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 »

Audience research: some approaches and lessons learned

I had the opportunity to attend a conference where I was tasked with learning about a particular subset of the audience attending said conference. To be fair, I was to gain what I could, not come back with a full audience profile and associated personas. However, it was still a daunting task. I thought I’d try a few approaches to… Read more »

Wait….I thought YOU were the one…?

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I recently learned in a staff meeting that the marketing research team was meeting with a group of their clients, discussing the plans for the coming year. One of the big questions for one of the trackers: are we even measuring the right metric any more? I don’t know the details of what happened, except that, at one point, the… Read more »

Everything is awesome (so use it all)

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Scenario: client is meeting with market research professionals. “I have this website that I think is posing issues to our visitors. I want to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Can we do a survey? That’s what I have budget for…” Reaction #1: Market research professional grumbles internally about lack of budgets these days and wonders what good a… Read more »