COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research
18 May 2020

COVID-19 and Conducting Market Research

COVID-19 Impact on Market Research

In these unprecedented times, ‘business as usual’ is not always the case. At Provoke Insights, we are continually committed to providing you with the highest quality strategy and research. 

As our company has always supported our team working-at-home for a couple of days of the week, the transition to working virtually entirely has not been an issue. Our colleagues meet multiple times throughout the day to provide statuses on projects and give feedback and assist in initiatives.

We would be lying if we said COVID-19 has not impacted market research. However, at Provoke Insights, our agile approach has allowed us to adapt quickly. We are also continually assessing how we can develop the most effective research during these changing times.  

In-Person Research

Focus groups and in-person in-depth individual interviews have come to a halt due to the need for social distancing. At Provoke Insights, while we conduct online qualitative often, we have recently had to transfer an offline 30-focus-group project online in just a few days to online due to COVID-19. 

The virus impacts the recruitment process for online focus groups. The show-rate is much lower than the average show-rate (before the pandemic). Some of the causes are the following:

  • Essential workers such as warehouse and supermarket staff are often called in for extra hours at the last minute.
  • Parents had difficulty finding childcare as kids no longer had school or any daycare.
  • Overall, people are stressed due to income strain.
  • Some had to pull out as they fell ill due to the virus.
  • Participants under the age of 25 years old are less responsive, as many are undergoing an unusually large transition, moving home from college back into their parents’ homes.

At Provoke Insights, we have put the following procedures in place:

  • Over-recruit the number of participants per group by a significant amount
  • Additional reminders for those whom we recruit
  • Higher incentives to improve show-rate

Using Technology During Online Qualitative

Participants’ WIFI service may be slow due to high usage, or specific audiences are not very technologically savvy. As a result, at Provoke Insights, we take the target audience into account. For particular audiences, we recommend using qualitative technology that does not require high-speed wifi or is not too complicated.

The Research Topic & Questions   

COVID-19 is on many people’s minds, and it impacts the way people respond to questions. When developing guides and questionnaires, you need to understand the objective of the research and look at feedback regarding how the world is currently or diving into insights that are more long-term. Consequently, it is more important than ever to write questions smartly to understand the bigger picture rather than focus solely on the immediate environment. We review all initiatives to ensure that the current climate will not impact the project’s results. 

Refreshing Findings

While in a ‘normal’ year, it is crucial to update your research and findings to see if behaviors and the market have changed. This year, it is especially essential to understand that the research you may have conducted last year may no longer be relevant. Consumers’ mindsets are changing, and the way they behave will shift over the next few months.

If you are considering researching during this time, please reach out to Provoke Insights to address any concerns you may have. You can reach us using the contact page or by emailing [email protected]

In addition, check out Provoke Insights research services here.


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