Recap from attending The Cutting Edge of NewMR webinar

webinar recap
About a month ago, I saw that there would be a webinar focused on the cutting edge of new market research technologies. I looked forward to this webinar from the moment I read about it to the moment it started. I get really excited about what’s being done in the market research industry to take advantage of the wealth of tech available. Here are my takeaways from the webinar.

Shift in how we view respondents

    • From Noah Roychowdhury and Daniel Tralman
      • Turn your respondents into market research agents. Let them partner with you in the market research process.
      • Give the agents the tools to go out and recruit others – peer recruitment. Leveraging this option makes for a better, more qualified focus group.
      • Democratizing the research process results in richer insights.
      • From Brett Watkins
        • The qualitative research participants are super-engaged already. They’re willing to take time out to participate in focus groups, which says a lot about them already.
        • We are missing out on the opportunity to partner with these market research participants in the rest of the marketing cycle — why are we not partnering with these individuals to help with brand messaging (not just crafting the messages but delivering them, too!)?
        • Big data will have an impact on how quantitative information is gathered, but not such a large impact on qualitative information gathering. Net: qualitative research methods will remain quite important.


Two presentations presented research findings on research modes among participants. The specific modes studied were mobile vs traditional online, and mobile vs app vs traditional online. Some interesting tidbits:

      • From Stephen Cribbett and Amone Redelinghuys
        • Respondents on mobile devices provide shorter verbatim, and are more likely to use visual images to express themselves. But if you want deeper, richer qualitative from verbatims, don’t use mobile.
        • Don’t create mobile-only or PC-only surveys, but rather look at creating device-agnostic surveys.
        • Researchers are responsible for making surveys engaging.
        • Would your mother be able to take your survey? (And, I’d add – would she want to, and would she finish once she’d started?)
        • Encourage multi-device use among respondents (make it easy for them to start on one device and complete on another)/
      • From Sima Vasa
        • There is existing research about apps versus mobile surveys, but the study forced respondents to use one or the other. The study being presented today allowed respondents to choose which option they wanted to use to take the survey.
        • Those who selected to take the survey via the app had a better perception of things like ease of taking the survey than those taking the survey via mobile browser. The odd thing: the app version was the same as the mobile browser version, just in the app, instead of on the browser.
        • As an optional last item, participants were invited to upload a selfie: those answering via the app were more likely to upload the selfie.

Gaming vs Gamification

Betty Adamou did a phenomenal job explaining the difference between gaming and gamification for research. The difference is really quite simple: gaming is when the study is developed specifically with gaming in mind; gamification is taking a study and adding a gaming component to it afterwards, as opposed to having it as a primary objective from the outset.

I joined this one late, so I only caught the last part of the presentation, but I loved the following:

      • Just throwing on some interactive components to a survey is not gamification.
      • Using gaming studies provides two-way feedback: feedback from the participant and feedback TO the participant, which creates a naturally more engaging process. These participants are more likely to come back again to participate in future studies.
      • Trackers should definitely use gamification — so many benefits to the approach, including lower drop-out rates, higher responses overall, and more engaged respondents.

Experience-driven marketing

This was another theme throughout: whether marketing or market research, making the experience better has a big impact.

      • Chief Marketing Officers are starting to be called Chief Experience Officers. This shows a natural shift in emphasis on customer experience, not just marketing to the customers.
      • A positive experience has 3-4x the impact of a neutral experience.
      • Look for where your audience is interacting with you and deliver positive experiences for them there.
      • Measuring “persuasiveness” of advertising doesn’t have to be a long, in-depth study. Fiona Blades summed it up in five, very simple questions!
      • Measure touchpoints along the way. (This gets to the fact that more and more, research needs to deliver more than a single customer interaction twice a year.)

Prediction markets

Nate Silver, the leading force behind Five Thirtyeight, the site now famous for accurate predictions of things like political races, isn’t the only one who can create accurate predictions in markets. Hubertus Hofkirchner walked through some new question types and methodologies that focused on gathering information to predict outcomes. While I will admit I definitely need to review this one again, I was drawn to a few things: new question types (talk about moving beyond the grid matrix!); gathering quantitative and qualitative feedback together to provide not just the what but more why the participants selected what they selected; combining all of this to generate more accurate results for studies.

Final take-aways

First, I appreciated the fact that focus is shifting from single-device to device-agnostic experiences. I really loved hearing about the research on research methodologies being done, especially to find where are the advantages and disadvantages to each. Knowing this will help us better determine which modes to select for future research.

Second, I enjoy seeing the shift in how we view our audiences, and our responsibility towards our audiences. After listening to the presentations today, it left me feeling like we’ve been missing out on a lot of untapped energy and partnerships!

And last, there is so much yet to learn and explore in this industry. From gaming and gamification to prediction markets and experience marketing, I’m excited about the developments and pioneering efforts of so many in market research. Huge thanks to all of the presenters and to Ray Poynter and the NewMR News team for a great session today!

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