Tag Archives: MRIA2011

Pettit: Survey + Cell + SMR #MRIA2011

Welcome to the virtual MRIA 2011 annual conference! This post reflects my personal musings and interpretations of MY presentation. It was NOT written during the presentation though it WAS posted minutes afterward. Any inaccuracies and silliness are my own.


Side by Side by Side: The Survey, Cell, SMR Study You’ve Been Waiting For Annie Pettit, Phd, Chief Research Officer Conversition Strategies

  • There is no such thing as a perfect market research method. Every method has strengths and weaknesses, pros and cons.
  • Survey research is great for generating census representative generalizations as well as frequencies and counting.
  • Surveys are limited in terms of the number of topics that can be covered in one survey before generating fatigue and annoyance.
  • Text message surveys are great for generating live in the moment data when people aren’t sitting at home relaxing or at work stressing.
  • But text surveys are short and sweet and don’t leave much room for details or explanations.
  • Social media research is great for learning about hundreds or thousands of topics from thousands and millions of people.
  • But social media research doesn’t have census rep precision.
  • Take the census rep precision of surveys, join it with the live experience of the text survey, and fill out the entire experience with social media research.
  • The best research project ignores methodology and focuses purely on research objectives. The right method will reveal itself then.
  • No nanaimo bars were handed out during the presentation though a few prizes were. Perhaps you should have come. :)

Kees de Jong: Panels are People #MRIA2011

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.


Keynote Speaker:  Kees de Jong, CEO Survey Sampling Int. “Panels are people?”

  • Everyone is having trouble keeping up with the quality of presentations. Kees is up for the challenge!
  • Kees suggests maybe panels are heading for extinction. If you put all your information – join rates, attrition rates, response rates -  into Excel, you get a decreasing line. Panels are sick, hurt. Only good thing about panels is the community based panel. Panels are from the past, we don’t want to think about it, people are dropping out, hard to maintain.
  • 8 dimensions of why panels are in bad shape.
  • Business/Money:  Panels were just a big database and money came out of it. 13euros per complete 10 years ago. That was attractive at the time. Recently, the price dropped to a couple dollars because of competition. Enormous focus on the monetary component. Panel buying belongs to the procurement department who just cares about price, not quality.
  • Quality: Are panels in bad shape because of quality issues?  Topic of probability samples has just arrived. :)  Netherlands did a study of 29 panels. RR had no effect on data quality. Discovery of multiple panel membership was a shock. Ocean for fishing was smaller than they thought. Inattentiveness and professional respondents became new terms. Kim Dedecker now mentioned. :)  US over-reacted and everyone jumped on this, not because intrinsically motivated, but because the woman with the wallet had spoken. And then tech companies tried to jump in.
  • Discussions were from the wrong perspective. Whatever you focus on grows. If you focus on bad respondents, then bad respondents grow. We badmouth the millions of people doing the right thing and helping the industry.
    Care: Will panels be extinct because we didn’t care enough? Panelists are most annoyed when they are invited to a survey and then they get screened out, or they screen out after a few questions. Or, when you’re english and get a german invite, etc. Broken links and sloppy work all show a lack of caring. we should have protected them better.
  • Experience: The survey itself. Robert Bain felt the environment of surveys was clunky and disrespectful to panelists. Survey length is key, critical thing. Give people short surveys. It’s very simple. Did a study of 29 companies in Netherlands. Response rate had no issue. After 17 mintues, data quality decreased. We must decrease the length of surveys.
  • Rewards: We need to understand what drives people. Points, money, it’s different for everyone.
  • Are we headed for extinction? Maybe. Ten years ago, there was nothing else online but surveys. Surveys were fun. Now, the world has changed. Competition for attention is exploded. There are still people who love to take surveys but outside that group, it’s hard to get people engaged. We should worry about this.
  • How do we solve this? We innovate. Not just technology but changing how we think and deal with issues.
  • What if there are inmates in a prison taking surveys to make money for the prison? Scary! Technology takes care of that. Phew!
  • There is no standard for validation even if some companies claim they have THE standard.
  • New council RVC, Research Validation Council, for standards of practice to rate respondents and surveys, to be officially announced next week. We need some standardization. Has support from ESOMAR and CASRO.
  • Rethink, redesign, rewrite surveys to get them shorter and better. Don’t screen people out! Route them to a secondary survey. This is the right solution.
  • Last advice: EVERYONE should take their own survey. Why such long attribute lists? That’s not how humans work. And certainly not 20 grids for 20 brands. Stick to one topic. Teach clients that data quality decreases after 17  minutes. Rethink what you do with data. We are used to thinking records but maybe we should start thinking datapoint – not one 40 minute surveys but two 20 minute surveys or four 10 minute surveys. Increase the price of long surveys. Reward people who create great surveys.
  • We focus on people who want to be in panels and this group is getting more and more skewed everyday. Normal aren’t on panels. Solution is not to focus on these people but on innovation. Focus on the billion people who are not on panels. Make the person, topic, and sender relevant. (Notice he didn’t say incentive.) Create dozens of environments so people will answer surveys in a relevant space.
  • Social media and panels are different people. Sample from everywhere not just your panel, blend sample, but make sure your sampling stream is balanced.
  • Holy grail is sample widest range of people based on location, behaviour, and regardless of modality – mobile, inbox, facebook, fully mixed mode.

Finn Raben: Privacy and Ethics Panel #MRIA2011

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.


Plenary Panel: Hot issues – privacy and ethics in the age of social media and digital everything

With David Stark (GfK), Brian Bowman (MRIA legal counsel) and Patrick Glaser (MRA). Moderated by Finn Raben, Director General: Esomar

  • This was a GREAT session. Do read carefully and follow up with the panel yourself.
  • Finn – The game is now changing and so are the rules. He introduced the superstars who will put the sex back into research.
  • David – Social media listening and webscraping. Two main legal considerations – privacy and intellectual property. Canada must consider Canada’s PIPEDA act. Privacy Commissioner questions the view that information that is ‘out there’ is available for any kind of use. Does not mean it can be used for any purpose.
  • What is public information? PIPIDA says public information is very narrow, contact information appearing in telephone books, business directories, magazines or books where individuals has provided the info. Is social media a publication? Letter of law says open web without notice or consent is unlawful. Perhaps PIPEDA just needs to be brought up to date and modernized. Need a broader definition of public information. We need the Kerry-McCain view of web data mining – widely, publicly available information where there is no access restrictions. Creating a false ID to login for research purposes is still inappropriate and wrong. Encourage privacy by design – screen out usernames.
  • Brian – Where is the privacy line? Walking on the sidewalk? Walking on your lawn? Standing in your living room window where people can see you? Should you have privacy walking into a medical clinic? Walking into an adult entertainment store? (Finn – reminds us about putting the sex back into research.)
  • Patrick – Behavioral tracking. Watching where a person clicks as they go from website to unrelated website.  What if people searching for cancer information are charged higher insurance rates? Privacy advocates know this issue is here to stay.  Market researchers have an extremely minimal voice related to tracking. Consumers and corporation and business groups have many more voices. (mmmm discussions of cookies) Cookies were created for privacy, passwords, permissions so they are a good thing. But we need a window of acceptance for this newer behaviour. Public is becoming more aware of trade-offs.  You can download tracking prevention software but this may backfire when websites refuse free use of their site unless you permit tracking.
  • Brian – Device IDs. Is this “personal information?”  He is concerned that market researchers are starting to sound like lawyers. :)  IP addresses have been deemed personally identifiable and therefore has obligations.
  • David – Researchers must explain and let survey panel members know they use digital fingerprinting. Some companies don’t want to say so that fraudsters can’t defeat the technology. It needn’t be lots of detail though. Privacy polices need to be simple.
  • Brian – Do you REALLY need to collect all of that data? Will you use all of it to create a unique machine ID? Limit use of data to what you told the person you were going to use it for. Is use of this technology reasonable? Reasonable depends on the circumstances and differs by person and may not work in current framework.
  • David – He paid for the use of the Dilbert cartoons. (That’s why I admire David.)  Do panel members need meta data in photos, including the lat and long? Google and Apple were under fire for sharing information without permission, let’s not do the same.  MAKE YOUR POLICIES SIMPLE particularly when people try to read it on their phone. Address the fees for participating in SMS research up front.
  • Finn – 4.8 billion people have a mobile phone. 1.8 billion have internet.15% of US males admitted to interrupting sex to answer a mobile phone. (More sex talk from Finn, he’s on a role).
  • Brian – 1) privacy advocates, don’t do surveys, don’t answer phone, hostile 2) privacy pragmatists, generally participate, 3) couldn’t’ care less, take pictures with geoloc that say I’m not home, rob me now.  Most people are pragmatists. Teenagers expect companies to comply with legislation more than ever before. Head in the sand is at your own peril, it will affect their businesses.
  • Patrick – Privacy laws develop out of necessity. Cheapness of storage, processing power, speed of transmission, these three things have changed tremendously in recent years.  Foundation is notice and choice. Offer transparency or you will be steamrolled.
  • David – Keep research and marketing separate. Tweeting and engaging is small scale social media research.
  • Brian – Finishes up with a sex comment – Airport security can take naked pictures of us but they have created privacy around the process. It’s invasive but they created privacy by design.
  • Finn – ESOMAR guidelines will be out in a couple weeks. This is not a forecast of doom and gloom. We don’t always know where the line is. We try to say “it wasn’t me” but one person impacts the entire industry. There is a panel in India where people must pay to join?!?!?! Some people are thinking the research industry is a scam because of that. Always ask questions.

John Furlong: VANOC CEO “The Vision That Changed a Nation” #MRIA2011

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.


Opening Keynote Speaker: John Furlong, VANOC CEO, “The Vision That Changed a Nation”

  • What was the vision for the Vancouver olympics? It needed to be new,  different, special: About people, about the country, something Canadians could do together. We need to matter to everyone, need to make this about this people in our country. Take the Olympic spirit to the front door of every home in the country. The hiring committee loved the vision but didn’t think John could pull it off. (I’m pretty sure he did.)
  • They tested absolutely everything: uniforms, mittens, music, tagline, colours. (I still don’t have the mittens!) The research team told them things they didn’t want to hear but they knew they had to hear it.
  • Research said that the mountain would have snow as it has for the last 100 years. Hm… wait… no…. it didn’t. But hey, anyone can do the winter Olympics with snow. Try doing it without! They trucked in snow from 110 km away in temperatures of 15 degrees Celsius because the snow they did have was the wrong kind of snow. What the?!
  • Do what’s right, every time, no matter what, whether in front or behind of a camera. Value and principles can cost a lot of money but it’s worth it. Never quit on your core set of values. Stick to your vision.
  • Toughest decision on opening day: What tie to wear. And then the horrible accident occurred. The death of the luger was like hearing that his own son had been killed. Canada won its first medal and a grim funeral was underway.
  • Stand up and lead your team now. John traveled to every venue, tried to thank every volunteer, gave them permission to come out of a slump and give their best.  Do people care if the bus is on time, the tech is perfect? People care about the athletes, the people. That brought the goal of “Own the Podium
  • We must execute the gold winning game to be the winningest country. The new Canadian “wave “occurred when everyone, even the prime minister, slapped their hands to their face when the gold medal hockey game tied up. This is when the vision had been realized – every Canadian was on the ice with that team. This was bigger than hockey. This was the hopes and dreams of the country.
  • What was the real lesson? Have a vision, believe in something, have something that fills your life up and makes you want to be the best you can be.
  • Another lesson: At the darkest moments, have the courage to get up and put everything on the line. Risk failure in order to be great.
  • Final lesson: Never surrender your integrity to anyone for any reason. Try to do good things every single day. Everyone makes mistakes, just don’t repeat them.

Vancouver 2010: John Furlong, VANOC CEO, Global TV Interview

Speed Networking + Reception + Dinner #MRIA2011

Oh, happy day!

Here are two important reminders for speednetworking.
1) When the organizers give you a survey so they can match you up with good candidates, answer the survey. (Bad annie!)
2) Bring your business cards. (Good annie!)

Tonight was our first glimpse of the trade show. The squishee giraffes by GFK are very cute. The rock candy from SSI looks yum yum. The bacon wrapped beef at the reception needs no further description than bacon.

And top it all off with dinner for the Research Now team and some of their guests. We took over an entire restaurant and ate the yummiest of treats! As I said earlier, you should have come!

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This is what research heaven is #MRIA2011 #MRX

I’ve been in Kelowna for barely an hour and already I’m at home. I kicked off my shoes, walked barefoot across boardswalks and beaches, and stared in admiration at swallows buzzing my head, gigantic osprey, and an abundance of birds I don’t recognize in the sanctuary. I’m pretty sure this is what my heaven will be!

And now, off to speed networking!

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Annie Pettit, Chief #MRIA2011 Blogger

Are you excited about the upcoming MRIA annual conference? I am! In just ten days, market researchers from all across Canada, and around the world, will converge on Kelowna, British Columbia to learn, meet, and greet their colleagues. And not only will I present a session on Cell + Survey + SMR Mashups on behalf of Conversition Strategies and Research Now, I have also been appointed by the MRIA as the Chief Blogger of the 2011 conference.

What does that mean? It means I’ll be live blogging every session I attend so that you can hear the main points of each speaker within minutes of the conclusion of each talk. I’ll blog lunch and dinner, as well as the tradeshow, the events, and the hotel. If they serve creme brulee you’ll be among the first to know this essential information. Have a story you’d like me to cover? Tweet or email me and let me know!

I will be paid well for my efforts so don’t worry. I’ll be the first person in line at lunch as well as the person budding ahead of you to take the last pretzel from the snack table.

But, alas, I’m just one person and can’t possibly cover all of the events. That’s where my fellow attendees come in. Raise your hand if you intend to do a little bit of conference blogging yourself. Leave a quick comment below and let’s chat about how we can cover more ground together.

Hopefully, we’ll do a good enough job so that those of you who couldn’t attend just might feel like you’re at the conference in person. And perhaps next year, you’ll have the factual evidence required to convince your boss to let you go.

Also see
Conference News: Vineyards, BodyBOOST
Speaker profiles: Angus Reid, David Stark, Finn Raben, Kristin Luck
Conference events: Speed networking, Cocktail reception, French Funky and Fruity

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