6 Ways to Boost Your Online Market Research

A hot topic in industry articles, white papers, and webinars today is conducting a strategic combination of quantitative and qualitative research online. While intimidating labels like multimethod research, hybrid approaches, mixed methods research, multimethodology, and even methodological pluralism (seriously?) may be flooding the airwaves, at its core the concept has always been a good one for online market research.

InsideHeads online satisfaction-scaleQuantitative studies require a significant sample size  and qualitative studies require a few who freely speak. While that fundamental difference may seem to put the quant and qual fields at odds, in practice the two have always been more complementary than contradictory.

Increasing the richness of the data you collect and the insights you can elicit is just one reason to create a healthy mix of quant and qual. And it need not be a double-whammy to your research budget. At InsideHeads we consider small budgets to be a healthy challenge!

Here are 6 simple, cost effective quant/qual add-ons to consider when designing your next market research study:

1. Give your screener a boostInsideHeads research screening questionnaire
While you have prospective recruits completing your online screening questionnaire, consider directing qualified respondents to complete additional questions for an added incentive prior to their selection for an interview. Not only is it a good way to further qualify recruits, you’ll also collect a sizeable amount of quantifiable information. The added incentive cost is a small price to pay for getting valuable data in advance of an in-depth interview (IDI) or online focus group.

2. Invite participants to engage in other waysteen_online
Working a multimedia reply into your online questionnaire is crazy simple. Regardless which platform you’re using to create your survey, consider branching respondents based on their answers to a page that instructs them to do something else that will bring clarity or depth to their answer. Ask respondents to call a designated phone number and leave a detailed audio explanation, or ask them to email a photo or video before continuing.  All viable requests you can layer into your survey and track files received by name, email, or a preassigned ID number.

3. Not all homework is bad InsideHeads-market-research-participant-responding
Converse to the idea of working qualitative responses into your quantitative study, consider incorporating activities before or after a single or group interview. Whether it’s a shopping assignment, a diary, collage, video request, or some other activity, research participants are quite good at meeting whatever expectations you set in the recruiting process. Pay recruits appropriately for any homework time and you’ll be pleased how much the added information will enrich your discussions.

4. Think ahead to future research effortsInsideHeads Online Marketing Research
Whether you’re running an online questionnaire or screener, it’s always a good idea at the end to ask respondents if they’re interested in participating in future research, should they not qualify for the study at hand. Having a list of willing and eligible partipants at the ready will prove handy the next time you have questions that need answering. Even a small sample size can offer valuable insights. More than once I’ve seen a website halt release of a feature based on a few usability studies done using a free screenshare platform.

5. Get a little socialInsideHeads-market-research-participant-activities
It’s difficult to ignore the impact the internet has had on our social lives. The sheer volume of information, valuable or not, is enough to make any budding Data Scientists drool. The good news is that you don’t need an expensive tool to find good stuff in this vast space. The key is to have a working knowledge of boolean search methods, and some insight into Google’s research gold mines, including public data, scholarly publications, and consumer surveys . Marketers are even using social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and others for crowdsourced feedback to burning questions.

6. Design before deviceIdentify-research-design-before-device
Probably the most important tip for saving money on your next research study and keeping your objective in clear sight is to design your study first before you pick a tool or platform. Begin with the desired end result and work backwards and you’ll not only understand the best path to success, you’ll also find the best device for the job. Always fabulous, sometimes even free!

InsideHeads logoFor more information on creative research approaches that deliver, contact the nice folks at InsideHeads.

To Glass or Not to Glass

Since launching Google Glass in April 2012, there has been much debate over the value and ethics of having a smartphone on your head.Google Glass user or Glasshole

The battle between the Glassed and the Glassless officially began in April 2013, when the Google goggles first landed in the hands of eager early adopters. Throughout the launch, Google had their marketing and PR departments in overdrive, coddling these new Glass “Explorers”.

Google Glass banned in some locationsAs non-users began encountering Explorers in real life, they began asking questions. Lots and lots of questions. A privacy debate like no other began to rage and Google even published an embarrassing list of Do’s and Don’ts for Glass wearers.  The Google guide dumbs it down to playtime rules at the park, actually espousing that Explorers not “be creepy or rude”.

Daily Show spoof on Google GlassWhile Google expanded Glass into the UK and Canada, an increasing number of developers began abandoning the Glass ship and the Glasshole sentiment began picking up some serious social media speed.

When Google announced the end of the Glass Explorer program earlier this year, it was a supposed regrouping to improve “appearance, price, and functionality.” Dare I say, I am Glassless for none of those reasons, but I digress.

Google’s spin on the shutdown? Glass has “graduated” from experimental to operational, and will now have its own department at the company.

jerry-seinfeld-wired-cover-google-glassEven at this early stage, I have to wonder if Google’s tireless marketing efforts to promote Glass as mainstream these past few years moved the needle of acceptance even a little. Google’s clever product placement on athletes, television, fashion shows, sporting events, and magazine covers – did it work?

Unfortunately, Jerry Seinfeld sporting Glass on the cover of Wired doesn’t change the fact that Google provides Glassholes a tacit method for covertly peering and recording a non-consenting audience.

Perhaps Google filed that problem under “functionality.”

March Madness Message to Marketers

Kingsford Charcoal burns the NCAA with #PayEd Campaign

Meet Ed O’Bannon, a talented college athlete whose likeness was used in a NCAA-licensed video game without his consent or compensation. Reports claim there are thousands” of student athletes in the same situation. None too pleased, Ed and others filed an antitrust class action lawsuit against the NCAA, challenging the organization’s use of images of former student athletes for commercial purposes. While the group recently won a landmark case last August, the NCAA appealed and litigation continues.

In all this brouhaha, one clever charcoal company fired off a brilliant David + Goliath like marketing campaign, positioning a brave and popular underdog against the big bad NCAA behemoth.

This month Kingsford Charcoal bags tout a picture of Ed O’Bannon and the company’s familiar tagline, with a searing twist:

“Lights 25% faster, doesn’t burn athletes.”

At the hub of the Kingsford Charcoal campaign is notably the hashtag #PayEd, which when tweeted on March 19th paid Ed O’Bannon $1 each time it was used.

I can’t help but consider the brilliance of this campaign. Clearly Kingsford is burning NCAA bridges, but their choice to ride the “right a wrong” rocket on social media during a month of madness is a keen one. And with #PayEd going viral and the limit set at $25,000, the cost of the promotion, including the new printing on all the bags, must have been… darn appealing, to say the least. All in all, a pretty clear smoke signal showing us the red hot marketing trends of tomorrow.

Decision is done. Take the cannoli.

Before you seal that deal, pop that proposal, or make that big career move, leave the cannoli until your task is done.

According to researchers, hunger is associated with advantageous decision making. Participants fasted overnight and in the morning, scientists served some of them breakfast, and others were forced to wait. All of the participants took the Iowa Gambling Task, a psychological test based on gambling that simulates real-life decision making. When the results were in, stomach rumblers performed better overall. You can even take the test yourself, because there’s an app for that.

See our ad in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review

See our ad in Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.

Congratulations! You are both curious and attentive, and for that you shall be rewarded.

A surprise gift has your name on it, where shall we send it?

See our ad in QRCA Views

InsideHeads ad in QRCA Views
InsideHeads is proud to advertise in QRCA Views.