Co-Founder & CEO
|Research & Results||October 26 - 27, Munich|
|ESOMAR 3-D||October 26 - 28, Miami|
|SEMO||November 2 - 3, Paris|
|TMRE||November 7 - 9, Orlando|
|SampleMarket™ 2.0 Webinar||November 16|
When you go to the social media corner of the uSamp™ homepage, you'll see the usual icons for Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and YouTube along with links to our blog and newsletter — which we hope you're enjoying right now. We'd like you to do more than just "like", "follow" or "connect." With every social media option, we're personally inviting you to continue the conversation with uSamp. We look forward to your comments, questions and suggestions.
Talk about social. Whether or not you're aware of the background of uSamp, we insist that you check out "The Story of uSamp" on our YouTube Channel. As Gregg explains, our friendship began at an early age, but our business partnership began in 1989 as college roommates when we formed our first company with little more than a fax machine and a dream. I hope you have as much fun watching "The Story of uSamp" as we did making it.
Do you have people at your company dedicated to blogging? At uSamp, we take turns writing the posts, and provide updates from our personal points of view. I always seem to blog late at night; you know, when it's quiet and I have a little extra time to think. I get pretty talkative sometimes — and introspective, but that's the advantage of a blog. Check out my most recent post: How Can We Reduce Sample Burn and Panel Churn? You certainly don't have to read between my lines to realize how passionate I am about market research and finding panelists for you.
We also like the real-time possibilities of Twitter. Each tweet can be the seed of an idea or a connection to our latest blog post. Do you have something to share with our followers? Here's your chance. Just tweet it.
As always, when we get a chance to meet face-to-face at an upcoming conference, please say hello. Until then, let's keep in touch through tweets, blog comments, and "like" us on Facebook. We'll do the same. It's great to be social — whether in person or online.
All the best,
Q: How did you come to work for uSamp™, and what attracted you to the company?
A: uSamp was actually a client of mine when Gregg and Matt first started the business. I was just lucky enough to have made enough of an impression to garner an offer to join them. I really respected how hands-on they were in helping out with operations to get the company on its feet. On my first day at uSamp, Matt — acting as the IT guy — helped set up and load my laptop with all the needed programs and connections to function as a member of the team, acting as the IT department. And Gregg would be up at the twilight hours of the night helping to keep all of the projects running smoothly. I got a real kick out of that since Matt and Gregg are known as great innovators in our space.
Q: Innovation is key in our industry. What do you see as the next big thing — or even the next small thing — that will make research more efficient?
A: Our SampleMarket™ self-serve platform is going to be a game changer. A quality system that puts control and transparency in the hands of our clients is unique. Our clients who use SampleMarket know exactly what type of sample or "respondents" they are getting, and they can efficiently control the flow themselves.
Even the greatest project manager can't be as responsive or as quick as a client who has direct access to SampleMarket. The elimination of all the time-consuming back and forth emails during bidding and project setup/launching drastically increases the efficiency of our clients and, in turn, pass along to their clients. Adding this to our other product offerings is really going to simplify and change the ways our clients conduct their business.
Q: What's new for self-serve sampling?
A: We have plans to make the process of managing projects and incorporating sample even easier, things like nested quotas and balanced-based sampling will be coming soon to SampleMarket, as well as more detailed feasibility queries with very sophisticated response rate calculations, making our client's lives even easier. Adding in our international panels and using uSamp's proven River methodology in self-serve will be big game changers
Q: How important is it to collaborate to achieve goals and move forward? Which companies do you look to for inspiration?
A: Collaboration is an important part of achieving goals. Having even just one person to bounce ideas off of helps me see things from different perspectives. uSamp has excelled in hiring the best and brightest in our industry and retaining them. I've been fortunate to have worked in a hybrid role in multiple departments and can truly say I work with some of the best people in the industry.
A company such as Apple is great at creating teams and empowering them to come up with groundbreaking technology. Zappos strives to provide the best customer service and takes that extra step to lock in their customers for life. I think bringing both of these models together helps to shape the ideal company. Having excellent leadership is the final ingredient in that recipe.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges in creating the self-service platform? What kind of research did it entail?
A: One of my biggest challenges is trying not to do too much at once. Like the smartphone, SampleMarket has so many possibilities. Much of our direction comes from direct input from our clients who are users of the system. Because what we initially envisioned can change, it's important to be agile and flexible during the ongoing development process.
Q: With the need for "instant" and quality answers, how are you able to simplify the complexity of the projects — and emphasize transparency?
A: This is an ever-evolving technology for us — with new ways to simplify in the future. Soon we will have nested quotas and balancing functionality to the SampleMarket, which will make some of the more complex projects even easier to manage. Transparency has been in SampleMarket from day one; we'll continue to tell our clients what they're buying at all times so they can control how sample enters the project — on their own terms.
Q: What do you envision as uSamp's role in the on-demand arena?
A: I see uSamp as a pioneer. We're the first major sampling firm to give our clients direct access to our panel, and the first to make MarketTools® TrueSample® verified panelists available in a self-serve environment. We'll pave the way with many more initiatives in the coming year as well, all relating to the self-serve space and empowering our clients with the best in class products and service.
Please visit our web site for more detailed information about SampleMarket.Back to top
Hewlett-Packard/Qualvu, Microsoft/Blue Ocean, PepsiCo/Sentient Vie For Top Honors on November 8
The single-select question in front of us is this: who will take home the 2011 EXPLOR Award? Will it be Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft or PepsiCo — and their market research partners — as they contend for this prestigious honor in research innovation?
Presented by uSamp™, the EXPLOR Awards is an annual case study competition that honors technical innovation in market research. Case studies not only inform, but they inspire and provide insight into the problem-solving process. The new solutions presented are often a peek into the future. As the tagline states, the award highlights "Innovation in Research."
The call for nominations was extended through September 12. Innovation leaders from global corporations, research agencies and academia were invited to submit high-impact cases where technology and creativity have merged to advance the research and insight process. A world-class judging team — from noteworthy organizations like General Mills, GfK, NBC Universal and Wharton — selected the top three candidates that will be presented at The Market Research Event (TMRE), November 7 - 9 at The Peabody in Orlando, Florida.
Chuck Miller, who is President, DMS and Chief Research Officer, uSamp, co-founded the EXPLOR Awards in 1999. "The number of submissions grows every year," said Miller. "The fact that more and more clients are involved in the submission process, working in partnership with providers, is significant. This year uSamp has a record number of case study submissions."
Last year's winner, American Water, along with finalists, ANZ National Bank and eBay, showcased innovation in market research through their respective case studies.
American Water's case study, "Tipping the Scales: How a New Research Tool Has Changed American Water's New Business Development," was a cutting-edge example of how insights from research can drive performance and new directions for a business.
The EXPLOR ceremony is during the keynote sessions on Tuesday, November 8, at 9:45 am. The presentation also features the NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, as the two jointly honor and cast a spotlight on industry innovation. The winning EXPLOR case study will be presented at 10:45 on Tuesday, November 8, in Celebration 12-13.
There is a very congenial atmosphere at the presentation itself, said Miller. "People are excited about sharing tangible details about success, and moving our industry forward." Past winners and finalists include: Orange Telecom, Frito-Lay, Unilever, IBM, Intel, Kraft, Procter & Gamble, Wharton, NBC Universal, UCLA/MIT and Microsoft among others. Past research partner winners and finalists include: Nunwood, Decision Insight, Communispace, Knowledge Networks, Millward Brown and Neurofocus among others.
The NGMR Disruptive Innovator Awards, sponsored by Tom Anderson of Anderson Analytics, will share the presentation stage in partnership with EXPLOR — together creating TMRE Innovation Awards. The Disruptive Innovator Awards recognize companies and individuals that have demonstrated outstanding leadership as change agents and made significant contributions to harnessing disruptive innovation — technological, methodological or otherwise — to drive research industry progress. Past winners and finalists include companies such as 3M Corporation, Linkedin and Nielsen Media Research among others – and individuals including AJ Johnson of IPSOS and Sean Conry of Techneos.
Congratulations to all who submitted case studies. Your innovative approach to market research is recognized and appreciated.