Tag Archives: market research

Elevating In-Store Customer Experience with Market Research

Consumers enter a store and hear the sound of music, smell a fresh cologne, and see floral displays paired with the latest spring garments. These elements that enhance the shopping experience have been sewn into the fabric of the retail industry and better known as “retailtainment.” In George Ritzer’s Enchanting a Disenchanted World: Revolutionizing the Means of Consumption, the term “retailtainment” is defined as the use of ambiance, emotion, sound and activity to get customers interested in the merchandise.” This is a classic strategy almost every retailer uses to engulf the consumer into an atmosphere. Many retailers are focused on not just selling the product, but selling a lifestyle.

However, the current digital climate has made it increasingly difficult to keep retail customers engaged. According to RetailWire, over 48% of overall purchases were made online. There is an increasing focus towards the online shopping experience and mobile shopping applications. Consumers are spending less time shopping at brick-and-mortar establishment and more time online. The effect of this can be seen in massive store closing, such as Macy’s, and increasing vacancy rates for retail spaces. Despite the decline, there are retailers that are integrating the digital and in-store shopping experience to boost sales revenue. From digital shopping walls to location-centric mobile applications, retailers are getting creative. Pairing the digital shopping experience with market research can truly elevate customers’ shopping experience.

In order to develop a successful in-store shopping experience, the retailer must be familiar with their customers and targeted audience. Many retailers are deploying follow-up shopping surveys to their current customers. However, for retailers to reach other audiences they need an external tool such as online panels of respondents. Panels that consist of pre-screened respondents and collect multiple demographic and sociographic data points to complete the respondents’ profiles. This allows retailers to create a customized panels of their targeted audience. Retailers could use data collected from surveying these panels to develop a digital shopping experience for their customers.

In addition, using online panels also allow retailers to predict trends in consumer behavior. Retailers are able to collect quality data from online panels that will show what certain audiences value in their shopping experience as well as what they lack. This information can be used to craft digital experiences such as QR code scanners that allow shoppers exclusives ways to bring their online shopping experience into the physical store.  Retailers can use the geographical elements collected from online panels to identify what store locations would benefit from creating a digital shopping experience.

Ultimately, online shopping is on track to eclipsing the in-store shopping experience. However, retailers are creating innovative ways to implement a digital shopping experience inside their physical retail establishments. For retailers to enact a successful digital store experience model they need to conduct market research to understand their current customer’s preferences, gauge their target audience, track trends in consumer behavior, and evaluate the geographical location of the store that will host a digital shopping model. By using online panels, retailers can obtain data to use in the development of their digital shopping experience. It is apparent that market research has the capability to provide tools that will elevate the customer’s’ shopping experience.

 

Why do Pharmaceutical Companies Continually Fail to Recognize the Importance of Market Research?

The first thing to consider when discussing the role of market research within the pharmaceutical industry is the time from a new drug being developed to when it gets into the local pharmacy.This is quite different from other consumer lead industries. In these industries, market research forms the basis for everything from product development to marketing. In the pharmaceutical industry, market research is important, but some executives might treat it as an afterthought. They are wrong to do this as it market research is critical with the long research pipelines that some work is done to determine what direction that initial research takes.

If we look at a new-product today it would make sense to forecast out 7 to 10 years to determine what diseases or medical problems or even advances may require a new product. So rather than leave it to serendipity, solid market research could determine where the research and development budget is best spent. Pharmaceutical products rarely sell themselves and pharmaceutical companies are a business that are maximizing these investments. The need for quality research is slowly being driven by poor pipelines and is against the backdrop of increasing pressure to perform while research budgets are squeezed.

Now around 20 years ago, pharmaceutical companies brought many products with tremendous value to the public. That is because they were research centred businesses, for example Glaxo 20 or so years ago, it was referred to as the only university on the stock exchange. This has now changed and most of these companies from Novartis to Pfizer and beyond are run by accountants where it is about the bottom line.

Consequently, that has caused a loss of focus in research and development groups and the rise in clinical research organizations taking up that slack. Also many of the older products are now out of patent and going generic. This is because of lack of focus when it comes to developing products with improved benefits and better outcomes than cheaper generic products.. Some companies are starting to place a high value on market research, but others have a “tick the box” mentality. Some individuals at these companies wonder if market research has any value at all. The best commercial organizations understands that market research leads to a competitive advantage. Certainly, when market research is done well it will drive better and informed decision making.

That means in the long term research can be the foundation that ensures a commercially relevant product to the market at the optimal time. That circles back to companies looking out 7 to 10 years and adjusting accordingly rather than leaving things to serendipity. Alternatively, it helps avoid the need for buying businesses to fill a pipeline gap due to lack of understanding of the market. It requires key decisions at key times to develop products, and well-structured research results in the right input and information helps make those decisions.

Many companies now have outbound focused marketing departments, who do not consider how research can help them make fundamental decisions. They do not always utilize the resources they have and then determine the direction and scope of research that is needed. The tick-the-box approach does not deliver substantial value. By staying in a tick-the-box mentality, companies are not able to fully deliver the type of customer insight nor target research and development needed to drive their business forward.

However, in a world of declining resources more can be achieved with fewer resources by focusing on market research. The case has been proven not just in pharmaceuticals, but in other businesses where products have a long gestation period. Companies should be taking what they have and pairing it with a good understanding of market research. This would make it help companies focus their business in a different way, more a laser guided missile approach rather than carpet bombing and hoping you hit the target.

The hallmark of good-quality market research falls into different areas, firstly, the research is purposeful and targeted. Any good researcher will have taken the time to think about and understand the business issues in the pharmacology areas the company operates within. That will naturally lead to a better understanding of what research is necessary to address those business issues. Another good idea is to do high-value research and collaborate on market research if possible.

In summary, the pharmaceutical industry struggles in comparison to other industries in this vein. Other industries that do market research the best, like consumer packaged goods, have set the standard and established their market research organization as king. Their market research is applied and used contributing a tremendous amount of momentum for these businesses. However, in pharmaceuticals, the structure is very different as is the culture and the view of marketing in general. A marketer does not always consider customer insight as the first step in the marketing process because there is often a disconnect with the end user, the patient.  There are solutions to this that are in being worked on throughout the industry. That will bring the patient closer to the pharmaceutical businesses but whether that works is not down to the technology but totally related to how marketing and market research is seen by the companies themselves.

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This is a guest blog feature from Ewart Richardson, Global Head of Pharmaceutical, Science and Engineering Partnerships at Search Digital. He is also a regular speaker at international conferences in the USA, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, China, UK, and beyond.

 

 

Three Reasons Start-ups Need to Invest in Market Research

We are now in the period of innovations. Start-up businesses that offer social leverage, car rides, grocery delivery, and much more are skyrocketing. Everyday more new companies are emerging. However, what keeps a start-up company from stagnation is creativity and research. It is obvious that the product or service must have a unique edge to attract the client base, but what keeps the product propelling forward is market research. Although, there are many ways to conduct market research, it is beneficial for start-ups to utilize an online survey platform and a well developed panel of consumers. These platforms provide an easy way to collect data, especially in the case of newly started businesses without a large audience or access to a group of general consumers. Market research is a worthy investment that will yield dividends for start-up companies. Here are the top three reasons why conducting market research is essential for start-up business operations.

Knowledge on Target Audiences

For a start-up company, it is imperative to identify the targeted audience and learn about their lifestyle. This knowledge base allows for the company to creatively position their product to align with their audience’s lifestyle. Studies can be created to identify how the targeted consumer spend their time, perceive information, and interact with their favorite brands. This will allow a company to know where to spend their marketing funds for maximum impact. This data can also help the company generate additional areas to extend their product line or offer additional services. Knowing the needs and wants of the targeted audience can have a positive effect on product development.

Consumer Feedback

In addition to gathering data about the general consumer’s lifestyle, companies can use market research to gauge the response to their specific product offerings. For a start-up company, this is quintessential for the success of their product or service. Product feedback through the product development process can help the creators tailor the product to the consumers’ desires. It can also be used to predict the how the customer would value the product, how much they are willing to spend on it, aesthetic preference, usability, and multiple other factors that would affect the product sales.

Increase Profit

The more a company knows about their customers, the more they sell. Market research has a direct impact on the bottom line. The data collected from customized survey give insights into the consumer’s mindset and their perceptions of the product. This information can be used to map out areas to focus marketing campaigns or reveal areas to offer additional product information. Dedicated research on an audience keeps the company updated on how to interact with both their existing client base and attract new customers. Market search is concurrent with company growth.

Without a doubt market research is a pivotal element for the startup industry. In order to make better business decisions and continue with the ongoing growth of product development, conducting market research is the key to a company’s success. From start-ups business on through Fortune 500 companies utilize data from market research studies to better understand their product offerings and audience. Ultimately, these efforts lead to an enhance customer experience which translates into a successful operation. Understanding the value of research will establish a path of successful business opportunities.

Factors That Can Improve Your Data

Over the past few years, technology has changed the way research data is collected. Since this, online data collection practices have increased in popularity due to the increased access to the internet. Consequently, online panels have become the main avenue to collect data about a specific audience. Data quality encompasses several aspects, one of which is research methodology. The way research is being done highly affects the quality of the results. Survey research is one of the most common ways to conduct a study and data quality can be affected due to the design of the survey.

According to a recent study conducted by Forethought Research, survey design has a direct relationship between respondent engagement and data quality. The research also showed that survey design influences the respondents’ perception. This indicates that respondent engagement is key in order to ensure data quality since lower engagement increases the risk of unreliable data. Survey design is imperative to keep respondents engaged. Therefore, researchers need to have a better understanding of survey design, which could influence the level of engagement in a research study.

Survey design encompasses several elements such as content, question types, guidelines and survey length. The content of the survey is the foundation of the study. By delineating the content and understanding the targeted audience, the type of questions used in the study will set the parameters for the respondents’ engagement. (If you want to learn more about the types of questions to keep respondent engaged please click here.) Another element to consider in the survey design process is the utilization of clear guidelines to properly guide respondents through the study. Additionally, the survey length is a pivotal variable that could affect data quality, since tedious surveys lead to high exit rates and low response rates. Ultimately, all of these elements have an impact on data quality.

There is no single design method that affects respondent engagement. However, it has been proven that surveys that require more than 20 minutes to complete (and have very few interactive questions) lead to low response rate and high drop out rates. While it is true, survey design has a direct impact on data quality, it is important to remember that without a high level of respondent engagement data is unreliable. Companies conducting research for key business decisions need to ensure that the design of their survey is optimal in order to obtain quality data.

In summary, survey design not only influences whether respondents abandon a survey, but also impacts the quality of the data. The ability to understand survey design methods can aid survey designers maximize engagement and increase the reliability of the data. As audiences become more difficult to reach, researchers and survey designers need to implement effective practices such as dynamic questions and incentives to ensure a higher respondent engagement. In today’s global technological environment groups, people are constantly bombarded with information. It is crucial to understand that when conducting a study, the effective use of survey design can help in the data collection process.

The State of Market Research

In the late 1930s, curiosity struck John Gallup and he became interested in collecting public opinion. That was the beginning of the American Institute of Public Opinion, later known as the Gallup poll. This research institution conducts polls on a variety of topics but is well known for their political polling. The Gallup institution is centripetal in propelling the ongoing relationship between market research and the political sphere, due to their legacy of reliability in election polls and presidential approval ratings. In fact, the Gallup presidential approval poll was introduced shortly after the American Institute of Public Opinion was created. Although, Gallup was later acquired by SRI Research, their tradition of political and socioeconomic polls remains a longstanding tradition.

Gallup initiated the relationship between market research and politics, but many other market researchers have begun gauging public opinion through a variety of methods. Politicians, media officials, businesses, and several other parties are highly dependent on this data collection. This can be illustrated in the ongoing dispute regarding the election prediction polls during the 2016 Presidential Election. Public opinion allows political parties to orchestrate their marketing plans and show them what audiences to focus their attention. It can also provide a sense of assurance or urgency among the voters depending on their candidate’s status among the public. During the 2016 Election, the majority of the polls did not render the correct outcome. The 2016 Election served as a pivotal moment for market research. Conversations regarding data accuracy and survey methodology are still circulating although President Trump has already taken office.

Despite these challenges, market research is still prospering in the political sphere. President Trump and his administration are proceeding through the first 100 days and implementing their plans announced on the campaign trail. Simultaneously, market researchers are gauging the public’s response to the new implementations and measuring the public approval rating of the president. Media outlets are utilizing this data in the reporting which creates conversations between the presidential administration, the media, and the public about “the facts.” These ongoing conversations encourage more market research to be conducted in order to increase reach to specific audiences and improve data quality. As a result, the Trump presidency will substantially impact the growth of the research industry.

Although market research has always had an important role in politics, the importance of public opinion only seems to be growing. The market research industry became the center of conversation during the election. Data quality and accuracy are now being heavily considered by politicians and media outlets. Market research and public opinion data will be the tools used by political parties to validate their efforts. While media outlets are dependent on data for reporting. It is reasonable to expect that market research is an industry that will surely thrive over the next four years.

Take Valentine’s Day Marketing Off Autopilot

The holiday marketing calendar seems to function on autopilot. After the last bit of discounted Christmas decorations are cleared from the shelves, Valentine’s Day candy and stuffed animals quickly furbish the “seasonal” aisle. Pink and red advertisements grace the windows of retail stores and pop-up Valentine’s’ Day ads for flower orders appear on our digital search screens. The turnover between the holidays is automatic and consumers are acclimated to this method. Retail industry professionals know that Valentine’s day is generally a high profiting holiday and the marketing effort behind it follows a pre-fixe methodology. Valentine’s Day sales reached a record high in 2016, but that number is expected to decrease in 2017. Retailers will need to explore new opportunities to maintain Valentine’s Day sales momentum through market research.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) consumer spending for Valentine’s Day 2017 is expected to reach $18.2 billion this year, which is down from last year’s $19.7 billion record high. The decrease in consumer spending is congruent with the decrease in people who plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which has dropped from 63% in 2008 to 54% for this year. With roughly 50% of Americans considering themselves as single, retailers will have to market towards a wider audience and repackage the holiday marketing plans that move away from the cliches.

Valentine’s Day is often marketed towards couples, but consumers are also celebrating Valentine’s Day with family and friends. According to Entrepreneur, 20% of people who searched the term “Valentine’s Day Gifts For…” followed the phrase with “friends.” Also, NRF data shows that the average person is spending about $26 dollars on gifts for family members. This shows that Valentine’s Day is not just a holiday for spouse and significant others. Retailers could benefit from collecting consumer insights from their customers in order to create more effective marketing campaigns that reach a broader audience. For example, a cosmetics retailer could conduct a study to find out what are their customers’ Valentine’s day plans, how they celebrate the holiday, and their relationship status. This will help the retailer identify if they should conduct a “date night” theme campaign or one for “Valentine’s Day beauty treatments with friends.” Instead of marketing products for the holiday through traditional modules, a more inclusive approach could gain access to  a broader audience and increase sales. The “one size fits all” module needs a more creative approach to attract a broader audience.

Ultimately, marketers have grown far too comfortable with traditional Valentine’s day campaigns. In order to boost the reception of their holiday campaigns and see an upward sale trend, it is imperative to conduct market research. Research studies that gather consumer insights about how people are spending their Valentine’s Day and their shopping spending habits provide key information.  This data will help marketers develop a campaign that is relevant for today’s consumer and expand their customer base. Subsequently, retailers will see more sales during the holiday season.

If you are looking to conduct a research and need quality sample, please contact us at sales-team@qsample.com

Survey Accuracy For Actionable Results

 

On July 24th,1824 “The Harrisburg Pennsylvanian” printed a report of a straw vote taken in Wilmington, Delaware. This vote showed some of the early methods used in market research. Although, this event was not market research in itself, it used some of the early methods of market research. However, it was not until 1901 that evidence of market research became frequent enough to indicate that a new business field had made a prominent start. The need for knowledge had several businessmen looking for theories and methods to better understand the market, which ultimately created the market research industry we know today. Market research encompasses numerous methodologies, but the most common one is survey research.

In order to conduct any type of research, it is necessary to have a quality sample of the targeted audience. Reliable sample is pivotal in market research. One of the key factors involving sample is selecting the correct sample size. This is crucial when conducting a study, if a sample size is too big this will lead to a waste of resources. Consequently, not having enough sample will lead to an inaccurate representation of a population. Survey accuracy is another qualifier when attempting to gather quality data. Researchers are constantly asking questions such as, are the results accurate? Is the sample reliable?  There is no magic formula but here are a few things to consider when conducting a survey.

Margin of Error

There are two measurements that affect data accuracy. The first one is the margin of error (or confidence interval). In sum, this is the positive or negative deviation allowed on the survey results for the sample. In other words, is the difference between the opinion of the respondents and the opinion of an entire population. In order to better understand this statistical explanation, suppose that you set a margin of error of 5% on a study you are conducting about soccer. The results of this survey indicate that 90% of the respondents like to play soccer, a 5% margin of error indicates that you can be sure that between 85% (90%-5%) and 95% (90%+5%) of the entire population likes to play soccer.

The second measurement that affects data accuracy is the confidence level. This measurement indicates how often the percentage of a population actually lies between the boundaries of the margin of error. Following the example above, the confidence level tells you how sure you can be that between 85% and 95% of the population likes to play soccer. Suppose that you choose a 95% confidence level,  this interval will indicate that in 95% of the time, between 85% and 95% of the population like to play soccer. A 95% confidence level is standard in quantitative research, since a higher confidence level such as 99% indicates greater accuracy but represents a higher cost.  

After understanding the two measurements that affect data accuracy you can use an online calculator to determine the sample size of a population or you could use the formula presented below.

ss= Z 2 * (p) (1-p)

     ____________

              c 2

Where:

Z = Z value (e.g. 1.96 for 95% confidence level)  

p = percentage picking a choice, expressed as decimal

(.5 used for sample size needed)

c = confidence interval, expressed as decimal

(e.g., .05 = ±5)

Screener Questions

Screener type questions are used to qualify respondents and determine if the respondents are eligible to participate in a research study. For example, when conducting a study on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, a researcher will need respondents who consume alcoholic beverages. Therefore, a screener question should be implemented to eliminate possible respondents that do not consume alcoholic beverages. Consider the question below:

How often do you consume alcoholic beverages?

a) Once a year

b) Once month

c) Every other week

d) Every week

e)  Every day

f) I do not consume alcoholic beverages?

If respondents choose option F the survey will be terminated since the respondent will not qualify to participate in the study. This type of question at the beginning of a survey helps increase data quality.

Data Sanitization

Data sanitization involves the detection and removal of errors and inconsistencies in a data set due to the incorrect entry of the data. Incorrect or inconsistent data can create a number of problems which can lead to the drawing of false conclusions. Therefore, sanitizing a data set can improve the accuracy of survey results but it has to be done with care in order to avoid problems such as, the loss of important information or valid data.  

In sum, there are several elements that dictate survey accuracy. When conducting a survey it is imperative to keep in mind the sample size, margin of error, screening questions and data collection practices to ensure data accuracy and ultimately data quality.

 

The Force Behind the Retail Industry

In 1852, a dry goods store was opened at 137 Lake St. in Chicago, Illinois. This store later became the great Marshall Field and Company empire. Although Marshall Field’s was later acquired by Macy’s, the birth of the modern retail industry is commonly denoted by the humble origins of Marshall Field’s. Today the retail industry exist in multiple mediums outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar structure. Consumers are now shopping online, through mobile applications, and even on social media. Simultaneously to the growth of the retail industry, market research has also made innovative strides. The driving force behind the retail industry is the trends followed by the consumers. Market research is essential to track consumer behavior, investigate the consumers’ response to new products, and identify platforms for brand engagement. Retailers can utilize online research panels that include respondents ranging in interest level – from brand loyalist to infrequent shoppers. The data can be used to promote methods that can boost sales.

Consumer behavior is constantly changing, but retailers can keep up with the trends by surveying panelist about their shopping behavior. Conducting survey through online research panels can offer insight into the consumer shopping preferences. The panels allow access to consumers that are outside of the retailer’s reach. Retailers can collect data from non-customers to learn how to attract new clients and grow their brand. The panels can also help retailers understand the general consumers’ impression of the brand and identify key factors that can be revised to attract the targeted demographic. The research panel can also be used to identify customers that already frequently visit the store or shop with that brand. The data collected from that subset of respondents can pinpoint the areas in which the brand is performing well. The research collected can serve as the cornerstone of brand promotion and awareness.

In addition to using research panels to identify brand perception, retailers can also utilize panels to collect information that assists with product development. Collecting information from consumers during the infancy of product development can provide valuable feedback and foresight into the success of product sales.  Online research panels allow access to customizable audiences that align with the goals of the study. Retailers can survey the targeted audience to identify the consumer’s product preferences. This data can help product developers design product lines around the consumer’s needs and wants. Research panels can also help retailers identify appropriate price points for their products. In return, the data collected can assist product development and boost sales.

Another way to boost product sales is to use research panels to identify how the targeted audience engages with a brand. In today’s digital landscape people are shopping using multiple platforms. Research panels can produce a snapshot of consumers’ shopping behavior patterns. This data can show retailers the areas to allocate resources and capture the attention of their targeted audiences. This information can tell retailers whether they need to open a new store, redesign their website layout, boost social media efforts, and much more.

Ultimately, the retail industry is a fast-paced world that thrives due to trends and consumer behavior. Market research is essential for retailers to stay knowledgeable of shopping preferences and brand impressions within the market. Retailers that conduct research through online research panels have access to customizable panels that target audiences ranging from general consumer to frequent customers. The information collected through this research methodology can aid brand awareness efforts, assist product development, and identify key factors in brand engagement.

 

Type of Questions To Keep Respondents Engaged

When conducting quantitative research, market researchers and programmers need to be mindful of survey fatigue. This is a problem that occurs when individuals get tired or bored while taking a survey, which often leads to the survey not being completed or terrible data quality. Surveys designed with aesthetically pleasing elements and interactive tools tend to keep respondents’ engaged and reduce survey drop-out rates. In addition to to the aesthetics of the survey, research practitioners can implement dynamic questions with captivating interfaces. These varying question styles foster interaction between the respondents and the survey. Dynamic questions also serve as alternatives to single select, grid, rating and open-ended questions, which often can be tedious and unstimulating for the respondent. Therefore, we have compiled a list of question styles that can add variety to a survey and minimize fatigue.

Slider

Keeping respondents engaged can be achieved by using slider style questions, which allow respondents to answer a question on a scale by dragging an interactive slider. This is an alternative to rating scale questions since users can interact and create unique distinctions through comparisons among related items.

Sliders questions are not as beneficial when there is little to no interrelationship between question topics. For example, when asking a set of attitude statements that are not related.

 In the example, there is no relationship between the three questions options. When using a slider question it is important to understand that respondents will make relative comparisons among related items. If there is no relationship between the items, it will be more beneficial to use another type of survey question such as multiple choice.

Image Heat Map

Another way keep respondents engaged is by using an image heat map question. This type of question allows users to identify the areas they like or dislike about a specific image. This type of question provides flexibility and has a number of potential applications. For example, it can help collect feedback on a new website layout. Using an image heat map facilitates feedback through interactions and sustain user engagement.

Rank Sort

Rank sort questions are another alternative to keep respondents alert and engaged by using visual indicators. This type of question allows respondents to rank items by clicking or dragging them into the desired order. This offers an alternative method to numerical inputs which respondents might find tedious. The use of visual indicators provide the respondent with an interactive experience and can improve survey participation.

Card Sort

Another question style that promotes interaction is card sort questions. This question style serves as an efficient alternative to grid questions, where a list of attributes are rated on a scale. For card sort questions, respondents are shown animated text or images, one at a time. The respondents are able to drag these elements into the desired category. This allows the collection of multiple data points while mitigating fatigue and dropouts.

In sum, survey fatigue is an ongoing problem in the data collection process. When crafting a survey, researchers need to keep in mind their audience and the type of questions needed to minimize survey fatigue. Collecting quality data relies on respondents’ engagement, therefore the use of interactive questions will improve participation rates, minimize dropouts and ultimately keep respondents engaged.

 

Think Like a Consumer: Knowing your Audience

 

In today’s technology-driven landscape, consumers can have a packaged delivered to their door with a few clicks of a button and information can be disseminated across multiple platforms in a matter of seconds. The most pivotal shift is that consumers are keeping up with all of these advances with mobile phones. Today’s consumers have adopted a lifestyle where they are juggling multiple tasks, interests, and responsibilities. Retailers, media outlets, and other companies are all competing for the consumers’ attention and research panel providers are not exempt.  To attract the right respondents to join a panel, panel providers must adopt the mindset of the consumer. Consumers’ lifestyle, habits, and preferences mold the way respondents participate in research.

Moreover, social media plays a large role in the general consumer’s lifestyle and their behavior models the usage of various online technology platforms. Aside from socializing with friends and family, social platforms are a place to become informed about news, events, and products as well as share opinions.  According to a 2016 study conducted by Facebook, the average person spends about 50 minutes using Facebook or Facebook platforms daily. Social media platforms are attractive to consumers and to mirror this same magnetic approach, online panel providers must establish their company’s presence on social media platforms, to attract respondents to participate in research.

It is imperative that the platforms that respondents utilize align with the convenience consumers are accustomed to when using social media or other mobile platforms. Consumers have become acclimated to simplified platforms that are easy to use on both computers and mobile devices. It is important to match this same sense of convenience, even when it comes to research data collection.

In sum, the ability to think like a consumer and become familiar with the audience will attract respondents to participate in a panel and ultimately increase response rates to studies. The general consumer is gathering information, making purchases, and socializing in a fast paced environment that is accessible through online platforms and mobile devices. The attraction to platforms that are fast and simple has become a standard expectation. Research panel providers use this familiarity with the consumer as a way to recruit panelist, keep them engaged, and ultimately increase survey response rates for clients.