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Entries in Online research (5)


Crowdsourcing a Crowd on TV

TV executives are stumped on how to get young adults to watch TV on TV. Maybe the answer is to let them design and even develop what they watch and how they want to watch it.Television executives can't find love from young audiences that are the target of many lucrative advertisers. Their attempts to lure young adults have largely fallen flat, even with programming that features younger protagonists. It's time for an intervention.

Young adults are no more monolithic than any other age group. However, they have some common traits. They grew up with computers and mobile phones. They learned quite a while ago how to avoid watching TV commercials, which they find annoying, and now routinely view programming they like on their laptops or mobile devices.

This is a very different behavior, if not lifestyle, than their parents and grandparents who grew up with television and advertising, believing the two were largely inseparable. Now even this demographic is becoming a shaky audience for network and cable television networks as they divert themselves by watching movies in high definition on their DVDs or tune into public broadcasting, with sponsors tucked neatly into the corners of broadcasts.

ABC has discovered some winning shows with appeal to young adults, such as "Modern Family." CBS is trying to repurpose its successful forensic crime formula with "Golden Boy," featuring a very young police commissioner, with an undisclosed back-story of how he got the job after only seven years on the force. NBC's latest offerings have flopped. Two were cancelled after a couple of episodes earned minuscule ratings.

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What’s your Voting IQ?

With Election Day in Oregon only two weeks away, how aware are voters about platforms of the two major political parties?

One letter writer to The Oregonian humorously suggested that “Democrats always seem to rail primarily about what they have seen Republicans do in the recent past, while Republicans always seem to rant primarily what they imagine Democrats will do in the near future.” 

That’s an amusing bit of analysis but, according to the latest “The News IQ Quiz” by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, not the right answer to the question: “What [does] the public know about political parties?” 

Before reading the rest of this blog, take the quiz and see where you rank in comparison to about 1,000 other Americans, Click to take the quiz

What was your score? Thirteen questions are asked and a majority of those surveyed could correctly answer at least 10. As far as what they know, American’s are more aware of the positions of party leaders than they are of the positions advocated by Republican or Democratic parties, according to the survey. 

“Most Americans can correctly identify the relative positions of the Republican and Democratic parties on the major issues of the day. But a review of what Americans know about the political parties shows that the public is better informed about the partisan affiliations of two popular recent presidents — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — than it is about the positions of the parties on key issues that dominate the current national debate,” Pew editors say.

“About seven in 10 (71 percent) know that the Republican Party is considered to be the more conservative party. And majorities can correctly place the parties relative to each other on current issues that define the liberal-conservative divide, such as taxes, gay rights, abortion, and defense spending,” the survey report states.

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Protecting Privacy: Forewarned is Forearmed.

Oregon business decision-makers have their head on a swivel due to concerns about business and individual privacy.

Compared to five years ago, 80 percent say their concerns about privacy are much higher or somewhat higher today. They also say threats apply to both business and personal activities.

Business leaders break out in a sweat providing business information when making a purchase. Almost all (95 percent) say the buying process is a major or minor threat to business privacy.

Digital and mobile interactions are also top privacy concerns when using:

•    An app on a business-paid Smartphone or tablet (90 percent);
•    A social media site to promote a business or organization (88 percent); and
•    A Smartphone or mobile device (86 percent);

Are all rated as major or minor threats to business privacy among decision-makers.

Threats to privacy aren’t limited to business interactions. Almost all decision-makers say individual privacy is threatened when a persons:

•    Gives personal information when making a purchase (97 percent);
•    Uses a social media site (95%);
•    Uses an app on a Smartphone or tablet (91 percent);
•    Visits a website (90 percent); and
•    Uses a Smartphone or mobile device (90 percent).

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Online Research Works If Done Right

When conducted correctly, online research can accurately collect opinions among voters, the general population and consumers.

Recently, New York Times reporter Nate Silver took to task an online voter survey conducted in South Carolina. Before Citing a Poll, Read the Fine Print.

Yes, caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) is an appropriate cautionary note for any research. But what factors should decision-makers look for to determine if an online survey is valid or not.

CFM has found the following are key elements to conducting successful and accurate online studies.

  • Cast a wide net for emails. For general population surveys we collect emails addresses from a variety of valid sources, such as e-billing, e-newsletters, website registrations and existing online panels. Using multiple sources for email addresses makes the final email list representative of the community.
  • Diversify sources. If appropriate, use several online panels for community surveys. Each panel has its strengths and weaknesses. Using several sources helps avoid potential biases inherent in all commercial panels.

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Cats, Dogs and Research

Some would cry blasphemy. Declare mass hysteria. Dogs and cats living together! It reminds me of Ghostbusters. (Click to view clip from the film.)

That is what traditionalist would say about combining online research with traditional research.

But thinking outside the box helps clients talk with target audiences and get the information they need for good decisions.

For several years, CFM has used Facebook and Craigslist to recruit younger people to live focus groups. A majority of 18 to 34 year olds don’t have landlines. Cell phone numbers are difficult to get. We find using social media and “want ads,” combined with online screening questions and telephone vetting, get the right people to the focus group table.

With CFM panel-research techniques, clients can target specific people using survey results and emails. Recently, a client wanted to test a new product. We had already developed a panel of customers who were willing to participate in research using online surveys. From that database, we identified 180 people who qualified based on eight criteria — try that with traditional methods and check the costs. We sent one email invitation and offered a $60 honorarium. More than 50 people wanted to attend and 10 more wrote to say they couldn’t due to schedule conflicts.

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