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Category: Technology

Canadian residents are moderately satisfied with governments’ response to the COVID-19 crisis, satisfaction is higher at the provincial level than at the federal level.

With the exception of Quebec, residents in all Canadian regions and provinces are less confident in the measures taken by their provincial government to combat COVID-19 than they were in May.

Canadian residents are appreciative of the provincial health care system during COVID-19, with the exception of Quebec where opinions are mixed.

Residents have confidence in the leadership of their provincial Chief Medical Officers in addressing the pandemic.

 

September 10, 2020

SATISFACTION WITH GOVERNMENTS’ RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 CRISIS

As the Canadian situation with COVID-19 evolves, residents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction with the federal and provincial governements’ response. Overall, Canadian residents are satisfied with their provincial government’s actions to address the crisis (74% satisfied), while they rate the federal government less favourably in comparison (66% satisfied).

Several differences of opinions are noteworthy across provinces. Residents of NL, NS, ON and BC offer more positive assessments of both levels of governments than residents from other provinces. Of note, residents of the Prairie provinces (58% satisfied), QC (56% satisfied) and NB (64% satisfied) are most critical of the federal government’s performance, while satisfaction is highest in NL (82% satisfied) and NS (80% satisfied). Similarly, the level of satisfaction with the provincial government’s response is lowest in the Prairies provinces (61% satisfied). Opinions are relatively consistent across key demographic characteristics, although the level of satisfaction with the provincial government increases with age and it is highest among Boomers (81% satisfied).

CONFIDENCE IN MEASURES UNDERTAKEN BY GOVERNMENTS TO COMBAT COVID-19

Since May 2020, there has been a significant decline in residents’ level of confidence in measures undertaken by the provincial governments to combat COVID-19, although two-thirds of residents (65%) continue to express high confidence, as evidenced by ratings of 7-10 on a 10-point scale.

By region, residents of the Prairies exhibit the lowest level of confidence (49%) and the sharpest decline since May. By contrast, a small improvement is noted in Quebec.

Residents were also asked this time around how confident they are in the measures taken by the federal governement to combat COVID-19. While overall nearly six in ten residents (57%) express some level of confidence, opinions vary across the regions and provinces. The level of confidence in the federal government’s actions is highest in NL , followed by NS  and ON.

RATING OF PROVINCIAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM DURING COVID-19

To understand the level of public confidence in health services, residents were asked to rate on a scale of 1-10 the health care system in their province during COVID-19. While Canadian residents overall are moderately positive towards their health care system (59% offered a positive rating of 7-10), differences exist across regions and provinces.

More than seven in ten residents in BC (78%) and ON (73%) rate the health care system positively, providing a score of 7-10. Residents of Atlantic Canada (69%) and the Prairie provinces (61%) are more critical in comparison. Opinions of the Quebec health care system are clearly divided, with over a third of residents offering no opinion, and the remainder being split between low ratings of 1-4 (26%), moderate ratings of 5-6 (14%) and high ratings of 7-10 (23%), for an average rating of 4.9 on the 10-point scale.

CONFIDENCE IN LEADERSHIP OF PROVINCIAL CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH

Canadian residents were asked to rate their level confidence in the leadership of their provincial Chief Medical Officer of Health to combat COVID-19. Overall, two-thirds of Canadian residents express confidence, as evidenced by ratings of 7-10 on a 10-point scale. Across the country, confidence is highest in NL (88%) and BC (75%), while it is lowest in the Prairies (61%).

This survey was conducted online August 20-22, 2020, with 1,230 Canadians 18 years of age or older, from the Logit Group’s Canadian Omnibus. Fielding every month, the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Omnibus surveys Canadians to ask their opinions and behaviours related to topical issues. Results were analyzed by Narrative Research. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied.

This is the second of three research summaries that will be provided within the week. Watch for further details on Canadians’ perceptions and behaviours related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is a leading public opinion and market research company headquartered in Canada. The company was recently certified as WBE (Women Business Enterprise). As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.

The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented.

Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative and @LogitGroup

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research – 902.222.7066, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Top 5 Emerging Tech Trends in Market Research

It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when research was collected using a pen and paper. The last 10 years have seen the research space evolve at breakneck speed, largely thanks to improvements in technology and the way in which we store and access data.

Emerging tech has spawned new companies, methodologies and ways of collecting and reporting on insights, in turn forcing companies within market research to collectively look at ways to improve their own research practices.

Leveraging technology has made research more economical and has allowed us to expand the scope and magnitude in which insights are collected and analyzed. As a result, the playing field has been levelled with the introduction of DIY tools and other data driven products and services.
The question then becomes, what’s next? Where does research evolve from here and what do we need to do as an industry to be ready for its arrival. In this article we’ll look at the top 5 emerging tech trends that you need to be on the lookout for.

Blockchain
When most of us think of blockchain we think of cryptocurrency, and while it’s been its biggest implementation to date, blockchain presents far more possibilities to the research space then just the option to pay out participants in bitcoin.

Blockchain is about building a secure global trust network that is verifiable through the creation of transactional transparency. Imagine a world in which panelists and data can be verified through blockchain technology, going far beyond a simplistic hashing system.

Although practical usage in MR is quite limited at the moment, larger companies such as IBM and Mastercard are currently implementing blockchain as a practical application to reduce fraud and security risk.

Artificial Intelligence
Out of all of the items on this list, AI has gotten the most traction to date. It feels like almost every MR article and webinar has at least one reference to the subject. From AI based moderators to automated analytics and reporting, almost every aspect of a product lifecycle has received automation in some form or another.

The benefit of using AI is that it leverages the knowledge and data of countless other outcomes while at the same time reducing manual interaction and time spent on a project.

The good news about AI is that it’s becoming cheaper and more intelligent by the day, and with large companies like Tesla and Amazon leading the charge, it’s only a matter of time before automated projects become the norm as opposed to the exception.

Internet of Things
It’s becoming rarer and rarer to find a home that doesn’t include at least one smart product. Almost 70% of US homes now have at least one smart device, and of those, 60% either have at least a second device or would be open to purchasing additional devices.

Smart homes bring smart opportunities and provide additional avenues for both passive and interactive data collection. With it come the challenges and questions of how do we design questionnaires to be used with smart home voice assistants? What are the privacy concerns and restrictions of data monitoring and collection?

It’s hard to imagine, but there may come a time in the future where we no longer have to ask a consumer what they purchased at the grocery store. Their smart fridge will natively share that information with us, providing real time, detailed, accurate information.

Hybrid Methodologies
Methodology used to and still does to an extent play a critical role in how we engage with audiences for the purposes of research. However, as time goes on, the line between methodologies have blurred as audiences have adopted new means of communication.

SMS, social media and voice assistants have replaced land lines, faxes and mail as modern day information conduits. As a result, MR has had to adapt and find ways to utilize these channels to reach modern day consumers.

As we look to the future, the question is going to be how to we further leverage these opportunities and create sustainable products and services that incorporate these channels.

Non-MR Trends
The last MR trend is not an MR trend at all yet. It’s being utilized in another industry that has absolutely nothing to do with market research. It’s important now more so than ever to keep a watchful eye on other industries, looking for new ideas and inspiration that will serve as the innovation for creating the next wave of MR tech trends.



About Steve

Portrait of Steve Male VP Business Development at the Logit Group

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.

The pandemic has given many Canadians the opportunity to slow down the pace and enjoy personal and family time.

The pandemic has given many Canadians the opportunity to slow down the pace and enjoy personal and family time.
July 28, 2020
While there have been many negative consequences of the overall pandemic experience, there are some positive outcomes that most Canadians have experienced during this period of time.
With home isolation and social distancing in place, most Canadian residents have been afforded the opportunity to undertake activities to a greater extent than is the case during their normal routine. Indeed, during the pandemic most have relaxed more than usual, spent more quality time with family members, baked/cooked more than usual, or read more than usual. Close to half indicated that they have slept more than usual, while one-third have exercised more than they normally would. Three in ten Canadians report having developed a new friendship or deepened an existing friendship during the pandemic.

Across the country, results are generally consistent, regardless of province or gender. There are, however, some interesting differences by age. Gen Z residents are notably more likely than other Canadians to have spent quality time with friends (78%), relaxed more (79%), slept more (78%) and to have exercised more (56%). The likelihood of having baked / cooked more often is most prevalent among those under the age of 35, while those aged 25-34 are most likely to have read more (60%) during the pandemic.
This survey was conducted online July 9-11, 2020, with 1,230 Canadians 18 years of age or older, from the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Canadian Omnibus. Fielded monthly, the Logit Group’s COVID-19 Omnibus surveys Canadians to ask their opinions and behaviours related to topical issues. Results were analyzed by Narrative Research. Data was weighted based on the 2016 Census, by gender, age, and region to reflect these population characteristics in each province. As a non-probability sample (i.e., a panel sample where residents have joined a panel to share their opinions), and in accordance with CRIC Public Opinion Research Standards, a margin of error is not applied.
Narrative Research (www.narrativeresearch.ca), is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and market research companies. As a non-partisan, 100% Canadian-owned research company, Narrative Research is dedicated to providing clients with state-of-the-art research and strategic consulting services.
The Logit Group (https://logitgroup.com/) is a leading North American data collection and market research execution company headquartered in Toronto, conducting large-scale projects for a variety of well-known research agencies and brands. Logit employs industry-best technologies across an array of methodologies, and is independent, experienced and quality-oriented.

 
Follow us on Twitter at @EveryNarrative and @LogitGroup
###
For more information, please contact:
Margaret Brigley, CEO, Narrative Research – 902.222.7066, mbrigley@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Margaret Chapman, COO, Narrative Research – 902.222.4048, mchapman@narrativeresearch.ca
OR
Sam Pisani, Managing Partner, Logit Group – 416.629.4116, sam.pisani@logitgroup.com

Re-shaping Our Face-to-Face Protocols

The past several months has been a trying and disruptive period, both for our industry and the world.  As the curve starts to level, more and more economic areas have begun the process of re-opening, marking both opportunities and challenges for us conducting in-person research.

Since March, many of us in the research world have closely monitored the recommendations of both our government and medical experts.  Social distancing, disinfecting processes and general greater sense of awareness in public places have become the new norms.  As consumers and research participants emerge from self-isolation into the new world, it’s important to balance our research needs with the safety and peace of mind of participants.

Our ‘COVID19 Omnibus’ showed us that a majority of participants recognize the importance of sharing their opinions at this critical time, and largely feel that now is an appropriate time to participate in research. As research leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure that appropriate quality control & safety measures can both still be implemented.

As we transition back from the lockdown, it’s important to take the following steps to ensure the health and well being of not only respondents but also supporting employees as it pertains to in-person research.

In-Person Facility Best Practices:

To ensure the safety of all individuals participating in research at in-person facilities, it’s important to ensure the following conditions are met:

  • Sanitize the equipment and furniture before each shift
  • Have respondents do a temperature check at check-in
  • Ensure that mask & sanitizing/washing stations are available for respondents & staff
  • Have respondents sign a travel & symptom waiver before entering the interviewing area
  • Ensure that desks / chairs follow Social Distancing rules – minimum 6 feet apart
  • Utilize floor signs as reminder of social distancing rules
  • Limit the number of participants in a room at any one time – with a staggered entry
  • Reconfigure facilities to ensure proper distancing between respondents & staff
  • Use an electronic sign in and sign out for the respondent
  • No hand-outs, all concepts / hand-outs will be presented electronically
  • Product will be served in individual self-serve units only
  • If utilizing HUTs after in-facility interview– sanitized product containers should be placed in carry out bags for respondents to take home.
  • For HUTs without in-facility interview – respondents should be pre-screened by telephone/on-line before being mailed/couriered the product to their home in a sanitized container.
  • If client viewing is required, a second room with monitors or virtual monitoring should be utilized.

In addition to the safety of respondents, it’s also important to consider the health and well being of employees supporting the research. The following should be used as best practices when conducting research in person.

Staff Best Practices:

  • Measure and report staff temperature before coming in for each shift
  • E-mail/text a daily travel & symptom waiver before coming in for their shift
  • Wear masks and gloves where possible, always while at the facility
  • Sanitize/wash hands frequently and after every interview
  • Always maintain social distancing rules – minimum 6 feet apart
  • Sanitize tablets / computers after each interview
  • For product test – materials (plates, cutlery etc.) are one time use only

The post COVID-19 world will be a vastly different one for in person interviewing.  However, by following some of the best practices above we can ensure that both respondents and staff are able to conduct in person research in a safe and secure environment.

 


About Aref Munshi

Aref Munshi  

As Vice President, Sales & Research Services for The Logit Group, Aref Munshi’s main responsibility is managing existing clients. In his current role, his main responsibilities include managing existing clients, where he is a client advocate and research problem solver; 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.

Weathering COVID-19 – Business Development Strategy During a Difficult Time

I often thought the world would be a much better place if all politicians were, by law, required to have a history degree. The relevant knowledge and trends they could draw from to help shape insights, process and a successful path forward would really serve us all. As researchers, this is language that’s all too familiar to us…

With Covid-19, we’re in an unprecedented time, but we are uniquely qualified to handle this challenge.

With a growing trend towards sensationalized data and soundbites, we as a society are constantly inundated by main stream media with sobering assessments and un-fact checked hypotheses that drive fear and further enflame the situation. Covid-19 has become commoditized, making it easy to get caught up in the vortex around the pandemic. It’s important to understand that in these times, the best way to thrive is to think outside the box and to adopt a fresh perspective.

We need to focus on what we can control in an environment that has taken so much of it away. It’s difficult to develop business while managing our own personal feelings and worry for our families and colleagues, but we’re objective thinkers. We make decisions and recommend directions based on market conditions. We need to employ this thinking for ourselves and understand that there are growth areas, and in fact, it’s never been more important and a better time to conduct most lines of research.

The New York Times recently published this article that portrays the realities we’re seeing in field:

The Title:
Surprising Poll Results: People Are Now Happy to Pick Up the Phone

The Subtitle:
Pollsters are used to having their calls screened. But when everyone is stuck at home, a stranger with some survey questions can be a lifeline.

https://bit.ly/polling-coronavirus

The article focuses on the realities we’re finding on how ‘response rates have risen amongst people in typically tough-to-reach demographics, such as young people and those without college degrees, who are typically less likely to use landlines. Increased participation is also reported amongst cell phone users – particularly in the daytime, when in the past many respondents would most likely have been at work and unwilling to answer a call from an unknown number.’

The striking tone of the article and as those in CATI data collection research know, traditionally, older age groups take more time and are more receptive to research, more so than any other age group. With Covid-19 in our midst, we’re seeing increased cooperation across the board across all ages and ethnic groups. It’s incumbent on us to take the responsibility to continue research outreach and to help the population right itself. This example of an empowering reality can mobilize a lot of business decision makers into quick action. The question we all hear posed by Decision Makers is… ‘Is this the right time to do research?’ Yes in fact, it is.

Increased response rates are being reported across the board and span over all methodologies. Online survey response rates have surged, interactive IDI/Focus Groups are becoming the new norm and plans for onsite social distancing compliance for research are well underway and gathering momentum.

As business leaders, it’s our job to approach the emotional toll of a terrible pandemic in a clinical fashion as we’re revenue drivers. We acknowledge it’s our responsibility to create stability to ensure the health and growth of our clients. It’s also important for those who work for our Companies. It can feel heavy but I have found that shifting my focus to the emotional business needs of our clients has been helpful and very productive.

In times like this, we trust ourselves, trust the future and take charge of what we can control. Now, more than ever, it’s important to create a ‘diamond’ level experience routed in creativity and case examples that truly illustrate the state of the industry which is driven by respondents. Tasking yourself to this challenge will serve not only you, but us collectively as an industry well.

 


About John Wulff

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.

Interviewing Hard-to-Reach Respondents During Difficult Times

Interviewing Hard-to-Reach Respondents During Difficult Times
By Arundati Dandapani

Door to door sampling was the truest, recall the veterans, who are still grappling with the challenges of an industry that has fast moved towards automation and programmatic designs. Research reveals that operational efficiency and costs have brought down the overall quality of the respondent experience, leading to a general distrust in the industry. Poor experiences have led to declining participation rates, leading to even lower response and completion rates.

Incidence rate is defined as the number or percentage of qualified people from a sample that are eligible to participate in a study. Since the onset of one of the most disruptive global health crisis in recent decades has changed the way we work, suppliers across the board report no change in IR (ease of finding qualified respondents/targetable population) or Response Rates (completion), and in some cases observing even higher response rates than before. Meeting respondents for specific market research studies however remains an ongoing challenge and difficulty for many reasons.

Are these Difficult Times?

Twelve weeks ago, there was no COVID-19 to talk about. Today, how we are doing business and market research has changed completely owing to the economic, social, and public health impacts of the current global pandemic.

“In times of COVID-19, we need to be hyper-sensitive on user experience as everyone has heightened emotions. When we poll our audience about ‘what questions do you have today’, Covid related questions are becoming major top of mind questions,” said Paul Neto of Measure Protocol. Rand Market Research confirms that nearly 80% of Canadians are concerned about the Coronavirus and are changing their behaviour due to it. “While many companies focus on Incidence Rates, the critical metric is its conversion to completion rates, as in many cases (70-90% of all surveys), participants do not complete them because of poor experiences. The industry has moved away from responsible interaction with the participant,” reminded Neto.

Jackie Lorch of Dynata wrote that, “Consumers can still provide generalizable data and think objectively about their cars, TVs, household goods and other products and services, but their answers on many topics will be different while the Coronavirus crisis lasts. This reflects the reality of your customers’ experience. It is more vital than ever to keep in touch with them and not risk being left with a data “black hole” as the world recovers.”

Business as Usual Despite the Crisis

The major reported or observed change in research operations has been in the shifting of real-person fieldwork to virtual operations, affecting offline qualitative work the most (including face-to-face interviews, and focus groups). The best way to measure change is by tracking respondents over time, for example, comparing the IR in studies in the last month with the past three months of studies in field.

Whether times are good or bad, maintaining respondent interest can be a challenge for many reasons. Factors range from the source of sample (e.g., banks that use highly targeted client lists for surveys seeing higher participation), mode of survey (online is a better medium for some demographics, and has little barriers for use in difficult times like COVID-19), quality of profilers (the rarer the qualifications or behaviours, the feasibility of that sample is lower) among others.

While there are different reasons for low respondent participation, panel participation is often dependent on how the survey question is worded, and what the qualification times and windows are. Qualification includes the criteria that respondents are required to fulfill at the recruiting stage, and qualification times and windows often determine how tracking studies will be impacted, opening unique opportunities to benchmark and observe targeted respondent behaviour over time.

The potential of mode must not be overlooked. According to Randa Bell of ASDE Survey Sampler, “IVR (interactive Voice Response) presents an interesting opportunity to reach respondents in a cheaper or faster way than traditional telephone surveys, when your interviewing capacity is lowered due to physical distancing in call centers. Also, there’s the added ability to reach cell phones via IVR or SMS text messages to the younger age groups who might be sitting at home and bored with all the news and lock-down. All surveys at these times should be introduced knowing that COVID-19 is on the minds of everyone and acknowledged in the introduction.”

Doing More to Earn Respondent Trust and Retention

Businesses need to keep conducting mitigation tests to check that their field studies are on track to optimize their incidence rates. The qualifications for studies and project timelines must reflect the new reality and new needs, whether that means keeping a close tab on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, and being adaptive in response as governments and citizens work to contain the outbreak, or introducing new measures that protect the public and companies investment in the ongoing health of their respondents.

Incidence rates are reflective of the effort it takes to convert qualified persons to participate in a study. Research fieldwork and data collection methods must be adaptive to create better experiences that improve participation rates. If that in the current environment means substituting / migrating all face-to-face qualitative work with other user-friendly virtual, mobile and safe alternatives, businesses must prepare. Targeting lists and respondents effectively involves employing the optimal mix of traditional and new technologies including AI, the internet of things and blockchain to ensure user-intuitive experiences that convert to the highest participation of qualified respondents.


About Arundati

Arundati Arundati Dandapani, CMRP (@itadnura) advises non-profits and businesses with insights and storytelling. She is the founder of Generation1.ca, an online cross-sectoral resource and outlet for Canada’s newest residents, chief editor of MRIA-ARIM, and has been honoured with industry awards like the inaugural GRIT Future List Honour along with the 2020 AAPOR Burns Bud Roper Fellow and QRCA’s 2020 Young Professionals Grant. She can be reached at arundati@generation1.ca.

Keeping Your Market Research Data Safe and Secure

Market research companies are faced with varying challenges and security threats when it comes to protecting their data. Over the last two years, there have been many breaches exposing millions of data records as cybercriminals have been targeting both the public and private sectors. According to IBM’s 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach worldwide is $3.9 million. For the United States, that number soars to $7.91 million.

Shane Graph1

 

The burden of responsibility is widening as many international regulators are now holding organizations liable for any privacy or security breaches. As custodians of sensitive client data, market research companies have a responsibility to minimize the security risk for data both in motion and at rest.

Data in motion, as its name suggests, refers to information being moved from one location to another across the internet, along networks, or from storage devices or the cloud. Protection methods are particularly critical because this data in transit tends to be thought of as less secure than data at rest, which is information simply stored or archived on hard drives, devices, or networks.

Protecting data is critical not only for its own obvious sake, but also to reassure potential survey participants who might be apprehensive about participating in your market research project due to being aware of recent data breaches in other sectors.

Some recommended measures to be implemented include:

• providing staff with cybersecurity tools to ensure ongoing compliance with best practice policies and procedures;
• lowering risk exposure by implementing technology such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion protection systems (IPS), honeypots, and firewalls;
• regularly monitoring and auditing security procedures to meet developing cyber threats;
• implementing detailed security policies that entail procedures, rules, and roles so all staff members understand that data privacy and security are priorities (e.g. policies like handling procedures, usage, privacy, social media, and user responsibilities);
• keeping informed with all cyber-threat news, updates, and applicable security patches;
• investing in data-breach or cyber-security insurance; and
• conducting penetration testing—also known as “ethical hacking,” this the practice of testing a computer system or network to find security vulnerabilities that could be exploited.

Perhaps one of the most important data security recommendations comes down to always ensuring you are working with people whose approaches and practices you can trust. The Logit Group is continually implementing new measures that comply with industry best practices and address client concerns and requirements about data security and privacy while adhering to data protection laws.

 

Forbes graph: https://www.statista.com/chart/9918/the-price-tag-attached-to-data-breaches/


shane headshot

About Shane Scott

Shane Scott has over 17 years of notable success leading a broad range of corporate and government IT initiatives while participating in the planning, analysis, and implementation of solutions in support of business objectives. As the Logit System Administrator and Support Specialist, Shane has been championed to enhance the Security, Infrastructure and System administration as the company growth continues.

How to Gain a Competitive Edge Using MR

How to Gain a Competitive Edge Using MR

Since Daniel Starch developed his theory in the 1920s that advertising had to be seen, read, believed, remembered, and most importantly, acted upon, in order to be considered effective; companies have been using research as a means to gain a competitive edge on their competitors.

Research methodology and techniques have evolved substantially over the years most noticeably since the turn of the millennium. Conducting research has become faster, cheaper and more efficient; allowing companies of all shapes and sizes access to it. With companies conducting research in one form or another more than ever before, the challenge to gain meaningful unique data has grown ten-fold.

The pursuit of consumer insights has become an arms race, with the most successful companies finding ways to not only understand, but leverage insights at breakneck speeds. Those who have been able to harness the power of insights have flourished in the post brick and mortar retail world, while those who haven’t have faded into obscurity and obsolescence.

So how does market research play into the success of a company? And what are some areas of focus that companies can look toward in 2020 for a competitive edge?

Looking at Purchase and Usage Trends

purchase trends
To know where you’re going you need to know where you’ve been. By evaluating both purchasing and product usage behaviour of your current customers, you can understand the why, when and how of their consumption and through it can see trends and potential areas for change and enhancement. There are a few keyways to do this each with their own inherent benefits:

In Store Observations: Allows you to see consumers in their natural environment and gives you an understanding of their path to purchase.
Online communities: A small representative population of your consumer base. Gives you quick access to run both quantitative and qualitative data.
Point of Purchase / Interaction data: Short follow up quantitative survey delivered post interaction.
In Home Usage Tests: Diary / Log of a consumer’s interaction with your product and key takeaways of it’s use.

Gaining Competitive Insights

competitive insights
As important as it is to know how your consumers use your product / services, it’s also equally important to know how your consumers view you in relation to your competitors. Several ways to do this include:
MaxDiff Exercises: Respondents evaluate all possible pairs of items within the displayed set and choose the pair that reflects the maximum difference in preference or importance
Conjoint Analysis: Helps to determine how people value different attributes (feature, function, benefits) that make up an individual product or service

Leveraging Technology and Automation

leveraging technology
As the speed of business continues to get quicker and quicker so too does the speed at which insights are gathered and put into use. The ability to leverage technology and automation has become more important amongst the ever-evolving business landscape. Here are a few areas where you can gain a competitive advantage.

Facial Coding: Allows you to capture a respondent’s emotional engagement to any stimulus in real time.
Chat Bots: Conduct qual style exercises at the size of quantitative studies

Through harnessing the research techniques above you too can ensure that your company has a competitive advantage. Want to learn more about how you can implement these on your studies, contact us to learn more.

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.

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.