Election Polls: What the Pollsters Got Right and What Was Missed
24 Nov 2020

There has been a lot of finger-pointing at pollsters about the 2020 election and accusations that the poll results were not accurate. Media has mentioned that the election polls were “as bad” as the 2016 predictions. While the polling research needs some improvement, there are many reasons not to blame the pollsters.

Here are three aspects that are important to understand about the polls: 

  1. Mail-IN Changes the Voting Dynamic.

    COVID-19 has changed the way a lot of people typically vote. As many Americans are looking to socially distance to prevent the spread of the pandemic, many people opted to use mail-in voting. In this year’s primaries, 50.3% of Americans voted by mail. To compare, the 2016 general elections vote-by-mail was only 25% (Pew Research, 2020). Depending on the state, mail voting slows the process. Polls do not predict when a president would win a state’s electoral votes.

  2. Press Skews Survey Findings to Create Sensational Headlines.

    As mentioned in our blog, “Election Polls: Why You Need to Know What Margin of Error Is Right Now,” the margin of error plays a massive part in reading the results correctly. The margin of error lets you know with a certain level of confidence that if the same research methodology was conducted again, the results would be within the same ‘margin.’ Often, this year’s news promoted a specific presidential candidate is winning. However, they were actually tied according to the survey’s margin of error.  

  3. The Popular Vote Was Accurately Predicted For the Presidential Race.

    Both in 2016 and 2020, pollsters accurately predicted the national vote. Where polls have had more difficulty is predicting the state-level elections for presidential and senate races. Why? For a few reasons.

    • By the time polls are at the state level, the number of respondents completing the surveys is much lower than the national levels. The state-level surveys need a large enough pool to ensure that all of the different populations are surveyed. 
    •  In areas that are less densely populated or more diverse, the survey should be distributed via mixed mode: online, cell, landline, and in-person. For example, older populations are more likely to take a phone survey. Acculturated Americans respond more often to in-person questionnaires. 
    • Market research companies need to monitor the appropriate quotas to represent the population (e.g., education, gender). This is especially true with cohorts that may be harder to reach. For example, the Cuban population in Florida. Unfortunately, sometimes the proper surveying methodology takes significant cost and time, which may not always be available to these pollsters.

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. Election Polls: Why You Need to Know What Margin of Error is Right Now
  2. The Power of Census Data
  3. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research

Find Provoke Insights’ research capabilities here or email us at info@provokeinsights.com with any inquiries.

To learn more about Provoke Insights – Check out SlideShare:

Provoke Insights Market Research & Brand Strategy Capabilities

IF YOU WANT TO, SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS HERE!

and finally, follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

DIY Market Research vs. Hiring a Specialist Market Research Company
18 Nov 2020

What are the differences between conducting DIY research or hiring a specialty market research firm? We all research every day. We research what recipes to cook, what products to buy, what news sources to believe, and the list goes on. If you think about it, our life is a culmination of the research we have done. With that said, it can be tempting to assume that it is easy to conduct market research without being a professionally trained market researcher. While this statement may have some truth, it comes with some significant caveats.  This article will outline the pros and cons of researching on your own and with a market research company. 

Pros of DIY Research

Institutional Knowledge

The employees of a company know the company inside and out. They will have the institutional knowledge that is needed to provide background information on a project. If using a market research firm, it is crucial to share as much information as possible to set the team up for success. 

Ownership

The company conducting the research has total ownership over the project. This pro comes with some perks but also many disadvantages. While you will have the final say over every step, this can cause biases, incorrect approaches, and false results. Working with a research company will mean you can still have the final say on all steps, but it will be the final say on the correct approach. 

Cons of DIY Research

Time-consuming

Conducting every stage of the process in-house is exceptionally time-consuming. While you are in charge of questionnaire design to recruitment, you will also be in charge of the entire analysis and reporting. Without the proper infrastructure in place, this can take up months and months of precious time. 

Resources Required

In the same vein as the previous point, if the company does not have the resources in place, it is challenging to efficiently conduct the research. While you can get the resources in place, this will append to the timeline and delay results even further. 

Researcher Bias

While conducting research in-house will allow the researchers to have unmeasured institutional knowledge of the product and brand, it can cause extreme biases. 

Research Errors

Professionally trained market researchers have an eye for detail that is learned with experience. These professionals go through years of training, apprenticeships, internships, studying, and research to get to where they are. 

The researchers can spot any errors in a study and hiring them will allow a brand to avoid errors altogether. As there are many opportunities for errors in market research studies. To clarify, some of the errors to look out for include (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Selection of improper methodology design;
  • Poor data collection methods;
  • Inadequate sample design, size, or poor participant quality;
  • Incorrect logic;
  • Improper use of statistical procedures;
  • Difficult to understand report.

Pros of a Market Research Firm

Unbiased Research

A market research firm will remain entirely impartial for the study and ensure that the design and results are free from subjective viewpoints and tendencies. The unbiased results are critical to ensure the results are reliable, but it is also a significant benefit when getting published. If a company is looking to use the results to position itself as a thought leader, you will be more likely to get the study published if it comes from an established research company rather than the company trying to position itself.  

Takes Up Less Time

Research companies have all of the tools in place to kick off a project and get you a report with analysis and recommendations within a standard timeframe (depending on the company) of 2-8 weeks. 

Best Practices When Hiring a Specialist

Market research companies are experienced and know all of the best practices from conducting research, free from mistakes or biases. The job of a researcher is to reduce the number of errors. 

Quality

A market research firm will have a higher research standard based on the experience and tools/resources available to the team. As a result of the training and education that they have studied, the quality will be improved. 

Cons of Market Research Firm

Cost

While the temptation to conduct research in-house is often led by the attractiveness of not paying out for professional research, it is not a huge cost when you consider the time saved. 

To learn more about working with a market research firm, you can read more in the following articles: 

Thinking about conducting market research?  Check out Provoke Insights research services here.

IF YOU WANT TO, SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS HERE!

and finally, follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

 

[/kc_column_text][/kc_column][/kc_row]

How Market Research Can Help You Open Up In A New Economy
10 Nov 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed business as we know it. At the start of the pandemic, companies had to create new solutions and find different ways to interact with consumers.

Among many other things, the pandemic altered the economy and business operations in unknown ways. Some of these changes are the following:

eCommerce became crucial: products that used to only be sold in-person are now sold online.
Because of this, many services shifted online and are now completely virtual.

Businesses that remained accessible in-person were transformed by the introduction of safety precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing.

A portion of products and services that were previously in high demand have become a thing of the past.

As potential vaccines continue to move forward, everyone is beginning to imagine what the post-COVID 19 economy will look like. Overall, businesses will face a new challenge of figuring out how to bring customers back to the same products and services that they enjoyed prior to the pandemic.

Opening Up Your Business in the Post-COVID Economy 

This challenge needs to be faced with an effective strategy, and that’s where market research comes in. Hence, by conducting research in the next few months, companies can paint an accurate picture of what their business should look like going into 2021.

Market research companies can provide consumers insights on what they enjoyed pre-COVID, what priorities are in this economy, and what will make them feel safe as the economy opens up.

Changed Consumer Behavior Forever

The pandemic caused permanent changes to consumer behavior and preferences. Because of this, market research will help companies account for the shifts that occured since then. Additionally, they will be able to understand what changes consumers want to keep post-COVID. For instance, consumers have the desire for retail and food companies to continue offering delivery and curbside pick-up options beyond the pandemic.

In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a significant amount of changes to the way we conduct business. As companies imagine what the post-COVID economy will be, they must create strategic approaches for opening up. Strong market research will ensure that they are not catering to trends that might not exist anymore.

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research
  2. Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas
  3. Differences Between B2B and Consumer Qualitative Research

Thinking about conducting market research? Check out Provoke Insights research services here.

Sign up for our newsletters HERE!

and finally, Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas
09 Nov 2020

Conducting Market Research in Localized Areas

Targeting larger markets via online surveys has become easier than ever given the amount of flexibility provided by the internet to reach respondents from all over the globe. However, it is important for businesses to understand how to gain access on the local levels, in places with fewer people or niche populations. 

When it comes to gathering insights from an audience at the county or town level, it is crucial for market researchers to determine the most cost-effective and innovative approaches while ensuring accurate representative results. Here are five practices to employ when reaching localized markets:

Extensive Online Respondent Panel For Niche Markets

In market research it is imperative for researchers to find a partner who can help them uncover data in niche markets by providing them with an online respondent panel. Researchers should have an established sample that is representative of both, new explorers in the market, and seasoned consumers who have shown loyalty to certain brands or publishers. These often are the hardest-to-reach audiences, hence the need for a strong sample company. 

Merge Multiple Respondent Panels 

Accessing multiple respondent panels will ensure that you are getting insights from as many respondents as possible. Each panel has its own distinct recruitment method for research. Merging panels increases the likelihood that you will get enough sample to fill all quotas for the market. This will ensure the most reliable data for businesses that are looking for guidance on their strategies in local markets. 

Social media & SEM 

Commissioning targeted ads on social media and search engines will ensure that you are reaching your desired audience. Promoting the survey in targeted areas provides a direct link to consumers who may have not been reached through a respondent panel, but may still be interested in providing insights. 

Use Mixed-Mode Methodology: CATI & Online 

Employing a hybrid sample collecting method such as mixing CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) and online surveys allow for more in-depth access to narrow populations. It can help to employ this when designing an approach for reaching suburban and rural areas. 

CATI can also be particularly effective when trying to gather insights from respondents who might not have computer access to complete the survey online, but do have a phone where they can be reached. Using a mixed-mode methodology like this ensures you are not missing out on data points from certain cohorts. 

Weighting for Rural Areas

Weighting is a correction technique that is used by survey researchers where a statistical adjustment is made to the survey data after it has been collected in order to improve the accuracy of the survey estimates. Using this technique correctly is crucial, especially for rural areas, because if not done right, it can cause the data to be misleading. This can cause ineffective strategy implementation for companies who are looking to grow. 

Conducting Localized Research Conclusion 

Gathering insights from consumers on the local level can be a challenge. However, data from local markets can often have an impact on overall strategy for businesses. Therefore, it is important for researchers to understand how to use cost effective methods to gather data from these regions. Make sure to follow these practices to ensure conducting research in localized areas is less challenging. 

Read some of our recent case studies and blogs here to learn more about business and consumer research:

  1. Election Polls: Why You Need To Know What Margin of Error is Right Now
  2. The Differences Between B2B and Consumer Qualitative Research
  3. The Pros and Cons of Secondary Research

Thinking about conducting market research? Check out Provoke Insights research services here.

IF YOU WANT TO, SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS HERE!

and finally, Follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights

Why B2B Branding Research Is Essential – GreenBook
05 Nov 2020

Provoke Insights’ President Carly Fink article was published on GreenBook marketing services’ website on the importance of B2B branding research.

GreenBook is the leading voice in the market research space. The company hosts an informative directory of market research services and publishes articles from thought leaders in the industry.

In this article, Carly Fink discusses how COVID-19 has affected brand research, the B2B brand research journey, and understanding the competition. There are critical elements to research which will determine whether or not the insights gathered for your brand will lead to strategy that distinguishes it from the competition:

As Carly has mentioned in the past, the B2B audience is often more rationally driven by logic and relationships, while consumers are emotionally driven.

When conducting market research for a B2B Brand, the research should evaluate how long the education process takes, how buyers go about it, as well as determine the ease of the process.

What is the role of the influencers? Who has the final decision power? How long is the customer or client’s relationship with the company? This will play a role in loyalty and satisfaction.

You can learn more about the importance of B2B Branding research and the differences between it and B2C research in the article.

Secondary Research and Segmentation Research: Tech Product Launch
02 Nov 2020

Marketing Problem

An award-winning Canadian optical technology firm was planning a tech launch of its new product in the United States. Post entry into the United States, the company also wanted to understand the additional markets they should consider promoting the product in. 

To sum up, the tech firm wanted a research methodology that met the following objectives: 

  • Findings they could present to investors to support the product’s market potential;
  • Research that informed a go-to-market strategy for the United States;
  • Data that could provide an actionable market strategy and define the target audience (including buying habits and interests).

Market Research Solution

As a result, the company commissioned Provoke Insights to administer a two-phase research project. 

  1. In the first phase, Provoke Insights conducted secondary research to understand the global market potential. Using over fifty different secondary research resources, Provoke Insights provided a global perspective of the market opportunity.
  2. Subsequently, in this second phase, Provoke Insights conducted a segmentation study among 2,000 respondents. In short, this research determined the market potential, the different types of consumers who would purchase the product, and how their buying habits and interests differ. In addition, advanced analytics (a factor analysis followed by a cluster analysis) were performed to help define the technology key targets.

Research Results

The secondary research analysis provided specific recommendations on which countries had the most market opportunity for the new optical technology. Specifically, it included:

  • Profiles of different potential global audiences;
  • The size of ideal markets;
  • A summary of the worldwide market opportunity for hunters, hikers, campers, fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts, and technology/gadget aficionados;
  • Global market trends/opportunities;
  • Specific countries with an ideal opportunity for the new product.

The segmentation study determined market potential, ideal consumers that the new invention would appeal to, as well as buying habits and interests of those consumers. Moreover, from this information, Provoke Insights developed personas.

The research was able to give a face to their primary audience and gain an understanding of their reach in the United States. With the results, the company determined optimal global markets to enter (other than the US).

This was an essential step for the tech launch and global development. Not only did the research provide revelations about the potential of outdoor activities market and demographics of high propensity customers. It also provided validation for stakeholders to perceive the large market potential of the product. After the research was conducted, the invention was awarded a Top Tech at CES in 2019.

Read some of our past case studies here:

  1. October 6th, 2020: OTC Brand Research Survey
  2. August 13th, 2020: Kitchen Home Improvement Advertising Testing Research
  3. August 5th, 2020: Share of Voice for a B2B Global Manufacturer
  4. July 29th, 2020: Market Simulator & AI Qualitative for Leading Outdoor Company

Likewise, Read some of the blogs from our pros and cons series here:

  1. June 17th, 2020: The Pros and Cons of Online Focus Groups
  2. February 6th, 2020: The Pros and Cons of In-Depth Interviews
  3. July 13th, 2020: The Pros and Cons of Online Survey Research
  4. June 28th, 2020: The Pros and Cons of Message Testing

IF YOU WANT TO, SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS HERE!

and finally, follow our social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/provokeinsights

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/provokeinsights/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/provoke-insights