Posted on October 24, 2012 · Posted in New Technologies

I was getting nostalgic recently when I encountered an article that I was amazed to find was written four years ago.   At that time, GEM Research Solutions was the first market research company to create, implement and produce revenue with a virtual focus group facility in Second Life.  We were proud to use this new and exciting technology for many unique research projects for various companies worldwide.

What we found was that our most frequent partner was not from the US but rather from Amsterdam.  We found more projects coming from outside of this country that from our domestic clients.  There seemed to be more of an openness on the part of international companies to reach a multi country and online audience than from companies on our shores.

Although our efforts have always consisted of the more traditional qual research methods such as focus groups, executive interviews and IDIs, we still pride ourselves on the work we’ve done recently using social networks and on mobile.  We still believe that technology will change the way research will be conducted.

We’re still surprised by the reluctance of more American businesses to embrace these new technologies for research purposes.

Too often we find that many corporate researchers rely on the “tried and true” methods of research.  Sure they get the results that the companies need (thank goodness for the many high quality research firms out there), but I wonder if there should be more of a focus and “push” from those in the corporate market research groups to motivate research companies to implement new technology tools in the search for new methods of gaining the most honest and relevant insights from people.

I’m enthused by our clients’ interest in such things as online bulletin boards, Linked In surveys and using Twitter to gain point of sale and point of decision feedback.  I hope to see more of it.

That’s why I feel heartened and not frustrated when I look back nostalgically on an article that was written about a research project we conducted at our Second Life center (the iAsk Center) for a client four years ago.  I invite you to read the article, which details the experience of the writer, Leslie Carothers as she has a “head spinner” and research experience that she will “never forget”.

Click on link here for the article by Leslie Carothers.

About the Author

Jack Tatar, CEO and President of Research, brings over 20 years of experience in the retail, entertainment, and financial services to GEM’s research services. He is a frequent speaker at conferences ranging from customer relationship management, innovative market research approaches and marketing to the online consumer. Jack has also been featured in numerous publications, and has been involved in designing, developing and implementing award winning websites, working with start up businesses and coordinating numerous non profits.