Paul Long's Blog

Posts on Market Research, Social Media and Technology

Steve Jobs and Market Research

Interesting video clip from Steve Jobs regarding market research below. Often Jobs is portrayed as saying market research has no use, as customers do not know what they want. In the clip he makes a distinction between incremental changes to existing products, and the creation of new, game-changing products. The former he suggests can benefit from research, while the latter cannot, as customers cannot imagine the potential product and can therefore not be asked if they would want it.


Lamenting Survey Response Rates?  Well Do You Answer Surveys?

Every market research conference I have been to over the past several years has addressed the issue of declining response rates.  The usual villains are overly long surveys, an increase in the number of surveys and, in the case of phone surveys, a reluctance by people to answer the phone.

There is obviously truth in each of these factors, and doing things like shortening surveys is certainly a good start.  One question though:  if you are a market research supplier, a client-side researcher or end user of research, do you answer the phone when a survey company calls?

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A Great Market Research Ad From Insightrix

I saw this video online a few days ago and thought it was important to share.  Certainly there are many things to consider when choosing a market research supplier.  One of the standard things that everyone is used to hearing is size: global companies will point out that their global reach means they have a wide degree of expertise, and can cover your research centrally, while smaller companies often speak to be local experts.

This video shows a clip from a fictional focus group taking place in Saskatchewan, in which the moderators from out of town are baffled by the local slang used by the respondents, and end up returning without any usable insights.  The frustrated client ends up calling a locally based company, that is perfectly at ease understanding the respondents.  Obviously the video is heavy on exaggeration, but I found it quite funny.  The CBC article that I found this in indicates that it has had almost 50,000 views.


Water and Market Research: WaterTAP Ontario’s “How Can Market Research Increase Your Sales?”

Last Thursday I attended a WaterTAP Ontario event entitled “Market Insight: How Can Market Research Increase Your Sales?” WaterTAP is a Toronto based non-profit organization that works with technology entrepreneurs and companies in the water sector to help them market their products with potential customers. In total the organization helps approximately 900 companies in the water technology sector.


WaterTAP Ontario’s Jon Grant, opening the day.  Photo courtesy Eric Meliton (@EricMeliton).

Guests attending the event were from a wide range of companies: water filtration, water pumps and pipeline monitoring, among others.

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MRIA Net Gain 2015 – Stephen Popiel: What New Technical Skills are Required for Future Talent?

The following are notes taken from the session “What New Technical Skills are Required for Future Talent?”, by Stephen Popiel (GFK Canada) at the MRIA Net Gain 2015 conference in Toronto.

Note: Since the following notes have been live-blogged with limited editing, there may be typos and other errors in the posting.

A video interview with Stephen Popiel about this presentations is below:

Today’s Research Realities:

  1. Notion of market research as “empty calories” — skills that are needed to be learned — social media, mobile research, gamification, co-creation, crowdsourcing, Big Data, text analytics, MROCs, biometrics, mixed mode analysis and passive data are all clear and necessary technical skills for future MR talent
  2. Demand to integrate relevant external information streams — success for research in general and future talent in specific will be the ability to integrate the data from all of these and other methods and data sources into actionable business insights
  3. Desire for shortened and visually telegraphic insights
  4. Need for value creation — future talent must be able to take data from multiple sources, be they survey, client or internet and integrate the data from these disparate sources into a single coherent set of actions that can drive the client’s business forward

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