Internet Marketing Research and How Qualtrics is Changing the Game
Evolve Research has been in business since 2005 specializing in research design, implementation, analysis and marketing.
This innovative firm helps companies make informed decisions based on facts, rather than assumptions.
Kevin Jessop is the Director of Research for Evolve.
In this interview, Kevin shares how he is using internet marketing research to get valuable insights for his clients.
Name: Kevin Jessop
Organization: Evolve Research
Position: Director of Research
Research Experience: 15 years
What has been the focus of your research recently? What is your favorite/most interesting internet marketing research project you have done with Qualtrics?
We’ve really been focused on integrating new technology with our marketing research to expand what we do and keep us agile and responsive.
Technology allows us to collect data in clever and innovative ways, and also do some really complex out-of-this-world statistical analysis.
To round it up, technology enables us to communicate a huge amount of data and analysis in a well-rounded story that’s easy for our clients to understand and act on.
Recently we’ve used Qualtrics to do some extremely in-depth and complex advertising testing research that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.
An ad agency came to us and said, “We have two themes, each with four concept commercials and each commercial has four different voice-overs – we want you to quantitatively show us which commercial combination is the most effective.”
If we weren’t using Qualtrics, we would have freaked out about testing 24 different ad spots in a single survey.
In the past, we would have produced several different online surveys and tested them among several separate yet identical target audiences. On top of that, we would have had to test each survey.
What a headache!
Qualtrics makes the whole process almost laughably easy.
We were able to produce one survey and field it among one audience. Using Qualtrics’ extremely comprehensive branching, logic and the amazing survey flow functionality, we were able to divert participants to a particular theme and randomly present them with four commercial/voice-over combinations.
The online survey software automatically managed what would have traditionally have been a manual process.
It was a real revolutionary moment for us.
Can you talk about some of the internet marketing research surveys you’ve been developing? Do you have some specific examples of interesting data you’ve collected from them?
At Evolve we don’t kiss and tell – clients and their data is strictly confidential.
But I can tell you that we’ve been developing extremely agile surveys focused on respondent engagement. Survey participants who are interested and engaged logically produce more reliable data than those who aren’t.
Qualtrics allows us to ask questions in extremely interesting and intuitive ways. We’ve been developing surveys designed to work in conjunction with (industry buzzword alert) Big Data. It’s pretty exciting.
How has Qualtrics software assisted you in this research?
I mentioned being “agile” earlier.
As any marketing research agency knows, a lot of deadlines are simply ASAP or “yesterday.” Many of our advertising agency clients need the data as soon as possible because they have strategies and messages to craft based upon the research.
Qualtrics allows us to give them real-time access to data, which is a huge win for us. It’s an incredibly powerful thing to be able to give a client access to valuable live insight.
Also, with Qualtrics, within minutes of being out of field, we can have a great looking topline report in their inboxes – something that we would have spend a day or two creating before.
What conclusions have you been able to draw from your research, and what impact has that had on your organization?
With Qualtrics, we’ve really been able to speed up our internal processes in terms of programming and reporting – this allows us to turn projects around much more quickly and accurately.
The knock-on effect of this is that we are free to work on other things and take on more work and clients.
The overall impact? Our company is growing like crazy, and I can relate a lot of our success to the Qualtrics platform.
What some mistakes that you have made that you wish you hadn’t?
Where do I start?
Owning a business doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so we learn from every decision we make as a company. The biggest thing that springs to mind is wishing we’d followed our instinct a little more on a few projects.
Saying “no” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Now, if we have the slightest doubt about the feasibility of a project for whatever reason, we’re vocal.
What are the most valuable research related “epiphanies” you have had in the past year that you wish you would have been aware of before?
I’ve got several, but I’m playing my cards close to my chest – I operate in an extremely competitive market! I will say that keeping one’s ear to the ground, inventing, innovating and just going for it are absolutely key.
Finally, what advice would you give to fellow researchers?
Embrace what you do – and don’t keep on doing the same old thing.
The way we collect and interact with data is dramatically changing – it’s about to go through a revolution. Stay on top of it because marketing researchers are needed now more than ever.
The amount of data out there is increasing exponentially whether we are collecting it or not and that is where our future lies.