Posts Tagged ‘mria’

Conversition Talks Social Media Research at the Canadian House of Commons #MRX

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Yesterday was certainly an exciting day for Conversition. Because of our ongoing role in the social media space, we were asked by the MRIA to speak with them when they addressed the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics in Ottawa.

Brendan Wycks, the Executive Director of the MRIA, opened our talk with a discussion of MRIA’s views and desires and I followed with a discussion more focused on social media research. Below is my speech.


Address to the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
House of Commons, Ottawa, June 5, 2012
Presented with Brendan Wycks, Executive Director of the MRIA

Brendan Wycks Annie Pettit House of Commons Canada

Thank you everyone for taking the time to meet with us.

As Brendan said, my name is Annie Pettit and I am the Vice President of Research Standards as well as the Chief Research Officer at Conversition, a Canadian market research start-up specializing in social media research. I am an avid social media research tweeter, blogger, and conference presenter, and have recently published a book about social media research which includes a chapter on social media research ethics. Because I am seen as a global thought leader in the social media research space, ESOMAR in Europe, and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the Marketing Research Association (MRA), MRIA’s counterparts in the United States, each invited me to be a contributing member of their social media research committees.

To give you a sense of the role that social media research is playing in the market research industry, I’d like to share with you a few results from the Spring 2012 Greenbook Research Industry Trends Report, a survey of over 800 market researchers around the world. Twenty-eight percent of those researchers had used social media research. Fifty-nine percent planned to use social media research in the next year. And more than 10% said that social media research is one of the greatest opportunities for researchers in the future.

Social media research is defined as the application of traditional market research principles to the collection and analysis of social media data for the purpose of better understanding policies and opinions. Just as survey researchers use survey data, social media researchers use social media data. And, we apply the same strict methodological practices to that data. For instance, just as with traditional survey research or focus group research, social media research begins by collecting the right data. Where survey researchers decide which people are best suited to participate in a survey, social media researchers decide which websites or other online forums are best suited for better understanding opinions. We incorporate traditional aspects of market research including sampling, weighting, scaling, norms, and box scores to ensure we measure opinions as accurately as possible.

The main purpose of social media research is to better understand the opinions people have towards policy issues, products and services, celebrities and politicians, social issues and cultural activities. Social media research helps us learn what people like and don’t like so that we can improve the services people receive, create better products, and better serve our constituents.

Most importantly, social media research is not a kinder, gentler word for social media marketing. We do not market products. We do not sell products. We, like our counterparts working in the traditional side of the industry, conduct market research. We abide by and respect the same methodological and ethical guidelines and standards as traditional researchers do.

I’d like to share with you just a few examples of how we abide by those principles.

First of all, we take great care to only collect public data.  Some websites, like Facebook and Linkedin, use passwords to completely hide portions of data from outsiders, including Google. If you were to do a Google search, this data would not be found. Social media researchers do not and in fact, cannot collect this data. Many social media research users expect to see more data coming from Facebook but because much of it is programmed as private, very little is actually released. In some cases, we could just create a password and collect the data. But we don’t. We respect this privacy.

Other websites allow anyone to read the entries. Comments left on YouTube, Flickr, or WordPress are written for strangers to read and enjoy, and can be found via a Google search. The purpose of passwords in these cases is to allow readers to follow the conversation among many different people. This is the type of data that social media researchers collect.

In addition, we depersonalize data that is shared in reports, we do not engage with social media users without their consent, and we do not knowingly collect data from minors.

The internet has evolved rapidly in recent years. Ten years ago, it seemed incomprehensible that the average person would share intimate details of their life online.  Today, bloggers are regular people who get excited when strangers, not their friends and family, read their thoughts and share them widely. Public forums are open social networks where strangers from around the world find and share opinions with each other. Twitter is a newer entrant into the social media space, and for many people using it, the ultimate goal is to write a tweet that millions of people around the world will read. We have reached a stage where social media has become so engrained in our lives that social media users expect companies to respond to social media comments written in an obscure corners of the internet. People expect their social media complaints to be met with letters of apology.

Right now, Canada is one of the global thought leaders in social media research and I’m proud to represent Canada in that role. But, I worry that if we lose this position, if we are unable to compete in the social media research space because our privacy standards restrict us rather than let us self-regulate, that our clients will have to use social media research conducted in countries with less than high ethical standards. That scares me.

Let us be thought leaders. Let us continue to lead in the social media research space. Let’s demonstrate to other countries that social media research can be conducted in a way that is beneficial to the government and corporate decision-makers who seek actionable insights from it; to research companies; and, most of all, to Canadians.

Thank you.

Netgain 6.0: An MRIA Social Media Workshop by Annie Pettit

Monday, December 5th, 2011

netgain mria

Click here to register

Learn to Love Blogging and Twittering: A MRIA Workshop led by Annie Pettit
St Andrews Club and Conference Centre, Toronto, ON
Tuesday Jan 24, 2012 

8:30-9:00am - Includes continental breakfast
9am-Noon - Workshop with coffee/tea and break snacks

To become familiar with the art of blogging and tweeting so that you can actively participate in and benefit from the social media space

Who will benefit?
This workshop will benefit those who are thinking of writing a blog and learning how to tweet. These are quickly becoming social media requirements for establishing a prominent presence and promoting yourself, your product, your service or company.

Learn about:

  • the basics of starting to tweet and blog
  • the different types of twitter clients and blogs
  • the tricks, shortcuts  and tips about tweeting and blogging
  • the language, including hashtags, 140,, RSS
  • tweetdeck, socialoomph, Klout, RSS and other third
    party plugins and apps
  • the multi-interaction with Twitter via your cell, rss feeds, email
  • promoting your blogs and getting yourself tweeted and retweeted
  • what works and what does not work in being successful tweeters and bloggers

Workshop Presenter
Annie Pettit is VP, Research Standards at Research Now and Chief Research Officer at Conversition, an e-Rewards company. She is the author of two blogs, Lovestats and the Conversition blog. She is an active tweeter @lovestats in the market research arena and also with her sugar and spice passion (@LoveStats/sugar-and-spice). Check out the Sugar and Spice Online News Daily. She is a frequent speaker at MR conferences, has over 5000 followers, and has tweeted 13,500 times! She is highlighted on the front cover of the October 2011 issue of VUE and wrote an article inside entitled “You know more than you think!”

This is a highly interactive workshop and spaces are limited to 50 seats. You must bring your own laptop and be prepared to tweet.

MCP points: 10

Article in the Vue: Words I’ll Live to Regret

Friday, June 10th, 2011

This article was originally published in the Vue, June 2011.  When people answer research surveys, they don’t sign their names or write their email address. This degree of anonymity gives them the power to share their true feelings with as little pressure as possible. But what happens in the social media space? Read along to find out. It can be pretty scary!

Related links
Social media monitoring vs social media research: Can you see the difference?
The Conversition Hierarchy of Social Media Insight
RW Connect: Privacy and Ethics in Social Media Research #MRX
ESOMAR Launches Consultation on Social Media Research Guidelines

Cell + Survey + SMR: A Social Media Mashup #MRIA2011 #MRA_AC #MRX

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I must start with a kind thank you to everyone who chose to come to the Conversition session, despite all of the other great sessions that were available at both the Washington MRA and Kelowna MRIA annual conferences.

As well, thank you so much to everyone who shared kind words with us afterward. It’s always nice to hear that people learned something and felt their time was wisely spent.

As requested by many of our attendees, below you will a longer version of the presentation. Please do feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions at all. Enjoy!

Conversition Presents Mobile Mixed-Mode at MRA in Washington

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Mobile Mixed-Mode Research Workshop

Date: 06/06/2011
Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Room: Palladian Ballroom

Technology has forever changed the way people live their lives and how businesses do business. Gone are the days of conducting a single mode, landline telephone survey to reach a representative sample. Using multiple data collection methods creates many challenges for marketing research. It also provides new opportunities for reaching and understanding different populations. With the advent of new technologies, researchers now have a wide range of options available to them. But what works and what doesn’t? How do we implement those new and still widely debated methods and provide reliable results?
In this three hour immersion workshop, attendees will first get detailed explanations of four separate case studies that provide practical applications of online panels, cell phones, smart phones, SMS texting, IVR, social media, mobile web surveys, and tablets in actual mixed mode research studies.
Attendees will then be challenged to put together an effective research plan using a variety of methods to collect opinions and sentiment from various “hard to reach” populations in less than ideal locations. This “hands on” session will provide participants with the knowledge of how to implement different data collection methods while understanding how each method augments and complements the others.

Conversition at the MRIA In Kelowna BC

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

I have to admit – I’m pretty excited! Kelowna BC looks to be a gorgeous site for this year’s annual MRIA conference. Add to that a ton of great speakers and it doesn’t get much better. We were lucky enough to be selected to speak at the conference and look forward to sharing what we’ve learned since we presented at last year’s conference. We hope to see you on Monday May 30, at 2:30 in the Chilcotin room!

Side by Side by Side: The Survey, Cell, SMR Study You’ve Been Waiting For

In 2010, we saw sample social media research results, and we learned about the pros, cons, ethical implications of the method. Now, it’s about time we saw some real examples of how SMR works in cooperation with other methodologies. This presentation will showcase a cooperative study using results from three different methodologies, online panel surveys (fielded by global online sampling and data collection company, Research Now), cell phone surveys, and social media research. We will see where the results are similar and where they differ. We will discover how the strengths of one method build on the weaknesses of another method. We will discover data fusion at its finest.

Chief Research Officer Conversition Strategies

Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer of Conversition Strategies, a boutique market research company that specializes in social media research.

She has more than 15 years of experience as an online market researcher and specializes in survey research, data quality, and social media market research. Annie is a member of the CASRO, MRA, and ESOMAR social media research committees. She was previously the VP of Online Panel Analytics at Ipsos where she created their proprietary survey panel data quality system.

Annie tweets at @LoveStats and maintains the LoveStats marketing research blog where she occasionally showcases her attempts at being a better baker and gardener.

Conversition Presents the War on Social Media Research Standards at NetGain 5.0

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

What are you doing on January 26, 2011? Well, we’ll be presenting at the NetGain 5.0 conference in Toronto.  Annie Pettit has been invited back to give a brief overview of where the various marketing research organizations stand in terms of developing their own social media research guidelines, as well as to discuss a few of the more controversial topics.

Here is the full schedule of speakers. Annie will be presenting during “Case studies relating to Social Media in the area of Marketing Research“. Her session is titled “The War on Social Media Research Standards” and you will see that it is indeed a war!

Annie will, of course, be tweeting the entire event using the hashtag #NetGain5 so be sure to follow along if you can’t be there in person.

If you’re lucky, there might still be an available seat. Register here and hope to see you there!

Top Market Research Resources

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Your best bet for market research news is to start with the organization(s) in your country. They will have the most up-to-date legal and ethical opinions on issues that are unique to your region. But once you have that covered, you can learn a lot about your industry by keeping in touch with the various organizations around the world. Most of them welcome memberships from the global community particularly as our research focuses on the global community. Here are just a few of the English organizations that may be of interest to you.


CASRO – Council of American Survey Research Organizations
ESOMAR – European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research
MRA – Marketing Research Association (US)
IMRO – Interactive Marketing Research Association (US, part of MRA)
MRIA – Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (Canada)
AMSRS – Australian Market and Social Research Society
MRS – Marketing Research Society

There are also many other independent websites to help you stay on top of the MR scene. You can’t possibly participate in all of them as there are far too many and they are spread across Facebook, LinkedIn, and private sites, but not to worry as you’ll find a lot of duplication among them. You’ll probably catch most things with just these few sites. Say good-bye to free time!
All Top Market Research – Blog listings for any topic, including MR
MrWeb – Great site for MR news updates, plus frequent email updates if you wish
Market Research World – MR news updates, plus email updates
Research Live – Great site for MR news updates, plus frequent email updates if you wish

Social Media Research: Forget the Buzz, Focus on Biz

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

On May 30, 2010, Annie Pettit (@LoveStats) presented the topic of social media research to a packed house at the MRIA conference in Toronto (#MRIA_AC). Enjoy the slides and leave a comment below. We’d love to hear your reactions. Even better, come see us in Boston next week at the MRA conference (#MRIA_AC). We’d love to chat in person!

The Conversition MRA and MRIA Roadshow

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Our CRO, Annie Pettit, will be making the rounds this summer sharing insight on social media research. Just last week, she presented a case study on how Ronald McDonald House uses social media research at the NetGain marketing research conference in Toronto. If you didn’t meet her there, you have two more chances.

  • MRIA 50th Annual Conference from May 30 to June 2 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, Ontario (Marketing Research and Intelligence Association of Canada)


  • MRA Annual Conference from June 9 to 11 in Boston, Massachusetts (Marketing Research Association of the United States)

Let us know if you’ll be there. We’d love to meet you!

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