Author Archives: Zontziry (Z) Johnson

About Zontziry (Z) Johnson

Z's passion is learning about and sharing best practices and new trends in market research (MR), from writing the best questionnaire possible to crafting a story that will resonate with stakeholders. Follow her musings on the MR industry on Twitter (@zontziry).

Z at the zoo: a shift in perspective

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A few weekends ago, I decided to take my son to the zoo. Now that he’s old enough to actually appreciate seeing all the animals, it was a total blast watching his excitement over just about every animal there. We took our time at various exhibits, tried to follow the map to get to the exhibits he wanted to see… Read more »

Survey replacements – are they really ready?

I was recently part of a marketing training class where the teacher answered a question about surveys being conducted to garner audience perceptions and experiences with, “Stop doing surveys! Everyone who takes them lies.” Of course, being me, I offered, “Well, now that you’ve obliterated my profession, what do you propose we do to collect that information?” His answer was… Read more »

3 ways we fail our audiences and how to turn the ship around

Before I get going, I want to start by defining “audiences.” In this context, the audiences in question are those who we are asking to participate in our market research studies. Typically, the failure is happening with quantitative studies, not qualitative studies (at least, in my experience, this is the case). In quantitative surveys, we find bloated surveys, biz-speak language,… Read more »

Why are we failing our audiences?

I was just reading a couple of posts from March about how we are not doing well by our research participants. First, there was Annie Pettit’s post about how we sometimes use YouTube videos to help make a point in a presentation — without asking for permission from the original poster first. Second was an article by Melanie Courtwright on… Read more »

How my 5th-grade self made my report writing easier

In elementary/primary school, most of us are taught the wonderful lesson about how to write a five-paragraph essay. Here are the basic steps: Decide on a theme; write your thesis statement. Gather data related to your theme. Filter the data gathered to identify topics related to your theme. Create your outline for the essay. Based on the outline, write your… Read more »

Quallie and Quantie: a love story

Once upon a time, there lived two individuals who seemed to have completely opposite personalities: Quallie and Quantie. Nobody thought they’d get along together well. Quantie was all about numbers and could sometimes come across as really boring to listen to, though occasionally, there were nuggets of gold hidden among all the numbers Quantie shared. Quantie could also come across… Read more »

6 common survey writing errors to avoid

trim a survey

Writing survey questions can seem like a walk in the park until you realize how many ways there are to do it poorly. From leading questions to hitting a double-header in just one question, there are a number of things to watch for when putting together your survey questions. Bias I’ll touch on this briefly because I have a full… Read more »

Survey writing tips: screeners

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Last year, I wrote a series of articles with survey design tips for new market researchers, whether doing DIY market research or new to the field in a market research company. Those articles focused a lot on all of the preparatory work that should go into designing a questionnaire, but aside from an article about scales, didn’t spend a lot… Read more »

A personal reflection backwards and forwards

2016 was quite the year for me personally. During the year, I learned a lot about being a market research supplier and being a market research client, switching from supplier-side to client-side part-way through the year. I signed up to lead the Seattle branch of the New Research Speakers group, an effort led by Annie Pettit. I also took a… Read more »

Market research tips: topline reports

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I recently had the opportunity to work on and present a topline report. After all my writing and reading about storytelling in the market research field, I found myself really having to reconcile finding and telling a story for a tracker, instead of just presenting data. To add to that, I was doing my best to align with a sister… Read more »