March 2022. The fourth wave of our city centre surveys is running. In the coming weeks and months, we will again visit numerous cities and conduct interviews regarding the satisfaction with the city centre. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.



25 August 2021. We are currently looking for a project assistant at our main location in Ihringen near Freiburg i.Br.. If you are interested and speak german fluently, have a look at the job description (german).


01 June 2021. Full range of Face-2-Face interviews possible again. During the last few months, we have largely avoided Face-2-Face interviews to minimise infection risks in the context of the Covid19 pandemic. We were able implement many projects using electronic survey methods. In some cases, however, face-to-face interviews are essential. We are therefore pleased that - due to the current conditions - we are able to offer Face2Face interviews again to the full extent. We are using a comprehensive security concept and additional measures.

All other services are also available without restrictions.

December 18, 2020. With 2020, an unusual year is drawing to a close. Pandemic and restrictions upset some of our plans. At the same time, however, a lot of new things have emerged. We have launched some exciting developments. Therefore, we look to the new year with confidence.We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers, service providers and friends of the company: Thank you for the excellent cooperation and for your trust. The team of Emergent Actio wishes you a happy holiday season and a wonderful and healthy New Year!

December 16, 2020. The state government has issued exit restrictions (from December 12) and several other restrictions (from December 16) for the state of Baden-Württemberg. Other parts of Germany are also affected. Nevertheless, we are processing all projects on a regular basis.  Some limitations in Face2Face work apply.

We also continue to offer visitor counts and pedestrian counts for Corona-compliant operations.


September 2020. Due to the continued Corona situation, we have added new instruments to our range of counting methods. We offer automatic counting to help you comply with Corona security measures. For example, we can determine the number of visitors or attendees in demarcated areas or rooms and transmit alerts when visitor/attendee numbers are reached. Corona traffic lights and displays are also possible.


March 2020. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared, we are closely observing the situation and possible impact on our employees and work. Both, employees’ safety and high quality services are important to us. We still provide most of our products and services as usual. Our office work was reorganized to minimize social contacts. Some instruments, such as face-2-face interviews and manual outdoor fieldwork have been temporarily suspended. However, our whole range of electonic survey and counting methods is available as an alternative. Also telephone interviews can be conducted to replace other types of fieldwork. We are happy to discuss possible solutions with you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team. 

December 2019. For us at Emergent Actio, December isn't really a quiet and peacfull time. This year in December we counted more people than Hamburg has inhabitants. Additionally, we conducted several thousand interviews. That is the reason we do not send Holiday Cards to our customers. As every year, we donate to charitable institutions. This year we have choosen Unicef and Waisenmedizin from Freiburg.

The whole Emergent Actio Team sends best wishes for the holidays and a happy New Year.

July 2019. We expand our range of passanger counting methods. Radar and laser based counting are now available in addition to our previous mix of manual and automatic counting methods. 

February 2019. We are looking for new backoffice staff at our new location in NRW. If you are interested, feel free to contact us.

November 2018. In our german news section, we posted a short article regarding the EU-time survey and the question of representativeness in September. Meanwhile there is a big discussion about what should be considered representative in the German market research sector. Once a week there is a new statement or one more open letter is published. Of couse we would like to give our contribution to this discussion. However, we try to keep it short... In our point of view, quality is an ongoing issue of market research and all sorts of empiric research. Continuous effort has to be put into quality in gerneral and representativeness (or what this essentially means). However, new methods shoud be given the chance to prove their power and to develop. Transparent methodology as well as a scientific discussion is needed to further develop our work. But this also requires open methodology, not a black box. And it requires a clear and precice language. As it seems to us, there is still space for enhancement in the public presentation and the scientific discussion. And we should be aware that still, there is not the perfect one-for-all method. It is our job as market researchers to explain the pros and the cons.

July 2018. Peter Kenning gives food for thought on further development of marketing in his essay "Marketing weiter denken?! Five postulates". As market researchers, we at Emergent Actio find the "Enabling Evidence-Based Research" aspect interesting. Further interesting topics are "transformative thinking / acting" and "daring transdisciplinarity". The aspect of "balance between corporate goals and customer satisfaction" also has points of contact with market research. 

The article was published in the commemorative publication of Bruhn and Kirchgeorg "Zukunftspfade für eine marktorientierte Unternehmensführung" on the occasion of Prof. Dr. Heribert Meffert's 80th birthday and can be viewed here

May 2018. We have adapted our data protection declaration and take into account the requirements of the basic EU data protection regulation (GDPR). All important information can be found here. Please be assured: We try to avoid the collection of personal data where possible and practical. If you have any questions, please contact us.

February 2018. Ulrich Hartung of Emergent Actio on current reporting on market research: 

In recent weeks, many have followed Spiegel Online's reports on the "Market Research File". At the heart of the reports was the question of whether a number of studies could be based on fake interviews by individual field service providers. Although we rarely use the services of field service providers, we would like to comment on this.

The concern about fake interviews is as old as empirical research itself. Over the years, field control methods have improved significantly. Today we use a whole series of complex analysis methods in order to detect possible forgeries - but also quite trivial mistakes of interviewers - at an early stage. We already carry out such investigations during the survey.

Furthermore, we follow three simple rules: 

  1. We spend as much time as possible with interviewers in the field to monitor their work and improve data quality.
  2. We source out as little fieldwork as possible. We try to use our own interviewers, persons taat we know and trust. As a rule, these are not paid according to the number of interviews, so that incentives that could lead to manipulation are not set at all.
  3. The most important point, however, is that we only accept orders that we believe can be successfully implemented. We certainly do not shy away from challenges. However, if there is no realistic (or economically reasonable) probability of success, we do not participate in bidding procedures, but rather name the problems identified. Not all researchers dare to do so and not all customers like to hear it. In our opinion, however, unrealistic targets or unrealistic estimates of the costs are precisely the wrong incentives. Avoiding this is the task of us institutes, as the professional association ADM has also formulated it

We remain true to our consistent line here, but will continue to expand our efforts in field control. We recommend that clients generally test the goals, concepts and procedures of market researchers with common sense - before they are in the survey. 

We are happy to inform you how field control is carried out for various issues and what we do to ensure the reliability of your data. 

September / October 2017. As in previous years, Emergent Actio will be supporting the Freiburg Conference of Medium-Sized Companies (Freiburger Mittelstandskongress). The event includes numerous lectures and a panel discussion as well as a business exhibition. Information can be found here: (german language only)

June 2017.  The latest trend in retail are analyzed in a publication of "Zukunftsinstitut". Topics of the "Retail Report 2018" are especially digital transformation (short term as well as mid-term) and human retail.
The report in German language can be found here. We at Emergent Actio contribute to the digitalization, e.g. by the collection of data and analytics in the area of retail and events. We are happy to inform you about new  possibilities and our solutions.

March 2017.  This months "heads up" comes from the area of consumer research. If you did not already now, we want to introduce you to a study of Eric Almquist "30  Elements of Value". Almquist analyzes categories of customer value. Within the 4 main areas "functional value, emotional value, life-changing and social impact" he found several detailed categories of value. Please read the whole study here:

January 2017. At the beginning of the new year, we have thought about current trends in market research. Below you find a wordle that we compiled from several expert interviews:

October 2016. The market introduction of new technologies as well as the launch of new products are important barriers to the success of innovations. The reason for a high failure rate is not only the lack of use but often also a lack of acceptance of the users. Methods to overcome passive innovation resistance of potential users are analysed in a study by Heidenreich and Kraemer "Innovations - Doomed to Fail?". Most of all, the effectiveness of different marketing instruments is being investigated. Abstract and the full article can be found here.

August 2016. Recently, we‘ve been talking about Business Model Canvas as a planning instrument. We explained, how Market Research can help you within such a process. In our news section, we are also frequently discussing about big data analysis and applications. In an article F.C.P. Muhtaroğlu analyzes business models deployed in big data applications in different sectors. He does that by using the Business Model Canvas approach.The article can be found here: Business model canvas perspective on big data applications. In: Big Data, IEEE, 2013. S. 32-37.

July 2016. Based on the technical innovators and people at universities, the Business Model Canvas enjoys great popularity in the context of business model development. We have taken this as an opportunity to show some examples where market research and marketing research can contribute to such a process. The presentation on the subject of business model canvas and market research can be found here.

June 2016. Back in december we announced the first commecial application of our new visitor counting system. Last month we had another large-scale application at a huge event. Again, a six-digit number of visitors was counted. Our visitor counting system was proving to be very robust and reliable. At the same time, out approach works completely anonymous. No personal data is being collected.

April 2016. Main topics in Marketing and Research. Every two years, the renowned Marketing Science Institute (MSI) conducts a survey of research priorities. For the period from 2014 to 2016, the two major topics with top priority were found to be:  "Understanding Customers" and "Developing Marketing Analytics for a Data-Rich Environment". The results can be found here. Details are presented for each topic.

February 2016. As an addition to our Big Data Series, we found another publication focussing on business value: Verhoef / Kooge / Walk: Creating Value with Big Data Analytics - Making Smarter Marketing Decisions If in doubt about how you can use Big Data, this might be a good starter.

Februar 2016. On February 18th 2016, our new website was launched. You will notice a new layout. Further more we added some new articles regarding our solutions and instruments. Within the next 10 days after the launch, more articles will be added. From now on, our website is also available in a SSL-encrypted version. Please find the encrypted version here:

December 2015. This month we are happy to announce the first commercial application of our newly developed visitor counting system. This system can be used in addition to manual counting whenever usual methods like laser, infrared or light barriers are not suitable or to expensive. The first application in the context of a large-scale event was completed successfully. More projects are scheduled for the next weeks.

November 2015. Last month we listed an article about the importance of representativeness in our business. But, is representativeness really always required? Or is it possible to find out what is important without all the nessesary effort of representativeness? The article in german language can be found here or automatic translator  version here. Please also read the discussions at the end and form your own opinion.

October 2015.
Representativeness. The term is often used in our business and yet often missunderstood. Why representativeness is important and why it might be hard to achieve is discussed in a article recently published in the german news magazine Spiegel Online. Please find the article here (German) or automatic translation here.

August 2015. As one more part of our recent "Big Data" series, you might like to have a look at a presentation of Corinna Fohrholz and Norbert Gronau from Potsdam University. Their presentation explains the buzz words Business Intelligence, Big Data and Business Analytics. Applications, chances and risks are elaborated as well. The document ( German language only) can be found here.

June 2015. There is hardly one vision of the future without big data components. However, when it comes to todays reality, examples and best practice cases are hard to find. A new guide by BITKOM, the association of german digital economy, is filling this gap. The guide in german language can be found here.

May 2015. Big Data is still one of those buzz-words. Big Data? What does that exactly mean? The magazine "Venture Beat" has published a nice infographic regarding that topic. Please find it here.

April 2015. The service interruption of our landline phone numbers was fixed by our telephone carrierer. All our common numbers are operational again. We apologize for the inconvenience.

February 2015. Marketing is undergoing fundamental changes within the last years. Thomas Ramge  summarizes the changes in markeing practice in his article „How good marketing works“, published in the latest release of German magazine Brand Eins. He also outlines the reasons and concludes new approaches. The artical (in German language) can be found can be found here or translated to English by Google Translator here .

November 2014. The future of qualitative research. Qualitative research is changing quickly during the last years. Coming of a first step in a sequential research design, where qualitative was to enable quantitative research, it has become more and more important. This especially applies to small target groups usually found in B2B environments. However, many experts see this instrument in decline on the long run. We at Emergent Actio however see more a evolution, a substantial change, than a decline in total. This change is driven by new technology. While traditionally qualitative research was rather slow and time-consuming, new technology such as text mining and text analytics are making it faster and less depended on human researchers. This way qualitative research will deliver more information, more quickly than today.

October 2014. How will marketing and market research look like in 3 to 5 years? Well, it is always dangerous to predict future developments. However, there are a few big trends, that might in combination lead to substantial changes. Wesley J. Johnston analyses these trends in his article "The future of business and industrial marketing and needed research". He starts with Pennsylvania State University's “b-to-b marketing trends study”. One of these trends was found to be understanding what customers really need, beyond what they can articulate. At the same time, major trends like the Internet of things are providing the fuel for new big data collections. Working with such large data collections requires new analysis methods. One of them is "predictive analytics", which is especially interesting as predictive analytics allows to go beyond classic “What happened?” - analysis. In combination, these methods allow to identify “What could happen?” and how probabilities are like. It even allows to find out, how these probabilities can be influenced effectively. If you are interested, we are happy to discuss these issues with you. Wesley J. Johnston's article explains the context with a twinkle. The full text can be found here.

September 2014. A few weeks ago, the book "Big Data, Data Mining, and Machine Learning - Value Creation for Business Leaders and Practitioners" by Jared Dean was published. We found it is giving a good overview over the topic in general. Regarding the details, especially predictive analytics and text mining are covered very well. The software section is a bit focused on SAS. However, the book is absolutly worth reading. More information can be found here.

June 2014. Open Innovation is based on "innovating with partners by sharing risk and sharing reward". While usually organizational aspects of Open Innovation are discussed, the willingness of employees also plays an important role. In their study "R&D employee's intention to exchange knowledge within open innovation projects" Verena Nedon and Cornelius Herstatt analyze the influence of several aspects. Subjective norm (see Theory of reasoned action) plays the most important role, followed by attitude. Attitude itself is influenced mostly by "enjoyment in helping" and "sense of self-worth". Please find the whole article here.

May 2014. As during the last 10 years, Emergent Actio supports the exchange between sciencetific research and companies. In his 2014 teaching assignment at the University of Freiburg, Ulrich Hartung will lecture and discuss issues of quantitative market research for marketing planning as well as market research for new product development (npd) and customer satisfaction surveys.

April 2014. Significance plays and important role in market research, especially when it comes to the question if certain corellations can be generalized to the population (if an effect is not due to just chance alone) or not. However, the emphasis on significance in market research can be discussed. For example, the number of stork in Germany was significantly related to the number of births in Germany, and not just for one year but from 1960 until 1990. In their article "" Rachel Kennedy, John Scriven and Magda Nenycz-Thiel deal with the question question, wheather significance is misplaced in market research, especially in the emerging context of big data analysis. Read more at IJMR. Finally, they discuss alternatve models like "many sets of data" by Andrew S. C. Ehrenberg. According to this theory, "a result can be regarded as routinely predictable when it has recurred consistently under a known range of different conditions. This depends on the previous analysis of many sets of data, drawn from different populations." [citation]

March 2014
. In addition to last month's post we want to add one more perspective to Big Data phenomenon. In their article "Market research and the ethics of big data" Daniel Nunan and MariaLaura Di Domenico describe not only the big chances and perspectives of Big Data for market research. They also draw a spot to critical aspects such as privacy, ownership of data and data memory. Furthermore they explain how technology and economic potential lead to the current importance of Big Data analysis. Read more at Vol. 55 No. 4 of the International Journal of Market Research.

February 2014. Big Data is one of the main trends in the last years. We at Emergent Actio are also performing certain kinds of big data analytics. Today we have collected a number of articles explaining the use and value of such big data analysis:

January 2014. The importance of the answer option "don't know" or "no answer" is often underestimated. Sara Dolnicar and Bettina Grün investigated this issue in contect of a brand image survey. They found that "don't know" options improved the data quality. Furthermore these options were - other than usually expected - not used as a quick way to complete a survey. More can be found here: Sara Dolnicar and Bettina Grün, "Including Don't know answer options in brand image surveys improves data quality", International journal of market research : JMRS, Vol. 56 No. 1, 2014

December 2013. Sensitive questions in questionnaires have always an issue, not only in the context of  profit, turnover or salary. Couper in his article "Reducing the Threat of Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys" brought up the hypothesis that the possibility of open answers for explenation increases the possibility of polarizing answers. In fact, as described in his articel, this was not the case. More can be found here: Couper, M. P. (2013). Research Note: Reducing the Threat of Sensitive Questions in Online Surveys? Survey Methods: Insights from the Field. Retrieved from

November 2013. A new contribution on the subject of "response rate in online surveys" was published this year in Journal Research Policy. In their study "Increasing web survey response rates in innovation research" Sauermann and Roach investigated the effect of certain factors on the response rate. Similar to Sánchez-Fernández, Muñoz-Leiva und Montoro-Ríos in their contribution in 2012 (Journal for Human Behavior), they found personalization as one of the factors with the most impact. Day and time of invitation. The article can be found here.

October 2013. Continuing our series regarding trends in survey methods, we want to draw your attention on an article by Marin and Lynn. In their publication "The Effects of Mixed Mode Survey Designs on Simple and Complex Analyses" they evaluate different survey methods seperatly and in combination regarding their impact on answering behaviour. As a result, they did not find significant differences in most cases - though they found some in certain line-ups. We conclude again that mixed-mode surveys are powerfull though should be used with care. The article can be found in full-text here and the abstract here. Information on mixed-mode-surveys by Emergent Actio can be found here.

September 2013. "A reversing trend in marketing research" is the title of a recently published article about online surveys. Claudia Becker and Kristin Dombrowsky explain their model for quality assessment of web surveys. Beside the well-known advantages, this article especially discusses several problematic issues  of online inquieries. More can be found here (german language).

August 2013. An interesting report regarding the systematic use of data and business insight in the healthcare area can be found at the report "The value of analytics in healthcare" by IBM institute. The study can be found here.

July 2013. Marketing-Research und Buyers behaviour: efficient collectiond and analysis of market and customer information (release in German language).The recently published book by Willy Schneider gives a good overview over the basics in the area of marketing research. Red more here.  In English language, you may want to take a look at "Essentials of marketing research" by Malhotra / Birks / David / Wills.

June 2013. Emergent Actio implements a research module on Innovation MR. Aim is to evaluate new survey methods and special modifications on classic research approaches in order to contibute market insights to innovation development programmes.

May 2013. We celebrate our companies 10th birthday.

May 2013. Innovation in figures. Have you ever been curious for details on innovation in companies? You can take a very close look by reading "Innovation in Germany", recently published by ZWE. Many different indicators have been surveyed in the German innovation surveys since 2006. Read more...

April 2013. Big Data is an issue everyone is talking about in the recent months. The digitalization of many spheres of life results in ever increasing amounts of data. Analysis of such data is an exciting task for market- and marketing researchers like us. However, big data needs more than just an usual survey. It takes a combination of technical competence, experience in empirical research and analysis as well as - especially - new methods of data analysis, such as analysis of large amounts of unstructured text. Additionally, limits of big data should be considered. An interesting point of view regarding these limits can be found at the article "Big data and the end of theory?" at the Guardian.
Are you interested in big data as well? We'd be happy to discuss opportunities with you.

March 2013. Innovation in product development is a matter of course for most companies. But when it comes to pricing, many still use costs or competition as the main basis. New inspiration can be found at the lately pulished book "Effective pricing strategies in B2B markets". Pricing is examined from several different perspectives. Some of them also include approches, that Emergent Actio can contribute to by using empirical methods, such as customer value-based pricing or segmentation based pricing. The book can be found here.

February 2013. Employee - employer survey shows how diversity in companies influences product and process innovation. An effect was especially found in knowledge-intensive sectors and internationally-oriented companies. The full study can be found here. For information on our services regarding employee surveys please see Solutions > Employee surveys.

January 2013. Both innovation and market orientation have significant influence on business performance of companies. This is the outcome of the recently published study "Do Market Orientation and Innovation Improve Organizational Performance? An International and Comparative Review of the Effects". Market orientation appeared to have a even stronger effect on business performance than innovation. However, innovation created the biggest variance regarding management outcomes. The study can be found here. Information regarding market orientation solutions by Emergent Actio are shown under "Innovation Market Research".

December 2012. Market research and intelligence is especially important for new venture development. A study by Christian Hopp published in Journal of Strategic Marketing showed that both business planning and marketing planning only resulted in value, when information from potential customers was actively acquired. The Study can be found here.

November 2012. Email is the most commonly used invitation method for online surveys. Benefits include rapid realization, comparatively small expenditure as well as slightest change of media. A recent study by  Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences evaluates the impact of pre-notifications by letter or postcard. The results show and increased success rate for email invitations. The article can be found at Survey Practice (2012).

October 2012. What are the most productive sources of innovation? What are the most successfull strategies in new product development? Technology Push or Market Pull? And are these mutual exclusive? Does market relevance analysis prevent innovation or is it a basic prerequisite? In an interesting meta-study which was recently published, Di Stefano, Gambardella and Verona describe the current state of research regarding the role of market related factors: Technology push and demand pull perspectives in innovation studies: Current  findings and future research directions, Research Policy October 2012

September 2012. The performance impact of market information processing in the context of new product development has been subject of several articles in the last years. In a recently published article, Hultink, Talke, Griffin and Veldhuizen analyze the interrelation and synergies between these activities. Furthermore, as a result of their empirical works, a number of success factores are concluded. Please find the article here.

July/August 2012. As inspiration for the summer months:
Product Innovation Toolbox: A Field Guide to Consumer Understanding and Research (2012, english)
Employees surveys: current trends and usefull tips (2012, german)

June 2012. A few weeks ago the "Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing" has been published. Focussing on special aspects of B2B marketing, it contains articles about B2B market segmentation and several articles about qualitative and quantitative research in a B2B context. A preview can be found here.

May 2012. June 2012. The topic of market orientation and its implications on new product success (nps) has been subject of several articles during the last months. Market research, especially using the instrument of innovation market research, can contribute to market orientation approaches as it delivers information regarding customer and competitor orientation. An overview of the current research can be found at the Journal for Industrial Marketing Management 2011. The impact of market orientation on nps has also been subject of recent articles, such as in European Journal of Innovation Management 2012. An article regarding measurement of impacts using empiric methods can be found at Australasian Marketing Journal (2011).

April 2012. A study recently published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management analyzes best practice cases including the importance of (market-) research for new product development. Link to the study: Kahn, K. B., Barczak, G., Nicholas, J., Ledwith, A. and Perks, H. (2012), An Examination of New Product Development Best Practice. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29: 180–192.

March 2012. Emergent Actio supports the exchange between sciencetific research and companies. In his current teaching assignment at the University of Freiburg, Ulrich Hartung will lecture and discuss issues of quantitative market research as well as new ways of gathering information by social media research.

February 2012. The German Institute of Internal Auditors (DIIR) and its partner institutes in Aurstria and Switzerland publish results of their study „Internal auditing in Germany, Austria and Switzerland“. The data for this study was collected by Emergent Actio. The relevant analysis was conducted by Prof. Dr. Marc Eulerich (University Duisburg-Essen). Information about the survey can be here or a press article here (both in german language).

January 2012. Survey mode trends for 2012. Based on our companies experience as well as external studies, we have compiled a few trends in survey methods for the coming year. Online surveys have become the most important survey method in market research during the last years.  The growth of this method goes along with a decline in Paper/pencil inquiries.  For 2012 the overall share of online surveys in market research is expected to remain at the current level. The same applies to CATI (telephone) surveys as well as mobile CAPI and mixed mode surveys. Substantial growth potentials are expected for Social media research. This survey mode is  more and more seen as a new research method in addition to quantitative and qualtitative research.