Case Study: How to Conduct Phone Interviews with Distillery Decision-Makers

In market research, there are a variety of methodologies used to gain feedback from purchasing decision-makers. When selecting a study (phone, online, in-person), it is important to take into account your target audience, how many questions you want to ask, the level of feedback required to answer key business questions, and your budget.

A market research company, like Drive Research, will take these factors into account before recommending their approach for interviewing a specific demographic of people.

In this case study, Drive Research met with a business intelligence company to understand their objectives and project specifications. After understanding their needs for market research, we recommended phone interviews.

Our phone survey company details the objectives, approach, recruitment, and report for this specific market research study.

Case Study: Phone Interviews with Distillery Decision-Makers to Improve a Digital Platform

Don't you wish you could get in front of decision-makers to answer questions about their purchasing habits? A third-party market research company can help. Learn how the phone interview process works with the help of this case study.


Our market research company received an inquiry from a business intelligence company centered around helping customers in the adult beverage industry. Specifically, the business intelligence company was looking to conduct a market research project for their digital brand management platform.

The objective of the market research was to better understand the experience and processes used at distilleries around sales, marketing, branding, reporting, and budgeting.

The research also sought feedback on potential benefits and barriers to using the digital platform. The market research was designed to provide the client with feedback and insights to help guide product development, marketing, and strategic decisions.


After understanding the objectives of the business intelligence company, our market research firm recommended conducting in-depth phone interviews with decision-makers at small to medium-sized distilleries.

Why phone interviews?

Phone surveys or interviews allow researchers to gather quality and thorough context in order to collect more meaningful insights. When compared to online surveys, in-depth interviews allow for probing participants to encourage more feedback to strategic research questions.

Recruiting Phone Interview Participants

Drive Research developed a screening questionnaire to qualify participants for the interviews.

Participants were screened to ensure:

  • Their primary line of business was a distillery, liquor, or spirits
  • They are the owner or marketing/brand manager at their distillery
  • They have a mix of responsibilities (marketing, sales, strategy, CRM, etc.)

Due to the limited availability of sample for this audience, participants were found through desk research which involved identifying potential distilleries and reaching out to determine qualification and willingness to participate.

Qualified participants were then booked for a scheduled date and time.

Drive Research worked with the client to develop a discussion guide. This guide was used by the phone interviewers to ensure all content areas and objectives were addressed through the course of the conversation with distillery decision-makers.

Conducting Phone Interviews

For the one-on-one interviews, our phone survey company managed the recruitment, scheduling, and moderation of the discussions.

Fieldwork for the phone interviews began on May 29 and lasted until June 11, 2019. The interview guide consisted of 44 questions and took an average of 45 minutes to complete.

A total of 10 interviews were conducted. Each phone survey participant was paid $250 as a thank you for their insight and feedback for the digital platform.

Example Questions Asked in Phone Interviews

The phone interviews with distillery decision-makers successfully answered key business questions for the business intelligence company.

Distillery decision-makers were asked questions such as:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are the business goals of the distillery?
  • Where do distilleries focus sales and marketing efforts?
  • What are key activities for brand awareness and sales?
  • What sales and marketing metrics are being tracked?
  • How much time is spent on reporting activities?
  • What other business software is being used?

Creating User Personas

The business intelligence company received a market research report that detailed key findings from each question within each interview. The report also included user personas.

Our market research firm created these user personas based on key findings and themes from the market research. The personas were compiled based on themed profiling and behavioral traits from the feedback of distillery owners and brand/marketing managers.

It should be noted the personas created by Drive Research were not actual participants, but rather a representation of a typical collection of attitudes and traits based on finding from distilleries.

Customer personas are helpful in giving a human face to the data and to discuss potential users of this platform.

Recommended Next Steps for Market Research

In addition to key findings and user personas, Drive Research included recommendations for the next steps the business intelligence company could take with market research.

Recommendations for next steps included in-depth user experience (UX) research, brewery and winery in-depth interviews (IDIs), and the purchase of a lead database.

Lastly, the report included an app section. This section of the report detailed the in-depth interview screener as well as the interview discussion guide.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company, located in Upstate New York. Our team has the experience and knowledge to conduct a variety of research studies such as surveys, focus groups, and user experience (UX) research.

We can get you the insight and feedback you are looking for from purchasing decision-makers of any industry. 

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact us through any of the four ways below. 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

Market Research Case Studies Phone Surveys