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Things to Think About When Conducting DIY Research

Smaller companies, especially start-ups, often face challenges because they lack financial security or specialist resources such as research leads. To make matters worse, when it comes to cutting costs, it’s the marketing and research budgets that are frequently the first to be reduced. Fortunately, however, the range of cost-effective tools now available should mean a lack of money and experience is no longer an excuse for even the smallest company to not conduct market research.

Across this industry, DIY (i.e. do it yourself) research tools are accessible, widespread, and sometimes even free! From designing a survey for your customers to programs for data report visualizations, there are automated programs online for you to use. However, as with any DIY project, there is still a number of things you need to think about when conducting your own market research.

Quick Results

With the right DIY tools, you don’t need to hire a research company or wait several months for results. Online research platforms mean the various tools and resources are at your fingertips—all you require is a bit of patience, time, and effort to create your own research. Thankfully, there are loads of different examples to help you to get started.

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Further, many organisations who work in the DIY research space are now moving into a SaaS (i.e. software as a service) type of model. This means they can offer their services and tools at cost-effective prices and speed.

Some things are ready for you already
Many survey tools now provide ready-made templates for different industries and scenarios, as well as automated reporting; they can also offer preselected panels for which you can pay online. All these companies have also invested a lot of money into the user experience, so it is simple and easy to conduct your own research in one place.

It can be cheaper (sometimes)
Did you notice the “sometimes” in brackets above? This qualifier is because you do have to take your time with DIY research, and you also have to think about what you really want to understand from your target audience. Without this patience or nuance, you could end up rushing the process and ultimately needing to spend more money to fix the issues you caused.

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When organizations or individuals know what they would like to understand, DIY market research can actually provide plenty of opportunities to be creative at a low price. The question is: Do you truly know what you’re looking for?

Being a step in front of your competitors
Not conducting proper market research is one of the main reasons why so many start-ups fail in their first five years. This is because they haven’t bothered to truly understand the audience to whom they wish to sell. Of course, the fact that not everyone conducts market research can be an advantage for you. To be honest, even thinking about conducting market research puts you a step forward of your competitors who don’t.

The information and insights you can gain from conducting your own market research will help you more even more steps ahead of your competition, if you frame your approach correctly. It’s the difference between a company that conducts market research to understand consumer thoughts and opinions… and a company that just goes off on a hunch or a rough idea.

Overall
More and more vendor partnerships are now being brokered in the DIY space, and the possibilities continue to be exciting as services and tools evolve.

For small companies (or even larger ones with limited budgets), it is important to remember that just because many tools are now automated, you need not rush through the process to find your answer. In fact, it actually means you need to take the same amount of time as you would have done if there was no automation—the speed will come in to play when you are collecting the data and then finding out the results that matter to you.

However, despite all the possibilities associated with DIY research, it should still ultimately be viewed as a complement to traditional full-service research. DIY is a great starting point and offers all the advantages mentioned above, but make sure you do not lose sight of your ultimate goal in exchange for using DIY methods.



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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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