Archive for the ‘Market Research Technology’ Category

Learn About Creative Mindflow at Observation Baltimore

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Creative Mindflow is a unique brainwave training methodology that unlocks the huge creative potential of the mind and harnesses it for use in every aspect of life. What does this mean in simplest terms?

Creative Mindflow, Simplified

Essentially, your brain has a lot of power that is untapped. This is because you have several different levels of consciousness, which are your conscious mind, your subconscious mind, and your unconscious mind. While these all function at the same time, generally the conscious mind dominates your thought processes, and your brainwaves flow in a certain pattern that is representative of this.

When you meditate, you tap into the other levels of consciousness that exist. This changes the brainwave patterns in your mind, which in turn changes the way you process information. This is where Creative Mindflow comes in.

Creative Mindflow is all about harnessing the power of the other levels of your mind by allowing them to filter up to the conscious mind, which can act on them. This integration between all levels of the mind is known as the awakened mind state. During this state, your thoughts become more fluid, which allows you to process information and use it for insight, intuition, and creative processes in a new manner. Essentially, by changing your brainwave patterns, your brain’s processing power gets a huge boost.

Creative Mindflow

Creative Mindflow at Observation Baltimore

We are very pleased to announce that we will be hosting a Creative Mindflow workshop at Observation Baltimore! The workshop will be lead by George Pierson, a visual artist and former television creative executive at HBO and the Discovery Channel who is certified on Creative Mindflow methodology. The details for the event are below. We hope to see you there!

Date: Friday, June 27th

Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm

Place: Observation Baltimore

5520 Research Park Drive

Baltimore, MD 21228

410-332-0400

www.observationbaltimore.com

Tickets: Eventbrite – Understanding Creativity Through the Art of Innovation

General Admission – $75

VIP (includes a customized brainwave analysis) $125

Contact: Julie Downs – julie@researchgrp.com

Mira Davis-Kelly – mira@obaltimore.com

Print Friendly

Mobile Research: The Future of Market Research?

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

If you would’ve asked any person holding a cell phone five years ago if useful market research could come from their cell phone’s computing power, you would’ve received some strange looks. Nowadays, however, smart phones have more computing power than most old family computers that sit unused in their dens. Smart phone use is growing exponentially every year and a survey done by Cisco in 2011 estimated that there will be one mobile device for every person on this planet by 2015. Where in-person, telephone and online research previously could not reach some of these savvy on-the-go participants, mobile research gathers new insights from these highly mobile people.

To effectively conduct market research in a mobile environment, the usage and interaction level of most smart phones has to be understood. uSamp conducted research that showed over half of mobile owners had smart phones and within that specific population were the harder to reach demographics such as 25-to-34 year olds. Smart phone applications or “apps” could be one new way that market researchers could reach a younger audience. According to the app statistics aggregator XYO, in March of this year mobile users in the US downloaded over 835 million Android apps and over 446 iPhone apps. Market researchers may soon find themselves adopting a world of apps.

uSamp also found that the top activities on mobile devices are checking e-mail, making calls (yes, people still make calls with smart phones!) and accessing social media. These users were also found to not have any one set peak time that they were primarily using their smart phone. For instance, Nineteen percent of 35-to-44-year-olds and 16 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds were engaged in all types of different activities on their smartphones from the late night to the early morning (8 p.m.-5 a.m.). This constant availability of respondents could potentially root out any problems of time and effectively streamline the research process to a single time and a single group subset.

There are some issues, however, with mobile research. a few are as follows:

  • Operating system compatibility of the apps, as programming for both Android and Apple’s iOS platforms are both different from one another. Firms would have to program apps for both platforms (unless they only wanted to reach Android or Apple users) in order to achieve a good sample rate.
  • Loss of signal is also another problem that pops up while conducting mobile research. A participant could lose signal and not submit the necessary data and without programs that will save the data and allow a respondent to complete the survey without signal while still including an option to submit results once a survey-taker has regained signal.

All in all, mobile research is still in its infancy. Many errors and statistical anomalies not yet accounted for can come from a mobile campaign. Traditional research methods still exist and will continue to thrive, as in-person research (focus groups, panels) may still be the most reliable source for good market research. Pretty soon, though, we may hear: “So you want to do some market research? There’s an app for that!”

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades. We are one of the top Maryland Market Research Facilities, rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey. Our experienced recruiting is the foundation of our mission, as well as courteous and proactive hospitality and client services. Our environmentally-kind facility and practices are a testament to our character, and most importantly: We understand market research!

Learn more about the research facility Observation Baltimore: call us at 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Managing mobile research: How it’s different and why it matters, Quirks Marketing Research

How to Use Mobile Research to Grow Your Business, MoneyHighStreet

Global App Download Reports, XYO

Print Friendly

Online Communities: A New Source for Market Research

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The Internet is prevalent now more than ever in many different types of communities and covers a wide variety of interests. For instance, let’s say you have a passion for Pogs (a game played with cardboard discs that was a popular fad in the early ’90s). If you took that passion for Pogs online, you’d find many other Pog enthusiasts. You’d even be able to find Pog dealers on eBay and some outside of eBay. And if you didn’t know how to play the game, there are plenty of sites for instruction. And that’s just scratching the surface.

The Internet, however, is not just about “brand fanatics” nor is it primarily just a place for technophiles. Its global reach is growing every year as more countries gain capability and access. There are over two billion people online; 845 million of those people have Facebook accounts. The Internet has a reach of over 60% in developed countries and is growing exponentially in countries like Asia, Latin America and Africa. Soon it will be able to reach anyone, anywhere.

These users, however, also have a choice of how they engage with the online world. For market research, it’s imperative to reach the hard-to-get groups that are sometimes required for focus groups or studies. Involving community members to join, return and share their lives with companies through online research creates valuable and useful insight because those online community members are choosing to engage and share relevant information that contributes to research that can be used to make decisions and compel companies forward.

One motivation for this type of online engagement is the feeling that participant is being heard by the research company. If the company cares, the participants will feel more obligated to trust them and give candid feedback that will truly make a difference. This feedback given by the interested participant or customer is helpful not only because it contributes to the objective of the researching party, but also because it has a chance to benefit the people being researched directly.

Any form of accepted truism about particular online communities aren’t exactly accurate for the purpose of market research. The truism that Millennials won’t stay engaged in one specific place for too long isn’t to be accepted as an actual truth. Communispace, a Boston research firm, found that a better way to understand these various groups is to “observe how particular groups behave in various kinds of settings.” They found that Millennials posted more and were more actively engaged on a consistent basis in communities that were designed specifically for people in their age group rather than other types of communities.

The usefulness of online communities and engagement in this new era of market research can’t be understated. Whether you want to find out what Pog fanatics think about your Super Bowl commercial or if they’d be interested in a new type of car loan you’re offering, the path is paved with nothing but the ‘net.

Focus groups made up of well-qualified respondents have the power to yield market research results that change or reinforce the way businesses interact with the consumer. Our research group facility, Observation Baltimore, can help you make the most of your market research. The research facility at Observation Baltimore is equipped with rooms designed to foster discussion between respondents, making the most of the support group format with expert moderation to glean deep insights. Those insights can be harnessed to propel our clients forward in the decision making process.

For additional information, call us at 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Source:

Some art, some science, Quirk’s Marketing Research

Print Friendly

Market Research & Advertising Agencies | Baltimore Market Research

Friday, January 25th, 2013

If you’re a fan of Mad Men, you might think that the creatives at advertising agencies lounge around on couches, sipping their favorite drink on the rocks, and waiting for inspiration to strike. But savvy advertising and marketing companies in the modern day take a much more proactive approach to the way they develop storyboards and copy: by using market research to implement a strategic campaign. In fact, in some instances, advertising professionals and market research experts might find themselves collaborating as integrated departments under one agency roof, maximizing the potency of ads.  Below, check out some of the ways advertising firms and market research companies have formed a symbiotic relationship in recent years:

What the Consumer Consumes

Market researchers help advertising professionals uncover who it is their campaigns should be targeting – in other words, the largest consumer base for their product or service. If creatives are directing their message towards the wrong demographic, the message suddenly becomes less relevant. By working with market researchers who can identify the needs and wants of the consumer, ads can effectively reach the right individuals at the right time.

Gain Focus with Focus Groups

Leveraging focus groups to gain further information about consumer satisfaction, ad agencies use the qualitative information from this research to:

–          Understand and identify problems with current or proposed marketing techniques

–          Develop  a story that appeals to the consumer and peaks his interest

–          Gain insight on consumer reactions to a particular advertising campaign

–          Measure the success of a campaign based on consumer attitudes towards it after it has aired, and determine the pitfalls of unsuccessful ads.

By coming together to identify the most effective ways to target consumers, advertising agencies and market research companies can leverage their combined skills to create strong ads and fruitful marketing campaigns.

Observation Baltimore is a focus group facility run by market research specialists in the Baltimore, Maryland area that works in conjunction with advertising agencies and marketing professionals to understand consumer attitudes. For more information about the services we offer, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! If you’d like to participate in one of our focus groups, please sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Three Ways Ad Agencies Use Market Research

A review of focus groups for advertising agencies

Print Friendly

Mobile Devices and Market Research

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

As smart phones and tablets continue to make traditional cell phones and landlines defunct, market researchers are seizing opportunities to interact with consumers who use these devices daily to communicate and stay connected.

Social Media has crossed seamlessly onto the screens of our iPhones and Androids, and in so doing, these platforms have become a meaningful way of collecting qualitative data by offering opinion opportunities  consumers can access from anywhere – even at points of purchase as people interact directly with products. This means that while customers shop – either as they evaluate goods, enter the store, or make their final selections – they can document their attitudes and experiences.

But point of purchase and product evaluation aren’t the only ways in which market researchers are targeting consumers to collect their thoughts conveniently with the assistance of mobile devices. Here are just a few additional methodologies that are taking full advantage of digital technologies:

  • Product barcode scanning using scanner apps or cameras during shopping
  • Pulling data from larger sample groups while using smaller data sets for each individual
  • Data mining to gather small bits of information at several different points in the decision making process, ultimately drawing them together via data warehousing
  • Integrating qualitative approaches by use of the built-in cameras for pictures, videos, and sound clips to enhance an otherwise quantitative project
  • To encourage behavior; for instance, by supplying respondents who have addictive habits with a stream of motivational messages and distraction techniques

Market researchers who make use of online polling and consumer interaction techniques have come to embrace mobile technology as an additional means of collecting data from respondents – with the benefit of being able to do so in real time. This enriches data sets by adding location information, media capture, and immediate feedback to the research at hand. In so doing, the accuracy of the research conducted increases, no longer relying on a consumer’s recollection of experiences, but rather, capturing their feelings in the moment.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Is mobile market research finally living up to the hype?

Print Friendly

Meaningful Market Research on a Budget: Crowdsourcing

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

In the development of a marketing strategy, research is a key component to establishing an effective plan for promoting a company and understanding consumer preferences. Even so, marketing research often gets tossed to the wayside when it comes to implementing and executing a marketing procedure, largely because funding legitimate studies is a costly process, not to mention a time consuming one.

As the expected turn-around for brand promotion gets shorter and shorter, relegating time to recruit participants, carry out a study, and analyze results becomes more and more difficult to do. Traditional research projects can still shed more light on the research question and objectives at hand and are not to be replaced by up-and-coming methodologies altogether, but the faster turnaround of techniques like crowdsourcing makes them appealing as supplemental forms of research.

With limited resources, crowdsourcing has become a viable option for conducting research, providing relatively quick and yet comprehensive details to assist in marketing strategies. Relevant to our increasingly digitized lifestyles, crowdsourcing makes use of online interactions with consumers in ways that traditional research often doesn’t. In so doing, the pool of candidates engaged becomes larger, not limited to predetermined screenings and assumptions about what type of consumer is relevant to a particular study. Talking with consumers about a brand on social media sites, blogs, and online communities creates the opportunity for interactive dialogues, rather than one-sided and formal interviews.

As crowdsourcing becomes a more popular mechanism for market research, websites and tools dedicated to conducting studies in this way have been on the rise. With a customizable and engaging website as a base, crowdsourcing has the opportunity to flourish as a technique, offering a platform where users can easily interact. Online administrators in these communities should welcome guests while presenting the problem or opportunity for which the crowdsourcers are seeking answers. From there, they must facilitate conversation and develop ways for consumers to vote on solutions as they present themselves.

Crowdsourcing creates reliable marketing strategies by engaging the public, asking them to develop ideas about what they want to see on the market, and then voting on what options they prefer.  With its quick turnaround and direct consumer interaction, it ensures brands can be on their way to implementing successful marketing strategies conveniently.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!

Sources:

Why Marketers Should Invest in Crowdsourced Research

Researching goes organic – could crowdsourcing work for you?

Print Friendly

Technology in Market Research: Virtual Worlds

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Although less than 1% of the world’s population currently participates in virtual worlds – such as Second Life – these online platforms are poised to play increasingly important roles in the business community. In fact, several major businesses, including American Apparel and Toyota, and have already begun using virtual worlds to spread brand awareness. And the list of companies utilizing such platforms is only expected to grow.

One of the most intriguing and effective ways in which the business world is integrating with the virtual world is in the realm of market research, most notably focus groups. For example, the iAsk Center on Second Life allows for the research of Second Life “residents,” as well as real-life respondents who become part of the virtual world.

Benefits of Virtual Focus Groups

  • Real World Feel: Online focus groups, such as the iAsk Center, are built with the real life focus group facility in mind andinclude: conference rooms, mirrored rooms, client observation areas, client lounges, and more.
  • Cost Effective: The costs of virtual market research do not even begin to compare to the travel and facility costs of traditional focus groups. Market researchers no longer need to physically house respondents. Everything takes place online, in the virtual world.
  • Geo-Restrictions: Unlike real world focus groups, virtual world focus groups are not restricted by their geographical location. Market researchers can bring together respondents from not only across the country, but also across the world.
  • “Field” Testing: When market researchers need to conduct real world field testing, the process is time consuming, expensive, unpredictable, and laborious. Virtual simulations provide a much more reliable, predictable, and convenient research environment.
  • Concealed Identity: Conducting research on sensitive issues can be more effective when the respondents’ identity is unknown.
  • Control: In the virtual world, market researchers can easily control every variable of the research environment.

The line between reality and virtual worlds is becoming increasingly blurred!

The potential benefits of conducting market research in a virtual environment are exciting, this type of research does have its drawbacks.

Disadvantages of Virtual Focus Groups

  • Validity: In a virtual world, people can be whoever they want to be. And while this may be great for them, it makes it difficult to conduct focus groups targeted at specific demographics.
  • Body Language: In virtual focus groups, moderators are not able to see a respondent’s expressions, reactions, or body language.  Observing how people feel is a valuable tool in qualitative research.

Virtual focus groups will not replace traditional, real life focus groups any time soon.

We hope you have enjoyed our mini-series, Technology in Market Research. If you have any suggestions for other market research technologies you would like us to profile in the future, please send them to Mira Davis-Kelly at mira@obaltimore.com.

To learn more about Market Research Technology, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey.

We understand market research!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!

Print Friendly

Technology in Market Research: Social Media

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012
As the world around us evolves, so too must the market research industry.
With more and more people flocking to social media websites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, the way in which individuals gain information about and interact with businesses has fundamentally changed.

Social Media Usage Statistics

  • Facebook has 845 million active users.
  • Facebook accounts for 20% of all page views on the web.
  • Twitter has 127 million active users.
  • There are over 175 million Tweets per day.
  • LinkedIn has 150 million registered users.
  • There are 2 million companies on LinkedIn.
  • Google+ has had 90 million unique visitors.
  • Google “+1″ buttons are clicked more than 5 billion times a day.
  • Pinterest has had 21 million unique visits.
  • In January 2012, Pinterest was driving more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+.
Because of the above statistics, many market researchers are utilizing social media to better serve their clients. Social media provides market researchers with first hand perspectives into the beliefs, needs, desires and behaviors of tens of millions of people across all consumer segments. And as involvement with social media channels continues to increase, this area will become even more important for researchers.

Benefits of Social Media in Market Research

  • No Size Limitations: Unlike surveys and focus groups, social media has no size limitations. Market researchers can reach record numbers of consumers in a single location.
  • Real-Time Insights: Researchers can track and analyze emerging consumer trends in real-time.
  • Consumer Comfort: Consumers are much more comfortable voicing their own opinions on these social media networks, providing market researchers with 100% truthful insights.

Social media is just one more technology that is fundamentally changing the way market researchers serve their clients. By better understanding Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and other social media channels, researchers can begin to better understand people.

Check back next week as we take a closer look at another Technology in Market Research: Research in Virtual Worlds.

To learn more, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey.

We understand market research!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn!
Print Friendly

The Bicentennial of the War of 1812: How Baltimore Built its Legacy

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

This year marks the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, one of the most historically important wars in our nation’s history. And as the United States commemorates the 200th anniversary of this war and the penning of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” our national anthem, the city of Baltimore takes center stage.

How the War of 1812 Began

With tensions still riding relatively high between the United States and Great Britain following both the Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars, President James Madison finally had enough when the British Navy made it policy to stop American vessels and seize American soldiers to serve in His Majesty’s Navy. In the spring of 1812, President Madison submitted a declaration of war to Congress, pitting the upstart United States against the largest naval power in the world.

Baltimore’s Involvement in the War of 1812

Since President Madison’s declaration of war, privateers sailing out of Baltimore had been constantly harassing British merchant ships. Because of this, the people of Baltimore were well aware that one day the British would come for them.

That fateful day finally came on September 12, 1814, when the British fleet landed at North Point and began the march to Baltimore. Meanwhile, British Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane and his 50 war ships assaulted Fort McHenry. 25 hours later, after constant bombardment and with the people of Baltimore gazing upon the fort anxiously waiting to learn the fate of the fort and the entire city, witnesses observed the lowering of the 17-by-25-foot storm flag that had flown over the fort throughout the terrible night. In its place an American flag was raised, a flag 30 feet wide by 42 feet long.

It was just a routine flag ceremony, but to the city of Baltimore and the entire nation, it announced to the world that the fort and the city had survived the 25-hour bombardment.

Since this time, Baltimore has grown into a bustling city, a microcosm of our nation.

Today, not only does Baltimore have a diverse consumer population residing in the 5 counties surrounding the city, but Baltimore is also rich with economic growth and charmed with history. It is because of this that Baltimore is the perfect test market to conduct research.

To learn more about Baltimore as a Test Market, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Print Friendly

What is “gamification” and how does it relate to research!?

Monday, June 4th, 2012

More and more we are hearing about gaming and how it is being incorporated in various industries – research is no exception. Defined, gamification is the process of applying game design techniques and processes to non-game applications to encourage customer engagement.

But what does it really mean and how does it work? Check out this video from Research through Gaming Ltd.

Source: http://www.greenbookblog.org/2011/10/16/5-companies-that-are-using-big-data-gamification-to-disrupt-market-research/

Will Gamification stick? Let us know your thoughts!

Interesting Gaming Facts and Statistics

  • Consumers spent $25.1 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2010 alone.
  • There are 145,000,000 active gamers in the United States.
  • 77% of American households own videogames.
  • 61% of surveyed CEOs and CFOs are playing games during their working hours.
  • Time spent gaming per day in the US: 215,000,000 hours.
  • 53% of technology stakeholders (1,021 polled) believe that by 2020, significant advances will have been made in the adoption of gamification.
  • According to data released by M2 Research, the gamification market currently is worth approximately $100 million and is expected to reach nearly $2.8 billion by 2016.
“Gamification has proven to increase engagement,” said Betty Adamou, CEO & Founder of Research Through Gaming. “Gamification is an extremely powerful means of getting someone’s attention and getting a consumer to provide more feedback,” said Jon Puleston, GMI’s VP on Innovation.

To learn more about Gamification, please contact Barbara Gassaway and the market research specialists at Observation Baltimore today by calling 410-332-0400 or click here! And if you are interested in participating in a future focus group, sign up at www.observationbaltimore/getpaid.

Observation Baltimore has been serving the market research industry for two decades, consistently rated “One of the World’s Best,” by Impulse Survey.

We understand market research!

Follow us on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn!

Print Friendly