At this point in the global pandemic situation, the newness has worn off a bit from the “new normal” and we’re all gaining more experience and exposure to executing the day to day in an online environment.
I’m excited to have this opportunity to talk a bit about the flexibility and adoption of online tools that are making it possible for market researchers to adapt to the new normal.
Speaking from the perspective of one that is familiar with the evolution of online tools and how they are applied to various market research methodologies, there is more to this equation than just making sure everyone has a webcam and internet access.
The success of research is critical for everyone involved, and how smoothly your research is executed in an online setting directly relates to researcher success during this unprecedented time.
How smoothly your research is executed in an online space will depend on your approach and chosen online market research services vendor.
If you are the type of person that is very tech savvy, patient, independent, and comfortable with online research, you may opt to completely handle the platform and technical support yourself.
Many are testing this out right now with solutions such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, and others, with varying levels of success.
The most effective way to ensure smooth sailing in the online space is to partner with a vendor that provides the platform and technical support, to allow you to focus on the research and uncovering valuable insights.
Choosing a vendor partner is not always an easy task.
There are many solutions out there – some provide just one type of platform, and sometimes that will come with support; while others are more varied or robust in their offerings and hands on in the support necessary to drive your project success.
The key is that you want to choose the provider that cares about your success, and the success of your project.
Every project is a little different in terms of needs for successful execution, and you will benefit most from a project team that not only can understand your objectives, but can innovate with solutions to create the most effective project execution support.
Overall project success is also directly tied to respondent readiness and preparation, both in terms of respondent expectation and technical verification process.
Your online research provider should have a well-established process for preparing respondents in terms of any technical requirements they would need to meet for successful participation.
This includes providing screening requirements regarding technology equipment and set up that can be utilized by the respondent recruiting team; and executing relevant technology checks with respondents wherein any features critical during the interview or group are tested in advance, such as webcams and screen sharing.
The technology check process with an expert technician is one of the most effective ways to drive success, as this process tends to uncover important items like technical concerns to trouble shoot prior to the session, or potential errors in recruiting information such as bad emails or wrong numbers.
Addressing these items prior to the scheduled session allows for a much better experience overall, start to finish.
Also, a provider that is fully committed to project success will have effective 24/7 support and global expertise with consistent support across multiple international segments and languages.
Particularly in a study with global components, you also need to know if your provider can deliver strong audio quality support for market research on an international scale, with the flexibility to handle 2-channel audio for simultaneous translation, and even translator services, if the study is multi-lingual.
With global expertise also comes the need to have a comprehensive grasp of global security and regulation compliance requirements, such as the GDPR, CCPA, and HIPPA, to name a few.
Not all tools are the same, and not all providers are the same, and taking the time to assess your options will benefit you in the long run.
I hope this gives you some areas to consider when reviewing your options for advancing and enhancing your online research during this time.
Feel free to contact Civicom Marketing Research Services if we can be of assistance to you in any way!