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Category: Technology

Steve Male Graphic for Tech Trends in 2021

Tech Trends We’re Following For 2021

2020 was a rollercoaster of a year, and it forced many companies of all sizes to pivot not only in terms of operations, but how they deliver products and services. Digital offerings have become the new norm, and many long-range innovation plans have experienced exponential growth due to increased demand and necessity.

One key takeaway from 2020: the collective need for the market research industry to revolutionize itself, and to bring research execution firmly into the 21st century. Now that 2021 is upon us, we’re highlighting 5 tech-driven trends that are poised to dominate the MR space this year:

  1. Continued reliance on Artificial Intelligence

We’ve been hearing about the impending arrival of AI for years, and how it will change everything in research. Conferences have seminars dedicated to it, and we’re inundated with webinars, articles and ads touting its importance. For the most part, it’s been more sizzle than steak, but we’re finally starting to see more practical applications being put to use.

AI-driven chatbots for qualitative exercises essentially fill the role of a moderator and can prompt respondents for further explanation based on the answers they provide. AI is also being used to mine historical responses and then extrapolate predictions based on past user behaviour. Early indicators point to a future of less reliance on proprietary ad hoc research and more reliance on historic secondary research, re-packaged for subsequent use.

2. The Internet of Things Plays a Central Role

As more and more people consume and integrate smart tech into their homes, the opportunity to leverage its use for practical research applications grows.  Smart home assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa have created an opportunity to engage consumers on a new level, providing an opportunity to subsidize current methodologies such as online and phone.

Smart tech also provides an opportunity to natively study usage behaviour from everything from lightbulbs to appliances.  The average U.S. homeowner has 11 connected smart devices in their home; look for this trend to grow throughout 2021, and with it the ability to leverage these IoT devices for key insights.

3. Usage of Tech to Supplement In-Person

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted in-person research and has forever changed the way we design and recruit for qualitative projects. 

Historically we’ve relied on physical locations to test grocery shelf layouts and to conduct shop-alongs, but the adoption of virtual and augmented reality technologies will allow consumers to take part in the equivalent research digitally from their home.  This will in turn allow for greater cost savings and open studies to a larger pool of individuals.

4. Blockchain

Blockchain presents far more possibilities to the research space than just the option to pay out participants in cryptocurrency. It offers the opportunity to build a secure global trust network that is verifiable through the creation of transactional transparency. Imagine a world in which panellists and data can be verified through blockchain technology, going far beyond a simplistic hashing system.

Larger companies such as IBM and Mastercard are currently implementing blockchain as a practical application to reduce fraud and security risk, and we expect similar practical usage in the MR space to grow as well.

5. Enhancing User Responses with 3rd Party Data

In addition to purchased syndicated data and social listening, another way to cut costs and time on fielding a study is to ask a core set of 15 to 20 questions, and then fill in the rest of the data using tie-ins from databases that already contain the answers.

As more and more data sources begin offering customized access to their data through APIs (Application Programming Interface), look for supporting data on studies to become more robust and the profiling and segmentation of respondents to become more granular as a result.

Extending Your CATI Reach

In the vast and varied world of market research data collection, one of the most time tested methods of administering surveys is with live agents over the phone, also known by the acronym CATI (Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing). Before the rise of the smart phone, targeting and interviewing random representative samples of respondents in the geography of your choice was relatively easy to do.

As we all know, the only thing that remains the same is the consistency of change.  As Americans transitioned to cell phones, and later, internet connected smart phones, the CATI playing field experienced significant changes. Things became a bit more complicated for researchers. Unscrupulous telemarketers inundated consumers and businesses alike with irritating calls day and night resulting in declining response rates. New laws were passed to regulate the use of automated dialers to contact cell phones.  With phone number portability, easy geographic targeting of phone lists via the North American Numbering Plan, was no longer dependable. The task of accurate sampling grew more complicated and costs were on the rise.

Fortunately, internet based respondent panels arrived to help fill the void, providing an inexpensive alternative to telephone survey research. Although cost effective, online panel had limitations too, particularly when targeting a tight geography, a low incidence audience, or an under-represented population. Often in such circumstances, feasibility became an issue.

New technology may provide the answer to this dilemma. New to the scene, platforms such as Logit’s Mobile360 allow SMS-to-web interviewing as an alternative, providing cost effective access to respondents via phone contact lists. Using this approach, cell phone respondents are invited to an online survey via TCPA compliant SMS invitations. This novel approach offers the comparative benefits and flexibility of sampling via random or listed contact numbers.

As an example of the powerful new options an SMS approach brings to the table, Logit’s Mobile360 platform allows for surveys to be deployed in a multimodal context with SMS-to-web fielding in conjunction with live agent CATI and/or internet panel. Quotas can be set and managed by contact method and invitations can be customized according to list information. If panel is being utilized, IP controls will screen out duplicate respondents before they enter the survey.

For B2B projects requiring a high degree of respondent verification, live dialing can be used for prescreening and validation, with a survey link then being delivered real-time. Such an approach can also be used as a method of screening for more involved respondent exercises such as MaxDiff, Conjoint, or Online Bulletin Boards.

As we see, when paired with new interviewing options available via SMS-to-web, CATI interviewing is often the most viable approach to solving your data collection challenges. If you have not yet explored hybrid contact strategies, perhaps it is time to take a deeper look.

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Chris Connolly Headshot

Chris is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.

Unmasking Qualitative Interviewing

The Covid-19 pandemic has now been with us for over half a year and looks likely to affect everyone, both personally and professionally, well into 2021. Without question, the corona virus has been an uber-disrupter forcing changes in just about every industry one can think of. When looking at the pandemic through the lens of the insights industry, for obvious reasons, one of the most affected areas of practice has been qualitative research. Even before the pandemic hit, virtual approaches to qualitative fieldwork had been growing in prevalence.

With the adoption of digital now being almost complete within our society, researchers can readily find respondents from previously out-of-reach demographic groups. Previously off-grid older aged, rural, and/or lower income individuals are now connected and comfortable having conversations via digital interfaces. This has afforded researchers faster and cheaper options for qualitative fieldwork. Gone are the days when everyone needed to invest the time and expense of traveling to a facility for face-to-face sessions. With the new logistical and ethical concerns brought into play during this Covid Age, the use of online qualitative platforms has only grown.

Along-side our clients, The Logit group has navigated the new qualitative fieldwork landscape. We’d like to take a moment to bring to your attention to some of the platforms used for virtual IDIs and focus groups coming into play commonly on our joint qualitative initiatives. Although not a comprehensive list, what follows is a summary of platforms we’ve grown familiar to.

Zoom – This is the cheapest and most readily accessible option currently out there for researchers. Zoom can be easily deployed to geographically dispersed individuals via computer, tablet, or mobile device. To make respondent scheduling simple, Zoom offers streamlined calendaring, allowing the user to schedule or start meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal. Further, Zoom offers secure recording of sessions and supports the sharing of HD audio and video. Given the broad use of Zoom, many respondents are quite familiar with the interface which reduces the chance technical frustrations as part of the respondent experience.

FocusVision – InterVu – This platform enables live online focus groups or webcam interviews using two-way audio and video. Groups can accommodate up to 8 respondents plus the moderator. The platform includes the option of a remote ‘backroom’ for observers and clients. Those in the backroom are able to chat with the moderator and register time stamps synced to the recording which can speed analysis after sessions are complete. A unique feature offered by InterVu is facial recognition software intended to identify ‘professional respondents’.

20/20 Research – QualMeeting – Providing researchers the ability to conduct “face-to-face research” with participants from anywhere in the world, QualMeeting pairs web-cam technology and video streaming with a number of proprietary tools for specialized analysis. The platform can support customizable designs for stimuli and screen sharing. Also, the proprietary video portal provides the capability of creating searchable transcripts that link seamlessly to the related clips.

Logit Go – As a fully integrated turnkey qualitative solution, Logit GO, provides a flash-free video solution built for market research interviews with extensive white labeling/branding capabilities. Researchers can conduct In Depth Interviews (IDI’s) or connect with up to 8 participants simultaneously while client observers can discuss the group and provide feedback to the moderator privately from the group discussion. The platform is conveniently accessible and possesses robust browser support. Additionally, moderators can deploy an intuitive screen-share feature which allows respondents to share their online activities quickly and easily. For added convenience, the GO 2.0 Board video recorder features automated audio quality checks. GO 2.0 also offers improvements to the video tagging and clipping interfaces, allowing the user to efficiently create highlight reels from video collected from any source.

Important to note, aside from Zoom, each of the aforementioned platforms provide live support to help respondents get connected and navigate tech glitches, giving moderators the freedom to remain attentive the conversation.

As insights teams execute qualitative fieldwork while navigating a playing field where face-to-face in-person interviewing continues to present difficulties, we see yet again, technology has a way of filling the void and presenting new opportunities to make our work efficient, accurate, and cost effective.

When considering your next qualitative research project, rest assured that The Logit Team understands the tools of the trade and has the experience to help you execute effortlessly.

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About Chris Connolly, VP Research Services

Chris Connolly Headshot
Chris is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.

The Importance of Validating Online Voter Respondents

With a little less than a month until the 2020 US presidential election, political polling is in full swing across the country. Phone centers are at or near capacity trying to keep up with political polling demand, and online panel sources are being utilized at a higher frequency for political polling than ever before.

Traditionally pollsters have preferred a phone approach as it allows for a more representative sample base. The abundance of voter profiled phone sample has also made it the preferred methodology for targeting and applying quotas for party registration and previous voter history.

Over the past several years phone has become a more complicated landscape to navigate with increasing regulations and guidelines for how polling is conducted over the phone. In combination with declining response rates, online has now become the preferred method of polling for many.
Online presents a cost-effective alternative to phone, with an abundance of willing participants eager to provide their political opinions. The question is, how accurate are these opinions and how can researchers be assured that those they are speaking to are registered voters with a verifiable voting track record.

In the absence of voter registration data, self-identification has been the preferred method of panelist classification, leading to an inflated number on online research panels. In 2018 there were 153 million+ Americans registered to vote, working out to roughly 47% of the population. By contrast, in a recent poll of online panel members, over 70% had identified themselves as registered voters. In addition to an over inflated voter base, online has traditionally lacked the same segmentation afforded to phone sample. Political party affiliation and previous voter turnout are also self-identified and as such are open to over inflation and bias based on the survey instrument.

Thankfully, several 3rd party voter databases exist that will allow you to proactively match your sample and enhance your panelists voter profile. With the addition of appended voter history and partisanship you can control survey quotas and accurately target registered voters.
Enhancing panelist data with registered voter data creates a methodology truer in form to phone polling and gives you greater confidence in standing behind your online voter respondents data.


About Steve Male, VP Business Development

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.

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.