Research on Research at IIeX

As always, IIeX was a great experience for the entire Recollective team and for me, personally.  We made some great connections, learned a lot and participated in collaborative problem solving.

Part of the experience for us was hosting a roundtable with people who participate in marketing research studies. We did this to further our ongoing conversation about what our industry is like for them. Our goal is to create a more open dialogue between our side of the industry and theirs; the hope being that we can work towards some foundational shifts in our thinking and find some solutions to our shared problems with quality and trust.

First, as a reminder, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of our industry. I’d like to give a personal thank you to:

While Jessica Broome and I conceptualized and brought this to life we never would have been able to do this without help…  lots and lots of help!

To bring you up to speed – we first conducted an online community among people who participated in multiple kinds of research. To read the initial blog posting about those findings, please follow this link.

Next, we ran a 1,500 person quant study to further explore and validate what we learned in Phase 1, but also to explore a few theories we came up with. Our thinking was that we might want to be considering or profiling things like creativity levels, empathy levels and learning styles of the participants as we are developing our questionnaires and think through how we recruit for different kinds of methodologies. We were fortunate enough to be able to present these findings at IIeX. If you missed our workshop, but would like to see the presentation you can read through our findings here.

The roundtable discussion, with actual research participants, proved to be as fruitful as the first two phases.  We had six participants recruited through a variety of sources and incentivized by Tango Card. Each of the participants was, again, recruited to have participated in multiple kinds of research. We learned so much from them, but there are definitely themes that have emerged across these three phases.

Some of them are:

  • They are all what we consider to be professional respondents. There is definite cause and effect going on, though. They do not feel informed or respected by the way we screen or the information we provide them around how we select them.
  • The screening takes up too much of their time – so, they feel misled and therefore they try to ‘game’ the system.
  • Additionally, they often feel in the dark about why we ask what we do, so they try to give us the answers they think we want. This creates an environment where, at the point of screening, they fudge…  not lie, but ‘fudge’.  Sometimes, though, this is because they can’t come up with accurate answers to the ‘impossible’ questions we ask.

It’s my fundamental belief that we, as an industry, already know this and just don’t know what to do about it.  So, I throw out a few thoughts and hopefully a foundation for some solutions..

If we can’t beat them, join them

  • Instead of trying to trick them through complicated and impossible to answer screening questions, can we be more transparent about what we are looking for upfront?
  • We know they don’t like to participate in exercises where they feel like they don’t have a lot to add, so if we told them what we need and why (as much as we can), maybe they wouldn’t feel like screening was a chess match and it was more of a conversation. We could, potentially, also avoid scenarios where they think we want an expert on a topic so they educate themselves before the research to be helpful, when we actually wanted a novice.
  • It’s also obvious that these aren’t inherently manipulative or dishonest people, they want to help – so let’s tell them how they can in a straightforward fashion.
  • While there are few things more important to them than the monetary incentives, there are some things that are equally as important – they love seeing the results, it doesn’t have to be the final results, but just enough to even know where they sit in the group or in the survey. We definitely could be doing more of this.
  • We need to talk to them more – about us; who we are, why we need them, why the truth is important…  we can do this in an automated fashion – embedding video into screeners or surveys. Let’s entertain them and help them understand us.
  • Ultimately – it comes down to respect, transparency and cooperation. These things are the foundation for all good relationships.  This is no different.

Jessica Broome will have more on this and we’ve got Phase 4, 5 and 6 in the hopper. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you about what you’d like to learn, so please reach out and let’s further the conversation.

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Symbiotic Trends at IIeX 2016

iiex-featured-image-largeA couple of weeks ago we were basking in the sunshine and heat of Atlanta, attending the Insight Innovation Exchange (IIeX) conference. Each year provides a fantastic opportunity to not only meet new and existing customers, but to also soak up some great presentations by speakers from North America.

This year three themes struck me as particularly prominent:

  1. Visceral visualization – Virtual environments and more robust media in general
  2. Interrogating respondent’s implicit motivations and feelings
  3. Automation of analysis

Continue reading

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Innovation In A Box: Recollective Case Study

We’re delighted to have Brent Schmidt, CEO of Strategic Fuel, contribute to our blog this month and share his case study of their very first Recollective-based project.

Clients: Juice Inc. and Strategic Fuel

Juice Inc:
Is a corporate training company that believes energized and engaged employees fuel great customer experiences and better business results. That’s why the organization places a focus on ideas, skills and tools people can put to use immediately.

Strategic Fuel:
Driven by the challenge of bringing leaders, teams and customers onto the same page, Strategic Fuel takes a creative and collaborative approach to craft an insight-driven shared focus and direction for organizations and teams. Juice Inc. is a client of Strategic Fuel.

There were a few different challenges in play. Continue reading

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Research Community: Build Meaningful Interactions with Younger Audiences

For interesting results, mix teenagers with a dash of alcohol in an online research community, garnish with lime (or the branding of your choice).

Recently, the team here at Recollective supported that kind of cocktail community and it highlighted several key advantages of communities and online qual in general. Namely:

  1. The Safety of a Virtual Environment
  2. The Value of Familiar Surroundings
  3. Respondent Attention Retention

The community ran over 2 weeks with 20 participants. It aimed to establish a comprehensive understanding of recently of-age participants’ relationships with various liquors and how these associations influence their in-store decision making.

Though these advantages were particularly evident given the unique variables at play in this study, these benefits can be found and exploited in a wide variety of industries and with a broad set of research objectives, regardless of the community’s size and scope. Continue reading

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Recollective Spring 2016 Update

Just in time for our appearance at IIeX 2016 in Atlanta, we’re introducing a major platform update for Recollective. The release starting rolling out on June 9th and will be available to all customers by early next week. We hope you enjoy it!

Major New Features

Advanced People Filtering

The process of searching for people (i.e. filtering panelists in Site Administration or selecting participants inside a study) has received a major update. Basic Filters have been improved and an Advanced Filters tab now appears.


The new Advanced Filters let you intuitively build up a set of filtering criteria. You can filter on any built-in field (like “First Name” or “Last Visit”) AND you can filter on any custom panelist profile field. Since every screening question in a study is also a panelist field, you can now easily find people based on their screening responses. You no longer have to connect specific choices to basic segments.

Attribute Selection

Continue reading

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The Recollective Team is Expanding!

What a month May was! We not only helped customers build a record number of new studies on Recollective, but it’s with huge delight that we welcome Kerry Hecht to Ramius, joining in a brand new position as Director of Research Services.

As many of you know, our company focus has been primarily on research software with (I like to think) some superb complementary services from our team of Implementation Consultants. Those supporting services have been limited to helping clients understand how to best use Recollective, prepare for launch and in some cases, to program the studies.

As we continue growing though, it’s become very clear there is demand to help researchers do even more with Recollective. So drawing on Kerry’s vast experience in the field of online research and services, we plan to implement several new service packages that customers can use to complement their own capabilities. Continue reading

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Recollective March 2016 Update

We recently released a new software update to Recollective with many new features and improvements (along with a variety of solved defects). Here’s what we’ve been up to:


New Self-Help Guide

  • The missing Recollective manual is here! Get help quickly with a new Self-Help Guide embedded directly within Recollective.
  • A new help icon now appears in the lower right corner of all pages to Analysts and Moderators (it will not appear to Clients or Participants).


  • The guide includes rapid keyword searching to help you find relevant articles.
  • Dozens of help articles exist already but we’ll be continuously expanding it.
  • The guide appears alongside our existing support system, a new feature request form and a live list of recent updates from our blog.

Continue reading

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My New Favourite Question

Not long ago I found myself in the midst of what was disguised as a quick online survey but proved to be a significant investment of my time. I opted in because I wanted to contribute; I opted out because I didn’t want to contribute that much.

Striking the right balance between workload and incentive is difficult.  When I’m working with a team that’s new to research communities I can, understandably, expect to hear at least one question dealing with this dilemma:

“How many questions should/can I ask in a day?”
“How much time can I expect participants to spend contributing to the community on a given day?”
“Is X enough incentive for Y time spent?”

I can provide some broad guidelines based on my exposure to other communities but I always conclude with a confident, “it depends.” The answers to these questions depend on a number of variables: demographics, subject matter, incentive offered etc. Continue reading

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New Feature: Study Home Page

In the latest release of Recollective, every study has gained the ability to display a highly customized home page to engage participants (and clients) with rich multimedia content. On this new Home tab, you can add multiple types of Cards and those cards can be easily updated, resized, repositioned and re-styled as needed.


A study home page might be used to welcome participants (with text, photo or video) but it can also be used to introduce moderators, feature participant responses, show off concepts, graphically link to important discussions and more. Although some moderators might be tempted to treat it like a static greeting, innovative researchers will treat it as an editorial space for the study. Ideally, the home page of a study delivers relevant news and interesting findings as they occur. Continue reading

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Arabic Support in Recollective


According to Unesco, if you took all varieties of the Arabic language and considered them a single language, it is spoken by more than 422 million speakers. This makes it the sixth most-spoken language in the world. It’s also a language used by more than 1.5 billion Muslims.

The World Bank states that the Arab world, a collection of 22 countries, has a combined GDP of $2.846 trillion, which is staggering. Arabic speaking countries include:

  • Algeria
  • Morocco
  • Bahrain
  • Oman
  • Comoros
  • Qatar
  • Djibouti
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt, Arab Rep.
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Sudan
  • Jordan
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Kuwait
  • Tunisia
  • Lebanon
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Libya
  • West Bank and Gaza
  • Mauritania
  • Yemen, Rep.

Continue reading

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