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What’s Trending on #MRX? Jeffery Henning’s #MRX Top 10 – June 10, 2011


Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to welcome Jeffrey Henning to our stellar lineup of GreenBook Blog contributing authors! Jeffrey is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential thought leaders in market research and one of the most read bloggers in the industry. It is an honor to have him join us. Jeffrey will be doing a special bi-weekly Twitter #MRX wrap-up of the top 10 most popular links shared within the research community over the past two weeks. Here is the first one. Enjoy!

By Jeffrey Henning, CMO of Affinnova

Been too busy to keep up with the research news your colleagues are sharing on Twitter? Of the 1,577 unique links shared on the Twitter #MRX community this past two weeks, here are ten of the most popular:

  1. Ipsos in Talks to Buy Synovate – Synovate, one of the research industry’s largest firms, with 6,000 staff in 64 countries, may be purchased by Ipsos. MRWeb reports, “The Board of Aegis Group has confirmed that it is in talks with Ipsos about the possible sale of its market research arm Synovate. Analysts suggest a price of around £500m and the combination would create the world’s fourth largest research agency.” Robert Bain of Research magazine has additional coverage: Ipsos in talks about buying Synovate and First impressions of a possible Ipsos-Synovate deal.
  2. The New Face of Marketing Research Intelligence – As covered earlier on this blog, Tom H.C. Anderson recaps the comments he made in a panel discussion at the annual MRIA conference, held this year in British Columbia. Tom has never been accused of being a shrinking violet, and in his remarks he shares his candid views of issues facing the market research industry. He touches on how client needs are changing and what this means for the relevance of MR companies in the future: “Many understand that over half of the ‘research’ firms out there won’t be around 5-10 years from now.” Tom shares some of his plans to make sure that Anderson Analytics doesn’t end up as “roadkill” on the information highway.
  3. Write here, write now – Paul Golden investigates text analytics and sentiment analysis for Research magazine, reporting on a comprehensive series of interviews he conducted. For those researchers who fear text analytics, Seth Grimes and I argue that in fact it is creating new opportunities for researchers: “Grimes and Henning agree that a hybrid approach is the way forward. Machines can be used for their speed, reach, scalability and consistency, but people are needed to train, guide and oversee automated systems and interpret findings.”
  4. Focus Groups That Look Like Play Groups – Because focus groups still represent the majority of revenue for qualitative research, they are a ripe target for research innovators. To paraphrase Beth Karawan Craig (@bhk), everyone wants to re-invent the focus group. Tanzina Vega of The New York Times discusses four companies who want you to forget focus groups: Spark with its “Sensory Safari”, Young & Laramore with IDIs (In-Depth Interviews), Egg Strategy with cellphone apps and Ogilvy & Mather with Facebook focus groups.
  5. Can There Be Device-Agnostic Research? – Reineke Reitsma, the vice president at Forrester who serves customer insight professionals, asked members of her online community, “Should research be device-agnostic?” The response was unanimous: “Yes!” But, she wondered, can it actually be device-agnostic?  Will mode effects make it difficult to compare the results of a survey that some respondents took on cellphones, some on tablets and some on PCs? Should surveys be shortened for delivery on mobile platforms? How much control will respondents exert?
  6. Ipsos audience measurement chief emphasises partnership and pragmatism – Lorraine Hadfield, the new president of the audience measurement division of Ipsos OTX MediaCT, welcomes partnership opportunities with other media research providers to develop new research solutions. Back to Tom’s view that half the research firms will be out of business in a decade. While that seems too pessimistic to me, it is clear that those who do survive will adapt themselves to the rise of these new sources of data.
  7. Writing on the Wall – How Will Research Add Value in Future? – Edward Appleton analyzes the impact of Do-It-Yourself research on the market research industry. “Is DIY dangerous, a fundamentally bad thing? No, I don’t think so – it’s just telling us that there is a pent-up demand for more research, done more cheaply and with quicker access (24/7) to ‘initial findings’.”
  8. Text Analytics Perspectives Survey – Seth Grimes of Alta Plana invites users and prospective users of text analytics, as well as integrators and consultants, to share their point of view on content analytics. He will release a free report based on the results. You can take the survey here.
  9. Other Types of Social Media Research – Ray Poynter completes his overview of types of social media research – having previously covered MROCs, community panels and brand and organic communities – with a review of netnography, smartphone augmented research, network analysis, social media sample and research into social media usage itself.
  10. Can we really do two things at once? Reg Baker of Market Strategies International reminds us of the cognitive burden we place on survey respondents and asks whether we really want to interview them while they are distracted or while we ourselves are distracting them.

Still not on Twitter? Lurk on the #MRX community for a while to see what it’s all about.


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