Your Half-Human, Half-Vulcan Customers


Your customers are like Mr. Spock from Star Trek. (Leonard Nimoy, rest in peace.) In popular culture (as opposed to geek culture), Spock has become a synonym for cold-blooded logical thinking. But, as the true geek knows, Spock’s father was from Vulcan and his mother was from Earth. Talk about an identity crisis! Spock is […]

5 Critical Success Factors When Offshoring Market Research

Offshore oil platform on the North Sea

As project timelines and budgets shrink, outsourcing some research operations to lower cost providers becomes more and more attractive. I experienced this first hand a few years ago as I developed a relationship with Annik in India. What I learned from that experience is that creating a successful outsourcing relationship takes time, as there can […]

Have We Been Doing Control Groups All Wrong?


To start 2015, we are featuring some “Lost Gems” from 2014 — some great posts that deserved to get wider notice than they did the first time out. Every time we test a new subject line, a new survey question, a new image, a new way-cool-and-so-much-better alternative, we always use a control group. That way, […]

Debunking 7 Popular Marketing Research Myths


Each day we’re counting down our Top 12 blog posts of 2014. Coming in at #7 is this essay originally published January 14. The popular television show “Mythbusters”, from the Discovery Channel, takes on urban legends and popular myths to determine whether they are true or false.  Marketing research is rife with myths, but we […]

Why Telephone Research Is So Important

CATI station

Each day we’re counting down our Top 12 blog posts of 2014. Coming in at #8 is this essay originally published March 26. Every week new email invitations arrive asking me to participate in an online survey concerning some product or service I recently used.  And each time, as I read the stated reasons why I […]

Surveys a Century From Now

TARDIS in the time vortex

Each day we’re counting down our Top 12 blog posts of 2014. Coming in at #10 is this essay originally published August 29. In a post entitled “No more surveys in 16 years?” Ray Poynter writes: Back in March 2010, I caused quite a stir with a prediction, at the UK’s MRS Conference, when I […]

Asking Questions When You Should Know the Answers

Blindfold businessman

One of the best ways to have respondents (e.g., customers, students, employees, members or others whose feedback you need) ignore and delete your surveys is asking questions for which you should already know the answers.  Here are excerpts from a survey a friend received some months ago (with her approximate thoughts noted):    “Dear Alumna/Alumnus:”… Gee, that’s […]

7 Things to be Thankful for in the Market Research Industry

Thanksgiving turkey dinner (C) Fotolia

Today’s the American holiday of Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday. Free of the commercialism of Christmas, it is a simple, unadorned day of celebration, centering on food and family and thankfulness. I’m thankful for Thanksgiving itself. When I lived in Europe, I missed celebrating it with family. So it seems appropriate to share what I’m […]

It’s a Myth That All Mobile Users Are Distracted

Distracted mobile users

A lot of researchers and moderators we speak are concerned that consumers using mobile phones are typically on-the-go, that is to say they are moving or en route somewhere and using their mobile to fill in time. But research shows that this is stereotype is unjust. Consumers aren’t suffering Mobile User Attention Deficit Disorder! Mobile […]

Don’t Let a Concept Test Kill the Concept

broken household light bulb isolated on a white background

A traditional concept test is often used to predict the success of a new product or service idea before going to market. Unfortunately, many really novel concepts would not have been well received if subjected to the typical “go/no-go” quantitative test. Think about some of the things we use today that were not immediately embraced: […]