Monthly Archives: March 2015

So You Want a Market Research Career?

Advice on Getting into Marketing Research for Students or Career Changers.

University of Iowa hats on clothesline.I’ve had research participants, clients, agency partners and other potential job changers ask me how to have a brand strategy or market research career. Apparently, chatting with people for a living, diving into the data, and helping to drive ideas in a company seems like good fun.

To Math or Not to Math?

Like many careers, the world of marketing research sometimes splits into qualitative (no-math) versus quantitative (yes-math). Qualitative researchers who conduct focus groups, in-depth interviews or in-home ethnographies often prefer the world of emotion, opinion, nuance and richness. They believe that understanding the why behind a situation is more meaningful Continue reading

Low Ecommerce Conversion Rate? 5 Reasons and How to Fix Them

These Factors May Be Affecting Customer Purchases Online and Driving your Low Ecommerce Conversion Rate.

8370405205_91800cafeb_zOnline retail is a quickly growing channel; in the US alone, ecommerce sales are expected to increase by almost $43 billion in 2015. Your business may have been focusing on content marketing, SEO, or improving your mobile approach, but bringing people to your website is worthless if they aren’t buying anything. Before spending money to build your community (content marketing) or to help your website be found (SEO) you want to make sure that you have your customer process down pat.

Here are 5 factors affecting your ecommerce conversion rate and how you can fix them:

1.    It’s too complicated.

Research has shown that people are affected by decision fatigue: this means that when people have too much choice, they often choose to do nothing. Keep your website clear and simple: one or two obvious calls-to-action and a simple, easy-to-use navigation bar will help keep customers on track.

Make sure that your payment process is seamless. Don’t require customers to log-in or sign Continue reading

How to Series: In-Depth Interview Research

Guide to Conducting an IDI (In-Depth Interview Research or One-on-One Interview)

13981256424_9658f31715_zFocus groups for marketing research provide a space where you can see ideas move about between people. Information flow happens in real time and topics that aren’t top of mind benefit from the different perspectives offered. While survey research quantifies ‘how many’ and ‘how much’, qualitative methods like focus groups go deeper to shed light on ‘why’ and ‘in what way’ types of questions.

This makes them ideal for developmental purposes like new product concept-to-prototype stages, buyer understanding, positioning research and usability studies.

An IDI, also called an in-depth or one-on-one interview, consists of real-time interaction between an interviewer and a participant. It can be done in person, online or on the phone. It’s best used for situations where group interaction would be uncomfortable or misleading, where an individual’s motivations, opinions, and values are thought to exist independently of social pressures, or when the interaction Continue reading

Republican Millennials More Like Generation X Democrats?

Marketers Must Be Open to Fast Shifts in Marketing Demographics to Understand Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z

Shift Key on Old TypewriterMarket researchers generally shy away from politics. And controversial subjects. So writing about the political leanings of those who favor the legalization of marijuana in our country may be cutting edge (or just plain careless!).

In Colorado, however, cannabis is a legitimate business (assuming you are comfortable carrying around large amounts of cash). So the recent study by the Pew Research Center caught my eye. Cultural norms have changed so quickly in the past decade, and marketers must pay attention to these shifts in marketing demographics. Assumptions that Colorado having changed from a red state to a blue state in the 2008 and 2012 elections was the driver behind our first-in-the-nation legal pot over a year ago may not be what actually drove the change.

The statistics from Pew show that age connects with support for legalized marijuana much more closely than political leaning. Although views of Democrats in general are more favorable, 63% of Millennials (born 1981-1996) who identify as Republicans support legalized marijuana versus 61% of Democrat Generation X-ers (born 1965-1980). While there is definite concern about underage use, over three-fourths of Americans (76%) think that people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana should not have to serve time in jail. And overall Americans view alcohol as a bigger danger than marijuana.

Marketers Must Pay Attention to Shifts

Continue reading