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Quick Picks: Surveys, Social Media & Punditry

As we head into the long weekend, I have six items I wanted to post about and not enough time to do full blown posts for all of them. So, I hope you won't mind that I'm going to take four of those items and make four "mini posts" on surveys, social media, and punditry.

As we head into the long weekend, I have six items I wanted to post about and not enough time to do full blown posts for all of them if I still want to enjoy at least some of my long 4th of July weekend. So, I hope you won’t mind that I’m going to take four of those items and put them into this “odds & ends” post. They really do fit well together, so here are four “mini posts” on surveys, social media, and punditry.

A Survey on Surveys

Ray Poynter and NewMR have launched a study of what quantitative analysis techniques are used most within the market research industry. It’s an interesting survey on an aspect of our business that I have not seen a deep exploration of before and it’s well worth taking a few minutes to participate. here is how Ray described the initiative on The Future Place blog:

NewMR has launched a survey to look at what quant research techniques are in use. The results will be presented by Sue York at the NewMR Advanced Quant Event on July 14th and will be written up as a brief report, which will be published here and on the website.

To take part in the survey click HERE.

After you complete the survey you will be taken to a page with a link to the top-line results so far. At the moment the average time taken to complete the survey is 7 minutes.

The main purpose of the survey is to provide some feedback on what techniques are in heavy use, which in occasional, and which are truly specialised. We hope that this information will be helpful to people planning their career development. For example, all but the most determined qual researchers should look to be comfortable with the most frequently used techniques, anybody wanting to specialise on quant research should probably aim to be reasonably comfortable with the middle group, and only those with a passion or interest needs to feel that that should master the less commonly used techniques.

Take the survey; it’s interesting and will help shed some light on an aspect of our business that we don’t talk about nearly enough!

Influence and Buzz in Marketing Research

Tom Anderson has an interesting post on a recent analysis that Netbase did on brand perceptions of research organizations via social media data.  It’s interesting, and frankly somewhat surprising. Here is the chart showing their results:

My guess is that since most discussions of these brands occur behind the firewall of LinkedIn or proprietary communities this is comprised primarily of Twitter data and the frequency of mentions, combined with the sentiment analysis of each of those mentions, is what drove the analysis. I also suspect that many of those mentions are in reality hashtags, that frequency of mentions correspond to tweets related to events (driving the size of the bubble) and as such may not be quite as context specific as they could be in other forums. That is no fault of Netbase, it’s a reflection of the perils of Twitter as a primary driver of social media analysis. 

Here is an excerpt of Tom’s take:

Looking at the chart I’m really not sure what to make of it. I’m told by NetBase that this is Online buzz for the past 12 months. I realize everyone’s methodology is slightly different, but while some of this makes sense to me, some things definitely do not.

I suppose I’m not surprised to see MRA (Marketing Research Association) scoring so low on sentiment, after all they seem to have realized it themselves and are currently in a stage of rebranding with a new CEO and new logo etc. However their X-Axis “Passion intensity” makes little sense to me. I know for a fact some of the most interesting and passionate discussions related to marketing research have taken place because of the NGMR group, and yet we are furthest to the left.

Also, I didn’t realize the AMA (American Marketing Association) had so much buzz around them. I know they probably do have largest brick and mortar membership, and have done some interesting stuff lately with virtual conferences and new awards like the 4 under 40 marketing research leadership awards, but it was still surprising to me.

I was also a bit surprised to see IIR’s The Marketing Research Event (TMRE) so large and in the same spot as CASRO on the chart. It is afterall one, well maybe two (Tech Driven Marketing Research) events now.

This does create an interesting opportunity to look at applying social media analytics as a component of industry evaluation, which brings me to my third item.

It’s time to get GRITy again

The GreenBook Research Industry Trends Study is now a bi-annual initiative; we conduct it in the Summer and Winter each year, with each phase focusing on different topic areas and having a unique mission, while also tracking some key metrics across both iterations. We’re finalizing the new study design right now and will be launching the survey very soon; stay tuned! We’re also looking at combining a social media analysis portion with this phase to track “buzz topics”, meaning what MR-centric topics are being discussed most frequently within the industry social sphere and how do people view those topics. We’re experimenting with the idea right now, but I think it could yield some interesting results and we’re all looking forward to getting the new study underway shortly!

The plan is to have the report ready in time for the 2011 AMA Research and Strategy Summit, where I’ll be presenting on the results of the study and discussing the implications for the industry. It may be pushing it to have the report ready and published by then, but we’ll certainly have the data analyzed and be ready to share the  major findings at the conference.

Joining the Dots to See the Future

A few weeks ago I had the great honor to be interviewed by the good folks at Join The Dots as part of their re-branding launch. We spoke for about an hour on a wide ranging series of topics tied together with the general theme of my favorite topic: the future of market research. Graeme and Paul from Join the Dots were excellent interviewers and I had a lot of fun chatting with them about the current state of the industry and where we see things going over the next few years.   The interview is now up as part of a new post on the company blog. Here is an excerpt, including a link to play or download the file.

My presentation was a brief summary of why we’ve rebranded and our journey through the process. We included in the session some snippets of an interview with Lenny Murphy of Green Book Blog. Lenny is someone we have been monitoring, as we agree with much of his commentary and we like the slightly provocative nature of his discourse. The interview with Lenny was all around the future of research and views on where the industry is going – he offers some great thoughts over the course of the discussion and I’d recommend listening to it. As promised at the event the full audio of that interview is now available – click below to stream or download the file for a listen on your iPod:

If you’re REALLY bored or are having trouble sleeping then I recommend you listen to my punditry; it should help alleviate both of those situations!

That’s it for this post. I am working on a long delayed piece on one of the emerging innovative leaders in market research and another post on the shift towards big data and how some panel companies might be positioning themselves to leverage that trend. I hope to have those both posted by Friday, although I reserve the right to slack off a bit as we head into the long weekend here in the U.S. so don’t quote me on that schedule!


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