The following news aggregate is for educational purposes only and does not indicate or insinuate Nichols Research’s endorsement of any views/opinions expressed in the articles, which are solely those of the author(s).

All sources are cited and the content was not created by Nichols Research or its representatives unless expressly indicated.

The materials referenced here and elsewhere in Industry Resources are not and should not be construed as endorsements, legal advice and/or as exhaustive resources. They are intended for educational purposes only in an effort to elevate the status of the insights and strategies industry. Nichols Research cannot guarantee that all information is current or accurate.

Your Comfort. Your Ally. Your Advisor.

March 23, 2017

Source: A special message from Nichols Research’s President, Amy Shields, PRC

Whether now, recently or it’s been far too long, we are grateful for the opportunities that so many companies have allowed Nichols Research on their path to decisions.

Most of us are living in a 24/7 world, where hitting the reset button “after hours” is often when the best ideas for getting your project successfully recruited happen. We love the idea that research is formalized curiosity; poking and prying with a purpose. So much so that our team spends a considerable amount of time late into the evening and on weekends as solution masterminds in new and exciting ways. We don’t rely on just a database of opt-in respondents but dedicate crucial time to non-traditional outreach/research to groups and hard-to-reach respondents that today are the norm. This occurs through an evolution of cross-generational thinking.


Lots of fun Millennials and Gen Z’s are adding balance to our already creative team. The purpose of our next-gen mindset is to pause and restart with constantly evolving and improved outlooks that result in better decision-making for you…through diversity, creativity and a constant commitment to quality.

How specifically and so what? The widely known and accepted concept of “Start. Stop. Continue.” is arguably good, but one that might better be described (thus great!) for Nichols Research (and more important, for our clients!), is “Adopt. Retire. Reboot.” Because let’s be honest; having a 40-year old brand start anew means asking hard questions, evaluating how to deliver quality, and whether we are providing what you, our valued partners, need, how you need it and when you need it.

Your peace of mind and feeling welcome is our measure for success. I’d personally welcome any feedback and/or experiences that you’ve had with Nichols Research (or Nichols Research, Inc. before January 4, 2016) to use the insights that only you can offer to continue with the adopt, retire and reboot approach. (You can email me directly by going to the About Us tab and clicking on Our Team.)

With great respect, I urge and appreciate the opportunity to showcase how we’re delivering trusted and inspiring marketing research, ultimately acting as an extension of your organization. Improved communication and access for you and your team are what we promise through a dedicated consultative approach in everything we do. After all, our joint efforts carry the weight of serious implications.

Together, we truly can maneuver the pathway that leads to better decisions!

What a Recent LinkedIn Survey Revealed about B2B Purchasing Decisions

March 17, 2017


On February 21, Forbes published “How B2B Buying Decisions Really Get Made in the Digital Age,” by author, keynote speaker, and marketing expert Shama Hyder. In the article, Hyder talks about a trend she saw emerge over the past year. At the business-to-business enterprise sales level, people outside the CIO or IT departments had begun playing a role in making internal technology purchase decisions–both hardware and software. (For full story, click on the link above.)

How Hyundai Boosts Online Community Engagement

March 7, 2017


Getting the most out of online communities requires a strategic approach. It’s about keeping members invested in your success by creating an environment where both the company and your customers get value from the experience. Ultimately, it’s about prioritizing the member experience.

Today, listening to car owners is a part of Hyundai’s DNA…Everyone in the company—from executives to product developers and market researchers—understand the importance of hearing from Hyundai owners.

(For full story, click on the link above.)

The Automotive Industry has a Trust Issue

March 4, 2017


Back in 2009, at an industry gathering, then-CEO of Hyundai Motor America John Krafcik proclaimed that “Americans would rather go to the dentist than visit a car dealer.”

Building on findings from C Space’s annual Customer Quotient (CQ) study, the new Trusted Automotive Brand Study from automotive consultancy AMCI Inside has pinpointed the central issue. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Spotlight: Maintaining Brands Across Categories

February 27, 2017


Leveraging brands in new categories.

A national breakfast company struggled to extend a brand into a new category while still maintaining beloved brand attributes. The findings were used to strengthen the brand’s presence in the category and convince consumers of the brand’s commitment to its original attributes. (For full story, click on the link above.)

When to Consider Custom Market Research

February 8, 2017


In today’s rapidly evolving world, organizations must recognize new opportunities and threats and adapt quickly.

In order to stay ahead and make the right decisions, it is critical to turn to an objective third-party for industry analysis. Syndicated market research reports are a cost-effective option, but they may not always be specific enough to meet your needs — especially during high-stakes, “make or break” moments. Custom market research studies offer a more tailored solution to meet your unique objectives and provide the information needed to make important decisions with confidence. (For full story, click on the link above.)

When it Comes to Companies and Customers, What’s Love Got to Do With It?

December 15, 2016


Josh Barro, a correspondent at The New York Times, recently wrote in his column, Sorry, but Your Favorite Company Can’t Be Your Friend, about consumer love affairs with certain companies. And, of course, the anguish we feel when the relationship goes sour. (For full story, click on the link above.)

New Research Report Identifies Mobile Best Practices

December 14, 2016


A couple of weeks ago, the MMA published the 2015 Global Smarties Trends Report; the result of a collaboration between the MMA and Millward Brown. Based on case studies from the MMA’s Global Smarties Awards and Cannes Mobile Lions finalists (as well as those on the short list), the report identifies the characteristics of effective mobile advertising. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Behavioral Science: Broadway Flop or Long-Lasting Marketing Hit?

November 17, 2016


Last Monday BrainJuicer had the honor of chairing the IIEX Behavioral Marketing Forum in New York City. The day-long forum was held at the New World Studios, currently home to one of the longest running shows on and off Broadway: Avenue Q. In terms of drama and excitement, the forum surely left its 250 plus delegates no less energized than the musical itself.

avenue q

Joan Lewis, formerly head of Consumer Market Knowledge at Proctor & Gamble, kicked off the day by making an impassioned plea for the industry to move faster in ensuring that research methods keep up with all that the behavioral sciences have taught us about human decision- making. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Implicit Testing in Consumer Product Research

November 7, 2016


Product research is too often neglected by consumer product companies, who tend to invest disproportionate time and money on marketing and communication research.  At Q Research Solutions (Q) we believe that consumer product research is critically important to win market share. Great product research, allows you to understand consumer preferences and drivers and to develop superior products that consumers love and buy again and again. (For full story, click on the link above.)

4 Tips to Avoid Common Pitfalls in Creative Research

November 3, 2016


When it comes to creative development, it’s not uncommon for those in charge to get in the way of their own learnings. Between the overall vision, the briefings and presentations, and the execution itself, there are ample opportunities for your customer’s voice to get lost in the shuffle. That’s why GutCheck’s Millward Brown Partnership Director Deb Roberts and Online Research Strategist Katie Donatelli focused our latest webinar on the choices made by brand managers and stakeholders alike while conducting market research for creative. Below are some tips they explored in the webinar for avoiding common decision-making missteps that keep brands from achieving the actionable consumer insights they need to craft powerful creative. (For full story, click on the link above.)

The Political Environment on Social Media

October 25, 2016


Some users enjoy the opportunities for political debate and engagement that social media facilitates, but many more express resignation, frustration over the tone and content of social platforms.

A new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults finds that political debate and discussion is indeed a regular fact of digital life for many social media users, and some politically active users enjoy the heated discussions and opportunities for engagement that this mix of social media and politics facilitates. But a larger share expresses annoyance and aggravation at the tone and content of the political interactions they witness on these platforms. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Client-Side Researchers Share Go-to Methodologies

October 24, 2016


Quirk’s is always interested in hearing what research methods – quant or qual – client-side market researchers find most useful in their day-to-day work. It helps them get a better sense of the topics their readers are most interested in and reveals trends throughout the industry. They also believe that their readers benefit from knowing what’s popular and how your peers are effectively using a diverse set of tools. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Global Market Research Prices Fall

October 21, 2016


Prices for market research fell between 2014 and 2016 according to the latest Esomar Global Prices Study. Average prices quoted by full service agencies for the 20 Week Tracking Study show that across all methods, the cost of research has fallen since 2014, and for face-to-face and online research costs are cheaper in 2016 than in 2010. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Industry Awards…and the Recipients Are…

October 20, 2016


Each year, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) honors survey, opinion and marketing research professionals for exemplary work in areas such as innovation, leadership, commitment and service to the profession and MRA. These award-winning professionals inspire and challenge colleagues, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and extend their work beyond their day-to-day company priorities. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Don’t Be Afraid to Flood Your Social Feed

October 19, 2016


There’s still a lot of debate when it comes posting frequency on social. But Chris Rackliffe, director of social media & brand partnerships at Entertainment Weekly, doesn’t think you should limit your posts if you have engaging content.

For instance, on Instagram alone, EW is posting upwards of 20 photos a day—the brand has seen its most interactions on the photo-sharing app. Rackliffe believes readers have a much higher metabolism for information on social than might have previously been believed. This has been the general consensus with Twitter, but Instagram posts are becoming more and more ephemeral as well. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Research Repackaged

October 3, 2016


Market research is in the throes of an identity crisis, and one that has been building for some time, but is it our own fault asks Ginny Monk.

These days even the term “market research” seems to be becoming unfashionable among clients and agencies, with an increasing number of suppliers actively eschewing the term on websites and marketing collateral.

Now it seems more fashionable, particularly with younger research agencies, to call ourselves “strategic insights” or “consumer insights” businesses. Let’s get it straight, there’s absolutely no problem with this shift; “insights” are the ultimate goal of research, and being “strategic” suggests a more long-term and consultative relationship. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Innovation Month: Innovation In A Change-Phobic World

October 4, 2016


Sometimes it takes a huge event to make people look at their assumptions in a new light. Taken by surprise by the EU Referendum and Brexit, British marketers have had to think carefully about how well they knew the people they were selling to. And, as a fascinating new study by the Futures Company points out, it’s not just a British thing. All over Europe and beyond there are vast groups of consumers who feel a sense of loss in the face of change, and respond strongly to the familiar. (For full story, click on the link above.)

The Data Digest: Do You Know Your New Technology Buyer?

October 6, 2016


For years, technology purchasing has been moving away from a central IT approach and into the business. Forrester Data shows that in North American enterprises, 73% of technology spending is either business-led or the business provides significant input into IT’s purchase — up from 71% last year.

Clearly times have changed when it comes to technology purchasing, and business decision-makers (BDMs) are more critical to the process than ever. For example, North American enterprise BDMs reserve 41% of their respective budgets for technology purchases and expect to increase their total spend by 5% over the next year.(For full story, click on the link above.)

Monthly Dose of Design: Step by Step Guide to Achieving Visual Hierarchy for Non-designers

October 7, 2016


Creating Visual Hierarchy: Before you start the process, ask yourself: what is it that you’re trying to convey? What are the most, less and least important things on the page that you want to show? (For full story, click on the link above.)

Net Promoter Scores Net Nothing for Utilities

September 26, 2016


As utilities continue to evaluate customer measurement scores, the most debated one I hear is regarding Net Promoter ScoresSM (NPS®). Promoters of the theory say that if a customer states he or she would recommend a company, then that company would benefit from a loyal customer base and third-party recommendations. For a retail company where customers can select a vendor, this makes perfect sense. Detractors of the measurement doubt NPS’s applicability to a monopoly where there is no choice but to use a utility for service. It is like recommending someone should use electricity. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Millennials Pessimism Could Spell Trouble For The U.S. Housing Market

August 26, 2016


A study out this week from national realtor Redfin shows worry about affordability is growing more predominant among home buyers, but the fear is more acute among young people.

Just over 28% of buyers said they were most worried that “prices are rising or are too high,” the largest percentage to cite this concern in more than a year, according to the Redfin survey, which was conducted in August and includes more than 1,800 home buyers. Among millennials — buyers 35 and younger — 32.5% said affordability is a big concern. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Dating App Data Reveals What Successful Men And Women Really Want


It’s common knowledge that dating apps are changing the way people meet up and form relationships. New data from The League, a selective dating app for highly-educated, successful professionals, offers a glimpse of what the elites in the dating pool look for in a partner, and how they go about pursuing them.

The startup has raised about  $2.3 million dollars and is currently only available to users in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. (For full story, click on the link above.)

The Real Value of $100 in Each State


This map shows the real value of $100 in each state. Prices for the same goods are often much cheaper in states like Missouri or Ohio than they are in states like New York or California. As a result, the same amount of cash can buy you comparatively more in a low-price state than in a high-price state.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has been measuring this phenomenon for two years now; it recently published its data for prices in 2014. Using this data, we have adjusted the value of $100 to show how much it buys you in each state. (For full story, click on the link above.)

65% Of Execs See IoT As Advantage, 71% Want To Learn More

August 2, 2016


Business leaders around the world are showing interest in the Internet of Things.

Almost three quarters (71%) of business executives now say they want to learn about the value IoT can drive for their company, according to a new study.

The 2016 IoT Trends Survey by the Internet of Things Institute, which comprised a survey of more than 900 business executives around the world, found that more than half (65%) of executives say organizations currently utilizing IoT have a significant advantage.

The majority (62%) also expect that IoT will grow significantly within the next five years.  (For full story, click on the link above.)

Retail vs. Enterprise IoT – The Game Changing Trend

August, 2016


We live in a world filling up every day with sensors, beacons, and signals about ourselves, our houses, our cars and more.  It seems like everything we touch sends data to someone somewhere in the world.

We love the physicality of putting on a watch or a Fitbit or checking our temperature via a new app on our phone.  This is cool, but it represents only the beginning of a much more important trend.

These examples of “retail IoT” are actually powering the more important, longer-term trend of “enterprise IoT”. It’s why, in my view, the smartest technology companies in the world will someday be great in both understanding mobile and the enterprise.  It won’t be either/or.  Here are the key trends I see as driving this change. (For full story, click on the link above.)

2016 GOP and Democrat Platforms Hit on Some MRA Issues and Miss on Others

July 29, 2016


The major party campaign platforms for 2016 reflect some of the concerns of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession.

The Marketing Research Association (MRA) appealed to both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Republican National Committee (RNC) on June 17 to focus in their 2016 presidential platforms on breaking down foreign digital trade barriers, and to modernize regulations regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, consumer data security, and consumer data privacy. MRA also led a coalition of business groups on June 27 in asking both parties to support the decennial Census and American Community Survey (ACS)

Results were mixed. (For full story, click on the link above.)

In-Store Screens Read Faces To Deliver Targeted Content

July 29, 2016


Imagine if — based solely on what the camera on the screen you’re looking at sees in your face — the first sentence of a story like this is different for you than it is for that frowning non-Millennial male in the corner office.

Although our smartphones, PCs and TVs can’t yet read our genders, ages and emotions to deliver targeted content, that time is already here, as you know if you happened by the Samsung booth at the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show in Manhattan earlier this year.

Fully Aware and Responsive In-Store Technology (FARIS), embodied in a system called eyeQinsights, was on display there in a demonstration that enticed passersby with four different lifestyle images depending on whether the target was male or female and older or younger than about 35. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Pokémon GO Shows Where Gamification Is Going Wrong

July 26, 2016


Sectors ranging from banking to retail are drawing lessons from the success of Pokémon GO, a global media and marketing phenomenon. Closer to home, this location-based, augmented reality mobile game provides four clear learnings for the burgeoning gamification app and pure gaming sectors. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Nichols Research Gets a New Look in San Francisco, Announces Two Key Promotions & Is Expanding Its Fresno Office and Company Website

July 22, 2016

Nichols Research, a full-service marketing research firm specializing in major emerging industry methodologies and offering marketing research recruiting and facilities in four northern California locations, has just completed a remodel of their flagship office in San Francisco’s financial district.

Additionally, effective July 14, 2016, the Company announced the promotion of Grace La Mer to vice president of compliance and Sami Biggs to vice president of operations. Grace was previously the vice president of operations, while Sami was previously the senior director of marketing research and training. Each has 15+ years of experience in the marketing research industry, thus are primed to continue positioning the new Nichols Research for maximum quality and growth, ultimately resulting in more effective decision making for its clients.

“With the promotions of such strategic-minded team members – who are perfectly aligned with the vision set by the new partners of Nichols Research – combined with the just-completed remodel of our San Francisco office, ever-expanding Website and the addition of almost 2,000 square feet for call center and administrative space in Fresno,” said President, Amy Shields, PRC, “our research partners can continue to expect positive changes that afford the opportunity for their research experience to be even more welcoming and smooth from start-to-finish.”

Consumers Still Gun-Shy With Spending

July 22, 2016


The lingering effects of the depressed economy still have U.S. consumers less likely to amass unnecessary debt, more likely to save, and more reluctant to spend.

The result is the prospect of a more financially sound—but also less financially optimistic—consumer, according to market research firm Packaged Facts in the report Consumer Banking and Borrowing: U.S. Market Trends(For full story, click on the link above.)

Apple Watch Sales Plunge 55% As Samsung Doubles Market Share: Report

July 22, 2016


For the first time ever, the worldwide smartwatch market saw a year-over-year decline of 32%, according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC). (For full story, click on the link above.)

All Purchase Decisions Are Made By People

July 20, 2016


According to a paper by Gavin Finn, president & CEO of Kaon Interactive, posted by Chief Marketer, B2C and B2B marketers must look at both the macro and micro forces that are shaping the behavior of their audiences, along with the increasingly rapid pace of technological change.

To understand how to drive interesting and exciting discoveries and innovations in almost every personal, business, and public policy arena, the paper identifies primary sentiments of populations in many markets. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Blood, Sweat and Brands

July 19, 2016


Building and activating a brand that is relevant, interesting and that customers want to engage with is more vital than ever. Success relies on the way all elements connect across audience, platform and channel to drive results. Here are five trends that some of the most successful brands are realizing in order to thrive. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Most Businesses See Data As Main IoT Benefit, Eye Security Challenges

July 19, 2016


With the Internet of Things comes a flood of data to be analyzed.

Some businesses see the onslaught of Big Data as a potential benefit, while others cite it along with security as an area of concern.

More than half (56%) of businesses say Big Data analytics is the main benefit of utilizing IoT technologies and 56% also say security is the top technical challenge, according to a new report. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Numbers v. Facts — What To Do When You Really Need To Know

July 18, 2016


Anyone who has taken a course in statistics should understand that numbers are not the same as facts. Anyone who has experienced a misadventure in either Big Data analysis or online surveys should know this. Are all of the key components represented in the calculation of a number? Are the data accurate? If not, what if anything does a number mean? (For full story, click on the link above.)

New NTIA Facial Recognition Best Practices Advance Research and Consumer Privacy

June 30, 2016


A new set of industry best practices for protecting consumer privacy in facial recognition technology, resulting from a multi-stakeholder process overseen by a federal government agency, will advance privacy safeguards while also carving out most research and analytics uses of the technology. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Compelling Pitches Need No Algorithm

June 30, 2016


OK, I get it. Programmatic ads are becoming “more human, seamless, efficient, and easy to digest,” as Millward Brown predicted they would. There’s no stopping the algorithms.

But there’s still a lot of life yet in that most effective form of storytelling: the clever product demonstration, which predates W.C. Fields pitching a cure for hoarseness by several millennia.

Take the guy with the thick Yonkers accent handing out samples of Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai & Blueberry Flavors candy from an end-aisle cart at my local Costco. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Big Data: Start with Baby Steps

June 22, 2016


What does matter most to marketers, the answer is social media; if it’s what should matter most, the answer is better, cleaner, richer transaction data. The former is so sexy and intriguing and makes it much more interesting to be a marketer, but it really doesn’t matter as much as we think it does. The latter is boring but is so very important. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Social Intelligence Is Changing Market Research

May 18, 2016


We’ve heard it 100 times: “We’re targeting millennials.” Really? What does millennial even mean? Google tells us; “There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

So you’re targeting anyone from 10 years old to 34 years old? As a marketer, is it really effective to categorize people by something as vague as “millennials” when social data makes possible incredible insights from identifying buying signals to deeply understanding a person’s drivers and values? (For full story, click on the link above.)

Responses in TCPA Court Appeal: Elaborating the Legal Case Against New FCC Rules

February 18, 2016


The latest round of briefs in the court challenge of the new Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restrictions on telephone research were filed on February 16, responding to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent defense of those rules. (For full story, click on the link above.)

This Beer Was Brewed Using Tweets

February 15, 2016


…it seems the great virtual connectivity tool has yet another way to improve our lives—this time with booze. A British marketing company has just created a craft beer using data collected from thousands of social media posts. We may have reached peak Millennial. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Retail vs. Enterprise IoT – The Game Changing Trend

February, 2016


We live in a world filling up every day with sensors, beacons and signals about ourselves, our houses, our cars and more.  It seems like everything we touch sends data to someone somewhere in the world. (For full story, click on the link above.)

2016 Trends to Watch in Marketing Research Hiring

January 27, 2016


From new shopping and purchasing behaviors, to an increasing dependence on technology, to changing health and wellness trends, all of these, and more, have directly impacted companies and the marketing researchers within them. (For full story, click on the link above.)

Predicted Market Research Trends for 2016

January 4, 2016


What trends should market researchers expect in 2016? To find out, a variety of executives and thought leaders were asked to share their predictions for the coming year. Sources include industry veterans at established firms, as well as a number of innovative entrepreneurs. (For full story, click on the link above.)