Blog Articles

Accountability for Sustainability: Consumers Raising Their Standards

December 7, 2022

Just when grocery stores started thinking about how terrible their plastic bags are and Starbucks comes along with paper straws, Amazon shows up and says, “move out of the way, we’ve got boxes.” It’s kind of cliché, but have you ever come home from work, and seen 10 amazon boxes on your front porch? We Read more

How We Make YOUR Job Easier: An Interview with Kristen Ritz

November 22, 2022

            What do you do at MAi? “My roles are to identify and develop new business opportunities, as well as cultivate long-term relationships with our existing clients.” What are some questions new clients will ask you often? “For them, it’s understanding who we are, what we do in terms of Read more

MAi Research Blog: A Guide To Better Business Decisions One Week at a Time

November 11, 2022

MAi Research is constantly adapting to meet the client’s needs. Our goal is to make the research understandable, useful, and insightful. This means our clients will be able to take away direct action from our insights. See what we have been doing with THC beverages, product testing, and review research to be better partners with Read more

Is Product Testing a Risk?

November 8, 2022

  Taking a concept to product is like winning a long war. When an idea is realized into a physical product, it can feel like a success in itself. But that’s not how success is measured. Success is defined by product sales. Product Testing: Risk vs. Reward Product testing inherently does not have a risk Read more

It’s Going to Suck to be a Visual Artist in the Next Five Years

November 1, 2022

Artificial Intelligence and Art It’s just like we predicted. Robots are taking over. First, it was self-check-out at Wal-Mart and now they’re sending Banksy to an early retirement. You might think that’s hyperbole, but then you probably didn’t just lose a competition to an algorithm. Colorado State Fair’s Annual Art Competition Jason M. Allen won Read more

MAi October Monthly Recap

October 27, 2022

This October we launched our THC beverage initiative. This arena is exploding and we want to make sure that you are up to date on what is happening. Take a look at what we’ve discussed this month. Navigating the High Tides of THC Beverages Are your customers interested in THC beverages? Is that somewhere your Read more

A Discussion on the THC Beverage Space with MAi Research

October 19, 2022

Today we’re speaking with Bob Clark and Paula Nyfield from MAi Research, to discuss an emerging market: The THC Beverage Space. Who is MAi? Bob: MAi is really two companies: MAi Research, which does full-service market research globally, and Pathfinder Analytics, a dedicated advanced analytics company. Everything we do begins and ends with what it Read more

Navigating The High Tides of THC Beverages

October 5, 2022

Catch a buzz means something different as people are becoming more accustomed to friends and family using marijuana instead of alcohol. THC products and beverages are becoming more mainstream, and the stigma is wearing off. People openly discussing whether they prefer to catch a buzz with marijuana or alcohol is commonplace. Smoking may continue to Read more

MAi September Monthly Recap

October 3, 2022

September went by in a flash and Q4 is upon us! Here is a recap of our weekly blogs this month and what MAi has been up to! Fall Returns with Student Loan Reimbursement This coming month, people will be starting to apply for student loan reimbursement. A lot of people will be getting relief Read more

5 Industries Prioritizing Inclusivity and 1 You May Never Have Guessed!

September 29, 2022

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) are more than just HR programs within a company. DEI are standard practices that are integrated throughout all business practices. Some businesses in certain industries are taking this very seriously and have made efforts to improve their business for all their patrons. Fashion Industry A great example of a company Read more

Inclusivity: Beyond Gen Pop

September 27, 2022

The world is begging to adapt – to become more inclusive. How is our industry, and MAi Research, helping drive this in the right direction? What does DEI mean? The purpose of inclusivity isn’t just to check a box. Diversity isn’t just to fill a quota. Equity isn’t just to make everyone happy. Diversity, Equity, Read more

Are You Choosing the Right Partner for your Product Testing?

September 19, 2022

When a company undertakes a product test, there is a large upfront investment on their part to produce enough test product and get the product safely to their supplier. The return on this investment should be plentiful in accurate and actionable insights. Many research firms claim they conduct product testing, but buyer beware. If every Read more

Harvesting Better Insights by Mining Your Existing Data

September 13, 2022

Data are constantly being collected, whether it be concept or product tests, sales data, tracking data, review data, etc. Focusing on each data set individually drives decision-making for product and service marketing. Now, where does all those data go once a study is finished? It’s likely going to sit on a computer somewhere. In fact, Read more

Big Changes in Fall as Student Loans are Reimbursed

September 6, 2022

              Fall Returns with Student Loan Reimbursement on the Horizon In my household Fall hits like a natural disaster. September 1st comes, and my wife has pumpkins on the porch, pumpkin beer in the fridge, and pumpkin pie in the oven. Fall brings the return of football season and Read more

Employee Spotlight: Paul Egli

August 31, 2022

Paul Egli, Vice President of Pathfinder Analytics. Paul Egli has been paving the way in data analytics for almost three decades. He is a wealth of knowledge in this field not only for his clients but also his coworkers. He is always calm, cool, and collected, whether it be at work or halfway through a Read more

Psychology of a Reviewer

August 16, 2022

Are you a Reviewer? It takes a certain kind of person to sit down and write a review on a product without being paid. Most people (99.9% of consumers) read reviews before purchasing a product, but fewer people will take the time to sit down and write the product review themselves. Now, obviously I’m not Read more

Employee Spotlight: Paula Nyfield

August 9, 2022

Paula Nyfield, Executive Vice President strategically guiding clients from data to action, has long been a pillar at MAi Research. Paula works hard and plays hard, has high expectations but provides motivation. She spends time everyday bettering herself and the company. This month we’d like to share a brief interview with Paula that demonstrates why Read more

Our Industry is Awesome, but Challenges lie Ahead

August 2, 2022

Some notes and observations from last week’s Quirk’s NYC Conference Last week’s Quirk’s Conference serves as a reminder that we’re in a vibrant and ever-evolving industry that combines new techniques and technology with time-tested techniques, some of which have been around as long as our profession has been in existence. I was also reminded how Read more

Influencer Marketing: The Connection Between Brand and Customer

July 25, 2022

Social media marketing is a beast, but can it be tamed? 82% of the United States population is on social media today. That includes most businesses, small and big. There are an unlimited number of ways to market on social media, combining different strategies with different platforms. Influencer Marketing has been taking off the past Read more

Five Social Media Giants and How Marketing is Becoming Interactive

July 15, 2022

If I told you that the first social media website was called Six Degrees, you’d look at me like I had six heads. 1997 was the year of this first social media network, quickly followed by some names you may remember, Friendster in 2001, LinkedIn in 2002, and MySpace in 2003. By 2006 MySpace was Read more

Employee Spotlight: Rob Pascale

July 8, 2022

            Rob Pascale, the President of MAi Research and the Chief Analytics Officer of sister company Pathfinder Analytics, is not only our fearless leader but one of the most interesting people you will ever meet. The definition of a problem solver, he is inventive, enjoys a variety of the most Read more

Love ‘em or Hate ‘em: Brand Polarization

June 30, 2022

Batman or Spiderman? Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel? These are age old questions that friends and comic book lovers will passionately debate for years to come. If you don’t have people arguing about your show or your brand, it’s likely it won’t be one that is remembered. When Game of Thrones was airing on HBO Read more

Gas Price Increase Hits you in More Places than the Pump

June 23, 2022

Gas prices are at an all-time high and it seems as though they will continue soaring as the summer is upon us. The national average has finally made its way above $5.00. The price of gas doesn’t solely depend on cost per barrel of crude oil, but at $119 a barrel it’s certainly not helping. Read more

Is Any Publicity Good Publicity?

June 8, 2022

“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about..” – Oscar Wilde There’s no such thing as bad publicity, right? Well, maybe. Publicity used to be hard to come by before the internet. Now, everyone can have an opinion on your product and share Read more

Are You Ignoring Your Customers?

May 31, 2022

Imagine a pre-pandemic corporate office: cubicles, glass-walled offices, maskless people busy being busy. Now imagine that there’s a phone ringing somewhere in that office, non-stop, all day, every day. But no one ever answers it. It just keeps ringing plaintively, endlessly. Impossible, you say? No company would ever ignore an endlessly ringing phone? Don’t be Read more

Dangers of Complacency

May 18, 2022

As we get older, we tend to get attached to our comfortable routine. We find a way to do things that works for us. For example, my mother makes a great chicken cutlet. Matter of fact, she taught me how to make chicken cutlets. But, I use fresh parsley now and make my own breadcrumbs, Read more

Blood in the Water

May 6, 2022

“Our revenue growth has slowed considerably as our results and forecast below show,” Netflix writes in their Q1 Letter to Shareholders. Netflix lists FOUR reasons explaining the decreased growth: broadband viewing competition, households sharing passwords, increase in streaming competition, and geopolitical factors (i.e., Russia and COVID-19). Despite the significant losses in subscribers and huge downturn Read more

Top Five Grocery Trends for Summer 2022

April 27, 2022

As the temperature rises and COVID-19 restrictions continue to go the wayside, how are you preparing for Summer of 2022? Barbecues will be booming, pool parties prospering, and cookouts commencing. Shopping lists will be switching to beers and burgers, while roast and red wines will hibernate until the first sign of crisp cool air returns. Read more

Prices on everything are climbing.  What do businesses need to know now, and how do they flex to meet changing consumer priorities?

April 8, 2022

The Problem: Manufacturing costs across the board have been increasing as global commodity prices and the cost of labor increase.  Combined with supply chain issues, manufacturers’ profit margins are becoming strangled.  This has created the perfect storm for manufacturers who are already facing labor shortages and geo-political turmoil, negatively impacting post COVID recovery plans.  What Read more

Qualitative Data is a Quantitative Goldmine: Why Keep Cable?

January 21, 2022

The last time we delved into the streaming services marketplace we were exploring consumer sentiment towards the Marvel and Star Wars franchises. This time we’re going to focus on a group of people that may not be getting enough attention: consumers who subscribe to both a streaming service and a cable or satellite provider. Think Read more

Happy New Year 2022

December 30, 2021

To all our colleagues, partners, and loyal clients who entrust us with their most difficult business questions; thank you for a healthy and successful year.  Looking forward to a happy and healthy 2022 together. Peace and happiness to you and your Families.    

Qualitative Data is a Quantitative Goldmine: Evaluating Consumer Sentiment Through Pathfinder Text Science

December 27, 2021

In our recent post exploring the streaming services marketplace, our open-ended text data revealed sharp differences in how consumers perceive the content provided by Disney+ and HBO Max: Disney+ Content Associations (map detail) HBO Max Content Associations (map detail) Note: When reading a Pathfinder Text ScienceTM map, the size of a word reflects its overall Read more

What does an “ideal” Client/Supplier relationship look like in today’s Market Insights world?

December 1, 2021

The evolution of the Insights industry has accelerated and continues to accelerate.  New platforms, sources of behavioral and attitudinal data, analyses, etc. can make the landscape seem overwhelming to both clients and suppliers in the space.  Terms like ‘quick and dirty’ and ‘good enough’ have emerged as viable options for some clients while the rigor Read more

Qualitative Data is a Quantitative Goldmine: Comparing Consumers’ Brand Perceptions with Text Science

November 11, 2021

In our first post on this topic we shared some initial insights from recent research we conducted on the highly competitive video streaming services marketplace — insights gained primarily from open-ended text data via our proprietary Text Science methodology. We also explained some of the problems with current methods of analyzing unstructured text, why a Read more

Qualitative Data is a Quantitative Goldmine: Our Technique Applied to the Highly Competitive Video Streaming Services Marketplace

October 25, 2021

The Problem: Quantitative market research requires the development and fielding of a survey that contains closed ended questions developed by the researchers designing the survey.  To assist researchers in the analysis, they frequently include opened questions to solicit comments from respondents designed to help in the interpretation and analysis of the closed ended questions in Read more

Are we ready for a full reopening after COVID-19?

October 7, 2021

It’s not an understatement to suggest that a majority of the world wants to move beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The question is: Are we ready for a ‘full-throttle’ reopening? A glimpse at the large unmasked crowds filling outdoor venues and stadiums for end-of-summer concerts and NFL games might lead you to assume that the U.S. Read more

The Trouble With Twitter: Does It Really Work?

July 13, 2021

Since its inception, Twitter has become synonymous with self-expression, initially in 140 characters or less.  In 2017 Twitter opted to let people express themselves with as many as 280 characters.  Hashtags run supreme, making it easy to identify a particular topic by using a hashtag that is fitting for the topic. Although Twitter can get Read more

Retail’s Next Steps; Getting Ready for the New Normal (Part 2 of 2)

May 5, 2021

In last week’s article, we reviewed some of the ways that Tractor Supply Company used both situational advantages and corporate nimbleness to move through the pandemic with positive momentum.  Obviously, TSC had some tailwinds that other retailers did not have as the pandemic’s effects were felt.  What are the equivalent changes we anticipate as consumer Read more

Retail’s Next Steps: Getting Ready for the New Normal (Part 1 of 2)

April 28, 2021

If you follow the market, you read about the death of retail nearly every day. We are told that retail is in a constant decline, that consumers are buying everything online, and wise investors and nostalgic shoppers alike should say goodbye to these once-beloved institutions.  The pandemic has hastened trends that are impacting retailers across Read more

Brands Taking a Social Stand: The Risks and Rewards

April 15, 2021

There is no doubt that consumers like to feel connected to the brands they are buying. According to a Sproutsocial survey fielded in August 2019, 70% of consumers want brands to connect with them. All well and good, but what do we want our brands to say? Brands are building connections through social contact. Companies have Read more

Essential Considerations for Effective Brand Engagement Now

March 26, 2021

Business leaders and marketers understand that brand engagement is essential and needs to be a major component of their marketing strategy. Today, competition for brand loyalty and evangelism is increasing at a rapid pace, requiring brands to develop strategies that resonate and motivate customers on their terms, not just on the brands’ terms.  The best Read more

Reading Minds with Pathfinder Text Science

March 4, 2021

We recently presented at the Quirk’s Conference and wanted to share what we presented. In this case study, we applied a combination of our Pathfinder Text Science and Driver Pathways approaches to learn how people think and feel about an innovative new device: a brain-machine interface product meant for the general public to use for Read more

Super Bowl LV is this Sunday: What’s Your Team Doing this Year?

February 4, 2021

  This coming Sunday at 6:30PM ET, the Super Bowl with the lowest attendance ever will take place. The official attendance for Super Bowl LV will be 25,000 fans, along with 30,000 dimensional cutouts, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.  Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, hosting its third Super Bowl on Sunday, would normally seat 65,890 fans. Super Bowl Sunday also represents Read more

When BlackBerry Ruled The World

November 19, 2020

Imagine, for a moment, that you are fortunate enough to have a truly dedicated customer base. A base that’s so loyal they’ll never stray from your product and will always come back whenever you have an update or new release.  This is a dream many businesses have, but few achieve.  The downside is that this Read more

Brands Taking a Social Stand: Risks and Benefits

October 22, 2020

There is no doubt that consumers like to feel connected to the brands they are buying. According to a recent Sproutsocial survey, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them, and 70% feel more connected to active brands on social media. All well and good, but what do we want our brands to say? Brands Read more

The ‘Silver Lining’ That COVID-19 Presents

October 6, 2020

If you say 2020 is a tough year, that will be an understatement. It seems as if it is a period to experience one crisis after another, and everyone is suffering physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Additionally, if you are still watching the news, you may be imagining that each day is turning out worse Read more

Are You Traveling Differently? How this Affects the Industry and You

September 23, 2020

Of all the things upended since March of this year, travel, both personal and business, is among the most disrupted. Some people are choosing not to travel until the pandemic is over, others are cautiously venturing out, but taking different trips in different ways. This has resulted in a shift in travel habits for both Read more

How Much Product Choice is Too Much, Or Too Little?

August 27, 2020

The rule of thumb in business and marketing is the more choice you give your customers, the better.  Recent studies and the experience of several Fortune 500 companies have shown that’s not always true. In fact, it seems at a certain point, the more product choice you offer consumers, the more complex and confusing their Read more

Interested in a better alternative to Qualitative Research?

June 2, 2020

While qualitative research can explore topics of interest in depth as well as be a springboard for developing ideas, there are significant disadvantages…the findings are not necessarily projectable to a broader audience, it is expensive, labor intensive, and slow. Further, the group dynamic encompasses a lack of anonymity, which can inhibit respondents from revealing sensitive Read more

Exploring the Rural/Urban Divide: When Flyover Country isn’t Flown Over Anymore

May 13, 2020

As part of our research on the impact of coronavirus on the consumer marketplace, we have been tracking which government and health agencies people view as responsible for managing the response to the outbreak, and how they rate these agencies’ performance. Our data reveals a significant divide in patterns between rural, urban, and suburban attitudes Read more

From Face Masks to EMT Teams: Personal Control and Its Impact on Reopening

May 1, 2020

For more than a month much the country has been in ‘lockdown’ due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now the process of reopening is beginning, with some states starting to loosen their stay-at-home measures. As we noted last week, our ongoing research into public perceptions of the coronavirus outbreak shows the public is starting to think Read more

Cracks in the Ice: What Consumers Think about Reopening America

April 22, 2020

Since early March, MAi Research has been conducting a tracking study to understand people’s reactions to the coronavirus outbreak, delivering insights to clients and businesses.  We’ve been delving deep into the emotional side of this crisis, and with recent increasing pressure to “reopen America” we decided to shift our research toward understanding attitudes and emotions Read more

A Shared Reaction: The Universal Response to Coronavirus

April 17, 2020

You may be familiar with the “Choose Your Quarantine House” meme that’s been making the social media rounds recently; the premise is to create different “Big Brother” type houses filled with diverse personalities that may clash with each other when forced to live under lockdown.  From sports figures to philosophers, entertainers to politicians, variations create Read more

Bored and Anxious, but Holding onto Hope – Consumers’ Emotional Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 9, 2020

As part of our continuing exploration of consumers’ behaviors and attitudes during the current COVID-19 outbreak, MAi/Pathfinder has used our unique methods to explore the emotional impact the current situation is having on the public. In our tracking study we are asking consumers to describe in detail their current feelings and state of mind as Read more

Consumers Foresee a More Cautious Future

April 1, 2020

Consumers Foresee a More Cautious Future As COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), continues to spread across the globe, MAi/Pathfinder have been busy conducting research to try and understand the resulting impact on the American consumer’s behaviors and attitudes. One of the topics we’re exploring is the long-term social impact that consumers anticipate Read more

Millennials are not Monolithic: Dispelling the Millennial Myth

March 9, 2020

What do you think when you hear the term millennials? Maybe you are a millennial yourself. If so, you know that not everything they say is true about all Millennials – or even most. Today, we are going to debunk some of the common myths about the millennial generation, starting with the myth that it Read more

Adapting and Coping with Cultural Change

January 15, 2020

COPING WITH CULTURAL CHANGE It’s said that death and taxes are life’s only certainties, but we’d like to add shifting cultural attitudes to that list — after all, the things people embrace or reject change over time, often in unexpected ways. And even the most successful businesses need to be able to cope with these Read more

What Drives Positive Product Reviews?

July 11, 2019

There’s no question that online product reviews are a great way to measure consumers’ reactions to a product. But while the average rating score might tell us what consumers think about a particular product, it doesn’t tell us why. And how can a company improve a product or its messaging without knowing why it’s satisfying Read more

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics

June 12, 2019

Businesses always talk about strategy and tactics, but sometimes the terms get confused and are thought to be interchangeable. It is important to understand that the two terms are different, but both are equally important for successful branding. So what exactly are the differences between strategy and tactics? Strategy vs. Tactics Strategy defines your brand’s goals Read more

Where Did Game of Thrones Go Wrong?

May 29, 2019

As the dust settles on the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones fan reactions are sharply divided, with some calling the conclusion rushed and nonsensical, while others seem perfectly satisfied with it. But the numbers don’t lie — season eight is generating much lower scores on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes than any of Read more

Should A Brand Care About Social Currency?

May 9, 2019

Social currency is a buzzword you may have heard before, but few businesses really understand what social currency is and how they can lever it to generate awareness and sales. But a brand that can translate social currency into sales may have found how to spin straw into gold. Social Currency: What Is It, And Read more

Can Today’s AI Speak English?

April 25, 2019

We can communicate instantly with anyone in the world, which means quick and automatic translation has nearly become a necessity. Over the past 15 years, services like Google Translate have brought machine translation into our lives, and have improved communication across the globe. But even as machine translation technology gets better, there’s still a lot Read more

What Final Twist Does Game of Thrones Have In Store?

April 11, 2019

A Social Media Analysis of Fan Expectations (Note: This article may — or may not — contain spoilers for the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones.) With the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones upon us, fan speculation has reached a fever pitch. How will this epic tale, 8 years in the telling, Read more

“Bottoms-Up,” Amazon, and Google: Eyes Wide Open

March 14, 2019

Steve Jobs once famously said: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” These words have been quoted and re-quoted thousands of times, often framed as a visionary pronouncement from an idealistic genius. And yet, apart from the perhaps self-deceptive conclusions that many entrepreneurs have drawn from them, they contain an Read more

Emotion Marketing: Using Emotion to Carry Your Message

February 28, 2019

The last time you went car shopping, did you notice something interesting about the front of all the cars you saw? How some cars looked like they had friendly faces, with upward curving grilles and wide headlights to make them look like they were smiling at you? Or how other cars have a glaring headlight and angry Read more

Introducing Pathfinder

January 25, 2019

Too many solutions and research firms remain very good at answering the questions related to the who, what, when, where, and how. However, they often fail to answer the most important question: the why.

SENTIMENT ESSENTIALS PART 2: Breaking It Down

November 28, 2022

Researchers and analysts are familiar with the concept of “using numbers to tell the story”, but more and more of us are being asked to get numbers from the stories. Step 1 is getting the stories you need. Step 2 is breaking down the sentiment parts Rob Pascale, President and Chief Analytics Officer at MAi Read more

Sentiment Essentials Part 1: Getting the Stories

November 9, 2022

Researchers and analysts are familiar with the concept of “using numbers to tell the story”, but more and more of us are being asked to get numbers from the stories. Step 1 is getting the stories you need. Rob Pascale, President and Chief Analytics Officer at MAi Research, and James Cameron, Director of Creative Insights Read more

Consumer Acceptance of Hemp-Infused Products

October 5, 2022

Pathfinder Analytics Case Study KEY INSIGHTS: Consumers are mostly positive about hemp as an ingredient for personal care products. Hemp’s close association with marijuana/cannabis is viewed neutrally (few strong positive or negative reactions), though the cannabinoid THC tends to be polarizing. Top Benefits: healthy, natural, and possessing healing/soothing properties Top Barriers: bad-smelling, irritates sensitive skin Read more

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