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Tag: strategy

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.

Using A Mixed Methodology Approach For Emerging Markets

Mixed methodology, otherwise known as multi-mode research is a popular choice when approaching emerging markets. With varying response rates, influenced by geography, language and respondent qualification to name a few, a mixed methodology approach allows researchers to compensate for coverage biases and shortfalls.

Cultural influences play a major role in determining the type of methodology used. In emerging markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia, email invitations to VOC programs yield lower response rates in than other countries. This is caused in part by social and cultural behaviours within these countries. Due to this a mixed use methodology may be warranted.

The quality of data collection is critical, and appropriate quality control measures are implemented. For e.g. in Malaysia, data quality requires 100% monitoring to ensure compliance from both interviewers and respondents. While phone and online methodologies are ideal there are some countries such as Singapore and Myanmar where face-to-face data collection using CAPI could be used as it gives wider access to sample and it’s use is generally accepted amongst the population. For each it’s important to note the costs and time constraints. These are factors that will influence choice of methodology.

 

We’ve pulled together a few key observations from our work with mixed methodologies in emerging markets. Here are some factors to take into consideration when developing your study:

Questionnaire Length: It’s important to maintain consistency in the length of your survey. We’ve concluded that the optimal length is around 10 minutes. Studies have been conducted up to 30 minutes, however this is not the norm.

Combatting Rural Areas: In more secluded areas, participants tend to be more conservative in their willingness to participate in studies. We have found that the face-to-face intercept methodology is most successful, as opposed to phone and online approaches, although this option is more costly.

Language Versatility: It is important to consider regional dialects and languages when using face to face intercepts. In instances where there are multiple distinct languages across various states, having the awareness and understanding of regional differences will strengthen your response rates.

Research Execution: The more comfortable your respondents feel when engaging in a study, the more successful your responses will be. It’s vital to have local native speakers wherever your study is taking place in order to ensure clear and unbiased communication.

Observance of Cultural Nuances: Ensure that your study takes into consideration the local cultural nuances. Public holidays, political events and even cultural differences in what constitutes a weekend versus a workday are all to be factored into a study to ensure higher response rates.

For example, in the Middle East countries, a weekend is Friday/Saturday, not the typical Saturday/Sunday. In emerging markets, it’s much more common to have a larger number of public holidays. These factors all contribute to the way in which a field plan should be mapped in preparation for a study.

Political situations such as a general election can impact participation due to a large influx of social media use. Consider the type of government in power within your emerging market, as this impacts how trusting the population may be. For example, while attempting to complete a survey during a national election in Malaysia, the corruption of the government and mass amount of propaganda going out for the election meant that we had a much lower response rate during that time.
In order to ensure all possible nuances, cultural practices and language variations we need to be mindful of all options when working in emerging markets. Logit carefully factors in all of the above when recommending the appropriate methodology for each research project. With over 25 years of experience, our international research execution can help to leverage your next international study.

Interested to learn more about our services? Contact us here: http://bit.ly/bidrequest


About Oscar Fernandes 

oscar

Oscar has over 25 years’ experience in market research especially in the areas of Project Management and Business Development. Before joining the firm in 2014, he held senior positions at Greenwich Associates/Corsential/Consumer Contact.