Ep. 502 – HMRP Monday Edition: Naomi Henderson, ResTech, Progress Bars, & Public Optimism

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This episode is brought to you by Michigan State’s Marketing Research program. Are you looking for higher pay, to expand your professional network, and to achieve your full potential in the world of market research?

Today, the program has tracks for both full-time students and working professionals.

They also provide career support assisting students to win today’s most sought-after jobs. In fact, over 80% of Michigan State’s Marketing Research students have accepted job offers 6 months prior to graduating.

The program has three formats:

  • The first is a Full-Time 100% Online program taught over 12-months starting in January 2022
  • The second is a Part-Time 100% Online program that is 20-months. This one starts in May 2022 and is specifically designed for working professionals,
  • And of course, they offer a Full-Time 12-month in-person experience that starts in September 2022

All programs include real-world experience and full-time job placement support.

If you are looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSMU’s programs at:

broad.msu.edu/marketing 


This episode is brought to you by  HubUX is a research operation platform for private panel management, qualitative automation including video audition questions, and surveys. 

For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com.


Today is January 10, 2022. Happy Monday! 

You’re listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. I’m Jamin Brazil, your host. 

Before intros, sponsors, and content I’d like you to join me in honoring Naomi Henderson by reading her obituary published by The Washington Post on Jan. 7, 2022.

Naomi Henderson CEO of RIVA Market Research and co-founder of RIVA Training Institute, Naomi R Henderson, 77, passed away on December 21, 2021, from complications related to Covid. 

She was vaccinated. 

Naomi was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, on January 2, 1944, the second of four daughters to Joseph and Anna Hairston. As the daughter of an Army officer, she grew accustomed to traveling and starting fresh in new places. She traveled across the US six times by car, and across the Pacific Ocean twice to live in Asia. 

Naturally creative, Naomi wrote and performed plays in elementary school for the neighborhood families on her front porch, using bedsheets as curtains to ensure her entrances were dramatic. 

She attended Roosevelt High school in Washington, DC, and received undergraduate degrees in psychology and education from D.C. Teachers College and a master’s in education from American University. 

She was a guest lecturer at George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of Georgia, and Hood College. 

She was excited to continue her education and, before becoming ill, had recently announced that she would be pursuing her doctorate in 2022. 

She served as a Master Trainer, teaching researchers the art and science of rigorous qualitative research techniques, writing curriculum for public and custom courses, and fulfilling her dream of leaving the industry better than when she entered. 

Naomi led more than 6,000 focus groups and interviewed more than 60,000 respondents in groups or individually, receiving national recognition as a Master Moderator. She’s been featured by Forbes Magazine and The New York Times, with T.V. appearances including The CBS Evening News, PBS Health Week, and NBC Dateline, along with several podcasts. 

She married the love of her life Luc Henderson in 1964, and they shared joy of life, travel, and art. 

Luc and Naomi taught themselves to ice skate, later mastering pairs ice-dancing – just for the fun of it. They frequented the Cabin John Ice Rink in the 1970s. 

Naomi was an original, a one-of-a-kind bright light in the world. She could make anyone feel like they were the most important person in the room. 

Loving, generous and thoughtful, she made an exceptional contribution to any activity or group she was a part of. Her warmth drew people to her, and though she didn’t have children, she was a surrogate mother-figure to many, as well as a loving aunt, sister, daughter, colleague, and mentor. 

Her absence will leave a great void in many lives. Naomi was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Luc Henderson, her father, Joseph H. Hairston, and her sister, Nancy. The Arts were an essential part of Naomi’s life. She enjoyed performances at the Kennedy Center and other local venues and was excited that exhibitions and performances were opening again in all genres. 

With this in mind, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the University of the Arts, Philadelphia. You can find the link in our show notes. www.uarts.edu/donatenow. 

In the interest of health and safety for all, a virtual memorial is planned for January 28, 2022, at 11 a.m. ET.

Naomi, you were a friend to us all. And we will miss you.

I’ve done hundreds of interviews with today’s top minds in market research. Many of them trace their roots to Michigan State’s Marketing Research program.

Are you looking for higher pay, to expand your professional network, and to achieve your full potential in the world of market research?

Today, the program has tracks for both full-time students and working professionals.

They also provide career support, assisting students to win today’s most sought-after jobs. In fact, over 80% of Michigan State’s Marketing Research students have accepted job offers 6 months prior to graduating.

The program has three formats:

  • The first is a Full-Time 100% Online program taught over 12-months
  • The second is a Part-Time Online program designed for working professionals that is 20-months
  • And of course, they offer a Full-Time 12-month in-person experience

All programs include real-world experience and full-time job placement support.

If you are looking to achieve your full potential, check out MSMU’s programs at:

broad.msu.edu/marketing

It costs nothing to get more details. Take the time, invest in yourself. You are worth it. Class sizes are limited, so please, check it out today. 

HubUX is a research operation platform for private panel management, qualitative automation including video audition questions, and surveys. 

For a limited time, user seats are free. If you’d like to learn more or create your own account, visit hubux.com. 

This is our 502nd episode. As Bob Dylen so elequrtly said, The Times Are a Changin’…and, so is this podcast. 

For 2022, we will be releasing new episodes every Monday with 4 segments…

  1. News
  2. Consumer Trends
  3. Research How-Tos
  4. Long Form Interviews

Let’s get started. 

Brands that invest in consumer insights outperform the broader market by 3x according to Watermark Consulting. 

One of the themes we are seeing in the consumer insights industry is tech enabled research. Why? Because it automates the operations of research. By reduction, we can do more research with less resources allowing more time for decision makers to build empathy with their consumers. 

More and more brands are looking to their agency partners to incorporate ResTech that offers continuous improvement of better, faster, cheaper consumer insights. 

What does a research technology powered arrangement look like? 

There are literally limitless possibilities. Here is an example of one we are working on right now. 

The client is a major health care insurance company. Through the shelter in place mandate, their agents have encountered many challenges. And, there are new challenges popping up regularly. 

These challenges impact both buyers and sellers. For example, 

  1. What do customers care about when considering a carrier? 
  2. How are up and coming disruptive carriers and insurance marketplaces are changing the purchase process. So, what are the current stages in the purchase journey? 
  3. Within each stage of the purchase journey, what are the factors and how important are those factors to move the consumer through the funnel? 
  4. What other carriers are in the consideration set? 
  5. What words should agents use when talking to prospective buyers? 
  6. And, what marketing creative will have the biggest impact? 

You get the point. And there are new questions about consumers popping up all the time for brands. 

It used to be the case that brands would treat each business question as a unique project. But ResTech plus an Agency Partner offers a time and money saving alternative. 

Now, the brand creates a private community of both agents and consumers. There is monthly research that is done against the population that mirrors a lightweight tracker that keeps the customer close and builds empathy. 

Additionally, this community is used for quick turn surveys and qualitative projects. 

This hybrid offering creates a new type of financial arrangement that closely mirrors the brand trackers of old. These brand trackers offered stable income over time and served as a way for brands to identify issues and conduct research accordingly. 

Through technology, the brand can get answers to their business questions within hours from their valued partner. 

We are seeing this shift across the industry. As consumer insight agencies recognize the impotence of owning their own tech stack, more and more mergers will take place. 

One company that is capitalizing on this is Onclusive. 

Last week Kantar Reputation Intelligence merged with PR gloo and Onclusive. 

You are probably asking, “Why?” 

The merger seeks to unify technology and consulting at a global scale to help companies optimize media spend. 

In short, brands are struggling to keep pace with their customers. We are in uncharted territory at a global level. Winning brands will love their customers in order to be loved by their customers. And, the only way brands can build a relationship at scale is through research automation coupled with agency expertise. 

This is a space we’ll all be watching over 2022. 

In the MRxPros Google Group, Mike Luce President & Co-Founder of High Yield Insights posted…

“I was just filling out a short survey about my doctor’s appointment this morning. Very standard stuff. A few ranking questions (1-10) followed by open ends and such.

Here’s why I’m posting to the group – the survey progress bar was at 60% when I got that question. (“Do you have time…”) I was pretty surprised. I’m not sure if I’ve seen that (or something similar to it) used before.

I would love to hear some thoughts from you all… 

1. Do you use anything like that in survey design? Yes, no, why?

2. Is it a good idea? Bad idea? Or just depends?

3. What are the implications for the survey results?

Those are the sort of questions that immediately came to my mind. I’d love to learn more about that and similar techniques because it seems so interesting. 

I said “no” by the way… and that response seems like the most obvious issue to handle!”

Many in the community offered their POV. 

Susan Fader, a Qualitative Research Guru said, “I think the completion bar is a good idea if you move quickly through questions and can see rapid progress to completion.  If I have answered 3 questions and completion only moved 5% then I would just stop taking the survey.” 

Matt Seltzer, Laura Bright, and many others weighed in on their usage of a progress bar in surveys. 

The consensus was that progress bars are a best practice for surveys. However, they can mislead participants because they usually measure question counts versus time. For example, a single choice question like “age” is a lot shorter to answer than an attribute rating question like, “Please rate each of the below statements on a scale of 1 to 10…”. 

Additionally, progress bars take up too much screen real estate and are simply not practical or useful for 60 to 80% of participants who are taking your survey on mobile devices. 

Bob Walker CEO of Surveys & Forecasts said, 

“I’ve switched to a “number of questions” approach. For example, at the outset: “Our survey contains a maximum of 20 questions (but could be less based on your responses). At a normal pace, the survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete.””

He goes on to say, “At several points in our surveys we add comments: “You have completed 8 of 15 questions – more than halfway there!” or similar. These comments help to reassure respondents that they aren’t wasting their time. And I find that this approach (with a little humor) is more relatable and encouraging than a sterile progress bar.” 

For me, Bob is 100% right. When building your surveys remember a human is on the other side of your screen. Keep things simple, accurate, and fun. You’ll be surprised about the impact it makes on your survey completes. 

Now, keep in mind, this is my POV from programming and conducting over 3,000 surveys across over a half a billion people in the last 20 years. 

Don’t use a progress bar. Use words. Be honest, after all, each survey is a social contract. And, make it a little fun. 

Well, we have finished the 1st week of January, 2022 and it is time to start breaking those New Year’s resolutions! 

At HubUX we talked to 100 people about their new year’s resolutions. The findings may surprise you. 

The objective of the research is to help us create better social posts by hearing directly from people of various generations on what their commitments are going into 2022. Why are we doing these posts? To further build our community of research participants for realtime Qual and Quant recruiting. 

This research asserts that people’s resolutions align with their aspirations and higher selves. In  other words, by connecting with their aspirations you’ll improve your ad performance…and maybe even build a bridge to your consumer’s heart.

Key takeaways: 

2021 was a tough year. 

Only 11% of people described 2021 as “a great year!” with 22% stating “It was a terrible year!”.

But this coin has another side. 2022 will be a great year! 

While 2021 was rough. People’s outlook on 2022 is positive. Over 80% of participants established goals for the New Year. 

We used a video survey question and asked participants to tell us about their resolutions. With 100 responses, we were very pleased with the pool to choose from for our video. 

Top 3 New Year’s Resolutions: 

  1. Health: Diet & Exercise 
  2. Better Person: Present with people around them; living in the moment
  3. Increase Savings 

We then used the TikTok app to stitch together a few of their video responses. Here is the outcome: 

<video insert>

If you’d like to see the ad, checkout our show notes. 

For Further Consideration 

Thank you for listening to the Happy Market Research podcast. I’m Jamin Brazil. Happy Researching! 😊 


References: 

Naomi Henderson Obituary: https://afterword.com/stories/naomi-r-henderson

Naomi Henderson: With this in mind, in lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA at: www.uarts.edu/donatenow.

Naomi Henderson: In the interest of health and safety for all, a virtual memorial is planned for January 28, 2022, at 11 a.m. https://afterword.com/stories/naomi-r-henderson

Sponsor MSMU: https://broad.msu.edu/marketing

Sponsor HubUX: https://hubux.com

Advantis: https://advanis.net/who-we-are

S2 Research: https://www.s2research.com/

Surveys & Forecasts (Bob Walker): https://www.safllc.com

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’ (Official Audio)