CAPABILITIES

Evolve's capabilities give you confidence you are making the best possible decisions for your organization. We do this by providing a full range of research solutions, and we customize everything to meet your unique needs.

We offer both qualitative and quantitative research methods, including traditional and online focus groups, mini groups, telephone surveys, online surveys and in-depth one-on-one interviews. But those are just a few ways we gather information - the most important part is what we do with the data.

It's our job to deliver you the understanding, not just the numbers. In fact, we feel it is our duty (as well as our pleasure) to help you understand and use the information. Without that, what's the point?

  • CUSTOM RESEARCH

    There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to research. Each study is developed from start to finish with only your objectives in mind. We pull from a number of methodologies to deliver quality results you can use immediately.

  • WEBSITE USABILITY TESTING

    You don’t have much time to deliver information on your website before the user goes elsewhere. At any stage of development, making sure your website is as usable as it is pretty is one of the best investments you can make.

  • ADVERTISING & MESSAGE TESTING

    Why do most marketing efforts fall flat? Because the right messages didn’t reach the right audience. Evolve eliminates that risk by testing your creative and/or messages before you launch. Follow up testing after a campaign will measure effectiveness and help you improve.

  • Data Visualization

    Who loves ya, baby? Who doesn't? You need to know. Word-of-mouth can translate into greater profitability, or disaster if not managed correctly. What people say about you and your industry via social media is honest and important and we don't want anyone missing out on the conversation.

  • COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS

    Wouldn’t life be better if you knew what your competition was up to? Not that we have a seat in their boardrooms, but we do have the keen ability to analyze your competition’s marketing efforts and show you how they compare to yours.

  • RETURN ON INVESTMENT ANALYSIS

    Marketing spending can be high. Evolve uses your historical and present data and primary and secondary research to statistically measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. By knowing how the elements of your marketing plan work together, you know how to plan smarter for future investments.

  • EMPLOYEE & CUSTOMER LOYALTY

    Without happy employees and customers, you don’t have a business. Satisfaction and loyalty studies are the truest forms of research, and we take them very seriously. There are many creative ways to gather this insight, all of which will teach you more about serving your most important audiences.

  • AWARENESS & REPUTATION RESEARCH

    Everyone would like to know the scoop on their own reputation. Evolve’s awareness and reputation audit takes the guesswork out of brand management. The most important thing you have is your brand, so make sure you know everything there is to know about it.

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Blog

05-17-19

Obtain better data with open-ended questions

Asking open-ended questions in your online surveys is a good idea for many reasons. Ultimately, they allow people to respond in their own words, providing color and richness to the data that helps tell the story behind the numbers. Open-ended responses, commonly known as verbatim in marketing research, also aid data quality and integrity, allowing us to identify respondents who did not take the survey seriously.

To effectively make use of open-ends, you need to find the best point in the survey to place them. One of our favorites is asking a follow-up "Why did you give that rating?" to our client's Net Promoter Score (NPS). Marketers use NPS to benchmark their brand over time and also to measure themselves against competitors, but the real power comes from the follow-up open-end. By asking respondents to explain their rating, we uncover the reasons why Promoters love the brand and why Detractors would not recommend it.

Open-ended data is unstructured in nature - the information can't be interpreted quantitatively until we provide structure. To do this, we read and code every single verbatim response. Many researchers rely on computer software to sort the responses into buckets quickly; however, Evolve prefers the old-fashioned approach of manually viewing each answer which allows us to understand the data intimately and apply context when interpreting the responses.

Manually reading each response also helps us identify cheaters - those who sped through the survey without answering truthfully or carefully. If a respondent skips the opens or provides "throw-away" answers, there's a good chance the rest of the data is low quality as well. It's one more tool in our arsenal to ensure the highest quality data and responses.

As with all questions in your survey, use open-ends strategically. We recommend asking just 2-3 opens, as they take longer to answer than multiple choice or rating questions. Too many opens will frustrate respondents and negatively impact data quality. Asking specific questions is crucial, as they will give you much richer responses than a generic "additional comments" that many surveys employ.

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05-02-19

Audio Branding - Sound as a Marketing Tool

Besides being a research nerd, I'm also a sound nerd, and I love everything audio. I have a small project recording studio, and I once spent an entire afternoon recording my dogs crunching on cheese puffs (Daisy had the superior crunch).

I'm obsessed with the podcast, 20,000Hz, which focuses on nothing but sound.

I recently listened to an episode which dealt with how the automobile industry uses sound in some exciting ways to facilitate the perception of a vehicle.

Imagine you're purchasing a vehicle. All of those initial touchpoints play an essential role in your decision to buy that vehicle. One of your first experiences with a potential purchase is to sit in the driver's seat, close the door and take a test-drive. At that very moment, audio branding comes into play.

Gaskets on the door determine whether the door closes with a satisfying "thunk" or a displeasing "crack." Of course, the more expensive the vehicle, the more "thunky" the gasket. It's not necessarily reflective of the quality of the door, but it is everything to do with the perception of a quality experience.

I found it particularly interesting that the advances in car build-quality can harm how we perceive the brand of a vehicle. These days vehicles are incredibly insulated to reduce road and engine noise to give us a quiet and comfortable ride. However, for powerful vehicles that might unfavorably alter our perception of that brand. Would you feel like you were in a high-powered muscle car if you couldn't hear or feel it?

Engineers have to go to severe lengths to re-introduce engine noise back into vehicle cabins. Seriously - they have to re-inject the car with the sound that they've tried so hard to eliminate! But here's the wild part - the engine noise isn't just piped back into the vehicle. The noise is edited - a product of an audio engineer who has simulated and synthesized the perfect sounding, butt-rumbling V8 without any nasty artifacts or unsoundly (wait, spellcheck, that's a word?) noises. But that's audio branding. Is a muscle car a muscle car if there is nobody around to hear it?

Ultimately, just like anything else, the more you pay, the higher the perceived return. The more expensive the vehicle, the nicer everything sounds - from the clunk of the door, the ping of the unfastened seat-belt warning to the tick-tock of the blinker. Higher-end cars sound nicer. Period.

As we move toward relatively silent-rolling electric vehicles, how does that impact the unassuming pedestrian? If something is soundlessly creeping along, how do we know to avoid it? The answer might be this: simulate engine noise and project it outwards - so people can hear your quiet car approaching. The practicality of noiseless vehicles certainly is not without its challenges.

If any of this is interesting, I urge you to check out the 20,000hz podcast: 60 plus episodes, 20 mins each, 100% fascinating.

If you're interested in the role sound plays in accessibility, user experience, and interface feedback then shoot us an email or give us a call - we're long-standing measurers of user experience and interface design.SEE MORE