Simple Ways to Stretch Your Research Dollars

Sure the market research industry is rebounding, but companies—including your clients—are still going to be looking for ways to run leaner. Make working with you a no-brainer with these simple ways to stretch your research dollars. The original article by Ken Zeldis and Amy Rey of Pennington, N.J.-based Zeldis Research Associates appeared in a recent issue of Quirk’s email newsletter. Here we highlight some of their ideas:

  • Consider online qualitative research: Would a bulletin board focus group work just as well as (or better than) an in-person focus group? You bet. You’ll save on travel costs—and time—and you’ll be impressed with richer, more in-depth responses from your participants. Before going the traditional route, check to see if your research can be conducted online with a bulletin board focus group, webcam focus group, online journaling or other online research software.
  • Reduce cost at the margin: You’ve probably noticed that participation is higher in slower economic times—that’s because those incentives mean more to your participants. Zeldis and Rey suggest looking for the low-hanging costs—like participants. If you think you’ll get 100 percent participation, recruit 12 instead of 15. Which leads us to the next tip…
  • Increase response rates: Zeldis and Rey say they see participation increase 50 percent when the study is sponsored by the client. Consider going this route, provided you don’t think it will create biased results. They also say touching base with participants beforehand and letting them know you’re looking forward to the study can increase response rates.

Find more tips to increase response rates and engagement in the Resources section at

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