4 top tips market researchers can take from a fast food chain
Let’s be honest for a moment…. You are thinking, what on earth can fast food chains have to do with market researchers?
Well even if you are a university student, a recent graduate, research manager or a director, this blog post will offer 4 or maybe 5 top tips you can take away with you and implement. And they are all from fast food chains like Dominoes and McDonald’s.
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Even if you are like me and haven’t visited a fast food chain recently you will still be able to understand some of the key principles of why some of them are Footsie 100 companies and have grown to have a long-standing customer base.
In the market research sector, agencies struggle to prove doubters wrong when their proven methodologies and products are actually being challenged or not taken. The fear of failure is painful, yes. And whilst there are now more and more agencies and strategists in the market space, it’s important to not change but adapt processes to help your business succeed in a competitive landscape. But you could be missing 4 key tricks that could enhance your agency for the next 6 – 12 months. Even if you are a long-standing research agency who are in the top 50 of the MRS league table or a start-up, these 4 or maybe 5 key tricks will be able to help you and your team be successful.
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Simple order process You walk into a fast food chain and you can very quickly order food within minutes, whether that is online, in person or via an online system in the store. To some degree, there is no need to even talk to someone. Companies like Zappi Store make market research quick and easy for many organisations to purchase an ‘off the shelf’ project that is of interest to them. You can sometimes get same day results from leading research agencies with the help of automated tools from Zappi that try to make market research easy. Many research agencies make it difficult for potential clients to order from them. And this comes firstly from their website that can leave many confused. After viewing a website or contacting someone that is normally a Business Development Manager, the order process then depends on the knowledge and capabilities of the BDM who has to articulate how their potential order could be processed (methodology) and then delivered.

Fast and effective food delivery service (if take way)

If you are a Dominoes fan, you will know their ordering system has changed slightly to provide the customer with more than ever information in relation to their order. From knowing when your pizza is cooking away to when it is being delivered. And better yet, if you are one to keep a chilled drink in the fridge ready for your pizza, you can track your driver to your front door.

And this has somewhat been lost by market research agencies. With the use of automation in reporting, agencies can now respond to clients briefs and questions much more quickly than a number of years ago. Having said that, clients now want agencies to act like strategic partners who can recommend insights to them that can be implemented on the ground. And this can provide challenges in terms of skill sets needed for this particular task but it also challenges the resource available. Researcher CV’s are now becoming generic and you may see the same skill sets if you were looking at 10-50 different CV’s. And without experience in the particular field or any ‘know how’ about a particular subject in question, it can be difficult to offer strategic input and recommendations.


Standardised results across the board. Everyone gets the same cheeseburger they order!

Tracking studies offer agencies an opportunity to sell data and information to a number of clients at the same time and they may all receive the same information and data. Similar to any fast food chain, they offer standardised results (food) to clients (fast food lovers). Having said that, if you don’t like a gherkin, you could replace or take that piece out of your order.

Are market research agencies adaptable as fast food chains?


Sometimes it’s just too much…

You might be really hungry so you order an extra-large pizza or a meal you don’t normally order to solve your starvation. But there is just sooooo much food to consume. So, you leave some behind or maybe save it for breakfast the next day.

And this is a very similar scenario for client-facing organisations. Whereby research agencies don’t focus on the immediate challenges their clients are facing and ultimately present them with a report that includes everything from their fieldwork with a lack of recommendations and thought into the whole client relationship process.

It is then a 100+ slide report full of charts and figures that actually have no meaning or insights behind them. For a non-savvy insight professional, it can be a daunting task to look at a number of charts and tables that look the same and then try to interpret it, when data and numbers are potentially not your roles.

If, however, you are working with an insight director or manager, then you need to impress them and showing them a long and boring report will do just not that. Clients now receive numerous phone calls, emails and LinkedIn requests from agencies, meaning it’s a competitive landscape to work in and a report could make or break an account.

So what can you learn from fast food chains?


  1. Offer a range of simple and digestible options for clients to choose from and include the health remarks (e.g. calories), such as the price and longevity of the individual programmes.
  2. Provide fast and effective reporting that can be actioned by Insight and non-insight-savvy individuals.
  3. To drive profitability – offer standardised products that require potentially less time than an ad-hoc project
  4. Offer the information clients require, not what you want them to see.
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How to develop a customer centric proposition with a little help from Sainsbury’s?

How to develop a customer centric proposition with a little help from Sainsbury’s?

How to develop a customer-centric proposition with a little help from Sainsbury’s?
I recently noticed a major shift in terms of customer engagement from large supermarkets like Sainsbury’s who announced their new Nectar scheme that values returning customers. You could potentially argue this happens already; when you go to a supermarket and swipe a loyalty card, you will only accumulate more points by going often. But Sainsbury’s are encouraging customers to return to their stores so they can receive bonus points, which in turn, will be more than a less loyal customer.
It will be an interesting development. And I thought how could I help you to become customer centric with a little help from Sainsbury’s?

This blog post will provide you with 5 key things you can do that will help your organisation be customer centric, whether you are a market research agency or not.

So here are the top 5 things you should be doing if you are calling yourself a customer centric organisation:

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Think like a customer, serve like a king or queen

A customer-centric approach needs to be in the eyes of the customer and therefore, you see many organisations and agencies conduct ethnographic research where they can understand what goes on in the customers world. This is commonly used by specific products that agencies own or third-party ownership, but there have been cases where WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat have been used.

Customers buy solutions

Customers buy solutions to a need, not products or services. They are interested in what you can do to help solve their problems or make life easier for them. To put this into perspective, think of Steve Jobs who never actually asked customers or potential buyers how they wanted an iPhone developed or what cool new gadgets individuals wanted to be using next year, Apple just developed the iPhone with customers needs in mind over their wants. And you could pick many different FTSE100 companies in the world and argue they are customer centric when they develop new products and technology.

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Provide an experience not just a product

With many products targeting a specific segment such as millennials, customer-centric organisations now provide not only a solution to a need but an all-around experience to their business and product. To put this into practice, you can look at many different sports brands such as Adidas and Nike who continually use a wide range of social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. With a goal to interact with their fans, customers and potential customers.


The bread and butter of the business

One of the main differences between a ccustomer-centriccompany and a potential start up is their focus on particular customers. They routinely conduct market research to understand their particular segment and they never stray from those consumers. It is continually based on value proposition and customer retention. That is not to say that if you are not in a particular segment you are forgotten about, but they are not central to the business, they are an added bonus!

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Throw out the fishing line first

Every business lives and breadths in a competitive landscape but being customer-centric sometimes means you have to throw out the fishing line first. I mean, many customers don’t actually know what they need before they realise it and see it in action. Take the mobile phone for example, before mobile phones were invented, individuals didn’t understand the need for a phone you could have in your pocket that was mobile. But now there is a necessity for the product.


So there you have it, my top 5 tips to a customer-centric organisation.


  • What other examples have you seen in business where a customer-centric approach has been used?
  • Do you think a customer-centric approach will be used in 5 – 10 years’ time?
  • For organisations who sell in multiple countries, how do they offer a customer-centric approach to business with key stakeholders and customers all over the world?
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How to create a strong personal brand that gets results?

How to create a strong personal brand that gets results?

How to create a strong personal brand that gets results?

The use of Twitter has become an ever-growing trend for industry workers to share their experiences with fellow like-minded individuals or to complain to a company about the customer service we have received. I am sure we can all tick that box..

According to the Omnicore Agency , there are 330 million individuals who use Twitter every monthly. Not all of these will be related to marketing or market research, but it shows you the scale that is possible.

Are you new to Twitter?


Have you used Twitter for a period of time?

Whether you answered yes to the first or second question, this article will be able to help you take advantage of Twitter to enhance your career and personal brand as a market researcher. And the same rules apply if your role is a strategist or even a director.

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But why should you read my top 4 tips to enhance your career and personal brand on Twitter?

My ResearchGeek concept/website was only started around 2 years ago. At the same time, I changed my Twitter to relate to my personal brand (ResearchGeek) and increased by following to over 2,500 including 1,000+ subscribers to my newsletter. Whilst the following grows, conversations emerge and that means opportunities. I now speak internationally at events and webinars about market research and it was all from Twitter and communicating with people. But let’s not forget, Twitter isn’t for everyone, so I have now created an Instagram and Facebook account so you can follow my journey as a market research and an industry blogger.

So here it goes, I am going to take you through 4 ways that will create you a strong personal brand and get you results in the market research space.

Use hashtags

If you are new to Twitter, you will be able to see that many tweets contain one or two hashtags. Some even contain more than two. These help readers locate specific tweets in relation to a topic they are interested in. But it also helps the publisher showcase their thoughts to the correct individuals who may be interested in their opinion. You will see many posts that include more than 2 hashtags and I personally think this damages your personal brand as a market researcher as it looks like spam. Buffer recently conducted a piece of research in relation to hashtags and they also recommend 2 hashtags as the optimum number to promote tweets.

In market research, there are a number of hashtags I would recommend searching for, and they are:

  • #NewMR
  • #mrx
  • #marketresearch
  • #insight

Actually, there are many more hashtags available, but it is important to know the main market research events around the world. As all of these will have their own specific hashtags so you can follow the commentary.

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Share your thoughts and opinions

What ever you post on Twitter, you are letting anyone see what your thoughts and opinions are. But this shouldn’t put you off from having an opinion about particular subjects. There are so many different subject areas you could discuss in relation to market research from methodology development, survey design to infographics and data visualisation. The language you use to share your thoughts and opinions depends on what type of personal brand you wish to have…

But Twitter is not just about sharing your own thoughts, but its also about sharing other peoples as well. And this can be done by retweeting.

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You don’t have to be on social media 24/7 (Pick the most appropriate times)

If you are just starting on Twitter or you have been a long-standing user of the platform, you don’t have to be on it 24/7 to get results. And by results, I mean discussions with others, retweets, likes and clicks to any links you might have posted. HootSuite recently published an article for individuals to understand when to post on Twitter to get results. They observed thousands of tweets and found that 3pm from Monday to Friday was the best time to post. And that is for any industry. So as a market researcher, I would identify when you would like to post on Twitter but also when your followers are also posting so you can try and have a conversation with them.

Obviously, market research is an international sector with clients and agencies all over the world, meaning individuals in different countries will tweet at different times. There are many platforms that can help you to schedule tweets such as Hootsuite and Buffer.

Enhance your personal brand on social media

Your personal brand is who you are. If you wish to be an ‘expert’ in a particular subject, then you need to articulate that by, answering questions with conviction and clarity. However, many individuals in market research who are starting out in their careers are keen learners and as such, you should ask a question to enhance your learning whilst emphasising your thoughts and opinions on a given subject. There is no wrong answer, but there is an opportunity to have your opinion staged in front of many people.

It’s important to be individualised and authentic in your responses, if you wish to agree with someone’s suggestion, then may articulate why you agree with them, to strike a new conversation.

But remember that a personal brand isn’t just online but its what individuals think of you on LinkedIn for example, at conferences, your writing style but also in the office. And you should try and be consistent through your social media channels but also in conversations with others whether online or in person. If you are a fun and bubbly person and enjoy the realms of market research, let people know that.

Now its time to put these top tips into action and create a solid personal brand for yourself.

Do you need help to understand what your personal brand could look like?

Well I am here to help.

Email me at jake@researchgeek.co.uk or tweet me to see how I can help!

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Is a single-question customer metric enough?

Is a single-question customer metric enough?

The single-question customer metric has always been a popular tool to measure customer loyalty, via ad-hoc or longitudinal studies. Indeed, many organisations use the Net Promoter Score (NPS), following the claim that a single question is all that is needed to predict a company’s financial performance, customer loyalty and growth.

It is argued that by asking “How likely is it that you would recommend company X to a friend or colleague?”, an organisation is able to assess overall customer loyalty based on the customer’s intention to refer others. Although the question can give you an indication of loyalty during the customer journey it doesn’t actually give you any explanation of the root course or the cause of a low score. It only gives you a snippet of information even if you analysed the results against demographic details. For a brand/business, this is simply not enough.

The success of customer loyalty comes down to a number of aspects but it is mainly fuelled by managers’ recognition of the benefits that a loyal customer base brings. Click To Tweet

In a nutshell, loyal customers mean they are more likely to:

  • Interact positively with the brand on social networks including Twitter and Instagram
  • Devote a high share of spending with the brand
  • Promote the brand through word of mouth
  • Provide constructive criticism where necessary to improve an aspect of the brand whether that is brand quality to customer service received.

All of these desired behaviours from the ‘loyal customer’ are expected to translate into consistent cash flows and increased revenue for the business. However, this requires formal customer experience programs that monitor performance and guide improvement efforts. Traditionalists would argue that it could be obtained through customer surveys that track measures such as satisfaction, repurchase intention and word-of-mouth intention.

However, I would like to recommend splitting customer loyalty into 3 areas:

  • WHAT someone thinks about the brand
  • HOW they purchase and communicate with the brand
  • WHERE they purchase or provide feedback from

The below image shows you the overall snapshot of customer loyalty and how I personally think it could be. Having said that, I am not trying to say organisations have their customer loyalty programmes wrong, but many need ongoing refinements to keep up with consumer demands and the methods they communicate with others.

There are, however, 3 main customer loyalty QUICK WINS that organisations who are in the Premier League of customer loyalty adopt:

  • Perks! Everyone like a reason to sign up or to purchase a product, whether that is points, discounts or free items for being a new customer. The could be the driver behind acquiring new customers.
  • Re-inforcing – The perks and added-value propositions should not stop there. You want to treat your customers like they have only just signed up, to start a life-long customer relationship with them.
  • If a customer is presented with opportunities to maximise their loyalty rewards and receives targeted communication via email, text or social media related to their individual needs, they are more likely to continue to support the company/brand. And this not only includes potentially spending more money on the brand but sharing their experiences through word of mouth.

How is customer loyalty embedded in your organisation? Click To Tweet

5 Tech trends set to transform the insight industry

5 Tech trends set to transform the insight industry

In the summer of 2018, the mobile application ecosystem, one of the biggest industries on the planet, will turn 10. Recent worldwide statistics mentioned over 352 billion day-to-day mobile applications will be downloaded by 2021. This is almost double the amount from 2017 where 197 billion were downloaded.

With GDPR becoming ever so important for businesses and especially market research agencies who constantly work with big data and the ever-increasing ‘private’ individual who does not want to show as many private details online than in the past, how can day-to-day applications help market research?

This quick-fire blog post will discuss a range of day-to-day mobile apps we use and how the sector can merge them. This is not your standard blog post, I am not going to recommend asking all of your potential sample or participants to download the SurveyMonkey App, I mean applications users are using day-to-day.

But what are we looking for from a mobile app in relation to market research? A number of things:

  • Improved response time from participants.
  • Quality responses
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Application individualsare familiar with
  • An application that provides all data security requirements in line with MRS and GDPR



71% of Snapchat users are under the age of 34 and 70% are female. Interestingly, people under the age of 25 use Snapchat for approximately 40 minutes every day with over 400 million stories created every day. Stories can tell a number of aspects of someone’s life and how they are feeling. You see today, many organisations creating their own ethnographic applications for market research but I personally feel that Snapchat is a very useful tool and a mobile application that can be used in market research. Ethnographic methods look at:

  • People in their own culture
  • The implicit and explicit thoughts of individuals day-to-day
  • The way individuals interact with one another and with their social and cultural environment
  • Their language that is shared withothers including emoji’s day to day

Over 400 million stories been shared and told every day and in a sense, this is ethnographic research. Telling a story of someone in their culture spontaneously.


A grocery store would like to understand the customer journey of individuals to purchasing in store. Snapchat could be used to capture people in action, from travelling to check out in a subconscious manner. This could relate to how the store layout is, to how the food is arranged. The list could be endless.

Obviously, the introduction of animoji’s and emoji’s helps to drop personal and identifiable information and in turn, help participants feel more comfortable in front of the researcher or tool being used, whilst still being able to put forward their views, emotions and some elements of their personality.


How can you start tapping into Snapchat?

Create an internal project to test the concept

Create a small internal research project which could include between 5-20 colleagues. Test the research concept/journey with them, from starting the research project to analysing videos and text

Pinpoint the area of interest

There is no point deciding to use Snapchat with no research goals. You could say this for any project, but it is even more important when using social platforms.



On a similar note is Instagram which many brands have targeted to advertise products directly to potential customers with the help of influencers. The saying ‘pictures can tell a thousand words’ never could be more potent when brands want to understand what sits behind a consumer’s life. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram can save images and life stories using their own language day by day. You could argue it is one of the largest spontaneous life storyboards available on the world-wide web apart from Facebook. Think of it like big qualitative.

But how can brands and market research agencies use Instagram to their advantage?

Brands used to monitor social media data and comments which swiftly evolved into listening. But brands now need to progress listening to intelligence. It is critical to be aware and informed in real-time when there is a risk to reputation but also how their brands are perceived not just on social media but on the world-wide-web from blogs to general comments.

How can you start tapping into Instagram?

Take a look first

Instagram is a free to use the tool and you are able to access a range of stories and photos from all over the world. So, I would recommend taking some time to look at how individuals communicate on the platform and potentially how images portray their feelings to then understand how to use Instagram for market research purposes.



Globally, WhatsApp has over 1.3 billion active users, people are using the app daily to keep in touch with friends and family, sharing photos and videos as they do so.

With this in mind, why not replicate our participants’ everyday behaviours and interact with them via the communication tools they are frequently using?

Respondents can spontaneously express themselves via emojis, videos, photos, images or voice memos, allowing them to express themselves as they see fit creating a natural and relaxed researcher-participant interaction.  We have undoubtedly seen an improvement in the openness of responses shared and subsequently, the data collected.

As a mobile-based app, it also provides the opportunity for participants to take the research with them, capturing in-the-moment feedback and allowing them to share real-time experiences as they happen.  For example, sports fans attending an event can upload videos throughout the event, complete specific tasks, share images of the point of sale displays and respond to interviewer probing whilst living the experience in question.

With end-to-end encryption of messages now a WhatsApp feature you can also feel confident that your research interactions are staying private.

This particular method and recent work was established by MMRI Research and Ellie Osbourne.

More information can be found here: http://mmri-radar.com/.



Think of interacting with a brand or organisation just as you might have a text message conversation with a friend. With the rise of chatbots, the likelihood of brands offering personal, trackable and scalable conversations is without a doubt high on the agenda of many. Rather than sending your customers through a call centre or hoping they’ll find what they’re looking for on your website if communication with your brand could be as simple and as easy as sending a private, one-to-one text message, imagine the possibilities. According to Upinion, humanising surveys can improve response rates, allow participants to complete surveys quicker in comparison to other internet surveys and the start and completion rates are significantly higher due to the personal conversation taking place between respondent and brand.

I would recommend taking a look at Upinion here: https://upinion.com/

It is too soon to tell how market research agencies will use day to day mobile applications, however, with agencies looking at ways to:

  • Cut overheads
  • Motivate staff
  • Address clients’ needs effectively

It will be no surprise in the short and long-term when market research adopts the use of day-to-day mobile applications. As chatbots become commonplace, their usage will extend to the world of market research. This will bypass data collection agencies and potentially some insight functions altogether.


How can you start tapping into Chatbots?

Try running a survey through a chatbot interface

To get a feel for how chatbots can be applied to research, why not take an existing survey and try building it in a chatbot interface? Test this with a small group of consumers to see how they respond.

Pinpoint where a research chatbot could add real value

Start exploring where a research chatbot might add value to your business. Get your team thinking about where a chatbot could result in greater engagement from respondents than some of your existing approaches.





2018: The top 5 trends we will see more of

2018: The top 5 trends we will see more of

Compliance with GDPR

This is one of the biggest changes in data privacy regulation for 20 years. So, while harmonising data privacy laws across Europe and protecting EU citizens from privacy and data breaches is absolutely critical. In terms of market research, 75% of data will become unusable when regulations are in place. From May 2018, it will be important that opted-in data is quality checked and well maintained, otherwise, it is at risk of becoming uncompliant and unusable.

Collaboration between researchers and other departments

This is a trend I hope to see more off in businesses especially those with multiple functions and departments. We have tended to work in silos. Researchers like to take pride in their work and sometimes ‘put off’ by sharing their own creative work with others. Having said that, more and more times we now see collaboration between market researchers and marketing and sales teams. Better yet, more and more strategies have a focus on understanding customer needs which research and insight can sit and the forefront.


Technology is something I think will be commented about for years to come because there are so many different products and software’s out there. I think this will come in the shape of artificial intelligence for analysing big data sets, and use of chatbots for data collection and perhaps even delivery. Keep a watch for new technology entering the sector especially if it can interact with consumers at different points in their journey Deliver purposeful insight to our clients with human understanding that they can use to make better decisions.


Gone are the days of endless projects. Clients are now requiring research that creates impact and insights at speed. Many agencies have various means and ways of accommodating this ever-changing landscape. This goes hand in hand with the use of technology. And I predict agencies and businesses will use technology more to provider insights at speed. Never the less, the power of a humanist touch will not be lost, but job roles may change. You now see more data strategists and big data geeks than ever before, and I don’t see the demand for data skill sets decreasing any time soon.


The focus on providing quality work for a cheaper price will be the biggest trend for next year. This will not only lead to further automation and a larger focus on delivering actionable insight but could also result in the consolidation of smaller agencies. You have seen this with much larger organisations such as Research Now and SSI. But with more and more pressure on costs and the profit made from projects, smaller businesses could be priced out of the market sooner rather than later. One way of mitigating against this is by creating unique products that customers/clients can use.

5 things I have learnt from the sector in 2017

5 things I have learnt from the sector in 2017

As we move closer to 2018, I thought it would be useful to step back from market research. New to the sector, a lot of learnings have taken place. And some spring to mind…

  1. Individuals are worried about technology!

More and more individuals are worried about technology and how this could change their job. Or whether a computer/robot could take their role. In my opinion, this is many years away, the sector should keep moving in the direction it is going. Everyone likes to be efficient and technology can only enhance the opportunities to work on some very interesting projects. Having said that, it should challenge our thinking for the future to deliver work for clients and businesses.

  1. Market Research training

A topic rarely discussed but something I find very interesting. In a sector that is constantly client or/and customer related, any training opportunities are within a classroom. At present, training opportunities are put in front of individuals.

Isn’t this the opposite way around to how market researchers work?

We work in a world that first wants to understand what the customers would like, then use insights to deliver/create a product.

What training needs are required by you to develop in the sector?


  1. Being nice (I hate that word!) to clients!

In a sector that is client friendly, its seem to be a fashion statement to be nice to clients. Clients receive reports that may not detail the full story. But show results they may like on the face of it. For example, showing a high percentage rather than a figure that could actually help but may not look as good.

So what?

This lends its self to number 4…

  1. How many clients challenge you constantly?

Not enough. You see different reports published each week by leading market research agencies whether that is client work or their own internal piece of work. Sometimes I question why businesses have selected a specific agency because the standard is questionable. This will always depend on what the client has received previously but if you are paying for a service, you must question things; don’t except the norm.

  1. Don’t forget to reflect

My final though for 2017 was the fact that individuals in the sector do not necessarily look back in time. Yes, it is all well and useful to talk about new methodologies and automation, and how to improve the sector. But remember where we have come from. The sector has come from paper surveys in newspaper to VR and using data from Pokémon Go and other Apps. The data utopia we live in today is frightening but something the sector should be proud of.

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

5 ways to improve your Net Promotor Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) question puts respondents into Promoters, Passives and Detractors; and then appears as a score. In fact, the index could range from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a product/company or services to others. I deem a score of 0-50 being seen as good and a score of 50+ as excellent.

Low and behold, we go to a meeting and we see someone rambling on about a single NPS score. A figure we are somewhat meant to make sense of. For the naked eye or those none research/insight savvy individuals; a number on a screen could mean many different things.

But is it a victim of its own success?

How could NPS be integrated into other research methodologies?

Here are 5 top tips and ideas you could use..


There are many different agencies and technology advancements that enable individuals all around the world to take a recording of themselves. This could be their opinion about the product or specific company. You can then relate their NPS score, whether they are a promoter, passive or a detractor against their video. So, you can put words and scores against actual meaning. For a research or Insight manager, what a valuable tool and process to go through, that can be translated for product or marketing managers to understand what customers are talking about.


Many companies can become disheartened by the fact that individuals do not like a particular product they have worked so hard to create and develop. However, they are the most invaluable teacher for your business to grow and improve. Finding out why they are unwilling to pass on the good word about your product can be more valuable than evaluating the consumers who like you most. Poor customer service can be rectified, as can glitches in your product that make it second best to your competitors.


Have you made some changes from your NPS? Even if they are minor changes that customers may not actually recognise. You now need to let them know about the improvements that have come from their feedback. There’s nothing more satisfying as a customer than taking the time to fill out a survey and then actually seeing your feedback make a difference. It could be anything, as long as it closes the feedback loop.


Depending on what you want to know, you could deviate from the standard “Why?” question. Some would say this is heresy, but there is no harm in testing and it could serve you well.


I don’t like naming companies and I am sure you can have a think of those who create bias within a survey, specifically an NPS question. You could argue, this is helping those individuals who do not understand the concept and therefore, it helps them to make a clear decision instead of a middle ground. Alternatively, it could actually attract someone to make a favourable score.

If you’re going to spend the time to track your Net Promoter Score, you need to actively and continuously try to improve it. By turning more customers into promoters and eliminating detractors, you will increase customer loyalty significantly. However, there are other metrics and ideas that you could use:

  1. customer satisfaction
  2. Customer effort score
  3. First response time to communication
  4. Van Westendorp pricing
  5. Repurchase ratio’s

What step are you taking to improve your Net Promotor Score?

Tweet me at @Jakepryszlak with your thoughts and how you are going to improve your NPS!


How much is the term ‘market research’ used?

How much is the term ‘market research’ used?

How much is the term ‘Market Research’ used?


In one sense the professional history of market research could be defined by professional associations such as the MRS and ESOMAR in the late 1940’s.

Definitions typically suggest that marketing research is a broader term implying understanding of customers that happens within organisations and marketing functions. Market research is a more macro analysis reflecting work done by research agencies. It is notable that whilst professional associations, such as the MRS or ESOMAR, provide their own definitions these seem designed more as a means of marking professional territory than in providing clarity to researchers or users of research. In practice, this is how you notice differences between market research in the UK and USA.

In the late 1990’s an additional term ‘insight’ began to emerge in addition to and as an alternative to market research. This can be seen as a response to the need to generate greater influence amongst stakeholders, particular amongst senior management. The term customer insight emerged not from the field of market research but from the emerging field of customer relationship management, where agencies became aware that they needed to sell both the technology and the benefits it would bring to the bottom line.

Check Jake’s speaking availability today by emailing: researchgeek@outlook.com


Research within this post has been created and analysed by myself, and anyone wishing to use the information should contact me to ask for permission.

To analyse the use of the term ‘market research’ I looked for data representing views from a number of stakeholders. Such key stakeholder groups were identified as market research agencies, professional bodies, and obviously the more general public perception of research.

Firstly, the most recently available league table from the MRS at the time of analysis (2017) ensures the maximum value of findings.

For each of these agency public facing websites the following were analysed:

  1. The presence of the term ‘market research’ in a description of the agency in the page title
  2. Presence of the term ‘market research’ in description of the company’s core activities on an about page, or similar page explaining core company activities.
  3. Presence of the term ‘market research’ in a business unit or set of product offerings.
  4. Alternative phrases used instead of, or in addition to, market research to describe core business activities



Out of the top 10 ranking agencies =


Rank Company MR mentioned on Homepage? MR in About Page MR in Product Description
1 Kantar NO NO NO
2 Wood Mackenzie Research and Consulting NO NO NO
3 Dunnhumby NO NO NO
5 Garnter NO NO NO
6 Nielsen YES NO NO
8 Teradata UK NO NO NO
9 Omnicom/DAS NO NO YES
10 Euromonitor YES YES YES


CRITERIA % of all top 50 agencies in Consolidated table
The term ‘market research’ is evident on the home or/and description page 28%
Presence of term in product descriptions and ‘about us’ pages 36%

These were some of the key descriptions of core business products:

  • Research, data and insight
  • Technology research
  • Survey research
  • Strategic insight
  • Market intelligence
  • Customer experience
  • Insight
  • Generating insight
  • Understanding consumer decision making
  • Social research



This data provides only a partial picture in that it measures the presence or absence of the use of ‘market research’ in certain contexts.

But what industry am I in?


What is its relevance in 2017?

The evidence suggests that the use of the term market research today is as a placeholder or a descriptor of a certain set of skills and it appear to be largely used within the industry. The potential for research to grow has, arguably, never been greater. However, the term market research is at the intersection of a number of declining factors – not least a perception in the decline in the value it can generate for its customers. This raises a number of important questions that need to be address by key stakeholders in research, including:


Should universities continue to offer courses that are labelled ‘market research’?


Should new graduates and other young professionals seek skills to develop a career in market research?


At this stage it would be tempting to make a recommendation that the market research world needs to reinvent itself but the data analysed suggests that the industry is already doing so. In conclusion, the market research ‘industry’ has moved on and is increasingly defining itself in other ways – and in showing this flexibility helps to secure its future success.


Should I make online survey questions required?

Should I make online survey questions required?


You’ve designed your survey and you’re ready to launch.

But one of my problems and a question clients ask all of the time is: I’ve put all this work into writing my survey, but what if people skip some of my questions? Ah-hah! I’ll just require that respondents answer all my questions—problem solved.

Not so fast. According to researchers there are some definite downsides to requiring questions.

If you require all questions in a survey you might end up with fewer responses overall. How does that work?

Say your survey included a question like ‘What is your favourite fizzy drink?’, and you made the question required.


How can you answer this question if you don’t have or like any fizzy drinks, yet the question requires an answer in order to continue through the survey? This is a frustrating experience for a survey taker, and they may get so frustrated that they drop out of the survey entirely. Not good.

Similarly, if you ask personal or intrusive questions, people may choose to end the survey rather than give an answer. Recent pieces of research have shown that 35% of respondents dropped out of a survey when they were required to answer personal questions compared to 9% when they were allowed to skip questions that felt too personal.

This particular survey asked about relationship satisfaction and sexual history, but other types of questions that may be considered personal are those about health and medical history, criminal behaviour, income and debt, or questions that just don’t seem relevant to the topic of the rest of the survey.

An even bigger potential problem with requiring questions is getting wrong responses. Let’s go back to the two scenarios above: the question that isn’t relevant (What is your favourite fizzy drink?), and the personal question that people don’t feel comfortable answering. Faced with either of these types of questions the survey taker could choose to drop out or they could choose to make up an answer or pick an answer at random in order to continue.


How honest do respondents answer?

In reality, dishonesty like this is even more problematic than missing data because enough of these untruthful answers could lead you as the survey designer to draw incorrect conclusions. So what are you to do if you want to get as much (accurate) data as possible?

The best advice? Only require questions when absolutely necessary. For example, it’s a great idea to make a question required in order to create weighted responses or to cut your data.

Some of this comes from the survey taker’s level of engagement. The more someone cares about a survey, the more time and effort they will put into completing the survey. Since Audience members are contributing to charity with each survey, they care a lot about the surveys they take.

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

Uncovering true insights using video surveys

When it comes to engaging your customers, market research has been trying to stay ahead of the curve of innovation. This has been helped by organisations such as Plotto who have created a new and exciting product enabling users to uncover true insights using video surveys.

Why use the product?

You’re already aware that video content on your website and social media channels is more valuable than written content when it comes to engaging customers.

It is the modern way after all…..

And with the growing prevalence of mobiles, webcams and affordable digital cameras, along with video sharing sites like YouTube, everyday folk also have the opportunity to create and share their own videos easily.

With ever more affordable options for businesses to create videos, and so much user-generated content being shared online, there are numerous opportunities to use video to reach out to new customers or to cement your relationships with existing ones, whether it’s you or your customers who create those videos.

Plotto is one of the best platforms that enables researchers to create, analyse and edit video surveys quickly and efficiently

Plotto’s mission is to bring together new media and storytelling; oriented towards privacy and qualitative content relevance. But what is special, it allows you to turn big data into smart and actionable insights that can be used at a strategic level.

I think there are 10 main areas why Plotto is the GO TO platform to use:

  • It allows for product feedback and sampling
  • Video ‘free text’ in online research surveys – More and more individuals want to freely speak about products in their own time. And on the sofa!
  • It can enable ethnographic research and video diaries that can be transcribed and used
  • Creative testing pre & post campaign
  • Video testimonials
  • Surveys and content for pitches or PR
  • Insight generation
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee engagement & client feedback
  • Focus group homework or pre-screening

Areas of improvement

With any platform, there are areas for improvement and I am sure Plotto are already a step ahead of these, but…

Is the platform accessible for all communities whether they are elderely, disabled, young or from a community where technology is not as important to use?

Also, the willingness of so many to share the intimate details of their lives, coupled with the rapid development of technology allowing them to do so, presents numerous unprecedented opportunities for researchers…

And it will take brave organisation to take a new step into the world of video technology and surveys. Until the mass market do; the product needs real life case studies and impact.

My final recommendation for the product to take that step further is to look at ways of innovating data into a wide range of data visualisation formats enabling the less data savvy individuals to interpret the information quickly and efficiently.


Did the product live up to expectations?

From using Plotto and testing the platform I am going to give it a score of 8/10. It is one of the easiest platforms to use and better yet, you can:

  • Create your survey quickly using the drag and drop interface making it a doddle to use.
  • Get straight down to the core insights when you are up against it and short of time, using the interactive analytics tool.
  • Create video testimonials for presentations using the very simple showreel creation meaning bullet points and insights can be brought to life
  • Export all of the data and information; enabling you to show information to clients away from your desk at any time

The real value for researchers, though, will come in the form of opportunities to take a first-hand peek into important aspects of people’s lives, such as what they do in their spare time, which topics they’re talking about and how they really feel about them. We’ll also get insight into how they present themselves publicly – and while it might never quite be possible to know how these people behave when they’re not being watched, observing their online persona can still tell us a lot…

With so many possibilities emerging, it’s an exciting period of time where live streaming technology is becoming increasingly accessible. And I feel Plotto is one of the first organisations to nail it!!

Using Plotto, you will be able to gather new data that will help you understand people’s lifestyles, emotions, and how they share them online quickly, and cost effectively.

Face-to-face data collection with a twist

Face-to-face data collection with a twist



From watching the Market Research Society Awards, I came across Jump Research who won the best face 2 face data collection award for 2016. They are an innovative market research & social research consultancy specialising in distilling insight from any data source. And lead by Louise Fraser.

The consultancy arm of Jump Research was established at a time when declining response rates were a real issue to the Market Research industry. Face-to-face  research is often cost prohibitive for some clients but the rewards enable businesses and clients to gain insightful knowledge from their customers.

Jump Research was founded in Scotland, where there it is difficult to gain a geographical sample, and they came up with an effective framework and initiative I think moves the sector forward into the next generation era.

So, how could you take the best snippets of online research that delivers fast results, and use technology and gain a broad geographic reach and then even combine face-to-face interviews with participants?

Jump Research launched their mobile research van!

Designed to enable quantitative and qualitative research to be conducted anywhere. The van is like no other, and equipped with iPads, WIFI, video cameras, TV/DVD players and cooking facilities that provide clients with an all-round research package to solve their solutions


Why do I think the Jump Van is innovative?


Well….first.. Who else has a van they use to gain valuable data and information from customers that breaks down such barriers as Geographic’s, cost, time and efficiencies?


  • The Van, provides 8 people at the same time to complete an online survey, allowing for multiple completions at ever one time.
  • A new and innovative idea brings foot fall, and the Jump Van have seen increased sample sizes compared to other projects.
  • It is cost effective as it only requires one interviewer and supervisor to help individuals to come and visit the van.
  • Whether it is raining, snowing or even if the sun is out, the Van is always on the move, and offers indoor and outdoor seated spaces

All in all, it enables you to interview anywhere from a remote island to a busy city centre, and reaches rural and young audiences not normally included in face-to-face research.


But there is a catch!

Mobile research vans as such are a convenience sample, meaning the sample is a target population when the client can not afford or can not reach a certain percentage of the population.


But convenience samples do not produce representative results

The tendency when using convenience samples is to treat the results as represented, even though they are not. And many people do not understand the theories underpinning such, and may treat any given survey as representational.


The results from such a sample are hard to replicate

If you analyse the data of a convenience survey by list source, you will often find differences in the answers from the different lists, often in ways that confound easy explanation.


OK.. But in a nutshell..


The concept and idea Louise and her team have come up with in collaboration with a range of universities is admiral. Even a research agency collaborating with a university is a new and exciting venture many others should follow..


Jump Research and their mobile research van provides rich quantitative and qualitative information and correlations. And some what sets the bar above traditional online sampling and methodologies.


This method is a mix of the next generation, as well as retaining our core values of market research


How do innovate to provide rich data and information for your business or client?


Is it a new idea, and something that will challenge the sector?

Then please get in touch and I would love to hear from you and your ideas and tweet me @Jakepryszlak & @jumpresearch with your thoughts and opinions!


Tick tock, tick tock, are you a business or agency that is not using technology or online methodologies, and are routed by traditional ways – Is this the way to go in market research?


Is it time for market research to use modern and efficient methodologies?

Or should the values of MRX stand?

Robot wars & Insight

Robot wars & Insight


AI (or, artificial intelligence) is a topic which is becoming increasingly prevalent within the world of market research. Whilst it is becoming common within the industry, I don’t believe it can replace human interaction and collaboration. And better yet, if it was becoming ever so common, then we would need to find new jobs! But I don’t see that happening, the humanist method of market research cannot be lost and I don’t think it will be. Companies small and large generating more and more data than ever before so, so don’t get me wrong, anything that makes our lives easier would be beneficial, and artificial intelligence could speed up research to be advantageous to us all including clients who are becoming ever so reliant on fast turnaround of data. However, there are some reasons why I strongly believe that artificial intelligence isn’t the magic ‘produce insight’ button we’ve all secretly been wishing for. I still believe a researcher can deliver excellent insights that clients want and expect.

Questioning the Data  

If you just give a client numbers, they’ll drown in them. Whilst they’ll have the data, they won’t have the insight, to use those numbers and make business decisions from. And to get the latter you need human brains to question the data. A human (maybe not a researcher) can ask those questions that artificial intelligence tools can’t; they can look further into the survey results, ask those relatable questions to unearth the ‘why’ from the ‘what’ and the ‘so what’ factor. They can give you true insight. The researcher can also decide which cross-tabs to run, which filters they need to apply to be able to really understand the story. For example, a researcher will see the NPS score and rather than taking it at face value; they’ll look to explore the factors that have contributed to it, build the background story and identify how the business can go forwards making improvements.


Asking those ‘why’ from the ‘what’ and the ‘so what’ factor questions

With artificial intelligence you could calculate your NPS score quickly and accurately, but there would be little depth of understanding behind it and the business won’t know how they can go about improving the score – they’d have the result but not the insight without going into the results themselves. An NPS score can give businesses 24/7 opportunities to showcase outstanding work with internal stakeholders and colleagues or rectify an issue. A researcher can understand the data quickly and potentially talk to members of the correct department to discuss issues. Artificial intelligence or robots wouldn’t be able to do that, and it would take a human to make those decisions whether it is something that needs improvements.

What About Qualitative research?  

At the moment, robots or artificial intelligence isn’t brainy enough to be able to handle qualitative information. For sure, It can help out with projects including data and run your basic frequencies. But in the case of qualitative research, where you might have tens of thousands of words to read through as part of your analysis – it might be good to have a helping hand. In these cases, you’re going to need a researcher. Once the robots have been developed further to be able to handle theming, sentiment analysis and other key qualitative analysis techniques, it can help with the bulk of analysis from online live chats, online research communities where the volume of content is staggering plus online surveys. But then the same issue will emerge with qualitative information that did with quantitative. You will still need someone to go through and make sense of the themes and sentiments emerging from the research. And you would still need someone to make sense of the data and information so you can translate this to your internal/external stakeholders and/or clients. If you have applied a principle called triangulation to your work, then you’re going to have to look to a researcher to blend the findings from all the different elements of the research to give you the insight and articulate in ‘business jargon’.

Bringing the Story to Life

There might be some great data visualisation tools available that give you a quick glance at the data in charts and tables (there are some freebies that offer you a starter for 10), however, without a humanist approach, the data will not be able articulated effectively to create visualisations.

How do you get this?

The story of the research needs to be brought to life; this could be a narrative or a simple infographic. Therefore, you need someone who has been delving into the data and information, becoming part of research and the data behind it. Unfortunately, even though many online survey platforms could argue that they show survey results in graph or easy to read forms, this is not bringing research to life, it’s much more than this, which robots can’t do just yet.

You Can’t Replace Experience

  Someone like an account executive or a research manager would have an understanding of the business/client and the challenges they face that is something invaluable for adding insight to research findings.

Being able to see the problems, apply the insight and tell the business what it really means for them is something that only an experienced researcher can achieve.

Whilst robots might be intelligent and able to save time for the researcher, I can’t see it being able to replace their knowledge and experience a research has gained over their career. I’ve always come back to needing a researcher who is then able to bring out the insight from research. Robots can help with elements of the analysis process but for the insight to be delivered, you need a humanistic approach to data detraction and analysis. If robots can be incorporated to make our lives as researchers easier then I am up for it; but there is a time and a place for a researcher to take over, ask those questions which automation can’t deliver the insight.

How do you think artificial intelligence or better known as robots will impact the market industry?   What percentage of a research project do you think could be automated by robots?

Tweet your thoughts and opinions to me @Jakepryszlak

Quantigrated research

Quantigrated research



The days of the two-phase research project are over!!!! Well, not really, but they are becoming less necessary.  

Market research has been split into silos of qualitative and quantitative research, with these two streams emerging from two very separate disciplines. This separation is particularly noticeable in larger and more progressive markets such as the UK and Europe, where increased specialisation has enabled this separation of skills and has left the Insight buyers amongst you all, to piece them together in some way.

This landscape of the market research industry is changing rapidly. Markets are competitive and clients too time-poor to pull two ‘languages’ into a single insights story they can use for future reference or to use at a strategic level. Furthermore, the landscape of research tools and respondent interactions (both consumer and Business to Business) is changing, fuelled by new media interactions; technological advances 
and the demand for faster, shorter, more instantaneous information. The ever-changing environment places new demands for smart research talent that is bilingual, creative and dynamic in their approach to client challenges and can design and apply new research approaches in online settings.

Todays digital research tools make integrated quantitative and qualitative research easier than ever while introducing some real advantages such as:


Lower cost The survey operates as two functions (data collection and recruiter)
Speed There is no wasted time between phrases, and the research design doesn’t take any longer than a particular quantitative survey
Deeper Insights In-depth qualitative information alongside the survey provides opportunities to the reasons and motivators behind the survey responses
Engaging reports Think about the use of online platforms such as videos, webcams, mobiles etc. And enhance reports and presentations with powerful customer insights


Technology can link directly to almost any survey platform.  The link can select potential respondents based on survey answers.  The qualitative experience occurs in the middle of a survey or after the survey has completed.  Once selected and opted-in, respondents can participate in virtually any qualitative experience.  Some of the most common are: webcam interviews, mobile interviews, chat interviews and Qual Board discussions with or without video uploads.

Yesterdays Market Research world has already changed, insight buyers demand fast and strategic level insights to create and manage change, meaning online presence and user ability is much more demanding and important.

How are you conducting Market Research?

Is it towards the next generation of thinking?

Tweet your thoughts to @Jakepryszlak or comment!