Think Games, Not Gamification

Board game

Forget everything you know about gamification. Now, remember what you love about games. If you can follow these two simple steps when designing market research studies, the payoff might surprise you. The typical gamification approach is to take a task that isn’t intrinsically enjoyable (e.g., responding to a survey or learning about new industry regulations) […]

Using Traditional Market Research Techniques? You Should

traditional market research techniques

“Make new friends, but keep the old; Those are silver, these are gold.” – Joseph Parry In the research industry, we often talk about new and evolving research techniques. Sometimes, for a casual reader of industry blogs and magazines, and attendees at research industry conferences, it would appear that new techniques are just about the […]

What to Consider When Selecting Markets for Qualitative Research

Denver, Birmingham, Boston on U.S. map

Originally published in Alert!, the magazine of the Marketing Research Association. Pittsburgh or Portland? Los Angeles or Las Vegas? San Antonio or San Diego? Where should you hold your next focus groups? If you’re a local car dealer in Omaha, the answer is pretty obvious. But what if you’re doing research for a national organization? […]

Are Focus Groups An Endangered Species?

status of Styracosaurus

Recently, I came across an interesting Bloomberg Businessweek article discussing the limitations associated with focus groups and the ways some companies were using solutions (such as Invoke’s large-scale online focus groups…ahem, I work there) to overcome these limitation: Shoot the Focus Group. The article starts out with Yahoo!’s then-CMO Cammie Dunaway talking about killing focus […]

Are Researchers Creating the Functional Equivalent of Genetically Modified Food?

genetically modified food

Have you ever had the nagging feeling that a research project collected data that was simply not very good? That the respondents weren’t adequately engaged when supplying answers? Or that the method didn’t gather enough meaningful context? In market research, our convention is to conduct studies that employ imposed calibration.  Our studies often capture and measure attitudes […]

Fads & Foibles: MR Trends and Skillsets

future is beautiful blur

At last week’s Net Gain 8.0 conference in Toronto, Bernie Malinoff, president of Element54, encouraged researchers to think more about change. But the challenge, of course, is anticipating meaningful change, while ignoring fads. “Shiny and new” doesn’t equal relevance. Bernie shared the example of Market Truths, a now defunct organization that had concentrated on conducting […]

Quant and Qual Research Usage

GRIT Winter 2014 cover

Last week, GreenBook announced the publication of the 14th edition of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends report, based on a survey of 2,229 researchers from across the US, Europe and Latin America. As in past studies, the split was roughly 80% suppliers/20% clients: 1,786 suppliers and 443 clients. The survey asked, among other things, about […]

What To Expect From A Focus Group

Bernett focus group room

We asked some of our favorite bloggers to provide us a “lost gem” – a great article that deserved wider response than it received the first time it was published. We wrap up our series with this piece by Lisa Steckert, which was originally published here on May 3.   If you were to ask […]

The Research Superhighway


We asked some of our favorite bloggers to provide us a “lost gem” – a great article that deserved wider response than it received the first time it was published. This piece by Margaret Roller was originally published July 15 on her blog, Research Design Review. The assertions of marketing researchers (in particular) who continue to […]

I Hate Social Media Research Because…

Dislike emoticon

We’re counting down our Top 10 blog posts of 2013. Coming in at #3 is this post originally published July 20. Oh yes, I’ve heard it all. Having been in the deep end of social media research for several years now, I’ve heard every possible complaint about social media listening research that exists. I hate […]