Methods and Techniques

Methods and Techniques: Indepth

While traditional methods and techniques of data collection still provide the majority of primary market research insights, advances in digital insights technologies have ushered in new cost effective methods that in some cases are superior. Thus, insights firms must broaden their repertoire of ways to collect consumer insights in order to stay competitive and keep up with the changing needs of marketers.

ConsumerDNA utilizes a variety of traditional and digital methods that help us serve the full scope of our clients’ needs. The following sections provide an overview of the data collection methods our project management staff uses to serve the full scope of client needs.


Traditional Quantitative Methods


Online Data Collection

ConsumerDNA uses online survey methods extensively for quantitative studies – utilizing either the Qualtrics, Decipher, or Vision Critical survey programming tools. These tools equip us with the latest applications regarding questions/scales, showing video and other images, and even “gamification.”

methods and techniques - online data collection

vision critical   decipher by focusvision   methods and techniques - qualtrics


DNA Online Express – When Speed Matters Most

When speed is of the essence (which it more often is) our quick survey programming tools and “real time” online reporting portals enable us to deliver entire studies in less than one week from time of study approval.

That is correct! We can deliver entire studies – questionnaire design, survey programming and testing, data collection, data processing and Excel/or PowerPoint reporting – in less than one week.


Phone, Mail, and Mall Still Useful

methods and techniques - envelopeFor some consumer target segments telephone surveying is still desired in order to get a truly representative sample (i.e., those consumers who are not often online). ConsumerDNA employs Ci3 CATI software for these jobs and contracts with cost effective telephone surveying agencies to execute the jobs.

Malls still offer certain advantages, especially when we want consumers to see a physical product or perhaps to place the product with them for in-home use.

And, mail is still employed upon special request by select clients for specialty studies.

methods and techniques - ci3 sawtooth


Central Location Testing

methods and techniques - focus group roomOften times our client projects require Central Location Testing where we recruit large numbers of consumers to special facilities where they see and sometimes use or taste products. Up to 50 consumers at one time can try new food products; evaluate household products or see advertising and packaging.

Central location testing results are often tabulated “real time” for client viewers in the back room who want to see the results instantly as the consumer enters them. In food testing for example, the clients’ chefs can utilize the on-site industrial test kitchens to create new food products based on “real time” consumer feedback.


Qualitative Research


Traditional Focus Groups, Depth Interviews, and In-home Ethnography

methods and techniques - in-home ethnographyQualitative research is used extensively with great success for exploring select marketing issues such as – new product concept/or prototype testing, customer experience, shopping process, advertising development, consumer needs and motivations, and new product ideas/innovation.

Traditional focus groups and depth interviews are used most extensively and when we need insights in real settings we go in-home to observe consumers as they would normally use products and interact with other family members.


Digital Qualitative Research

Digital qualitative research is growing in use. ConsumerDNA utilizes the 20/20 platform to conduct online boards (asynchronous), online focus groups and in-home digital ethnographies. These methods are proving very cost effective and in some cases yielding better insights than traditional methods. They are also very good for obtaining hard to reach samples and when a national group of consumers is desired over market based.

Since consumers are working from home in these studies they have ample time to study real in-field marketing materials or perform tasks prior to the discussions. They often upload videos or photos and sometimes keep diaries which all can add to the level of insight we obtain.

methods and techniques - 20|20


Advanced Techniques


methods and techniques - advanced techniquesNew methods of insights have emerged recently that offer some advantages. Either through quality of actionable insights or more and better information about the consumer the new methods deliver insights that were not possible previously.

A promising advancement is smartphone surveying platforms for “point of experience” research – where consumer insights are captured while they are using the product or service. Examples include: in-store shopping experiences, while consuming food products at home, or while taking in a show or exhibit at a theme park. Surveys are sent to consumers when they enter a store or arrive at some other geo point. Or, consumers can download a survey smartphone App and keep a diary of their experiences and feelings while they are consuming a product or service. Consumers can upload both photos and images to tell their story.