Quick List Tuesday: Knowing What’s Coming

What we said “Wow!” to this week —

Now that’s what we call solid research! Stanford University is heading up a One Hundred Year Study on artificial intelligence (100 years! Yep, you read that right). The study panel reviews AI’s progress every five years to assess the current state of AI. The studies are expected to develop syntheses and assessments that provide expert-informed guidance for direction in AI research, development, and systems designs, as well as programs and policies to ensure that these systems broadly benefit individuals and society.


What we’re talking about – 

The iPhone 7. Since we regularly do research in the consumer audio space, we are intrigued by the wireless EarPods and the new design of the headphone jack. What do you think? What are you most excited about or did this announcement not do it for you?


What Pokémon Go players are talking about—

Location Data Sharing. All this fuss about Pokemon Go the last few weeks has led to many conversations about location data sharing. It’s everywhere, and almost impossible to avoid as a consumer. But what does in mean for marketers? Take a look at this article by Kate Kaye that explores how location tracking is on the brink of a total explosion. Especially interesting is the rise of location data tracking and analytics firms such as Placed (www.placed.com).


Quote we’re pondering —

“The secret of change is to focus your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates


Did you enjoy this Quick List? If so, please forward this email to a friend or follow us on Twitter @REPASSinc.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week.
To Your Success,

Will Krieger
Vice President, Insights

Lean In

lean in


We all have hard days. And as with most things, it seems that often times, when it rains, it pours. When this happens in our personal lives, it’s a lot easier. We can stick our head in the sand (not that we would recommend that), but when it happens in our professional space, you have no choice but to lean in. Lean into the discomfort and push through.

Our clients look to us for our guidance and expertise when things get bumpy. When you panic, they panic. However when you are able to stay calm, provide guidance, listen to their concerns, and get them to the other side, it solidifies that relationship. Our job is to make their lives easier. To get them the answers that they need. To lean in and lighten their load when it becomes too heavy. We like to think that we create true relationships with our clients, we are in it with them. It’s not just a job. And that makes all the difference in the world.


Megan Popp Blog Bio

Quick List: When our customers grow, we grow



Our newest issue of the Quick List, a bi-monthly summary of what’s happening in marketing research and new happenings at REPASS


What we are celebrating this week —

News that for the second year in a row, REPASS has made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. This would not be possible without our dedicated team who go above and beyond day in and day out.  Our steady growth demonstrates our commitment to customers; and their commitment to us. We’re focused on helping customers succeed, to help their business succeed, and to see growth in the communities they touch.

What we’re blogging about this week– 

Projective techniques. It’s easy to only associate projective techniques with qualitative research. They kinda go hand in hand, right? But how do you cultivate that level of creativity to the quantitative landscape? See what one of our Insights Directors thinks about survey design in her blog post.


What we’re thinking about—

That we are pretty darn lucky we get to wake up every day and work hard for something we are passionate about. Life is hard, work is hard, but when you get the opportunity to put massive energy towards something that you truly enjoy, it’s an incredible experience. We agree with Seth Godin’s perspective and we are thankful that we get the opportunity to experience “the struggle.”


Quote we’re pondering —

“A ship is always safe on the shore, but that is not what it was built for.” – Albert Einstein

Did you enjoy this Quick List? If so, please forward this email to a friend.

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week.

To Your Success,


Vice President, Insights

Will Krieger

Handcrafted Insights

handcrafted insignts


A good research company will make an insight appear as if it was out of thin air. Some presented so simply that teams wonder how they could have ever believed something different.

With the emergence of big data and automation (and, coming soon, artificial intelligence), I’m afraid many lose sight of the work and effort involved in uncovering insights. Amassing data doesn’t lead to insight.

Before going further, let’s define insight: My working definition – actionable information that drives business action.

Over the past several years, the speed of research has accelerated. What used to take months can now be done in days. There is much less value in amassing data. In many cases it’s done for us automatically. But, we must ensure we’re collecting and looking at the right data. Connecting the dots and finding the value. This process of planning and synthesis takes work. Lots of work.

Whether it’s cleaning or connecting databases, sifting through cross tabs, thinking strategically about the right questions to ask, or visualizing the data so it can have an impact, this all becomes the craft of a smart strategist – finding the actionable information (the needle) in reams of data (the haystack).


Will Krieger

Obtaining Deep Consumer Insights from Surveys Takes Some Creativity

Back view image of young businessman standing against business sketch

Last week I attended a webinar about keeping online qualitative respondents engaged by using projective techniques.  There is quite a bit of art that goes along with the science of qualitative research, so it seems creativity and qualitative insights naturally fit together.  Quantitative methodologies, on the other hand, require rigor to ensure validity and reliability.  Proper survey design is imperative when it comes to delivering the correct information, so very early in my career as a researcher, I became familiar with the term GIGO (“Garbage In, Garbage Out”).  This means that if the survey is poorly designed, the data output is no good.

As market research professionals, it is our job to know the right way to ask questions in order to get the best data possible, and there are plenty of training courses and seminars teaching researchers the proper structure for creating survey tools.  However, today’s consumers are busier and more distracted than ever, and respondent engagement is becoming more of a challenge even for the most seasoned researchers.  Even if the survey is designed from a technically correct standpoint, data may still not be optimal if respondents are bored. To get respondents to open up and provide the most valuable information, you want them to be happy and interested. Aside from keeping surveys and question wording simple, another way to improve respondent engagement is by utilizing creative techniques.  It’s very possible to get creative with survey design without ruining the integrity of your questionnaire.  The key is being able to place yourself in your respondent’s shoes and ask whether or not you would enjoy taking the survey yourself.

Of course, when getting creative with your survey, it’s always important to keep your audience in mind.  What works for one target group might not work a tall for another.  Here are some of my favorite creative survey techniques:

  • Make sure there a variety of question types. Varying between single punch, multi-select, girds, open ends, and ranking exercises will keep respondents from falling into a rhythm of simply repeating the same response process.
  • Try utilizing interactive techniques where possible. Instead of a simple rating scale, consider using a sliding scale instead.  If you’re asking a ranking a question, try a drag and drop exercise instead of a typed response format.  Show a scale or list horizontally instead of vertically where it makes sense.
  • Question wording should be conversational whenever possible. This is when knowing the audience becomes especially important, because respondents are more likely to open up if they feel they are interacting with someone like themselves.
  • Include interesting and encouraging transitions between different sections of the survey. Adding a phrase such as, “You’re doing great!  Just a few more questions to go” helps to personalize the experience for the respondent.
  • Projective techniques don’t have to be limited to qualitative research. Open ends add a qualitative element into quantitative surveys, so consider applying qualitative principles to open end questions to get respondents to answer questions in a more thoughtful and engaged manner.

Market research is not the same industry it was 20 years ago, because the consumer world is very different than it was 20 years ago.  The approach to quantitative research must evolve to stay connected with the consumer mindset.  There are plenty of ways to obtain the correct data without sacrificing reliability and validity.  It just takes a little creativity.


Lee Ann Headshot

A REPASS Client Story: 3 Strategies for Product Innovation Under Pressure

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The American living room. Not just a gathering place for Netflix groupies, discarded shoes and wayward nacho crumbs. It’s also the center of the universe for an über-competitive, unforgiving consumer technology industry.

Their $64,000 question – maybe their $64 billion question – is what does the living room of the future look like? How does it connect? Entertain? Communicate? How does it merge very human habits and lifestyles with an increasingly intelligent library of devices?

The question is so transforming, and the stakes so high, that even one of the industry’s heaviest hitters was looking for answers. The company was under pressure to launch a new product for the connected living room – FAST. Within six months, in fact.

Problem was, they didn’t have a clear vision for what product to launch.

That’s when Repass got involved. By the time our research project was done, the client had 50 product ideas in hand and three fully-developed product pitches. One product launched before the six month goal, and later a new category of products developed.

The secret was a three stage “insight to innovations” study that was efficient, got maximum impact and provoked rich, meaningful answers. We didn’t have a lot of time to gather and crunch numbers. So we went straight to the source – consumers – with quick and personal qualitative interaction.

If you need to quickly develop a new product, any or all of these three techniques could help.

Online Video Diaries: Gave a snapshot of how people live, their preferences and how they use products. Flexible and low investment of time. National or global reach with easy-to-edit video at the ready. Effective for supporting findings during internal evaluations.

In Home Interviews: Provided a deep understanding of day-to-day home life, with plenty of context. Painted a realistic picture of how people were connecting devices and TVs throughout their home (especially the living room).

Ideation Workshop: For two days, the team used these insights to dig, investigate and experiment. We brainstormed. We prototyped. We tested ideas in the moment. Then we did it again.

And that’s how you get 50 ideas when you need them now.


The techniques alone weren’t the entire story. The process was a quick success because participants:

* Were willing to explore new territory; every avenue was open for a look.

* Used research findings to sell their ideas to leadership.

* Relied on an agile and iterative process, building on ideas and gaining feedback all along the way.


Action Items:

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