Tuesday, 01 December 2015


All posts from: October 2011

Google looking to make research 'faster, more accurate, more affordable'

Mon, 31 Oct 2011

Researchers have long mused on the potential of Google as a market research provider, in part fearing the day it decides to get serious about surveys. One-fifth of respondents in a recent study by Cambiar predicted that Google or Facebook would be leading the industry by 2020. Now it seems Google is testing the water.

The Nieman Journalism Lab draws our attention to a new concept Google is toying with. “Google appears to be experimenting with a new paywall-esque content roadblock for publishers,” writes Justin Ellis. He calls it a ‘survey wall’ because “instead of dollars the system asks readers a question before they can move on to continue reading what they like”.

Google says it’s just one of many experiments it runs with publishers to test new ways of engaging with readers or presenting content.

But clicking “Learn more” on one of the question tabs takes you to a statement that reads:

“Your opinions matter. Answering the quick question here gives you near instant access to the page you want for free. You don’t have to pull out your wallet or sign in, companies gain insight into what people think, and the publisher earns money as site visitors provide answers. Everyone wins.

“It’s all part of a new product under development to make market research faster, more accurate and more affordable.”

Interested parties can sign up to be a trial partner and run their own questions here. If any readers take Google up on its offer, do let us know what you find out.

(Hat tip to @kantarmedia_uk, whose retweet brought the Nieman post to our attention.)

The greatest movie ever qualitatively researched

Mon, 17 Oct 2011

Morgan Spurlock’s latest film has a unique premise: it’s a film about product placement, funded completely by product placement. It’s called The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, or to give it its full title, Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.

It’s what you might call a meta-movie: a ‘making of’ documentary about itself. And it might never have been made without market research.

After pitching his idea to lots of friendly marketing people, none of whom called him back, Spurlock decided he needed to pin down his ‘brand personality’ in order to identify possible backers and sell his idea to them. So he approached Olson Zaltman Associates in the US, who tackled the problem using their ZMET methodology, in which respondents collect images to reflect their thoughts and feelings and discuss them with a researcher (jump to 12:14 in the video of his TED talk above for that part).

In Spurlock’s own words, “There was a whole lot of crazy going on in there.” Lindsay Zaltman offers a slightly more nuanced analysis, concluding that Spurlock’s brand personality is a rare combination of ‘mindful’ and ‘playful’ – a bit like Apple, Wii and Mini. Armed with this insight Spurlock managed to get enough brands on board to get the film made.

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Pollsters happy after calling Ontario election

Fri, 7 Oct 2011

Sighs of relief, no doubt, in the offices of polling firms in Canada today after the Liberals won the provincial election in Ontario – as forecast by at least five firms.

While the campaign rumbled on, pollsters went to town on those they saw as producing misleading polls as well as criticising the media for painting an unclear picture of the political situation.

Ipsos Reid executives led the attacks, and the firm’s methodology was vindicated as, according to TheStar.com, the firm was one of five pollsters that correctly predicted a Liberal victory, alongside Nanos Research, EKOS, Forum Research and Angus Reid.