Meet the Hybrid Consumer

Press Releases   •   Jul 02, 2014 13:37 BST

Meet the Hybrid Consumer

Here’s the thing; consumers are not rational. They are complex individuals who switch between letting their economic sense and their heart decide what to spend their hard earned cash on. In a report from May 2013, the Dutch investment bank Rabobank gave this kind of consumer a new name: the hybrid consumer; a consumer that is putting the retailers at risk of ending up in the squeezed middle; which is what is happening to many of the big retailers now.
Let’s use Tesco as an example. Originally the pioneer in food premiumisation, Tesco launched their Finest range in 1998, giving the consumer easy access to affordable premium products whilst shopping for their everyday groceries. The black, cream and silver coloured packaging with the exclusive font, elaborate descriptions and engaging stories behind the products reassured the buyer that these were products worth paying extra for. No need to go into small, independent specialty shops anymore – all could now be found in one place.
With the retailers expanding their ranges to include premium food products as well as clothing and home ware, the small retailers started to struggle and lose their market share. Convenience dominated the market and the busy modern family could now buy all they needed in one place; the superstore. Or, if they wanted to make a day of it - the retail park.
So why is it that Tesco and the rest of the ‘Big Four’ are losing market share, if all the consumer wants is convenience? With so much choice comes the liberty to pick and mix across retailers and price points. Convenience is therefore no the longer the USP that sets retailers apart – especially not in the middle of a recession; value for money, on the other hand, is.
With the recession came the need to find new ways of feeding the family without breaking the bank. Although initially, few felt like being seen with an Aldi or Lidl shopping bag, discount retailers began to gain popularity and slowly the consumers started realising that they could have their needs met both in terms of choice and quality – and at a much lower price. 
What does this mean? It means that for everyday staples such as, toilet paper, some toiletries and cleaning products, the consumer will happily go to a discount retailer or one of the £1 stores that keep popping up on the high street, thereby saving a lot of money on the things their guests are very unlikely to see or comment on in their homes.
It also means that the money freed up from ‘going discount’ on a large number of everyday products leaves the consumer with extra resources to go all in for indulgence and special occasion treats. Here the big four are yet again losing their market share – this time to the more high-end retailers such as Waitrose and M&S….and on the plus side, consumers feel more comfortable putting premium products on the table rather than showing their guests that they have gone to Tesco or Asda to shop for their visit. We are what we eat – and that includes the brand images of the products we eat.
The fact is that even though consumers are more brand-aware than ever before they are also decreasingly loyal to brands. Not because they don’t want to be loyal, but because supply is so massive and choice is many and varied. Re-gaining market share is therefore not only about matching prices with the competition or having outstanding offers on; it’s equally about connecting with the customers at an emotional level. Without the emotional connection, customer loyalty will only last until someone offers a lower price than yours. 

Tpoll is a leader in customer insight, online communities and market research that produces cost-effective actionable results. Tpoll strength is combination of highly skilled researchers and proprietary technology. Tpoll is a full service agency with the ability to provide swift, deep and accurate market intelligence.  

Here’s the thing; consumers are not rational. They are complex individuals who switch between letting their economic sense and their heart decide what to spend their hard earned cash on. In a report from May 2013, the Dutch investment bank Rabobank gave this kind of consumer a new name: the hybrid consumer; a consumer that is putting the retailers at risk of ending up in the squeezed middle.

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A 360° view of the customer - How Integrated Data is better than Big Data

Press Releases   •   May 06, 2014 16:45 BST

While the research industry has been getting to grips with the latest buzz of “big data”, a number of research agencies, primarily those specialising in online panels and communities, have quietly been building an expertise in “integrated data”: bringing together primary customer research responses with a host of other data sources.

Some will argue that the difference between big and integrated data is subtle or even non-existent.  But integrated data has a focus that big data doesn't as it concentrates on using just the information we need to answer the question.  Big data on the other hand spreads the net wide making it powerful, but also ungainly and difficult to handle.

So, what do we mean by integrated data?  It’s simply bringing together what customers tell us via qualitative and quantitative responses with specific, useful information from other sources, including:

·  Transactional data – anything from POS, package, ARPU, etc.

·  CRM/eCRM – what each customer has received by post and email

·  Customer and prospect segmentations

·  Call centre in and out-bound contacts and complaints

·  Social media responses

But the key is focus, by being selective about what customer data we integrate to get to the business answers we are looking for.

In the past, integrating data in this way would have been a difficult and a costly exercise, but with the growth of online panels and communities, often recruited from customer lists, the process has become fast and easy.  With real-time data manipulation and tabulation tools now built in to many panel and community packages, integrated data is stored together in one place for easy analysis. Any survey completed on a panel can be accessed in real time and easily crossed with any other survey from the past plus all relevant integrated external data.

But it’s the practical applications of integrated data that give it the real power.

At an everyday level, with all customer and prospect segmentations available at the click of a mouse on all insight from both large strategic to fast tactical projects embedding your segments into the business by breaking them out on every project is easy to do.  From showing your transactional segments on your online bulletin boards as they happen, to viewing results of your concept test in real time broken down by your lifestage segments, integrated data helps you bring your segmentation to life.

Overlaying what postal or email campaigns each individual customer has received from you allows you to conduct CRM effectiveness more accurately and in more detail than ever.  Designing your AB CRM testing with your customer community in mind can allow you to interview each CRM stream separately (ideally with a control who receive nothing) to understand the real effect on brand, attitudes and behaviour. From there it is an easy step to develop an ROI model that goes way beyond the usual direct response measures.

Beyond this, there is a wealth of longitudinal applications for integrated data.  It allows us, for instance, to track the long term effect of events and campaigns. How do new customer attitudes differ 6 months after your new, state of the art on-boarding process versus those who received nothing?  Does the effect of your CRM campaign last beyond the first few weeks?

And integrated data is still developing.  Two areas are within reach, but still just beyond the practical application of technology at the moment.

The first is taking mobile phone integration a step further using GPS (currently technically possible, but restrictive because having GPS constantly switched on currently drains battery so quickly).  Adding data about where a community member has been over a specific period will give us insight into which locations and stores they have visited as well as what messages they may have been exposed to.  We may even, eventually, to be able to get some more definitive measures of outdoor advertising by looking at the effect on those who have been exposed to it!  At a more granular level it could also allow us to track routes around stores, without customers being aware they are being observed and without the need for expensive equipment.

A second development would be real-time integration of external customer data by linking panels and communities more directly to customer databases to get both primary and customer data instantly.  Again, this is technically possible, but restricted by understandable security concerns and the ability of client databases to fully link in.  However, once realised, real-time integration could allow us to interview customers online automatically immediately after they have shopped in a specific store or even bought a specific product.  We could check results of call centre contacts, both in and out-bound or even interview customers who have just visited a web site without using pesky pop-ups and overlays.

Integrated data is here to stay and our prediction is that it will only become a bigger part of our insight lives.

For more information on integrated data contact:

Barry Noble

Managing Director

Tpoll Market Intelligence Limited,

Trident House,

46-48 Webber Street,

London SE1 8QW

+44 870 161 1850

Tpoll is a leader in customer insight, online communities and market research which produces actionable results. Tpoll strength is its combination of highly skilled researchers and proprietary technology that enables clients to hold a continuous dialogue with customers. Tpoll is a full service agency with the ability to turn the customer dialogue into deep and accurate market intelligence for clients.

What if you could overlay your segmentation in real time onto every piece of work you do and build models of your CRM effectiveness based on emotion as well as direct response? - Unleashing the power of single source customer data needn't mean grappling with vast “big data” sets – integrated data allows clients to access powerful solutions, quickly and easily.

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Mobile usage across the generations

Press Releases   •   Mar 10, 2014 17:02 GMT

The GSMA Intelligence prediction that the number of mobile connections will exceed the number of people on the planet demonstrates how being ‘always connected’ has become embedded with everyday life.  A major driver in this has been the growth in social media, games, email and the desire to constantly interact through our devices. We at Tpoll Market Intelligence wanted to really get under the skin of what this means for the mobile industry, from a purely consumer viewpoint.  Stats & figures around mobile growth, app usage etc tends to be at a very broad level and the nuances of behaviour can sometimes be missed.  We were keen to identify how patterns of behaviour differ across generations and what impact this has on the future of mobile for each of these incredibly different groups.  To do this, we set-up and ran 3 online bulletin boards, one for each generation (Gen Y 16-30, Gen X 31-45, Gen B 46+) over 7 days on our own Tqual platform.  We uncovered some really interesting stuff ...some of which we've detailed below.

Different levels of mobile intimacy exist across the generations. For Gen X and Y especially the use of mobile devices has become so engrained that the thought of being without the phone almost provokes a panic attack, and they explain how the phone is with them at all times.

But this generation are also beginning to see the negative aspects of all this and the mobile industry needs to be aware of a future negative backlash, or reduction in usage if this trend grows.

The older you get, the smartphone becomes less an extension of your arm, but more a practical tool for completing tasks-  it’s ‘just a phone’ that’s used for texting and calling. However Gen X are also feeling the negativity and re-enforces the potential for a backlash.

Where the generations converge is a widespread frustration with battery life and the physical device not being able to keep up with the excitement of apps and tools.

Gen Y complains about their phones freezing, crashing, being slow and not having enough memory on them, a typical trait for this generation which is marked by impatience from having grown up in the age of convenience and on-the-go. Gen X’s biggest frustrations are the short battery life and poor reception. Most of them have jobs where they need to be reachable when on the go, and not being able to connect or having important apps drain their phones of battery life causing a lot of problems on a weekly basis.

Likewise for Gen B the biggest frustration is the short battery life of the smartphone. The impression is that the mobile industry has got so excited about new apps they have been distracted by the more mundane task of making the phone work with so much functionality loaded in.

Despite these issues there still exists a real opportunity for the mobile industry to grow usage by enabling the consumer to change the device more frequently. Generation Y is likely to change their phone every 1.5 years, and if they could afford to they would do it each year. They want the newest technology and have a hard time waiting for things to actually wear out before upgrading. Generation X will on average change their phone every 2 years, either because the current one brakes, staying up to date with new developments or their contract ends and they decide to upgrade. Gen B is the one that will keep their phone the longest and are most likely to switch once their contract ends or because the phone they have doesn’t work anymore. Persuading the older generation to change more often seems a real opportunity to exploit.

When describing their thoughts for the perfect phone of the future, there are both differences and similarities across generations. For Gen Y a large, strong screen (but not so big that it does not look a phone anymore), light in weight, large, fast memory and a battery that can be charged wirelessly are the most desirable features. For Gen X they see the next generation of phones being more like small PCs that will combine all the functionalities of a phone, tablet and computer in one device. The devices will also have solar panels for charging on the go, wearable, voice activation and a long battery life. Gen B see a longer battery life, remote controlling of things in the home, solar panels to make charging easier and the ability to control which programmes you do and don’t want to have on your phone as the most desirable.

So the future looks full of opportunity for the industry and if the battery life can keep up with the tech and innovative ways can be found to change handset more frequently across the generations, mobile connections are highly likely to stay ahead of the birth rate.

Mark Ursell – CEO Tpoll – I have been in the research industry since 1992 and founded Tpoll in 1999. I specialise in bringing new technologies to consumer research to deliver insight at the speed in which a business moves, maximising their competitive edge. I am always inspired by new ideas and innovation and how they can make sure the consumer is at the heart of business decision making.

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

The GSMA Intelligence prediction that the number of mobile connections will exceed the number of people on the planet demonstrates how being ‘always connected’ has become embedded with everyday life. A major driver in this has been the growth in social media, games, email and the desire to constantly interact through our devices.

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Youth are loyal to the experience

Press Releases   •   Nov 21, 2013 08:46 GMT

What makes a young person stay loyal to an eating out venue? Will offers and vouchers ensure that they keep coming back? Or maybe a stamp card which gives them their 10th item for free?

In Tpoll’s 2013 Youth Eating Habits Report, we spoke with more than 200 young people aged 16-24 about their relationship with health, food and eating out. One of the topics that came up was ‘loyalty’ and what it takes for them to stay loyal to a venue.

Most cafes and a great deal of eating out venues hand out loyalty cards which give the guest free items or discounts when they visit a certain number of times or recurring purchases. Encouraging someone to come back does not equal loyalty, and it takes more than this to win the hearts of Generation Y

The general attitude of youth towards loyalty cards is that they are something that can come in handy if they remember to use them – but what really makes them loyal is the connection and experience they have with the venue.

In the light of this, we have listed 10 ways to improve loyalty programmes inspired by suggestions from the young people taking part in the study. Some of these evolve around frequent diner differentiations, smart ordering and a larger incorporation of technology in the eating experience.

For the full list of suggestions and a copy of the report please contact Nana Nielsen on 0203 176 0719  - Tpoll’s author of the 2013 Youth Eating Habits Report.

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

A 10th coffee free doesn't determine loyalty to the restaurant or QSR with todays Youth. Many volume based loyalty plans are 'nice to haves' and are often, only used by Generation Y as and when they remember. Tpoll Youth Eating Habits 2013 study reveals over 10 different ways to retain key customers predominantly, by providing a personalised experience

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Youth Snacking Habits 2013

Press Releases   •   Nov 19, 2013 09:06 GMT

Always out and about, commuting to and from Uni or work; meeting up with friends or on their way to a social event, today’s youth is a busy generation and busy lives call for quick refuelling and pick-me-ups.

The snacking industry is huge, and looking at the shelves next to the check out in any supermarket or CTN tells a lot about the things we buy to stay energised whilst on the go.

In Tpoll’s 2013 Youth Eating Habits study, we spoke with more than 200 Generation Y’s about their snacking habits, and how there is a big difference in which snacks they consume when they are at home compared to on-the-go.

At home, snacks are usually quite substantial, healthy and include foods such as pasta, noodles, fruit, nuts and yoghurt. All of which can be messy and not very practical to bring along when going out. In comparison to this, on the go snacks are smaller, often individually wrapped and thus, easy to handle during a commute.

One issue that arises with snacks is the lack of inexpensive healthy options.  Generation Y will consume large amounts of crisps, chocolate, biscuits, packed sandwiches etc. together with lots of juices and energy drinks.

It is not because they refuse healthy snacks; it is simply just easier to get hold of junk and sugary foods whilst on the go. Healthy snacking options are generally either expensive or not marketed in an appealing way.

To find out more about Tpoll’s 2013 Youth Eating Habits report please contact Nana Nielsen on 0203176 0719 or email

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

Generation Y's snacking habits vary significantly between eating at home opposed to out-and-about. Healthy options are the choice while in the comfort of their own environment whereas, according to Tpoll's latest research of Youth, junk is the convenient and cheaper option

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Setting the stage for a personalised eating out experience

Press Releases   •   Nov 06, 2013 18:44 GMT

An inviting atmosphere, high service standards and good quality food is without doubt important to everyone when choosing in which venues to put one’s money down, but more so with the younger generation - Generation Y.

When asked in Tpoll’s recent Eating Habits 2013 study, nearly a fifth of ‘Youth’ stated the most important criteria when choosing somewhere to eat out next to food quality and price was: service, atmosphere and an authentic experience.

During the week and in their every-day lives, Gen Y’s are very thrifty when deciding on restaurants or QSRs: it has to be quick, trendy and match their budget. However, when they go out on special occasions or treat themselves to a good meal in company, they will go for a place that offers that little extra something.

This little extra something, can often be hard to figure out and some establishments can end up going over-the-top with offers, bonuses or even turning the venue into something more like a theme park rather than a restaurant when little things such as high service standards and a personal experience can be the essential ingredients.

Restaurants trying to engage the young customer should let them co-create their experience by involving them in areas such as: the music being played, the menu options or maybe even the décor. This will give them a more personalised experience and involve them emotionally.

For more information or a full report please contact Nana Nielsen on 02031760719  - Tpoll’s author of the 2013 Youth Eating Habits Report

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

As Generation Y are eating out more often, restaurants and QSRs trying to engage with todays Youth need to do more than offer deals and bonuses. According to Tpoll's Youth Eating Habits 2103 study, young customers want to co-create their experiences with a more personalised and emotionally involving environment

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Can the diet of today’s youth be both healthy AND convenient?

Press Releases   •   Oct 24, 2013 16:17 BST

Today’s youths have to fit an increasing number of things into their already busy lives – from studying and commuting to career-building, social-networking and more. As a result of this, the way they think about food and health is becoming increasingly affected.

Tpoll’s recent “Youth Eating Habits” research study has revealed some of the challenges that Generation Y are facing when it comes to balancing a desire to eat healthily with the convenience of fitting food into their hectic daily schedules.

The findings have shown that at least 50% of young people habitually skip breakfast (often several times a week) simply due to a lack of time in their morning routines. Most youths today work harder and for longer hours compared to their counterparts in previous generations. Often, they have nobody waiting at home; nobody cooking for them, or to cook for. With the pressure of work, sticking with healthy options and staying away from fast food has become increasingly difficult.

Ironically, while many youths only have time for quick convenience food, there is an increasing desire amongst them to maintain healthy diets. What is most interesting, is that while the time-honoured “ready meal” would seem to fit perfectly with many youths’ lifestyles, young people are rejecting them as they are deemed to be too unhealthy. The lack of transparency and knowledge about the contents of ready meals and any added preservatives has turned them into something that youths feel guilty about eating. In fact, fast food is generally preferred over ready meals as many youths view them as the more healthy option.

Fast food chains should strive to provide these health conscious and busy people with healthier on-the-go solutions. Few succeed in convincing the younger generation that their products are good for them – product transparency and calorie counts are attributes that help with perception.

Something that ought to be considered carefully by QSR’s and restaurants alike, is that 46% of today’s youths claim that quality of food and health is the most important factor when deciding on where to eat out of home.

For more information or a full report please contact Nana Nielsen on 0203176 0719  - Tpoll’s author of the 2013 Youth Eating Habits Report.

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

Tpoll’s recent “Youth Eating Habits” research reveals the challenges Generation Y face balancing a desire to eat healthily with the convenience of fitting food into their hectic schedules. Over 50% are now skipping breakfast at home regularly and while eating out occasions have overall increased, the most important selection criteria for eating out in QSR's and restaurants is quality & health

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Loyalty Matters – Youth Eating Out 2013 Research!

Press Releases   •   Oct 08, 2013 13:20 BST

Generation Y is often referred to as a fickle generation whose loyalty changes with the voucher and whose preferences for choice of restaurant or QSR were price dependent

Each year, Tpoll conducts the ‘Youth Eating Out’ research study providing a depth of unique insights into understanding millennials’ changing criteria  for restaurant selection, their views on brands and the significance of the quality of service and product transparency

A major change in Youth perspectives emerging from the 2013 report is ‘loyalty’, and how their definition and their requirements are very different from most other groups who were weaned in the ‘free air miles’ era

Previous studies revealed the main weapon in the fight for youth loyalty has been the promotional voucher however, loyalty for Generation Y has become all about personalisation, relevancy and speed.

The 2013 Youth Eating Out study proves the need for new loyalty schemes and suggests how best to engage with one of the most valuable customer segments. The rewards for the restaurateur adjusting their attitudes to Youth loyalty and getting it right, are substantial!

Many other topics were covered in this study and the trend data reveals some very interesting insights. The Tpoll Youth Eating Out study surveyed 213 16-24 year-olds from its proprietary MindMover online community. It was followed by qualitative bulletin boards with 26 participants. For a personal copy of the report contact Tpoll PR 

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

Tpoll's 2013 Youth Eating Out research study has been completed and both this years' insight and the trend data, demonstrates interesting changes in the way Generation Y choose and engage when eating-on-the-go or dining in. Loyalty is becoming a significant influence for Youth however, it's the how-to, the comm's and the format that holds the value

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Privacy and Security threatens the adoption of Near Field Communications

Press Releases   •   Sep 12, 2013 17:41 BST

Increasing concerns with the loss of privacy and security threatens the adoption of Near Field Communication (NFC) – Mark Ursell, CEO Tpoll

Future Tech Forum members feel that their privacy and security has become a trade-off of their increasingly tech integrated lives.

In the Future Tech Forum (FTF) Tpoll’s exclusive online forum of 100 tech enthusiasts, the latest topics are discussed in depth. Among the excitement of the benefits and capabilities of new devices, such as Google Glass, 4G internet speed and RFID in retail, members express concern with their increased loss of control and privacy.

The privacy and consent of what information we share is becoming blurred with the constant trails of information we voluntarily and involuntarily leave behind, both online and offline; from website tracking, searches and information shared on social media platforms, to smartphone app location trackers, NFC tracked journeys, retail loyalty cards, CCTV, etc.

Privacy is no longer thought to be something that is under control by the individual, but has somehow become a trade-off for involvement with technology. To some extent, concerns are rooted in the uncertainty of it all – who is it that is analysing your personal searches? What is it used for? Is it safe to purchase apps? What if your mobile device gets lost or stolen? 

“.. Things have got out of control with so many websites and apps popping up. The thing is, it is difficult to ignore and keep away from it but when you do get involved with it, your privacy is almost certainly gone. It’s difficult to achieve that fine balance.” Male, Gen X, UK

“It [security] does concern me, but I do feel the trade-off is worth it as I want to do as much as possible on-line or in the most efficient way.” Female, Gen Y, UK

“If you lose your phone it'll have lots of passwords, photos etc. on it and I'm not convinced by mobile banking yet or the safety of public Wi-Fi hotspots etc.” Female, Gen Y, UK

As ever more features are integrated into mobile devices, the value of them in our lives has become greater. Yet the issue that members are most concerned with, is the loss of control over tangible and intangible personal data.

At the height of these concerns lies the growth of contactless payments and NFC. NFC enabled smartphones is a development that FTF members argue takes security issues to a whole new level:

“I think security in a two-way operation will be a real problem.” Male, Gen X, UK

“Don't want it, I'm too security conscious for it.”

Female, Gen Y, UK

In spite of many of the forum members having heard of near field communication, few say that they use it themselves and the majority are not fully aware of what to do with it. 

Very few are comfortable with the idea of their smartphones storing credit card details and are wary of this development.

Technological advances are making consumers increasingly sceptical and in need of up-front assurance when looking into new services and devices.

Ultimately operators and manufacturers have a significant education task ahead, overcoming the fear of the unknown and addressing the ingrained worries about personal data security before NFC becomes anywhere near to significant consumer adoption.

For further information contact;

Alexandra Clark

Tpoll 0203 176 0775

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

Google Glass, 4G, Payment-by-Phone symbolises great strides in technical achievement however, consumers are increasingly sceptical about privacy & security levels and are in need of up-front assurances when looking into new services and devices.

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Grow Your Own Food

Press Releases   •   Aug 17, 2013 15:16 BST

Scientists had previously lauded the development, which could potentially revolutionise the meat industry, end the inhuman slaughter of animals, curb the rates of rainforest conversion to farmland, and swiftly aid famine in times of need.

MindMover panelists, however, have been much less enthusiastic.

Feedback has suggested that recent events in the food industry, such as the horsemeat scandal, have seemingly left a lasting impression on consumers. Awareness of “hidden” substances in food is high. Certainly many more food-buyers seem concerned about mystery ingredients in the food that they buy, and there is a real sense of fear and distrust around the idea that “lab-grown” meat could contain chemicals or additives that could cause unforeseen health problems in the long-term.

Certainly it is the concerns about synthetic food being passed off as something natural that has caused the largest upset amongst panelists, who are already bothered by the idea of GM or “Frankenstein” food making its way into the food chain. In order to appeal to the mass-market, perhaps those scientists continuing the research could look at the Quorn model, not to replicate meat but to create an alternative out of existing accepted ingredients. For now though, it sounds like people are still far from convinced about tucking in to a laboratory-grown burger any time soon!

Tpoll’s Mindmover is a UK nationwide panel of over 45,000 registered participants – go online and go and express your view. Contact

Customer Insight, Market Intelligence

The world’s first ever laboratory-grown beef burger was unveiled in London last week, and Tpoll was curious to find out what the members of its research panel, MindMover, thought about it.

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About TPoll

Customer Insight and Market Research

Tpoll is a full service customer insight and market research agency.

Over the last 13 years, Tpoll has been at the forefront of building web-based communities, designing user-engaging surveys and articulating actionable results.

Tpolls proprietary software is designed by researchers for researchers and can host customer communities, moderate discussion forums and longitudinal journey tracking studies. It also, ensures data security and low costs.

Tpoll turns data into knowledge and key action tasks that improve clients business performance. To find out how we can help your business

Mark Ursell 0870 1611850


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