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It might not be the flying cars we’ve been promised since forever, but Google is working on augmented reality. What’s that you ask? Watch the video below and you’ll see. It’s takes the functionality of your mobile phone and puts it into a seamless heads up display you use while walking around town. Philip K Dick might recognize this future…

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QR Codes have been around for a while but adoption in the US has been slow. In South Korea, where they’ve caught on, the grocer Tesco has figured out how to combine QR codes, mobile phones, and downtime to make day-to-day lives better. What did they do? Tesco figured out that in the busy lives of Koreans, grocery shopping was a dreaded chore that sucked away their free time. So, by placing QR codes in a previously unproductive space (subway stations) with displays that mirror grocery displays, the retailer was able to grow market share without adding stores.

The brief video below shows how they leveraged a mix of technology, market insights, and strategy to rebrand themselves and provide people with a solution that actually made their lives better.

Much like adding water to micro-ground beans to produce instant coffee, adding questions to quick-collection survey methods promises an immediate boost (of data), yet still involves its crashes. Snail mail surveys may be a thing of the past as a result of this new push for data gratification. These days, researchers and data collectors have the ability to meet survey participants right where they are, at home and on the go. Survey data can be collected and “analyzed” more quickly than ever due to technological and social improvements. The two most recent, popular methods of receiving immediate questionnaire feedback are (what I like to call) social media implantation surveys and mobile phone surveys.

Social media implantation surveys are a way of reaching potential survey participants while they are interacting with online sites and may have a few minutes to share an opinion. Given the foreknowledge of where to locate potentially millions of survey participants, social media sample collectors have crawled out of the woodwork after building up their databases. As a social media sample collector we recently met with explained, many internet gaming sites require gamers to pay with virtual money or points to play games online. Sample collectors realized this fact and have teamed up with gaming sites to offer virtual dollars for online surveys. The survey is seamlessly implanted into the participant’s page and can be accessed through a quick link. After completing the survey, participants get paid in virtual dollars and continue their gaming experience instantly.

The cost benefit – virtual world means virtual money, meaning costs in the real world are typically lower than in the average quantitative roll-out. The drawback here is simply this – these methods capture mostly general respondent types, meaning “a woman” or “an 18-year-old who uses Facebook”. The depth is lost when trying to reach buyers who may have more complex behavioral or psychographical reasoning for purchasing a product or service. Participants with more than one or two unique qualifications such as “moms who work at Wal-Mart and have two kids” will still have to be recruited intentionally by a skilled sample sourcer.


When it comes to mobile phone surveying, the benefits and pitfalls are split almost equally. The sample is usually gathered from a company database, eradicating the middle-man. This manner of cutting corners is a time saver to surveyors, but is going to be an issue for sample collectors who rely on old-fashioned methods to gather survey participants. Another downside to this type of survey is that, yet it is ideal for quick polls and opinion surveys, more logical or lengthy surveys are just not practical. So far the most advanced method of collecting and analyzing this data is by way of exportation to an Excel file. All in all, these two methods may make for a quick and dirty source of information, but ultimately they still serve as a companion to in-depth surveys that require hand-chosen participants. The last thing we researchers want to do is skimp on data quality even if it means getting results a little bit slower.

Well, maybe not an app but a text will certainly suffice. According to a recent study by Boston-based marketing research firm, Cone, nearly 13 percent of Americans ponied up the money for Haitian relief assistance via a text donation. While this number may seem like small potatoes, Cone says that it is actually an indicator of the building traction of the “text-to-give” trend.The new percentile, acquired through a brief two-question online survey held in February 2010, represents a 100 percent jump in text donations in comparison to Cone’s 2009 Consumer New Media Study where only six percent of adults reported donating to any cause via mobile phone in a 12-month period of time.
With the impressive success rate of the recent text relief fund – the American Red Cross raised more than $32 million during the aid campaign for Haiti- organizations are taking note and striving to change the face of charity. A new campaign revealed during the Super Bowl by the United Way is a clear indicator of future text-to-give marketing strategies as philanthropic organizations implore cell phone users to use their digits for the greater good.

Radio ratings firm Arbitron has mapped the penetration of cellphone-only households down to the local market level. Click to read more

Radio ratings firm Arbitron has mapped the penetration of cellphone-only households down to the local market level. Click to read more.