Data Collection Techniques
- Web Surveys
The Internet has proven to be a highly versatile tool for market research data collection, capable of saving time and money compared with the more conventional telephone or paper-and-pencil methods. A key criteria to consider in determining the appropriateness of the web is the level of web literacy among the targeted population, and whether this group is likely to take the time to complete a web survey. We can handle the design, programming, and hosting for the Internet survey. In addition, we will collect and analyze the data. Our web survey technologies can handle both quantitative and qualitative (open-ended) survey responses, so as to explore both demographic and psychographic information. Advantages of online surveys include: (a) faster project turnaround: survey setup and implementation is considerably faster with Internet based research, (b) less expensive than traditional methods, (c) effective in reaching certain targeted respondents, (d) excellent for employee surveys, (e) convenience as it allows respondents to complete questionnaires at their convenience as opposed to a telephone interview, which can be intrusive.
- Focus Groups
Focus groups are the most common method of qualitative research. Typically, a focus group will consist of six to ten respondents having a series of conversations, guided by a moderator, over an hour and a half. A focus group has a distinct advantage in that it creates a forum for open-ended interaction. It is in this interactive, stimulating, and flexible environment that people’s deep motivations, which govern perception and behavior, can be brought to light. It is also very effective at uncovering/generating new ideas and exploring how consumers or the general public are receiving communication.
- Telephone (CATI) Surveys
Telephone surveys are designed to better understand consumers and the public by: testing hypotheses about consumer behavior, evaluating the extent to which certain behaviors exist within a given consumer segment, investigating the interrelationship of certain behaviors with different consumer characteristics. Surveys will vary in length and in the type of questions asked, depending on the research objectives, subject matter, and target sample. Most surveys are designed to collect demographic information to help define consumer types. Survey questions are tightly structured so that answers can be pre-categorized. Typically, closed-ended questions (based on fixed-choice answers) are used. Identical answers are aggregated to produce reliable results. There is scope to statistically analyze quantitative data in a number of ways, and thus uncover relationships between population subgroups and different pieces of information.