Tag Archives: research study

data quality

5 Tips to Improve Your Data Quality

Every good idea should be supported by extensive research. Businesses can’t afford to go to market with a new product that hasn’t been properly researched. If you’re unconvinced, let us remind you of “new Coke”, which was launched in 1985 after Coca-Cola lost market share to their rival, Pepsi. Coke’s decision to alter their traditional recipe resulted in major outcry from consumers, who inundated the company’s call centers with more than 400,000 complaints. Coca-Cola apologized and took “new Coke” off the market, returning to their tried and true recipe, to the relief of their customers. Where did they go wrong? While they did test the new formula on 200,000 subjects, they tested on taste alone, disregarding the fact that consumers make purchasing decisions based on habit, nostalgia, and loyalty as well.

The only thing worse than no data is bad data, because bad data will lead to bad business decisions. We’ve compiled a list of 5 best practices to improve the data quality of your research.

Keep it short and sweet. Goldfish have an attention span of 9 seconds; adult humans have an attention span of 12 seconds. The order of the questions and the time it takes to fill out will play a vital role in the respondent’s answers. Ask the harder questions at the beginning of the survey, and limit open-ended questions, which require more effort to answer. Make sure each question is designed to get you relevant information, so you’re not wasting your respondents’ time.

Have a clear purpose. Before conducting a survey, establish a clear objective. What are you hoping to learn from this research? Do you have a clear objective, target, and the right methodology? Test, test, and test again before deploying your survey to ensure you didn’t lose sight of your objective.

Allow for “not applicable” and “prefer not to answer” where appropriate. 31% of people say they give an inaccurate answer to a survey question because the question doesn’t apply to them. By always giving respondents an option to choose “not applicable”, “other”, or “prefer not to answer”, you can control the quality of your data.

Make it user-friendly. By making the survey accessible both online and via mobile, the respondent rate increases greatly. Put yourself in the respondents’ shoes, and think about what would help you while completing a survey. Ensuring respondents have enough room to easily read and answer your questions, keeping header labels that define sections in view, and making the touch points as large as possible will create a better user experience for the respondent.

Avoid bias. Question bias, or a leading question, is when the design of a question or the way it’s asked leads respondents to answer one way or another. For example, the wording in the following question is leading the respondent: “Do you agree that the iPhone is the best smartphone on the market?” You may not even be aware that you have worded a question for a particular answer, which is why you should always have someone else review your survey with a fresh set of eyes.

Are you ready for your next survey project? We can help! Contact us at sales@questionpro.com.

QuestionPro Audience is the leader in online and offline data collection with access to millions of pre-qualified respondents who participate in thousands of surveys daily. We provide our clients the necessary tools and expertise to conduct 360-degree survey solutions.

Why Consumers Buy Green (qSample Study)

Light bulb floating in sky with tree inside it

Buying green is a rising trend with the clean sky as the limit. It has become a normative part of modern society. But exactly why do people buy green? Like so many purchasing choices, it may seem obvious:

It feels good.

However, it’s not that obvious on a closer look. That is because buying green is different than other purchasing choices, and the difference has been widely overlooked in earlier studies conducted by market researchers. A qSample study discovered the core reasons. They relate to the reality of a third-party being involved in the transaction.

When buying green, an individual is not directly rewarded by product per se. Instead, another entity collects the perceived benefits: the community, the planet, animal population, etc. The reward to the buyer ultimately comes in the form of civic aspects: community pride, social responsibility, investment in other life forms, wellbeing for future generations, etc.

This is known as the Generalized Exchange Model. It hypothesizes that four variables play a role in determining attitudes or propensity to perform behaviors. Those variables include:

–  Feeling of social responsibility.
  Feelings of social equity.
  Perceived effectiveness of the behavior (performance).
  Benefits to the community.

Put it simply: Buying green feels good because it makes others feel good (and it looks good too).

By examining the sample data of the qSample study, and employing qualifying analysis, one can detect a Generalized Exchange Model. First, the data reveals how ostensibly passionate consumers are when it comes to buying green or environmental issues:

–  64% are concerned with the environment.
–  76% consider the environment when making shopping decisions.
–  77% recycle frequently.
  32% feel global warming is the more urgent environmental cause.
  36% believe that conversing resources is the most important issue in the U.S.

On the other hand, the study revealed that the passion for green issues declines when it comes to personal sacrifice or an engaged understanding for the environment.

For example, a question in the survey asked: “If you could choose between more expensive but environmentally friendly items, or cheaper but less environmentally friendly items, which would you choose?” 56% surveyed answered that they would choose a less environmentally friendly items. In another section, more than 50% of respondents would rather increase recycling rather than adopt costlier methods of assisting the environment (stricter laws, higher taxes, expanding public transportation, etc.).

Here more statistics exposing how disconnected consumers are in actually living green:

  15% would pick a company to work at based on its green initiatives.
  41% are indifferent whether a company advertises/promote green issues.
  67% believe that companies talk more about being green that actually walk the walk.
  42% have no idea what a definition of green really is (while 33% claim there is no definition for the word).
  17% subscribe to National Geographic (all other subscriptions to environmentally-themed magazines were 5% or under; and even placing National Geographic under that label is arguable).

What all of this contradicting data reveals, again using qualifying analysis, is that respondents are interested in satisfaction under the Generalized Exchange Model, but aren’t exactly personally (directly) vested in it.

(It should be noted that the study scarcely touched on organic/non-GMO foods, as those obviously have perceived direct benefits to consumers.)

There is nothing aberrant about this type of consumer behavior. The Social Exchange Model is employed widely in society, such as in volunteering, military service, political activism, and others. What is important to understand is the third-party reason consumers buy green. As far as market research goes, study author Rudly Raphael concluded:

Green behaviors can be influenced through a variety of variables: community benefits, social responsibility, performance effectiveness of the green behaviors, attitudes, and social rewards. All of these variables can be strengthened through promotion, especially advertising. Attitudes can be changed directly by using a spokesperson who is highly regarded by the target market. Perception of social rewards can be increased by showing people being praised by others for their environmentally-friendly behaviors. Perceived community benefits can increased through informational advertising showing how the community gains from green behaviors. Perceived performance can be increased by providing information on how green products and services impact the environmental aspects people care about.

Some may see this as an exploitation of guilt paired with ignorance. Yet guilt and ignorance have never been roadblocks to market research, and often tools of it—for better or worse.

In this case, as the planet, animals, and future generations benefit from this, it seems to be for the better.