Whether it is locally, nationally or internationally, it seems like the volume knob of life is stuck at “11” no matter where you turn. Business is no different, where insights are needed now more than ever. But, despite the need, the industry is faced with some unique challenges; as such, we need to evolve too. Two specific challenges have included sampling and data quality, which have become more pronounced across many industries. As such, here are few ideas to consider as we move forward:
- Smaller and more general sampling: not every survey needs to include n=3,000 left-handed dog groomers in East St. Louis, nor is this a realistic goal in today’s world. A smaller and more general audience may be adequate to get actionable insights. Perhaps a n=200 or n=300 Gen Pop audience is all that is needed; it would be a lot more realistic to achieve, not to mention, more cost-effective.
- Shorter surveys: the days of the 15+ minute survey should be over. We all have trouble fitting it all in each day. In the world of the 6-second video clip, does the average person have time to also fit in a 15-minute survey on top of everything else they are tasked with doing? I’d argue, probably not. Keeping the content to only that which is actionable and easy/quick to answer may be a better practice. If necessary, do separate studies on individual topics versus combining them into one mega-survey.
- Utilizing customer lists: consider more polling among customer lists versus traditional survey panels – internal databases of customers tend to have fewer fraudsters than traditional research panels. In addition, customers can tell you what they like and do not like – trust them.
- There is great value in qualitative: consider that there is tremendous value in qualitative research as well. It is more difficult to fake who you are when engaged in a longer personal discussion. And after a fair number of interviews, one can often come to a similar conclusion as they might with a quantitative survey.
These four thoughts are only a start on how we might address insights within the world we live in today. It is certainly a changing field, and is no longer the world of RDD (bonus points if you know this acronym). To prevail, we’ll need to combine analytical thinking with a healthy dose of creativity—luckily, we’re up for the challenge!