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Category: Information

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.

ballot choice

  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.

phone interview

  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.

people in rally

  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.

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.

Should you combine Quantitative and Qualitative research?

When undertaking a research project, the first question people often ask is whether to conduct quantitative or qualitative research. However, both of these methodologies actually complement each other! In other words, while it can be useful to think of them as single approaches, there are also times when you should combine them for even clearer data.
Difference-between-Quantitative-and-Qualitative-Data

 

What is Qualitative Research? 

Qualitative research, or “qual,” seeks in-depth, freeform answers from respondents either in person or via open-ended responses. As recently as only five years ago, I would have said this was usually carried out with small groups in the form of in-person focus groups, telephone interviews or detailed surveys with free-text responses. Things have changed. While qualitative can still be conducted in person, the vast majority of qual is now done online. (As I’ll explain later in this article, this allows someone to conduct qual research at a quantitative scale.) 

 

images Qual research is often a go-to method for an insight department trying to gather anecdotal views and opinions. It offers a deeper understanding, with the ability to explore topics in more detail., which would usually come about via unprompted feedback. Qual can be a great approach for anyone looking to expand or start a brand-new product line because it allows you to gain honest responses and comments from your target audience.

 

Three to five years ago, you could argue that qualitative research was hard to measure, but there are so many different tools out there to analyze open-ended comments (as well as video responses!) that clients can receive results within hours of their research project getting underway.

 

The only thing I do find potentially difficult when conducting qualitative research is its statistical robustness. This is because you are generalizing to your broader audience, rather than having thousands of data points to analyze.

 

What is Quantitative Research? 

 

On the flip side, quantitative research is, as the name suggests, all about the numbers! It tends to involve a large group of people (usually at least several hundred, but often thousands) completing a survey. While the approach is heavily numerical, this also means the results are clear and are harder to misinterpret. The survey can also be easily repeated and you can reliably track changes over time, such as in a tracker study. Then comes the analysis of your data—as you are asking closed questions, your data can be collected more quickly. 

images (1) However, dealing with numbers means you need a large sample of the population to deliver reliable results. The larger the sample of people, the more statistically accurate the outputs will be.

 

I always like to remind researchers that when they are creating online surveys, the wording is crucial. To be confident in the results of quantitative surveys, you have to be confident that you’re asking the right questions, in the right way, with the correct answer-options included.

 

Final Thoughts

Quantitative and qualitative research both have their place in market research, and a blended approach should be carried out whenever you’re extending product lines or launching something new because it can give you a holistic viewpoint on what your customers are thinking, rather than just from one data point. Both methods can work hand-in-hand; brands can use qualitative research for developing concepts and theories, and quantitative for testing pre-existing ones.

 

You can also use freeform qualitative research to guide the creation of more structured quantitative surveys. Following quantitative surveys, turn to qualitative to better understand the context of the responses! There are so many opportunities!

 

Technology advances like open-response video and heat mapping also mean that qualitative research is getting closer to the quantitative price point. As a result, more and more organizations are able to use both approaches during their work.

 

You no longer have to choose a methodology based on cost because there is now value for the money within the sector. The real question you should be asking is not over which approach but rather how to best use both to provide insights that can have an impact on the bottom line.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400 Jake Pryslak, 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.

Using Chatbots for Your Market Research

Using Chatbots for Your Market Research

Are you familiar with chatbots? The basic concept is a computer program designed to have actual, realistic conversations with people over the internet. The technology can be so realistic that you may have chatted with one while using a website and not even realized it wasn’t human.

These bots might sound like they’re straight out of a science-fiction future, but they’re already widely used. In other words, if you’re wondering today whether or not your business should consider using a bot down the road, then you’re asking yourself the wrong question. Using chatbots and other inclusive research methodologies isn’t a strategy for tomorrow—it’s already a strategy today.

Clever use of chatbots on a website can be critical for brands looking to establish real, genuine connections with consumers through technology. Unfortunately, market researchers tend to have a terrible habit—we often are quick to grab on to new ideas but are not as quick to implement them in a practical manner. 

There’s no need to overcomplicate it. A bot or an inclusive survey methodology is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a consumer through a conversational interface.

The most advanced conversational bots are powered by artificial intelligence, helping the program to understand complex requests and personalize responses. You probably have already taken part or used a chatbot or something similar via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, or numerous other websites.

The chatbot survey experience requires you to rethink the survey process. Messenger-type chats between humans or between bots and human are generally short, to the point, and designed to gather as much information as possible in a short period of time. This is counter-intuitive to general online market research methodologies, where we continually develop longer and more complicated surveys. However, the industry is beginning to recognize the importance of respondent experience as cooperation rates start to fall.  chatbots

When to use chatbots

When thinking about data collection, chatbots have limitations like any other methodology. Just as a mobile interface is not well-suited to many of market research’s staple question types (e.g. matrix, sliders, and lists), a chatbot through a Messenger-type app will suffer the same issues to some extent. However, the types of questions and the language you use when talking to someone via an app should be very different from a general opinion survey. 

One area for which chatbots seem particularly well suited is in mass qualitative research. In terms of thinking about natural language and opinions, chatbots have the ability to probe deeply, similar to a human moderator or a face-to-face interview.

When taking into account the cultural differences in conducting research in multiple states, a chatbot can actually ‘learn on the job’ by using the responses it receives to generate other intuitive responses and probes. This approach is something that could be missed using non-bot means—especially from a tired human moderator or one-on-one interviewer!

Final thoughts

Chatbots and other inclusive market research methodologies are not new to the market anymore. They are being used throughout many industries, from collecting email addresses to conducting market research. Just like every data collection technique, chatbots and other inclusive methodologies have forced the industry to adapt and ultimately provide us with another tool to use.


About the Logit Group

The Logit Group is a leader among data collection firms, and our ongoing commitment has been to develop and administer industry-best technologies as the basis of our research execution. We offer online and offline services including; Global Panel SourcingB2C Phone ResearchMall InterceptsIn-depth interview (IDI) recruitmentFocus group recruitmentcustomized reporting, and more.

For a full list of our services, please visit our website here and to submit a bid request, please see our Bid Request form.

Portrait of Steve Male VP Business Development at the Logit Group

Tips to Think About When Conducting Multicultural Research

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, America is projected to grow by 75 million people over the next four decades, from about 329 million this year to 404 million in 2060. The category of those identifying themselves as being two or more races is set to be the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group over the next several decades, followed by Asians and Hispanics.

According to the Pew Research Centre, over one-tenth of America (14%) is foreign-born compared to 5% in 1965. That same research suggests something that I find even more striking—by the year 2055, no single racial or ethnic group will be the majority of the population.

This increasingly multicultural makeup should be a key factor when designing a sophisticated research program targeting the diverse demographics of our world. Think of this society as an incubator of insights—different genders and cultures bringing different personalities, opinions, and perspectives. But this also means brands and agencies will increasingly need to tailor their approaches.

For this blog post, I want to offer some tips on how to address cultural differences when conducting market research among an increasingly diverse target audience.

 

Seven Tips for Multicultural Market Research

Here are seven quick tips to help plan out your multicultural market research.

Tip 1: Take a look at earlier research conducted in this area.
It is important to examine the different results that have been previously shared, as well as the sampling plans and weighting considerations other researchers might have taken. You can learn so much from previous research, whether you find it from online portfolios or your own business insight team.

Multicultural Tip 2: Keep in mind demographic differences by racial or ethnic groups, and be sure to include adequate multicultural representation in your sample.
It can really depend on the subsets from which you are trying to gain insights, but due to varying response rates and/or panel representation, I would always recommend an oversample to obtain an adequate read.

Tip 3: Don’t assume because your survey has been completed that you are also complete!
I would recommend comparing your survey demographics to the general population that you are trying to research! By doing this, you can then understand if you need to make any changes to the data, such as weights to ensure the results are reflective.

Tip 4: Think about your participants and their preferred language.
An easy, but often forgotten, technique is to ensure participants can complete surveys in their preferred language. This is so important—especially in the case of phone studies and panels. Spanish

Often, participants will respond in their native language when given the option. However, this makes it critical for the translations to be authentic. To get the best sense of what people really meant, it is important to avoid overly formal language or paraphrasing. While you can hire efficient and cost-effective translators, I would recommend finding translators from the specific region your targeted respondents are from—classical Spanish from Madrid can be quite different from the language of Americans with family roots in Mexico or Central America, for example.

Tip 5: Think about your audience!
The use of smartphones is not only influencing the number of times I walk into someone (because my head is looking down while I’m tweeting away!), but it is also swaying how we communicate with each other, and shop for various things. But not everyone accesses the internet the same way.

When conducting research among a specific racial or ethnic group, make sure you are able to use the correct data collection method to effectively reach participants. According to the Pew Research Centre, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to access the internet via cellphone or tablet. On the other hand, Asian Americans are more likely to have broadband in the home.

By making sure you understand your audience and the most appropriate data collection method, you increase your chances of attracting not only more respondents, but also gathering more robust data because individuals are in their comfort zone.

Tip 6: For the data analysis stage, make sure you understand the details.
As you sift through the results, it is important to remember there are numerous factors at play. You need to consider whether income levels or ethnicity are driving behavioural or attitudinal differences between your respondents. casual-cellphone-chat-1798852

Tip 7: Remember the people.

Whether you are conducting multicultural research or any other type, there is one particular concept that should never get forgotten—respondents are people. That means whichever method you pick, the same concept applies: in order to understand someone’s views and opinions, you first need to understand how you will ask them the questions.

Off to work you go!


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400 Jake Pryslak, 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.

Happy new year 2019

New Year, New Blog

Welcome,

It seems like we just rung in the New Year and now we’re already well into February. While this is normally the time of the year where New Year Resolutions start to taper off and old habits creep back in, we wanted to make sure we keep growing and evolving, both as people and as a company.

When Logit started more than two decades ago, we could not imagine how our business would have to adapt and change for a world in 2019. From leaps and bounds in technology to the growth and influence of social media, there was no way to have envisioned how much our industry would change in a relatively short time.

That’s why in 2019 we’re shifting gears to not only focus on the “now,” but also to look ahead to the “emerging.” There has never been a more exciting time for market research. With advancements in technology, growing trends, and new ways to connect to people across the globe, it is more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve in our field; we owe it to both to our clients and to ourselves. parallax-contact

That is why I am excited to introduce the Logit Blog, our newest initiative where we can share information, discuss concepts, work towards best practice, and push the boundaries of the industry’s landscape. But, most importantly, our new blog will be a place to connect with our clients and colleagues over our shared interest in market research and data collection.

We don’t want to give too much away just yet, but we did want to give you a sneak peek of some of the content we will be discussing:

  • Evolutions in quantitative data methods
  • Programming and hosting challenges and solutions
  • Changes in population and generational demographics
  • The growing industry of Artificial Intelligence
  • The future of market research
  • Top trends and outdated methods
  • Emerging data markets
  • And much more

Our goal for 2019 is to learn more about the world around us and share those findings with you. And, of course, we would love to hear your ideas, questions, and interests. Feel free to connect and/or comment via the blog or through any of our social media accounts; we want to grow an inclusive MRX community.

Welcome to 2019 and welcome to the Logit Blog! Where we continue to be practitioners in the science and art of research (blog) execution.

Talk soon,

Sam Pisani
(on behalf of The Logit Group)

Sam Pisani Headshot. Logit Group Managing Partner