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Tag: marketresearch

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.

Do Try This at Home: Understanding the Benefits of IHUT

For more than 25 years, Logit Group has worked in quantitative and qualitative research, but our areas of expertise go beyond traditional online sampling to areas like in-home usage testing (IHUT). If you’re not familiar with this method, it’s a really cost-effective way to test your product with real people before moving forward with a full-scale product launch.

Testing The Market Before You Hit The Market
There are risks in creating a brand-new product without testing anything. When using IHUT, you have the opportunity to ship products to participants to use at home before you hit the traditional markets. Their feedback is gathered using various means such as follow up telephone or online surveys, or even in-person interviews. This way, individuals are fully engaged in the whole process from start to finish. Since IHUT relies on a real-life environment rather than a controlled market research scenario, it is more likely to result in actual outcomes on product satisfaction, usage, and potential improvement areas.

applying makeup

How Logit Conducts IHUT

When we do IHUT work with a client, we recruit respondents via an online panel that fits a particular desired market segment—the target audience. After respondent selection, the products are then sent to the participants. At different times during the usage period, participants receive an invitation to fill out an online questionnaire or a different type of feedback tool.

One of the surveys may capture the participants’ first impressions and experiences with the product after the first week. A final questionnaire can help determine the experiences and satisfaction with the product in detail, as well as help identify areas for improvement. We recently conducted IHUT work for a national Dairy company company that wanted to understand what consumers thought of its packaging and product taste. The research included two different phases—an eye-tracking exercise and a packaging assessment. We invited 500 product users to participate in the 25 minute in-person test. 375 concept acceptors were given product to take home to understand any changes in their satisfaction and acceptance of the product.

Using the IHUT methodology, Logit Group was able to understand participants’ first impressions, appeal, and purchase intent. As part of some performance accept/reject analysis, we could track results over time to understand changes in consumer preferences and opinions in relation to how long they have been using the product.

data

The Uses of IHUT In Further Research

Overall satisfaction, as well as more pinpointed satisfaction on specific product features, could be measured to provide first insights into potential areas of improvement. In the case of a longer usage period and multiple questionnaires, levels of satisfaction can be measured over time. To focus on potential areas for improvements, I always like to recommend open-ended questions to then really dive deep into what the participant is thinking about a product.

Throughout the IHUT process, data is being analyzed to provide clear, relevant results and recommendations. By the end of the research project, the goal is to know exactly whether or not your product is truly ready for full market launch or requires additional improvement, as well as its potential in terms of acceptance and how to best position it within the market space. IHUT can also help you understand whether there are any geographic differences that you need to think about when marketing and launching your product.

When working with highly skilled analysts like those at Logit Group, IHUT allows you to understand some of the most important checks on your product before launch by means of real-life opinions, comments, and data.


About Aref

Aref Munshi As Vice President, Sales & Research Services for The Logit Group, Aref Munshi’s main responsibilities include, managing existing clients. He has been providing qualitative and quantitative support services to clients across the healthcare, consumer & business industries. With over 30 years of data collection experience, Aref’s strength is his holistic market research skill set. From client services, to operations, Aref is the perfect client advocate and research problem solver. He has held senior management roles at two of the larger data collection companies in Canada. First 25 years at RIS Christie and the last 7 with The Logit Group.

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.