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DigitalMR is a technology company with proprietary solutions for social listening & analytics and private online communities, that specialises in the use of Artificial Intelligence for insights and the integration of Social Listening, Tracking Surveys, and Retail Sales data, for actionable insights that are otherwise invisible to the bare eye.

Drinks (Alcoholic), Drinks (Non-alcoholic), Finance/Investment – Personal, FMCG – General, Food, Healthcare, Retail, Telecommunications, Tobacco, Toiletries/Beauty Products
Advanced data, Advanced Statistical Techniques, Co-creation, Ethnography, Gamification, Internet Research/CAWI, Online Communities, Online Focus Group Hosting, Online Surveys, Social/CGM Monitoring
Customer Communities, Customer Loyalty, Data Analytics, Data Fusion, Media Monitoring, Reputation Management, Social Media, Social Research, Web 2.0 Research, Web Analytics
Affluent, Baby Boomers, Digital Consumers, Eastern European, Hard-to-Reach, High Net Worth, Mothers/Parents, Women, Youth/Teens
Central America, Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Northern/Western Europe, Russia, South America, UK, USA, Worldwide
Senior Contacts

Michalis Michael (Founder & CEO)
Dorota Reykowska (Client Success Director)

Breakdown of Personnel

Admin/Support staff: 2
Executive/Research staff: 4
Non-research: 5
Data processing: 2
Total Number of Employees: 11 to 20

Address

V304 Vox Studios
1–45 Durham street
London
United Kingdom
SE11 5JH
Tel: +44 (0)20 3176 6800
Email: info@digital-mr.com
Establishment date: 2010

A View on the Future of Asking Questions for Market Research

Let me say from the beginning that in this blog post I will be dealing with quantitative and also qualitative research i.e. asking questions in both surveys (mainly closed ended) and focus groups (mainly open ended).

1. Surveys

I don’t think there is much dispute when it comes to the “rumour” that face to face and telephone surveys are on their way out. There are only a few pockets left on the planet where internet penetration is low, thus telephone or face to face questionnaires still make up most of market research surveys, but only for a couple more years. The way smartphone penetration has grown exponentially in the last few years makes fixed internet line connections in the home obsolete. Soon, the only way surveys will be conducted will be online.

The next decade will of course bring many more changes to surveys, as there are a few inherent problems that technological progress allows us to fix, such as:

  • Reliance on respondents’ memory – bad idea
  • Sampling methods, especially respondents recruited from access panels – really bad idea

Market research practitioners who still run tracking surveys often say in their defence – recognising some of the weaknesses of this approach - that this is the best method currently available to gauge customer perceptions. This is the “better than nothing” type of excuse. Well, to be honest I am not so sure that “nothing” in this case isn’t better than bad/unrepresentative/misleading data. After all, what should be the price of bad data? It has been proven time and time again that human memory about not so earth-shattering things (for example why you chose the brand of soap you bought last time) sucks. We also know that many members of consumer panels only participate in surveys for the monetary incentive involved, so it is in their interest to complete them quickly and move on to do something more interesting, or even take another survey for the same reason.

Is there a solution to this conundrum? Well, as the title already suggests I do have a view about the future of “asking questions” for market research, so the answer to my rhetorical question is: “yes of course there is a solution”. We call it SIS = Short Intercept Surveys. You must have noticed that we quite like coining new terms and acronyms; I hope this too will stick like the last 15 or 20 that you all know and love (true or false ?).

The underlying science for SIS is quite simple really: if you ask someone about something they just did or have just said, then chances are that they will remember what it was and why they did it! This is now possible not only due to the shift from in-store to online shopping, but also because of smartphones, GPS, RFID beacons etc.

It also helps if you only ask them one or two questions… up to 5 if you must do more. Since you will not be paying them to sit around for 20-30 minutes being bombarded with all sorts of boring questions, they will no longer be motivated to hurry up, cheat, lie etc. In other words, it would not be farfetched to say that current survey methods bring out the worst in people!

2. Focus Groups

Moving on to focus groups, the idea is the same: online focus groups are catching on. There are so many more ways to engage online and ask questions. We have bulletin boards, chat groups, video & photo diaries, walls, video chats, in-depths and the list goes on. You can even mix and match data collection methods within the same project; start with a poll, then follow with two open ends in a bulletin board, then a task asking participants to share a photo and/or record a video clip, concluding with a chat group for the top 6 contributors. This allows insights experts to connect the dots and synthesize superior insights that would otherwise remain invisible. The benefits of online already outweigh the benefits of physical focus groups:

  • asynchronous engagement is now available and very powerful
  • faster – transcripts are available at a press of a button and they are way longer (qualifies for better)!
    Quiz of the day: why are online chat group transcripts longer than those of physical focus groups, for the exact same number of participants and duration? Tweet your answers to @DigitalMR_CEO.
  • providing opinions by also sharing rich media (also qualifies for better)
  • cheaper (some people say that clients who ask for all 3=better, faster, cheaper are unrealistic)
  • participants from anywhere in the country (or even in the world) in the same discussion
  • on demand or agile or continuous when used on online communities

An online community is like a wrapper around all the data collection methodologies described above, providing cohesion and most importantly genuine and credible respondents.

All this and we have not even said anything about how using artificial intelligence can add tremendous value to online communities. One way it is applicable is in analysing large amounts of text in any language, in an automated way, and in real time.

Beat that, “face to face research”!

Source: DigitalMR Blog

"DigitalMR has been a change agent for Radley, playing an integral part in getting us on the path to become an insights driven organisation." - Justin Stead, CEO - Radley

 

"We found the listening247 report delivered by DigitalMR to be very useful in gaining a better understanding of the social media landscape around the watch market. The report is helping us adapt our social media marketing efforts accordingly. The insights provided by DigitalMR through this process could not have been otherwise obtained (...)" - Peter Stas, CEO - Frederique Constant

 

"communities247 by DigitalMR allowed our agency to defend existing client contracts and win new clients for market research. The ease of adding a new language and the fixed monthly cost for unlimited activities are some of the benefits that we appreciated. (...)" - Carole Sasson, Managing Director - Cocedal Conseil

 

"DigitalMR has definitely met and even exceeded our expectations in the listening247 report delivered for Green Cola in Greece. We were particularly impressed with the 85% sentiment accuracy they were able to achieve in the Greek language, and were happy to finally see accurate consumer sentiment both in respect to our brand and our key competitor. DigitalMR enabled us to extract actionable insights that were invaluable for marketing strategy and tactics." - Pericles Venieris, CEO - Green Cola 

 

"Choosing DigitalMR as our online platform supplier gives us peace of mind in terms of being up-to-date and ahead of technology-led data collection methods. DigitalMR does not only provide technical support but also supports with marketing and promotional materials to be used for client pitches and presentations." - Panicos Christopoulos, Managing Director - 360 Insights

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