People Want A.I. to Make Them Super Human


Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is an ever-growing topic today powered by big data and machine learning. We were curious to know what real people thought about and wanted from A.I., and more importantly, WHY. mindswarms conducted a research study to capture a snapshot of the consumer point of view on A.I. in 2016.


More specifically, consumers currently view A.I. as an “OTHER,” defining A.I. as algorithms, technology, machine learning, data, etc. (basically, things outside of themselves). However, what we discovered is that people don’t want A.I. acting as an “OTHER.” People feel inherently flawed and want help. What aspects of the life do they want help in? Download our report to understand specifically what people want from A.I.


Impulse Buying is Dead

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When we originally started the study that culminated in our latest report, we aimed to get a handle on how online shopping has affected the Hunter and Gatherer binary.  However, as the video responses to our question rolled in, we were struck by a prevalent theme: there was no passion in shopping.


As technology plays an increasingly bigger role in people’s lives, the impact is a vastly more rational relationship with shopping. Impulse buying is dying, and the charm of shopping in store appears to be dying along with it.


Download our report to learn more!



Selfie Culture is Driving The Cosmetic Boom

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A recent Washington Post article indicated that women are spending less on clothes, but more on cosmetics. The prestige beauty category saw a 7% increase in sales last year, while the makeup subcategory enjoyed a 13% increase in sales. Our report highlights the impact “selfie culture” has on millennial women’s increased spending. In the report, we cover how selfie culture creates a need to always be “beautiful,” engenders a fear of being caught without makeup, and affects the image of social and professional success.


Download our report to learn more!



Drivers Aren’t Afraid Of Self-Driving Cars

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AAA recently surveyed 1,832 drivers about various automotive topics. A major takeaway from the research was that 3 out of 4 drivers reported they would be afraid to allow a self-driving car to drive while they’re in it. We wanted to get a clearer picture of drivers’ fear so we ran a mobile video survey with participants that reported they were afraid of riding in a self-driving car. As their video responses came in, we noticed that these drivers weren’t highlighting a fear of technology. Instead, these drivers were afraid of giving up the act of driving.


Download our report to learn more.



Beer is losing Millennial attention

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The Wall Street Journal recently reported that beer lost a portion of its share of U.S. alcohol revenue in 2015 for the sixth consecutive year and the 12th time in the past 15 years, according to data released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. Our team is obsessed with understanding the “why” behind data, so we set up a mobile video survey, and asked millennials why they were shifting from beer to liquor. Their answers told a personal story that big data only hints at. Download the report to understand why liquor is booming.



Who’s The Customer? 8 Questions That Complete a Buyer Persona

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When you’ve got a great idea for a new product or service, it’s easy to assume that just because you’ve always wanted something like it so will everyone else. And a lot of times, it’s true — that big idea actually does fill a gap in the market that customers will appreciate.
Just because you built it, doesn’t mean the users or clients will automatically come.
To ensure that your product or service is on the right track, it’s helpful to craft a buyer persona before you even get started.
“Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention,” according to Pamela Vaughan, writing for HubSpot.
Typically, when designing or developing a new product or service, it’s easy to get hung up on the actual usage — when your customers will use it, how it works and how you want them to view it. But these eight questions help you get outside of your usual thought process and really humanize the people who might love your product but may not find it if you don’t take the right marketing approach.


  1. Who is my ideal customer? How old are they, what’s their gender, where do they live?
  2. What is most important to this customer?
  3. What similar products or services do they already like?
  4. What do they like about those products and services?
  5. What media do they consume? How do they get their news?
  6. Which tastemakers do they follow?
  7. How often would they use this product or service? Why?
  8. What’s the difference between my product or service and a similar one that they may already be using? Why would they choose mine?

This exercise helps you figure out which other brands or services you’ll be positioned next to and what potential advertising opportunities might exist, based on your ideal buyer’s taste and lifestyle.
If you advertise on Facebook, what kinds of other ads or posts might yours end up next to? What will your website look like in your buyer’s RSS feed? Do they listen to podcasts, and could that be a good advertising opportunity?
If you’re still having a hard time visualizing the buyer, consider this tip from business consultant Kari Chapin: Use Pinterest to pin products, services, and ideas that your ideal customer might like.
By determining not just what your product is for, but who will use it and why, you can get a better idea of how to talk about, explain and publicize it when the time comes.
Image courtesy of Mufidah Kassalias. Image license here

Did Donald Trump’s First Presidential Campaign TV Ad Resonate With Voters?

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Trump and his team know their audience. That’s what we’ve concluded after we had eight Trump supporters complete a mobile video survey ad test of Donald Trump’s first Presidential campaign TV spot. Their reaction to the ad is telling. Watch the video below:


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You can view the TV spot they’re responding to here. The incendiary imagery, over-confident narration, and bold messaging of Trump’s ad might be off-putting to some, but for his supporters, this is Trump as usual – an on-brand declaration of a “better America” that plays on the passions of those passionate about Trump. The ad only strengthened each supporter’s opinion of Trump, with one participant calling the spot “perfect.” Darren F states, “What did I dislike about it? Absolutely nothing; it’s great.”


Even the one participant that responded negatively to the ad didn’t waver in his support of The Donald: “No, I don’t support him any less. I just think he’s the best candidate we have…” Another participant that appreciates Trump’s stance isn’t naive about Trump getting his way though: “We have to take a step back and understand that the President isn’t the most powerful person in America; he can’t just decide certain things and get them approved.”


Besides asking the recruited Trump supporters to weigh in on his ad, we asked them to elaborate on what it is about Trump that resonates with them. His propensity to say whatever is on his mind (seemingly right at the moment his brain strings 4 or 5 words together) was a major positive. All eight recruited participants mentioned this attribute as refreshing, though one did note, “He sticks his foot in his mouth too often.” The brash persona Trump has cultivated over the course of his campaign fits perfectly with what these supporters believe America needs: a no-nonsense fighter that puts America first.  In fact, across all responses, there is a prevalent theme of each participant feeling under represented by current government. They are tired of hearing empty promises that go unfulfilled time and time again, and Trump represents someone that is saying what is on their mind, no matter how myopic those thoughts are. He’s the “S*&t my Dad Says” of presidential candidates.


Whether Trump fulfill his bold promises won’t be determined for a long while (and may never be determined). One thing is for certain though: Trump and his team really know their audience and will continue to cater to them.





What the Google app’s progress could mean for mobile research

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Yesterday, Google announced some big news in terms of understanding meaning and context in voice search. Check out their announcement HERE.
What this means for mobile video surveys (and mindswarms) is that in the longer term, there will be more – and better – analytics on the back end of the data collection. Transcripts are helpful for mobile video analytics, but they don’t provide the context necessary to accurately interpret respondents’ intent.
There is still a long way to go to extract meaningful and actionable consumer insight from mobile video surveys. But Google’s news today is an important step; and validation that extracting meaning in a scalable manner from voice is in the works.