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.

First time reader? Check out the Best of the Blog for the most popular posts from almost 10 years of blogging. We’re glad you’re here.

Versta Research Post

Focus Groups Save Spider-Man!

In last year’s cliffhanger episode of “Can a Focus Group Save Spider-Man?” we pondered whether market research was powerful enough to save a Broadway show from doom and destruction.  After crushing reviews from theater critics, the producers hired a market research firm to help them rewrite the show. Guess what?  It worked. 

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A Path to Better Research with Geo-Maps

A Path to Better Research with Geo-Maps

Given how common mapping capabilities have become via the Internet and smartphones, it is surprising that we don’t see more geographic mapping in market research.  Researchers nearly always look at customer demographics, and a key component of a person’s demographic profile is where he or she lives.  This data is far more compelling if you…

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Versta Research Post

Your Margin of Error Is Probably Wrong

Even if you are not involved in political polling, it is worth paying attention to the methods and best practices of political pollsters.  One reason is that few other areas of research offer a way to completely validate one’s methods.  Pollsters are using sampling and survey methods to predict the behaviors of a much larger…

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Versta Research Post

42 Smart Applications of Marketing Research

We recently received and reviewed an excellent book summarizing practical findings from academic marketing research.  It is called Consumer Insights: Findings from Behavioral Research. It is published by the Marketing Science Institute and we highly recommend it.  Why is it so good and useful for corporate researchers and marketers? It provides a quick overview of…

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Versta Research Post

How to Estimate the Length of a Survey

In Versta Research’s Winter 2011 Newsletter, published just this week, we describe a simple method for estimating how long it will take respondents to complete surveys. Here we offer the “Versta Digest” version as a handy reference card.  Once you get the hang of it, you don’t need the examples and explanation.  You just need…

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Versta Research Post

3 Reasons We Don’t Do Statistics in Excel

Over the last few years we have wondered whether spreadsheet software like Excel will soon make statistics software like SPSS or SAS obsolete. Spreadsheets have amazingly powerful and often intuitive capabilities.  They have many of the statistical functions we use every day.  Younger people entering our profession rarely know programs like SPSS or SAS, and…

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Versta Research Post

Tips for Sampling from Online Panels

Versta Research is a strong advocate for using online panels for surveys.  As telephone usage and technology have changed, phone surveys are increasingly difficult and expensive, and they are not necessarily more rigorous than other methods. But that doesn’t mean “anything goes” when it comes to fielding market research surveys and public opinion polls through…

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Versta Research Post

The One Question You Need on Your Survey

Friends often solicit from me quick advice about conducting do-it-yourself customer satisfaction surveys.  What questions should they ask?  How many questions should they ask?  What measures and scales should they use?  And, of course, shouldn’t they be using NPS (Net Promoter Score) like everyone else? I tell them that, by far, the most useful question…

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Versta Research Post

Best Practices for Using Statistics in PR

One powerful way to gain visibility and credibility in your marketplace is by sponsoring survey research that documents problems and solutions in areas where you have expertise.  To be successful, it requires (1) rigorous research carefully designed to uncover the right topics, and (2) savvy PR work that uses data to tell a credible and…

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