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Decoding Online Communities: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn how to use online communities for market research, and the pros and cons of engaging with specific online groups to quickly generate in-depth customer insights.

What is an online community panel or online community?

Online community panels can also be referred to as ‘online communities‘.

An online community panel is a qualitative research methodology whereby you get a group of individuals (e.g. customers, prospects, etc) to participate in discussions, surveys, and activities on an online platform. Participants are identified and chosen based on specific criteria such as common interests and demographics, and engage in moderated discussions and other activities such as surveys or specific tasks.

The online platform serves as a hub for communication, and incentives like discounts or freebies are often provided to encourage participation – although often members just value being able to have their say!

The goal is to foster long-term engagement and create a sense of community among panel members while researchers and brands gather insights, feedback, and data. 

In addition to permanent or ‘extended’ online communities, pop-up communities offer an agile solution to brands and businesses who want to gather valuable customer insights without the hassle of maintaining a long-term community. Whether they are used a day or a few months, online pop-up communities are a great way to conduct in-depth research in a quicker, more flexible way.

What are the advantages of online community panels?

Community panels have advantages for both brands and researchers. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • Precise targeting – they also provide an easy access to specific group of individuals
  • Speed – research projects can be deployed quickly, allowing for quick access to insights and findings
  • Flexibility – online community panels can be used both for qualitative research and some quick or smaller-scale quantitative projects
  • Engagement– the audience in the community panels is already engaged, making research easier and less time-consuming
  • Deep profiling of information – community panels streamline the selection for the research by excluding those who don’t meet specific criteria
  • Cost-effectiveness – any study carried out through those panels is more cost-effective (i.e. post initial setup and maintenance costs)

Members also benefit from taking part, as online community panels allow them to:

  • Contribute and feel closer to a brand that cares about them and their opinion
  • Connect with like-minded individuals with similar interests (a real ‘sense of community’!)
  • Feel special by receiving exclusive invites and accessing products and ideas before they go public

However, there are also some disadvantages to the use of online community panels:

  • The panel won’t be representative of the whole population as members will be skewed towards a specific type of individual with certain characteristics or demographics
  • It takes time and patience to build a community
  • You need to keep members engaged with frequent activities (i.e. polls, discussions) to ensure they don’t drop out, but you also need to make sure they are not overwhelmed with requests

Need something short-term?

Online community panels are worth it if you’re looking to carry out a fair amount of research over time and have time and resources to look after it and keep members engaged.

But what if you’re just looking to run a community for a one-off piece of research?

Well, then, pop-up communities are what you are looking for.

Pop-up communities are short-term ‘online forums’ used to bring together customers (or a specific audience) for an individual project. They can last for as little as one day or go on for a few weeks.

Pop-up communities tend to focus on a specific subject (e.g. shopping for clothing online) or event (e.g. live stream of a new smartphone launch to gauge reactions and first impressions) and are very flexible in how they can be set up.

They provide a focused, short-term environment for individuals to connect, engage in discussions and share opinions and experiences, allowing data and insight to be formed right in front of researchers’ eyes.

Still a bit confused about why you should run a pop-up community when you can build a long-term online community panel?

It all really depends on the specific goals, timings and nature of the research, as well as the engagement you are looking for.

A pop-up community is your best option if you’re looking to:

  • Be agile and time efficient – you can speak to a high number of people in a short period of time, and it can be quickly set up and disbanded, making it the right tool to carry out research around time-sensitive needs or events
  • Focus on a specific subject – this makes interactions more relevant and impactful
  • Build a flexible approach – set-up is easy, and live moderation makes it possible to guide and quickly react to discussions and conversations.
  • Be cost -efficient – as it is operated for a short period of time, a pop-up community tends to be more cost-efficient than maintaining an online community panel. It also requires a lot less effort as it tends to run itself once activities are set up.
  • Provide some freshness and novelty – participants may be more eager to join and contribute to your community, knowing that this will be a unique, short-term experience.

Here’s a six-step plan to build a pop-up community:

As with any other research project, there are a few things you need to establish before getting started:

  1. Define your goals: This may sound super obvious; however, it’s not uncommon for people to start without having defined clear objectives or simply wanting to achieve too many objectives within a single research project.
    Ask yourself the simple questions: are you looking to understand who would be interested in buying your product? How is your brand positioned compared to your competitors? 

    If in doubt, we have a few resources that might help – Are you looking to find out more about your audience? Or about your brand? Or perhaps your research falls into the content bucket.
  2. Identify your audience: Think about who will be able to answer the questions you have – is it your current customers? Or prospects? Or perhaps a completely different group of individuals whose needs and behaviours you are looking to understand?
  3. Determine the proper methodology: Just as much as defining your goals and identifying your audience, it’s essential to carefully assess the different methodology options that are available and find the best one for you based on your needs, timings, budget, etc.
    First of all, are you looking to carry out a quantitative or qualitative study? Or perhaps it’s a mix of the two? Online communities are good for qualitative studies, but also do offer some quantitative tools and they are a good option if you’re limited in time and budget and are happy to engage with people digitally.
  4. Choose a platform: There are a lot of specialised community websites out there, so make sure you do your research and choose a platform that aligns with your goals and needs, one that is easy for you to set up and for participants to use. Always bear in mind that the platform needs to facilitate engagement and interaction!
  5. Set a duration: It’s essential to plan beforehand how long you want the community to run – it should be long enough to achieve your goals but short enough to maintain participants’ interest. As a rule of thumb, the more you want participants to engage, the longer the community should run.
  6. Plan activities and content: This is the online community’s equivalent to a discussion guide or questionnaire. Try to mix and match different types of activities to keep participants engaged – such as discussions, polls, activities using images and videos, etc. but don’t overwhelm them with too much in one day.

And that’s it in terms of building your community – once you’ve done all of this, all you need to do is run your community. 😊

If you’ve made it till here, then you must be really interested in online pop-up communities and how to use them to develop your business strategy.

From discussing sensitive topics with an audience, observing reactions following the launch of some new tech product, making participants travel to supermarkets and take pictures of a product or display, we can confidently say there is very little you can’t do with an online community. Plus, it’s fun!

As a research partner, we are here to help with your research needs.

We can take care of all the tedious bits like setting up the community, running it and analysing the data while you sit back and reap all the benefits.

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National Representative Surveys: Understanding the True Meaning

Learn about the nationally representative (nat rep) surveys, and why it is crucial for accurate market research. Explore the complexities of achieving true representation, balancing demographics, and addressing barriers like sensitive information and respondent bias.

What does nationally representative actually mean?

A national representative (nat rep) survey is what I would call a heritage survey. It goes back to the origins of research, which started out in a field. A literal field.

Market research was born out of the ability to ask people questions in an online format, the answers to which seemed to reflect the trends that were happening in the real world. Therefore, it negates the need to carry out all research in the field, or rather, in person. 

However, the accuracy and representativeness of the insights we get out of our research are only as good as the accuracy and representativeness of the population we survey. 

For data to continue to be a key part of business strategy and future thinking, accurate, representative data is extremely important. 

Having worked in market research for the past seven years, nat rep surveys have become brick and mortar. However, while I have read and heard this term used countless times, I find it has rarely been discussed beyond its name until more recently.  

So, what does nat rep mean? Well, that depends on who you ask. 

A nationally representative sample means recruiting a sample of the population made up of accurately proportioned sub populations carefully balanced by key firmographics, demographics and other characteristics that reflect the make-up of the population in the ‘real world’.

Essentially, you survey a miniature version of the ‘real world’, online.  

While nat rep is a widely used term in the research industry, when asking our team of researchers what nat rep means to them, I received an array of different answers. 

Most commonly, in practice, nat rep surveys will, at the very minimum, be representative of a population by age and gender. Perhaps for some more specific studies, this definition may be expanded to include religion or ethnicity. However, there are many more factors and characteristics that make up a population’s dynamic than just their age and gender. For instance, other attributes you might consider are religion, ethnicity, first language, social grade, disability, and mental health, among others. 

In a nat rep survey where representation is key, is surveying based on age and gender alone, truly representative?

I believe the answer is ‘it depends’. 

When researchers gave their perspective, alongside age and gender, religion and ethnicity came out top, followed by sexual orientation and social grade as attributes that were important to consider including in a nat rep survey.

‘Which of the following do you think should be included in a nat rep survey?’ 

Responses ranked in order:  

  1. Age, Gender, Religion 
  2. Ethnicity
  3. Sexual Orientation, Social Grade 
  4. Physical Disability, First Language
  5. Mental Health 

When should you deploy a nat rep survey, and what to keep in mind?

While all demographic subsets deserve representation in surveys, we need to tackle this one step at a time. So, for now, let’s focus on which population groups are crucial for your research to be considered nationally representative.

To start to navigate the answer to this question, there are first some potential barriers to consider: 

  • Overengineering – we want our data to be as representative as possible, and this requires carefully capturing, balancing and interlocking a variety of the population’s demographics and characteristics. The more you layer and interlock these, the smaller the sub-populations in your survey become, and the number of different sub-populations you have increases. This adds time and complexity to managing what some might have considered a ‘straightforward’ survey. And the degree to which this improves your research accuracy starts to diminish.
    Therefore, there is a ‘sweet spot’ to find between to the number of population variables you decide to include without ‘overengineering’ the sample. Every survey has its margin of error, and its results should be analysed with that in mind.
  • Limitations or guidance on permitted data on the market you are surveying – different markets may have different limitations and/or guidance on what type of population can be collected. For example, in France and Germany, data on ethnicity is not collected at all, particularly in France, where this is against the law, except under special circumstances. 
  • Sensitive information – some demographic data is deemed sensitive, such as religious belief or political opinion. Asking for certain types of information, such as asking about a person’s mental health, may feel invasive or intrusive. Much care needs to be taken in how this information is collected. It also means not all participants may be willing to give us this information. 
  • Market relevance and breakdown of this data – different markets may break down or view aspects of population data differently. For example, ethnicity and Social Grade (a standardised way of grouping people based on their social and financial situation) classifications can vary by market.  
  • Respondents’ biased answers – while governing bodies often define demographic groupings, we cannot control how a respondent interprets and answers our question. For example, the interpretation of whether or not a respondent is a skilled or unskilled worker can often be interpreted differently. By our definition, examples of unskilled workers may include roles in construction and agriculture, but those within that profession may personally define and see themselves as skilled worker.  
  • Translation of demographic terms and classifications across markets – care needs to be taken in the translation of the categories across defining questions to ensure they are appropriately localised (rather than direct or literal) so that all respondents have the best chance of interpreting the question in the same way.
  • Changing social environment – as with the nature of ‘nat rep’, the questions and categorisations often used to determine this, e.g. social class, have remained the same since I started my career. Therefore, given the changing populations, original classifications may no longer be entirely applicable and should perhaps be reviewed and reflected upon and potentially adjusted or updated for the purposes of your survey. 

Having acknowledged the above, answering these questions will help you determine the best approach for your nat rep survey:

  • Time – how time-sensitive is your project?
    The management of interlocking quotas and/or trying to reach harder, more niche audiences requires time and effort. Therefore, there is potentially a balance to be struck between the margin of error you are willing to accept and the time you have to do the research.  However, if these audiences are required, do not exclude them because they present a challenge. Instead, consider a mixed methodologies approach, including Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI), to top up populations less represented or able to take part online. 
  • Patterns or trends – are you already aware of any particular patterns or trends in the way different populations tend to answer?
    For example, do different generations consistently differ in their views? If so, then age is certainly a demographic to manage and include. 
  • Purpose of research – what is the purpose of your research?
    The purpose of your research may determine how deep you need to go into and include different population subsets. Research for media and content offers requires breadth, a broad set of opinions from a number of different populations or stakeholders, whereas research for more strategic purposes, such as product testing, may require a narrower, more specific type of ‘nat rep’ targeting.

Remember -> While a single term is used, there is not one type of nat rep.

So, regardless of how straightforward it sounds, it is a good idea to have this conversation upfront and gain clarity on the questions above to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to their definition of nat rep.  

While the goal is a perfectly representative survey, we should get comfortable with the idea of it not always being perfect. This quote from Bicentennial Man (1999) describes it best, ‘Imperfection is the key. Imperfections make us individuals, that’s what makes us unique.’

Therefore, be aware that there are and always will be limitations to your nat rep and keep them in mind when analysing your results. 

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10 Top Tips For Market Research

For any business, effective market research is a cornerstone for success. Understanding market trends, consumer behaviour, and competitive dynamics is crucial for informed decision-making.


For any business, effective market research is a cornerstone for success. Understanding market trends, consumer behaviour, and competitive dynamics is crucial for informed decision-making. Whether you are launching a new product, entering a new market, or refining your marketing strategy, market research provides the insights necessary to navigate these challenges. This blog offers 10 top tips for market research. Each tip is crafted to guide you through the nuances of gathering and analysing data, ensuring that your research efforts yield valuable and actionable insights.

1. Define Clear Objectives 

Successful market research begins with well-defined objectives. This clarity ensures your research efforts are aligned with your business goals, whether it’s understanding customer preferences, evaluating market trends, or assessing product viability. Clear objectives guide your research process, enabling you to focus on relevant questions and data collection methods. They also help in setting realistic expectations and measuring the success of your research. Whether you’re a startup exploring a new market or an established company launching a new product, having specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives is crucial for insightful and actionable market research outcomes.

2. Know Your Audience 

Understanding your audience is crucial in market research. Knowing what people to survey and why, their needs, preferences and how to reach and engage them allows for more targeted and effective research. This understanding helps in creating relevant surveys or interview questions that resonate with your audience. It also aids in interpreting the data accurately, as different demographic groups may have varying responses and behaviours. The more accurate and targeted your survey is, the more impactful your results will be. Done properly, customer personas and segmentation will  be a game changer for your business, providing in-depth insights into your target market. Understanding your audience  not only enhances the quality of your research but also ensures that the findings are directly applicable to your business strategy and customer engagement plans.

3. Choose the Right Methodology 

Selecting the appropriate methodology is pivotal in market research. The choice between qualitative methods like focus groups and interviews, or quantitative techniques like surveys and data analytics, should align with your research objectives and the nature of information required. Qualitative methods are ideal for in-depth understanding of consumer attitudes and motivations, while quantitative methods are best for measuring trends and making generalisations. Sometimes, a mixed-method approach can be more effective, offering both depth and breadth in insights. Consider factors like budget, timeline, and the accessibility of your target audience when deciding on the methodology to ensure efficient and effective research outcomes.

4. Utilise Technology

Embracing technology in market research can significantly enhance data collection and analysis efficiency. Digital tools like online surveys, mobile analytics, and social media tracking offer real-time, large-scale data gathering capabilities. Advanced software can provide deeper insights through data visualisation and predictive analytics. The use of technology also allows for more innovative approaches, such as virtual focus groups or AI-powered sentiment analysis. This not only speeds up the research process but also opens up new dimensions for understanding market trends and consumer behaviours, making your research efforts more robust and future-proof.

5. Quality Over Quantity 

In market research, the quality of data is paramount. It’s better to have a smaller set of high-quality, relevant data than a large volume of irrelevant information. Quality data leads to more accurate and reliable insights. Ensure your data collection methods are designed to filter out noise and focus on valuable information. This involves careful crafting of survey questions, rigorous sampling methods, and thorough data validation techniques. Remember, the goal is to gather insights that are directly applicable and beneficial to your business decisions, not just to accumulate data for its own sake.

6. Be Objective

Maintaining objectivity is essential in market research. Bias in question design, data collection, or analysis can skew results and lead to incorrect conclusions. To avoid this, ensure your questions are neutral and cover different viewpoints. Be aware of your own biases and how they might influence the research process. Use randomised sampling methods to avoid selection bias, and consider employing third-party researchers to ensure neutrality. Objectivity not only strengthens the credibility of your research but also ensures that the insights you gain are a true reflection of the market and not coloured by preconceived notions.

7. Analyse Competitors

Competitor analysis is a critical aspect of market research. Understanding your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, strategies, and market positioning provides valuable context for your own research findings. It helps in identifying market gaps and opportunities for differentiation. Use a variety of sources like competitor websites, customer reviews, and industry reports to gather comprehensive information. Analysing your competitors’ customer engagement and marketing tactics can also offer insights into effective practices and areas for improvement in your own strategies. Remember, the goal is not just to mimic but to find ways to uniquely position your brand or product in the market.

8. Stay Current 

Market trends are constantly evolving, and staying current is essential for effective market research. This means regularly updating your knowledge about industry advancements, emerging technologies, and changing consumer preferences. Attend industry conferences, subscribe to relevant publications, and follow thought leaders on social media to keep abreast of the latest developments. Incorporating current trends into your research can provide a more accurate picture of the market and help predict future changes. Staying informed not only enhances the relevancy of your research but also positions your business as a forward-thinking player in the industry.

9. Engage with Respondents

Engaging effectively with respondents is key to obtaining quality data. Building a rapport encourages respondents to provide honest, detailed feedback. This can be achieved through respectful communication, ensuring confidentiality, and showing appreciation for their participation. Tailoring your approach to suit different audiences, whether through personalised interview techniques or thoughtful survey design can also increase engagement. Additionally, consider offering incentives or making the participation process enjoyable. Engaged respondents are more likely to provide insightful feedback, which leads to more reliable and actionable research findings.

10. Report Effectively 

Effective reporting is the final, crucial step in market research. Your findings should be presented in a clear, concise, and actionable manner. Use visual aids like charts and infographics or other emerging data visualisation techniques to make data more accessible and understandable. Tailor your report to the audience, ensuring that key stakeholders can easily grasp the insights and their implications. Focus on actionable recommendations based on your research findings. A well-structured and insightful report not only highlights the value of your research efforts but also guides decision-making, helping stakeholders to strategize and act upon the data effectively.


Effective market research is an invaluable tool for businesses seeking to understand their market, customers, and competition. By following these top ten tips, you can ensure that your market research is focused, relevant, and impactful. Remember to define clear objectives, know your audience, choose the right methodology, and embrace technology. Prioritise quality over quantity, maintain objectivity, and stay current with market trends. Engage with your respondents, analyse your competitors, and report your findings effectively. Implementing these strategies will help you gain deep insights, enabling informed business decisions and strategic growth.

Ready to Elevate Your Market Research? Contact Sapio Research Today!

Unlock the full potential of your business with expert market research insights. At Sapio Research, we specialise in providing comprehensive, tailor-made research solutions that drive growth and innovation. Whether you’re exploring new markets, refining your product, or understanding customer behaviours, our team is here to guide you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive with data-driven strategies.

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Market Research in Times of Recession: Strategies for Differentiation and Thought Leadership

Discover how market research and thought leadership can be powerful tools during a recession. This guide explores strategies to adapt, grow, and emerge as a leader in your industry, even in challenging economic times.

Section 1: Understanding the Recession

In today’s dynamic business environment, staying ahead of the competition and making informed decisions is crucial, especially during challenging economic times. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the concept of market research as a way to navigate economic uncertainty and create value and growth during a recession, focusing on how your business can navigate these uncertain waters and emerge as a thought leader in your industry.

What is a recession?

A recession is a period of economic downturn characterised by reduced consumer spending, tightened budgets, and increased market volatility. During such times, businesses often face heightened competition and a potential loss of income, so there is a real need for strategic insights that will help you to adapt and thrive quickly.

Embracing Uncertainty with Market Research

Amid economic challenges, embracing a proactive approach to understanding market dynamics becomes essential. For reference, the monthly GDP for August 2023 only grew by 0.2%, following a fall of 0.6% in July 2023. 

Times like these get especially tough for businesses. This is where market research comes into play, generating insights that can help businesses navigate the complexities of a global recession and turn them into specific opportunities.

Section 2: The Power of Strategic Research

Strategic research services empower organisations with the tools they need to make informed decisions and create long-term value, including during uncertain times:

Grow (more) strategically 

Achieving growth during a recession may seem like an impossible task, but it’s achievable. Market research arms businesses with the right knowledge and insights to be agile and rapidly define, test, and reframe their next moves with confidence.

When investments are reduced and expenses scrutinised, proving ROI or simply justifying your existence can become more of a pressing issue. Market research will give you the tools to focus your efforts in the right place, to track and measure impact in real-time, and will show you which areas you should further explore.

Staying Ahead of the Game

In a recession, being ready with your next move not just dictates how successful you’ll be, but also whether your business will survive.

By closely monitoring market trends and audience behaviours, organisations can anticipate challenges and quickly position themselves where they need to be, and even seize opportunities that competitors haven’t yet reacted to.

Section 3: The Impact of Content Research and Thought Leadership Research 

Content and thought leadership research play a vital role in establishing a strong presence, even in challenging economic conditions. Being in a recession not only affects your profitability but also your consumer’s mindset. 

The solution?

Now more than ever, make sure you immediately make time to listen and pay attention so you can engage with your audience in a meaningful way. You can then craft a compelling narrative and effectively communicate it through thought leadership to reassure your prospects. 

A recession affects everyone, from super warm leads to casually browsing prospects. You need to reassure them that your solution will not be an expense, but instead a useful investment to navigate the difficult times ahead. And that comes with a significant pivot in your content language and strategy, enabled by the right research and insights. 

Here are three ways market research can help your content become recession-proof: 

1. Boosting your content strategy

Content marketing remains a powerful tool for engaging customers and driving sales, even during economic downturns. Make sure you generate insights to write about what’s important to your audience in that moment, ensuring your content is targeted, robust and relevant to the current circumstances.

2. Becoming a thought leader

Building thought leadership is a long-term strategy that pays off in the long run. The right insights should provide the evidence you need to support opinions and build authority within your niche, helping you maintain your organisation’s reputation and credibility as a thought leader. 

3. Creating PR opportunities

In a recession, discovering new angles and crafting compelling stories is essential for a brand or an individual to stand out from the noise. Targeted content research can uncover unique PR opportunities that resonate with your audience, subtly reinforcing your position as a thought leader.

Here’s an example of our work with Crayon, where we conducted quantitative research and also powered their PR and content strategy.

In the next section, we will explore strategies businesses can employ to deliver actionable insights during a recession while reinforcing their thought leadership position. 

Section 4: How to become a Thought Leader during a recession

In a recession, establishing thought leadership can be a subtle yet powerful strategy for businesses aiming to navigate challenging economic times. Thought leadership isn’t about blatant self-promotion; it’s about becoming a trusted industry authority. 

Let’s explore some strategies that can help your business emerge as a thought leader during these uncertain periods:

1. Be thoughtful when creating content

A cornerstone of thought leadership is creating insightful content that addresses industry challenges and trends. Dive deep into topics relevant to your audience, providing fresh perspectives and solutions. By consistently producing valuable content, you can position your business as a respected industry expert.

2. Focus on data-driven insights

During a recession, data becomes even more critical (Check out the steps here to ensure data quality). Conduct thorough research and analysis to gather valuable insights that support your viewpoints. Sharing data-backed insights enhances your credibility and helps your audience navigate the complexities of the recession.

3. Actively engage with your audience

Engage with your audience and industry peers through social media, webinars, and industry forums. Thought leaders actively participate in discussions, answer questions, and offer guidance. This not only showcases your expertise but also builds a loyal following and fosters a sense of community.

4. Collaborate and network

Collaborating with other thought leaders and industry experts can expand your reach and credibility. During a recession, cooperation can be mutually beneficial. Seek opportunities to collaborate on research projects, co-author articles, or co-host webinars, subtly reinforcing your position as a thought leader. 

5. Don’t be afraid to lead discussions, and to address pain points

Recessions often bring unique challenges to different industries. Identify and address these pain points through your thought leadership. Provide practical solutions and actionable advice to resonate deeply with your audience. By being a problem solver, you establish trust and credibility.

Make sure that your content is unique and genuine, or in other words, that you wrote it. Nobody likes to read a thought leadership piece that looks like it’s been written by an AI, especially if they’re looking for expert opinion and specific answers to their problems.

6. Be flexible and quick to adapt

Thought leaders are adaptable. They recognise changing market dynamics and adjust their strategies accordingly. During a recession, being flexible and willing to adapt your approach based on emerging trends can set you apart as a forward-thinking leader.

Section 5: Leveraging Technology for Thought Leadership

In today’s digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in establishing thought leadership. Embracing tech-driven strategies can help your business not only weather the recession but also emerge as an industry thought leader.

1. Utilise Data Analytics

Leverage data analytics tools to gain deeper insights into market trends and consumer behaviour. Analysing data trends can provide you with valuable information to support your thought leadership content and position your business as an authority in your field.

2. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms are powerful tools for thought leaders. Consistently share your valuable insights, engage with your audience, and participate in relevant industry conversations. By using social media strategically, you can expand your reach and connect with like-minded professionals.

3. Webinars and Virtual Events

Host webinars and virtual events to share your expertise and engage with a wider audience. These online gatherings provide an excellent platform to discuss industry trends, share insights, and establish your thought leadership position.

Section 6: Building Trust and Credibility

Thought leadership is closely tied to trust and credibility. In a recession, building and maintaining these qualities becomes even more critical.

Transparent Communication

During uncertain times, transparent communication is key. Be honest about challenges and setbacks, and share how your business is addressing them. Transparency builds trust with your audience, positioning you as a trustworthy thought leader.

Customer Testimonials

Highlight customer success stories and testimonials that showcase your expertise and the value you bring to your clients. Real-world examples of how your solutions have benefited others can reinforce your credibility as a thought leader.

Thoughtful Networking

Build relationships with other thought leaders and industry influencers. Engaging with respected figures in your field can help you gain credibility by association. Collaborative efforts can also lead to mutually beneficial opportunities. To dive into the art of networking for thought leadership, read this resource on strategies for effective thought leadership networking.

Section 7: Adapting to Change

Flexibility and adaptability are essential for thought leaders, especially during a global recession.

Monitor Emerging Trends

Stay vigilant about emerging trends and be ready to pivot your strategies accordingly. Thought leaders are at the forefront of change, not resistant to it. Adapting to new market dynamics demonstrates your ability to navigate challenging times.

Continued Learning

Invest in your knowledge and skills. Thought leaders are lifelong learners. During a recession, consider online courses, industry certifications, or staying up-to-date with the latest research to maintain your expertise.

Section 8: Conclusion

In conclusion, establishing thought leadership during a recession is not only possible but also highly beneficial. By focusing on providing valuable insights, actively engaging with your audience, embracing technology, and adapting to change, your business can position itself as a trusted and influential thought leader in your industry. 

Thought leadership is a long-term strategy that not only helps you navigate challenging times but also sets the stage for future success and growth. Commit to your thought leadership journey, and you’ll find that your influence continues to expand, even in the face of economic uncertainties.

Ready to leverage the power of market research and thought leadership to thrive during economic challenges?

Reach out to us, and we’ll work together to make you a legendary thought leader! 

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Understanding Tech Market Research

In the fast-paced and ever-changing technology sector, staying ahead of the competition and making informed decisions is paramount. The key to unlocking the potential of your tech venture lies in understanding the dynamics of your market through comprehensive research.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, businesses find themselves facing immense challenges and opportunities. To remain competitive and make well-informed decisions, it is crucial to build a deep understanding of the tech market.

This is where tech market research plays a pivotal role. In this article, we delve into the significance of tech market research and how it empowers businesses to navigate the dynamic tech industry effectively.

What is Tech Market Research?

Tech market research is a systematic process of gathering, analysing, and interpreting data related to the technology sector. It involves studying market trends, consumer behaviours, emerging technologies, competitors, and other factors that impact the technology market.

The primary goal of tech market research is to provide tech businesses with valuable insights and intelligence that help them make strategic decisions, drive innovation, raise awareness and generate leads to achieve sustainable growth.

Why is Tech Market Research Important?

Tech Market Research informs many areas and key strategic decisions across the business, including:

  • The overall business strategy
  • The brand strategy & messaging (e.g., value proposition)
  • Product strategy and development (incl. segmentation, positioning or pricing)
  • Sales and Marketing (incl. strategy and content marketing / thought leadership)
  • The distribution / channel (or partners)
  • Demand & lead generation
Listen to our CEO Andrew White and Lee Simpson, Head of Technology
Practice at Skout PR discuss the tech sector and its challenges.

The Uniqueness of Technology Market Research

Tech market research stands apart from its counterparts in other sectors, owing to several unique considerations:

  1. Rapid Evolution: The tech landscape witnesses change at an unparalleled pace and sees frequent paradigm shifts. Market research is instrumental in detecting and reacting timely to unpredictable changes such as technological advancements, shifting consumer behaviours or economic downturns.
  2. Complex Decision Frameworks, Longer Buying Cycles: The tech purchasing process in businesses, especially for B2B, is multifaceted. Understanding each stakeholder’s unique journey and influence in the buying process is crucial.
  3. Shorter Product Lifecycles: Unlike other sectors, tech products can become obsolete rapidly. Market research enables businesses to capture real-time insights to predict future trends and become more agile in their approach.
  4. Diverse Audience Segments: From a CTO to partner and end-user, each B2B audience has a unique experience. Tailored research methodologies are essential to understand and capture their different needs and challenges.

Understanding B2B Audiences in Tech Market Research

In the realm of tech market research, B2B audiences hold a distinct significance. Let’s delve into the varied B2B segments and understand their relevance when conducting a survey:

  1. Tech Executives: Decision-makers who look at strategic investments. Tech vendors need insights into the broader vision and strategic goals of these individuals to offer solutions that fit into long-term business objectives.
  2. IT Managers: Responsible for the day-to-day tech operations, IT managers are often the first touchpoint for new software and technology tools. Understanding their challenges and requirements helps in tailoring tech products that cater to operational efficiency.
  3. End-users: The individuals who will be using the technology daily. Their feedback and preferences are invaluable for creating user-friendly products.
  4. Procurement Teams: This group evaluates the cost-effectiveness and ROI of tech tools. Understanding their evaluation criteria can guide the development of cost-competitive tech solutions.
  5. The channel (distributors, resellers or integrators): Tech vendors often distribute their products via a network of partners. Understanding their needs, challenges and what enables them to efficiently resell their product is crucial to build successful partner programs, unlock success with co-marketing and drive both businesses’ growth.
  6. Customers: let’s not forget about this group as surveying current clients and lapsed customers is the key to any successful business, marketing and sales plans. Regularly talking to them provides a substantial and valuable amount of insights, so it is essential to integrate their feedback at different stages of the customer journey.

Every B2B audience segment has a unique perspective as well as distinct needs and pain points. Tech businesses that have a good understanding of their audiences are able to:

  • bring their products to market more effectively
  • adapt quickly and be more agile, staying on top of innovation
  • successfully differentiate their offering by focusing on solving their audiences’ problems, serving each segment more efficiently
  • achieve a healthy, sustainable growth faster than their competitors

Key Applications and Components of Tech Market Research

To succeed in their space, tech companies can use tech market research in many different ways. Here is just a snapshot of how tech market research can help businesses differentiate themselves and achieve their objectives of growth.

Strategic Research – Market Analysis, Audience and Brand research

Strategic Research and Analysis for the tech sector aims to help businesses create economic long-term value with well thought out business and marketing plans. This is mainly done through Audience Research and Brand Research.

  • Making Informed Business Decisions – In the dynamic tech industry, hasty decisions can hinder a company’s growth. Reliable data from market analysis ensures businesses understand their market’s dynamics and can therefore make decisions grounded in solid insights from industry trends, future projections and customer preferences.
  • Staying Ahead of the Game and Assessing Competition – The technology sector is constantly evolving, with new innovations and even new tech vendors emerging frequently. Tech market research allows businesses to gain a comprehensive understanding of their competitive landscape and assess their own strengths and weaknesses against competitors, enabling them to plan ahead and develop more effective strategies.
  • Tailoring Product Offerings – Conducting Audience Research and understanding needs, behaviours and pain points also enables tech businesses to tailor their products and services more effectively. A customer-centric approach backed by solid audience & behaviour research helps ensure that products resonate with the target audience. This can include building the right pricing strategy, removing potential obstacles from the decision-making process, or making sure product features solve the audience’s real problem.
  • Building Great Brands – Brands and people’s opinions aren’t static, and it is especially true in the highly competitive, fast-moving tech landscape. Understanding customers’ motivations and perceptions towards a brand and evaluating these against key competitors is essential for the brand to remain appealing, inspire loyalty, and generate additional revenue opportunities.
  • Captivating the right B2B Audiences with great messaging – Tech market research isn’t just about the product, but also about engaging different audience groups with messaging that truly resonates. Each group has its concerns, priorities, and criteria for decision-making. So, for tech vendors, understanding these nuances can mean the difference between success and failure.
  • Testing and Reducing Risks – Tech market research not only provides insights but also allows businesses to test assumptions and technology adoption trends, especially during economic downturns. This information is valuable for companies that strive to maintain a strong market position and maximise their ROI by investing in the right initiatives that align with market demands.
  • Securing Funding and Facilitating Growth – Research-backed insights can provide businesses, especially start-ups, with the leverage they need when seeking funding. Investors and stakeholders are more likely to trust and invest in companies that demonstrate a deep understanding of their market, and can back ambitious deals with data.

Content Marketing and Thought Leadership Research

Content and Thought Leadership Research helps tech companies generate valuable insights for their audience, raising awareness around topics of interest:

  • Boosting Content Marketing – Tech Market Research provides a depth of information that is ideal for content marketing, enabling tech vendors to feed their content pipeline with engaging and compelling information, generating more conversions and leads.
    The research can also be amplified and multi-purposed in many ways to offer a memorable experience to the audience reading about it. Transforming research data into appealing illustrations, interactive documents or visualisations enhances engagement, providing a dynamic way for audiences to explore complex information.
  • Building authority with thought leadership – The data also produces unique, targeted insights used by tech leaders when writing opinion pieces, helping them to establish themselves as experts in their field.
  • Create media opportunities – Journalists and media outlets love stories backed up by solid data. Tech market research allows businesses to generate great coverage by confidently highlighting trends and pushing fresh storylines when pitching new stories to the media.

Best Practices for Conducting Tech Market Research

  • Define Clear Research Objectives

Before embarking on tech market research, businesses must define clear research objectives. These objectives will serve as a roadmap for data collection and analysis, ensuring that the research aligns with the company’s strategic goals.

  • Utilise a Mix of Data Sources

To ensure comprehensive research, businesses should utilise a mix of data sources. This may include primary research such as surveys and interviews, as well as secondary research using industry reports, market data, and academic studies.

  • Leverage Technology and Tools

In the digital age, numerous tech tools and platforms facilitate data collection and analysis. Leveraging technology can streamline the research process and enhance the accuracy of findings.

  • Stay Updated with Industry Trends

Tech market research is an ongoing process, and industry trends can change rapidly. Businesses must stay up-to-date with the latest developments to maintain a competitive advantage.

Listen to our CEO Andrew White and Lee Simpson, Head of Technology Practice at Skout PR discuss the tech sector and its challenges.

What are the challenges faced by tech companies?
How to leverage market research for content and thought leadership?
Breathing life into market research for longevity
Finding interesting angles to stay relevant in 2024

Collaborate with Experts

Tech vendors and start-ups, given their unique position in the market, benefit immensely from collaborating with seasoned market research experts. Expert tech research professionals are adept at deciphering complex data, drawing actionable insights, and foreseeing tech trends. For any tech company, partnering with research experts means they’ll build a sound understanding of their market, and make well-informed business decisions that drive growth and innovation.

Do I need Market Research?

By now, we hope you understand the importance of market research for your business in the technology sector. Embracing market research as an integral part of your business strategy will empower you to make informed decisions that can steer your company towards success and sustainable growth.

‹ Tutorials

ChatGPT for market research – A Tutorial

Unless you’ve been off the grid since November 2022, you must have either used some form of generative AI or would have seen posts across your social media with prompts to use to make your work easier (or promises to change your life for the better!).


Unless you’ve been off the grid since November 2022, you must have either used some form of generative AI or would have seen posts across your social media with prompts to use to make your work easier (or promises to change your life for the better!).

Welcome to this tutorial on ChatGPT and how you can harness its power for market research.

In this tutorial, we will explore what ChatGPT is, its applications in market research, and how to effectively train it for your specific needs.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art large language model developed by OpenAI, but it’s more than just a conversational AI.

We (a.k.a the average human) make more than 35,000 choices in a day. Now to base those decisions on data and further analyse them would take an eternity.

That’s when AI can come to our rescue – In this case we’re exploring ChatGPT as a platform, and how it can play a pivotal role in transforming market research.

As you explore the capabilities of ChatGPT in this tutorial, you’ll see how it aligns with the methodologies shaping the future of market research. For a deeper dive into this topic, check out our blog-post on “Integrating Primary and Secondary Market Research.

Applications for Market Research

As we delve deeper into ChatGPT’s capabilities, it’s essential to recognise how this AI marvel can enhance market research efforts significantly. From optimising surveys, to addressing specialised research needs in PR agencies, ChatGPT offers a diverse array of solutions.

To get started, we thought we’d ask ChatGPT to tell us how it could help us with Market Research. Here’s what it said:

Here are some key domains where ChatGPT has proven its utility in market research:

  1. Drafting questions: ChatGPT can help create effective survey questions that yield valuable insights from respondents.
    If you’re looking for some guidance on writing a good research questionnaire, here are some tips.

(This is an example, but we’d recommend being more specific)

  1. Content Generation: ChatGPT can generate reports, articles, or summaries based on your research findings, saving time and effort.
  2. Competitor Analysis: It can help gather information on competitors from publicly available data and reports. This is a great way to get a summary of key competitors and understand where you stand in the market.
  3. Data Analysis or Visualisation: Chat GPT can assist in analysing large volumes of text data, such as customer reviews and social media comments, to extract trends and sentiments.

    This can be a little bit of a hassle to set-up but ChatGPT does integrate as a pug-in for Excel and then you can use it seamlessly.

    To go one step further, find out more about ChatGPT for data analysis and converting into visualizations.

Training ChatGPT – The Dos and Don’ts

To maximise the utility of ChatGPT in market research, here are some tips and guidelines to help train it:


  1. Clearly State the Prompt: Begin with a clear and concise prompt that defines the topic or theme you want ChatGPT to focus on.
  2. Use Specific Language: Describe your requirements using specific and concrete terms.
  3. Provide Context: If necessary, offer background information or context to help ChatGPT understand the task better.
  4. Be Clear and Concise: Use straightforward language to minimise ambiguity.
  5. Set Parameters: Define any limitations or parameters for the task, such as length, tone, or style.
  6. Provide Examples: Offer relevant examples or specify what you do NOT want ChatGPT to generate.
  7. Break It Down: If the task is complex, break it into smaller, more specific parts to make it easier for ChatGPT to understand.


  1. Vague Terms: Refrain from using vague or abstract terms that could lead to unclear responses.
  2. Complex Language: Keep language and grammar simple to prevent confusion.

    By following these guidelines and avoiding common mistakes, you can harness the full potential of ChatGPT for your market research needs. It’s a versatile tool that, when trained effectively, can save time and provide valuable insights for your projects.

    If you’re keen on learning more about how to write effective ChatGPT prompts, here is a great piece by Zappier.

Formatting Tips & Tricks for Effective Communication

Proper formatting can make your prompts clearer and more effective in getting the desired responses. Here’s what we learned:

  1. Bullet Points: Use bullet points to list specific items or ideas, making your prompts easier to read and understand.

    o Example: “Write a list of the top 10 reasons why you should visit the following countries:
     Japan
     Italy
     Australia”
  2. Bold for Emphasis: Utilise bold text to emphasise important instructions or elements in your prompts.
    o Example: “Write a persuasive speech on the importance of recycling. Include at least three examples of how recycling can benefit the environment and society.”
  3. Italics for Titles: Employ italics to indicate titles or for added emphasis within your prompts.
    o Example: “Write a review of the Star Wars movie franchise. Include your thoughts on the plot, characters, and overall enjoyment of the series.”
  4. Strikethrough: Use strikethrough to indicate something that should be removed or excluded from the response.
    o Example: “Write a persuasive speech on the importance of exercising regularly. Do NOT include any arguments about weight loss or physical appearance.”
  5. Code Blocks: Use code blocks to indicate specific language or code within your prompts.
    o Example: “Write a tutorial on how to set up a basic website using HTML and CSS. Include , , and tags in the code examples.”
  6. Comments: Add comments within your prompts to provide additional information that you don’t want ChatGPT to include in the response.
    o Example: “Write a descriptive paragraph about a person’s appearance. [//]: # (Include details about their hair, eyes, facial features, etc.)”
  7. Interrogative Questions: Format your questions appropriately for the type of response you want.
    o Open-ended: “What are the key factors influencing climate change?”
    o Closed-ended: “Is climate change caused by human activities?”
  8. Leading Questions: Use leading language to guide the response in a specific direction while ending with a question mark.
    o Example: “Don’t you agree that the best way to solve this problem is to call in a professional?”
  9. “Must Include” Phrase: Specify important requirements within the question.
    o Example: “What are the top tourist attractions in France? You must include the Eiffel Tower in your list.”
  10. Use Specific Language for Importance: Emphasise the significance of certain elements in your prompts.
    • Example: “What are the best beaches in Thailand? It is essential that you consider Koh Phi Phi and Railay Beach in your list.”

Training ChatGPT – Prompt Engineering Example

To effectively train ChatGPT, you can use prompts like the following:

“Can you provide me with a long and well-thought-out comprehensive yet simplified guide of [SUBJECT], that only includes offline information that you are certain is true and excludes any speculation or uncertainty? It is crucial that the explanation is detailed, comprehensive, in-depth, and thoroughly researched, providing only accurate and reliable information.
Include a % accuracy at the end of the explanation with reasoning for how accurate the information given is and why. Give 2 web sources with general URLs (accurate as of 2021, ends in .com, .gov, or .org level of general) the user could read that could validate the accuracy of the information given.”

This prompt is highly effective for obtaining detailed, accurate, and well-researched information on a subject while ensuring that it’s based on reliable offline sources.

Additionally, it provides a clear structure for evaluating the accuracy of the response.

Be Careful

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool for market research and various other tasks, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Data Accuracy / Fact-Checking: Although ChatGPT can now provide users with up-to-date information for their inquiries (instead of being limited to data before September 2021), always verify and double check the accuracy of the information. It is essential to fact-check any critical information or decisions based on its responses, especially in high-stakes situations.
  2. Ethical Use: Ensure that you use ChatGPT and similar AI tools ethically and responsibly. Avoid generating content that may be harmful, misleading, or against ethical guidelines.
  3. Privacy: When using ChatGPT with sensitive or personal data, take appropriate measures to protect privacy and comply with data protection regulations.
  4. Complex Tasks: While ChatGPT can handle various tasks, it may not always provide precise answers to highly complex or specialised questions. For such cases, consider consulting domain experts or using specialised tools.

    By being cautious and mindful of these considerations, you can make the most of ChatGPT’s capabilities while maintaining the integrity and accuracy of your market research efforts.

Market Research Tools – Competition

Here’s a brief overview of some market research tools and their unique offerings:

  1. Predict: Predict is an AI tool with a remarkable 95% accuracy rate for predicting customer responses on creative assets like attention and cognition. It utilises a robust eye-tracking database and is validated through neuroscientific methods.
  2. STORYD: STORYD is a tool designed to help users create AI-powered data presentations that are engaging and impactful. It enables users to quickly generate presentations that can capture the attention of decision-makers, ultimately aiding in recognition for their efforts.
  3. Luminal: Luminal simplifies the task of organising and cleaning large, messy spreadsheets using GPT-3. Users only need to show Luminal how the data should look and upload their spreadsheet. Luminal then dynamically generates a Python script to clean the data efficiently, speeding up spreadsheet preparation for processing.
    These tools offer unique solutions for market research, from predicting customer responses to simplifying data presentation and spreadsheet cleaning. Each tool addresses different aspects of market research, catering to various needs within the field.


By now, you should have a solid understanding of what ChatGPT is, its versatile applications in the field of market research, and how to effectively train it to generate valuable insights for your projects.

Just keep in mind the power of clear and well-structured prompts, these prompts can significantly influence the quality and relevance of the responses you receive from ChatGPT.

Remember to stay updated with the latest developments in the field of AI and natural language processing, as ChatGPT and similar tools are continuously improving and evolving.

If you have any further questions or would just rather use the help of a professional team of researchers for your research needs, then feel free to call us or to drop us a message here.

‹ Tutorials

What makes a good, robust, and useable research sample?

This is a question we see very often. It strikes at the heart of the purpose that research serves, and how we can maximise its value by creating a useable research sample. Therefore, we have put together this article to answer this common question.

Firstly, what is a research sample?

A sample is a subset of a larger population that are included within a research study. Instead of examining everyone or everything in a population, researchers select a sample to represent the whole.

A good, robust and useable research sample is characterised by 4 key pillars:

  • Size
  • Representativeness
  • Audience relevance
  • Recency

All four are important in evaluating the validity of a piece of research and all four should be rightfully questioned by journalists when reporting on a study.

Sapio Research ensures that all research produced can be reported on by journalists by doing the following:

  1. Recommending sample sizes that we believe are both statistically robust and reportable
  2. Ensuring that each sub-group of the sample is appropriately representative.  Sub-group examples include age, gender, and region in B2C studies, and sector, company size, and job role in B2B studies.
  3. Ensure that robust screening criteria are in place to only include individuals who are relevant and can discuss the topics in the questionnaire.
  4. Providing transparency over dates when the fieldwork was completed


Quite simply – the larger the sample size, the more robust the data set.  All samples have a ‘margin of error’ – this is the maximum and minimum amount we would expect the survey results to deviate by if were to interview the entire population of an audience as opposed to the research sample provided.

The chart below shows the expected margin of error for a range of sample sizes.

Source: Conjointly

Here we can see that a sample size of 1,664 respondents will have a margin of error of +/-2%, whereas for a sample of 188 respondents will have a margin of error of +/-6%. Sapio’s view is that if a margin of error of any sub-group is above +/- 12% then it will be difficult to analyse and make assumptions from. This equates to a sample group size of approximately 50. This  influences what sample size we suggest.


  • A sample size of 2,000 is appropriate for a UK consumer study if you want to do cross-analysis by region. There are 12 regions in the UK, with the smallest being Northern Ireland, which makes up 2.9% of the UK population. 2.9% of 2,000 = 58 – which is the approximate sample size you would see for Northern Ireland on a nationally representative study of this size.
  • A sample size of 1,000 is appropriate for a UK consumer study if you want to do cross-analysis by age and gender for typical age groupings. Approximately 5% of the UK population are aged 18-24 and male – this tends to be the smallest age/gender grouping in the UK. 5% of 1,000 = 50 – which is the approximate sample size you would see for 18-24 year old men in a nationally representative study of this size.
  • A sample size of 400 is appropriate for a B2B study if you want to be able to break down by eight equal sectors. If each sector has 50 responses, then it will be possible to analyse in this way.
  • A sample size of 200 is appropriate for a B2B study if you want to focus on fewer subgroups, and the audience is a niche or senior level.

From a statistical perspective, as shown in the chart, there is no ‘threshold’ for what makes a good or a bad sized sample, but the larger the sample is, the more robust it is, with diminishing returns.

A sample size of 2,000 may seem small  to replicate the real-life reality of the entire UK population, so  we recommend that the margin of error (for 2,000 this is +/- x%) is clearly communicated to the audience receiving the research.


Often overlooked, the balance of the sample is crucial in providing robust research results. By ‘balance’ we mean that the distribution of sub-groups within your sample should be as close to the distribution you see in the real world as possible. What do we mean by that?

In the UK, the population has approximately 51% women, and 49% men. In a nationally representative consumer study, you would expect this to be replicated closely in a survey sample. If it is not, then there is less confidence that the results in the study can be extrapolated to the whole population.

Sapio Research not only carefully monitor and manage the sample balance in surveys, we also conduct our own research using publicly available data sources (e.g. ONS, Eurostat, Worldometer etc.)  to ensure we are up to date on what a correct sample distribution should be.

The representativeness of a sample should be questioned by journalists as often, if not more often than the size itself. Unrepresentative sample means unreliable data. We recommend that journalists communicate the sample distribution when reporting (e.g. whether it is a nationally representative study).


The audience profile of the sample is important in determining the context of the responses. For example, if you were to ask a sample of people that live in West London what they thought of Chelsea football club, they would have a very different opinion to those in North London!

We recommend sense checking the audience to evaluate the validity of the research by asking a couple of questions:

  1. Do these individuals exist? If you had a sample of 200 CEOs working for FTSE100 companies, there is an obvious issue there that questions the validity of the research.
  2. Will this audience be able to answer the questions they have been provided? Using a similar example, will CEOs at FTSE100 be able to talk about the inner workings of the IT department? Probably not.


As a rule of thumb, if the research is over a year old, it is likely that it is no longer relevant. The preference is that the research has been conducted within the last 12 months if it is to be reported on. This can also be subjective – for example, if an event has occurred after the research, that may have affected the results e.g. a sudden increase in energy prices after a finalised research study around the cost of living.

We recommend that the date of the fieldwork research should be clearly communicated when reporting it.

> Try out our free tool – Significant Difference Calculator

> Recommended read – Best Practice Guide for Using Statistics in Communications

We are passionate about providing research that is insightful, robust, and useable by journalists. If there are any questions around the sample we’ve used in our research studies, please contact us directly team@sapioresearch.com.

‹ Tutorials

Integrating Primary and Secondary Market Research

In the evolving landscape of data-driven decision making, the harmonisation of primary and secondary research is crucial. Explore the pioneering methodologies that are shaping the future of market research and learn how these insights can chart a transformative course for your brand's trajectory.

In the intricate landscape of market research, the dichotomy between primary and secondary research methods raises compelling questions for forward-thinking businesses. How can these seemingly separate methods be harmoniously integrated for richer insights and stronger decision-making?

Understanding Primary and Secondary Market Research

To appreciate the fusion of these research approaches, we must first comprehend their distinct characteristics.

  • Primary Market Research: Directly collecting fresh data from sources such as surveys, interviews, and focus groups. It’s tailored specifically to the needs of the business and provides a firsthand perspective on the market scenario.
  • Secondary Market Research: Analysing data that already exists, such as reports, studies, and publications. While it offers broad insights, its strength lies in giving businesses a solid foundation to understand trends and general market dynamics.
    Here’s a list of 16 useful desk research sources and how to use them.

A Holistic Research Process: Setting the Gold Standard

The real magic occurs when a harmonised approach to these two methods is taken:

  1. Audience Insight: A profound understanding of the target audience is critical. Through tailored primary market research techniques, it’s possible to truly understand consumer desires and needs, leading to more precise strategies.
  2. Guided Business Decisions: With the groundwork laid by extensive secondary market research, businesses can harness data-driven insights, anchoring their decisions in solid data, and aligning with brand values.
  3. Narrative Crafting: Quality research should culminate in captivating content. Harnessing both research types ensures narratives that resonate and captivate, setting brands apart in a saturated marketplace.

The Value of Integrated Market Research

The potency of combining primary and secondary market research lies in:

  • Comprehensive Data Synthesis: Merging firsthand information with secondary sources offers a complete market panorama.
  • Empowered Decision-making: Gleaned insights address specific brand requirements while also echoing broader market realities.
  • Enhanced Content Resonance: A wellspring of knowledge ensures content is not only informative but also riveting, uplifting brand prominence.


In today’s fast-paced digital age, actionable, data-driven insights are paramount. By seamlessly fusing primary and secondary market research, modern businesses are positioned to innovate, inspire, and emerge as industry leaders.

Take the Next Step with Sapio Research

Ready to elevate your brand’s insights and position yourself at the pinnacle of your industry?

Dive deeper into the unparalleled world of integrated market research with Sapio. Together, we can shape decisions that not only resonate with your audience but also drive unprecedented growth.

🔗 Connect with Sapio Research today and witness the transformation firsthand.

‹ Tutorials

How A Survey Can Add Value To Your Business

Delve into the transformative potential of market surveys. With Sapio Research's expertise, uncover how these insights can reshape your business strategy, foster growth, and ensure you resonate with your target audience.


In today’s competitive business environment, understanding your audience is paramount. But how can you get a grasp on what your consumers or potential clients are thinking?
Enter the market survey, a powerful tool that is more than just a means to collect data. For businesses, especially those keen on scaling and growing, a market survey can provide insights that could be game-changing. In this article, we’ll delve into how market surveys, such as those conducted by Sapio Research, can add immense value to your business.

1. Unveiling the Mindset of Your Audience

Every business wants to penetrate the mind of its target audience, to understand their needs, preferences, and pain points. With a market survey, this isn’t just a wishful thought but a reality. A well-executed market survey provides actionable insights into what your audience wants, helping businesses like yours create tailored products, services, and marketing strategies.

2. Guiding Vital Business Decisions

Whether it’s launching a new product or venturing into a new market segment, businesses are often faced with tough decisions. Sapio Research, through its ABC process, provides companies with the evidence they need. By understanding the market’s pulse, you can make decisions that resonate with your brand’s ethos and are relevant to your market, drastically reducing the chances of costly mistakes.

3. Creating Headlines That Resonate

In an age of information overload, getting your message to stand out is crucial. Sapio Research not only helps businesses understand their audience but also assists them in crafting extraordinary headlines and content. With data from market surveys, brands can position themselves effectively, creating messages that resonate deeply with their target audience.

4. Driving Growth through Evidence-Based Strategies

Evidence-based decision-making is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. Sapio Research, which saw a staggering 72% revenue growth and was even shortlisted for the Lloyds Bank British Business Scale Up Excellence Awards in 2021, is a testament to the power of market research. Companies can leverage insights from market surveys to drive growth and scalability.

5. Partnering with Award-Winning Expertise

Choosing the right partner for market research is crucial. Sapio Research, a UK-based firm, boasts an international client list that includes top PR & Marketing agencies and household name brands. Launched in 2016 by three visionary co-founders, Sapio has grown to a robust team of nearly 20 passionate professionals. Their fast, friendly, flexible, and forthright approach ensures that clients not only get data but valuable insights that can be acted upon. The company’s recognition with the UKBA Gold Professional Services award in 2020 further attests to its excellence in the field.

In Conclusion

Incorporating market surveys into your business strategy is not just about collecting data; it’s about creating a roadmap to success. With the right approach and partnering with renowned market research firms, businesses can gain a competitive edge, make informed decisions, and set themselves up for sustainable growth.

Simply put, if understanding your market is key, then a market survey is the lockpick you need. 🔐

If you’re still not convinced, then here is why companies are pouring money to conduct market research.

Ready to Unlock the Power of Market Research? Don’t navigate the business landscape blindfolded. Partner with Sapio Research and let market surveys be the guiding light for your business’s next big move. Contact Sapio Research Today and take the first step towards evidence-based success!

‹ Tutorials

Using Specialists For Market Research In PR

In the intricate dance of Public Relations, intuition alone won't make the cut. Market Research bridges the gap between guesswork and data-driven insights.

Dive deep into how specialized market research is not just an added bonus, but a necessity, for PR agencies aspiring to craft influential campaigns, understand diverse audiences, pitch their stories to the media and ultimately champion their brand’s narrative.

In the fast-paced realm of Public Relations (PR), staying ahead of the competition requires more than just intuition. You have to create the opportunities.

Market research has emerged as an indispensable tool for PR agencies seeking to drive business growth by crafting original and compelling campaigns.

Unlocking Audience Insights:

  • Understanding Audience Motivation: Market research goes beyond demographics, delving into the motivations that drive audience behaviour. Research specialists help PR professionals uncover the underlying factors that guide their target audience’s decision-making process.
  • Defining Characteristics: With the assistance of market research, PR teams can gain a comprehensive understanding of the unique characteristics that differentiate their audience segments. This insight paves the way for more personalised and effective communication strategies.
  • Spotting Behaviours: Effective PR campaigns are built on a solid understanding of audience behaviours. Adequate research aids PR professionals in identifying patterns and trends, facilitating the creation of campaigns that resonate.
  • Appreciating Perceptions: Perception shapes reality, especially in the world of PR. Specialised research empowers PR agencies to grasp how their target audience perceives a brand or message, allowing for informed adjustments and refinements.
  • Discovering What’s of Interest: Deep-dive analysis helps PR teams uncover the topics and subjects that captivate their audience. This knowledge enables the creation of content that genuinely engages and resonates.
  • Comparing Against the Competition: Staying ahead requires benchmarking against the competition. Great research equips PR agencies with the tools to gain a competitive edge by assessing their clients’ market positioning and identifying areas for differentiation.

Powering Content Excellence:

  • Stress Testing a Point of View: Strong opinions and unique perspectives capture attention. With content research expertise, PR professionals can validate their point of view with robust data, establishing thought leadership in the process.
  • Providing Evidence for an Opinion: Backing opinions with credible data adds weight to PR messages. Conducting market research assists PR agencies in sourcing data-driven evidence that strengthens their client’s narrative and fosters credibility.
  • Recognising Market Significance: In a rapidly evolving market, staying attuned to significant trends is crucial. Content research enables PR agencies to identify emerging trends and to integrate them into their campaigns.
  • Discovering New Angles: Fresh angles and innovative approaches drive PR success. With the help of Market Research experts, PR professionals can uncover new angles and perspectives that captivate their audience’s attention.
  • Highlighting Trends: Successful PR agencies remain at the forefront of trends and know how to successfully position their clients as industry leaders. The right insights will enable PR teams to highlight relevant trends, capturing the interest of both clients and target audiences.

In the dynamic landscape of PR and Communications, the role of market research has never been more pivotal. Expert research guidance equips PR agencies with the tools to craft unique, compelling stories and extraordinary headlines, to create award-winning campaigns and to generate great media coverage.

For PR agencies, the benefits of market research and providing the right insights to their clients does not just mean meeting and exceeding their expectations or retaining a happy customer base.

Accumulating precise knowledge around what makes their customers successful also means that Marketing & PR agencies can build and market their own competitive advantage, showing that they’re more than one step ahead of the game, resulting in long-term business growth.

In the dynamic landscape of PR and Communications, the role of market research has never been more pivotal. Sapio Research helps equip PR & Marketing agencies with the tools to craft strategic campaigns and compelling content that resonate with audiences, enhance brand perception, and drive business growth. Contact us today to learn more.

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