Determining Cadence for Brand and Ad Trackers
04 Apr 2024

Tracking brand equity and ad campaigns is crucial for making informed decisions. Clients often ask us the appropriate cadence for fielding surveys and collecting data.

Criteria for Research Cadence

Cadence refers to the frequency or timing of data collection. Many factors determine the appropriate cadence for your research. Looking at sales data, media plans, seasonality information, the target audience, and budgets is crucial before selecting the right frequency for tracking your brand.

  • Sales data helps researchers understand the size of your brand and whether your company is currently making sales projections. It also shows whether any seasonal factors must be considered when launching the study.
  • Media plans are important, especially for ad tracking. They help determine the frequency of ad spending and tell if a new campaign or ad idea is being launched. Typically studies are conducted pre/post these campaigns to determine the effectiveness of the ads.
  • Budgets are crucial as well. It is better to track less and create a research plan that works with your needs than to monitor for the sake of tracking. When budgets are tight, brands may still track with high frequency, but surveys are not customized to their needs. This often results in data that marketing teams cannot incorporate into their advertising or branding initiatives. It is often better to field the survey less often but have more robust data and findings. You’ll often find more variance and actionable insights.
  • Another factor that determines cadence is the target audience. If the survey is for the general population or something close to that, it can be tracked in real time. If the audience has a low incidence rate (e.g., industry professionals, ultra-high net worth), tracking continuously may be more difficult as the sample pool may be too small.

A Few Options for Research Cadence

Real-Time Monitoring

Real-time monitoring involves continuous data collection and analysis, providing immediate insights into brand or ad performance. This method is ideal for fast-paced campaigns or situations requiring rapid response and adjustments. It enables marketers to detect trends, promptly identify issues, and optimize real-time campaigns. This type of survey analysis is recommended for brands with extremely large continuous ad spend.

Quarterly Analysis:

The quarterly analysis also has a high cadence for tracking ad or brand results. It provides the ability to track performance overview, identify long-term patterns, and support strategic planning and budget allocation. Brands’ media spending should be sufficient enough to warrant investment in a quarterly tracking program. Once the program is in place, it is essential to determine if there are large enough quarterly differences to warrant this cadence. If changes are extreme or extremely differentiating, there may be an option to track more often.

Annual Tracking

A brand that invests in significant ad and media spending should track its brand and ad performance at least annually. This helps determine whether the brand’s communication is working. It also shows what areas need improvement.

Six Reasons Why Market Research is Essential for Funded Startups
11 Mar 2024

Everyone loves the idea, but often decision-makers are hesitant to invest in market research early on. Why is market research needed? Picture your new business as a seesaw, delicately balanced on innovation, determination, and strategic decision-making. While securing funding marks a significant milestone in a startup’s journey, it’s merely the initial stride toward sustainable growth and long-term viability. Here, market research emerges as the linchpin, furnishing companies with a savvy roadmap to follow. Indeed, it can serve as the differentiator between success and failure.

1. Understanding the Landscape

Market research guides startups through the ever-evolving landscape of consumer preferences, market trends, and competitor strategies. It offers invaluable insights into the target audience’s needs, pain points, and purchasing behavior. For funded startups, comprehending these intricacies is crucial to marketing products or services to their target audience.

2. Validating Assumptions

Startups may fall prey to assumptions about their target market or the problem they want to solve. Market research acts as a reality check, enabling startups to validate their assumptions or be prompted to take their marketing plan in a different direction. By gathering data-driven evidence, funded startups can minimize the risks of launching products or services that fail to meet market demands, costing them serious money and time.

3. Identifying Opportunities and Threats

Funded startups operate in highly competitive environments, and there is always a rush to be first to market. Larger companies may want to find ways to duplicate your innovations. Market research empowers startups to identify emerging opportunities before they become mainstream trends, giving them a competitive edge. Similarly, it enables startups to anticipate potential threats posed by competitors or market shifts, allowing them to adapt their strategies proactively.

4. Understanding Customer Insights

Market research gives startups a deeper understanding of their target audience, enabling them to tailor their offerings to meet customers’ evolving needs and preferences. Funded startups can cultivate relationships with their prospects by soliciting feedback, analyzing consumer behavior, and tracking market trends.

    5. Informing Strategic Decision-Making

    In the fast-paced world of startups, decisions must be made swiftly and decisively. However, without reliable data and insights, these decisions may be misguided or based on gut feelings rather than facts. Market research equips startups with the information they need to make informed strategic decisions, whether entering new markets, expanding product lines, or pivoting their business model.

    6. ROI on Investments

    Funding is not infinite, and the investment dollars can dry up. That’s why every dollar invested needs to maximize returns. Market research helps funded startups allocate their resources more effectively by directing investments toward initiatives with the highest potential for success. The resources that are directed towards research will receive a higher return on investment then if they carried out marketing initiatives blindly.

    Final Thoughts…

    So, to those who are still hesitant to invest in market research early on, remember this: in the realm of startups, where risks loom large and resources are scarce, market research isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity. It’s the lifeline that transforms lofty aspirations into tangible realities and ensures that every dollar invested yields maximum returns.

    Strategies to Combat Bots in Survey
    06 Mar 2024

    In the age of digital advancement, survey research has become an integral tool for gathering valuable insights across various fields, from market analysis to academic studies. It is a critical way to gain first-person feedback and attitudes on products, services, issues, and current events.

    However, with the proliferation of bots and automated scripts, the integrity of survey data is increasingly at risk. Bots can distort results, skew demographics, and undermine the reliability of research findings. As a result, market research vendors and suppliers have implemented several strategies to combat bots in survey research, ensuring the authenticity and accuracy of collected data.

    Implement CAPTCHA or reCAPTCHA:

    One of the most effective ways to deter bots is by integrating CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) or its advanced version, reCAPTCHA, into survey platforms. These mechanisms require users to complete tasks that are easy for humans but difficult for bots, such as identifying distorted text, selecting images, or solving puzzles. By adding this extra layer of verification, researchers can significantly reduce bot interference in survey responses.

    Utilize IP Address Tracking:

    Tracking IP addresses can help identify and block suspicious activities associated with bots. Since each device connected to the internet has a unique IP address, monitoring and analyzing this data can reveal patterns indicative of bot activity, such as multiple submissions from the same IP within a short time frame. Implementing IP address tracking tools in surveys allows researchers to flag and exclude responses likely generated by bots.

    Employ Time-Based Response Limits:

    Setting time-based response limits can help prevent bots from inundating surveys with rapid submissions. A survey submitted too quickly or much longer than expected can be flagged as a suspicious respondent. Additionally, scheduling surveys available only during certain hours or days can further discourage bot participation. For example, humans are less likely to be taking a survey at 2 AM unless they have a case of severe insomnia.

    Utilize Honeypot Questions:

    Honeypot questions, also called “Red Herrings,” serve as decoys designed to trap bots while remaining inconspicuous to human participants. These questions are placed within surveys and are typically hidden from view or embedded within irrelevant sections. Bots, lacking contextual understanding, are more likely to fall into these traps by providing nonsensical or inconsistent responses. Researchers can then flag and filter out submissions associated with honeypot questions, preserving the integrity of the dataset.

    Monitor Survey Traffic in Real-Time:

    Continuous real-time survey traffic monitoring enables researchers to promptly detect and respond to both intrusions as they occur. Proactive monitoring ensures that bots are swiftly identified and neutralized before they can compromise the validity of survey data.1

    Bots will continue to pose a challenge to survey research, and they will get smarter over time. Market research companies will continue to study ways to combat the bot issue in this research. By implementing a combination of CAPTCHA, IP address tracking, time-based response limits, honeypot questions, and real-time monitoring, researchers can fortify their surveys against bot interference and uphold the credibility of their findings. By adopting these proactive measures, survey researchers can confidently navigate the battlefield of bot intrusion, ensuring the integrity and reliability of their research outcomes.

    IDI’s v.s. Focus Groups
    05 Oct 2023

    When it comes to navigating the world of research, you may feel at times you are at a fork in the road. You’ve got the quantitative route which is all about numbers, and then there’s the qualitative pathway, where stories and opinions take center stage. Not to mention, each of these paths comes with their own little side roads that can lead you to some seriously intriguing discoveries.

    Now, if you find yourself strolling down the qualitative path, you’ll have to make a decision on which route to explore: in-depth interviews (IDIs) or focus groups. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of choice. Fear not, though; that’s why we’re here, armed with this blog to steer you in the right direction.

    In Depth Interviews

    IDIs are like those heart-to-heart chats you have with your closest friend, but in the world of research. You’ll be having one-on-one conversations with industry experts, potential clients, and seasoned customers. These discussions can happen face-to-face, virtually, or even over the phone, and they usually run anywhere from half an hour to two hours. As the moderator, your role will be to guide participants through a structured conversation, delving deeper into various topics by asking follow-up questions or seeking those “a-ha” moments.

    In-depth interviews are your secret weapon for when you need to dig up genuine perspectives and opinions about your product or brand. It’s also ideal for topics that are sensitive or more personal in nature, allowing for a more private and intimate environment for participants to share their true feelings.

    Their set-up flexibility is also a plus making them a go-to choice for busy professionals with complicated schedules. However, this can often drag out the research timeline as you will have to conduct several IDIs to get multiple view points, as opposed to less than a handful of focus groups with multiple participants at once.

    Focus Groups

    So let’s shift our focus to focus groups, where the emphasis is on group dynamics and collaborative brainstorming.

    Picture it, whether in person or virtually, as if you were moderating a roundtable discussion. This setup is a perfect platform for creative exchange. The participants, carefully selected for their relevance (industry experts, product enthusiasts, and more), bring their diverse experiences to the discussion, sometimes introducing unique perspectives to enhance the conversation. In order to create the most optimal focus group, consider the Goldilocks principle. You will need 4-7 engaged participants, and to gather a comprehensive range of insights, you might even consider convening 2-4 of these groups.

    For in-person sessions, finding the appropriate setting is essential for a productive gathering. However, if your local talent pool is limited, don’t worry! Online focus groups step in to bridge the gap, leveraging a nationwide network of potential participants who can contribute from the comfort of their homes or bustling workplaces.

    Focus groups serve as a fusion of think-tank and brainstorming session, ideally suited for scenarios demanding collaborative innovation. They excel in refining ad campaigns, testing messaging strategies, and gaining valuable insights into product packaging and concepts. Without a shadow of a doubt, focus groups are like a researcher’s trusty compass, helping them navigate the terrain of products and brands to uncover a general sense of direction.

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    What is the Future of Celebrity Rating Scales?
    28 Aug 2023

    Celebrities dominate popular culture and often have a strong influence over what’s what in the entertainment space. Experts in the field of marketing and branding have long since experimented with ranking celebrities. Sure all of their status, power, and fortune are good indicators that they are generally liked in the public’s eye, but the nuances of how they truly rank against their peers (and competition) could be hair-splittingly close. There are multiple ways to assess the public awareness and likeability of a celebrity or public figure. One of the most effective ways to measure celebrity ratings is through a Q-score. The history of a q-score holds significant importance for understanding the impact of celebrities on public perception, media, marketing, and popular culture.

    What is a Q-Score?

    A Q-Score is a tool that is commonly used in measuring the public percept of a celebrity or public figure. This is done by calculating the measured familiarity and the appeal of the celebrity. A Q-Score can also be useful for characters, brands and more. Q-scores provide a quantitative measurement of a celebrity’s popularity and appeal. This helps move beyond subjective opinions and provides a standardized way to assess a celebrity’s public standing.

    While a Q-Score can be incredibly useful for a celebrity’s team, agents, managers or PR relationships in order to make decisions about their client’s public eye. A q-score assessment is also a surprise secret weapon that marketers and researchers can use to propel their brand.

    These scores also often aid marketers and advertisers to identify celebrities that have a resonance with their audience. They gauge familiarity and appeal in order to make decisions about which celebrities to invite to events, to promote their products or use them in a campaign to increase the likelihood of positive consumer response. Researchers can use Q-scores to compare the popularity of different celebrities, characters, or brands. This data-driven approach can provide insights into the factors that contribute to their appeal and help identify emerging trends.

    However, some experts are questioning whether the Q-Score is out of style. Twenty years ago, the Q-score was used as a holy grail at evaluating where a celebrity stood with both familiarity and likability. This has completely changed with the introduction of the internet and the change of celebrity culture. There are a few reasons why that can be broken down with some simple formulas;

    The Niche Celeb

    Awareness + Likability
    The internet has made it possible for anyone to post content that has the ability to access a large group of people. Large social media platforms such as Youtube and more recently Tiktok, have given people a chance to grow a devoted fan base without the household name status. These people might not be known by everyone (low awareness) but the people who are aware of them are incredibly supportive of these celebrities (likeability). Sometimes, some of these niche celebrities (such as Addison Rae) lose their These niche celebs also have the power to transition into household name status, but in turn this might lose them the likability that their small but loving fan base provided.

    Power of Polarization

    +Awareness – Likeability
    This category is for public figures and celebrities that might be extremely well known, but they have notoriety or a polarizing reputation. The Kardashians for example, are some of the most followed people on Instagram in the world, but their Q-Score is lower for their familiarity because their reputation is polarizing. Celebrities need to make sure that their familiarity is growing, but their reputation is also appealing to a large group of people.

    In essence, celebrity research, including Q-scores, offers insights that can guide decision-making in marketing, media coverage, entertainment production, and more. It allows stakeholders to make informed choices based on quantifiable data about a celebrity’s appeal and familiarity, contributing to ore effective strategies and outcomes in various industries. However, there is no doubt that the inherent unpredictability of public opinion and the ever-changing nature of trends can cause these numbers to fluctuate as time goes on. A celebrity’s reputation can quickly shift because of one event, a change in how people feel, or new competitors in the media. So, while celebrity research helps decision-makers, it’s important to also understand the bigger picture and be ready to change plans.

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    A Summary of Sampling
    14 Apr 2023

    After hours developing your research plan, writing your questions, and programming your survey, it is time to launch your survey. Before launching the study, it is essential to have a precise sample plan. This is a key step when fielding quantitative research. Proper sampling is important for making sure your research captures an accurate audience that your research is meant to represent. Here is a quick lesson on sampling, its importance, and how to properly plan your sample.

    What is Sample? 

    You have an audience you want to reach that is unique to your objectives. It may be the US population, students, buyers of gum, or even physicians. Regardless of who your audience is, it is not efficient to survey the whole population due to several factors, including price and logistics.  

    That is where sampling comes in; it allows you to project the outcomes of a whole population based on a small subset. The larger the sample size, the smaller variance in error to match the population accurately. At a certain point, the variance becomes so small that increasing your sample size is no longer beneficial. 

    You will need to take the following attributes into account to help determine the sample size: 

    • Size of your overall population
    • The margin of error (ideally, you want it to be less than 4%)
      • The degree of uncertainty 
    • Confidence level (typically, you base it on a 95% confidence level), 
      • The percentage of certainty that the confidence interval would contain the true population parameter when you draw a random sample.

    When considering a sample size, you must understand whether you are sub-segmenting the audience or conducting advanced analytics. Both tactics may require more sample.

    Representative Sample 

    If your sample is supposed to match a particular audience in characteristics, then it is essential to make sure it is representative. This means proportionally matching characteristics such as demographic, purchase habits or behavioral attributes. For example, if your target population skews slightly more female, so should your sample.

    Making your sample representative is important because it helps ensure that your data truly reflects your wider target audience. People from various backgrounds and demographics will have vastly different opinions. Therefore, making sure your sample includes the proper proportion of each of these individual differences helps keep your data accurate.

    How Do You Ensure Your Sample is Representative? 

    Proper representation is important, but how do you achieve it? There are a few ways to collect a representative sample, each with advantages and barriers. Choosing one of these methodologies can help prevent sampling error.

    Stratified sampling

    Stratified sampling involves specifying the needed cohorts within your sample and setting quotas for each. While specifically fielding for specific quotas, randomly selecting participants within these groups ensures unbiased data while still matching the sample to the population. The methodology provides high accuracy, but fielding the remaining open slots can become difficult and time-consuming as quotas fill.


    Weighting achieves sample representation after survey fielding has already closed. The methodology involves adjusting the power of each respondent to make the influence of each sub-group representative of that population, even if the physical number of people in the sample is slightly off. 

    Here is an example. Let’s say you have too few responses in your sample from people under 30 years old and too many people above 50. Weighting can make the answers from the younger group “worth more” than the answers from the older cohort. This evens the playing field when looking at the data.

    Weighting can be an incredibly useful tool, allowing you to match the population even after responses have been collected. However, it is important to use the methodology sparingly, as over-weighting could provide too much power to an individual respondent, degrading the quality of your results. 

    Combining stratified sampling with weighting

    Using both methodologies to achieve proper representation can minimize the difficulties or challenges of using only one. Beginning with a stratified sample allows you to fill your survey with as much physical representation as possible. But when quotas start to fill up, and targeting becomes too narrow, minimal weighting allows you to stay on schedule by opening up to more general responses and making adjustments to correct the representation later on.

    A One More Tip Before You Go…Use Databases

    Often it can be difficult to pinpoint the demographic breaks for your sample. In these cases, there are several resources that you can turn to. The largest of these databases is the US Census. The Census collects countless data about the US population, from demographics to employment to homeownership. It is also free! 

    Using the census and other databases to proportionally plan your sample will help ensure your research adequately reflects the larger population. Other databases, such as MRI, can provide attributes in regards to behavioral characteristics. However, many of the courses have a price tag. 


    A well-planned sample will elevate your research and provide assurance that your analysis will be on-point, accurate, and statistically sound. If you don’t take the time to plan out your sample, you run the risk of degrading the quality of your data. It is crucial to take the time to gather the sample that fits your needs in order to set your analysis up for success.

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    The Pros and Cons of Survey Intercepts
    11 Apr 2023

    Survey Intercepts! The methodology was popular before the growth of online research since all research was conducted offline or via telephone. However, survey intercepts are still useful and relevant today. This methodology involves stopping people on the street or in other public environments to interview them in person.

    The method ensures high-quality responses and catches participants when memories are fresh. However, intercepts require intense planning and could incur high costs. Here are some pros and cons to help your company decide if this methodology suits your research needs.

    The Pros of Survey Intercepts

    Ensure that you are speaking to the right consumers

    Ensuring the right people take your survey is essential to receiving quality results. What better way to meet your audience than on their turf?

    Online surveys are a quick and convenient way to gather many responses. Still, several hours and quality checks must go into tailoring the survey to ensure only the proper respondents qualify for the study.

    In-person survey intercepts can reduce errors by interviewing consumers at a time and place where you can be sure that they qualify. Whether your goal is to evaluate a restaurant experience or review a purchasing occasion, questioning the source in real-time will ensure you speak to the proper people for your study.

    This methodology is excellent when you have niche locations where you want to find specific consumers. For example, a regional supermarket chain or a department store that wants to understand who is shopping at their establishment may use survey intercepts since being on-location will confirm that you are speaking to the correct shoppers.

    Catch consumers at essential moments

    The perks of survey intercepts extend beyond just ensuring you speak to the right audience. The methodology allows you to speak to them when their memories on the topic are fresh.

    Distributing a questionnaire weeks or months after an experience or purchase, may change a visitor’s perception of the actual event. Intercepting visitors immediately after exiting an experience or an establishment will garner fresh thoughts that are not clouded by life events and responsibilities that have occurred in between.

    Gather top-quality results without intense cleaning

    Accurate surveys require reducing errors as much as possible. Unfortunately, the internet is not perfect, and errors occur. While some respondents will click through a survey without reading questions, others may not even be human! Online surveys must undergo an intense cleaning process to eliminate these participants. Results must be combed through for gibberish open-ends and straight-lined grids to eliminate lazy survey takers and bots.

    When you survey a respondent in real-time, you can assess their engagement and ensure they answer the questions seriously and thoughtfully.

    The Cons of Survey Intercepts

    It is more difficult to gather a larger sample

    Online studies through a panel or sample provider allow you to gather a large respondent pool, which gives more options for dissecting the data. More participants will allow you to break down respondents into more intricate sub-groups to see the differences between these segments. When your sample pool is more limited in numbers, some breaks may have too few responses to garner more than directional insights.

    When you field a survey on-location, gathering enough participants to create substantial breaks can be a challenge, especially if you are in a low-traffic area. You become bound by the number of people visiting the location during the fielding period. Furthermore, only some people who show up will agree to participate. Online fielding may be a better option if your goal involves viewing the data through a lens of several subgroups.

    A detailed plan of action is necessary

    Fielding an online survey is simple. Pick your fielding panel, choose your target, and go! Survey intercepts?…not so much.

    Many more steps of planning must go into the process.

    • First and foremost, you need people to conduct the intercepts.
    • You will also need a means of conducting the survey, such as tablets or computers.
    • If the survey is being built using an online tool, you’d better ensure the fielding location has stable internet.
    • Does the business have more than one location? If so, you need to properly field across multiple locations to ensure that there are no biases by focusing too much on one location.

    You will also need to ensure you research any rules about the fielding location that can affect your project.

    • Are certain areas of the location off-limits?
    • Do you need a permit to conduct the research?
    • What are the times that the location is open?

    If you decide to field your survey using this method, ensure all of these logistics are considered to avoid delays or, worse, have to cancel your study.

    The cost can be high for a low number of responses

    Fielding a survey online can be very cost-efficient. Depending on your target audience, you can complete a large study for as little as a few dollars per response. This is because people generally take online surveys when they have some downtime and have less on their minds.

    When intercepting someone on the street to take a survey, they are likely on their way to another destination. They could be traveling to a meeting or event, or trying to catch a train. This unplanned participation makes the time you have with the participant more valuable, so incentives need to be more significant. Other costs include:

    • paying surveyors/interviewer
    • buying equipment
    • securing permits
    • paying for the researchers’ travel expenses

    When added together, questioning a hundred people in person could cost the same, or more, as a thousand qualified respondents online!

    How do you know if survey intercepts are right for you?

    Choosing a methodology for research can take some careful thought and planning. Survey intercepts are integral in answering the questions you need in real-time from people you are certain just interacted with your brand. Their experience is fresh and their perceptions are top of mind, which can give a solid and accurate snapshot of their path to purchase. However, before green-lighting an intercept survey, here are some things all market researchers will need to consider :

    • Does this fit our budget?
    • Do we have the bandwidth and man hours to pull this off?
    • Is a smaller respondent pool enough to answer our objectives?

    If you can check these boxes, a survey intercept could be the right methodology to gather the actionable insight you’ve been needing for your brand.

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    How is Technology Changing Market Research?
    29 Mar 2023

    Technology has revolutionized the way many industries conduct their business. This includes market research. From the early boom of Big Data to the emergence of Artificial Intelligence, several technologies are helping streamline the process of market research. As technology continues to advance and consumer behavior evolves, it is important for market researchers to stay up to date on the latest trends and emerging technologies. Below are the top five trends to pay attention to:

    1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer operated intelligence system that collects, and synthesizes information. The use of AI is becoming more and more popular in many major industries, with market research not being an exception. The use of AI in marketing research can be useful in automating time-consuming tasks such as data cleaning and basic data analysis. Incorporating AI tools can help save research time on these tasks, allowing researchers to spend more time focusing on big picture tasks such as storytelling, and making marketing recommendations. However, some researchers are concerned about the use of AI in market research, feeling that the technology might take away from their current jobs and negatively affect their career.

    2. Big Data

    Big Data has become hugely successful since its boom in the early 2010s. Accessing critical data from many participants is now more accessible than ever, which market researchers are using to their advantage. The use of big data analytics tools has enabled researchers to analyze vast amounts of data more quickly and efficiently than ever before. This helps researchers to identify patterns and insights that may not have been apparent before when this amount of data was not accessible.

    However, market researchers should be somewhat weary of big data, since it doesn’t always mean that the information is 100% reliable. Collecting a larger amount of data could mean that there is a larger chance that there could be inaccuracies, errors, and bad responses. These errors could lead to researchers unknowingly coming to misdirected conclusions. Market researchers should use their expertise and skills in analyzing big data to ensure they are getting the most out of their data.

    3. Social Listening technology

    Social media monitoring is a wealth of information about consumer opinions and behavior that breaks down the “why” behind consumer behaviors. Researchers can use software that helps monitor social media and analyze multiple conversations from a variety of social media platforms to gain important insights. These insights can include, tracking brand sentiments, identifying trends, monitoring competitor activities, and targeting specific audiences. These attributes overlap with some of the objectives that are typically the goal of market research, more specifically qualitative initiatives. Social listening is an effective technology that market researchers should consider to garner a “raw” look at consumer opinions than what a survey might bring in.

    4. Blockchain

    Blockchain technology allows for a secure and transparent way to store and share data. The tech has the potential to significantly improve the market research industry by also improving data privacy and security and helping facilitate faster and more efficient payments to participants. Blockchains can also be beneficial to market research since it allows market researchers to be transparent about how they use and store respondent information. Blockchains are useful because it keeps Personal Identifiable Information (PII) in order, making the respondents feel more secure. Although experts predict that blockchains will become a more innovative feature in market research, they still have a long way to go. Blockchains are still not a commonplace staple in market research due to their newness. Market researchers and consumers alike want to see it put into action in other industries before engaging in it themselves.

    5. Virtual Reality (VR)

    Virtual reality (VR) has become an increasingly buzzworthy technology that is gaining interest in the marketing world. VR can be used to simulate real-world environments and help invoke strong emotional reactions and thoughts from the person experiencing them. Market researchers are interested in incorporating VR into their designs and strategies. This is because VR gives market research an edge in getting up close and personal with the consumers, something other market research methods lack. Some of the ways that VR can be used in market research include product testing, consumer behavior testing, usability testing, and focus groups. For example, if a supermarket is testing out a new store layout then consumers can use VR to virtually walk through the store and have their natural reactions observed. This could be more poignant than if the consumers were shown pictures or just asked about their attitudes on store layout changes.

    The Future of Technology & Market Research

    While some people are hesitant about using this new technology, these five advancements indicate that it is a positive change for the industry rather than a negative one. Some researchers are hesitant to incorporate newer technologies such as AI and VR, fearing that they will take over the field and render actual people conducting market research obsolete. However, if we use examples of now commonplace technologies in the industry, such as social listening or the use of Big Data, we can see that this new technology will only enhance our marketing research capabilities by laying a solid foundation to build upon instead of taking away.

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    2023 Travel Marketing Trends
    12 Dec 2022

    What should the hospitality industry expect for the travel sector in 2023? Thanksgiving numbers may show the demand for flights increasing, but does this bump signify a long-term uptick in travel spending? Provoke Insights, a full-service market research firm, investigated what is happening in the market and how this will impact brands in the hospitality industry.

    Inflation’s Impacts on Travel 

    Thanksgiving travel numbers reached the highest levels since the pandemic’s start. With airport attendance measuring in the millions, airlines may jump to conclusions and prepare for a busy winter moving forward. However, with the skies more open than they have been in years and fewer regulations for travel being enforced, Families may have rushed to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones with whom they have not been able to spend time.

    However, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that inflation has drastically impacted airline prices, with prices rising 42.9% in just one year. As inflation impacts discretionary spending, will this prevent people from vacationing? 

    Consumers’ Reaction to the Economy 

    Provoke Insights’ research has found that almost three-quarters of Americans (70%) report being more budget conscious. Since Spring 2022, the following changes have occurred: 

    • Only a fifth of consumers expects to travel in the next three months, down 12%.
    • 16% of consumers booked a hotel in the last month, a five percent decline.
    • 15% purchased airline tickets, a decline of five percent.

    What Most Influences Purchases of Airline Tickets and Booking Hotels

    Price (76%) and availability (41%) are the largest motivators to purchasing airline tickets—only a quarter care about quality. As a result, deals and specials would move the needle when it comes to purchases of these tickets. Promoting specials such as free baggage check and free wifi or emphasizing lower-tier seating prices, such as “basic economy,” could draw Americans on the fence about vacationing. In addition, showing that your airline has convenient times to travel may also be helpful to consumers. 

    While price is also a concern when selecting a hotel, over half (53%) consider quality a primary deciding factor. An emphasis on the facility amenities and room features can pique the interest of consumers, while package deals or multi-night discounts could alleviate cost concerns.

    Age Impacts Travel 

    Age plays a factor in the types of vacations consumers have in mind. Marketing and advertising initiatives must tailor communication (e.g., messaging and imagery) to best fit each audience’s needs. 

    Regarding domestic travel, Baby Boomers and Gen X are more likely to create itineraries within the States. It is important to note that these travelers have a higher household income and are optimistic about the future. 

    Travel brands can appeal to these audiences by promoting weekend getaways and luxury experiences. As these travelers are likely to have more expendable income, companies can market higher-end packages with less concern about affordability. From media buys and imagery to messaging should focus on what appeals to this age group. 

    On the other hand, international travel is more popular among younger Americans, especially Gen Z, has the highest propensity to get their passports out. These travelers are likely college or post-college-age who are ready to escape and explore the world after two years of isolation and virtual classes. 

    Travel brands should promote exotic “backpacking” friendly experiences for this audience. All-inclusive deals or organized group trips will simplify planning for these young adventurers and add an aspect of much-anticipated social interaction. As they are younger, affordability may play a larger role in their travel destination.


    Provoke Insights conducted a 15-minute survey in the fall of 2022 among 1,500 Americans between the ages of 21 and 65. A random stratified sample methodology was used to ensure a high degree of representation of the U.S. population (household income, age, gender, geography, ethnicity, and children in the household). Statistical differences between subgroups were tested at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error is +/-2.5%.

    2023 Trends in Market Research
    07 Dec 2022

    Check out predictions for this coming year from Provoke Insights, a full-service market research firm! Our conclusions for 2023 come from industry articles, blogs, government data, and our own observations. As inflation remains present and interest rates continue to rise, companies will need to re-focus their priorities in the next few quarters. 

    One Research Project Needs to Answer Many Needs

    Current economic strains have company earnings below expected projections. Research budgets may not be as robust as they have been in previous years. Research companies will need to think outside the box for creative solutions to make research go further. It will be imperative to tackle two objectives simultaneously and find cost-effective solutions to finding the appropriate sample. 

    Tech Budgets are Slowing

    The technology sector in the last few years has been on fire, especially during the pandemic’s peak. The rapid industry growth resulted in a need for several market research projects. However, that is not the case anymore. The intense need for technology has decreased as more people return in-store, in-office, going out, and traveling. As a result, this sector’s demand for research is not as strong as it has been previously.

    New Sectors Take Center Stage

    The United States’ commitment to rebuilding infrastructure and reducing the climate crisis has resulted in money funneling into construction and sustainability categories. Both areas will need research help to support the growth areas as expansion occurs. In addition, consumer-facing brands have the opportunity to focus on sustainability goals that may have taken a back seat during the pandemic. Brands will need research to understand the best approach to successfully implement these new initiatives.

    The Need for Strategic Insights, Despite Automation

    Automation has been a hot topic in the research field for the last few years. It’s been most commonly integrated into more and more market research tools to deliver the data and in helping to interpret the results. As this technology matures, we will see automation becoming more specialized.

    However, as more research processes become automated, the need for data to tell a story and provide strategic direction is ever so important. You will need more than just robots to help with the research.

    Researchers with strategic experience will be in high demand as they can uncover insight into the data through which AI sifts. Often researchers only create graphs and regurgitate the data. The need for storytellers to provide actionable results that answer business objectives is crucial.

    Sampling Experts Needed

    The days of “setting and forgetting” a survey in-field are over. Online survey tools allow for wider reach and quick turnarounds. Unfortunately, this opens up opportunities for bots to infiltrate, even if the survey software offers safeguards. Although many marketers may want to bring their research in-house as budgets are cut, many won’t have the bandwidth to implement the necessary quality checks while the survey is live. Research companies carefully comb through every respondent that comes in to ensure they qualify, answer questions thoughtfully, and do not rush through. These extra eyes on your survey will ensure you get accurate insights and actionable results.