Voxco Online v5.6 – Restructured Navigation

We’re excited to be managing a full roll-out across all of our SaaS servers that gives users access to the new Voxco Online (Acuity4) platform version 5.6.

The big news is that this version includes the release of Voxco Mobile Offline, our personal interviewing survey tool. It is integrated directly into the same platform as Voxco Online to maximize multichannel efficiency. If you’re interested in a demo, get in touch with us!

Even for online-only clients, there are a ton of new benefits to v5.6. This update integrates many client-requested updates to the overall navigation and layout of the platform. Here are a few of the biggest changes:

Maximized screen space

Elements within the platform and questionnaire editor have been aligned to the edges of your browser window. We have also eliminated tertiary navigation bars so that only a primary and secondary navigation remain:

  • The primary navigation is a permanent link to the four most common sections of the platform
  • The secondary navigation serves as a breadcrumb trail, offering easy access and quick actions for any step along the path to your current page.

The result of these changes is a more optimized experience. More of your important data fills more of the window while you’re editing questionnaires, sample lists, reports, and more. So get to work! 😉

Reporting via top navigation

We added a general ‘Reporting’ tab to the permanent navigation bar. It also provides one-click access to reporting subsections via a drop-down. Reporting for all of your surveys is now quickly accessible from anywhere in the platform.

Panels via top navigation

Panel Manager can now be accessed via the top navigation for anytime access. Using the secondary navigation breadcrumbs, you can easily jump directly to individual panels, panelists, and quick actions (imports, invitations, templates, etc).

Merged users & user groups

We have merged the two user management sections (users, user groups) into one single page instead of two. You can now view at a glance which users are in which user group. On the left you can access all of your user groups. In the central portion of the page, view and access individual users from the currently selected user group. New users and user groups can be added via a single, prominent button in the top right corner.

Search boxes

All lists now have search boxes to simplify access to specific surveys, users, user groups, panels, reports, templates, and more. See the examples above for quick searching user groups or individual users.

New features

v5.6 also includes a handful of brand new features, many of which are client-requested, and all of which will improve user productivity. You can read about them in our blogpost on January feature updates.

Want more?

All of our SaaS clients are being upgraded to v5.6 in the very new future. Release notes are available that detail all of the above changes in more detail. On-premise clients can request access to 5.6 at any time. Anybody else who is interested in learning more about v5.6 or seeing the new Voxco Mobile Offline in action can get in touch with us today! 🙂

January Feature Updates

It’s still early in the year, but we are already making major updates to the industry’s most flexible survey software.

The beta release of Voxco Mobile Offline and its integration into the existing Voxco Online platform has triggered a round of updates packaged together as Voxco Online 5.6. This new version will further improve the intuitiveness of the navigation layout, and add a few new navigation elements that will improve user productivity. We’re communicating these changes directly with clients for now. We’ll update the blog on Voxco Online 5.6 and Voxco Mobile Offline availability very soon.

Along with the navigation improvements, we are also packaging a handful of additional features based on feedback from clients and our own internal team of survey experts. Here’s a list of the new minor features hitting with the release of Voxco Online 5.6:

Detailed notifications & execution history on tasks/distributions

When importing samples or exporting results, users can now receive a comprehensive summary of which tasks and distributions were executed. Select the ‘send notification’ option for tasks that you want to have tracked in these reports.

  • Distribution summaries: Task name, survey name, description, content, schedule, and numbers of sends and failures.
  • Export summaries: Task and file name, file size, survey name, description details, schedule, filter details, and numbers of successful imports or failures.
Adding RGBA transparency for color picker

The color pickers within the questionnaire editor and Look & Feel editor now support RGBA transparency, so that survey creators can set transparencies for selected colors within their survey designs.

Show only pending/running distributions

We have added quick filters so that you can easily see which distributions are currently being executed and which ones are still pending. This will be a benefit for surveys that have a lot of distributions.

Updated survey engine default doctype to HTML

The default doctype for the survey engine has been changed from XHTML to the more standard HTML. This doctype offers better compliance with accessibility guidelines (e.g. WCAG).

Results encryption using PGP on export tasks

When you’re exporting survey results, you can now apply PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption. Users who employ PGP encryption software can now use this method when sending results via email or uploading to an FTP. Select the ‘Encrypt files with PGP’ option (highlighted below).

Remove curly brackets and spaces from response exports

For all formats (except Open-End), survey responses are now exportable without spaces and braces – { } – for all system variables. Select the ‘Remove Curly Brackets and Spaces Of System Variables’ option:

If you have any questions about any of these, or how they work, let us know! We are rolling these updates out along with Voxco Online 5.6, and communicating details to clients directly. Plenty more information still to come on Voxco Online 5.6 – stay tuned!

Online surveys are not enough


Part 2: Get surveys noticed in the offline world

You don’t have to read Part 1 of this blog series to be aware of the worrying issue facing market researchers: online surveys are being ignored in growing numbers thanks to survey fatigue in respondents. While online remains an essential part of any survey program, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that they are getting noticed – they’re just too easy for respondents to ignore.

So how can your survey stand out? By changing channels completely, and using the personal touch of an interviewer. There’s something to be said about the old-school survey method: it’s harder to say no to a real person’s interview request than it is to ignore one of hundreds of web links seen online each day. There is a reason face-to-face interviewing is often referred to as ‘intercept.’ You are literally intercepting a respondent in the middle of their day and getting noticed.

Adapt. Existing survey methods are in decline, and only the flexible will survive. Managing effective survey programs in 2016 requires you to complement online surveys with offline channels that can help create a more representative tapestry of insights. Here are some of the major advantages of complementing online surveys with other, interviewer-lead channels:

In-the-moment feedback

Most online survey invitations are sent after an event or experience. Imagine a customer satisfaction survey, automatically sent via email after a purchase: the respondent opens the email a few hours or days later and completes the survey, remembering back on their experience. But when a respondent is asked about an experience while they are still experiencing it, their answers are typically more emotional, and more direct.

Thoughtfulness of responses

When an interviewer is asking questions personally, they are better able to nurture the conversation and ensure that the respondents fully understand questions and carefully consider responses. Interviewers can ask follow-ups and add prompts to help elicit more robust answers. There is no way of knowing if respondents online are taking the time to consider their answers.

Respondent access

To survey respondents online, researchers either need their email, or they need to get their survey link into a respondent’s hands somehow (like via the bottom of a receipt). But how can researchers survey truly random respondents who haven’t yet engaged with a brand in some way? Imagine 10,000 people passing through a train station in the morning, or average people in a given city on a given day – how can a researcher get their survey in front of them without ever having interacted with them before? When your surveys are offline, respondents are suddenly everywhere.

The personal touch

In a world of online gadgets, a little offline communication can warm the soul. Offline studies see friendly interviewers approach respondents with tablets and smiles, looking for a genuine conversation. Will many people still turn down the request? Of course! But unlike approaching respondents by sending another email and another web link to click, is it so crazy to think that offline surveys could actually be a positive interruption for some people?

Believe the hype – the rapid evolution of survey technology offers incredible online survey opportunities. But today’s online-overdosed reality may actually require researchers to complement their online surveys with a step away from the web and back into the real world. It’s a fairly fundamental business concept: what’s different gets noticed. So think different.

Want to explore how easy it can be to create engaging offline surveys for real-world interviewing? Get in touch with Voxco today!



C2 Montreal will use Voxco MultiMode to measure 2016 event success


This year one of the world’s premiere business events celebrates its fifth year, and we’re super-excited to play a pretty important role. C2 Montreal combines Commerce and Creativity by bringing together over 5000 international creative minds to explore trends, opportunities and disruptions on the horizon.

The event includes big name talks, innovative brainstorming workshops, and a massive outdoor village with daily entertainment. It has been called “a conference unlike any other” by the Harvard Business Review.


For a modern event that celebrates what’s trending in creativity and commerce, it’s essential that the organizers keep a finger on the attendee pulse during the show. They then also need to use post-event attendee feedback to ensure that their show is constantly evolving and will keep attendees coming back year after year. And that’s where Voxco is lending a hand.

We’ve joined forces with C2 to help them with their multifaceted attendee feedback needs. We’re thrilled that they have adopted Voxco MultiMode and will be putting it to the task for this year’s event. Their program will include:

  • On-location mobile surveys: To measure the pulse of the event while attendees are in the moment, volunteers with tablets will conduct surveys both inside the event and outside at the village. These mobile surveys will offer event organizers a live snapshot of attendee satisfaction levels and a notification system will alert organizers of time-sensitive feedback so that they can instantly take action on the results.
  • Post-event online surveys: Using Voxco Online, event organizers will invite attendees shortly after the event closes to answer a self-completion survey. It will measure their satisfaction and recall of numerous event activities, and identify how many business connections they made. All the feedback will then be analyzed and will help fine-tune the show in upcoming years.
  • Professional Services: The Voxco Professional Services team will handle all survey programming and design work for the project, to allow the organizers more time for analyzing and reacting to the results.

Voxco MultiMode will be a major upgrade over the overly simple DIY solution that the C2 team used in the past. The ability to design more engaging surveys, interview attendees live on the floor, and the expert programming and design services are all a huge advantage for the event organizers.


Get in touch with the Voxco team today if your event would benefit from a more flexible attendee feedback solution!

Will Market Research still be using passive data in 2 years?

Two-thirds of Market Research Clients Do Not Expect to Be Using Passive Data in Two Years

Despite the awareness of clients and suppliers of Market Research that passive data measurement is growing as a source of insight, about 2 out of 3 claim they will still not be using it two years from now.

30% of clients and 27% of suppliers identified “consumer-specific data collected passively” as the source of insights data that would be most important in two years. It was roughly even with the same number of respondents who selected “custom surveys in any mode.”

But more interestingly, when asked about their passive measurement today, and how much they foresee doing in the future, almost 70% of the respondents said they’re doing zero today and expect they’ll still be doing none in two years. Roughly 25% say they’re doing no passive measurement today but expect to be doing ‘some’ in two years.

Budget limitations are currently and are expected to remain the leading reason why researchers don’t expect they’ll increase passive data collection; but a variety of other concerns are worth noting: data integration and regulatory concerns were both ranked nearly equally as rationale for not beginning passive data measurement.

The majority of researchers (~60%) will be doing most of their research using mobile devices in two years. The ability to answer specific questions ranks as more important to researchers looking to tell a data story.

Read the source article at Market Research

10 Facts about Mobile Market Research you can’t ignore

Mobile Market Research: 10 Key Facts for Researchers

Mobile is everything right now and moving forward with Market Research. If you aren’t active in mobile market research, or concretely planning how you will be in the future, you’re going to be left behind.

Phew, that was painful to say but now that it’s behind us, let’s back it up with a little evidence. Here are 10 facts that support that first paragraph:

  1. Mobile penetration nearing 100%: Mobile device ownership in 21 measured countries was 87% in 2012. Many countries have mobiles that aren’t used to access the internet, so for global surveys, multi-mode may still be your best bet to cover all your bases, including face-to-face or telephone surveys in rural areas, and online/mobile surveys in more developed countries.
  1. Growth rates slowing: Saturation levels are being reached, so overall ‘growth’ of mobile adoption is slowing. But mobile broadband is growing extremely rapidly, as much as 40% year over year.
  1. Developing World growth: It’s interesting to note that in the “developing world,” the home computer phase is being skipped in favor of a mobile-first trajectory.
  1. Industry disruption: Mobile is transforming industries, enabling organizational efficiencies and cost-savings in both developing and developed worlds. For example, mobile health, mobile finance, mobile shopping, etc.
  1. Mobile is a new platform for games: There are 2 billion gamers in the world, half of which are playing on mobile. This is a clear indication that respondents would be interested in fun, engaging surveys, and would be more likely to spend more time in your survey as a result.
  1. Mobile shopping: while it’s clearly on the rise, mobile shopping is still lower priority to mobile users than socializing, playing, and casual browsing among Americans.
  1. Mobiles are…mobile. 75% of UK and US residents kill time in the bathroom with their mobile devices. A captive audience, if you will…
  1. Mobile at home: Despite being within arms reach of their desktop computers, home remains the #1 place where people use their mobile devices.
  1. Mobile-only households: Telephone researchers (CATI) are increasingly needing to factor in higher percentages of mobile respondents into survey design. This is because the number of mobile-only household across the globe is increasing as the population abandons their landlines. American researchers are needing to scramble to find workarounds as the TCPA complicates matters.
  1. 50+ mobile usage limited: While 18-29 year-olds show nearly 100% smartphone engagement in the 21 countries measured, respondents over 50 still show lower adoption rates.

Are you shifting focus to mobile? A perfect early step for global researchers is a robust multi-mode platform that includes mobile while not ignoring telephone, face-to-face and standard online.

Read the source article at Market Research Spain or the original report by Edward Appleton at Research & Reflect

Anytime, anywhere: The benefits of Multi-device Online Research

Getting closer to the customer: why brands can benefit from cross-device online research

Just this week a new report showed that mobile now accounts for over one third of all internet traffic at a global level. It’s honestly kind of old news. Certainly not worthy of a blogpost; if you’re in market research you had better know how quickly mobile is overtaking desktop in internet access and usage statistics.

But researchers at a global level sure aren’t transitioning as quickly as savvy readers would think. How a brand conducts its research can be an important part of the overall customer experience. If people are viewing most information about a brand on their mobile devices, why are the surveys about these brands not following suit?

Many surveys conducted in the industry are still only answerable on desktop computers, though mobile penetration is certainly  continuing to grow via automated device rendering of online surveys for phones and tablets. It’s an upwards trend for sure.

But what about sample representation compromises that are made by taking this step? This is likely one of the primary concerns of the researchers clinging to single-channel surveys. If respondents can complete a survey on the device of their choosing, does affect our ability to collect a representative sample or the quality of data?

The Study

The team at Research Now recently carried out a study of 8,000 people across the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy to try to find out. The research tested whether there were significant differences in the responses to a questionnaire, depending upon the device used. There are very obvious differences that could come into play: screen size and orientation, selection interface, typing interface, and the quality of internet/ data connection. What they wanted to examine was whether the differences between devices have a direct impact on how participants interact with them, how they interact with a survey and then, what conclusions can be made.

Among other things, the study examined the impact of sliding scale length, question length, and the number of open ended questions. The key objective was to understand the impact the device used to answer a survey has on the data collected, and to establish guidelines to minimize data inconsistencies.

The Results

The results of this study suggest that device screen size does not seem to have an impact on responses to different scale lengths. However, the way in which the scale is presented does. We looked at scale questions presented with radio buttons, sliders or grid bars. Answers provided using a slider exhibited a greater number of significant differences across devices, whist grid bars and radio buttons achieved greater consistency across device.

As might be expected, participants answering an open ended question via desktop will type in longer answers than those on mobile devices, but the difference isn’t as significant as one might think. However, because drop-out rates for those taking part on a mobile are twice those on a desktop, it’s recommended that researchers keep open-ended questions to a maximum of three. Answering these questions is time consuming, and survey length should be kept to a minimum on mobile.

Overall, the study found that the quality of research data is not adversely affected by any one device. So brands can get robust, actionable insights from consumers via the device that suits them best.

Conducting research across multiple devices makes it easier to include all demographics. Excluding mobile (or desktop) from your research means exclusion of a defined population segment. By choosing multichannel, you’ll have a better chance to understand audiences, produce better insights, and make better business decisions.

Read the source article at RW Connect

The MR Hype Cycle: The 4 stages of technology adoption

The Marketing Research Industry Has Its Own Research Hype Cycle

Last year, Gartner released its Emerging Technology Hype Cycle for 2014. It’s an interesting way to foresee how an industry tends to adopt new technologies.

The 4 Stages of the Hype Cycle

When technological innovation hits, it’s common to see a repeating structure of these four stages happen:

  1. Peaks of Inflated Expectations
  2. Trough of Disillusionment
  3. Slope of Enlightenment
  4. Plateau of Productivity

The pattern and definition of the cycle phases is just as interesting to observe as the technologies themselves, so we thought we would mention them here as they relate to Market Research.

It’s very helpful to look at innovations at various stages in the Hype Cycle to get an understanding of how to surf the waves of technological shift. So we’ve chosen a few recent innovations that have disrupted Market Research:

Social Media

When social media hit, it hit BIG. The big players at MR conferences regularly waxed poetic about the huge benefits and potential of social media at a theory and best practices level (Stage 1: Peaks of Inflated Expectations).

Then researchers had to go to work in real life, shifting a big part of their methodology to social media in an attempt to solve problems and answer questions. It quickly became very difficult to make reality match the sky-high expectations and the industry sunk into Stage 2: the Trough of Disillusionment.

Now, researchers are beginning to discover the specific ways that social media can help and support as a part of a larger plan (Stage 3: Slope of Enlightenment). Using social media to recruit respondents, answer simple one-off questions, and as a quantitative social media listening tool is helping the overall big-picture research methodology. The key is that unlike early in the Hype Cycle, there’s no undue pressure on social media to be the be-all-end-all solution for market research. Now that we’ve found its place, social media is quickly on its way to Stage 4: Plateau of Productivity.

Mobile Research

In the last few years, we’ve been watching mobile research following the same Hype Cycle stages. Mobile’s great on-paper promise (‘reach anybody anywhere!’) was quickly faced with the difficult reality of mobile execution. We gradually had to alter the research mindset because of smaller screen size, shortened user attention spans, and more.

Appropriate and beneficial mobile research solutions are now finally becoming integrated into overall multichannel research programs as the specialized tool we had hoped it would be. We’re well on our way up the Slope of Enlightenment.

Big Data

The latest hype train to leave the station is Big Data. We all know the immense promise of consumer data that is collected via consumer actions made when no researchers are watching. But the Trough of Disillusionment is deep, and Big Data is going through changes as researchers are getting frustrated with its implementation.

We will soon learn the intricacies of using Big Data the right way – if social media and mobile can be considered lessons, the answer will be ‘as one defined element within a greater research methodology. Once that happens, Big Data will start sliding its way up the Slope of Enlightenment on its way towards a Plateau of Productivity. 

The future of MR technology hype

So far, none of the 3 innovations above have proven to be a gamechanger. Innovation hype dies down and technological change usually settles into a specific role within a quickly evolving research landscape.

But that being said, we are in a Technology Revolution akin to the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. As innovations emerge (and there will be more!), it’s essential that we embrace them, while understanding that the hype train is generally driven by the loudest prophets looking at on-paper potential, which can inflate expectations. Once those prophets jump to the next hot thing, reality sets in as the industry learns to adapt and adopt.

Read the source article by Jim Bryson at MRA

Writing mobile surveys: you’re doing it wrong

Time to start writing mobile surveys

Mobile surveys. Let’s keep them short and sweet, like this blogpost. This short post includes just a few tips on designing your surveys for mobile.

You want to appeal to a larger and more demographically varied group of respondents, so remember that your surveys have to appeal to mobile users.

Here’s the TL;DR (too long; didn’t read) version: design surveys for mobile, rather than designing for desktop and assuming that automated device rendering will suffice.

Keep it Short.

Imagine the way a user spends 30 minutes on their smartphone: starting via notification windows, they proceed to review status updates, tweets and other social media feeds, read linked articles (or likely just the headlines), and send a few catch-up texts. Notice the trend: they aren’t spending the entire 30 minutes in a single app, but jumping around from place to place for short bursts. So why assume that this same user would answer a 2o-minute survey on their smartphone? Notifications won’t stop during that time so are you sure you can keep their attention? Each extra minute increases the odds of abandonment.

Consider question types.

Voxco offers every different online survey question type you can imagine. But we know that some of these just don’t translate to mobile very well, and don’t recommend using them. Matrix questions, for example. Asking a respondent to scroll down 10 rows and grade each row on a 7-point scale is ridiculous to expect on a mobile. Refocus your survey – determine which of those ten rows is most important and ask one or two of them as individual questions. Stick to simple question types with well-crafted logic in the background working to ensure skipping of irrelevant questions and auto-completing previously answered questions.

Think mobile at every step.

If you’re asking for customer feedback, ask respondents to use their cameras to scan QR codes to capture product or purchase-time information instead of having them scroll through drop down menus or manually type it out. Use metadata or geo-targeting to capture device and location information instead of asking the respondent to waste more time completing it. Let respondents take a picture or record an audio clip instead of typing.

How can you make the survey easier (and more fun) for mobile respondents? If you’re going into the survey-creation process with this question in your mind you’re on the right track.

Read the source article by Zontziry Johnson on LinkedIn


Visual impact in surveys: Speaking the new respondent language

Visuals Are The New Language Of Consumers And Market Research | GreenBook

So is market research still relevant in the face of the age of Big Data? While growth rates in MR are practically nonexistent, passive data collection & analysis is seeing meteoric growth as an industry. We don’t want to hammer a point too heavily into the ground, but let’s try to make sense of it and offer way forward. Adaptation to the new consumer and stakeholder mindset is key. Here’s what we see far too much of in the slower-to-adapt corners of our industry:


For now, there are too many agencies and firms making insights far too complex. Does a findings report need to be 20-50 slides of tables full of raw numbers? This stubborn insistence on data complexity limits the effectiveness of quality research. Recommendations are being ignored because they’re buried under mounds of raw data. Consider data presentation that actually gets noticed.

New platforms. Old methodology.

We’re applying old methodologies to new platforms, despite living in a world of sweeping technological advancements. Many companies still gather market data by administering static, boring, DIY online surveys. While some agencies feel that shifting to online (from phone or pen & paper) has been enough, they’re ignoring the fact that each year sees more an more respondents exclusively on mobile, and that time is spent almost exclusively in-app.

But even those who have shifted to mobile haven’t changed their business models for deploying these new technologies. Even a simple study still needs several analysts and project managers. The value of mobile is in the speed and simplicity of the user experience and the ability to reach your audience where they spend most of their time.

It’s boring.

We claim to be building customer-centric communities, but the unwelcome truth is that we still view respondents as an expense. We put little thought into making surveys non-intrusive, fun, engaging, or even addictive! And so the segment of people who are willing to participate in research is shrinking, and increasingly non-representative.

It lacks visual impact.

The world and the people within it are becoming more and more visual as time goes on. Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Vine are growing quickly as consumers abandon text and let multimedia do the talking. Even reigning social media kings Facebook and Twitter are shifting gradually to a multimedia-first information flow. Why? Because visuals are more concise and more effective units of communication. Worth a thousand words, as they say…

If your surveys lack multimedia, you’re going to have a tough time reaching those juicy demographics who often avoid boring surveys. Visual and mobile combined offer better reach and a better survey experience.

But, researchers are still not using either to its full benefit. For example, while there are many firms in the marketing industry that are enabling clients to understand and speak to consumers in this new visual language, market research firms have, for the most part, only focused on analyzing imaged-based social data that consumers are already posting, being voyeurs so to speak.  However, there is so much more to social, especially imaged-based social, that by doing so they are missing out on a major opportunity. Market researchers should also use social and visual social as an opportunity to directly solicit responses to gather meaningful, in the moment of truth insights, both quickly and cost effectively while ensuring a stellar respondent experience.

Gathering imaged-based data can be very valuable to your market research efforts. With visual, we can ask fewer questions and still gather mountains of information. Why not have them write about their experiences in a log? That way we have loads of data to digest and pick out nuggets of wisdom from.  To that I would say not true – A picture is truly worth a 1000 words. And when solicited and examined properly it can enable researchers to garner vital insights in a manner that is non-intrusive, fun and very natural to consumers.

Adapt or Die.

Sounds harsh? It is. But this simplification and visualization helps both the survey respondent and the survey stakeholder, and eventually enables an agile style of research where you can learn and refine on your way towards key insights.

These are tumultuous yet exciting times for the Market Research industry. To remain relevant and even to prosper, adaptation is key. So the next time you hear someone in the office ask about benchmarks and other standardized methodologies, respond with “The technique is different, but the world has changed, and so must we.”

Read the source article at GreenBook Blog

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