Versta Research Blog

Versta Research Blog

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Versta Research is a marketing research and public opinion polling firm that helps you answer critical questions with customized research and analytical expertise.

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Versta Research Blog

Explore industry trends, research methods, and tips for your own research projects in the Versta Research Blog. All opinions are our own, and some may change over time.

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What Financial Advisors Need from Marketing

What Financial Advisors Need from Marketing

Our financial services group at the Chicago AMA hosted a panel last night of financial advisors to talk about the challenges of reaching customers.  We recruited three advisors of different types: Todd Johnson from New England Securities (MetLife), Michelle Dunigan from BMO Harris Financial Advisors, and Patrick Cote from AssetGrade.  The panel was moderated by…

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Ask Your Most Critical Questions First

Ask Your Most Critical Questions First

Question order in surveys matters a lot more than most of us realize, which makes it critical to assess what you most want to know before your survey respondents are influenced (or, in the language or survey experts, “primed”) by additional questions on the topic. Here is a superb example from last fall’s political polling…

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Bon Appétit Gorges on Supersize Samples

Bon Appétit Gorges on Supersize Samples

Every year I enjoy getting an invitation to participate in Bon Appétit’s “most important survey of the year” because it provides so many good lessons for survey research.  This year it has me thinking about the absurd e-mail subject line that says: “We need your help to get 100% participation.” Bon Appétit has 1,442,388 subscribers. …

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Survey Progress Bars Don’t Matter (Sort Of)

Survey Progress Bars Don’t Matter (Sort Of)

Progress bars that show respondents how far along they are in a survey have become standard in our industry. But are progress bars a documented “best practice” for survey research, or just another convention? A recent article in the Social Science Computer Review offers a meta-analysis of 32 field experiments designed to see whether progress…

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Versta Research Post

Laughing at the Null Hypothesis

I’m not sure if this cartoon is funny because I don’t really get it.  But it was interesting enough that I started thinking about the null hypothesis, and what it means, and how statistics is changing so quickly that “the null hypothesis” we learned about in our classes may soon feel like an odd artifact…

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My Dream Curriculum in Research Methods

My Dream Curriculum in Research Methods

Every year I offer my top picks for summer intensive training courses on research methods, and usually I point to several universities for the sake of options and a full range of methods.  Well, this year I am pointing to just one.  I looked at the course listings at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research…

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Choosing Your Top Three Messages with TURF

Choosing Your Top Three Messages with TURF

Last week we wrote about the optimal number of benefits, features, or claims you should make in your marketing materials.  Research shows that three maximizes the impact because it aligns with a buyer’s sense of data sufficiency.  Going beyond three invites skepticism because it reminds buyers that the message is “just marketing,” not information. So…

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Removing Bad Apples from Your Research

Removing Bad Apples from Your Research

It might seem that turning data into stories happens entirely at the back end of research when data are analyzed and insights are synthesized into reports.  Not so.  It requires careful thought at every step from the very beginning (during design) to the very end (during fact-checking). The entire data collection process is no exception. …

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Don’t Fake the Story in Your Data

Don’t Fake the Story in Your Data

A couple weeks ago we wrote about the crucial need to have (and ideally review) your raw data.  We pointed to an article in the New York Times Magazine about a prominent professor in social psychology who faked his data and never provided the raw data for his colleagues and co-authors to review. What we…

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