Cell Phones + Toilets

More people have cell phones than toilets, revealing a true shift in priorities and a serious need to get areas in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa plumbed.

While there’s no exact number to rely on, it is estimated that nearly 8 billion (7.9) people have a mobile phone.

A number that seems large, until you realize it’s huge when you learn there are just 8.1 billion humans on the entire planet.

Take that statistic and throw it against the fact that across the world, 1.5 billion people still do not have access to a toilet.

So, on any given day, more than 18% of people (nearly 1 out of 5) don’t have a toilet to sit on while using their phone.

What does this say about humanity?

Super Bowl Solar Surprise

Go Chiefs! And go Usher! Super Bowl 58 did not disappoint.

Perhaps you pondered where all the electricity for the whole endeavor was coming from. 621,000 solar panels, to be exact. And that’s a number Las Vegas can take to the bank. With over 300 sunny days per year, the area is prime for receiving and storing solar energy.

And the high environment score isn’t all passive. Allegiant Stadium team members actively collect all the used rubber pellets from the turf for recycling. Tiny bits add up to more than 46 tons of rubber since counting began. The smell must be serious.

Score one for Mother Nature!

Take Note

Do you have notes everywhere? Sticky notes? Napkin scribbles? Thoughts to remember? It’s OK. Really.

If you’re one of those people who writes notes by hand, technology is here to help. You can continue to jot down ideas that are then digitized into typed, searchable form.

Moleskin & Neo Smartpen use their own special pen and paper to digitize your handwritten notes.

Wacom Smartpad and Bamboo Slate digitize your writing and doodles using a highly sensitive tablet on which any kind of paper or pen can be used.

Livescribe uses a special pen to digitize both your vocalized and handwritten notes.

Evernote and One Note are platforms that can convert written words inside to text, which covers everything from written notes to typed documents to wine labels – whatever printed items you want to easily recall at a future time.

How do you decide which tools, if any, to buy?

More Tips & Joy

Boost Attendance

As a researcher, I conduct a lot of interviews. Some are one-on-one, or “individual” and others are in groups. Some interviews use video, some use audio, and others are group text chats with or without a visual component. Regardless of the means of communication, all human research has the same challenge: recruiting.

Filtering, validating, and setting expectations for the right people is THE most important part of any research study. That’s true whether you’re seeing them in-person or working with them online.

The final chapter to recruiting is go time – the reason you paid a recruiter in the first place. Your participants need to show up!

So what will help make that happen? As a marketing researcher who has been working online since 1996, I’ve relied on these tips that have stood the test of time:

  1. A thoughtful + clear agenda with time commitments everyone sticks to
  2. Manageable objectives, only bite what team members can chew.
  3. Short meeting time commitments. Keep it simple + such.
  4. Start on the half hour. More people will show. It’s weird.

CNBC reported that researchers at YouCanBook.Me revealed the best time and day to have a meeting, and the results are sort of surprising. It’s obviously not Monday or Friday, I can tell you that from personal experience.

Reporter Logan Hailey offers some tips to run a highly effective meeting, all good ideas. Especially now, with the massive increase in virtual meetings and uncomfortable Zoom waves. Zoom themselves has some meeting tips for their own platform, and there are dozens of other means to connect that may suit you, including GoTo/Join.me, WebEx, GoogleMeet, FaceTime and more.

More Tips & Joy

Tell Me Three Things

A respected and beloved colleague in marketing research, Jeff Walkowski, recently published a book, Mr. Online’s Playbook, full of suggestions for better interviewing when you’re not in-person. Available on Amazon, a great buy. Happy new year to you, you deserve it.

I opened my cherished copy and randomly flipped to page 99. Not surprisingly, I found myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Tip E-30, where Jeff explains how to encourage participants to respond more in a bulletin board (asynchronous) environment. His tip, and I’m paraphrasing, is to specifically request the amount of response you’re seeking by literally asking for X# of reasons detailed, or Y# ideas explained, rather than “Why did you like or not like it” or “What else can you think of”. As a moderator of bulletin boards, I can assure you, probing is painfully required in order to get participants talking, so this tip is ahead of the game right out of the gate. Love it.

What tips for interviewing, online or in-person, do you find most useful?

More Tips & Joy

Travel Smarter

For some of us, it’s been awhile since we ventured out for something better. When it comes to travel in general, some silent shifts have been in play. Here are some tips for a peaceful, rejuvenating travel experience today. Because lately, the “T” in travel almost always stands for trouble.

Flying the Not So Friendly Skies

As for air travel, all I can suggest is to pack light and put on your happy face, as you’re going to need all the patience you can muster to get through it. Author Katie Way from Self.com, however, shares some excellent air travel tips, from stretching to staying hydrated.

Pedal to the Metal

For those looking for freedom that air travel seems to stifle, there’s the open road to consider. Travel & Leisure offers some helpful tips, but sadly there are still some thorns with which to contend.

With GPS practically surgically installed into our souls, getting to where you want to go has “never been easier.” That is, until the GPS navigator’s voice begins to grate on you, or contradict itself, or your phone’s GPS starts competing with your car’s, or when GPS tells you to make illegal turns you only discover when the policeman explains it to you. If you’re looking for some GPS Therapy, may I recommend this informative article from PC Magazine.

Self-driving cars simply scare the hell out of me. Maybe someday the trust will come, but until I can smooth out my relationship with my GPS, I don’t see myself giving up the wheel to technology. What do you think?

Boat? Drone? Jet Pack? How do you hope to be getting around in the future?

Tips and Joy

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5 Business Trends to Watch

Business behavior can be very telling. InsideHeads identified these 5 business trends to watch that will affect market research.

InsideHeads is the most helpful1. Crowdsourcing

If it’s not clear yet, social media is here to stay. The human desire to socialize and engage with others online gives savvy businesses the chance to collect feedback that is immediate, trusted, and free. Lengthy questionnaires have given way to quick polls, as attention spans of respondents wither down to seconds. Gone with consumer attention is the long term strategic planning that traditionally accompanies good marketing research. With the immediate feedback mechanism of today’s social media, businesses can (and do) post questions and problems to receive rich, real-time results. Smart brands looking towards the future are designing their virtual space with an eye on conducting more marketing research via social media.

happy consumers spread #goodnews about your brand2. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Choice is everywhere these days and showing no signs of going away. Each of us uses a device (or multiple devices) that best meets our needs. As the lines between personal and business hours blur, businesses are realizing the advantages, and challenges (e.g., security), of implementing BYOD in the workplace. Present obstacles aside, solutions are on the horizon. Because BYOD is not a trend, today it’s a right. Successful businesses will accommodate choice and offer customized solutions across all of their marketing. Lenovo’s recent decision to issue logo options for multimedia marketing is just one example of a business bending their approach to fit the mobile world. We expect to see a lot more accommodating.

high speed internet access for all3. Access Ubiquity

Access ubiquity refers to having global, high-speed broadband available to all. Just a few years ago this would have felt like a pipe dream (pun intended), but today it’s not only feasible, it’s happening. As smartphone usage continues to rise around the globe, access ubiquity is the best thing to happen to market researchers since the pencil. Researchers who are keen to know what online research tools are available and when to use them will be well poised for future success.

InsideHeads online satisfaction-scale4. Loyalty Metrics

Marketers today are finding the ROI of existing customers is far less than acquiring new ones. Loyalty rewards build organic (read: cheap) word-of-mouth, as customers eagerly share their joy with others online. The strategies of Walgreens and JCPenney seem right on target for future success, as we anticipate the demand for assessing the effectiveness and user experience (UX) of reward programs to rise.

big businesses are eliminating voicemail5. Goodbye Voicemail

Big companies like JP Morgan Chase and Coke have taken voicemail out of their communication mix. While businesses may be driving this boat, it is in direct response to a changing culture. We may not fully understand all our aversions to leaving a voice message, it’s clear text messaging and email are tangible, trackable, and preferred.  If your stock portfolio happens to be heavy in automated telemarketing, you may want to give those investments a second thought. Do not leave a message at the beep.

Mobile Internet Access on the Move

Today’s consumer is choosing to travel light and keep their access devices within arms reach at all times.  According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 2/3 of US adults use their mobile phones to access the internet and one in three (34%) go online mostly using their cell phones. This statistic is even higher among Millennial, Hispanic and African American population segments. Mobile internet access is on the move.

mobile internet access on the moveWhile businesses may be hanging on to their computer infrastructure, consumers have clearly settled into their communication comfort zone. At quitting time, even business folks who are wired to their walls at work are grabbing their mobile devices and heading out the door.

Unless (until?) a better option comes along, people are opting to travel light and keep their devices close at hand.  For a growing many, mobile-ready with full featured apps are eliminating the need for a desktop computer.  It’s no wonder tablets, phablets, and smartphones are in such high demand.

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.”