Archive for December, 2017



(Qualitative) Research Resolutions

Posted on: December 28th, 2017 by doyle

From the desk of Natanya Rubin

With 2017 nearly over, the team at DRA has been taking stock of the past year in qualitative research.  The start of a new year is a perfect time to dream about our hopes, examine our successes, and learn from the things that challenged us. In 2018, we resolve to:

…OBSERVE consumers, as they talk about the products and services that make a difference in their lives. In the new year we’ll watch consumers sample new food products and puzzle their way through drafts of marketing materials. We’ll draw them out–in focus group rooms, in homes, and in stores–and engage with their passions, understand their needs, and encourage them to express their ideas.

…EXPLORE new trends in qualitative research. This year, advances in mobile research have opened doors to us in exciting ways. Hearing what consumers have to say outside of the confines of a formal research set-up can be of tremendous benefit, and our tools for connecting have never been more sophisticated. This year, respondents shared struggles and discoveries with us in real time through streaming mobile interviews, which resulted in learning that ultimately guided product development. We’ve been dreaming of these in-the-moment tools for years, but now we can put those dreams into action!

…CONNECT our tools in new ways. This year has also seen us exploring ways to join the statistical breadth of quantitative data with the rich depth of qualitative interviews, using online tools to marry the two methodologies.  It’s a great replacement for the kind of research that used to be accomplished in person with dial-pads and a lot of logistical heavy lifting.  Now, thanks to our ability to link various online tools together, we can expand the possibilities of a hybrid approach that provides quantitative input and qualitative insights.

It’s an exciting time to be qualitative researchers, and we can’t wait to see what the new year has in store for us, for our clients, and for market research itself. Wishing you a very Happy New Year, and happy research in 2018!

 

Five Key Factors That Impact Qualitative Costs

Posted on: December 18th, 2017 by doyle

From the desk of Kathy Doyle

When you ask your qualitative partners to provide a cost estimate for your research project, do you know what the key factors are that impact the price they provide? Knowing that information could help you save money, avoid surprises, and provide you with a better idea of how to evaluate competing bids.

In any qualitative bid, there are five key factors that impact price:

1. Screening criteria: The more difficult the screening criteria, and the more questions that need to be asked of respondents during the screening process (which impacts cooperation rates) the greater the cost. For that reason, focus on the “need to know” questions, such as key demographics/psychographics, and category/brand usage. “Nice to know” information can be covered in the research.

2. Size of the recruit: The more participants you recruit, the greater the cost. Because qualitative is designed to provide direction rather than to be projectable to a larger population, be conservative with your sample size. Tip: don’t forget to account for last minute cancellations, no shows and respondents who don’t pass a re-screen. We recommend over-recruiting by 20% to ensure that you end up with the number of respondents requested. When comparing bids, make sure to ask whether the cost estimate includes the cost for over-recruits.

3. Incentives: There are three things that influence how much respondents are paid: the difficulty of the recruit, the location of the research, and the amount of work a respondent is being asked to do. The difficulty of the recruit goes without saying: the harder it is to find respondents (very low incidence, consumers vs. professionals), the more you need to pay to make sure they agree to participate. And if your research is being conducted digitally vs. in-person, incentives will most likely be lower because respondents are able to participate from the convenience of their home or office. Finally, the more you ask respondents to do, the greater the incentive. Do you need them for 30-minutes, 2 hours, 2 weeks? Be realistic about how much time you need to accomplish your research objectives, so that you are not paying more in incentives than is necessary.

4. Facility Rental or Platform License Fees: Time is king. The more time you spend in a facility, or licensing a technology platform, the greater the cost. Know how much time you’ll need to accomplish your goals, and set the length of the research sessions accordingly. Padding, because you haven’t adequately scoped out the research, can cost you. And conversely, not allowing enough time can shortchange results.

5. Deliverables: The type of deliverable required can dramatically impact your costs, easily increasing professional fees by 50% or more. Do you need a detailed report, an executive summary, or just a post-research debriefing session? A multi-media PPT presentation, or a professionally edited video report? Be realistic: contract only for what you know your team will use.

Armed with this information, you can be confident that you have designed your research to maximize results and minimize costs.