Download the
Join VisionCritical and Forrester's webinar exploring the playbook of insight-driven business on April 4

Mental Spring Cleaning

One of the biggest challenges for me as a blogger is finding the time to write about every idea or news item that catches my eye. There is so much great information being generated and disseminated out there that it can be a real challenge just to keep up with it all! One way I’ve dealt with this cornucopia of content is that I’ve gotten in the habit of tweeting things that come up and my feed serves as a reference source for me for new posts or content that I think deserves a bit more attention than 140 characters allow! If you’re interested in following that stream you can find me (as well as a host of wonderful colleagues) on Twitter. My personal username is under @lennyism.

Unfortunately, all of that content builds up and I have to do some “spring cleaning” to make room in my mind for new stuff. That is what this post is all about; I am cleaning up some of the great stuff that I’ve been collecting to hopefully serve as the foundation of a post itself, but instead has been sitting on my mental shelf. Well, it’s not doing anyone any good sitting up there, so it’s time to clear it out. This post is the blogging equivalent of a yard sale. There is a lot of great stuff here, slightly used but lovingly maintained. I hope you find something that you’ll find useful as you rummage around!

In no particular order, here are some things that I think you’ll find interesting…

First, Prashant Hari follows up his previous post re:Mingleverse with a bit more information. I’ve become a fan of this platform as well and like Prashant, see immense possibilities for it as a tool within the online Qualitative space. Here’s a bit on what Prashant found out:

Today I had the pleasure of talking to Daniel Ruscigno (virtually in a Mingleroom of course) who is one of the key people at Mingleverse (thanks for your time Dan) and it seems like there’s a lot of innovation happening in this space.

When I first blogged about Mingleverse from a Market Research POV, I said it had a lot of potential for Online Virtual Focus Groups, and surprisingly this is one of the areas that there has been traction on. The ability to have a group of people log-in virtually (once they have been authenticated and recruited like for ANY qual project), talk (voice), share (Slideshow’s, videos, images, documents, webcam chat, text chat etc etc) as well as collaborate together is immense and Mingleverse has the potential to host a live virtual focus group. At this stage, the ability to “record” the room/group isn’t available though there are plenty of third party application which will allow you to record your screen (alternatively Mingleverse are looking to add this in the future).

Tools like Mingleverse could go far in increasing respondent engagement and helping to form a new foundation for new research techniques. I’ll look forward to seeing someone try this out soon!

NewMR: Charting the course on the Future of Market Research

Speaking of increasing respondent engagement, the Gaming & NewMR virtual event was held last week and it was quite the showcase for innovative thinking about how various aspects of online gaming can be applied to the market research process. The Event had eight great speakers, each of whom added a different perspective to the discussion. In order to make the Event as broad as possible and to maximize questions from the attendees presenters were limited to just ten minutes each, allowing plenty of time for people to ask their questions.

The line-up was truly stellar and I was fortunate enough to have been included. We also had a special guest during my presentation: Archie Murphy, my Golden Retriever/lab mix. Archie was recuperating from surgery in my office during my presentation and he picked that moment to begin barking at something only his doggie senses could pick up, thus ensuring that he and I provided more comic relief than anything else!

Click each name to view the presentations; they are really well done!

  • Erica Ruyle“Play for a High Score”
  • Stefania Gogna, Head For Brand – “Game On! A new way to get Insight”
  • Betty Adamou, Nebu – “Research Through Gaming…One day, Maybe”
  • Jon Puleston, GMI – “Game Theory – Turning online surveys into games”
  • Arthur Fletcher, Blauw Research – “Let’s all play the game”
  • Nigel Legg – “Identity, Trust, Reach & Reward: the Evans Finch Social Media Challenges”
  • Leonard Murphy, Brandscan 360 – “Mobile Social Games for Market Research”
  • Jeffrey Henning, Vovici – “Prediction Markets as Research Games”

Of course, we have Ray Poynter to thank for organizing the NewMR initiative, as well as for being a true thought leader and advocate for the MR industry. Last week John Kearon, another star of the global MR industry interviewed Ray as part of the new BrainJuicer webinar series. They discussed the future of market research and as usual, I think Ray is pretty much spot on regarding where we’re headed. Here is the interview; check it out!

Call for Presenters for The Market Research Event

On the topic of the future of the industry, the IIR Market Research Event is calling for client-side presenters for this year’s conference.

TMRE is seeking client side executives to join the speaker faculty. Speakers can come from any department within the organization. Content must be original and not have already been presented at this or any other industry conference.

In 2010, TMRE drew close to 1000 participants with more than 60% representing client side companies from all major industries including: CPG, Media & Entertainment, Finance & Insurance, Travel & Tourism, Durable Goods, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Retail, Energy & Utilities, Telecommunications, Technology, & Automotive and more.

TMRE is the premiere event in market research; if you are a client side researcher that wants to help the industry move forward, I heartily recommend that you throw your hat in the ring as a presenter!

Social Media in Research Study: is the research industry lagging behind?

In August 2010, Face began the Social Media in Research Project (SMinR) exploring how researchers are using social media.The results of the study and their analysis have been posted on their blog, but below are a few highlights. It’s great reading, and fires a shot across the bow for the entire industry regarding our understanding and uses of social media. We have some work to do folks!

If we view research as a conduit to greater consumer understanding, it is going to become increasingly important that researchers develop a deep understanding of the social media environment we are immersing ourselves in. This project is the first step in looking at where the research industry is in terms of that understanding.

The SMinR project started by analyzing 345,819 tweets posted by 3500 researchers on Twitter over a 1 month period using Face’s social media research tool, Pulsar. In addition the project also reached out to the research industry on-line to take part in a short survey. 530 people from the industry answered the survey and whilst no specific quotas were set for the sample, we closely monitored respondent demographics in order to ensure a spread of ages, geographical location and gender.

Project highlights:

1) It’s still not used much to answer research briefs
Only 5% of those surveyed are currently using social media monitoring tools to answer research briefs. This low level of adoption by the industry implies that social media as a source of consumer insight is still in its infancy. And this is a sample that’s mostly been recruited through social media.

2) It’s mostly used as a business intelligence tool rather than a consumer insight tool
The primary use of social media for researchers is cited as professional networking and content sharing, mostly blog posts from the industry. This raises the question: to what extent is social media viewed as a business intelligence tool versus a consumer insight tool?

3) It’s seen as being defined by platforms
For the vast majority, social media is defined by platforms, with Facebook and Twitter being the top topics discussed.

4) Researchers still aren’t immersed in it
Alongside the fact that 40% of participants indicated they spend less than one hour per day using social media, this implies that social media is still viewed by many as an application rather than as an immersive environment that is reshaping our professional and personal lives. This means that as an industry we’re not yet living and breathing social media, which makes it difficult to embed it as an integral part of the research process.

5) US based researchers are leading the conversation
By looking at the most influential researchers on Twitter it’s clear that the US is still leading the conversation, sourcing 18 of the 27 influencers.However, the engagement levels of the most influential researchers are still quite far from the engagement levels of influencers in other industries, such as advertising.

These findings indicate that the research industry is still only on the start of the journey when it comes to the use of social media. For an industry that is focused on working out what lies ahead, it appears we may be behind the curve in this instance. It will be interesting to see if this continues to be the case over the next few years as we carry out the Social Media in Research study on an annual basis.

More on this:

Social Media in Research Study #2: most engaging researchers on Twitter
Social Media in Research Study #3: “What are the key benefits of using social media in research?”
Social Media in Research Study #4: conversations mostly about… ehm… social media itself

Further learnings from the study can also be found at

HSN uses Crowdsourcing for Innovation

HSN has come up with an amazing way to use crowdsourcing to drive innovation and engage consumers. They have partnered with a firm called Quirky to actually solicit product ideas from consumers and use a crowdsourcing model to work to develop them. This type of interactive ideation and and problem solving is a great model for research suppliers to to emulate; imagine the applications for package design, product testing, etc… ! Unfortunately, I think it may take a while for more researchers to embrace this new paradigm, although it is happening slowly but surely!

Here are some more details from Mashable:

HSN recently launched a partnership with Quirky, a social product development company that uses crowdsourcing to bring new products to life. Each week, it engages its online community to collaborate on all aspects of product design and development — from ideation all the way to packaging.  On January 29, Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman will be featured on HSN to sell the tech gadgets crowdsourced into creation by Quirky’s community. HSN is taking the partnership a step further by offering all would-be entrepreneurs the opportunity to submit their product ideas for consideration on HSN’s product submission page, and Quirky is running co-branded product creation competition with HSN on its blog.

Quora: Crowdsourcing, Wkis, and Social Networks Merge

Over the weekend I finally succumbed to the buzz around Quora, and I was impressed. This model of open-sourced collaborative knowledge sharing is pretty darn cool, and based on the quality of participation I saw I think there is a significant opportunity for this approach to grow. Not only is it a  great way to share information socially, but I could easily imagine there being applications for market research both as a secondary research tool and also as a means to engage thought leaders and subject matter experts in research initiatives.

Check out the Market Research topic area and see what you think.

Here is more about Quora from their site:

Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.

One way you can think of it is as a cache for the research that people do looking things up on the web and asking other people. Eventually, when you see a link to a question page on Quora, your feeling should be: “Oh, great! That’s going to have all the information I want about that.” It’s also a place where new stuff–that no one has written about yet–can get pulled onto the web.

Interviews with Presenters at TDMR

As we ramp up for the Technology Driven Market Research Event in May, we’re partnering with the IIR to do a series of interviews with each presenter. This list is a Who’s Who of leaders in market research, all of whom are pushing the boundaries of what market research is, what it can do, and how it can deliver real impact.

The plan will be to do one or two interviews a week and we’ll post each interview here and on the IIR blog site.

Here is the list of presenters that we’ll be talking to:

  • Joseph Carrabis, Chief Research Scientist & Founder, Next Stage Evolution
  • Frank Della Rosa, Managing Director, Symphonetic Insight
  • Chris Hobson, Chief Operating Officer, Txteagle
  • Vivek Bhaskaran, President & CEO, Survey Analytics
  • Kevin Lonnie, President, KL Communications
  • Jim Schwab, SVP North America, OnePoint Mobile Surveys
  • Sean Conry, VP, Business Development, Techneos Systems
  • Jonathan Spier, CEO & Co-Founder, NetBase Solutions
  • Scott Centurino, CEO, Crimson Hexagon
  • Damon Ragusa, President & CEO, ThinkVine
  • Merrill Dubrow, President & CEO, M/A/R/C Research
  • Guy Powell, President, DemandROMI Inc.
  • Warren Sukernek, Senior Director of Social Media Services, Alterian
  • Tom Anderson, Founder & Managing Partner, Anderson Analytics
  • Jeff Esposito, Public Relations Manager,Vista print
  • David Dalka, Business Strategy Expert
  • John Williamson, CEO & Founder, Qualvu
  • Greg Heist, Vice President, Research Innovation & Technology, Gongos Research
  • John Fair, VP. Client Management, Affinova
  • Robert Moran, Strategyone
  • John Dick, Founder & CEO, CivicScience Inc.
  • David Howlett, Senior Director—Consumer Insights and Strategy, J.D. Power & Associates
  • Dr. A.K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, Neurofocus Inc.
  • Dr. William MacElroy, Chairman, Socratic Technologies , Inc.

  • Olga Patel, Associate Director, Nestle
  • Sanja Licina, Senior Director, Talent Intelligence & Consulting, Careerbuilder
  • Colin Moffett, Senior Vice President, Social Impact Strategies, Weber Shandwick Digital Communications
  • Kevin Keeker, Senior User Researcher, Zynga
  • Lisa Kim, Consumer Insights, Product Innovation Team, Samsung Electronics
  • Frank Cotignola, Consumer Insights Manager,CIS Center of Excellence, Knowledge Management, Kraft Foods
  • Charlie Rader, Digital Insights Tools Leader, Procter & Gamble
  • Joyce Salisbury, Senior Manager, Global Market Research – New Methods, General Motors
  • Kelley Peters, Sr. Director Integrated Insights & Strategy, Post Foods
  • Mike Klein, Segment Insights Mgr, Sales Analytics & Insights, Post Foods
  • David Bernstein, CustomResearch Manager, Sam’s club

Feel free to send me suggested questions via the comments section below!

GRIT Update Top 30 most Innovative Companies

The team is hard at work on analyzing the results of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Study for Fall/Winter 2010. The data is rich and chock full of great information that paints an interesting picture of where we are and where we are going as an industry.

One of the topic areas we explored was which companies are considered the most innovative within the market research industry. The response was spectacular, with over 400 companies submitted. We’ve boiled it down to any firm that received at least 7 mentions and have developed a list of the Top 30 Most Innovative Companies. I won’t give away the surprise of who made it, but here are  few clues:

  • The #1 Most Innovative Company had 60 mentions; number 2 had 32
  • Although there are many of the Honomichl listed, there are also several firms that are smaller in size
  • Firms that are known for MROCs, Mobile, Virtual Qual, Neuromarketing, Text Analytics, and Social Media all make appearances on the list
  • Many of the firms have been mentioned previously here on the GreenBook blog, but others were complete surprises to me

The full report will be out in February and we’ll be including in-depth profiles of each of the Top 30 firms as an addendum, as well as analysis by Client vs. Supplier respondents, company size, and home country. Of course there will be a lot more in the report regarding current trends, the state of the industry from a financial perspective, views on future growth projections, technology utilization and adoption, and much more.

So there we go; I’ve cleaned out all of the useful stuff that was sitting there waiting to be shared. I hope you found something useful in all of that; hanks for taking the time to rummage around!

Please share...

Join the conversation