Introducing BuzzBack’s Concept Accelerator

Wish there were a more rapid and affordable way to better predict concept success? And one that adapts to today’s mobile-tethered connected consumer?

Introducing Concept AcceleratorTM. A fresh, new approach from BuzzBack for rapid concept screening, optimization & accuracy.

Love App-tually

Are you ready for the most romantic holiday of the year?  If you’re still looking for love or the perfect way to express how you feel, consider yourself lucky! This season, Love Hearts®, a popular Valentine’s Day staple, will have a few new phrases added to the mix. Fourteen phrases were chosen as part of a contest this year to celebrate the candy’s 60th anniversary and to help them stay up-to-date with how people choose to communicate. Winning phrases – including ‘YOLO,’ ‘Take a Selfie,’ and ‘Swipe Right’ – will definitely help the confection stay current with today’s lingo.

And if you’re just not sure what ‘Swipe Right’ means, allow us to explain. Tinder is a mobile matchmaking app that uses location tracking to show you profile pictures of people in your area. You swipe right if you like what you see, left if you don’t. Among Millennials, Tinder is currently very popular. In fact, our recent Valentine’s Day BuzzPoll found that for one-third of Millennials, Tinder is their most favorite or most used app. They express appreciation for Tinder’s casual approach: it’s easy to meet local match-ups and there is a large variety of men/women to browse through – unsurprising, given the app’s current popularity.

OKCupid, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, and Coffee Meets Bagel are also deemed Millennial favorites in our study. You might be asking, how do Millennials choose which matchmaking service is right for them?  We found that unique reasons for preference started to surface for each app. For example, OKCupid is preferred for its user-friendly interface and for being easy to use and understand. Long-term relationship seekers appear to gravitate towards eHarmony, with a handful saying their system is realistic – asking detailed questions before matching you up – and users feel it has the most potential for success.

We also found that the majority of apps mentioned are favored for being free. Then it got us wondering, how are these online dating sites making money? A little digging helped us discover that while most of these matchmaking apps and websites provide free options, they currently generate revenue through a combination of brand advertising and paid upgrades or memberships. Like most websites and apps, Tinder is completely free – except for a new, less popular option called Tinder Plus. Both options have  yet to allow brands to openly use their app for advertising purposes; and, with its widely popular status among Millennials, this is making some brands a bit anxious.

Earlier last year, Tinder employed experimental advertising through profiles for Domino’s Pizza and the U.S. TV show, “The Mindy Project.” Most recently, Gillette teamed up with Tinder to test out the theory that ladies prefer men with well-maintained facial hair (as opposed to unkempt beards). However, this approach was not considered traditional advertising and was not purchased through ad inventory on the Tinder platform.

While Tinder keeps toying with the idea of raking in advertising revenue, it has yet to settle on a strategy. So for all those brands out there that may want to strike up a relationship with Tinder in hopes of getting in front of the Millennial audience, you’ll just have to wait. Tinder’s just not that into you… yet.

For more info, click here or scroll below to see how Millennials these days are using online dating apps to find ‘Love App-tually.’


Photo credit: Love Hearts®


BuzzBack BuzzPoll Millennials Valentines Day FINAL

Connecting to Couple Up

According to a study conducted by Edible Arrangements in 2014, it appears that Millennials have limited interest and investment in Valentine’s Day – finding it less romantic and more inclusive of friends and family. In recent years, the holiday has become seemingly more platonic than sentimental. However, with the Internet boom and rise of social media platforms, this group has the capability and means to connect with others quickly, and – do we dare say – even personally.

It is no surprise then, that a generation so fixated and dependent on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, has turned to dating sites/apps for when they are looking for that romantic connection. So much so, that these apps have gained a noticeable amount of popularity. We at BuzzBack were curious to see which mobile dating apps reigned among the digital savvy, so we asked 200 single, U.S. Millennials to find out where they go to look for “love”.

One interesting stat we found? At least 4 in 10 Millennials have used Tinder, OkCupid,, and/or eHarmony before, with nearly one-third saying that Tinder is their favorite or most used app. Interestingly, Millennials chose their favorite apps based on ease of use, convenience, and efficiency rather than success rates. So while Millennials overall are supposedly less romantic on February 14th, perhaps finding love via digital means has changed their perception of this “Hallmark holiday”.

Want to learn more from this study? Stay tuned for the full infographic from this year’s Valentine’s Day BuzzPoll!

Mobile Limitations

I remember the first time I met with Gayle Fuguitt, CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation. It was at an ARF Research Impact Forum last fall and she told us her story about how she shifted 85% of General Mills’ research to the internet in one year. I was really impressed. And she concluded her talk by saying that what she experienced with the switch to online, is what we might experience with mobile today.

But can we really switch 85% of online research to mobile? I am not so sure.

Mobile research is great to capture reactions on-the-spot, to get visuals (video, audio, photo), to track respondents, to get quick answers, to get high response rates, to reach people in some countries with high mobile penetration but low level of computer literacy, etc. But can we really ask anything on mobile? Can we get the same type of data?

At BuzzBack, more and more of our projects include a mobile component and most of our surveys could technically be taken on mobile devices. But, there are some limitations and we might not be able to switch everything we are doing online to mobile, particularly to mobile phones. Simply optimizing surveys to fit on a smaller screen as suggested by this recent article in CNN is just not enough.  How can you evaluate a print ad on a phone screen? Will people be ready to answer a 30-question survey on their phone screen? What will happen to open ended responses? Most likely, they’ll become more concise and less like the rich, verbal feedback we are used to getting. As we previously mentioned, we have to be considerate of mobile technology’s limitations.

Certainly, as a researcher we will find ways to address some of the issues and think outside of the box to increase the use of mobile in market research, but how much of online research will really move to mobile?


Everybody’s Doing It… Are You Unplugging?

I love technology. I love it because it usually represents the latest and greatest and because it oftentimes makes our lives easier. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a full-fledged tech junkie, but I definitely lean that way. For example, for TV and movies, I don’t have cable or a DVD player, I have an Apple TV and a Roku. For reading, I have an original Nook and a Nook color. For internet access I prefer to use my iPad or my iPhone. I also love web-based technology like social media. I’ll try any social networking service at least once or twice to see if I like it.

However, about a month ago I deactivated the mother of all social media sites, my Facebook account. It had started to take over my life and not in a good way. My online self needed a break from all the trolling, the political discourse, the humblebrags, the complainers, the ‘woe is me’ attention seekers and the constant need to interact with as many people just so you can keep your news feed diverse. And you know what?  It feels like a huge weight has been lifted. I’m no longer obsessively checking my phone to see what everyone else is up to. By disconnecting or unplugging, I feel like I have more time for myself to do whatever I want.

Funnily enough, according to everything I’ve been reading lately, this is the new cool thing to do. I first heard about unplugging at an ARF Young Pros event where MTV Insights presented their study on younger Millennials (14-17 year olds). They noted that, “young Millennials have a unique relationship with technology. Unlike older Millennials who were pioneers in the “Wild West” of social media, today’s young Millennials are “tech homesteaders” – savvier about how to use technology, interested in building “gated” groups, curating, filtering and choosing to selectively unplug.” 

This isn’t something that only younger generations are doing either. Ariana Huffington (Huffington Post) and Mika Bzrezinski (Morning Joe) have been talking about unplugging to achieve living a fuller life by redefining success through their 3rd Metric campaign and events. Mika actually admitted to working on her smartphone and taking phone calls while running a half marathon. Wow! And I recently learned that the need to unplug has been given it’s own day of recognition called the National Day of Unplugging, of which the Huffington Post is a media sponsor. Every year, from sundown to sundown on the first Friday in March pledges will be made to unplug.

And just this morning as I was reading my March 2014 issue of Quirks, I came across takeaways from Mintel’s 2014 Consumer Trends Report where they gathered that consumers will become conscious “of the need to unplug, simplify and reconnect with the world around them.”

So, do you unplug? Think you might start? While I love the idea of unplugging for a whole day, I’m not sure I’d be able to unless it became a real National Holiday where I wouldn’t have to go to work. But, just like deactivating Facebook, there are other ways I choose to unplug like phone stacking. If I’m at a restaurant with my husband or friends, we stack our phones so that we aren’t constantly checking them. Are there ways that you choose to digitally detox? I’d love to hear how, comment below.


The Mobile Paradox

I recently read a great article in Quirks about the four stages of mobile readiness. There is a lot of talk about compatibility and layout of the survey since it obviously would be incredibly difficult for me to answer a grid question with  a 10-point scale on my iPhone. But I think what was more important, and nice to see mentioned, is the idea that the content of the survey itself may have to change. A grid question might be something your client has used in all their past surveys, and they are concerned about maintaining their norms database. If that is the case, you may ask yourself what is more important to me? The norms, or delivering this survey on a mobile device? I’m sure there are situations in which either one of these could be the correct answer.

I think also interesting to point out is that we have to be considerate of mobile technology’s limitations. Computing was on a trajectory of getting more complex, with multimedia and interactive experiences being delivered at higher and higher speeds. However, on a mobile device, you are limited by compatibility (think about all those flash-based tools that you can’t use) and connectivity (will your respondent always have a strong, fast connection?). In other words, as we get more advanced on mobile, we may actually be forced to simplify our surveys in order to ensure delivery. While at first that strikes me as quite the paradox, having to simplify things to keep up with advancing technology, it really is following the trend. These days people want simple. I can’t really change much about my iPhone, but that is precisely why I like it (I’m sure my Android users out there are scoffing). Everyone is moving toward simplicity; fewer bells and whistles in favor of functionality and ease of use. Do you think it is time for online MR to take the same path?