Archive for June, 2016



Can Market Research Be Delivered Cheaper, Faster AND Better?

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by doyle

From the desk of Kathy Doyle

I had the pleasure of attending IIeX North America in Atlanta June 13-15.   It has become a “go to” market research conference for me, always providing a window into the future of our industry, from bothgoodfastcheap1 the client’s and research partner’s perspective.

This year, what I heard over and over was that clients expect their research partners to provide results cheaper, faster AND better.     For years, standard wisdom has been that clients could expect two of three, but never all three.   If you wanted the research to be better, you would have to sacrifice either cost or speed.   That is about to change.

Taking a peek into the (not so distant) future, the market research industry is beginning to embrace automation.   It is now possible to get machine translation of a multitude of languages almost instantly, and a human translation within 24 hours.   Audio and video clips can be instantly transcribed, allowing researchers to quickly search for and clip highlights to incorporate into a final deliverable. Text analytics is getting so robust that I actually heard clients say, in effect, “ if a machine can write the report, let it.   I am hiring you for study design, and for finding the insights and translating them into a story that helps us make decisions.”

DIY recruiting, DIY mobile surveys, automated incentive payments… exhibitors offering each of these was present at the conference, and their offerings were impressive.

So, while I still believe you get what you pay for, it is in our best interests as research partners to automate any activities that are repetitive, and that hinder us from being thinkers vs. doers.

Costing Qualitative, Part 2: Apples to Apples Comparisons

Posted on: June 10th, 2016 by doyle

project-costing-image1From the desk of Kathy Doyle

This is the 2nd of four blog posts with the goal of de-mystifying the process of obtaining and evaluating a qualitative bid.

Not all cost estimates are created equal. To ensure that apples-to-apples comparisons are made, check that all bids have based their costs on the exact same factors…

Number of recruits—Are all bids assuming the same total number of recruits? Note the difference between recruiting 30 total vs. recruiting 36 for 30 to complete.
Session length—Three 120-minute sessions vs. three 90-minute sessions is the equivalent of one additional 90-minute group discussion. An increase of 30-minutes per session will not only impact facility rental fees and respondents’ incentives, it will also increase the moderation and reporting fees.
Markets—Some markets are simply more expensive than others. If an RFP requests that the research be conducted in New York, a bid that’s based on conducting the sessions in Albany will likely be far less expensive than a bid based on conducting the sessions in Manhattan.
Incentive fees—Incentives are paid to entice consumers to share their experiences. If an incentive is too low, it makes recruiting difficult and tends to yield higher no-show rates. While a bid that includes a lower incentive may appear more budget friendly, in the long run it may cost more in terms of securing a solid recruit. Tip: Some estimates include respondent incentive fees, while other estimates state that incentives are not included and will be billed as a line item on the final invoice. Check this carefully!
Line item expenses—Review the bids to understand what items are included vs. those that will be billed as line items on a final invoice. Items such as client/respondent food, video recording, and shipping expenses, if not included in the project’s costs, can add substantial costs on a project’s final invoice.

For a copy of our whitepaper: “The Inside Skinny: Costing a Qualitative Project” click here.