The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) is folding.
The news of the MRIA end of life as of July 31st is the talk of the town in Canadian market research community at the moment.
The dissolution news brings mixed emotions to the table. Needless to say, it leaves a hole for the Canadian market research professionals. At the same time, change also brings about opportunity to question and challenge; it gives us an excuse to build the new ground. We should join our forces to ensure the rebuilding and continuity of a Canadian research association. One that drives continuous improvement to advance and achieve the breakthrough services that will ensure our industry remains current.
Voxco has a team of loyal survey software professionals. It’s actually a rare thing for us to have new employees come and go. The team is full of familiar faces who have been with us for 5, 10, and even over 15 years. We’re honored to say that we have very little turnover.
So it’s a rare thing to announce a prominent new face among our ranks, but that’s the pleasure we have this month as survey software industry veteran John Rousay joins the Voxco sales team.
We have spent the last few months putting the finishing touches on what could be our largest release ever. This past weekend, Voxco Online v6.0 started rolling out for our SaaS clients.
This exciting update will be a major asset for our clients. Many of the new features are client-requested, after all! Voxco Online v6.0 will include over 30 new features and enhancements. Here are just a few of them:
What a difference a dialer makes. Well, a good one at least…
When Voxco first opened its doors over 25 years ago, we were known as an industry-leading vendor of phone survey center software and hardware. Nothing has changed in those terms since then – Voxco still leads the industry in phone survey systems. But the channel has gone through some dramatic fluctuations since then. Our phone survey system has adapted to keep pace, but the industry itself has evolved to a point where every dollar matters.
New survey call centers aren’t opening their doors very often. Those that remain stay very busy and remain an important part of the MR landscape, but their profit structures are changing. Their bottom lines become more fragile as researchers branch out into online and mobile survey solutions, and respondents become harder to reach on the phone.
From twenty-five years’ worth of conversations that we have had with clients and other industry thought-leaders, it is clear that productivity is the only metric that truly matters to a phone survey center’s profitability. And the cornerstone of maintaining that productivity? A good dialer, which will make or break your ROI.
In the most recent Greenbook GRIT Report, an article appeared from Rebecca West of CiviCom Marketing Research Services, an industry-leading supplier of qualitative technology solutions. It was a question, and a very pertinent one: “Is your organization’s technology strategy where it needs to be?”
The question itself is a very important one. While it may be difficult, defining a modern tech strategy and following it is critical to today’s fast-moving market research industry. You need to stay competitive and you need to protect your respondent data. Your technology choices play a key role in that.
Ms. West has created a 10-step list to identifying whether your organization’s technology strategy is where it needs to be. Below, we have added commentary that connects the list to an evaluation of your quantitative survey software. Because that’s kinda our thing.
Less than five years ago, the talk began about the full integration of passive digital data collection (mostly framed as ‘Big Data’) into business insights programs. And as often happens with new trends, a many insights groups dove headfirst into Big Data, abandoning the traditional survey in favor of the more automated digital behavior tracking. In doing so, they lost out on a ton of valuable insights that could only be gathered from asking questions to real people. Their data was suddenly missing the ‘why’ – the motivation behind the actions they were tracking.
Now in 2017, many of those insights groups have returned to surveys and settled on a complimentary solution that pairs passive digital behavior tracking and feedback surveys. Surveys are anything but dead, as they still offer incomparable insights into human behavior. Insights that cannot be matched by the automated collection of passive data. We have watched as the same organizations who shied away from surveys just a few years ago have started coming back and seeing the huge value in pairing their existing passive digital data collection with surveys.
One recent example that triggered this blogpost was when Voxco paired with C2 Montreal to complement their existing automated data collection with surveys that gauged event attendee satisfaction levels:
Members of the market research industry find themselves fighting tooth and nail for decent response rates and representative sample. So when your study is about drug use, sexual behaviors, political and religious beliefs, or other sensitive topics, you’ll need to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to keep response rates steady.
Asking sensitive questions via surveys or interviews can be considered intrusive or offensive, regardless of what the respondent’s answer may be. And if the respondent feels that their response could be contrary to popular societal norms, they may be more inclined to provide a dishonest answer that conforms to their perception of normal (this is called ‘social desirability bias’). Compounding the issues of question intrusiveness and social desirability bias, respondents may not trust that their responses will remain anonymous, or that the data will be kept secure.
Sensitive questions can negatively affect three important survey measurements: overall response rates, single question decline rates, and response accuracy – due to a higher percentage of respondents who answer sensitive questions dishonestly. That means that the inclusion of sensitive questions in a survey needs to be handled in an intelligent and delicate way whenever possible. Fortunately, technology can help.
Last month we drew back the curtain to look at the processes we follow to get client feedback. But we also wanted to share examples of the product features and developments that were guided thanks in part to direct feedback from our software users. So let’s do exactly that – below are some live product features that are in active development as a result of feedback from our clients.
Later this summer we’ll be launching version 6.0 of our overall Voxco Survey Platform. It will include a ton of new features for Voxco Online and an even tighter integration of our multimode survey channels. And many of those new features were initially spawned or fine-tuned via in-depth conversations with our client advisory committee. For example:
We have spent the last couple of months ensuring that all of our clients on SaaS servers worldwide are up-to-date with our 5.6 update, which came with a ton of navigation changes and new features. But this week an all-new feature set is dropping for all users of our Voxco Online platform. It will give users a few new options for guiding respondents down different paths based on how they leave a survey.
Maintenant que le Printemps des Etudes est derrière nous, nous pouvons faire un point sur ces 2 jours d’évènement et sur les 20 ans de Voxco Paris qui ont été une bonne raison de célébrer.
Tout ce que nous avions prévu pour l’évènement s’est déroulé sans accroc. Tout au long de l’événement, de nombreux clients sont venus nous rendre visite sur notre stand dans le superbe Palais Brongniart pour échanger entre autres choses sur l’état du marché des études en Europe.
A la fin de chaque journée, nous avons accueilli nos clients pour partager champagne et mignardises et lever notre verre à ces 20 dernières années. Un grand merci à tous ceux qui sont venus trinquer avec nous !