There's been a spate of articles recently indicating that the country's in a sour mood. Major left and right factions seem to be in unyielding disagreement with each other, leading to a sense of deadlock, hopelessness, and dread. Hmm...that's not what our research reveals. Just as our mid-2016 research was at variance with what the major polls were telling us, our research once again differs from the norm. Let us explain.
What our research on the mood of the country foundIn 2014 we asked a panel of 500 US respondents 28 questions that in effect invited them to be cynical (if they wanted to). For example, we asked them how strongly they agreed with certain assertions such as: "This country is going down the tubes." "There's been a serious breakdown of basic moral codes in this country." In that year just short of half (44%) agreed with those negative propositions. We called them "Cynics." This was the largest group among the four we identified using an advanced cluster analysis. The other groups were: Optimists 26% Modernists 15% Libertarians 15% As you'd expect, the Optimists largely disagreed with the dark statements. (We'll tell you in a subsequent blog what the Modernists and Libertarians are all about.)
The Twist in 2016In 2016 we asked 500 US respondents the same questions and got a surprising result. The Optimist group (those who disagreed with the negative statements) expanded to 42%, while the Cynic group shrank to 23%. This suggested a positive shift in the overall mood or attitude of the country, more consistent with the findings of the Conference Board on overall Consumer Confidence than with the findings of large-scale political polls and surveys. (See the far right of the chart below.) Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News, The Conference Board
Our InterpretationWe don't believe there's a somber mood in this country to begin with. We didn't believe this in the summer of 2016, either, as our research did not indicate such a dark or negative mood. Instead, we think properly interpreted social research findings (i.e., research findings interpreted without bias) indicate that citizens and consumers are quite upbeat.
Who's talking, the media or the people?A lot of this comes down to "who's reporting" when you hear about a mood of anger, bitterness, and divisiveness. Is the grim mood being reported by the news media or the people themselves? A properly executed survey analyzed without bias is a way to faithfully sample the mood of the people. You can't necessarily count on the news media to have the same sense of responsibility as an objective researcher when analyzing the results of social surveys, as many media organizations have strong agendas.
Seek TruthIt's possible to read social survey results fairly and accurately. Organizations like Cambridge Analytica and Dornsife/USC have proven in the last election cycle that survey results interpreted in an unbiased way can be quite accurate and predictive. Our results are closer to what these two research organizations found and are quite far away from what's being reported by pollsters tied to news media. What's your view? If you'd like to comment on this topic, please click on "Add Comments" below. We'd love to hear from you!
In ordinary conversation people say they do. But is there any science behind that idea? Two professors at Texas Tech University have adapted Cascade's BioNimbus Virtual Shopping System to "Biopolitics." The idea is to see if the candidates' subtle inflections (gestures, mannerisms, etc.) can move undecided voters to their side -- much the same way a promotion, a new price, a game, or a cartoon character can cause consumers to buy the product. Using BioNimbus, they have made a remarkable discovery, summarized here. Feel free to comment below on this interesting development in the emerging science of Biopolitics.
Whether it's brainwaves, skin temperature and conductance, heart rate, perspiration, pupil dilation, facial muscular contraction, or something else, the various methods of measuring biometric response for market research seem to be here to stay. Are you using any of these methods for market research? If not, tell us you're not (and maybe why). If you are, tell us which methods you're using and for what purpose (e.g., ad testing? website testing?). Are you satisfied that you're learning what you wanted to learn...and at a reasonable cost? Let us know!
These days many people are trying to rescue their various forms of marketing data from the separate, often uncommunicative systems where they reside ("silos") and integrating these data streams into a coherent framework for decision making. Is your company doing that -- un-siloing your marketing data? If so, please tell us about that experience. Are the efforts to create marketing data integration running smoothly? Have unexpected problems arisen? Are you building a master marketing dashboard for monitoring and adjustment? Is that working out well? What can others who may be planning such marketing data integration projects learn from your experience? Please tell us below. We welcome your comments!
Some people conducting customer satisfaction surveys say they can't get accurate information because of the dominance of "ringers" - people who are either very angry or very pleased with their experience with the brand, product, or service. This leaves out the great middle - people who've had an experience with the brand but don't have extremes of feeling one way or the other. This can significantly harm the accuracy of the customer satisfaction study. Have you had such a experience? If so, please tell us about it. Even if you haven't had a personal experience of this type, what's your opinion? Do you think customer satisfaction surveys tend to be dominated by ringers? We look forward to hearing your point of view!
The world of biometric research for marketing is exciting, in that it holds the promise of understanding the emotional connection to products and brands. But is it worth the trouble? There's disagreement. Many say the insights are intriguing but ultimately not worth the additional pain in time, money, and a sort of black-box obscurity in methods. Others say the benefits outweigh these costs, particularly since we are developing a superior science for the future (i.e., some sacrifice is worth it). What's your view? Please tell us below. We invite your opinion!
Sure, big data's a buzzterm, an object of interest, and a serious discipline -- all three are true. But does dig data produce practical, understandable, common-sense wins for you and your company? If so, tell us about those wins. If not, tell us why you think big data doesn't produce tangible benefits at the simple, practical level. We'd like to hear your thoughts!
With the advent of so many alternative market research methods -- qualitative and quantitative -- there’s certainly room for debate on this topic. Tell us what you think! If you think yes, physical focus groups are still relevant, tell us why, and what are their best uses. If you think no, physical focus groups are no longer relevant, tell us what’s better than a physical focus group and why that’s better. Thanks for commenting!
Marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. With the use of tablets, smart phones, e-readers, email, content marketing, etc. the reels are changing faster than ever. Those who do not adapt fall behind. There are many possible challenges that could affect the way you market your business. New ways to connect with customers is ever changing. Customer expectations of valuable content have increased exponentially. To adapt to the changing needs of potential clients, it is important to find new ways of reaching your audience. As technology grows each year, so do the demands of prospective consumers. In order to truly harness the power of marketing, it is imperative to adapt to new solutions and environments. It is crucial to understand what data is relevant and important for the future. Understanding the continual flow of new needs placed on business is essential. Agile Marketing Research is the future of marketing due to its interaction with clients and understanding of their ever changing desires. What is Agile Marketing Research? Agile Marketing Research is a service, a strategy, a discipline, and a process that empowers a business to respond rapidly to the needs of customers. Agile Marketing Research is different from traditional marketing in multiple disciplines. It differs in cost, lead-time, collection time and resources. The benefits of Agile Marketing Research are numerous. - Highly adaptive to new technology - Revolves around collaboration and client feedback - Values customer interaction, transparency and prioritization - Enables teams to shift and modify without negative impacts - Benefits the common good - Focuses on speed, efficiency and faster results - Adaptable and flexible to consumers. Ultimately, Agile Marketing Research is the future of marketing. Advertising teams are actively engaged in creating effective results and client responsiveness. The process values increased responsiveness, creative and custom solutions. Every team member is held accountable throughout development. The main goal is to engage and grasp to the appeal of the patron. The interactivity makes it an excellent solution. Consider changing your marketing needs. Agile Marketing Research enables businesses to adapt to changing cultures and desires that are constantly evolving.
It comes as no surprise that marketing has changed dramatically in the last few years. For instance, “new” marketing conventions include social media management and content marketing—strategies that were rarely used not too many years back. Marketing, and by association marketing research, are changing more quickly than ever before. Those who don’t adapt fall behind. We discuss the importance of keeping market research up-to-date, and agile, in this post. Technology Consider the possible challenges that could affect the ways you market your business. It seems as though almost every day there are new ways to connect with customers, and expectations of content increase exponentially. You need to find new ways to reach out to your audience, either by laptop, smart phone, or tablet. Technology changes hugely every year, so it’s important to try to find a means of appealing to potential clients in a flexible and up-to-date way.In order to truly harness the power of marketing, you must garner the ability to adapt to new solutions and environments. It’s important to understand what data is relevant and important to the future, and what data is less so. Overall, you should have an understanding of the demands placed on contemporary new businesses. Agile Marketing Research Agile Marketing Research focuses on using technology to keep you up-to-date and relevant, since it is so highly adaptive. In fact, this kind of marketing research revolves around collaboration and feedback. This means that these agile solutions should create rapid responses. In addition, this type of marketing values individuals and interactions over facelessness.—Instead of allowing one person or element to take to take precedent, Agile Marketing Research focuses on collaborating for the common good. In addition, this type of marketing also encourages small, short projects instead of long, drawn-out ones. Ultimately, Agile Marketing Research emphasizes the need to work towards creating special and custom solutions. Everyone involved should be actively engaged in creating a workshop solution, and each member of the team is accountable for the others from planning to adaptation. Additionally, this agile process is designed first and foremost to please the client. Marketing techniques work best when they reach out and grip the reader. An effective marketing research team actually increases responsiveness. The interactivity of Agile Marketing Research really makes this method a no-brainer as far as excellent solutions go. One of the first steps towards establishing excellent market research solutions, actually, is to consider different ways that you can adapt to an ever-changing culture and to desires that evolve with each passing moment.
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Cascade Strategies can serve your market research needs from the most straightforward to the most sophisticated project. Don’t hesitate to contact us to tell us about your next project, or your overall research needs in general. You can call (425) 643-9789 and ask for Jerry, Nestor, or Ernie. Or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get back to you quickly!