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Stephanie Kimball

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Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research (Part 3)

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Thu, Feb 17, 2011

Part One- What is sample blending, and why do companies do it?

Part Two- What do you think are some of the perceived negatives of blended samples? 

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For part three of our series on sample blending, we sat down with George Haranis, a Project Manager with CMB's Financial Services/Healthcare/Insurance team, to discuss a project in which he used the data collection technique to conduct a B2B segmentation study.

 Q: Could you share a specific project where you used blended samples?

A: A financial services client of ours was interested in talking to a very specific subset of small business decision makers, and they wanted to get a relatively high number of these respondents in a short period of time. We were left with quite a challenge:  we needed to get more respondents, and we needed to get them fast. Working under these constraints, we decided to use sample blending to acquire the necessary sample because it allowed us to go beyond the traditional research panels and include multiple respondent sources. In this particular case we used several vendors to get the number of completes we needed.

Sample blending is not without its particular challenges of course. When using multiple sample sources it is important to make sure the survey program blocks certain IP addresses to eliminate repeat takers. And because we were able to do this, we were able to get the completes we needed for the client, resulting in a successful project, and even more importantly, a very happy client.

 

George is a Project Manager with CMB's Financial Services/Healthcare/Insurance team and can help you take your tracking study to the next level, think of him as Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing Operations Manager and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBAlls

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, social media

Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research (Part 2)

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, Oct 22, 2010

Part 2 of a 3 part series with Jared Huizenga, Director of Field Services at CMB

PART 1

Q: What do you think are some of the perceived negatives ofBlender blended samples?

A: One of the negative perceptions about using a blended sample is that the researcher doesn’t have as much control over sample demographics.  For instance, this may occur when you post a link to a questionnaire on a website and allow anyone to participate.  As a researcher, you don’t really know who’s going to come and take the questionnaire, or where they’ve come from, and that needs to be accounted for in the communications of the findings.

With a traditional panel, the company recruits the panelists and they may know more accurately where participants are coming from.  They can more easily manage who is being recruited for the panel.  The reality is that we don’t know if sample blending is better or worse in terms of actual data quality when compared to a traditional panel.  Until we get some third party, impartial data on the differences or similarities between blended samples and traditional panels, we won’t really know how data quality with the blended sample stacks up to traditional panels. It’s important for researchers to educate their clients by explaining the pros and cons of the different sample sources that may be used for any given study.

Q: What do you think the future is for sample sources and sample blending?

A:  I believe that, within the next three to five years, the vast majority of traditional online research panels will become obsolete. Maybe even sooner.  Some specialty panels will still be in play, but with all the advances in social media and specialty websites, people simply won’t want to join traditional panels anymore. 

If a person is visiting a website where they are really involved and interested in the topic, chances are good that they will click on a survey link and share their opinions. They have a vested interest in the topic. For instance, if a company is conducting a study on those with diabetes, they may be better off recruiting via links on a diabetes forum than an online panel because the people on that site are already engaged and want to give their opinions on a topic they can relate to.

With traditional panels it doesn’t really work that way.  Sometimes traditional panels have good profiling capabilities for their panelists so they know what their hobbies and interests are, but they aren’t catching people “in the moment” when they are looking for information online and may be more willing to participate in a related research study.

Overall, I think traditional panels will vanish and blending is going to become really big.  As researchers find ways to better utilize social media as a sample source, I see this becoming a major factor as well. This is already happening to a small degree, but I expect it to explode in the future.

 

As the Field Services Manager at Chadwick Martin Bailey, Jared oversees and advises on the data collection process, often for very large projects with hard-to-reach audiences. Jared is also on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, methodology

Stirring the Pot: The Good and Bad of Sample Blending in Market Research

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, Jun 25, 2010

Part 1 of a 3 part series

Q:  Jared, what is sample blending, and why do companies do market research sample blendingit?

Jared: Sample blending is a method of acquiring online sample that goes beyond traditional research panels to include multiple respondent sources .

For example, say you're working on a study with a major airline regarding their rewards program.  The airline may post a link to a survey on their web site and offer rewards points or miles as an incentive to augment the sample they get from traditional panels. Another common method of sample blending is recruiting via specialty sites, affiliate sites, and social media. So in a company's Facebook or MySpace sites, there might be links to surveys that are relevant to their audience.  Sample providers like SSI and OTX are doing this as well-they'll go out to traditional panels, social media, affiliate rewards programs, and other sources where they can reach the respondents clients are looking for. There is even a company out there, MKTG, Inc., that will help you determine the best sample "blend" for any given project.

Q:  You talked a little bit about the different types of sample blending and how they have value. What do you think that value depends on?  How do you determine that value?

Jared: There are only a few companies right now that are doing this form of blending, even though this number will continue to increase. I feel the value is often more geared towards the actual vendors than to the clients.  What's happening is that traditional panels are becoming obsolete, and they will probably become obsolete in the next few years.  People are using Facebook, Twitter, and other methods of communication as much, if not more, than email.  So for traditional panels, it's hard to get fresh bodies to commit to a research panel these days.  Panelists then have to check their email regularly for survey invitations and go take  the surveys as they become available.   One of the benefits for the companies offering blended sample is that they can reach people virtually wherever they are.  So, theoretically, low-incidence studies may be more feasible with blended sample because you can reach twenty million people rather than a panel's one or two million active, and available, panelists.

Q: Are Blended Samples more or less representative than traditional samples?

Jared: It can be argued that blended sample is more representative of the general population.  Again, if you have a traditional panel, those people are recruited in a specific way-through a single website, several websites, through a rewards program, etc.  With blended sample, the theory is that this method can be more representative because you're going out to a variety of different sources.  I think that both methods, traditional and the blended sample, have their place.  They are both resources that we use, and will continue to use, but I think the trend is to go towards multiple sample sources rather than just one sample source. Each project at Chadwick Martin Bailey is different from the next, so it's important that we consider all of our options very carefully to determine the best plan of attack when it comes to sampling.

Thanks Jared!

As the Field Services Manager at Chadwick Martin Bailey, Jared oversees and advises on the data collection process, often for very large projects with hard-to-reach audiences. Jared is also on the New England Barbecue Society's Board of Directors and is the pitmaster on a competition barbecue team.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, methodology

Corporate Volunteer Day: CMB Helps out BostonCares because, well, we care.

Posted by Stephanie Kimball

Fri, May 21, 2010

This past weekend I joined seven fellow CMB-ers (Athena Rodriguez, Brett Davidson, Cristhian Caicedo, Diego Jimenez, George Haranis, Holly Seebach, and Jenny Sage) to participate in Boston's Corporate volunteer day for the second year in a row. The event is organized by Boston Cares who offer programs and opportunities for individuals and companies to volunteer. In our case, we were selected to be involved with the Roslindale Wetlands Reforestation Project through Boston Parks.  

As CMB's team leader (check out my spiffy different color t-shirt), I needed to arrive early and had the opportunity to talk to a few neighbors in the area about what the wetlands use to look like and learn about The Roslindale Wetlands Task Force (formed at a September 4, 2003 town hall meeting attended by more than 100 community residents.) For the past 6 years the wetlands task force has been bringing people from the community together to clean up trash and illegally dumped waste, turning what was once dumping grounds into a place they can enjoy with family and friends.

As we worked alongside people from the neighborhood helping the wetlands become one step closer to restoration, our main objective was to plant various types of trees.  Serviceberry, pagoda dogwood, tupelo, and bay magnolia were all on our list to help restore the native trees into the area. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and dove right into the project, picking up shovels, pick axes, and bags of mulch as we worked with teams of three to tackle all of the 25 trees on our list to plant. Myself and our kick-ass office manager/opera singer Holly were very excited and dove right into planting our first Serviceberry tree. We dug our hole, placed the tree in it, made sure it was straight, filled it in, topped it off with mulch, and even took a celebratory photo (shown below). Only later did we come back to see that our tree had been dug up and was being used to demonstrate to everyone how to properly plant a tree. With our egos aside, we convinced ourselves that they used our tree just because it was closer to the group, not because we did it incorrectly.  Regardless, we eagerly scurried off, picked up some more shovels, and went on our way to plant more trees to prove our planting skills.

A lot of hard work over the past seven years has gone into cleaning up and restoring the Roslindale Wetlands, and I was happy and proud that the CMB team could be a small part of it. We all learned a little more about the tactics of planting trees  and about wildlife, but most importantly, we worked as a team to better improve the area while getting to know our  fellow CMB-ers a little better.  (Thanks again to Athena Rodriguez, Brett Davidson, Cristhian Caicedo, Diego Jimenez, George Haranis, Holly Seebach, and Jenny Sage for helping CMB give back to the community!) See more photos on our facebook page by clicking here.

 

Posted by: Stephanie Kimball. Stephanie is our Marketing and Sales Coordinator and loves any and all sports, the beach, traveling, marketing, being challenged, good food, nightlife, and Saturday afternoon naps. You can follow her on twitter @SKBalls.

 

Topics: Chadwick Martin Bailey, Boston