Please click on the relevant area for more information below.
Ad Hoc Surveys
Typically conducted with samples of between 200 and 2,000 interviews.
The bulk of interviewing is done on a face-to-face basis or via the telephone. Occasionally surveys will be conducted by means of postal surveys or via the internet.
The key requirements from surveys of this kind are: robust sample sizes, representative samples (covering all relevant variables), and sensitive and sensible questionnaires that produce the maximum output from the minimum input by respondents.
Tracking monitors have a wide variety of uses for either newly launched or established brands.
The key requirement is to have successive surveys conducted in directly comparable format so that shifts can be measured over time to indicate changes in key brand indices of awareness, trial, repeat purchase, advertising recall and so on.
The B&A Advertising Tracker
The B&A Brand Equity Tracker
The B&A Corporate Reputation Tracker
Brand Health Checks
These are a staple requirement for many large organisations. As a basis for planning brand strategy one needs to know, in a reliable manner, how one's brands compare with the competitive set in awareness, trial, repeat purchase and key product or image attributes. The most effective brand health trackers result from careful investment in the planning stages to ensure that the variables being tracked really are the key drivers of success in the market sector.
Advertising Tracking Studies
These are the advertising counterparts to brand health checks. The idea is to measure, by means of tracking surveys, spontaneous and prompted recall of client and competitor advertising with key diagnostic measures linking take-out from the advertising to the original campaign objectives.
This puts a premium on identifying diagnostic measures which are appropriate to the specific market, and which are checked and updated regularly to ensure continuing salience.
Customer Satisfaction Studies
In many markets (particularly in the service sector) clients are in the very fortunate position of having detailed customer records.
These are an invaluable source for customer satisfaction surveys. Careful planning of these surveys to ensure coverage of existing customers, new customers and lapsed customers can provide invaluable insights in planning customer service to enhance recruitment and minimise customer "churn".
Product Testing is used for a wide variety of purposes. In blind testing do consumers prefer Coke to Pepsi (for example)? Would consumers notice if we substituted a less expensive ingredient for a more expensive one in our product formulation? Does a more expensive branded item warrant its premium over an own label option when the products are tested blind?
Good product tests require robust and representative samples but the real added benefit comes from experimental design which can greatly extend the usefulness of the tests and ensure that the results are as closely aligned as possible to a market reality. Significant learnings can also come from comparing blind and branded test results to see the benefit of the brand “halo”.
Careful consideration has to go into planning these studies in regard to the number of products which can be successfully tested, the benefits of blind vs. branded testing, the optimum location for the test, quantities to be tested, duration of test and a range of issues which can appear trivial but can have a significant bearing on the test results.
Central Location Testing
Central location product testing is the ideal approach when product needs to be stored under controlled conditions (ice-cream or draught beer for example) or where there is a need to standardise product preparation (as with certain food stuffs) or in certain types of blind testing where one wishes to control the order of trial by the respondent. This type of approach is also very useful where one is testing a limited number of prototypes or mock-up material (as with pre-testing of advertising, for example).
In Home Testing
Trialists prepare and consume the product as they would normally.
The method proves highly productive in areas such as problems with pack opening, preparation instructions for consumers, and variability in product performance resulting from consumers being less than exact in following preparation instructions than they might be in ‘controlled’ settings.
In certain test situations, respondents are much better at saying what they prefer than in explaining why they prefer a particular test formulation.
In many areas (tea and beer are two simple examples) consumers do not have the vocabulary to explain their preferences. More importantly, the lay-person will use terms to describe products, which have completely different meanings for the tea blender or the brewer.
In these cases, there is a requirement for a "Rosetta Stone" to act as a translator between the producer and the consumer.
Sensory testing uses a combination of specialist taste panels and general consumers to achieve optimum results. The technique usually calls for a significant number of test variants within a programmed design to achieve the desired goal
Omnibus Surveys - Barometer
In order to produce reliable results, quantitative surveys need a certain minimum sample size. As a general rule, the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results will be (all other things being equal).
However, larger sample surveys tend to be more expensive. This can present clients with a dilemma.
The omnibus survey approach has been designed to overcome this. Clients can buy in to omnibus surveys on a cost per question basis. Several non-competing clients share the same sample as the basis for their survey, thus achieving significant economies.
This is one of the fastest growing research applications in Ireland: reflecting the growth in telephone penetration and the fact that many key target market consumers are more easily accessible via telephone than using any other mechanism.
The method offers many advantages in the areas of quality control and direct supervision. The direct input of responses also allows for speedy result preparation, including the option of checking accumulating results on a daily basis.
The Behaviour & Attitudes Specialist CATI Unit was established in 2002 and consists of 40+ stations located in our office in Milltown Dubin 6.
Since its inception the Unit has established a reputation for high quality work in B2B and general consumer surveys. The largest survey conducted to date covered a nationally representative sample of 3,000 adults.
We also handle a number of continuous consumer satisfaction trackers.
All field work is strictly supervised and facilities are available to allow clients listen in to interviewing on their projects.
Trade Off/Conjoint Studies
Marketing executives are often confronted with the problem of choosing between conflicting customer demands. Would we be better giving our customers one large or two small service benefits?
In trade-off research, respondents are presented with pairs of options in a planned test design, which calculates the value which customers derive from these different components.
The trade-off options need to be very carefully planned to achieve optimum results.
Category Management Studies
As the power of retailers has increased in FMCG markets and distributors have become increasingly keen to be regarded as sector champions.
Category management studies are designed to provide information on the optimum display arrangements in-store for particular market sectors.
The focus in this type of research is at point of purchase via observation checks, store audits and accompanied shopping trips.
A great deal can be learned simply from observing how consumers behave at point of purchase. This can vary significantly between sectors and depending on the style of layout adopted by the store.
Does the consumer stop to consider or make decisions on autopilot? Are prices checked or not?
One can often get closer to the truth by observing what people do, rather than relying on what they say they do.
Accompanied Shopping Trips
One can learn a great deal by accompanying a consumer on a shopping trip. This can afford the dual opportunity of observing what happens and questioning the purchaser in a sensitive fashion throughout the "consumer journey".
The retail experience is only partly explained by shoppers' behaviour. Patterns of behaviour are inevitably influenced by store layout: where in the store the product is on display, in what quantities, how it is arranged, what products are displayed in the immediate vicinity and so on.
The most successful category management studies draw the necessary links between shopper behaviour and the key components of store layout and design.
As business-to-business activity has grown, so has the importance of executive interviewing.
In conducting executive interviews it is important to bear in mind that the pool of eligible respondents is relatively small and, in certain sectors, heavily researched.
The key to executive interviewing is in careful sample selection (of companies and relevant executives within their organisations) sensitive initial contacts and appropriate incentives to maximum co-operation.
Interviewing must be done at a time and location that suits the respondent. Compact and sensibly designed questionnaires are a must for this type of research. Telephone and web based interviews are increasingly used in this area.
Employee Attitude Surveys
Surveys of this kind are becoming more common, particularly in larger organisations.
Data can be collected by means of personal or telephone interviews but this is an area where postal and web based questionnaires can also be used very effectively.
Where quantitative methods are applied, it is important to have benchmark data across a range of companies to help assess results. Qualitative methods can also be used, to great effect, in this type of research.
The concept here is to have a group of people present themselves as potential purchasers of a particular product or service. The purchasers are briefed in advance on what to look out for (Did the sales person follow certain procedures and, if so, how successfully?).
Mystery shopping can be conducted by personal visit or via the telephone, as appropriate. The key is to have a panel of “purchasers” who fit their role and who are very carefully briefed in advance.
Efficient and cost effective for both business to business and consumer research online surveys allow participants to complete interviews on their own computers. We can include streaming video and audio content within the questionnaire, making it an option for advertising testing. At B&A online research is fully integrated with our in house Data Processing Unit, using ASKIA Visual Data Capture. As a result we can provide the complete web service from questionnaire design, scripting, testing and hosting, through to rapid and insightful analysis.
This is the standard for real time dial-group testing of products, concepts, advertisements, television/radio programming, feature films, presentations, speeches and debates. Using hand held dials, individual participants instantly provide anonymous feedback to questions asked by a B&A moderator. The feedback is aggregated and the resulting data is instantaneously displayed on monitors for viewing by observers. The output can then be used to guide additional questions during the group, sharpening our understanding of dial reactions. We can also provide composite video output for reports.
Perception Analyser 2
TTTThis is the standard for real time dial-group testing of products, concepts, advertisements, television/radio programming, feature films, presentations, speeches and debates. Using hand held dials, individual participants instantly provide anonymous feedback to questions asked by a B&A moderator. The feedback is aggregated and the resulting data is instantaneously displayed on monitors for viewing by observers. The output can then be used to guide additional questions during the group, sharpening our understanding of dial reactions. We can also provide composite video output for reports.