                    ***

How far is too far
Traditional, flash and gamification interfaces, and implications for the future of market research online survey design
Bernie Malinoff, element54, Canada

  • 95% of surveys are boring, basic. [yeah baby!]
  • Matrix questions are still horrid. [yeah baby!]
  • Just because you have flash, just mean you should use it [Bernie, are you reading my mind?]
  • How do you choose the right eye candy from the all you can eat buffet?
  • Want to decrease straightlining? Basic surveys 9%, flash survey 6%, game method 0%.
  • Want to increase time on page? Maybe you just need a more visually engaging page with brand logos.
  • Data changes massively if you change the interface. [Remember offline to online? Phone to online?]
  • Flash makes it 20% longer, game makes it 70% longer. ho much is too much? [I’ll answer anything for every if you provide the sugar!]
  • Norms are the fortress, an important part of client relationship [What made norms perfect? Maybe they’re based on bad surveys with straightlining and random responding]
  • Can creativity and scalability coexist?  I love lucy says maybe not….  Better fast cheaper often conflict with creativity

Malinoff: New Face of MR #MRIA

Welcome to the virtual MRIA 2011 annual conference! This post reflects my personal musings and interpretations of this presentation. It was written during the presentation and posted minutes afterward. Any inaccuracies and silliness are my own.

Trends and challenges – the new Face of Marketing Research and Intelligence
With Don Mills (Corporate Research Associates), Gary Bennewies (Ipsos), Tom Anderson (Anderson Analytics), and Jean Marc Leger (Leger Marketing0 Moderated by Bernie Malinoff (element54).

  • Bernie is apparently the most interesting man alive. 🙂 (Janine Keogh from Kraft said so.)
  • MRIA assumes no legal responsibility for the content of this session. 🙂
  • Please tweet and blog the session so folks who couldn’t attend can join in. 🙂
  • (FYI panelists knew the general topics but did not know the questions.)

Client needs: How have client needs changed and what do we need to do better or different moving forward?

  • Jean Marc: No client, no problem. Clients are difficult. Some clients know nothing about research. Some clients know what they want and don’t know how to get it. Others THINK they know what they want. No matter what, no time, no budget. We need to be smarter, strategic conclusions.
  • Don: Global brands have different needs than national or regional. Faster, better, cheaper is desired. Demands on supplier is burdensome. Clients want guidance dealing with new world of research. It looks sexy but they don’t know how to benefit.
  • Tom: Clients want faster, do it yourself. More reason for control. Don’t fight the trend. LOOK for different kinds of clients. MR is more than just focus groups and surveys. Leverage big data, text mining.
  • Gary: BQC, better, quicker, cheaper. New demand coming. We must understand client’s business so we can provide real insight and direction. Not just practitioners but business solvers.

Technology: How does a traditional company avoid being market research roadkill?

  • Gary: Be involved in testing, experimenting, partnering in new things. Explore new ways of researching. Try biometrics. Maybe it won’t work but play with it. Take some risk. Past investments will become obsolete. 80% of marketing challenges end up in a study. In ten years, it will be fishing in the river instead. Harvest what already exists.
  • Jean Marc: Only change is stable. Online is now traditional. 70’s was what. 80’s was why. 90’s was how. 2000’s is what if. Now the question is when. Do all that is short period of time. Listen to clients and they will decide what they will need. We still do the old but we do it differently. Data collection is less and less important. It’s HOW you analyze. Line between research and marketing? Clients requesting different services. Mid-size companies will find this difficult.
  • Tom: MR is not an industry you want to get into now. MR needs to pick a direction. Join DIY trend? Build your knowledge into software. Become more of a consultant? Become a text mining service? Pick one.
  • Don: You must move or you will be left behind. be in digital data collection. Old world vs new world. New world is not in the room. There is a social research industry that is not in this room. Brand new entrants. Different language – sentiment, content analysis. (That’s me! In this room!) If Kraft hasn’t figured out social media, where are we? How do we get value from SM? (Ask me! Hello?) Do political and media polls enhance or detract market research industry credibility?
  • Gary: Use polls to boost profile. One of few ways to get a direct measurement of what you do, how close were you? Used all forms of research, not just surveys.
  • Don: Industry shot itself in the foot in last election. Half of companies were wrong. Why? Never happened this much before. Nobody called for the result that we got. IVR was wrong, online did well, traditional telephone was a mix. Too many polls. Regional data was so far off and it complicated the problem. Don’t release small sample size data or you will be burned. It’s not OK when people get it wrong. Every company that gets it wrong affects the industry. It hurt our industry.
  • Jean: Online was accurate last time. It’s our annual exam. You must demonstrate your accuracy. We aren’t trying to predict seats but the pollsters were good. Quebec was not easy, voting intention moved by 15 points. That’s crazy anywhere else but normal here. They did social media tracking as well. Polls are in the papers way too much. 350 polls published two years ago.
  • Tom: Help politicians get instant feedback with social media, become part of the process.

What is the future role for individual (e.g., CMRP) and Corporate (e.g., ISO) certification?

  • Don: Great supporter of certification. Most people who wrote and pass exam. Support it because we want professionalization of industry. It is a career. It is for their people not for clients. Supports ISO but is it affordable. If you are concerned about standards, DO something about it. make it look like a career choice, not an accidental job – professionalize it.
  • Tom: Following a recipe of MR, under the guise of quality, does not behoove most of us. Are trade organizations relevant. It stifles creativity. No value in certification. Hire based on skills. If they had a methods class, they are at the top anyways. Never look for CMRP title. Experience matters. Do MR feel inferior to Doctors? I don’t need letters after my name.
  • Gary: Is their value. Does it promote industry? Help clients select supplier? Standards are rooted around traditional research, maybe not so good. It stifles creativity. It can’t be a limiting factor. Certification must be current. Probability samples are out of date and yet it’s in the certification.
  • Jean Marc: Concerned about ease, length of certification. Manager your system better. Invest in people. Where are all the other companies that aren’t at this conference? Young people are better than older researchers. They are way more efficient and they leave the office at 4:30 and then they might work at 1am. They are the future. (Let’s sing. 🙂

How are we doing as an industry to fuse these skill sets at an individual level? Business, methods,tech.

  • Tom: If industry is bigger than surveys and it’s actually about knowledge, get employees and education. Get clients do a bit more and help them look smart. Pull in all types of data. Reverse mentoring – we should talk to younger people, mentor other industries. Read tech publications not just MR publications.
  • Gary: Don’t want them all in one person. Have experts, different people. Skill sets change over time though. People behind the scenes need to be better at tech. Senior people are not road-bumps or barriers to clients accessing new tech.
  • Don: Teach the employees your techniques. Hard to find people with good strategic thinking skills. Busy savvy comes with experience. Development environment is important. Autonomy is important. Let people grow at own speed. Young folk are aggressive about getting ahead and they will stay if you let them.
  • Jean Marc: Challenge is how to build a team, generate innovation. People have weakness but the team has all the skills. Clients talk more problems, less methods now.


Why certify if everyone disagrees and it’s out of date?

  • Don: ESOMAR is releasing new standards in SMR. Certification needs to keep pace. Be patient. (Young padewan)
  • Tom: Burke has great courses. Skills useful beyond our industry. That’s the certification you need.

Canada’s role in the MR world?

  • Gary: Canada is a resource, a talent, sabbaticals, moves. We have a lot of talent we can export.
  • Jean Mar: We need strong competitors in Canada. Don’t have a lot of Canadian clients doing foreign business.Let Canadian companies buy, not be acquired.

Should we go back to random sampling?

  • Jean Marc: Problem is voters don’t know who they are going to vote for. (That’s what we’re here for!)
  • Gary: Is random sampling possible? Not everyone has a land-line. In perfect world, random sampling would be great but it can’t happen.

Dear @BernieMalinoff, your wish is my command

[tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]Bernie tweets:
2.5 days of travel/meetings – need to fit 5 days into what’s left. Maybe @LoveStats can suggest a pie chart for this dilemma.


Annie responds:
I have analyzed the technical requirements of Bernie’s request and have implemented various techniques to ensure maximum clarity. I have also selected the appropriate graphical representation and applied classic infographic standards for readability and efficiency. Please leave your comments of amazement and wonderment below. Autographs to follow for those deemed important enough.

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  • MRA Boston Day 2 – More good stuff!

    [tweetmeme source=”lovestats” only_single=false]The weather was gray and dreary today but with the MRA schedule, it was nothing but a great day. It started, of course, with breakfast and while there was no bacon, there were blueberry blintzes. I’ve never had them before but it was a like a party in my mouth and everyone was invited.
    Blueberry blitzes mmmmm dessert for breakfast :) #MRA_AC  on Twitpic

    First up was the general membership meeting. It seemed that half of the audience was the board of directors, all of whom sat in the seats that no one ever sits in – the front row seats. I was prepared for boring and dull but the in fact, they managed to keep the meeting light and only highlighted the tidbits of info that would be interesting to most people. During this meeting, next year’s board of directors was duly sworn in. I was quite amused that they are now required to obey the standards of the MRA. Because they weren’t before? 🙂

    Next up was Adenia Cooper from McDonalds. She was absolutely hilarious. Hecklers, people who refused to try Angus burgers, and McDonalds fans alike were all given, or thrown, gifts. The audience couldn’t help but laugh along with her as she shared what McDonalds has learned about speaking to consumers who represent different ethnic groups. Truly a fun and informative presentation.

    I attended Aaron Reid’s presentation called In Defense of Marketing. He showed some great BBC video of birds including some who did the most incredible dances and the most incredible sound mimicry – camera sounds, car sounds, music sounds. The point? That every aspect of your life is a marketing experience. The way you dress, speak, move is your attempt to market yourself to other people. Even more interesting, and really reaching the psychologist in me, was the recognition that these types of behaviours are interpreted by others almost completely unconsciously. Which means any time you market a product, there are reasons, far from logical, causing people to purchase it. Watch the whole video. It’s amazing!

    Then came the networking lunch. The intent was good I think, but in the end, we ended up chatting with each other as we might have at any other table. So the blue rope separating the “networkers” from the “regular people” didn’t seem to make much difference. But that was ok. Lunch was a tasty salad, with cheese ravioli, and caramel mousse. Yum!
    Do not cross the line! One side networking, one side everyone... on Twitpic

    After lunch came a session by Kathryn Korostoff, @ResearchRocks, in which she talked about ways of making people actually USE research results. She actually made me think of ways of sharing research results that I had never considered before. Why not videotape yourself presenting results so that other clients who weren’t at the presentation can watch too! Why not start the presentation with a quick quiz that you developed based on the results of the research? Good stuff!
    Kathryn speaks. Pretend you're here. #MRA_AC  on Twitpic

    Finally, I attended the presentation by Bernie Malinoff, @BernieMalinoff, and Jeffrey Henning, @JHenning, about using rich media in surveys. This is the kind of research on research that tickles my fancy. Forget whether the research is about soap or cars or banking. What is it about HOW the questions were placed on the page that affects the answers. There were tons of interesting factoids in the presentation so be sure to have a look at it when it goes public (i assume it will!).

    It's a tweetup before the tweetup! #MRA_AC  on Twitpic

    Who ended up with Conversition shirts today? These folks!
    Watch out for @Jhenning wearing the @tweetfeeldotcom shirt. #... on Twitpic Here is my hero! @SpychResearch saved the day. Did YOU say th... on Twitpic

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  • The Future of Social Media Research – ScribeMedia.org
  • 1 Topic 5 Blogs: DIY surveys suck or save the day #MRX

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    G’day all and welcome to this months issue of 1 topic, 5 blogs. Todays topic is DIY surveys. Links to my fellow bloggers Bernie Malinoff, Joel Rubinson, Josh Mendelsohn and Brandon Bertelsen can be found below.


    I will admit. From a client point of view, DIY surveys have a ton of advantages. You can get the survey out quickly without any middle-man holding you up. Without a middle-man, the cost can be greatly reduced. And, you get exactly what you want without pleading and whining and complaining. If you have some solid experience or training in survey design, I am quite in favour of DIY for short 5 minute surveys.

    But, when it comes to substantial surveys, I have many, many issues. The issues revolves mostly around “getting exactly what you want.” Any time I review survey drafts from survey newbies, and EVEN from people experienced in survey design, I find many of these terrible problems.

    1) Leading questions: The writer usually has no intention of doing this, but they almost always give away the answer they want to receive. And whether consciously or unconsciously, the responder recognizes that and happily provides it.

    2) Missing options: The writer is so focused on the options they are interested in that they forget there are options that are far more popular. They make sure that Brand A and Brand B are represented, but completely forget about Brand C, Store brand, Never buy, and Don’t know. This is another way to get the exact answer you want purely by bad survey design.

    3) I can usually find a bunch of category jargon including words I don’t even recognize. On numerous occasions, I have seen surveys ask something like “Do you plan to purchase the X6000?” I am left trying to remember if the previous question was about televisions or motorcycles in hopes that X6000 will suddenly mean something.

    4) I can usually find survey jargon.  People don’t purchase, they buy. People don’t use gum, they chew gum. People don’t purchase the 75g bar soap package, they buy the two pack.

    Even if you much prefer DIY, I 100% believe that everyone needs a middle man. Whether that middle-man is a reputable survey company or another person in a completely different department, you absolutely must have fresh eyes. Fresh eyes find the annoying mistakes that you can no longer see because you’re tired of reading your survey. Fresh eyes find logic errors, spelling mistakes, and unclear questions. Market researchers will criticize far more harshly resulting in a far better survey, but fresh eyes of any sort are always in your favour.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter how much money you saved by going the DIY route if your survey results are useless.

    Links to the other 4 blogs coming shortly:

    Bernie Malinoff of element 54
    Joel Rubinson of the ARF
    Josh Mendelsohn of Chadwick Martin Bailey
    Brandon Bertelsen

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