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.

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Topics: Research Design, Research with Kids

Mode is the Most: Kids Get a Taste of Market Research

Posted by Jeff McKenna

Tue, Feb 14, 2012

A topic near and dear to my heart just became nearer and dearer. Take a look at one of the classroom assignments my kindergarten daughter recently brought home from school:

Market research kids

Isn’t this amazing? Kindergartners are learning the basics of market research! Ever since I got into this business of market research, whenever someone asked me about my job, the answer nearly always comes down to: “I write the survey questions that people ask when calling you during dinner time.”

But, not anymore! My answer can now be: “You know how you might want to learn what is the most popular animal at the carnival? I’m the one who writes the questions, counts the tally marks, and creates the bar charts to show you what is most popular.” How cool is that?

Webinar visual

Wish your research had more pictures of ponies, or just more visual interest? Check out our webinar: Appearance Counts: How to Tell a More Visually Compelling Story with your Data


Posted by Jeff McKenna, Jeff is a Senior Consultant at CMB, and the creator and host of our Tools and Techniques Webinar Series.

Topics: Research with Kids