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Hannah Jeton

Recent Posts

To Infinity and Beyond: Why Going the Extra Mile Pays Off

Posted by Hannah Jeton

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

cmb, questionnaire design, research with kidsCMB’s portfolio is pretty expansive: we do research in a variety of industries and work with many different types of consumers—from insurance consumers to techies to medical experts to small business owners. We know how to get answers, and, more importantly, we are experts in getting to know our audiences. We learn more every day from our work, and we’re always willing to go above and beyond for our clients.I recently worked on a project with a kids’ media company that struck me as new, exciting, and something that I thought I would never come across unless I worked at a boutique kids-only research firm—I couldn’t wait to dive in! Our client wanted to understand kids today and segment the market beyond age and gender. The design, methodology, and project planning came naturally. However, when we reviewed the wording of the questionnaire, we knew we would have to step into our “kid” shoes and adjust accordingly.

Our approach to capture the appropriate wording and diction was twofold. First, we did a series of in-depth interviews, which uncovered ways to speak to various types of kids—leaving no child behind. (For example, we learned that there’s a group of kids out there who wish that they had a superpower of being able to shoot flames out of their backsides—please note this was selected over being invisible, being able to fly, and other “more appropriate” powers). Upon completing the IDIs, we felt that we could make lists exhaustive and kid-friendly, so we moved forward and programmed the survey.

Our next step was to do a round of pre-testing the program we planned to field, so we programmed the survey and observed while kids and parents went through the survey together. This allowed us to see which questions worked, which ones didn’t, which ones we had to further “gamify,” which ones had responses that were too similar, and which ones were confusing to kids. A max difference exercise is just one example of how the pre-testing helped us. We ran a force choice task asking kids to select between 2 descriptors, such as smart v. pretty, popular v. famous, and pretty v. popular. As we watched our pre-testers go through this process, we overhead a common sentiment: “why can’t I be both?”—which was an indicator that the force choice exercises were not a great method to use when doing research with kids. Thus, this pre-testing further refined our design into a clear, fun, and strong program that both kids and parents had fun doing together.

You may be asking yourself: why go the extra mile? Well, because we knew it would pay off, and it did! These extra steps allowed us to create an extensive segmentation that moved far beyond age and gender (the average age across the 7 segments varied between 8.2 years old to 8.6 years old) and had an 85% classification rate on the typing tool. This project was unique and adorable, but it was also a wonderful learning opportunity. It emphasized the importance of getting to know your audience and also proved that upfront research with experts can go a long way when you go into the field.

Hannah is a Project Manager on the TEM team and considers herself closer to being a kid than to having one. Her superpower of choice is omnilingualism.

Watch our recent webinar with Research Now to hear the results of our recent self-funded Consumer Pulse study that leveraged passive mobile behavioral data and survey data simultaneously to reveal insights into the current Mobile Wallet industry in the US.

Watch Now!

Topics: research design, research with kids

The Market Researcher and the Psychic: A Lesson in Divine Inference

Posted by Hannah Jeton

Wed, Jul 02, 2014

describe the imageWith both feet planted on the ground (guaranteeing my ankles are uncrossed for proper energy flow) and my palms out in front of me, Clarence’s** palms rest against mine, reading my energy. His mouth twitches slightly, and his eyes are closed.  There is silence, a sigh, and an “okay.” Then our session begins.A few weeks ago, I finally cashed-in my LivingSocial voucher for a 30-minute tarot card reading at a tearoom in Boston with two co-workers. I left the session totally blown away. I will never make a major life decision based on a tarot card reading. However, as an insights professional, I did come away with some surprising takeaways into the power of putting a little art into the science of insights to create a story that resonates.

Back to the reading: I draw my first 10 cards, shuffling them back and forth between my hands—transferring more energy. Then, I hand them over to Clarence, the moderator between me and the stars. He dutifully lays them out. More silence. We both look at the cards.

“Girl, you are playing with all my favorite cards! Everything is spinning around you, and you can’t quite get enough information to make any decisions.” I look more closely at the tapestry of cups, swords, kings, queens, skulls, hearts, and wings. Again, I’m skeptical. I’m 23—of course my life is crazy and of course I don’t have enough information to make any decisions!

I still try to seem unfazed. We begin to go into details, and he starts listing specifics about my life.  He reads different sets of cards for family, health, career, and romance. The claims he is making are correct. Everything he says is just vague enough that I can back code it to some recent event or situation. So, yes, I am being skeptical, but I am also wow-ed. Boy is he good! He knows!  

With each “revelation,” I can see how his customers become convinced. Clarence here possesses extra sensory skills. His ability to assess what bothers me allows him to eliminate wrong guesses and focus on communicating statements that are more accurate.

Probability, statistics, and good old-fashioned story-telling are all at play in simple and fundamental ways here. From the moment I entered the office, Clarence went to work building a narrative with the highest probability of accuracy. Through observation he carefully took in as much information as he could: my clothes, my manner of speech, my apparent age, my physical attributes, my socioeconomic status, and my mannerisms. Mix those inferences with some pop statistics (see any of Malcolm Gladwell’s books), and my reader had a very, very good chance of being correct.

Unlike tarot card readers, we market research insight professionals take a more rigorous approach to validating our observations. After all, there are real decisions being made here beyond whether to take a dark, handsome stranger up on that drink. But the fact remains that in readings and in research, there is often no one “right” answer. The most useful insights and solutions are most often a balance of statistical validity, real-world usability, and a really good story.

**name has been changed to protect my destiny

Hannah is a senior associate on the Technology and E-Commerce team and is due for check-in to see what’s in store for her next at CMB. She, like Clarence, has a knack for predictive analysis and enjoys reading our clients’ minds from time to time.

Watch our webinar with Research Now to learn about the modularized traditional purchasing survey we created, which allows researchers to reach mobile shoppers en mass. We'll review sampling and weighting best practices and study design considerations as well as our “data-stitching” process. 

Watch Now!

Topics: storytelling, consumer insights