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

When to Use Paper Surveys

One might think that with evolving technologies, the old-fashioned ways of doing research, like using paper and pencil, might disappear.  But it turns out that paper surveys are not dead, and here is a nice example that dramatically illustrates their value. As newly-appointed director of market research for the American Marketing Association in Chicago, I…

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Versta Research Post

How to Measure the Un-Measurable

Yesterday nearly one hundred marketers and researchers met in Chicago to talk about new directions in marketing research.  Our topic:  Measuring the Un-Measurable.  The event was organized by the AMA’s market research group in Chicago, headed by Joe Hopper, president of Versta Research.  The event brought together professionals from companies such as Cargill, Allstate, US…

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Versta Research Post

Can a Focus Group Save Spider-Man?

After spending $65 million and previewing the show over sixty times since the end of last year, the producers of the new Spider-Man musical in New York are turning to focus groups and surveys in hopes that market research can do something…anything…to save the amazing Spider-Man from destruction. Last week, theater critics roundly panned the…

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Versta Research Post

The Magic Numbers . . . . Reappear!

Last quarter we wrote about Magic Numbers in Market Research—those arbitrary rules of thumb and cut-off points we use when quoting things like minimum samples sizes or how many people to include in a focus group.  Presto!  Like magic, the issue appeared in the New York Times a few weeks ago, this time related to…

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Versta Research Post

Tips for Surveys on Smartphones

The technology to field surveys via mobile devices has been around for a while, but has not yet gained much traction (and for good reasons).  But with smartphones now proliferating at a remarkable pace, we may be in for a change.  Deloitte released their 2011 IT and technology predictions last week, arguing that smartphones are…

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The Art of Asking Questions: A White Paper from Versta Research

How to Sell Your Boss on Research

Unless your company has a department dedicated to it, market research can be a hard sell because higher level executives may not believe in the value of research.  At Versta, we have a certain sympathy with these executives.  In our view, market research in and of itself has little value; it is the outcomes of…

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Versta Research Post

Make it Real with Adaptive Conjoint

In a recent survey we fielded among B2B decision-makers, respondents told us how much they liked participating in the study compared to other research studies they have done.  They said it was “real” and interesting because it was confronting them with questions that reflect the kinds of decisions and trade-offs they make every day in…

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Versta Research Post

When “No Difference” Makes a Difference

Contrary what a methodological purist in the social sciences might recommend, we often design survey questions with scales that have no neutral midpoint or don’t know option. For example, we sometimes use scales that look like this: Rather than this: Or this: Why? Because survey respondents tend to over-use neutral midpoints or don’t know options.

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Survey Says: Call Me on My Cell Phone

Survey Says: Call Me on My Cell Phone

The latest data from the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey show that one quarter (25%) of U.S. adults do not have land-line telephones in their homes.  So if you conduct a traditional random-digit-dial (RDD) phone survey, you will automatically be excluding one quarter of the population.  Does it matter, given that surveys rarely interview everyone…

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