MRIA Vue Magazine - October 2014

Page 1

Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40033932


the magazine of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association


What’s the Name of the Claim Marketing Research Mea Culpa Guerrilla Marketing in Times of Economic Difficulty The Mythical Swing Voter



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Commentary ADDRESS

4 Editor’s Vue

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association L’association de la recherche et de l’intelligence marketing

5 Letter from the Chair 8

Letter from the CEO

SPECIAL FEATURE 12 What’s the Name Ruth M. Corbin, CMRP

of the Claim

Features 18 Marketing Research Mea Culpa Scott Megginson 19 Guerrilla Marketing in Times of Economic Difficulty Anabela Mendes, Beatriz Pinto, David Santos, Inês Barbosa, Jorge Oliveira, Marta Lago, Raquel Pinheiro, Jorge Marinho 21 The Mythical Swing Voter Andrew Gelman

Industry News 23 Qualitative Research Registry (QRR) 24 Chapter Chat 25 Research Registration System (RRS) 26 Events Calendar

MRIA Institute for Professional Development 28 Education Course listings 29 CMRP – The Five Pathways 33 2014-2015 Course Offerings

Columnists 30 It’s a Qual World 30 “Good Enough” is not OK

94 Cumberland Street, Suite 601 Toronto, ON M5R 1A3 Tel: (416) 642-9793 Toll Free: 1-888-602-MRIA (6742) Fax: (416) 644-9793 Email: Website: PRODUCTION: LAYOUT/DESIGN LS Graphics Inc. Tel: (905) 743-0402, Toll Free: 1-800-400-8253 Fax: (905) 728-3931 Email: CONTACTS CHAIR OF PUBLICATIONS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Annie Pettit, PhD, Chief Research Officer, Peanut Labs (416) 273-9395 MANAGING EDITOR Anne Marie Gabriel, CAE, MRIA ASSOCIATE EDITOR Fiona Isaacson COPY EDITOR Diane Peters Interested in joining the Vue editorial team? Contact us at 2014 ADVERTISING RATES Frequent advertisers receive discounts. Details can be found by going to: Please email to book your ad. The deadline for notice of advertising is the first of the previous month. All advertising material must be at the MRIA office on the 5th of the month. Original articles and Letters to the Editor are welcome. Materials will be reviewed by the Vue Editorial Team. If accepted for publication, they may be edited for length or clarity and placed in the electronic archives on the MRIA website. The opinions and conclusions expressed in Vue are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association. Publishing Date: October © 2014. All rights reserved. Copyright rests with the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association or the author. All rights reserved.

Book Reviews 31 Talk Like Ted 32 Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association or the author. All requests for permission for reproduction must be submitted to MRIA at RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association L’Association de la recherche et de l’intelligence marketing 94 Cumberland Street, Suite 601 Toronto, ON M5R 1A3 Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40033932 ISSN 1488-7320

COMME N TARY / CO MME NTAIR E Editor’s Vue Annie Pettit

If you go to as many conferences as I do, you’ll start to notice a trend. With a fun little chuckle, presenters say things like, “I don’t understand any of these numbers so if you really care, you’ll have to ask my data guy” or “I won’t bore you with tables and charts of data.” It’s as though we’re ashamed and embarrassed that we understand numbers or we think it’s okay to not put the effort into understanding them. I, for one, think it’s time to claim back our smarts. Be proud that you understand numbers. Be proud that you know how and when and why to use a regression or a factor analysis or a conjoint analysis. Be eager to show a few charts and tables in every presentation. Remember, your conclusions and recommendations did not come out of thin air. They came out of data and they came out of your interpretations of the data. My interpretation of those data might be completely different so give me the tools to judge for myself. Some of you may feel exempt because you’re a quallie. Well, you’re not. You too ought to be comfortable with the basics of statistics as they are a foundation of your beloved industry. You can only properly advise your clients when you are well informed on all fronts. (And to be completely unbiased, quant researchers should be comfortable with the basics of qual methods!) So here is your challenge for the month. In the next presentation you give, put a meaningful but complicated table or chart in it and then explain it like it’s the funnest thing you’ve ever done. Because numbers are awesome.

Les habitués de conférences parmi vous aurons sans doute remarqué, comme moi, cette tendance : le conférencier qui annonce « Moi-même je ne comprends pas ces chiffres; vous devrez interroger ma spécialiste des stats. », ou encore, « Je nous vous ennnuirai pas avec les tableaux de données. » C’est comme si le conférencier était embarassé et s’excusait de pouvoir comprendre ces chiffres, ou qu’il estimait qu’il n’était pas nécessaire de faire l’effort de les comprendre. Pas d’accord! Je suis plutôt de l’avis qu’il est grand temps que nous affirmions avec fierté notre facilité avec les chiffres, que nous savons ce qu’est une analyse de régression, une analyse factoriellle ou une analyse conjointe. N’ayons pas peur d’inclure des tableaux dans toutes nos présentations. Après tout, nos conclusions et recommendations se fondent sur du solide, des données que nous avons analysées et interprétées. Mais il se peut qu’une participante interprèterait différement ces données. Donnons-lui donc les outils et les chiffres qui lui permettraient de le faire. Si vous croyez que, parce que vous êtes un « qualitatif », cela ne vous concerne pas, détrompez-vous. L’analyse de statistiques est au coeur des activités de notre secteur et vous devriez la maîtriser. Vous ne pouvez bien conseiller vos clients que si vous êtes complètement informé. (Dans le but d’être complètement impartiaux, les « quantitatifs » devraient pour leur part connaître les fondements des méthodes qualitatives.) Voici donc votre défi du mois : insérez un tableau pertinent mais complexe dans votre prochaine présentation et expliquez-le comme si vous n’aviez jamais fait quelque chose d’aussi amusant. Faites-le parler – parce qu’il n’y a rien de plus éloquent que des chiffres.

Annie Pettit PhD, Chief Research Officer / Directrice de la recherche, Peanut Labs Editor-in-Chief, Vue / Rédactrice en chef, Vue • Email: • (416) 273-9395 • t @LoveStats Please share your opinions about Vue articles and columns, or submit your cartoons and infographics to the Editor. La rédactrice vous invite à lui faire parvenir directement vos commentaires, opinions, caricatures ou infographies. 4

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COMME NTARY / CO MME NTAIRE Letter from the Chair Shane Skillen, CMRP

This is very much a rebuilding year at the MRIA. But we are well on our way and have already accomplished so much. Under this new approach to our association, we’ve already done the following: • Reduced the size of the board to a more manageable number • Adopted new policies and procedures that allow boards to function more effectively. These changes include performance reviews, proper governance and a skills matrix to ensure we have the right blend of people. • Moved forward with succession planning across all areas of the association. • Found over 35 people interested in obtaining a CMRP under the new pathways, and we have not yet started an aggressive campaign. (GET YOUR CMRP!)

“The winds of change are in the air and they smell sweet.” • Developed three new, market-focused professional development courses that will be launched this fall. • Created a new complaints procedure is days away from launching.

Un vent de renouveau balaie l’ARIM cette année. Déjà, nous avons beaucoup accompli et de nouvelles approches ont produit de beaux résultats : • une réduction du nombre de membres du conseil d’administration (vers une efficacité accrue); • l’adoption de nouvelles politiques et procédures qui rehaussent l’efficacité des conseils, notamment l’évaluation du rendement, une grille de compétences pour la dotation et une gouvernance plus rigoureuse; • la mise en oeuvre de la planification de la relève à la grandeur de l’association; • le recrutement de 35 personnes intéressées à obtenir l’agrément PARM via les nouveaux médias, avant même que nous lançions une campagne à cet effet (OBTENEZ VOTRE PARM!) ;

« Tous ces changements ont pour moi un parfum de fraîcheur vivifiant. » • la création de trois nouveaux cours de perfectionnement professionnel axés sur les besoins du marché (lancement cet automne); • mise en place, d’ici quelques jours, d’une nouvelle procédure de plainte;

• Put together new standards and a code of conduct, with accompanying sanctions – also days away from launch

• l’élaboration de nouvelles normes et d’un nouveau code de conduite comportant des sanctions (prendront effet eux aussi d’ici quelques jours)

• Accomplished a great deal over at the client side research council. If you are a client and are not yet involved with this, please offer your

• de solides progrès au dossier du conseil de recherche côté client; si vous êtes un client et que vous n’êtes pas encore impliqué dans ce dossier,

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COMM E NTARY / COMME NTAIR E assistance by reaching out to chair Joseph Chen at jochen@ • Developed a best-ever national conference for this coming spring. Our new CEO Kara Mitchelmore’s extensive experience running world-class events is going to inform our planning and execution of this event. The winds of change are in the air and they smell sweet. Personally I am very focused on ensuring we have a successful national conference next spring. Our goal is to get 1,000 people there; our most attended event ever. This is where the industry connects and learns. It is the glue that holds our association together. I was honoured to break bread with Steve Levy (he actually had Cornflakes) this past week to get some tips on how the conference he ran was so successful. He told me the key pillars are sponsorship value, client attendance (without the fear of being bombarded by blood-thirsty suppliers), a great trade show, a great gala/party and, of course, world-class speakers that have learning to share. I’d like to hear from you about what you want out of the conference. And in return for you 416-450-7490 ‘ing or ‘ing me to say what will make you attend the next conference and bring one or two friends/ colleagues, I will send you a $10 Tim Hortons gift card. That’s for the first 20 people I hear from; the next 50 will get $5. Yes, that’s right. Just email me with your feedback or ideas, and donuts and coffee are on me. Do the right thing. Help me help you and let’s have a national conference to remember.

veuillez communiquer avec Joseph Chen, le président du comité, à; • la préparation de ce qui sera, le printemps prochain, notre meilleur congrès national jamais; la planification de ce congrès profite de la grande expérience de Kara Mitchelmore, notre nouvelle PDG, dans le domaine de l’organisation et de la présentation d’événements de plus grande qualité. Tous ces changements ont pour moi un parfum de fraîcheur vivifiant. Perso, comme on dit, je suis plongé jusqu’au cou dans l’organisation de ce congrès du printemps prochain, qui vise pas moins de 1 000 participants, ce qui constituerait un record. Le congrès national est le ciment qui tient notre organisation, l’occasion idéale d’apprendre et de réseauter. J’ai récemment déjeuner avec Steve Levy, un organisateur d’événement hors pair, qui m’a refilé de précieux conseils. Les éléments clés d’un congrès réussi sont, selon lui : une commandite de valeur, la présence de clients (qui n’ont pas à craindre d’être assiégés par des fournisseurs affamés de ventes), un superbe salon, une soirée de gala inoubliable et, bien sûr, des conférenciers des plus intéressants. J’aimerais bien que vous me disiez vous-même ce que vous attendez de ce congrès. Voici donc ce que je vous propose : les 20 premières personnes à communiquer avec moi (416-4507490 ou pour me dire ce qui les ferait se présenter à ce congrès en compagnie d’un ou deux amis ou collègues, recevront une carte-cadeau de Tim Hortons d’une valeur de 10 $; les 50 suivantes, un carte de 5 $. Oui, oui… c’est moi qui paie le café – si vous me communiquez vos idées, suggestions et rétroaction. Aidez-moi donc à mieux vous servir et à vous proposer un congrès national 2015 inoubliable.

Shane Skillen, CMRP, CEO / PARM, PDG, Hotspex Inc. Chair, Marketing Research and Intelligence Association / Président du conseil, L’Association de la recherche et de l’intelligence marketing Email: • 416-487-5439


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GOLD SEAL ACCREDITED SINCE 2006 Academica Group ACCE Inc. Advitek Inc BBM Canada/BBM Analytics


Bond Brand Loyalty Corporate Research Associates CROP Inc. EKOS Research Associates Inc. Environics Research Group Limited Focal Research Consultants Ltd. Greenwich Associates Hotspex Inc. Ipsos Reid Lang Research Inc. Leger, The Research Intelligence Group MD Analytics Inc. Millward Brown Mustel Group Nielsen Consumer Insights NRG Research Group Inc. Opinion Search Inc. POLLARA

The eve before the 2014 Marketing Research Intelligence Association National Conference got underway, GOLD agencies gathered in Saskatoon at Winston’s English Pub and Grill. More than 40 representatives from Canada’s MRIA Gold Seal agencies toasted the opening of the 54th annual conference. The MRIA’s Gold Seal members are a select group of corporate organizations who have successfully completed a third-party certification process to attain the MRIA GOLD seal. The Gold Seal certification signals the commitment these organizations have to delivering world-class professional standards. At the gala event, the MRIA recognized the corporate research agencies that were the first to attain and continue to hold the MRIA’s Gold Seal standard. This is a small but important first step to recognizing the commitment of our Gold Seal members’ leadership and commitment to the future health of our industry. Each agency receives a plaque commemorating their leadership in attaining and upholding this important symbol of quality for our industry. We look forward to recognizing future 5 and 10 year milestones for all of our Gold Seal organizations.

Research & Incite Research House Inc. Tele-Surveys Plus Inc. TNS Canadian Facts

The MRIA’s Research Agency Council (RAC) is focused on identifying opportunities to increase the visibility, value and importance of the Gold Seal as our industry’s symbol of gold standard best practices. Your RAC members are working on a number of initiatives to invigorate the Gold Seal.

Trend Research Inc.

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COMM E NTARY / COMME NTAIR E Letter from the CEO Kara Mitchelmore

LEADERSHIP AND CHANGE AT THE MRIA Ever since Kara Mitchelmore took over as MRIA’s new CEO in February, she’s been pressing for dramatic changes within the association and the industry. She recently sat down with associate editor Fiona Isaacson to discuss the challenges facing the MRIA and her solutions. This is part one of her interview; part two will appear in the December issue. FI: You don’t have a background in research. What drew you to the MRIA? KM: I was intrigued by the opportunity to turn an organization around. I was part of a leadership team charged with doing that at the Certified Management Accountants in Alberta, when I joined in 2006. [Mitchelmore led a team that grew membership by 400 per cent, while simultaneously ensuring the rigour of the designation.] It is very exciting to go into a situation where nothing seems to be working and turning it around. FI: What did you know about MRIA before you started? KM: I was very clear in the interview process that if I came to this organization that we weren’t going to do what we had in the past – which was 19 subcommittees and every time there was something to be done another group of volunteers was brought in. When you have volunteers who are very dedicated and loyal you have to be careful when you take things back that it’s clear it’s not personal, it’s business. My first 90 days or so was spent understanding all of the different stakeholders and what the issues were. The MRIA, as opposed to other associations around the globe, is an organization that has to represent everybody: qualitative, quantitative, buyers, sellers, public opinion, working with governments, working on advocacy, big players, smaller players, individual members, education. 8

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L’ARIM À L’HEURE DU LEADERSHIP ET DU CHANGEMENT Dès le début de son mandat, en février 2014, Kara Mitchelmore, la nouvelle présidente et chef de la direction de l’ARIM, s’est faite la championne de changements majeurs au sein de l’association et du secteur. Fiona Isaacson, rédactrice adjointe de Vue, discute ici avec elle des défis auxquels l’ARIM fait face et des solutions qu’elle envisage apporter. Suit la première partie de cette entrevue; la deuxième paraîtra dans la livraison de décembre de Vue. FI : Vous n’êtes pas vous-même du secteur. Pourquoi avez-vous brigué la direction de l’ARIM? KM : L’occasion de redresser une organisation m’a séduite. Depuis 2006 je faisais partie d’une équipe de direction chargée d’un tel redressement à la Certified Management Accountants de l’Alberta. [L’équipe de Mme Mitchelmore a fait grimper le nombre de membres de 400 % tout en maintenant la rigueur de l’agrément.) Comment résister à la tentation de mener le redressement d’une association à la dérive? FI : Que saviez-vous de l’ARIM avant de vous y joindre? KM : J’ai profité des entrevues pour avertir l’équipe de recrutement que bien des choses changeraient à l’ARIM si j’obtenais le poste. J’ai été on ne peut plus claire : 19 sous-comités, c’est décidément trop; et au moindre problème l’on faisait appel à de nouveaux bénévoles. Quand les bénévoles sont sérieusement dévoués et fidèles, il faut procécer avec délicatesse au moment de leur retirer des responsabilités… leur faire comprendre que ce n’est rien de personnel mais plutôt une question d’affaires. J’ai consacré mes premiers 90 jours en poste à l’écoute des différents intervenants et à l’étude des problèmes et défis de l’ARIM. Contrairement à de nombreuses associations davantage exclusives, l’ARIM représente tout le monde : qualitifs, quantitatifs, acheteurs, vendeurs, l’opinion


FI: When you say “take things back,” which aspects of the association’s tasks? KM: For the most part, it’s administrative. If you’re on a standards committee, you don’t want to be setting agendas or putting out meeting notices or making sure the minutes are done. You’re there to talk about the standards and how your expertise is being utilized. I don’t have that expertise. We want the most relevant people in the room who have to use these standards every day – tell me what’s wrong with them and let’s put together a solution. We also had events and conference groups that were being run by volunteers; all of that can be taken in-house. The role of the organization is to support its members. FI: In your June Vue column, you said the MRIA has a “lack of strategic focus,” that it “must fight for survival,” “rebuild both its membership and relevance in the industry,” and that “a major overhaul is necessary.” Have you had any feedback? KM: Any feedback I’ve gotten has been positive. I’ve heard from members who’ve said, “I didn’t realize it was as bad as it was.” It’s not all doom and gloom, but everybody needs to understand a change-management professional is not brought in because everything is going well. You get a lot of members saying, “I pay my dues, where is everything going?” They don’t understand what it takes to run an association. MRIA members drop it, don’t pick it up, don’t renew – it doesn’t have the importance to them. We need to change that mindset. MRIA’s job is to create awareness, to create advocacy, to set standards and enforce them, to create education, and offer networking opportunities. But it’s not MRIA’s job to make sure you get a business deal at a conference. But that’s not how a lot of members perceive the organization, and that has to change. FI: How do you change that mindset? KM: We now have a brand-strategy committee. We’re talking about informing employers about why it’s important to have people adhering to codes of conduct and professional practices when they’re doing marketing research. It’s through advocacy – working with our governmentrelations group to make sure that we are moving forward the profession and when we see new legislation that comes out, or getting us on procurement order lists. We’re making sure people are aware of what Gold Seal represents and how that shows adherence to a standard that your basic marketing researcher who is “hanging up a shingle” doesn’t have.

publique, les membres, les grands et petits acteurs; l’ARIM informe, elle représente et elle travaille en collabloration avec les gouvernements. FI : Vous dites « retirer des responsabilités ». Quelles responsabilités au juste? KM : Administratives pour la plupart. Si vous êtes membre du comité des normes, par exemple, vous ne devriez pas perdre votre temps à préparer des ordres-du-jour, à diffuser des avis de réunion ou à rédiger des procès-verbaux. Vous y êtes pour discuter de normes et faire valoir votre expertise dans ce domaine, Moi, je ne l’ai pas cette expertise particulière. Je veux donc que les experts en la matière, ceux qui sont soumis à ces normes tous les jours, me disent ce qui ne fonctionne pas et quelle solutions nous devrions apporter. Par ailleurs, l’organisation d’événements et de rencontres ne doit pas être laissée à des bénévoles. L’ARIM devrait y voir elle-même – le rôle d’une association n’est-il pas de servir ses membres. FI : Dans votre chronique du mois de juin vous avez affirmé que l’ARIM avait « une carence de vision stratégique », qu’elle devait « lutter pour sa survie (…), relancer l’adhésion et affirmer sa pertinence », et que des changements majeurs s’imposaient. Quelle rétroaction avez-vous reçue à ces commentaires? KM: Une rétroaction strictement positive. Des membres m’ont dit qu’ils ignoraient que le situation était sérieuse à ce point. Il ne faut pas céder au désespoir mais il faut bien comprendre que l’embauche d’une spécialiste des redressements signifie que des changements s’imposent. Certains membres se demandent où vont leurs cotisations. Ils ou elles ne savent pas tout ce qu’il faut faire pour gérer une association et laissent leur adhésion expirer sans la renouveler. C’est peu important à leurs yeux. Il faut changer cette façon de penser. Les mandats de l’ARIM sont la sensibilisation, la défense des intérêts des membres, l’établissement et l’application de normes, la formation et l’organisation d’occasions de réseautage. Nous ne sommes pas là pour voir à ce que vous déchrochiez un nouveau client lors d’un congrès. Mais plusieurs membres voient l’ARIM de cette perspective fondée sur l’intérêt personnel. Ça aussi il faut que ça change. FI : Comment y arriver? KM : Nous avons mis sur pied un comité sur la stratégie de marque. Nous discutons de la possibilité de sensibiliser les employeurs à l’importance de l’adhésion à l’ARIM chez leurs employés et de la conformité aux normes et au code de déontologie quand ils font de la recherche marketing. La représentation y jouera aussi un rôle. Notre groupe chargé des relations gouvernementales doit voir à l’avancement de la profession, aux conséquences de lois annoncées, et à l’accès aux listes de fournisseurs reconnus. Nous voyons à ce que les vue | OCTOBER 2014


COMM E NTARY / COMME NTAIR E FI: Can you name anything else that will increase the value of having a membership? KM: A lot of members say they want standards enforced. [The new standards come into effect in January 2015.] There is also making sure that our professional development comes in a variety of mediums. One of the comments we get is, “I’m tired, of whenever I want to take a course, I have to come to Toronto.” We’re doing additional events in Vancouver this year to deal with the issues of time changes when streaming our NetGain or our QRD days, so that people in the west have the same opportunities. We’re working more closely with our chapters to make sure they’re supported and able to offer networking abilities within their regions. Plus, we just launched a revamp of our competency framework and all of our core courses leading up to the CMRP. And really pushing the value of those credentials within the industry. FI: There’s no way to verify if an MRIA member, individual or organization is adhering to the standards unless someone files a complaint. How do you prove that someone is adhering? KM: One of the things that we’ve bringing into effect, likely in January, is a CMRP random audit process. You run the risk of getting a call saying “send all your documentation, you have 30 days.” We want the majority of the audits to come back clean. If we audit 10 per cent of CMRPs and eight per cent are non-compliant, then we have to put a strategy together for how to make them compliant. FI: For members who don’t have a CMRP, how would you ensure that they are following the standards? It’s a tougher area because the marketing research profession is not legislated; it should be. We can do an investigation and strike someone from membership, but it’s based on the exception, not the rule. Will I see legislation in my lifetime? I don’t know but it’s something to strive for. FI: I could see there being a lot of resistance to that idea. KM: There’s always resistance to revolutionary change. But we have to educate as to what the benefit of it would be: someone can’t call themselves a marketing researcher if they don’t go through the program. There is a benefit for the public trust. Is that a short-term goal? No. Is it something that could be feasible? Well, maybe not, but it would allow us to push for more awareness, to push for employers to understand that there’s probably a reason that a marketing researcher is charging you 35 per cent less than industry standard and you’re going to have to deal with that when the results come in. That’s not an effective way to run a business and it doesn’t make any of us look good.


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gens savent ce que représente le Sceau d’or, soit la conformité à des normes si rigoureuses qu’elles sont hors d’atteinte pour le chercheur marketing néophyte qui « se lance en affaires ». FI : Autre chose qui bonifiera la valeur de l’adhésion? KM : Plusieurs membres souhaitent un renforcissement des normes. [De nouvelles normes prendront effet en janvier 2015.] Il faudra aussi voir à proposer la formation professionnelle via différents médias. Les gens en ont assez d’avoir à se rendre à Toronto pour y suivre une formation. Nous organisons donc des événements de formation depuis Vancouver, afin que le décalage horaire ne soit plus un obstacle pour les membres dans l’Ouest qui souhaitent participer à NetGain ou une journée QRD. Nous travaillons aussi plus étroitement avec nos sections régionales afin qu’elles soient davantage capables d’offrir une capacité de réseautage local. Nous avons également restructuré le cadre de compétences et tous les cours qui mènent à l’agrément PARM. Nous insistons d’ailleurs sur l’importance et la valeur de ces compétences et de cet agrément pour l’ensemble du secteur. FI : Le contrôle de la conformité d’un membre, d’une personne ou d’une entreprise ne se produit que s’il y a une plainte à son endroit. Comment prouver la conformité sans attendre une plainte? KM : Dès janvier 2015, ou peu après, nous lancerons un programme de vérification au hasard de la conformité aux normes de l’agrément PARM. Nous pourrons alors exiger d’un membre qu’il nous expédie toute sa documentation dans les 30 jours. Nous visons une majorité d’audits « en règle ». Si nous contrôlons 10 % des agréés PARM et que 8 % ne sont pas en règle, nous devrons établir, avec eux, une stratégie menant à la conformité. FI : Comment ferez-vous pour contrôler les membres qui ne sont pas agréés PARM? Ce sera plus difficile parce que la profession de chercheur marketing n’est pas réglementée. Elle devrait l’être. Nous pourrons toujours enquêter et radier un membre, mais ce sera l’exception, pas la règle. Verrais-je le jour où la profession sera réglementée par l’état? Je ne le sais pas. Mais il s’agit là d’un objectif à viser. FI : Une telle réglementation ne ferait pas plaisir à tout le monde. KM : Le changement révolutionnaire entraîne toujours de la résistance. Il nous faudra donc informer le secteur du grand avantage d’une telle réglementation, à savoir, le titre de chercheur marketing sera réservé à ceux qui ont réussi le programme. Cela ne pourra que raffermir la confiance du public, ce qui est tout à notre avantage. Est-ce un objectif à court terme? non. Est-ce faisable? Peutêtre pas, mais cela nous permettrait de sensibiliser davantage, de faire comprendre aux employeurs qu’il y a probablement une raison pour laquelle un chercheur marketing est rémunéré à

COMME NTARY / CO MME NTAIRE FI: Do you have a sense there’s a lot of inconsistency or rules being broken in the industry? KM: This is something marketing research globally is dealing with, because none of us are regulated. Yes, you hear a lot of stories. We have no ramifications for that right now in our environment, except word of mouth. Kevin Dancey, CEO of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, used to say: “What everybody needs to understand is a designation is just a ticket to the dance. A designation is not going to get you to the CEO position, that’s going to be your work ethic, the jobs you take.” But we need a ticket to the dance. And we want when someone’s hiring that it becomes: “MRIA members only may apply,” “Only CMRPs may apply.” Then people go: “I’m going to take my CMRP” or companies are going to say “I want to hire some CMRPs,” “I have to have them because people are demanding that.” But they’re only going to demand it if they know that it has value, that it is adhering to standards, that there is an evaluation process, that there is a professional development process. FI: How many CMRPs are there now? About 400. That represents about a quarter of our membership, individual and corporate. If I had my way everybody would be a CMRP. I don’t care where you get your CMRP training. But when you become a CMRP, I can make you adhere to standards, because in order to maintain your designation, you have to. FI: I know people in this industry argue, “Why do I need to be an individual member when my company is?” KM: You’ve got to build that value creation from the fact the Canadian economy is asking for it and that an individual knows that their career will be enhanced by having a MRIA membership, by having a CMRP designation, so that if they move to a new company, they take it with them. I want the MRIA membership to be an advantage when looking for that contract, when looking for that job, or that employee. But that’s a ways out. I’m hopeful that at least this year when we do our membership canvassing and our membership drive we can get back some of the people who have left because they’ve been disenchanted with the organization.

35 % de moins que la norme du secteur et que les résultats ne sont pas de la qualité escomptée. Ce n’est pas un bon modèle d’affaires et notre image ne peut qu’en souffrir. FI : Avez-vous le sentiment que des règlements sont enfreints? Ou qu’ils sont appliqués de façon inconstante? KM : C’est un problème à l’échelle du monde pour notre secteur, qui n’est nulle part réglementé par l’état. Oui, nous avons tous entendu des histoires d’horreur. Mais nous n’y pouvons rien pour l’instant. Tout ça demeure malheureusement au niveau de l’anecdote. Kevin Dancey, le PDG de CPA Canada, disait dans le temps : « Il faut comprendre que l’agrément n’est que le billet d’admission. Ce n’est pas l’agrément qui fera de vous un PDG mais bien votre éthique de travail, vos résultats. » Mais il nous faut ce billet d’admission. Nous voulons en arriver à ce que le recrutement de chercheurs soit explicitement limité aux membres de l’ARIM et aux agréés PARM. Cela motiverait les chercheurs à obtenir l’agrément PARM, et les employeurs à n’embaucher que des chercheurs agréés. Mais les employeurs ne le feront que s’ils estiment que l’agrément ou l’adhésion ont une valeur à leurs yeux, que les normes sont appliquées et qu’un processus d’évaluation professionnelle est en place. FI : Combien d’agréés PARM à l’heure actuelle? KM : Environ 400, soit à peu près le quart des membres individuels et corporatifs. N’était-ce que de moi, l’agrément PARM serait obligatoire. Obtenez votre formation PARM où vous le voulez, cela m’importe peu. Parce qu’une fois que vous aurez été agréé vous serez tenu de vous conformer aux normes, car cette conformité sera essentielle au maintien de l’agrément. FI : Des gens du secteur se demandent pourquoi ils devraient adhérer personnellement à l’ARIM quand l’entreprise qui les emploie l’est déjà? KM : Il faut y voir une création de valeur. L’économie canadienne l’exige. De plus, l’adhésion individuelle et l’agrément PARM, qui est strictement personnel, facilitent la mobilité professionnelle – les deux sont portables d’un employeur à l’autre. Je veux que l’adhésion à l’ARIM soit un avantage quand vous cherchez un emploi ou à décrocher un contrat. Mais nous sommes encore loin de là. Pour le moment, j’espère que nous pourrons convaincre les membres déçus qui ont démisionné de l’ARIM d’y réadhérer. La campagne de recrutement de membres de cette année sera d’ailleurs cruciale à cet égard.

Kara Mitchelmore, MBA, FCMA, Chief Executive Officer/Présidente-directrice générale Marketing Research and Intelligence Association / L’Association de la recherche et de l’intelligence marketing Email: • (416) 642-9793 ext./poste 8724

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FEATURE What’s the Name of the Claim Sound decision making starts with knowing your options. There are so many ways to say your company is great compared to the less great. Certain versions of this message may have more impact on customers than others. Some firms we know have tested up to eight different versions of claims to learn which wordings would receive the highest percentage of customer endorsements. Ruth M. Corbin, CMRP

But there’s more to the issue than customer response. Claims in advertising must be backed up by facts. Different kinds of claims require different levels of back-up information. Where should one start? Assuming you are committed to a comparative advertising approach, the first step to forming a claim is to ask: “What competitive benefit do I want to promote?” Then, consult the tools available for how to say it. This article is a primer on the categories of claims, identified by names you will hear others use in the marketing and advertising business. The article also provides guidance on how to avoid trouble when choosing to word a comparative claim in a particular way. Among examples to be given below, some will be drawn from published decisions of British and American regulatory agencies where they are based on principles largely consistent with Canadian law and regulation. The Pinnacle: Number-One Claims You may have read number-one claims such as these: “Trojan Brand Condoms are America’s #1 condom,”1 “Find out why Hill’s Science Diet is vets’ number one choice to feed their own pets”2 and “Australia’s #1 Pure Coffee Brand.”3 The phrase “number one” appearing in a claim conveys the fact of being at the top of the competitive heap in some respect. Permissible


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use of number-one claims is governed by regulations and laws. Google has also developed its own policy regarding such advertising claims. According to its web posting,4 Google does not accept advertising text containing superlatives such as “best” or “number one” unless there is verification by a third party clearly displayed on the advertiser’s website. Third-party verification,

SP ECIA L FEAT URE according to Google’s policy, must come from a person or group unrelated to the site. Google’s policy in this respect is in line with the self-regulatory policy of Advertising Standards Canada: number-one claims require proof.5 Gathering proof requires first that any ambiguity be dispelled. Number one at what? Or for what? In the absence of any other clear meaning conveyed by the context of the claim, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the U.K. generally regards number-one claims as meaning best selling or, by implication, the competitor with the largest market share. In 2004, a complaint was launched in Britain against for its claim of being “No. 1 for Plum Jobs.”6 ASA concluded that the claim erroneously implied that the advertiser offered more vacancies than its competitors7 and declared the ad unacceptable. Lessons from the trenches about number-one claims • Objective, third-party evidence is required. • The context should make clear the answer to the question, “number one for what?” • In the absence of clarifying “number one for what?” published precedents support an implied meaning of “number one market share.” General Superlative Claims Instead of using the words “number one,” some claims rely on more general words such as “best” or “tops” or “biggest.” These are subsumed in the general category of superlative claims. You may have seen superlative claims like: “The world’s leading insurance and financial services organization,”8 “The greatest show on earth”9 and “The most enjoyable car-buying experience you’ll ever have.”10 The more specific the factors in which the advertiser claims the leading position, the clearer the direction for what needs to be proven. Complaints may arise if the performance criterion on which the advertiser claims to excel is left ambiguous. ASA upheld a complaint against Time Computer Systems Ltd. for its claim of being “The UK’s Biggest Retailer.” Time Computers defended the claim by saying it had the most stores, but ASA regarded the claim as falsely conveying that Time Computers sold the most PCs.11 Kevin Nash Group advertised itself as “The world’s leading carp company.” Fox International Group, a competitor, complained to the U.K. regulator that Fox had higher sales than Nash. Nash replied that it hadn’t intended the claim to refer to sales, but rather that it had the broadest range of carp fishing products, including baits and reels. The relevance of even this evidence was challenged by Fox. The latter pointed out that Fox had been voted best company overall in the previous two years by readers of the magazine Total Carp, implying that even a generalized view of what it means to be “the world’s leading company” in its field should favour Fox, and not Nash. Nash was required to delete its claim from its advertising materials.12 What if an advertisement is just a matter of prideful boasting? Can claims be successfully defended as being based

on the advertiser’s opinion? A customer of Stoneacre Motor Group complained about the U.K. company’s claim of offering “The most enjoyable car-buying experience you’ll ever have!” The complaining customer insisted that he had experienced no such stellar enjoyment. However, the advertising regulator permitted the claim. It believed that readers would interpret the claim as merely stating the advertiser’s opinion. In a similar vein, Papa John’s Pizza fought successfully through two levels of U.S. courts to maintain its advertising claim of “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza” as a statement of opinion. Proceed with caution nonetheless: turning opinions into ad claims without substantiation is akin to the proverbial risk of waving a red flag in front of a bull; the bull being the competitor one dares to challenge. Also, regulators may question the absence of substantiation even where the claim is recognized as being merely a statement of the advertiser’s opinion. In 2005, for example, the ASA upheld a complaint about the claim “The ultimate broadband experience.” While accepting the advertiser’s contention that it was a statement of opinion, ASA noted other evidence of severe customer dissatisfaction with the service. On that basis, ASA considered the claim to be misleading.13 Advertising Standards Canada has a related clause in its code (clause seven) indicating that representations of opinion by any particular group must be based on the genuine experience of individuals in that group, and must not deceive the public in any way. Puffing for personal pride might also escape a finding of being misleading if no one would be expected to take the statement literally anyway. Such is the status frequently accorded to Barnum and Bailey’s selfcongratulatory description of their circus as “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Canadian advertisers should take note of the difference in law between the United States and Canada on the subject of puffery. In Canada, the scope for arguing that an ad claim is just puffery is narrower than in other jurisdictions. Only clear hyperbole (i.e., a claim not related to specific product performance that is exaggerated to the point that it cannot be reasonably relied on) could escape the requirement for evidentiary support. One could wryly but realistically note that a claim of being “Best in the history of the entire universe” stands a better chance of being allowed in Canada than “Best in the country.” Well-intentioned advertisers have sometimes gone astray in assembling evidence they believe will support their superlative claim. Claims of “highest sales” must remain true for a reasonable period of time and not be subject to seasonal swings.14 Sales measurements should be able to withstand scrutiny of their validity. A count of “For Sale” signs on lawns vue | OCTOBER 2014


SPEC IA L F EAT U R E as evidence of a market-leading position in real estate was rejected because not all vendors opt to have such signs on their property.15 Lessons from the trenches about superlative claims • As is the case for number one claims, the advertisement should make clear the answer to the question, “Best at what?” • For factual claims (e.g., “Most chocolate chips per bite of any chocolate chip cookie”), objective evidence is required. • Some superlative claims may be defended as the advertiser’s opinion, but should not fly in the face of other evidence. Targeted Superiority Claims, Explicit or Implied A superiority claim means “better than” the named or implied others. It has proven popular among many industrys’ leading rivals: Pepsi and Coke, Bell and Rogers, Molson and Labatt, to name just a few of the head-on competitors who have been embroiled in long-standing comparative advertising programs. Alternatively, top performers in a category may be used as the benchmark by any company wishing to point out superior value on a single dimension. Certain President’s Choice brands were compared favourably in their advertising to the relevant leading competitor, yet offering a lower price point. Avis became famous for its modest disinclination to take on number one rival Hertz. “We try harder,” said Avis, from its proud number-two spot.

Competitors are not always named explicitly. Then the ad content becomes an “implied comparison.” A tongue-in-cheek Burger King advertisement showed the back of a customer at its counter with a long plain grey coat, but the distinctive floppy shoes and curly-red hair of Ronald McDonald gave away the customer’s identity. “Four bucks is dumb. Now serving Espresso,” announced McDonald’s in a billboard ad, clearly targeting the high prices of one or more major coffee-shop brands. The Canadian federal court case Church & Dwight Ltd. v. Sifto Canada Inc.16 featured a successful complaint for misleading advertising against Sifto Canada by the makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda (formerly Cow Brand.) In touting superlative benefits, Sifto’s advertising did not name any competitor. But makers of Arm & Hammer baking soda claimed they were named by implication, given their dominant market share. The court agreed. The lesson learned therein: one can still invite trouble even in the absence of direct reference to a competitor. If viewers would reasonably infer the identity of 14

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the targeted competitor, the ad is considered comparative, and evidence to support the claim is required. Market leaders have proven notably sensitive about advertising targeted referring to them in any way. Their top position is frequently integral to their reputation and business strategy. But legal action can take its toll in cost and undesired publicity. Companies are increasingly opting for alternatives to expensive and high profile lawsuits. Such alternatives may include negotiations between respective lawyers, meetings between rival CEOs or confidential arbitration. This trend does not let companies making claims in their advertising off the hook. Factual evidence supporting or challenging the claim remains an essential tool for any well-informed pursuit of dispute resolution. Lessons from the trenches about superiority claims • Evidence is almost always required that demonstrates the claimed superiority among the pertinent population. • Targeted competitors are usually on high alert for advertising that they believe devalues their brand. Comparative advertisers should assume their competitors will complain. • Avoiding explicit identification of the targeted competitor will not necessarily keep an advertiser out of trouble. • Enlightened companies have found some success with costefficient alternatives to litigation, by way of negotiation or confidential arbitration. Parity Claims

A parity claim means “at least as good as.” It doesn’t sound like much – until you unleash the thesaurus. Try “unsurpassed.” “Unsurpassed” asserts that others might be equal (parity), but no one is better. It is a particular type of parity claim, sometimes called “top parity,” meaning at least on par with the best. Examples of top parity claims that ASA has approved, with supporting evidence, are “You won’t find the same deal for less,” “ZOVIRAX antiviral cold sore treatment, nothing works faster” and “Unbeatable treatment for headlice.”17 Top-parity claims should be safe from regulatory censure, if the advertiser’s product is demonstrably as good as that of its main competitors, and if there is no reasonable likelihood that it would be interpreted by consumers as a superiority claim.

SP ECIA L FEAT URE Parity claims are sometimes the right strategic choice. For example, they may be beneficial for a new product entrant who is willing to go up against the leading brand, perhaps at a lower price, or with greater ease of access. Grocery and drugstore retailers frequently introduce house brands whose packaging emulates that of well-known brands – perhaps hoping to convey equivalent value. CBC’s Age of Persuasion commentator Terry O’Reilly has described how excitement and distinctiveness can be injected into parity products by shining a spotlight on a key benefit, even a benefit shared by more than one company in the category.18 Recall how Crest took the historical lead in communicating to consumers: “You care about reducing cavities, we care about reducing cavities.” Consumers whose own priorities match the advertiser’s message come to identify with the brand. In short, being on par with others needn’t mean you are boring. Lessons from the trenches about parity claims • Top parity claims require evidence that no other product in the category is better on the promoted dimension. It may suffice to test one’s product only against the main competitors, i.e., the brands that have the largest market shares, and collectively account for most of the market. That is a matter for judgment and risk assessment. • Top parity claims may require larger sample sizes than a superiority claim targeted against a specific brand, because top parity claims require testing against more than one competitor. • Fact-based parity claims require technical evidence of equivalence on the dimension in question, and would benefit by disaster-check consumer research to ensure that consumers would not infer a benefit beyond the stated fact. Customer Preference Claims Preference claims are about consumer attitudes and not the product. A claim may be made that people prefer the cleaning power of one product over another, or the taste of one product over another. Sometimes, the claim can be numerically specific: “Eight out of 10 mothers of newborns recommend Diaper X over the next leading brand.” But enthusiasm expressed by people featured in a commercial is not a substitute for marketplace evidence. According to published guidelines of Advertising Standards Canada, testimonials must reflect the genuine and reasonably current opinions of the endorsing individual, or of the consumer groups represented in the advertisement, and must be based upon familiarity with the product or service being advertised. Market evidence for preference claims will typically come in the form of surveys. To provide sufficient support, a survey must be reliable and geographically broad enough to accommodate the possibility of varying tastes and preferences across different regions. For in-person surveys, evidence from four major markets has constituted sufficient geographic breadth in both Canada and the United States to be accepted by regulators. Fewer markets for in-person surveys may suffice if the product’s trade area is regional.

If a preference claim is limited to certain competitors, then only the products named in the claims need to be tested against the advertised product. If the preference claim is more general (e.g., “The one most consumers prefer”), then the claim should be tested against brands that take up the lion’s share of the market. However, Canada has not defined what level would constitute the lion’s share. Lessons from the trenches about preference claims • Preference claims must be tested against the products named or implied in the claim. If all products in the category are implied in the claim, then all significant competitive products should be tested. What constitutes significant competitive products is a matter for judgment. • The test should be done on the pertinent population – the one whose preferences are being described. • Preference claims lose their validity when competitors make major changes to their products. Technical Claims Comparative technical claims are usually facts about product’s components or performance that exceed what another company offers. The basis for a technical claim may be the factual results of a laboratory test or scientific study. Canada’s Competition Bureau cautions that technical performance reports must not mislead as to the circumstances in which a claim has been tested. “If the superiority of [a] product is limited to a certain range of conditions, then any superiority claim should be clearly qualified to reflect that range. For example, if a brand of gasoline were to be advertised as producing better mileage than several competitive brands, and the claim would be accurate under highway driving conditions but inaccurate under city conditions, this limitation should be clearly expressed.”19 It may appear that technical claims need only be backed by technical research, but advertisers should be aware of the hidden need for consumer vetting. By way of example, Rogers Communications advertised that its CHATR cell-phone service resulted in “fewer dropped calls.” Competitors argued that even if the claim were technically correct, the difference in the number of dropped calls between CHATR and competitors was as few as one in 500 – too trivial to be meaningful to consumers. Their argument recalled Advertising Standards Canada’s cautionary clause in its code that comparative ads must not “exaggerate the nature or importance of competitive differences.” A lawsuit against Rogers for its advertised claim eventually concluded with a half-million-dollar fine imposed on Rogers. Of all the issues, the court chose to base its sanction on Rogers’ failure to have conducted an adequate test of the truth of the claim in advance of making it. The decision offers one lesson above all others: first prove, then claim. Summary Comparative claims can be categorized by type. The claims typology helps marketers to plan what they want to say to the world about their product, and what they need to do to earn the right to say it. While a specific claim may not fit perfectly vue | OCTOBER 2014


SPEC IA L F EAT U R E into one type or another, the categorization puts a spotlight on the evidence required to support the main thrust of the claim. Evidence must be assembled before the claim is made. It must reasonably address social-science standards of reliability and validity. Six types of claims have been presented: number-one claims, superlative claims, superiority claims, parity claims, preference claims and technical claims. They are vehicles of communication, and tools of persuasion. Each sets its own mandate for evidentiary research. References 1


3 4

5, accessed June 20, 2013 ttp:// choice-for-pet-food_45137, accessed June 20, 2013


For this and all subsequent references to Advertising Standards Canada Code and Guidelines, go to ASA adjudication in Intermedia Publishing Limited, August 4, 2004


aas, S. “Jobs Agency Falsified its CV,� in The Sunday Herald, August 8, V 2004 Repeated by AIG or its agents in several contexts, including


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The famous moniker of the Barnum and Bailey circus, appearing in advertising since at least 1900 ttp://, accessed January 9, h 2014


SA non-broadcast adjudication: Granville Technology Group Ltd., October A 13, 1999


ASA non-broadcast adjudication: Kevin Nash Group Plc, October 27, 2004


ASA adjudication: Bulldog Communications Ltd., March 2, 2005


ASA adjudication: Friskies Petcare (UK) Ltd., June 2000


ASA adjudication: Blakes Estate Agents, May 1999


Church & Dwight Ltd. v. Sifto Canada Inc., 1994 7314 (ON SC)


SA adjudications: Progressive Financial Services Ltd., February 9, 2005; A GlaxoSmithKline, June 17, 2009; and Chefaro UK Ltd., December 8, 2010


he broadcast is reproduced at T season-5/2011/04/15/season-five-all-things-being-equal-the-fascinatingworld-of-parity-products-1/, accessed February 3, 2014

19,, accessed September 2, 2014 posted at, accessed June 19, 2013



newsArticle&ID=590853, accessed January 9, 2014 9

accessed July 2, 2014

Ruth Corbin is chair of CorbinPartners Inc., adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, and a corporate director. She can be reached at, or via Twitter @RuthMCorbin.

NOVEMBER 19, 2014 Net Gain Vancouver: Transformation Keynotes: Reg Baker, PhD former President and Chief Operating Officer of Market Strategies International Dan Foreman President of ESOMAR Leonard Murphy CEO of tech-driven start-up BrandScan360 Annie Pettit, PhD Chief Research Officer of Peanut Labs and Vice President, Research Standards at Research Now

For eight years Net Gain Toronto has celebrated innovation and leading edge research. This November 19th, 2014 marks the first Net Gain Vancouver conference. The theme is Transformation. Market Research is changing rapidly but into what? Today, we leverage mixed modes and different channels to produce insights and strategies. Where there once was a well-defined area of expertise called market research, there is now a wide array of analytical approaches to solve business challenges. The purpose of Net Gain Vancouver is to explore the exciting new directions for the industry. For Registrations, Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities, visit GOLD SPONSOR


Early Bird ends October 22, 2014 Do not miss out on this unique full day conference in beautiful Vancouver!

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Marketing Research Mea Culpa As I approach a quarter-century milestone of working in marketing research, I’m the last person to ever talk about the good old days. It’s incredible to think of the torturous crimes I committed against unsuspecting respondents, ranging from 45 to 60-minute telephone phone surveys, to strapping headsets on people at malls to see how many hundredths of a second Scott Megginson it would take to see our gum package on a shelf. However, I am relieved that we are now changing to treat our respondents as we would want to be treated ourselves. It’s time to show a little of what we call “respect for respondents.” The Burning Platform The client, the research agency and the panel provider all know that longer surveys are problematic, but none of us is ready to draw a line in the sand. The client has trending to protect and internal stakeholders to manage, while the agency and panel provider risk losing business if they don’t comply with such demands. Our internal research at Millward Brown shows that longer surveys result in fewer brand endorsements, because respondents learn that this leads to more questions being asked. Claimed brand awareness drops off considerably after nine brands. We also recently saw improvements of nine to 23 per cent in aided awareness for large brands when we moved from a 35 to a 10-minute survey. When we ask people too many non-relevant questions, they use their rational thinking process to create associations that they might not intuitively make. Take a guitar, for instance. The main reason somebody buys a specific make may well come down to a few variables: it looks cool, sounds good, and one of their heroes plays it. If we were to ask that same person thirty questions about finishes, wiring, and different endorsements – across a multitude of brands – we quickly move from intuitive and emotional triggers to a rational construct to appease the questionnaire task at hand. A related issue is redundancy. We often see image or message lists that include two or three ways of asking the same question (modern, contemporary, up-to-date, etc.). Apart from increasing questionnaire length, this can lead to a falsenegative read as we split endorsements for messages across similar attributes. Although a good analyst will bring this to their client’s attention, the whole matter could be avoided by eliminating redundancy. 18

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Moving to a Device-Agnostic Environment It’s not just survey length that affects research, but how it is administered. The Pew Research Center showed telephone response rates decreasing from 36 per cent in 1997 to nine per cent in 2012. That doesn’t impact many of us outside of polling, as most made the move to online methodologies a decade ago, but it shows that we need to change with the times. We now see a clear move to mobile as the next (but not last) methodology of choice. In one of our recent analyses, almost half (45 per cent) of new panel sign-ups were via mobile or tablet. In addition, 60 per cent of online respondents use a mobile device (smartphone or tablet), while 80 per cent of them are willing to do studies on their mobile device. Not only do we need to optimize our studies for mobile, but we need to keep them much shorter. While less than half (43 per cent) of PC/laptop respondents told us that a survey over 15 minutes was “too long,” this increased to 70 per cent with mobile respondents. Where Do We Go From Here? Although I am probably going to “research hell” for my crimes, there is great hope for the industry. We’re now shifting to shorter, device-agnostic research, and engaging in dialogues about how to make the transition. We are gaining confidence in fusing shorter pieces of information together with hooks (data imputation), learning better ways to collect passive data (social, for example), and integrating neuroscience techniques into our day-to-day research to understand intuitive and emotional response – without hooking the respondent up to A Clockwork Orange-style wires. The main barrier remains the sacred cow of trending. However, if you agree with even half of what I’ve written, you would suspect that these data points could be flawed. We have the ability to collect more accurate and impactful data from our respondents. We just need to take more time to think about what we are asking.

Scott Megginson is the president of Millward Brown Canada, and was formerly at PepsiCo Canada, Adams Canada (Warner Lambert) and The Angus Reid Group. He sits on the Research Agency Council for MRIA and is vice-chair of the advisory board for the Research Analyst Program at Georgian College. He can be reached at and tweets at @ScottMegginson.


Guerrilla Marketing in Times of Economic Difficulty

Anabela Mendes, Beatriz Pinto, David Santos, Inês Barbosa

Jorge Oliveira, Marta Lago, Raquel Pinheiro, Jorge Marinho

What is guerrilla marketing? André Rabanea, founder of Torke+CC, Portugal’s first guerrilla marketing agency, says it’s a way of getting consumers involved with a brand, not by imposition, but through conquest. Its key strategy is to use emotion, boldness, and the unexpected to surprise an audience via differentiated and innovative strategies. He states that “a little is used for making a lot” (Torke+CC – exclusive interview, 2013). During today’s economic and social situation, differentiating brands has become extremely important. For this article, we interviewed several thought leaders in guerrilla marketing to understand how it emerged, which markets it seeks to target, whether its purpose is to replace or supplement traditional marketing, and whether it is an important strategy in times of economic instability.

Advertising, Persuasion and the Economy Currently, many paradigms linked to advertising and persuasion have changed because of an altered economic climate around the world. World markets are still recovering from the financial crisis. Some countries are suffering from high inflation while others have had their currencies deflated. Consumers are not as confident as they were a decade ago. Companies need to use advertising, one of their most valuable tools, very wisely during tough times to keep their businesses moving. But, how do advertising and commercial messages change during such times?

Guerrilla Marketing Usually, guerrilla marketing is conducted with very low budgets. Its chief mission is to capture consumers’ attention as well as to make them interact with the campaign and the product themselves. Bearing in mind current market conditions, it begs the question: is guerrilla marketing actually persuasive in challenging times? In 1982, American advertiser Jay Conrad Levinson created the concept of guerrilla marketing with inspiration from low-cost, surprise-oriented guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla means “unconventional warfare… where the major tactic involves psychological action, thus providing victory over adversaries who are considered to be stronger” (Santos 2010, p. 12). In marketing, companies with insufficient financial resources for investing in traditional methods can look to less expensive techniques that rely on creativity and innovation to achieve market exposure and positioning. Guerrilla advertising is a good alternative to traditional advertising because it wins over the consumer through the unexpected. These days, the most original ads are more effective at reaching the target audience as “consumers pay attention to that which is different, while noticing what they’ve never seen before” (Veríssimo 2001, p. 16). vue | OCTOBER 2014


FEAT UR E Over the years, guerrilla marketing has been used not only by small, cash-strapped companies looking to gain notoriety, but also by large firms. In the current scenario of world economic instability, where “the value of products goes well beyond their physical properties, it is no longer effective to advertise them by mentioning those physical properties. The traditional informative dimension of advertising becomes completely sidelined giving way to directly appealing to the consumers’ emotions” (Veríssimo 2001, p. 54). Large companies look at guerrilla marketing as a complement to communication plans, since it involves more direct communication and interaction with the consumer. By appealing more to people’s emotions than to rational thinking, guerrilla advertising allows consumers to consider the spirit of products and brands. More than meeting physical needs, products should meet needs that are “psychological, emotional: desires and fears” (Ferrés 1998, p. 203).

Analysis of Interviews In the book Guerrilla Marketing Attack, Jay Conrad Levinson maintains that small and medium-sized companies can compete with large companies by using weapons based on creativity and innovation (Levinson 1989, p. 195). Flávio Gart, creative manager at the Bazooka Guerrilla Marketing Agency, confirms this idea, adding that “these days, reaching out to the public is more difficult … and, in general, people who turn to guerrilla marketing are people who need to communicate with a greater degree of difference and more insight” (Bazooka – exclusive interview, 2013). Gart points out that brand memorization is minor and, because of the short time frame for memorizing brands, guerrilla marketing is suitable for catching people’s attention. Lígia Santos agrees with this idea and states that “a good guerrilla initiative serves to find a place in a congested market and position its brand to draw and hold the consumer’s attention” (Santos 2010, p. 13). She further states that “companies wishing to leave their brands etched in the minds of consumers will have to come up with alternatives to conventional media.” According to Gart, emotions are causing an increasingly greater impact on brands than logical arguments.” The Fuse Marketing agency takes this a step further, saying that “emotions can sell more products, people also need to find value in such products, and the main thing in a campaign is to convince them that a product has value” (Santos 2010, p. 13). Another issue is guerrilla marketing’s ability to alter the behaviours and habits of potential consumers. Gart feels “it is pretentious to say marketing alters behaviour,” Interference Inc., meanwhile, is of the opinion that campaigns do alter behaviours. The advertising agency Street Attack maintains that “consumer habits are so strange and very often so stereotyped that making predictions is hardly reliable. That’s why a result cannot be planned. Unfortunately, there is much more ‘mind control’ taking place in the media … thus, it becomes a question of psychology of the masses and of what should be consumers’ behaviour at this time” (Street Attack – exclusive interview, 2013). The current economic scenario has proven challenging for many companies. At a time when “saving” is the watchword, how should companies react to such a scenario? Should they slash advertising expenses? Should communication be done differently? Are there more affordable alternatives? The companies we interviewed are almost unanimous with regard to such issues. Gart states that if the company is forgotten, it dies. It’s as if it didn’t exist. Street Attack says that, during these tough economic times, marketing strategies have been more geared 20

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toward the Internet to become safer, to more easily control feedback and to reduce campaign costs. Sofia Tavares states that “the crisis should be regarded as an opportunity for making organizations’ management models more efficient. That’s why it’s vital to be geared toward the market, planning and marketing investment.”

Conclusion Conventional advertising on television, the press, radio, and outdoor signs has lost some of its impact. Because of this, guerrilla marketing has emerged as a solution for many companies, both small and large. Particular attention is required regarding the goal of the message, the target audience, and the strategies used. Along with these more technical issues, honesty and trust must also be taken into account. Without these, the messages could be lost. All of these factors together mean that guerilla-marketing campaigns often manage to be more persuasive than traditional advertising campaigns. In short, guerrilla marketing has turned out to be an excellent alternative not only because lower budgets can be used, but also because it is able to draw consumers’ attention, while bringing a sense of relief to their day-to-day lives in times of financial difficulty.

References Ferrés, J. Televisão Subliminar: Socializando Através de Comunicações Despercebidas. Porto Alegre: Artmed, 1998. Levinson, J. Guerrilla Marketing Attack. Mariner Books, 1989. Veríssimo, J.. A Publicidade da Benetton - Um Discurso Sobre o Real. Coimbra: Minerva, 2001. Santos, L.. O Marketing de Guerrilha Como Ferramenta de Posicionamento da Marca, 2010, index.php/humanas/article/viewFile/1526/1071. Tavares, S. Marketing Em Tempos de Crise, 2012, http://saldopositivo.

Interviews Bazooka, Flávio Gart, April 17, 2013. Fuse Marketing LLC, Clarke Colon, April 26, 2013. Interference Inc., Sam Ewen, April 18, 2013. Street Attack, Brett Zaccardi, April 18, 2013. Torke+CC, André Rabanea, April 13, 2013. * Originally published by Marinho Media Analysis, February 10, 2014. This work is based on research conducted as part of the subject of psychosociology of communication in the Communication Sciences program at the University of Porto, Portugal, 2012-2013. Jorge Marinho has a PhD in communication sciences, and a BA in international journalism. He is a professor at the University of Porto’s Journalism and Communication Sciences department. He can be reached at Anabela Mendes, Beatriz Pinto, David Santos, Inês Barbosa, Jorge Oliveira, Marta Lago, Raquel Pinheiro are students in the Communication Sciences program at the University of Porto (20122013).


The Mythical Swing Voter David Rothschild, Sharad Goel, Doug Rivers and I recently analyzed a survey on swing voting in the U.S. and made some interesting findings. This is the abstract:

Andrew Gelman

How can election polls swing so much given the increasingly polarized nature of American politics, where switching one’s support between candidates is a significant move? We investigate this question by conducting a novel panel survey of 83,283 people repeatedly polled over the last 45 days of the 2012 U.S. presidential election campaign. We find that reported swings in public opinion polls are generally not due to actual shifts in vote intention, but rather are the result of temporary periods of relatively low response rates by supporters of the reportedly slumping candidate. After correcting for this bias, we show there were nearly constant levels of support for the candidates during what appeared, based on traditional polling, to be the most volatile stretches of the campaign. Our results raise the possibility that decades of large, reported swings in public opinion – including the perennial “convention bounce” – are largely artifacts of sampling bias. Here’s one of the key figures we ran with our study:

Among respondents who expressed support for either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, estimated support for Obama (with 95% confidence bands) under two different poststratification models: the dark line plots results after adjusting for both demographics and partisanship, and the light line adjusts only for demographics. The surveys adjusted for partisanship show less than half the variation of the surveys adjusted for demographics alone, suggesting that most of the apparent changes in support during this period were artifacts of partisan nonresponse.

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FEAT UR E Through the survey, we discovered that much of the apparent changes in public opinion are actually changes in patterns of nonresponse. When it looked like Romney jumped in popularity for this election, what was really happening was that disaffected Democrats were not responding to the survey while resurgent Republicans were more likely to respond. From a “methods” point of view, the key step to getting accurate results is to poststratify by party identification, an idea that I’d explored before in a study with Cavan Reilly, but without realizing the full political implications. Taking poststraficiation into account, we can use our panel survey results to see how often people were changing their opinion during that critical period of the campaign. This graph shows our results (excuse the error: I somehow let this graph be

Estimated proportion of the electorate that switched their support from one candidate to another during the one week immediately before and after the first presidential debate, with 95% confidence intervals. We find that only 0.5% of individuals switched their support from Obama to Romney.

drawn with an axis that goes below zero): This represents a major change in my thinking compared to my 1993 paper with Gary King, “Why are American Presidential election campaign polls so variable when votes are so predictable?” At that time, we gave an explanation for changes in opinion. In retrospect, I’m thinking that many of these apparent swings were really just differential nonresponse. Funny that we never thought of that. David, Sharad, Doug, and I came to our conclusion after a fairly elaborate analysis of a new dataset. But the idea was out there. Here was Mark Palko, writing on Nov. 6, 2012, just before the election returns were coming in: Assume that there’s an alternate world called Earth 49-49. This world is identical to ours in all but one respect: for almost all of the presidential campaign, 49% of the voters support Obama and 49% support Romney. There has been virtually no shift in who plans to vote for whom. 22

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Despite this, all of the people on 49-49 believe that they’re on our world, where large segments of the voters are shifting their support from Romney to Obama then from Obama to Romney… In 49-49, the Romney campaign hit a stretch of embarrassing news coverage while Obama was having, in general, a very good run. With a couple of exceptions, the stories were trivial, certainly not the sort of thing that would cause someone to jump the substantial ideological divide between the two candidates so, none of Romney’s supporters shifted to Obama or to undecided. Many did, however, feel less and less like talking to pollsters. So Romney’s numbers started to go down which only made his supporters more depressed and reluctant to talk about their choice… This reluctance was already just starting to fade when the first debate came along… after weeks of bad news and declining polls, the effect on the Republican base of getting what looked very much like the debate they’d hoped for was cathartic. Romney supporters who had been avoiding pollsters suddenly couldn’t wait to take the calls… The polls shifted in Romney’s favor even though, had the election been held the week after the debate, the result would have been the same as it would have been had the election been held two weeks before… I think Palko was basically right (although I’d change his 49-49 to something more like 51-49), and he gets extra credit for figuring this out without having the panel data to show it. If all the major pollsters had been poststratifying by party identification, though, maybe it would’ve been clearer. Let me conclude with a statistical point. Sometimes researchers want to play it safe by using traditional methods – most notoriously, Michael Link, president of the American Association of Public Opinion Research, argued against nonprobability sampling on the (unsupported) grounds that such methods have “little grounding in theory.” But in the real world of statistics, there’s no such thing as a completely safe method. Adjusting for party identification might seem like a bold and risky move, but, based on the above research, it could well be riskier to not adjust. * A version of this piece appeared as a blog for The Washington Post. You can see reader comments on that post by visiting this url: wp/2014/08/21/mythical-swing-voter-update. Andrew Gelman is a professor of statistics and political science and director of the Applied Statistics Center at Columbia University. He has written several books including Bayesian Data Analysis and Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks. He can be reached at


QUALITATIVE RESEARCH REGISTRY In accordance with federal privacy laws,

MRIA’s Qualitative Research Registry (QRR), or Registre de la recherche qualitative (RRQ) in French, was created to provide an ongoing, userfriendly vehicle for tracking those who do not want to be contacted or should not be contacted for qualitative research studies.

QRR is a comprehensive do not call list of those who have recently participated in qualitative research studies, those who have asked not to be contacted further, and those felt by recruiters and moderators to be best served by not being contacted. These respondents are marked as “do not call” in accordance with established MRIA Standards.

However, the ability of the system to function effectively is directly related to the co-operation received from firms who provide recruitment services. If you are a full service research firm or field supplier that is currently participating in the Qualitative Research Registry program – thank you very much and keep up the good work!

All field and full-service companies are encouraged to submit a list of their qualitative respondents for entry into the QRR system each month, including those who do not wish to be contacted.

If you are not currently participating, please get involved! If you are interested in submitting to QRR, please visit the MRIA website at for further explanation and guidance on how to submit qualitative research participants’ names, along with the required electronic forms.

Participating firms will receive monthly updates of respondents to be screened from qualitative recruitment samples. QRR works effectively to increase the quality and integrity of the qualitative research process, by serving as a control to ensure respondents are not contacted more frequently than is necessary.


Up to October 08, 2014 ONTARIO



Research House Inc. Quality Response Inc. Opinion Search Inc. Nexus Market Research Inc. Ideaspace Research I & S Recruiting Head Count Dawn Smith Field Management Service Consumer Vision Ltd. Barbara C. Campbell Recruiting Inc. (BCCR Inc.)

Opinion Search Inc. Barbara C. Campbell Recruiting Inc. (BCCR Inc.)

Opinion Search Inc. MBA Recherche

ATLANTIC Nielsen Opinion Quest (Opinion Search)

If you have any questions about or wish to submit to the QRR please send an e-mail to: Information regarding the QRR can be found at

Rules of Conduct and Good Practice for Members of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (2007), Section C Rules Specific to the Conduct of Qualitative Research:

20. R ecruiters should provide accurate data to the Qualitative Research Registry, where such exists, on a consistent basis and check all respondents against the Registry. 21. M oderators buying recruiting services should give primary consideration to recruiting agencies which submit to the Qualitative Research Registry, where such a service exists, on a regular and ongoing basis.

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BC CHAPTER The BC Chapter held a “Summer Social Happy Hour” on August 19 to say farewell to summer, at the Distillery Bar in Vancouver’s Yaletown district.

Pictured from left to right are Kim Scott, Lesley Duncan and Melika Irannezhad.

Pictured from left to right are Phil Straforelli, Ira Thompson and Lauren Isaacson.

OTTAWA CHAPTER The Ottawa Chapter wants to remind its members about its special presentation of the results of the 2014 AmericasBarometer survey. Keith Neuman, executive director of the Environics Institute for Survey Research, will present the findings on November 27. The AmericasBarometer ( is a multi-country public opinion survey on democratic values and behaviours in the Americas. The research is conducted every two years by a consortium of academic and think tank partners, and encompasses 27 countries spanning North America, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Environics Institute conducts the Canadian portion of the survey. The presentation will focus on the Canadian results – how they have changed since 2012 (and before) and how Canada compares with other parts of the hemisphere. Themes to be covered include: • Civic and political engagement • Confidence in democracy and political institutions • Civil rights and tolerance for political dissent • Experience with crime and confidence in the justice system The Canadian portion of the 2014 AmericasBarometer survey was conducted online in June-July 2014. The sample size was 1,541 adult Canadians.

Research with Children The Ottawa Chapter will host an exciting session on research with children titled “Kids Research: Insights through fun, focused chaos.” Running and moderating research with kids is seldom straightforward and almost always an adventure! At SAVE THE times it can take a brave soul and DATE! an iron will to take on these most January 15, intimidating of respondents. With 2015 many years of experience conducting child and youth research, The Sound Research has identified a number of core principles to make sure researchers, clients AND kids get the most out of the research process. Please join Caroline Fletcher, Head of Toronto & Vice President from The Sound Research, as she shares her experiences, recommendations and a case study or two on best practices for running qualitative research with kids. For more information visit: ottawa-chapter-news

Register for the event through the MRIA Portal. Have any news or photos you want to share? Contact associate editor Fiona Isaacson ( Members and guests are welcome at all MRIA events: Check our online calendar at for more information on all events and how to register. Members receive emails directly with event updates, so please check your inboxes for instructions on how to register for all upcoming events! MRIA Portal: Non members can sign up for free email, enewsletters and eVue at 24

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IND U STRY NEWS RESEARCH REGISTRATION SYSTEM Since 1994, the RRS has allowed respondents to verify the legitimacy of a research project; helped legislators and regulators differentiate between legitimate survey researchers and unscrupulous telemarketers, phishers and scammers; and protected the industry from unnecessary and unwanted regulation. MRIA’s Research Registration System (RRS) has long been a cornerstone self-regulatory mechanism for the marketing, survey and public opinion research and market intelligence industry in Canada.

Combined with other self-regulatory initiatives such as our Code of Conduct and Good Practice and our Charter of Respondent Rights, the RRS has paid huge dividends in protecting the industry’s positive reputation and good name with Canadians.

MRIA’s Research Agency Council provides strategic, policy-level oversight of the Research Registration System, and receives aggregate data-only on the System’s performance. Questions about the Research Registration System should be addressed to Erica Klie, Manager, Member Support Services, at 1-888-602-6742 or (416) 642-9793, ext. 8727 or

All Gold Seal and Basic Corporate Research Agency members of the Association are obligated to register all of their research projects with the RRS, and Client-Side Corporate members are encouraged to require their agency suppliers to do so.

The following companies have registered research projects with the Research Registration System Up to August 08, 2014 Gold Seal Corporate Research Agencies Academica Group Advanis Inc. Advitek Inc. BBM Analytics BBM Canada Bond Brand Loyalty (Formerly Maritz Research Canada) Campaign Research Canadian Viewpoint Inc. Cido Research Consumer Vision Ltd. Corporate Research Associates EKOS Research Associates Inc. Elemental Data Collection Inc.

Environics Research Group Limited Forum Research Inc. Fresh Squeezed Ideas GfK Canada Greenwich Associates Head Count Insignia Marketing Research Inc. Ipsos Reid Market Probe Canada Market Pulse Inc. MBA Recherche MD Analytics Inc. MQO Research Nanos Research

Basic Corporate Research Agencies Bureau des Intervieweurs Professionnels Inc. Dialogue Research Inc. Goss Gilroy Inc.

Nexus Market Research Inc. Qualitative Coordination Inc. Quality Response Inc. Trampoline Marketing

Nielsen Consumer Insights NRG Research Group Opinion Search Inc. PRA Inc. Quorus Consulting Group Inc. R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. Research Dimensions Research House Inc. Research Now SmartPoint Research Inc. Tele-Surveys Plus / Télé-Sondages Plus The Logit Group Inc. TNS Canada (Canadian Facts) Vision Critical

Gold Seal Agency - Pending Illumina Research Partners

Rules of Conduct and Good Practice For Members of the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (2007): Section A (5) Members must uphold the MRIA Charter of Respondent Rights. Charter of Respondent Rights, Article 2 You can verify that the research you have been invited to participate in is legitimate in one of two ways. You can either obtain a registration number and the MRIA’s toll-free telephone number for any research registered in the MRIA’s Research Registration System or you can obtain the contact information of the research director who is conducting the study.

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alendar of EVENTS MRIA and Partner Events

OCTOBER 2014 Oct. 21, 2014 Alberta Chapter Calgary Event

Nov. 20, 2014 CSRC Social Connect and Holiday Party Toronto, ON

Alberta Chapter Edmonton Event

Nov. 27, 2014 Ottawa Chapter Event Ottawa, ON

Oct. 24, 2014



Dates TBD Chapter Holiday Parties

Oct. 29, 2014


Oct. 22, 2014

Prairie Chapter Winnipeg Event

NOVEMBER 2014 Nov. 3, 2014 CSRC Webinar with Eva Tolkunow, Hallmark Canada Nov. 13, 2014 Toronto Chapter Event Toronto, ON Nov. 16–18, 2014 ESOMAR Global Qual Venice, ITALY

January 27, 2015 Net Gain 10.0 Toronto, ON

MARCH 2015 Date TBD QRD Day Toronto, ON

MRIA NATIONAL CONFERENCES May 24–27, 2015 Marriott Eaton Centre, Toronto, ON JUNE 2016

Montreal, QUEBEC JUNE 2017

Nov. 19, 2014 Net Gain 9.0 Vancouver, BC

Marriott Eaton Centre, Toronto, ON JUNE 2018

Fairmont Vancouver, Vancouver, BC

MRIA members enjoy discounts to partner events. For event descriptions, times and registration information, visit or contact us at – See you again soon ! 26

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Mark Your Calendars! JANUARY 27, 2015 Net Gain Toronto: Insights Keynote: Ray Poynter, author of “The Handbook of Mobile Market Research” Founder of NewMR – Director of Vision Critical University The #mrx industry is a key player in the insight business. Insights are generated from a wide array of tools and methods using innovative technology and adopting new skills. The challenge for the industry to is generate significant, innovative and actionable insights. This means incorporating new ways of demonstrating value and integrating insights into the business process. How this is done will be the core theme of the conference. For Registrations, Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities, visit

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IPD MRIA INSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Marketing Research and Intelligence Association l’Association de la recherche et de l’intelligence marketing

Ready to grow your career? All of our Core CMRP Courses will be offered in-person in Toronto and other cities across Canada. Not in the city? We’re also accepting a limited number of registrants via simulcast over the Internet for members outside of the region! Just choose the simulcast option on the registration form. Professional Development courses MRIA offers include:

**NEW** • Crowdsourcing (November 6) • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Communicating with High Impact Graphs Conjoint Analysis Creating Winning Research Presentations Gamification Market Segment Research Measuring Customer Statistics Measuring Customer Statistics: Advanced Metrics Madness Moderator Training Moderator Tool Box (Advanced Moderator Training) Semiotics SPSS: Introduction SPSS: Advanced Writing Reports

11 of 12 core courses are available anytime online

Courses Core to the CMRP include: • 101-Introduction to Marketing Research • 102-Ethical Issues and Privacy in Marketing Research • 201-Marketing Research Design: An Applied Course • 202-Questionnaire Design • 203-Marketing Research Statistics & Data Analysis • 204-Qualitative Marketing Research • 301-Competitive Intelligence, Mystery Shopping, and Benchmarking • 302-Market Intelligence • 303-Marketing Management for Researchers • 401-Online Research, Best Practices and Innovations • 402-Advanced Analysis Techniques • 403-Advanced Qualitative Marketing Research

Registration closes approximately 1 week prior to course start Deadlines may be extended up to 3 days before course starts Please contact the MRIA office ( to inquire!


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New course dates are being added all the time!

THE FIVE PATHWAYS We are pleased to release The Five Pathways to obtaining your CMRP and there is bound to be one that is ideal for you:

Certification is a way to measure the competency of individuals within our industry, based on both a certification evaluation and the practical application of marketing research competencies. Our wellknown Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) designation helps to ensure professional competence while enhancing the prestige of our profession by raising standards.





















This certification pathway is designed to build a solid foundation of professional competence by raising the bar for new practitioners. In addition to two years of industry experience, we are providing Mentor support by leading CMRPs (in person and online) to enhance industry knowledge and deepen the candidates’ overall understanding of MR while preparing for the CMRE exam. Mentors are provided at no cost to the incumbents and represent some of our industry’s thought leaders. This is a unique and valuable opportunity opportunity to pursue your CMRP.

You’ve graduated from University and have developed a distinct taste for marketing research. You miss the thrill of learning and the challenge of proving your abilities. If your eye is on the future, then this path is for you, as the traditional, tried and true way to obtaining certification, and with a touch of flexibility. It requires completion of MRIA’s 12 Core Courses, combined with experience and the added help of a Mentor which we provide at no charge.

You’ve been around the block and have seen some dramatic changes to marketing research in your six years in the biz. You’re good at what you do; even your boss says so. You live on the edge and are not at all interested in reading volumes about research methodology. We get it. You can prove your mettle by telling us about your experience and writing the CMRE exam. Period.

You are the one that comes to mind when people talk about experts in marketing research. With more than ten exciting years in the market research field, you are the ‘go to’ person when questions arise on ethics or polling or margins of error. Task forces and boards of directors seek your participation and opinion. Even other CMRPs will vouch for your expertise and would applaud your continued success as a CMRP. We can get you there in a few short steps.

It’s called respect. Ask any client who one of the top thought leaders in MR is, and your name comes up. You are seen at high level meetings, in the media, and at MRIA policy meetings. Often called to speak at events, your international schedule is jam packed. Google your name and many pages appear….. Any time spent feeding your mind can only be spent with the very best industry thought leaders, innovators, movers and shakers. Learning about advances in leadership is always welcome. Hearing about innovations from your peers can be priceless.

You will be learning from the best and getting a better view!

We’ve got the courses so bring us your mind!

We know you’ve got what it takes!

Get the recognition you deserve!

CMRP – be known for what you know!

Continuous learning is the new standard – let us help you expand your knowledge base and reach outside of your comfort zone.

For more information, visit our website or write us as Next CMRE Exam is on October 27-28 in Toronto. Winter session dates CMRE Prep Course: January 21–22 2015 in Toronto* CMRE Exam: February 18–19 2015 in Toronto* *Other locations may be possible – contact for more information on obtaining your valuable designation at your locations of choice!

Insti tute fo r Professi o na l Deve lo p me nt

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It’s a Qual World Susan Abbott, CMRP Abbott Research & Consulting Is it time for a researcher rating system? I felt quite inspired by reading Betty Adamou’s article in June’s issue of Vue, where she talked about the similarities of our industry to the gaming industry. She argued that we should more systematically involve respondents. “Why not let respondents vote for the Ginny Valentine Badge of Courage?” she asked. She mused that they could also vote on a best survey of the year award, if we had such an award. I’m not advocating that we hold a contest for the best interview of the year, or the best focus group, (which would probably go to a confection or alcohol project!) But it did get me thinking. Among the most popular and impactful events at qualitative

conferences are the research-on-research presentations. One recent wonderful piece of work, produced by Laurie Tema-Lyn and Abby Leafe, involved finding and interviewing people who cheat to get into qualitative projects, to understand how they were doing it, and why, and to identify strategies for the industry to identify these folks. In Canada, thankfully, we have this problem to a much lesser degree, but it’s a global research world. As an industry, I wonder if we are doing enough in the way of ongoing participant satisfaction work? I use the label participants deliberately, because that is a much more accurate description of the role people play in a qualitative project. Reading Betty Adamou’s article, I started to think I myself should be

systematically gathering feedback about the participants’ experience beyond the quick questions I ask at the time. What a scary, but potentially highly useful activity! What if we launched a web site where participants could “rate your moderator,” or “rate your survey” in the same way you can rate your teacher, your doctor, or your used book seller? MRIA member studies would no doubt distinguish themselves by earning more stars from participants. If you are a Facebook user, you likely felt as horrified as I did when you found out they were experimenting with people’s moods without asking. But if they had asked, people might have been willing participants. Maybe it’s time we took our own medicine.

building value is forgotten and incremental degradation is the fallback path. A client-side researcher colleague said “…quarterly bonuses are the problem. They are not based on long term in-market success, but instead on what cost-cutting measure can be taken in the moment”. Creative solutions are found, minimum requirements are met through marketing research, cost reductions achieved and bonuses rewarded. Brand managers move on in two years and the cycle repeats itself. After multiple rounds, when the competition has passed in market share, the business leaders realize that the brand no longer resembles what it once stood for or the product no longer performs and none of the previous responsible parties are still around. This mindset is broken. Complacency and “good enough” has set in. Change is required, long term

value must be communicated, built or strengthened. Agency-side researchers are also guilty. The results of this degradation of quality include: internal focus instead of client focus, spinning results favourably when they are not positive, paralyzing fear of losing a client, insulting sales-styled presentations, black box methodologies and worse yet lack of value creation. This mindset is also broken. Share with your clients without selling, build value together and train your focus on them; therein lies your true value. Our challenge is found in a quote from Gary Hirshberg: “Quality, quality, quality: never waiver from it, even when you don’t see how you can afford to keep it up. When you compromise, you become a commodity and then you die.” Are the small changes you are making degrading your brand or product’s value? Will you allow incremental degradation or create value?

‘Good Enough’ is not OK Donya Germain, CMRP ACCE International Prevent incremental degradation I am so tired of it. I watch it happen too frequently. Client-side and agency-side, both are guilty; guilty of succumbing to incremental degradation; the result of being OK with “good enough”. Improving your margins based on small, successive reductions in cost or quality will save you money, earn you appealing quarterly bonuses, but result in the devaluation of your brand, product or service. While each change is not significant, over time and with subsequent changes, one is left with significantly reduced quality, lost direction and the competition out in front. Creating and delivering value is a much better, yet perhaps harder, way to improve your business. There is no limit to how much value you can deliver. And yet, when clients are difficult to find and keep, competition is winning or the economy is down,

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A Review of

Talk Like Ted Written by Carmine Gallos Published by St. Martin’s Press Reviewed by Ray Poynter

I am a fan of books on presenting, especially good ones, and this new book by Carmine Gallo, TALK LIKE TED – The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, is definitely a good one. The approach Gallo has taken is to analyse over 500 Ted talks, looking at the videos, interviewing the speakers, and working with the people involved in making it happen. The book highlights great Ted Talks, such as those by Hans Rosling, Amy Cuddy, and Amanda Palmer, and uses these to describe the lessons we can all learn from them. Gallo divides these lessons into three groups of three, and includes many of the well-known points about passion and storytelling. However, because TED talks are available via the web, we can read his descriptions and check out the videos – increasing our

understanding of the points he is making, seeing them in action. No book is going to be a complete solution, and I could quibble with some of the advice. For example, I would like the book to focus a bit more on identify the needs of a specific audience, and in my professional world I often have to deal with speakers and/or audiences who don’t share a common language, which can produce a different balance of words and images. Most of the advice in the book is very sound and following that advice, watching the videos, and being more self-analytical would help any reader be a better presenter. See more at:

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A Review of

Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family Authored by Theresa M. Payton, Ted Claypoole, and Hon. Howard A. Schmidt Published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (January 2014) Reviewed by Jenna Dutcher

Cybersecurity no longer denotes investigators poring over code in back rooms to stop international attackers; now, every newspaper is filled with talk of the NSA, wiretapping, and hacked apps that may be giving out private knowledge without your consent. Choosing to Share Your Data Consent is the key term here. In Privacy in the Age of Big Data, ex-White House Chief Information Officer Theresa M. Payton and privacy and data management expert Theodore Claypoole explain that when people say it shouldn’t matter who has your information as long as you have nothing to hide, they’re missing the point. Data privacy is a matter of choice. Another misconception is that the government and other data collectors will only track you if you’re doing something suspicious. This is a false assumption, bordering on dangerous. Current data management practices tend to collect all sorts of data upfront and then investigators can select what they want when they decide they want it. Above all else, the authors say, “when your privacy is protected, you are free to choose how much of your sensitive information to expose, to whom you will expose it, and, in some cases, how others can use the information.” When that protection is taken away, whether by hackers, law enforcement, or even Fortune 500 companies, you lose the right to secure your privacy against those with shady intentions. Your private information is a type of property you own and you should have the right to decide what to do with it. The lines between choice and freedom start to get blurred, however, when users willingly hand over their information to apps that offer fun games, and stores that promise discounts through data-collecting loyalty cards. A Breach of Trust When companies like Target, LivingSocial, Visa, and more are targeted, customers do not get a say in how their information is used and sold after a breach; scarier still, in cases of stolen data, the targeted corporations can no longer enforce the terms and


vue | OCTOBER 2014

conditions you agreed to, leaving customers at the mercy of hackers without having “opted in” to their actions. Privacy in the Era of Big Data doesn’t simply deal with illegal security breaches, however. There are also legal methods of obtaining your data. The Google transparency report, the web giant’s self-described set of “data that sheds light on how laws and policies affect Internet users and the flow of information online,” can be quite startling to look at if you don’t know the full extent of law enforcement and corporate usage of your data. Time to Panic? Don’t misunderstand the book’s general thesis. Payton and Claypoole are quick to brush off any claims of conspiracy mongering or overreactions: The point of this book is to create a dialogue about some of the important but elusive values lost when we embrace this technology to its fullest, and to inspire users of tech to be mindful when providing information that may be used against them. There’s a key distinction to be made here. The authors of Privacy in the Age of Big Data aren’t against technology or the innumerable advances and benefits that come along with it. They ask that their readers remain vigilant, ever aware that there’s more to the privacy story than a simple yes or no in a Terms and Conditions form. Privacy in the Age of Big Data is a valuable source of information, no matter how much you know about cybersecurity; for those who are just starting to protect their data, however, you won’t want to let this book out of your sight. Jenna Dutcher is the community relations manager for UC Berkeley’s Master of Information and Data Science (MIDS) program, an online degree program for professionals looking to become leaders in the field of data science. She can be reached at See the original review at: http://

2014-2015 COURSE OFFERINGS CORE AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES CORE COURSES 101 – INTRODUCTION TO MARKETING RESEARCH Examines elements of quantitative and qualitative methods that define market research today.

OTTAWA: November 4, 2014 Instructor: Robert Wong

102 – ETHICAL ISSUES AND PRIVACY IN MARKETING RESEARCH Introduces participants to the key ethical concerns that arise throughout the research process.

TORONTO: November 27, 2014 Instructor: David Stark

201 – MARKETING RESEARCH DESIGN: AN APPLIED COURSE This course examines the key research designs used in marketing research.

TORONTO: November 26, 2014 Instructor: Robert Wong

202 – QUESTIONNAIRE DESIGN Examines the types of questions that should be asked and the best way to ask them.

TORONTO: January 20, 2015 Instructor: Jordan Levitin

203 – MARKETING RESEARCH STATISTICS AND DATA ANALYSIS (2 days) This course takes an applied approach to teaching core competencies of statistics.

TORONTO: October 30-31, 2014 Instructor: Chuck Chakrapani

204 – QUALITATIVE MARKETING RESEARCH Examines the latest theory and application of some of the most common qualitative research methods.

TORONTO: February 9, 2015 Instructor: Kelly Adams

301 – COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE, MYSTERY SHOPPING AND BENCHMARKING Learn to conduct competitive intelligence to anticipate your competitor’s next moves, interpret their strategies and assess their threat.

TORONTO: March 11, 2015 Instructor: David Lithwick

302 – MARKET INTELLIGENCE Learn the purpose of market intelligence (MI), how to integrate MI disciples, MI models, and building MI teams. 303 – MARKETING MANAGEMENT FOR RESEARCHERS Provides students with a solid understanding of the marketing function in business decisions.

TORONTO: January 27 & 28, 2015 Instructor: Jordan Levitin

401 – ONLINE RESEARCH, BEST PRACTICES AND INNOVATIONS Examines various online methodologies while covering their applications, pros, and cons.

TORONTO: March 5, 2015 Instructor: Jordan Levitin

402 – ADVANCED ANALYSIS TECHNIQUES (2 days) This introduction to multivariate analysis covers a range of techniques and explains their uses.

TORONTO: February 5-6, 2014 Instructor: Chuck Chakrapani

403 – ADVANCED QUALITATIVE MARKETING RESEARCH Provides an in–depth examination of qualitative techniques, methodologies, and analysis.

TORONTO: February 10, 2015 Instructor: Kelly Adams

Visit our web site,, for course details, registration deadlines and pricing. Our in-class courses are available in simulcast for your convenience. Core courses are available online, and please visit our web site for details. If you are interested in taking any of our listed courses that are not yet scheduled please send an e-mail to

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES CATEGORICAL DATA ANALYSIS An introduction to an array of methods and modeling techniques for categorical data analysis. COMMUNICATING WITH HIGH IMPACT GRAPHS Learn how to produce effective reports, presentations, and impactful, persuasive graphs. CONJOINT ANALYSIS An in–depth examination of conjoint analysis, its applications, and interpretation. CREATING WINNING RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS Learn how to craft a presentation that tells a story, engages, and impacts your audience. CROWD SOURCING **NEW** Learn the basics of crowd sourcing and the marketing research crowd sourcing spectrum – from ideas, to insights, to innovation.

TORONTO: November 6, 2014 Instructor: Sharon M. McIntyre

GAMIFICATION **NEW** Understand the fundamentals of gamification, its uses, and how to apply it.

Vancouver: October 30, 2014 Instructor: Cam Davis

MARKET SEGMENT RESEARCH Covers the various methods used for market segmentation and evaluates the pros/cons of each. MEASURING CUSTOMER STATISTICS: INTRODUCTION Learn the ins and outs of properly measuring customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention. MEASURING CUSTOMER STATISTICS: ADVANCED Builds on the introduction by providing an in–depth analysis of the techniques used to measure customer satisfaction METRIC MADNESS Learn about evaluating digital and social media datasets, what tracking tools to use, and how to communicate these results. MODERATOR TRAINING: BASIC (3 days) Learn core moderating skills including preparing for a focus group, introducing and warming up the group, questioning and listening skills, and dealing with difficult respondents.

TORONTO: December 3-5, 2014 Instructor: Margaret Imai-Compton

MODERATORS TOOL BOX: ADVANCED An intensive workshop where participants learn the intricacies of a variety of moderating techniques such as when to (or not to) use them, how to use them, and how to analyze them.

Instructor: Margaret Imai-Compton

SEMIOTICS: HOW SYMBOLS, PACKAGING AND ADVERTISING COMMUNICATE Examines the fundamentals of semiotic analysis with workshops to allow participants to see how the methodology works in the ‘real world’.

CALGARY: To be Rescheduled TORONTO: To be Rescheduled Instructor: Charles Leech

SPSS: INTRODUCTION This workshop will quickly help you learn the basics of SPSS for analyzing the types of data that results from most surveys.

TORONTO: April 22, 2015 Instructor: Ken Deal

SPSS: ADVANCED (2 days) Work through more advanced analyses that are capable of providing significant insights into consumer behaviour and motivation.

TORONTO: April 23-24, 2015 Instructor: Ken Deal

WRITING THAT GETS RESULTS Learn how to write persuasively to different audiences, avoid common mistakes, and hone your ability to summarize complex materials.

TORONTO: February 24, 2015 Instructor: Patricia Davies

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