Finding the right balance

Likert scales and other questions designed to measure attitudes, such as satisfaction, are ubiquitous in marketing research. They have their uses that is for sure, but there are a few caveats one should be aware of. In this post we will start this review by looking at number of scale points. As researchers we have […]

Latest Articles

Going Mobile – when to deploy mobile surveys

Mobile Survey

Recently I heard the average smartphone user is never more than three feet away from his or her phone. There is no judgment on this, but it does play into our need as consumer and B2B market researchers to expand our thinking on how we deliver surveys to respondents. Multi-channel research involves leveraging two or […]

Minimizing B2B Buyer Fears

Caveat emptor

We’ve been busy looking at the hot topics in marketing to see where new marketing approaches can have the greatest impact. The answer: Minimizing B2B buyer fears. There’s been a lot of talk about the similarities between B2B and B2C buyers –especially since we’re all B2C buyers outside work. Even though it would certainly make […]

The art, and science, of measuring agreement

Even those new to survey research have been exposed to the ubiquitous Likert scale. This question format and the strongly agree to strongly disagree framework is a staple in the pantry of questions we regularly use on surveys. In the years I have been involved in constructing surveys and teaching market research I have seen […]

NPS® Isn’t Right for Renewals. But Feedback Is.

Same old Thinking

For many different reasons, one thing I can conclude about working in customer experience measurement: Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) is a polarizing topic. You either love it or you hate it. And my thought is always this, “If you’re using NPS to get a score, then it is just a survey and only benefits the […]

Is Your Brand Strategy a Game Changer?

Black gamepad is lying on a laptop keyboard

From market disruption to mergers and acquisitions, pharmaceutical brand teams are facing game changing challenges in today’s competitive landscape. Your brand is either in a physician’s prescribing decision loop, or not. Having a solid go-to-market plan, one that is informed by decision intelligence is now more important than ever. Too many times we’ve seen a […]


“How To” Posts


How to Use Polls as Part of Your Market Research Plan

Polls are an outstanding way to collect feedback and engage with your audience.  Polls have become more popular for two specific attributes: first — they don’t take much time.  You can read a poll and answer a poll in less than 10 seconds and that increases response rates.  The second reason is that polls often […]

Denver, Birmingham, Boston on U.S. map

What to Consider When Selecting Markets for Qualitative Research

Originally published in Alert!, the magazine of the Marketing Research Association. Pittsburgh or Portland? Los Angeles or Las Vegas? San Antonio or San Diego? Where should you hold your next focus groups? If you’re a local car dealer in Omaha, the answer is pretty obvious. But what if you’re doing research for a national organization? […]

balanced scorecard

Using a Balanced Scorecard to Focus Your Business on What Matters

Forget what you know about the Balanced Scorecard approach. Most guides don’t really get to the point, as all they talk about are the “four perspectives” that you need to have, business objectives, and KPIs. All that is important, but what is more important is a coherent approach to using these business tools. Goals and […]

20 minutes

Is the Ideal Survey Length 20 Minutes?

We’re counting down our Top 10 blog posts of 2013. Coming in at #8 is this webinar recap originally published August 8. As part of the CASRO webinar series, Inna Burdein, Ph.D., director of panel analytics with the NPD Group, discussed her research into survey length and effort. The session moderator – John Bremer, the […]


How Not to Get Market Research Clients

I’ve worked in many roles in market research, but never as an in-house market researcher in a corporation.  I’ve always felt bad for them in that I know they get a constant stream of suitors among would-be market research suppliers.  In particular, at conferences as it appears they’re being accosted left and right by hungry supply-side […]

social media buttons

How Social Media Is Changing Market Research

Social media networks have drastically changed the way some businesses conduct market research, due to their increased ability to access information. This allows you to understand your ideal customer and learn effective ways to connect with him or her. Below are a few tactics that will help you utilize social networks to cut down on […]

social media likes

Too Bad Social Media Brand Research Lies…

In many ways, the ever-expanding world of social media has been a market researcher’s dream – there are now tens of millions of willing subjects spending billions of hours telling us what they like and don’t like, and why. They share these thoughts — for free, no less! — in ways that marketers can quickly […]

Marketing lapsed customers

Marketing to Lapsed Customers to Prompt Repeat Business

Though brand switchers are often the target of sales, I find that the biggest boost can come from brand loyals. What are ways to bring back customers whose interest has waned? As part of a project with a medical supplies company, I took aim at just that group. At the time of the study, the […]


How to Create an Informal Survey Panel

These days researchers are looking for quicker and cheaper ways to get data. The arrows in their quiver often include more expensive resources like syndicated databases (Nielsen, IRI, etc.), as well as some form of primary survey research tool – or access to that type of data through a vendor. One easy and affordable idea […]

Twitter bird in hand

10 Things Survey Researchers Should Know About Twitter

We’re counting down our Top 10 blog posts of 2013. Coming in at #4 is this post originally published July 31. Over the last couple years, I’ve been looking at Twitter’s potential in survey research.  Why Twitter?  Because it’s vast, it’s fast, and it’s cheap.  Recently, at the 2013 FedCASIC Workshops, I presented ten things survey […]

thumbs up

Rewrite Agreement Scales to Eliminate Acquiescence

Agreement scales, measuring how much the public agrees or disagrees with a particular idea, are one of the most popular types of questions. Unfortunately, they are also one of the least reliable types of questions. Since respondents tend to exaggerate their actual agreement, other scales should be used instead. In fact, over 100 separate studies […]