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Research Executed

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For over 20 years, The Logit Group has been a leader amongst data collection firms, and our ongoing commitment has been to develop and administer industry-best technologies as the basis of our research execution.

Our ambition is to collect accurate, consistent and valuable data for our clients. We’re methodologically flexible, which allows for us to match the ideal research design(s) and methods to each specific client engagement.

Our focus is not simply to collect data.  Rather, the pace, complexity and technological requirements of today’s market research drive us to be practitioners in the science and art of research execution.

Online

The Logit Group offers both consumer and B2B online panel sample. We have coverage in countries across the globe to maximize feasibility on each and every product and deliver results at an affordable price.

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CATI

Logit Group has been conducting CATI research for decades, we have an unrivaled ability to retrieve high quality B2C and B2B data from major and niche markets throughout both Canada, the US and globally.

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In Person Interviewing

The Logit Group has trained and experienced teams of face-to-face interviewers available in leading markets across Canada for mall and in-store intercept studies. Multi-lingual interviewers available.

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Qualitative Recruiting

Do you need high quality research to power your decision making? Let the Logit Group's IDI team open the door to greater insights and improved operations. Audiences include B2B and medical.

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Our Team

Sam Pisani
Managing Partner
As founder, Sam’s vision has always been to reinvent and reinvigorate data collection within the research industry. From building a dynamic team of research execution professionals, to staying on the forefront of technological, methodological and regulatory trends, Sam embodies the passion that the Logit team brings to research execution.
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Anthony Molinaro
Managing Partner
Anthony’s leadership and experience in all methodologies and statistics have helped grow The Logit Group into one of the largest research execution firms. A member of the MRA/Insights Association and a strategic thinker, Anthony has built a team of research professionals that have a passion for the execution of market research and advanced technologies.
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Paul Molinaro
Managing Partner
Paul serves as a Managing Partner for the Logit Group. Paul brings a wealth of financial experience to Logit from his days serving as an executive for one of Canada's largest banks.
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Tim Sinke
Chief Operating Officer
As COO, Tim plays a pivotal role, bringing people and process together to deliver results for Logit’s clients. In addition to working directly with a number of clients, Tim oversees all aspects of the company’s operations including project management, field operations, technology, programming, and data processing functions.
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David Attard
Senior Vice President, Field Operations
David is an accomplished field and operations professional with extensive experience in both CATI and CAWI methodologies. David first started at the Logit Group in 2004 as the Director of Field Services. David currently oversees production and logistics at each of Logit's North American centres.
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Agnes Klich
Vice President, Project Management
Agnes is one of the longest tenured members of the Logit team and currently serves as the Vice President of Project Management. Her dedicated team of project managers ensure that projects are completed on time, on spec and within budget.
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Aref Munshi
Vice President, Sales & Research Services
Aref`s strength is his holistic market research skill set. From client services, to operations across telephone, in-person and on-site methodologies, Aref is the perfect client advocate and research problem solver. If you are looking for face-to-face, telephone or on-line solutions.
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Oscar Fernandes
Vice President , Sales & Client Services
Oscar has over 25 years’ experience in market research especially in the areas of Project Management and Business Development. Before joining the firm in 2014, he held senior positions at Greenwich Associates/Corsential/Consumer Contact.
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John Wulff
Vice President , Business Development
John’s 25 year career has been focused on quantitative market research data collection. Holding senior positions representing some of the largest and best quantitative Online & Offline data collection companies with operations based in North & Central America and Asia.
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Chris Connolly
Vice President, Research Services
Chris is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.
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Brendan Sammon
Vice President, Client Development
Brendan has over 30 years of market research experience with a focus on business development and client service. He has held senior leadership roles such as VP of CATI and Web Data collection, Executive Vice President and VP of Business Development. Brendan has experience in data collection across multiple industry sectors including healthcare, public policy/polling, financial services, and CGP.
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Steve Male
Vice President, Business Development
Steve has over 10 years of market research experience having held roles in project management, field services and client facing roles. Some of Steve’s core areas of focus include the multicultural markets and IT decision makers.
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Clare Harrigan
Account Manager
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Natalia Rodriguez
Sales Team Administrator
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Hamish Brailey
Vice President, Field Services
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Victor Lindo
Vice President, Data Management
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Michael Churcher
Vice President, Information Technology
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Humayun Khan
Director, Data Services
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Boris Stoev
Programming, Team Lead
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"Logit’s focus is not simply to collect data. Rather, the pace, complexity and technological requirements of today’s market research drive us to be practitioners in the science and art of research execution."

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The Logit Group is a proud partner of the Cido global research network. With offices and research data collection experts in the US, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, we support our clients with local insights and expertise, balanced by our global vision. The result is a research execution company that recognizes the need for global synergies and a consistent quality of brand experiences.

We will continue developing a successful international team that capitalizes on its synergies and shared knowledge. We will always learn from our international colleagues and allow each client’s personality to contribute to our culture and our identity. We will build and foster a culture of harmony, energy and positivity among our associates worldwide.

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From the Blog

Multicultural Research: Top 3 Things You Should Know

Multicultural Research: Top 3 Things You Should Know

According to a 2017 American Community Survey, one in seven US residents are foreign born. In Canada, that number is even higher. At the time of the 2011 National Household Survey, 1 in 5 Canadians were born outside Canada. This large influx of new US and Canadian citizens represents a prime marketing and sales opportunity for North American brands looking to grow their market share in an established and at times crowded market.

The increased importance of brand visibility and awareness amongst newcomers has turned multicultural marketing into somewhat of an arms race. Brands now seek out new advertising and marketing channels that provide high levels of exposure to newly landed or soon to arrive immigrants. Airports, Visa offices, and even partnerships with brands abroad are all opportunities that have been pursued in recent years to varying levels of success.

Brands are now understanding the importance of being first to market, and that making an impression with newly landed immigrants can have a noticeable impact on market share. However, what’s being lost in the mix is messaging and value.  Does the message of your advertising correlate with newcomers’ values and belief systems? Is the messaging relatable and does it speak culturally to those viewing the ad?

In order to create a great marketing campaign, you need the insights to support it.  That’s why multicultural research has become more important than ever.  Here are 3 things to consider when designing and executing your research campaign.
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Consider your sample makeup.

We tend to think of newcomers holistically, but every immigrant has a story, a different path to North America and background with his or her own set of beliefs and cultural shopping behaviours.  That’s why it’s important that your sample set is as representative of the newcomer population as possible.  Things to consider include tenure and acculturation levels, country of origin and regional segmentations within country.  The closer you mirror your sample to representation, the more accurate your results.

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Think about regional and cultural biases

Each country is unique and even within country there are regional and cultural biases.  The opinions and cultural beliefs of someone from the North of India is different than someone from the south, and someone who speaks Mandarin from mainland China will have vastly differently shopping behaviours than a Cantonese speaker from Hong Kong or Macau.  It’s important to take this into account when designing your questionnaire, ensuring that you provide different language options for those taking part in the study and that you’re tailoring parts of your questionnaire to speak to respondents on a regional basis.

Traditional Roles are Localized

In North America, we tend to view traditional gender roles as a thing of the past.  It’s now common place for both heads of the household to have full time jobs and to help around the house.  Although we view this to be true in North America, the same can’t be said for some other countries around the world.  It’s important to give consideration to who your intended purchaser is and how the roles of ultimate purchaser and decision maker vary from region to region.  For example, in most cases traditionally the man of the house has been the breadwinner for South Asian households, but the female is the ultimate decision maker for food prep and purchase.

A well thought out questionnaire and sample plan will go a long way in ensuring your study is as representative as possible, and that you’re gaining meaningful insights into your target audience.  As newcomers to North American continue to grow in size and they become a larger part of our population, we as market researchers need to do a better job of tailoring our studies to their individuality and to think about them more as specific sub segments as opposed to one large conglomerated audience.  Doing this will create opportunities for additional products and services to benefit those who are currently underserved, and in turn will aid brands in growing their market share in a crowded marketplace.

CATI IN 2019: Battling Declining Response Rates

The transition away from telephone interviewing is well underway. Online polls now make up the principal source of data on consumer opinion surveys, with CATI projects largely being relegated to B2B audiences, historic tracking studies and geographic areas that lack online representation.

online polling Although online has now become the preferred methodology for most due to its attractive price point, it still poses a lot of questions in the subjects of quality and representation. The absence of a clear set of standards for online research, in particular online polling, has led to many questions about the reliability of the results that are shared.

Whilst journalists are now more likely to cite online polls as a reliable source of data, it is still unclear in many cases how these polls are fielded, and if the sample composition is entirely dependable.

Of course, traditional live-interviewing telephone polls have been facing their own challenges as of late. As the cost of labor has increased, so too has the average cost per telephone survey, and as consumers turn away from landline phones in favour of cell phones, response rates continue to decline. To further complicate matters, phone response can vary greatly within different demographic groups.

phone survey There is substantial evidence that phone interviewing is inherently less biased than opt-in panels. For one, randomly dialling both landline and cell phones puts you in touch with a consumer that may or may not know about market research and hasn’t voluntarily opted into a research-based panel. Secondly, a phone approach provides access to segments of the population that are traditionally under-represented on online panels including younger males, visible minorities and senior citizens.

As consumers continue the trend of ditching their landline in favour of a cell phone only household, sample and interviewing techniques must keep pace in order to ensure that a CATI methodology remains representative and that response rates remain high.

Here are three things to consider when conducting your CATI project.

 

Cell Phone vs Landline

An RDD (Random digit dialling) approach is effective in some cases, but as households move away from having a landline in their home it’s now more important than ever to ensure cell phone sample is included in your sample mix. Based on the latest data, a 60% land line, 40% cell phone sample split is ideal. This blend will ensure that you’re reaching cell phone only households which tend to skew younger in age.

 

Maximizing Your Success with Targeted Audiences

Does your project contain visible minorities, or perhaps those who are considered to be affluent? You can dial blindly amongst the general population in the hopes that these individuals will fall out naturally. However, chances are that these audiences are more likely to have unlisted numbers which would not be included in general landline dialling. For these groups a targeted sample list approach might be best. Targeted sample lists contain appended demographic data which is sourced from 3rd party consumer lists and databases. This increases your chances of connecting with your desired audience and you can boost your overall target numbers.

 

Making Your Survey Relatable and User Friendly

In addition to targeted sample, it’s also important to consider the overall framework of your project to ensure that you are making it as easy as possible for participants to take part. If you’re dialling visible minorities are you using interviewers that speak the language? Are you dialling from a local number as opposed to a toll free number. Is the survey itself accessible?  The more relatable you make your survey to participants the higher participation and cooperation rates will be.

 

Some people say phone is dying. I prefer to look at is as a metamorphosis.  As consumers habits change, so too must our research practices and approach. At the end of the day, the goal is to ensure high quality response rates and by following the 3 steps above you’ll ensure that your phone projects continue to be well rounded and balanced.

 


About Chris Connolly

2018 Color headshot Chris Connolly, Vice President of Research Services at The Logit Group is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.

Top Three Research Lessons From Election Season Polling

With the Canadian Federal Election taking place on October 21st and the US Presidential election slated for 2020, it’s a perfect time for us researchers to reflect upon sampling, declining response rates, margins of error, and questionnaire wording for federal election polling surveys.

Those of you who are not researchers or analysts have probably been wondering, how truly representative are election polls, and can they still lend credibility to predicted election results in a world of declining response rates?

Looking back on previous elections and their results, it’s clear that there are important takeaways and learnings from how election polls are conducted.  These takeaways not only ensure that future election work is as representative as possible, but they also lend themselves to takeaways that can be transposed to other research projects.

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  1. Ask the right questions to the right audience.

Political polling highlights the importance of asking the right questions. The wording of both the questions and answers will affect the outcome in different ways. For example, here are some considerations:

  • Should you ask respondents for whom they will most likely vote for when the election takes place? Or who they would vote for if the election was held tomorrow?
    • Should your question use the first names of the candidates, as they will appear on the ballots, and/or should you refer to each candidate’s party affiliation?
    • Who are the intended respondents? (All registered voters? All adults of voting age? Anyone intending to vote? Only registered voters who voted in the past election?)

To answer any of these questions, you need to have some clear goals and objectives of why you are conducting the research. There are many types of political polls, and multiple reasons for conducting them. Trying to measure consumer or voter attitudes is different than trying to predict behaviour, which in turn is different from trying to forecast voter turnout.

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  1. First know the why, then determine which method will get you there.
    Most political polls are subjected to a huge amount of methodological analysis and critique. Was the poll conducted online or by phone? Did the pollster use live interviewers or automated dialing with interactive voice recordings? Was the sample selected through random digit dial (RDD) or targeted listings?

    Questions like these offer insights into the most important methodological challenges facing the research industry in a time of rapid technological and social change. It reminds everyone that the method is so important. The challenges are not just about qualitative versus quantitative or surveys versus focus groups, but also about design, fieldwork, respondent recruitment, data collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation.

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  1. Think about the story rather than the numbers.
    Search online for “elections results” and you’ll find a multitude of different polls released on a weekly basis. Most of the results are in alignment with each other, but a handful are notable in their approach because they make the story just as important as the outcomes.

    In those cases, the content is relevant, interest is high, and the stakes are made to feel huge. The story is moving, and it feels like you are one of those individuals they were reporting on. While every poll has the support from PR, marketing, and communication campaigns, it is always nice to see those select few polls that report on things, or from angles, that nobody else has explored yet.

    Conclusion

    When it comes to political polling, the aims and goals are so important that you need to know your approach before you even begin to start thinking about the method and the potential questions. However, once you have your direction, it becomes critical to do more than show the numbers—you must also show the story behind those numbers to make your content relevant and interesting… and to really resonate with your audience.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400 Jake Pryszlak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

Getting the Best Out of Your Customer Satisfaction Program

In the last decade, there have been significant changes to how researchers define “customer satisfaction,” as well as how they use this metric.

Also known as CSAT, customer satisfaction measurement has evolved over time, largely spurred on by technology. It has moved from point-in-time to real-time, from anonymous to linked, and from brick-and-mortar to multi-channel. Throughout these changes, the basics behind a customer satisfaction program have remained essential—gather data to help a client turn opinions into actionable learnings and insight.

At Logit, we collect data in different ways, depending on the client’s customer database or research requirements. We offer the capabilities to execute different methodologies to reach different customer audiences, including phone interviews, online surveys, onsite interviews, and mail surveys.

When considering customer satisfaction surveys, you first have to think about the customer journey and put yourselves in their shoes. For example, how would you like to receive a survey? When would you like to complete a survey?

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The telephone interview has always been an in-demand service from clients who have contact lists. Nevertheless, we see declining participation rates. Fewer people want to take part in comparison to a number of years ago.

On the other hand, online surveys are rapidly gaining momentum. Depending on the survey length, this methodology can be relatively quick and error-free for the client and the participants. It’s similar when thinking about onsite interviews—we always recommend the survey length be no longer than five minutes. These types of interviews are great for clients who may not have a customer list, or for clients who want to understand the opinions of consumers who may not actually purchase a product from the store.

Depending on your data collection instrument (i.e. phone or on-site), it is always important to think carefully about the identity of the client and the values of the brand. At Logit Group, we ensure all interviewers are trained to represent the brand well.

Making it work
Once you have decided on your methodology, you still need to ensure that it is actionable for your customer satisfaction program.

Connect the dots
Consumer responses and their data must be connected to the specific transaction, if one was made. This means each function of the business can receive specific feedback.

Ask yourself: Are you being clear?
When I look at reports, I always think: “Is this data actionable, and is it written in language that easily understood?”

Data and reporting should be clear and simple to understand. Many clients actually provide real-time shared customer experience information to their internal staff because experiences can change from day to day, month to month, or season to season.

Pause for reflection
A customer satisfaction program should not be left alone for years but reviewed every six to 12 months to ensure it is generating ROI and actionability across the entire organization. You need to ask your internal stakeholders what they think of the tools and the dashboards offered. Their feedback allows you to make effective changes to your approach, making certain it is always relevant to the current state of business.

Things to think about…
Almost all organizations have a customer satisfaction program. From my experience, no two are the same and the ideal approach will be unique to each company and its stakeholders, both internal and external.

Once the CSAT program is in place, the data is used to help evolve your products or services, you still need to ensure your customers understand what is being changed and why. Again: Never forget the customer journey. They are taking time out of their day to help you, so if you have altered something because of their feedback, then you need to make sure you not only tell them what actions have taken place because of their opinions and close the loop, but also thank them for their participation and feedback.

 


About Oscar
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Oscar Fernandes serves as the VP of Sales & Client Services at Logit. For over 25 years he has helped his clients execute successful CSAT programs, both online and over the phone.

Top Four Tips for Boosting Sampling Response Rates

It might sound obvious, but your sample is the most important part of your market research project.

Too often, it seems like the survey participants’ experiences and opinions of market research are somewhat overlooked. However, our industry relies heavily on individuals giving up their own time and effort to respond to long questionnaires. If they don’t enjoy the experience or gain any benefit, then why should they bother participating?

Businesses rely on customer data to guide their decision making and provide a sense of direction when making a change in terms of a product enhancement, service overview, or even a new product range. Therefore, reduced response rates ultimately mean less insight or fewer data-driven outcomes.

How can you help your participants enjoy the experience of giving you feedback?

 

1. Treat people the way you would want to be treated

It is important to ensure your research invitations and reminders clearly outline what you are asking. This may include information on why you are conducting the research, incentives on offer (e.g. gift cards), and an explanation why their feedback will be so valuable.

You should try to personalize communication to an individual as far as possible with the resources you have available. For example, most email marketing tools allow you to directly customize how you address emails to individuals rather than impersonal form letters.

Far too often, researchers leave participant communication to the bottom of their list of priorities. I think this is totally wrong. Ask yourself whether you would complete a particular survey if you yourself received the email you’re about to send.

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2. Go mobile

So many people in the industry mention the use of mobile surveys that it must get boring to always read about it! Still, the reason we all say it so much is because we still continually find surveys that have not been mobile-optimized and are not responsive to being answered on a phone or tablet. It can be challenging to get participants to complete a survey while they are watching TV, and an even bigger task to convince them to answer your questions when they are hard to read on a cellphone screen.

We know a high proportion of individuals are “second-screen watchers,” which means they may be watching TV while also texting on their phone. By making a survey mobile-optimized, you increase the likelihood of someone completing it as a second-screen experience instead of never bothering to take part.

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3. Never be boring

Can you remember the last time you wanted to complete a survey that consisted of 40 questions? I can’t… and I am sure your participants feel the same way.

Neither researcher nor participant benefits from excessively lengthy and tedious questioning in either qual or quant research. When survey participants are bored, they are more likely to flip through the survey questions, rush and give false answers just to complete it. Having a seemingly endless list of questions also increases the likelihood of dropouts throughout the survey, negatively affecting your representative sample.

You should be developing short and lean surveys that take participants less than five minutes to complete. This can give you the essential information you require while also increasing the likelihood of a large sample size because of the short length.

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4. Don’t sit on your feedback

After completing a quantitative survey that has a sample size of 1,000+, the worst thing you could do is just ignore all that feedback and not act on any of the new intelligence.

Participants want to feel valued—not just from a gift or reward point of view, but also emotionally. They want to know whether or not their feedback has truly helped, and they really want to see what you, as a brand, will do with the insight and opinions they shared. Offering participants feedback allows them to see the true value of completing a survey or a piece of research for you. It means they will be far more likely to take five or 10 minutes of their own time to complete something for you again.

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Conclusion

By making surveys short, sharp and to the point, you give participants less work to do and your business still gains valuable data and information. The four tips outlined in this article are only a handful of ways to boost response rates. However, implementing even one of these suggestions will help improve the research experience for your participants. Happy and rewarded participants mean quality data outcomes for you that can lead to data-driven decision making.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400 Jake Pryszlak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

5 Top Ways To Build An Effective Online Research Sample!

So you have googled different research methodologies available and have decided that online research is your chosen golden nugget. In particular, you are interested in using an online sample because you wish to ask the same or similar individuals questions about your business and products.

Online sampling can be a crazy world and very difficult to start if you don’t have a set process to follow. This is why I have put together my top 5 things you should look out for when creating or using an online sample!

My top 5 tips are for those who want to build a unique online market research sample, because like I said, it can be a tricky task to even start. I’m hoping these 5 takeaways will help you to breakdown the process so its much more manageable.

  1. What Do You Want to Understand?

The first question you must ask yourself is – What would you like to understand from your research? You need to first define your research objectives. Your objectives will affect what research sample you wish to create and promote. Especially if you’re focusing questions to a set persona or type of individual.

For example, if you are looking to change some your core products, or add to your existing product range. You will need to understand which groups this will affect and how you want them to be represented in your research. Customers, potential customers, mar-comm audiences and stakeholders all need to be represented in a way which reflects their opinion.

On the other hand, let’s say you have a targeted marketing campaign that is on Facebook and other social media platforms, then you would actually what to understand the opinions and thoughts from that specific target audience who you have targeted.

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  1. Leverage Existing Networks

Recruiting participants for research can actually become very expensive especially when taking into account the size of your sample. Yet, the best place to start for any size or scale of research is your own networks. Whether that is using LinkedIn, social media and even your own email lists, customer databases and any other existing connections you have built. People on these lists will be those most valuable to you which means they will also have an opinion.

Current customer opinions is crucial and actually more relevant in some ways than a panel because they are familiar with your brand.

They will be motivated by a desire to improve the brand and experience, rather than the financial incentive.

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  1. Get Yourself on Social!

There has been a lot of buzz recently about social market research with the likes of Brandwatch and SproutSocial dominating the space. Social media listening tools have driven this discussion and market researchers have been quick to adopt such processes. Whilst it would be difficult to use social media from a sample perspective, it is still important to think about social in its broadest sense.

Social media can complement market research through the entire process, from introducing community-based elements during the project, to driving participant recruitment. A subset of snowball sampling methodologies, social media recruitment leverages the personal connections of individuals to reach a wider potential audience. By combining this with your organization’s own networks, it is possible to build a large (and representative) sample in a short space of time.

Then you can think about social media influencers in your area of work to help generate interest and spark a conversation about your new sample. With the use of social media, you can grow your sample size as well as understand what your target audience are actually talking about online. Which will help when creating topics, tasks and surveys for your participants to answer during your sample journey.

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Screen Participants

When you promote a sample on social media the danger is sample quality. There are many dangers to look out for, including speeders, professional research participants, no-shows and more. The best way to eliminate these is through an invitation questionnaire to understand who the individual is and whether they are a best fit for the sample you need.

This will then serve two things. The first is to ensure that your sample fits the profile you are looking for, as there is no point in sending questions to a group of individuals who may not even know what you are on about. The second is to drop participants that would reduce your data quality. Speeders are participants that complete research tasks as quickly as possible and do the bare minimum. Their responses are not always reflective of their own thoughts, often writing the first thing that comes to mind.

The easiest way to catch a speeder out is by asking them a particular question which you ask them to select a particular answer. Speeders will unlikely even read the question before making a choice.

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  1. Manage Your Lists and Participants

At the end of the day, your list are your participants and potential customers. So treat them how you would like to be treated. Over time, some participants will drop out, it is only natural. As more and more drop out this can have an overall negative impact on your research results and sampling quality. To ensure your research doesn’t suffer, you should regularly monitor active and inactive participants and also those on the verge of leaving. The latter could be sent some new information or you could seek to understand how you could help them from not leaving.

 

So by following these quick 5 steps you will be on your way to creating a high-quality panel of research participants. Obviously there are pro’s and con’s to using samples, however, by controlling the different processes that are there to see, it is possible to create a high-quality sample that will help your business in the short and long term.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400 Jake Pryszlak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

Trust, But Verify: Using Online Panels for B2B Research

Conducting B2B research via online panels is an increasingly attractive option. Its more efficient cost model translates to roughly 30% of the price of running the same project by telephone. Incentives are lower online and you’re able to cast a much wider net to accomplish goals far more quickly.

While this may sound great, serious questions can arise over how respondents are recruited… and to how to ensure those answering your surveys are in fact qualified to do so (and are who they say they are).

The survey-taking experience is recruited under the guise that it is completely anonymous. As such, respondents aren’t recruited with a phone number and can’t be validated with telephone verification. This means you need to have a certain level of faith in your panel-of-choice company, and this trust needs to be cemented by a history of successful projects together and the power of their name within the industry.

While trust is important, so is a little common sense. Regardless of past performance, there are additional steps to take across each survey as safeguards to help ensure the content of the report comes from qualified B2B online respondents.

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Picking the right partner

Client relationships are carefully constructed; they need care, attention, and acknowledgement that years of hard work have taken place prior. It’s important to pick a partner that not only respects this philosophy, but also has the experience and courage to tell you the possible pitfalls, preparing you for the reality of the project at hand. This enables you to more reasonably predict the end result, using experience and asking the right clarifying questions to give everyone confidence and a platform from which to build.

With data collection, an account manager will often work on the viability/feasibility and costs for a project, but then passes it along to a project team for execution. Effective B2B research is accomplished when the account manager is tethered to the project from start to finish, and can frame expectations, ensure the team is on target, and work with the client on the fly if necessary to adjust and implement backup plans. B2B research can be nuanced and fraught with challenges that require foresight, experience, and the ability to jump in, correct, and sometimes change tact.

 

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Pre-screening and ensuring B2B panelists are who they say

 “You’re only as good as your last book” is a smart adage to adopt when working with panel sources.

Panels are expected to adhere to the ESOMAR/GRBN Guideline on Online Sample Quality, which sets out best practices in:

  • Research participant validation, to ensure the respondent falls within the description of the research sample;
  • Survey fraud prevention, to ensure the same person doesn’t try to receive more incentives by completing a survey more than once;
  • Survey engagement, to ensure that the respondent is paying sufficient attention;
  • Category and other types of exclusions, to ensure the sample does not include respondents who might bias the results; and
  • Sampling (including sample selection, sample blending, weighting, survey routers, profiling, and screening) to provide transparency.

While these are the cornerstones of panel sampling businesses, it’s important to ensure they do this and acknowledge that respondent profiling isn’t as advanced as it needs to be in B2B sampling.

B2B profilers are sent out, of course, but the completion rates are low and panel companies will often steer consumer respondent traffic that they know is employed within a general business sector.

Most proprietary panel companies have partner sources they introduce. Although vetted appropriately, new sources in the mix can increase the probability for errors based on each source’s ability to control the fraudulent behaviour appearing from time to time. Some of these partner sources can also skew results, with the base of answers really off the expected norms or what other sources in aggregate are showing.

To mitigate this, pre-screening becomes very important even among panel sources that have sufficient profiling for B2B respondents in place. Screening questions for the targeted respondent to go through before entering your survey are ideal for ensuring a respondent is truly qualified to participate.

About half of the incoming panel traffic fails for some reason or another, but this is still an important piece to put in place to ensure that those entering the survey are in fact who you need to answer the survey.

Trust, but verify

“Trust, but verify,” is a useful way to describe how best to manage and monitor a B2B market research panel project and ensure a high-quality data set.

Given the absence of exact profiling, many panels sources need to be tethered together to accomplish ambitious goals or to look for a subsection of respondents within a certain industry.

Whether or not there has been that additional layer of pre-screening, it is critical to embed security conditions (e.g. time to complete, straight-lining) and pepper red herring questions into the survey. (These can be monitored in your daily field disposition, with fails tied to the panel source). Reviewing verbatim for gibberish is another measure for discarding cases that don’t meet quality criteria.

When blending multiple panel sources, it is important to measure the sources against each other and focus on the “quality fails” that arise from the security conditions set, the red herrings, and verbatim review to arrive at pass-back rate percentage by panel. Additionally, you should review responses by panel across each other to identify blips and skews in data. If any are present, they should be isolated and removed from the data set, and passed back to the panel for replacement at no charge. Further, after a pre-test of 10% of the quota is completed, the panel source(s) showing pass-back rates higher than 30 to 40% should be investigated for legitimacy. If necessary, they should be removed from the sampling, forwarded, and removed from the data set.

While all these quality review metrics are important, they must be reasonable—typical pass-back rates on security fails in the industry range between 10 and 20%. (With a pre-screener employed, it tends to be much less). When it is above 20%, there is either a quality source issue or it is overly stringent and the project at hand may not be appropriate for the online methodology. It is important to investigate both possibilities.

Conclusion

Human beings are creatures of comfort, and we prefer to put a lot of faith and trust in proven panel providers. While I think trust is key, it is also important to be vigilant and to employ your own reasonable security metrics that make sense each time. You also need to understand that with panel sources, issues with respondent quality can arise and fraudulent sources (e.g. bots) can break though. With these extra steps and an experienced partner, you’re able to avoid issues and ensure that your report is based purely on respondents that belong.


John Wulff started at Logit Group as its first salesperson in 2008 and has a 30-year career focused on B2B/B2C online, telephone, and onsite data collection. He has held senior positions representing some of the largest and best quantitative phone and panel companies with operations based in North/Central America, Europe, and Asia.

John’s areas of expertise within B2B/B2C data collection are focused on financial, automotive, health-care, entertainment, and information technology segments. In addition to data collection business development efforts for Logit, he leads business development for Logit Group’s technology company—QFI Solutions, a survey software programming/reporting platform.

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