depth of field desk essay 210661

A new agency, a new way: Using an in-house survey solution

The way one market research company works can be very different to another. Having spent the first three years of my career at one agency, I had little knowledge of the working practices anywhere else. I naively assumed that our way was the way of all market research agencies. Shortly after my move to Research by Design, I discovered this not to be the case.

Cue my introduction to SnapSurveys.

At Research by Design, Snap is used to administer and/or host quantitative surveys and a tool for qualitative recruitment. Let’s start with a very brief and snappy (see what I did there) introduction to Snap. Snap is a software used to script and programme questionnaires. It enables users to directly manage fieldwork and is used to process survey data and conduct quantitative data analysis.

Never was I in doubt that all agencies had a preferred data analysis software package. At my previous agency it was Q Research Software, here, at Research by Design, it’s Snap and I’m almost certain SPSS plays its part in other agencies. Now, whilst the transition to a new data analysis programme was expected, the scope of the software and the change it brings to an organisation’s working practices was not.

Writing qualitative recruitment screeners and quantitative questionnaires was a task no longer undertaken in Microsoft Word, but now in Snap. Communicating with suppliers for quotes and fieldwork updates was no longer the daily grind. Sourcing qualitative respondents was no longer limited to the field agency and their network of recruiters. All of which have their pros and cons…

Let’s first discuss using Snap to administer quantitative research.

A cost-effective solution

Naturally, using Snap to script, host and manage survey research reduces the need for quantitative fieldwork suppliers and the premium costs sometimes attached to their expertise. With Snap, an online survey carried out amongst customers/ members can be administered in house. The research team at Research by Design are in tune with Snap and its wealth of survey design possibilities, from inserting ranking tasks to presenting stimulus materials within the survey, including snapshots of different publications, websites and prototypes.

Research professionals come fieldwork managers 

The very nature of Snap means fieldwork control and decisions therein lie with the research team. With survey management at our fingertips, survey progress can be monitored in real time and educated judgments can be made about when is appropriate to circulate a reminder email and what that email text should contain. 24/7 data access enables the research team to undertake thorough quality checks periodically and should these raise any concerns, Snap enables users to adjust the script mid-survey. This crystal-clear exposure to every aspect of the survey process lends to a transparent relationship between the research team and clients. It optimises engagement, makes for effective communications and guarantees research quality.

So how about using Snap as a qualitative recruitment tool?

Qualitative list recruitment from client sample: offering the power to opt in to market research

When sourcing sample respondents a.k.a. individuals from client lists/ databases, Snap certainly has its advantages. The survey link that encloses the screening questionnaire can be made available on client websites and/ or distributed directly within mail-outs. Undoubtedly, this approach to customer/ member research alleviates concerns regarding research legitimacy. It engenders an opportunity for individuals to opt in as opposed to subjecting them to what is essentially a cold call from a sample recruiter.

Qualitative free-find recruitment: the need for qualitative field agencies and free-find recruiters

Qualitative and quantitative research draw on different areas of expertise and, consequently, often require different methods of engagement to secure response. This is where qualitative field agencies and free-find recruiters come to the fore, and Snap takes a back seat. These are the people that will pin down those prospect customers/ members, or a select target group for market research purposes. At Research by Design, we recognise that our relationships with these suppliers are invaluable. When carrying out qualitative research, drawing on their years of experience and their nationwide database of respondents is crucial to the success of most of our qualitative research projects.

Snap is clearly a great solution to overcoming the challenges of survey research and qualitative list recruitment amongst customers/ members. When it comes to free-find recruitment, the role of qualitative field agencies and free-find recruiters remains clear, and the relationship held with these individuals plays every part in the success of most qualitative research projects. The key to effective working practices is the right blend of internal and external expertise.

This entry was posted in Surveys, tagged Surveys, Online surveys and posted on September 24, 2018


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