Recollective Release – April 2012

Just as the Market Research Mobile World event was taking place in Amsterdam last week, Ramius was keeping up with the trend of innovative mobile marketing research technology by releasing a new app in the Apple app store.

Recollective was built with HTML5 and CSS3, which has enabled it to be a web based app – that means it is available anytime, on any connected device. So if Recollective is already a web app, why was it necessary to release one in the Apple app store? And why don’t we have an app in the Android Marketplace?

All good questions! The answer is Apple currently prevents iPhone and iPad users from accessing media files saved on their device while sending emails, or in our case, when uploading photos directly to Recollective tasks. Our new app eliminates this shortcoming, but ensures Recollective’s ease-of-use remains.

One of the many aspects of Recollective that we’re really proud of is it’s intuitive design. Participants are never left wondering what to do next or how do complete a task. To ensure user experience is as optimal as possible, there’s no need to instruct participants to go and download this app. If a participant needs it, a notification will appear instructing them to follow the link provided to the Recollective Uploader in the app store.

Once installed on their device the application will:

  • Launch automatically when it’s required
  • Allow for existing photos and videos to be selected from the device
  • Allow for the capturing of new photos and videos from the device
  • Upload all photos and videos with a single click
  • Automatically return participants to the study once the upload has been completed

Mobile research on Recollective just makes sense!

Other Release News – Webcam Video Upload

Last month we released the Video Task Type empowering researchers with a new way to gather even richer visual insights from study participants. This month we’ve taken video to the next level. As well as being able to upload any video from their media gallery or any online source, participants can now record a webcam video response directly into Recollective with a single click. Recollective automatically grabs, uploads and converts the video making it incredibly easy to now add video to your study.

Five Questions With Gen Lamorie-Wallace of Phase 5

Gen Lamorie-Wallace is a busy woman. By day, she is an Ottawa, Canada-based Vice President with market research consultancy Phase 5. By night, she runs a restaurant with her chef husband in a trendy city neighbourhood. Sometimes, Gen’s worlds collide and inspiration strikes. For her, it’s when a ‘foodie’ patron pulls out a smartphone and starts tweeting an online commentary about his dining experience. This experience as a restaurateur informs Gen’s belief that market researchers need to understand how our communication culture is shifting and to be able to offer to clients new approaches that mimic this “new normal” for communications. Following her presentation Lessons Learned When Adapting Technology Platforms for Qualitative Research at the recent MRIA QRD Conference, we had a chance to talk to Gen about the forces that are transforming consumer culture and the opportunities for businesses and MR.

How is a business/brand’s relationship with its customers and prospects changing?

Social media has ushered in a seismic shift in a business/brand’s influence and control. People expect to be treated as true stakeholders. The number of people in my Twitter feed that I see talk to or even yell at businesses/brands/government representatives is amazing. There is an expectation from customers for genuine dialogue and for their opinions to matter. And these opinions do matter — social media is a vehicle unlike anything we have seen before that lets customers have a significant influence on what is being said about a business or brand. Social media has made social democracy a reality and exploring a research approach that mimics this keeps us relevant as researchers.

What is “the new normal?”

Well, as an illustration, let’s say I walk into my local Starbucks and I see something I like or dislike. My first inclination is not to mention it to my friend or partner who is physically there with me, instead, I tweet it for all the world, or at least my followers, to see! A culture has developed where it is completely normal to publicize our every thought and observation that was once random or passing at best. And we now do this to the world!

We think the world is interested in this and it is our duty to communicate it to those in our circle, however small or broad that may be. This kind of normal is evidenced by the surging popularity of social media platforms like Pinterest which is essentially an online bulletin board that lets you “curate” and showcase your interests. My Facebook News Feed has surged with Pinterest mentions lately — everyone wants to broadcast their interests and hobbies to each other!

I have also really noticed the use of terms like “curating” and “curator” in casual conversation. In a previous life I worked in museums and these terms were reserved for that profession. Now, we are all curators of our own lives and our natural inclination is to broadcast to those in our circle of followers and beyond.

At Phase 5, we took notice of this “new normal” from a research perspective and came up with a social engagement process that relies on online technology to facilitate a holistic approach to engaging with “stakeholders” in the manner in which they are accustomed to.

Phase 5 has been in the marketing research business since 1991 and recently, launched a new division called Konnex. What prompted Konnex?

Konnex is a research-based consultancy that helps gain intelligence from and connect with audiences through social media platforms. Konnex is backed by Phase 5, which has more than 20 years of experience in research and strategy consulting. Konnex was formed as a sister company to Phase 5 as a direct response to the influence and importance that social media plays in today’s business environment.

We understand the changes to the marketing model that is, more and more, affected by social conversations. We help our clients engage audiences as meaningful stakeholders in important business processes. We offer methodological rigour, deep analytical skills and strategic insight that comes with a research background. The rigour and research background that we bring to the table are key differentiators.

Online social engagement technology platforms bring with them less structure than traditional research approaches like focus groups. Less structure is good from a participant’s perspective but, at the end of the day, having a partner that can apply rigour and traditional research management and interpretation principles is really key. The rigour and strategic insight that we apply to the findings are really what sets us apart.

What has you excited about the future of MR?

The evolution that I continually see. I recently attended a conference in Miami that was focused on social media and research. The industry is not staying still — there is a huge appetite for applying research approaches to this new reality. I think market research has a bit of a reputation for nerdy stats geeks, but it is anything but! Well, at least I think I’m not too nerdy!

It is not just the suppliers either who are innovating — I love the fact that I am getting more and more requests from clients to show them innovative approaches to conducting research. The fluid and interactive nature of some of these new approaches is really neat and the ongoing engagement you get with your participants — who are now our “innovation stakeholders” — is so much more rewarding. I much prefer these experiences to the more traditional qualitative techniques like one-off focus groups or interviews.

What keeps you up at night?

My husband’s snoring!

Seriously though . . . I guess just staying on top of the rapid changes in today’s social environment and always thinking of how this can be applied to our research approaches. As an example, the huge popularity of Pinterest or research industry buzz around gamification has me exploring how our online approaches can mimic these trends.

Thanks to Gen Lamorie-Wallace for taking time to speak with Ramius as part of our new “Five Questions With . . .” blog feature where we profile business partners and thought leaders who challenge and inspire us with their ideas. Disclosure: Ramius is a technology partner to Phase 5.

Upcoming: Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum

For Americans and Canadians, multicultural consumers are a rapidly growing demographic. Understanding the social lives of such consumers — their values, beliefs, habits and preferences — is of great importance to brands and their marketers. An annual day-long event called the Multicultural Media for Multicultural America Forum will explore this demographic. Presented by marketing research consultancy Horowitz Associates, the March 21st, 2012 conference will focus on “. . . how the concept of community impacts programming, marketing, and advertising geared toward America’s new multicultural audiences.”

One of the new things the conference presenter will be doing this year is to conduct multimodal research to learn about the multicultural consumer who may, more and more, consume media on various platforms. Three reports will be presented during the event:

Viewing the Viewer — an in-home videography of multicultural households.

State of Cable and Digital Media — a quantitative survey of US-multicultural consumers

Consumer Voice Community — This 8-week research online community is focused on the media lifestyles of US-multicultural consumers and how they are adopting to a rapidly changing media world.

For disclosure purposes, Ramius, a technology partner to Horowitz Associates, is pleased to support the Forum with our new Recollective software which powers the Consumer Voice Community.

This new data should foster interesting discussion among the Forum delegates with confirmed representation by media organizations such as NBC Universal, Telemundo, mun2, Comcast, ESPN, Imagina US, History en Español, Ella (MGM Networks Latin America) and TV5MONDE.

Check back to this blog for an upcoming profile of Horowitz Associates and for a conference recap. For those who will be attending the Forum, we look forward to meeting you in New York!

Hump Day Weekly Round-Up — 30/11

When I first started at Ramius almost a year ago I tried my best to shorten the learning curve as much as possible. As Ramius designs and develops online community and social networking software, I found myself being exposed to topics like Web 2.0, social media, customer-centricity, customer communities, crowdsourcing, cloud computing — certainly not topics I’ve ever needed to be familiar with! And with the launch of our new Recollective software, I’m now being exposed to the marketing research industry with acronyms like MROC, IDIs, etc… The list is vast!

One way to immerse myself in all of this is to meet with my colleague Simon Chen from time-to-time and discuss trends and technologies in our industry. Recently, this was more formalized as a weekly lunch meeting that we have dubbed our Weekly Hump Day Roundup. We find it’s a fun way to set a regular time during our work week and keep up-to-date with what’s going on around us. Doing it together helps us build on each others insights. Since we do leverage social media to do this, we thought we would also blog, tweet — generally share with you what interests and inspires us. And we hope you’ll feed us back what you think!

For our inaugural Roundup post, I thought I would let you know of some blogs that I started to read early on.

As a technology company with know-how in online communities and social business software, we follow popular blogs like:

TechCrunch – Plain and simple we visit this site because Tech Crunch is the tech industry’s bible. That’s why we read it.

Mashable – Mashable is awesome. We’re never disappointed when we visit their site…. everyday! It’s a quick read and keeps us current with an emphasis on social media news.

ReadWriteWeb – For the similar reasons as why we like Mashable, we scan the headlines of RWW daily.

Bokardo – Simon still wonders who at Ramius borrowed (and never returned) his copy of Designing for the Social Web by Joshua Porter, the Bokardo author. Read it to be inspired by a guy that thinks and cares about user experience when designing web application interfaces.

Steve Rubel – Understanding social media through the eyes of an industry thought leader.

Web Strategy – Ramius has followed blog author Jeremiah Owyang for several years. Part of the reason is because Jeremiah covered our ‘white label’ online community and social networking platforms as an analyst. But also because he keeps us up to date with how companies can use technology to connect and engage with customers.

Alltop – With our new Recollective software, Ramius has designed an offering for the research and insights space. We scan blog aggregation sites like Alltop for the latest in Market and Qualitative Research.

Some daily blogs on our must-read list include:

Greenbook Market Research Blog – This blog is a good source of NEW market research thinking. The Ramius team very much enjoys the thought and research that goes into the GRIT Reports.

Building My Own Ladder and Spych- We consider Ben Smithee‘s personal blog, and the one for his company Spych, to be great reads. Ben ‘gets’ the impact of the Social Web on a brand’s relationship to their customers and applies this to challenge MR. Something the Ramius team very much respects and finds commonalities with.

Research Rockstar – For a firm that has expert know-how in online communities and designing and building supporting technology, the lot of us are not researchers beyond taking research method courses in Uni. Research Rocks is a good way to learn the basics of quant and qual research.

The LoveStats Blog – In a recent blog we mentioned that the Ramius TMRE Team was unable to leave our booth and attend any sessions. So instead of learning through them we did the next best thing and followed along with Annie Pettit as she live blogged summaries. In addition to providing insights into TMRE and other industry conferences, this blog is a good way to get a different take on market research trends.

As a new recruit, the first three sites on this list were tremendously helpful for learning the ins and outs of the industry space that Ramius occupies. Once we decided to build Recollective the rest of the sites/blogs on this list were immensely helpful for learning about the market research industry.

From these sites, and many others, Simon and I will regularly highlight individual blogs or blog aggregate sites that we find insightful, thought provoking, controversial and most importantly interesting. So stay tuned for more Weekly Hump Day RoundUps!

The Week Ahead: AMA Research and Strategy Summit + Ramius Webinar

A shout-out to the folks attending the American Marketing Association’s Research and Strategy Summit in Orlando, Florida this week! I’ve met and learned from many marketing research professionals having had the chance to attend this conference in 2009 and 2010. Well-produced by the AMA and the event organizing committee, it offers excellent opportunities for networking and conversation among an engaged community of researchers.

(Above: a recap video of AMA MRC 2010)

If, like me, you can’t attend the 2011 Summit in real life, consider following along on Twitter via the hashtags #amaresearch and #mrx. As well, the AMA will be live-streaming a portion of tomorrow’s Summit program! To participate, you can register via MarketingPower.com.

A change this year is to the event name. What had been the Marketing Research Conference is now the Research and Strategy Summit. Why? According to the Summit literature, it’s about “not just doing research, but applying strategic thinking to the research function and how it serves the goals of your company.” Certainly, this name change does reflect the transformation going on in MR.

Coincidentally, Ramius is sponsoring an AMA webcast following the conclusion of the Summit. The webcast is entitled Real Research in a Virtual World and will be kicked-off with an introduction by Leonard Murphy from GreenBook Blog. Those in Orlando this week will get a sample of Lenny’s content as he will be leading a Summit 2011 session only a few hours before our webinar! You can preview Lenny’s recent GreenBook research and findings in his blog post at http://www.greenbookblog.org/2011/09/08/grit-sneak-peek-the-top-emerging-market-research-techniques/  We think it’s interesting stuff!

Upcoming AMARamius Webcast: “Real Research in a Virtual World”

From time-to-time, Ramius has the opportunity to work with the American Marketing Association to produce some interesting content for its members. We’re pleased to announce our next Ramius-sponsored webcast on Wednesday, September 14th:

Real Research in a Virtual WorldBest Practices for Integrating Online Communities into your Research Approach

With the help of our guest speakers, Leonard Murphy of GreenBook Blog and Adriana Waterston and Stephanie Wong from the market research consultancy Horowitz Associates, we’re continuing our exploration into the use of online communities in marketing research.

To deliver actionable business insights, more and more, marketing researchers are recommending new, online techniques in their research designs to their clients. Using results from the recent GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, as well as highlights from next week’s AMA Research and Strategy Summit, Lenny will open the webcast with a brief context-setting discussion on the use of online communities and other innovative techniques to empower consumer insight and market intelligence initiatives.

To illustrate some of these new techniques, we’ll then turn to Adriana and Stephanie. Using client examples from their online research communities practice, Adriana and Stephanie will:

  • discuss how they combine traditional quantitative methodologies with in-depth qualitiative techniques in online community environments to generate rich, robust and continuous insights for their clients;
  • demonstrate how an online community approach can uncover and provide context to counter-intuitive findings;
  • recommend best practices for setting up, managing and budgeting for an online research community initiative.

We hope you’ll consider joining us for this webcast!

 

Register Now