In the most recent Greenbook GRIT Report, an article appeared from Rebecca West of CiviCom Marketing Research Services, an industry-leading supplier of qualitative technology solutions. It was a question, and a very pertinent one: “Is your organization’s technology strategy where it needs to be?”
The question itself is a very important one. While it may be difficult, defining a modern tech strategy and following it is critical to today’s fast-moving market research industry. You need to stay competitive and you need to protect your respondent data. Your technology choices play a key role in that.
Ms. Hall has created a 10-step list to identifying whether your organization’s technology strategy is where it needs to be. Below, we have added commentary that connects the list to an evaluation of your quantitative survey software. Because that’s kinda our thing.
Less than five years ago, the talk began about the full integration of passive digital data collection (mostly framed as ‘Big Data’) into business insights programs. And as often happens with new trends, a many insights groups dove headfirst into Big Data, abandoning the traditional survey in favor of the more automated digital behavior tracking. In doing so, they lost out on a ton of valuable insights that could only be gathered from asking questions to real people. Their data was suddenly missing the ‘why’ – the motivation behind the actions they were tracking.
Now in 2017, many of those insights groups have returned to surveys and settled on a complimentary solution that pairs passive digital behavior tracking and feedback surveys. Surveys are anything but dead, as they still offer incomparable insights into human behavior. Insights that cannot be matched by the automated collection of passive data. We have watched as the same organizations who shied away from surveys just a few years ago have started coming back and seeing the huge value in pairing their existing passive digital data collection with surveys.
One recent example that triggered this blogpost was when Voxco paired with C2 Montreal to complement their existing automated data collection with surveys that gauged event attendee satisfaction levels:
Members of the market research industry find themselves fighting tooth and nail for decent response rates and representative sample. So when your study is about drug use, sexual behaviors, political and religious beliefs, or other sensitive topics, you’ll need to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to keep response rates steady.
Asking sensitive questions via surveys or interviews can be considered intrusive or offensive, regardless of what the respondent’s answer may be. And if the respondent feels that their response could be contrary to popular societal norms, they may be more inclined to provide a dishonest answer that conforms to their perception of normal (this is called ‘social desirability bias’). Compounding the issues of question intrusiveness and social desirability bias, respondents may not trust that their responses will remain anonymous, or that the data will be kept secure.
Sensitive questions can negatively affect three important survey measurements: overall response rates, single question decline rates, and response accuracy – due to a higher percentage of respondents who answer sensitive questions dishonestly. That means that the inclusion of sensitive questions in a survey needs to be handled in an intelligent and delicate way whenever possible. Fortunately, technology can help.
Last month we drew back the curtain to look at the processes we follow to get client feedback. But we also wanted to share examples of the product features and developments that were guided thanks in part to direct feedback from our software users. So let’s do exactly that – below are some live product features that are in active development as a result of feedback from our clients.
Later this summer we’ll be launching version 6.0 of our overall Voxco Survey Platform. It will include a ton of new features for Voxco Online and an even tighter integration of our multimode survey channels. And many of those new features were initially spawned or fine-tuned via in-depth conversations with our client advisory committee. For example:
We have spent the last couple of months ensuring that all of our clients on SaaS servers worldwide are up-to-date with our 5.6 update, which came with a ton of navigation changes and new features. But this week an all-new feature set is dropping for all users of our Voxco Online platform. It will give users a few new options for guiding respondents down different paths based on how they leave a survey.
Maintenant que le Printemps des Etudes est derrière nous, nous pouvons faire un point sur ces 2 jours d’évènement et sur les 20 ans de Voxco Paris qui ont été une bonne raison de célébrer.
Tout ce que nous avions prévu pour l’évènement s’est déroulé sans accroc. Tout au long de l’événement, de nombreux clients sont venus nous rendre visite sur notre stand dans le superbe Palais Brongniart pour échanger entre autres choses sur l’état du marché des études en Europe.
A la fin de chaque journée, nous avons accueilli nos clients pour partager champagne et mignardises et lever notre verre à ces 20 dernières années. Un grand merci à tous ceux qui sont venus trinquer avec nous !
Face-to-face interviews are a very different beast from self-completion surveys. We’ve gone into detail before about the best uses for each here and here. Unsurprisingly for an industry-leading provider of multichannel survey software, we concluded each post with a solution of ‘combining both is best’. And it really is. But how?
For market research firms running major studies seeking general opinions from a larger population, it can make a lot of sense to use offline interviewing as a complimentary secondary channel to the primary online channel. What do we mean by that? Well online is often the cheaper option, and a far easier way to get a survey out to a lot of respondents quickly. But to vary your sample and expand on your insights, adding a face-to-face interviewing component can make a big difference.
Here are a few reasons to complement online survey projects with offline interviews, and the methodology required:
This year, we celebrate our 20th year in Paris. Our Paris office is a central hub for all of our European operations, supporting hundreds and hundreds of clients across the continent and into the Middle East and Africa. Team France is an essential part of our great success in the region.
So how do we celebrate 20 years? In style, of course; by giving back to the clients and friends who have made it all possible. And to make it as Parisien as possible, we’ve synchronized our celebrations with the Printemps des Etudes – the country’s premiere gathering for research and marketing professionals.
On April 20-21, 2017, we’ll meet over 2,500 event attendees in the beautiful Palais Brongniart. We’ll be there to celebrate, and hope you can join us! We’ve got a little something for everyone:
Cette année, nous célébrons nos 20 ans à Paris. Notre bureau parisien est le centre névralgique de notre activité en Europe, avec une équipe de support travaillant pour des centaines de clients à travers le continent ainsi qu’en Afrique et au Moyen-Orient. L’équipe française est essentielle à notre succès dans la région.
Alors comment célébrer ce cap des 20 ans ? Avec style, bien sûr : en redonnant à nos clients et amis qui ont rendu tout cela possible. Et pour que ce soit aussi français que possible, nous avons décidé de faire coïncider cette célébration avec Le Printemps des Etudes – le rendez-vous annuel pour les professionnels des enquêtes et du marketing.
Les 20 et 21 avril 2017, nous rencontrerons plus de 2500 visiteurs dans l’enceinte du magnifique Palais Brongniart. Nous serons là pour célébrer et nous espérons que vous vous joindrez à nous ! Nous avons prévu des petits quelques choses pour tout le monde :
But savvy product managers know that there’s a gap between the knowledge that comes from creating and refining a product as a developer, and as an end user who is actively using it daily. To close that gap, our Voxco Online product team has long been tapping into the user perspective – what features do they need the most, how do they spend their time on the platform, what would they do differently?
Informally reaching out to users for feedback had always been happening, but just last year, our product team formalized a client outreach program that maximizes the impact of the feedback on the final product. The outreach has been invaluable; not just for our team, but for clients who could help shape the product’s development.
Now that it’s a formal part of our process, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our client outreach programs – how they work, and how much of an impact they have had on the online survey tools. Let’s take a peek under the hood: