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Frequently asked questions for consumer research

Sapio has been a wonderful partner to work with. They listened closely to our business goals and objectives and created a research design that best fit our needs.

Jamie Bothwell
Director of Marketing (Northern Europe)
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How many consumer interviews do I need?

It really depends. The more interviews you do, the more robust your data. If the group you want to sample is specific, this may limit the number of interviews you can get. We are happy to chat you through your specific requirements.
If you’re looking for a budget option, then 500 will do; if you want quick consumer surveys which are great for PR research, 1,000 is a good start; if you want quality consumer surveys that give you a reliable level of analysis and granularity, then 2,000 is more suitable. If the group you want to sample is specific, this may limit the number of interviews you can get.
We are happy to chat you through your specific requirements.

How long will the survey take?

For a consumer opinion poll, it will usually be completed within 2 days of receiving the signed-off questionnaire.

What are the next steps?

After the final question set is agreed, we set it up on our system and collect the interview responses.

Once we’ve hit the target number, we provide Excel data tables within the timescales agreed with you.

This can be followed up with a PowerPoint presentation containing a review of the data (usually following 2 to 3 days after the data tables).

For quick consumer surveys, the whole process can take less than a week.

How do we give you the project go ahead?

Simply sign the brief statement of work that we send, which summarises project requirements. When we have the signature, we can get straight to work.

Can you invoice my client directly?

The contract is with whomever signs our statement of work, so if your client signs this, then the invoice will go directly to them. So theoretically, yes, we can invoice the client but let us know before we start.

Can I change questions after I’ve given the go ahead?

Unfortunately not. After the questions have been finalised there is no room for change as these may have already been sent off to our respondents or to translation.

However, do not worry, we will always check the questionnaire and finalise things with you before we press start on the consumer surveys.

How do you go about creating the survey?

Once the questions are approved and finalised, we programme (or script) the survey.

The script is checked internally by another team member to make sure that everything is correct.

We then create a hyperlink to the survey, where the hyperlink is tested and pilot data is collected.

Once we’re happy that the survey collects data correctly and the question responses make sense, we send out the survey link to the required number of people.

Do you have a questionnaire template we can use?

Yes, we can send you one, depending on what you are trying to do.

We’ve created and overseen hundreds of questionnaires and we’re experts in PR research.

If you’d like a template, then we’d be happy to send one, just ask.

What will the headlines be?

We cannot guarantee what the headlines will be; consumer behaviour can be difficult to predict. Besides, if you know the results for sure, what’s the point in a survey?!

However, we can advise you on how each question supports headlines and the type or reliability of consumer opinions you might get.

Can I have the contact details of the respondents?

Unfortunately, we cannot give you the contact details of the respondents as everything is done anonymously and confidentially. The ‘GDPR police’ would get very upset.

Can you interview my customers?

Yes, if you have their contact details, we can certainly do this. We are the experts for this type of research.

Can you interview my potential customers?

Yes, we can do interviews in the UK or internationally.

We can also advise you on the best people to interview, how to access them and the sample size needed.

Just tell us the kind of person who would be a good customer for you.

How do we get the survey to my customer contact database?

We send the company who owns the contact database or CRM an email that contains a link to the survey.

The link can be put in a covering emailing, text, tweet etc. We advise clients to send the link to their contacts/customers as trust is higher (and consequently response rates) and it saves getting into complicated GDPR conversations through us having customers’ personal contact details. We collect the data that comes back through that link anonymously.

Do you do the survey programming and sample selection all in house?

Yes, we have a team of expert market researchers who work collaboratively to do all of the tasks necessary to complete the research.

Do you have examples of your work?

Yes, we have many examples of past work and would be more than happy to send them across if you drop us a line.

Do you do B2B interviews as well as B2C interviews?

Yes, many of our researchers have over 20 years of experience in the B2B sector, working in technology, the built environment, business services, not-for-profit, manufacturing, logistics and retail.

Why is consumer research less expensive than B2B?

Consumer insights are easier to get because there are more general shoppers available, so consumer research is less expensive than business-to-business. This means they require less incentives and are more easily accessible.

How do you find the people that you’re interviewing?

Panellists – i.e. the people we are interviewing – have agreed to complete surveys in exchange for rewards (money, points etc.)

They respond to adverts or loyalty programmes inviting people to join. Sometimes they directly ask to join the research panel or they are invited to join through a telephone or email campaign.

When they join, they answer mini-surveys which provides us with around 700 profiling points per person.

Are the panellists paid?

Typically, yes, panel members are paid for participating. They earn money or points based on the amount of time they take to complete the survey. These incentives are included in the costs we give you.

How do you make sure the data is good quality?

We have a number of ways to make sure that there is no dodgy data.

For example, trap questions help us to recognise whether someone is not reading the question properly. Detection software and algorithms are used to spot when someone is answering randomly or whether the survey is filled out by bots.

We also make sure that people are who they say they are as people may just try to get extra money. Our partners comply with ESOMAR, MRS, ARF, MRIA, AMA, AMSRO and Insights Association standards, plus our national ISO standards, so there are rigorous processes all the way through.

It’s important that we carry out quality consumer surveys for comms research as the client’s reputation shouldn’t be put at risk through poor quality responses.

Can you definitely get the specific people I want to interview?

If we say yes, we mean yes. Assuming the type of people you want to speak to aren’t too out-there, we can collect many thousands of interviews.

If the target audience (or ‘sample’ in researcher speak) is very specific and we can only get a limited number of interviews, maybe think about whether there’s leeway on whose opinions you need, as the more limited the audience, the more costly the research.

We’re able to accurately estimate how many we can get as we have lots of experience. If we can’t get them, we will tell you before we start.

I prefer to see things visually rather than raw data, can you help?

Yes, we use a number of data presentation techniques to simplify understanding the results that we collect.

These presentation techniques include bar charts, pie charts and histograms, among others. We also pick out the key story lines or data differences. Just ask for a PPT report when getting a quote.