The latest news from the meaning blog


IJMR publishes paper from Tim Macer and Sheila Wilson

A paper first presented by Sheila Wilson and Tim Macer at the ASC’s International Conference in 2016 was one of those picked to feature in a special issue of the highly rated journal, the International Journal of Market Research, in a special issue devoted to the ASC Conference.

IJMR Editor-in-Chief Peter Mouncey notes in the issue’s editorial, The conference presented delegates with a wide range of challenges and opportunities that technology is providing. Some of the key ones are presented in the papers in this issue. Macer and Wilson, in the lead paper, demonstrate clearly where the sector has, and hasn’t, embraced and applied technology to good effect.”

Commenting specifically on the topics the authors addressed in the paper, he said: “Macer and Wilson (meaning ltd) provide a fascinating picture of how the market research sector has adopted, or otherwise, the advances in technology over the past 12 years – a period of significant change fuelled by the mobile revolution. The basis for the paper is the annual global survey of research companies on technology conducted by meaning ltd since 2006. So, quoting part of the conference theme, ‘Are we there yet?’, probably the main conclusion is that the research sector is trailing consumers in adapting to, and exploiting, the mobile revolution.”

Tim Macer talks about the future of Data Collection at ESOMAR 2015

There is a future for collecting data in market research, contrary to what some Big Data analysts may say, but that future will be very different from the data collection practiced today, said Tim Macer at the first session of the day at ESOMAR’s 2015 Congress in Dublin. Invited by research technology provider Qualtrics, Macer focused on the two disruptive influences he considers are going to reshape data collection in the future.

He recalled how, 15 or more years previously, the introduction of online research had acted as a major disrupter to established research (then predominantly CATI), although looking back, it is easy to see it now as a logical, incremental evolution. Yet now, the industry faced two significant disrupters, from mobile or smartphone participation in research – whether research companies actively allow it or not – and the extent to which Big Data and data analytics from existing data sources is likely to bypass the need to collect new data.  ‘Research cannot afford to ignore the tornado that these forces will unleash on data collection”, he said. The future, he continued, lay in providing “high frequency data” that aligns better with the rhythm of the marketplace and constant availability of Big Data.

Embracing mobile, going ‘high frequency’ and achieving better integration were the key recommendations from Macer’s presentation

“For too long, the survey has been treated as a silo, and that is no longer sustainable, and it does not need to be,” he said, urging research companies to focus on how they can integrate both their data and their information systems with those of their clients, as well as their network of suppliers and collaborators.

  • View Tim Macer’s 2015 ESOMAR presentation here.

New book on Online Panels – with a chapter from meaning MD Tim Macer

Online Panel Research book coverHow good is the quality of the access panel you are using to feed participants into your online research? How would you begin to assess quality? How can you tell good practice from bad practice? How do you create and sustain a panel that will create robust and reliable samples for market research or social research?

These are the kinds of questions that a new book published by Wiley sets out to answer. The book comprises of 19 chapters which form an encyclopaedia of the issues relating to the use and also the operation of panels for online research. These chapters were curated by a team six editors: Mario CallegaroReg BakerJelke BethlehemAnja S. GöritzJon Krosnick, and Paul J. Lavrakas and contain the contributions of 50 authors around the world with a wide range of experience and expertise in the field of online research.

Each chapter is based on original research, and in the same spirit of transparency that the book espouses in the operation of online panels, all of the datasets are also made public for anyone to use in their own research.

Lead editor and contributor to the book, Mario Callegaro said: “The book is trying to answer many questions on the quality of such data. It is amazing that online panels have been used for the past 15 years and yet there is no textbook out there. This is the first book to focus on online quality, something that everyone is struggling with.”

Managing Director of meaning ltd, Tim Macer, was asked to provide the chapter on the technology of online panels. He carried out a survey of all of the technology providers offering software or technology for operating panels, and put together a model of good practice in the technology support for panels, based around ESOMAR’s 26 Questions To Help Research Buyers Of Online Samples.

Tim Macer commented: “As Mario says, little had been published on good practice in the use of online panels, but still less was known about the software people were using, and whether they were up to the task of supporting quality panels with the kind of tools, data recording and reports required. This chapter attempts to provide a framework for panel operators, panel users and software developers to use to promote best practice.”

The book may be purchased online and individual chapters may also be purchased for download directly from the publisher.

2012 Software Survey Results Released

The Annual Market Research Software survey, carried out meaning, and once again sponsored by Confirmit, is now in its ninth year. The survey provides a unique set of information and insights into software and the interplay of technology and methodology within the market research industry. It provides a snapshot of current usage and attitudes and predictions from practitioners, and identifies trends from a number of tracking questions that have been asked repeatedly across the years of the study.

For 2012, questions of topical interest include:

Panel quality and the use of incentives,
Survey length for different interviewing modes
Browsers vs. apps for mobile surveys, and
Technology considerations for communities.

Plus tracking data, in some cases going back eight or nine years, on key metrics relating to research technology and its use across the industry.

  • To download this content, please login or register for free. Reports and other downloads are only provided to registered members.

For 2012, the survey interviewed 250 market research companies in 37 different countries, selecting individuals who are responsible for, influential over, or aware of technology decisions within their company. The sample is drawn to ensure representation of three global regions: North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, balanced to represent the relative amount of research carried in these regions, according to figures published by ESOMAR.

We are extremely grateful to all those companies and individuals who took the trouble and time to contribute to the 2010 survey.

You can also find all the eight previous annual reports in our library of reports.

Tell us what you think!

Leave us a comment to tell us about the findings that most interested or most surprised you. (You need to be logged in to make a comment).


Catch Tim at three industry events

Tim Macer, MD of meaning ltd, will be speaking at three industry events during May and June. First up is the Ascribe User Conference in London on 16-17 May, where Tim will be providing the keynote address, which he has titled “Getting Ready For The Decade of the Comment”.

Next, Tim will be in New York for the CASRO Technology Conference, 29 and 30 May, where he will be opening the event with a presentation of key findings of the 2012 Confirmit MR Software Survey, which meaning produces annually. He will also be chairing a panel session on day two, on regulatory compliance in the area of market research technology.

On June 20th, Tim will be the closing speaker at the Confirmit Community Conference also in London, when his topic is “Technology, ethics and best practice in research: a review of the findings from the 2012 Confirmit MR Software Survey”

Update: presentations available