Article

Robert Quint
Robert Quint 16 November 2016

An Agile Approach to Market Research

When was the last time you implemented a perfect market research campaign? You deployed quickly , got the sampling spot on, and had high completion rates? If you answered ‘I do every time’, congratulations. You are among a tiny minority.

The rest of us, however, need an agile approach to market research.  A platform that allows changes in real-time to Voice (IVR), Email and SMS surveys that enables changes on the fly. Here’s how an agile approach lets you solve these common issues in market research:

Completion rates tracking below forecast

This is a common problem when facing a looming deadline and a serious shortfall in sample size. In this situation it’s great to have the flexibility to either switch delivery methods, or hit GO on reminder comms. SMS is great for both, and is proven to drive action with 98% of SMS being read within 6 minutes of being received.

Unexpectedly high attrition

Often if your surveys are being abandoned before completion, you won’t have the option to redesign them.  This would render your prior results null as they wouldn’t be comparable to the early results. 

The remedy in this scenario is to re-order your survey questions.  Then you can effectively top up your sample size on the questions at the end of the survey.

Respondents misinterpreting questions

If your research concerns complex topics, issues or products then this is especially relevant.

There’s nothing worse than getting a dipstick sample of early responses and having that sickening realization: “They aren’t getting the question”. Unless you’re agile, you’ll have to live with a knowledge gap. The results on that question will be useless unless you can catch it early and make adjustments. And that goes for surveys across all delivery methods - email, online, Voice (IVR) and SMS. 

Getting a misrepresentative sample

Rigid research methodologies often see shortfalls among some demographics’ response rate. This is picked up at the end of the field work, with an additional requirement to conduct top-up surveys. And of course, this blows out research budgets and timelines. With an agile approach you have real time monitoring that provides a snapshot of response rates among the required demographic groups. If shortfalls are identified, you can immediately upweight the under-served demographics in the campaign data.

Excessive lead times to deploy a survey

The above examples all refer to situations in the fieldwork phase. But what about getting to the start line in the first place? Being able to deploy a survey in quick time is a huge asset in situations such as reputation management in a crisis.

If your company’s products are in the news for a safety fault at the same time you have an advertising campaign live, you need to make a big call quickly. You’ll need to get a gauge on issue awareness and perception impacts the next day to aid your decision on pulling the campaign or letting it run.  If you’re not that agile, you could leave your campaign running for a week or more before you have research back.  That’s enough time for serious brand damage.

Agile approaches are proven to deliver quality findings in less time

The old approach of commissioning research, launching set-and-forget surveys, and seeing what comes back, is done with.

An agile approach to market research means deploying in hours and making critical adjustments on the fly. You need to be able to re-order questions, send completion reminders and re-weight your sample in minutes. It will deliver better outcomes and save the company tens of thousands of dollars from their market research budget. If you’re stuck in the old world, it’s time to start the conversation.

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