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Tag: technology

STORYTELLER SERIES: Aref Munshi and Embracing Evolving MRx Technology

Aref Munshi, Vice President, Sales & Research Services, has been working in market research since the late 1980s and has seen the technological evolution of the industry firsthand.

When Aref began his career in 1989, his work included both qualitative and quantitative research. The majority of this research took place in person, including in-office, in-store and in malls.

This would eventually evolve to include product and home-use testing for consumer goods, as well as face-face medical interviewing. But most of this was still done “offline.”

As technology evolved, it changed the way projects were being conducted. One of his challenges was encouraging some traditional clients to adapt to newer ways of collecting data that was equally meaningful. Some of that included changing from “offline” to “online.”

There have been a number of positive outcomes to relying on tech-driven methodologies. It is more cost-efficient, allows for quicker turnaround, and adds the ability to review results in real-time.

“If you can consistently deliver quality, actionable data,” Aref maintains, “methodological changes shouldn’t matter.”

He recognizes there are some limitations, too. For example, the touch-and-feel aspects of package testing is difficult to replicate online; body language is still important in face-to-face studies. There are also nuances in understanding what active and non-active group participants are saying and doing.

However, despite these missing pieces, Aref is excited to embrace these evolving changes and looks forward to integrating some of these technological advancements to future research.  

Want to learn more about how technology can improve your next study? Contact us to learn more.

Extending Your CATI Reach

In the vast and varied world of market research data collection, one of the most time tested methods of administering surveys is with live agents over the phone, also known by the acronym CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing). Before the rise of the smart phone, targeting and interviewing random representative samples of respondents in the geography of your choice was relatively easy to do.

As we all know, the only thing that remains the same is the consistency of change.  As Americans transitioned to cell phones, and later, internet connected smart phones, the CATI playing field experienced significant changes. Things became a bit more complicated for researchers. Unscrupulous telemarketers inundated consumers and businesses alike with irritating calls day and night resulting in declining response rates. New laws were passed to regulate the use of automated dialers to contact cell phones.  With phone number portability, easy geographic targeting of phone lists via the North American Numbering Plan, was no longer dependable. The task of accurate sampling grew more complicated and costs were on the rise.

Fortunately, internet based respondent panels arrived to help fill the void, providing an inexpensive alternative to telephone survey research. Although cost effective, online panel had limitations too, particularly when targeting a tight geography, a low incidence audience, or an under-represented population. Often in such circumstances, feasibility became an issue.

New technology may provide the answer to this dilemma. New to the scene, platforms such as Logit’s Mobile360 allow SMS-to-web interviewing as an alternative, providing cost effective access to respondents via phone contact lists. Using this approach, cell phone respondents are invited to an online survey via TCPA compliant SMS invitations. This novel approach offers the comparative benefits and flexibility of sampling via random or listed contact numbers.

As an example of the powerful new options an SMS approach brings to the table, Logit’s Mobile360 platform allows for surveys to be deployed in a multimodal context with SMS-to-web fielding in conjunction with live agent CATI and/or internet panel. Quotas can be set and managed by contact method and invitations can be customized according to list information. If panel is being utilized, IP controls will screen out duplicate respondents before they enter the survey.

For B2B projects requiring a high degree of respondent verification, live dialing can be used for prescreening and validation, with a survey link then being delivered real-time. Such an approach can also be used as a method of screening for more involved respondent exercises such as MaxDiff, Conjoint, or Online Bulletin Boards.

As we see, when paired with new interviewing options available via SMS-to-web, CATI interviewing is often the most viable approach to solving your data collection challenges. If you have not yet explored hybrid contact strategies, perhaps it is time to take a deeper look.

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Chris Connolly Headshot

Chris is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.

Top 5 Emerging Tech Trends in Market Research

It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when research was collected using a pen and paper. The last 10 years have seen the research space evolve at breakneck speed, largely thanks to improvements in technology and the way in which we store and access data.

Emerging tech has spawned new companies, methodologies and ways of collecting and reporting on insights, in turn forcing companies within market research to collectively look at ways to improve their own research practices.

Leveraging technology has made research more economical and has allowed us to expand the scope and magnitude in which insights are collected and analyzed. As a result, the playing field has been levelled with the introduction of DIY tools and other data driven products and services.
The question then becomes, what’s next? Where does research evolve from here and what do we need to do as an industry to be ready for its arrival. In this article we’ll look at the top 5 emerging tech trends that you need to be on the lookout for.

Blockchain
When most of us think of blockchain we think of cryptocurrency, and while it’s been its biggest implementation to date, blockchain presents far more possibilities to the research space then just the option to pay out participants in bitcoin.

Blockchain is about building a secure global trust network that is verifiable through the creation of transactional transparency. Imagine a world in which panelists and data can be verified through blockchain technology, going far beyond a simplistic hashing system.

Although practical usage in MR is quite limited at the moment, larger companies such as IBM and Mastercard are currently implementing blockchain as a practical application to reduce fraud and security risk.

Artificial Intelligence
Out of all of the items on this list, AI has gotten the most traction to date. It feels like almost every MR article and webinar has at least one reference to the subject. From AI based moderators to automated analytics and reporting, almost every aspect of a product lifecycle has received automation in some form or another.

The benefit of using AI is that it leverages the knowledge and data of countless other outcomes while at the same time reducing manual interaction and time spent on a project.

The good news about AI is that it’s becoming cheaper and more intelligent by the day, and with large companies like Tesla and Amazon leading the charge, it’s only a matter of time before automated projects become the norm as opposed to the exception.

Internet of Things
It’s becoming rarer and rarer to find a home that doesn’t include at least one smart product. Almost 70% of US homes now have at least one smart device, and of those, 60% either have at least a second device or would be open to purchasing additional devices.

Smart homes bring smart opportunities and provide additional avenues for both passive and interactive data collection. With it come the challenges and questions of how do we design questionnaires to be used with smart home voice assistants? What are the privacy concerns and restrictions of data monitoring and collection?

It’s hard to imagine, but there may come a time in the future where we no longer have to ask a consumer what they purchased at the grocery store. Their smart fridge will natively share that information with us, providing real time, detailed, accurate information.

Hybrid Methodologies
Methodology used to and still does to an extent play a critical role in how we engage with audiences for the purposes of research. However, as time goes on, the line between methodologies have blurred as audiences have adopted new means of communication.

SMS, social media and voice assistants have replaced land lines, faxes and mail as modern day information conduits. As a result, MR has had to adapt and find ways to utilize these channels to reach modern day consumers.

As we look to the future, the question is going to be how to we further leverage these opportunities and create sustainable products and services that incorporate these channels.

Non-MR Trends
The last MR trend is not an MR trend at all yet. It’s being utilized in another industry that has absolutely nothing to do with market research. It’s important now more so than ever to keep a watchful eye on other industries, looking for new ideas and inspiration that will serve as the innovation for creating the next wave of MR tech trends.



About Steve

Portrait of Steve Male VP Business Development at the Logit Group

Steve has over 10 years of market research experience having held roles in project management, field services and client facing roles. Some of Steve’s core areas of focus include the multicultural markets and IT decision makers.