5 Tips for Executing Successful Tracking Study Research

looking at tracking data and charts on a tablet

Interested in learning more about tracking studies? Or, want to know how to execute successful tracking study research? We’re here to help!

In this post, we will discuss 5 tips to execute a tracking study successfully:

  • How to define tracking study research goals
  • How to decide how often to run a tracking study
  • Keep the tracking study consistent
  • Do something with the data
  • Consider hiring a third-party

For even more info, check out our ultimate guide to brand tracking!

Or, watch our brief video below.

How to Define Tracking Study Research Goals

When you first start talking about a tracking study, it’s really important all teams are on the same page. These projects work best if the goals are specific, measurable, and realistic. This is true no matter the topic!

There are tons of different types of tracking studies, take a look: 

  • Employee satisfaction or engagement tracking study
  • Customer satisfaction tracking study 
  • Brand tracking study (can measure loyalty and equity)
  • Awareness tracking study 

For example, goals for an employee satisfaction survey may be...

  • To increase the response rate by 5% each year
  • To increase employee satisfaction by 10% each year
  • To increase employee net promoter score by 10 points each year

💡 The Key Takeaway: Defining goals for any market research study is one of the most important steps! When creating goals, it’s essential to be realistic and consider the factors within and outside your organization.

Recommended Reading: 5 Types of Brand Tracking Studies & How They Work

Deciding How Often to Run a Tracking Study

While there are many benefits of continuous performance tracking with market research, we are often asked out often you should be conducting a study. Should it be weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually?

There are a few factors that can impact this!

At the very least, most market research companies recommend conducting a tracking study every one to two years. 

Budget, timelines/schedules for the marketing team (or other teams), and the general climate within your industry are key factors that impact how often tracking study research should be conducted. 

Often, tracking studies are conducted every quarter or three months. (This tends to be the most beneficial option for teams.) However, the schedule may be customized based on when new campaigns/products are launched or other team needs. 

💡 The Key Takeaway: After discussing the goals and objectives of an online tracking study, a market research professional will provide different options to consider. Remember, regular tracking studies are great–but if that is out of our budget, then some data is better than no data at all.

Keep the Tracking Study Consistent

Once a tracking study is designed and implemented, it’s critical to stay on top of the timeline. 

Why is this important? Keeping a tracking study consistent gives the market research and client teams uniform key performance indicator (KPI) measurements

This is not to say that if a survey is delayed by a few weeks, then the results should just be thrown out. Rather, there may be a note about that delay with the expectation that the next round should remain on schedule.

Typically, a market research team will put together a workplan, so everyone understands how to keep the project on track.

Below is an example of a workplan for a tracking study completed every three months.

Wave 1 Project Workplan (Quarter 1 ends March 31):

  • Survey draft to the client on Thursday, February 3
  • All client revisions were sent to Drive Research on Monday, February 7
  • Client sign-off on the survey on Tuesday, February 8
  • Customer database to Drive Research on Tuesday, February 8 
  • Programming of the survey on Wednesday, February 9
  • Pre-survey notice sent by the client to members on Wednesday, February 9
  • Fieldwork for the survey begins on Monday, February 14
  • Live data link to the client on Wednesday, February 16
  • Close fieldwork for the survey on Friday, February 25 
  • Report to the client on Friday, March 4 

Below are proposed workplans for the following waves. The goal was to give ample time if more time is needed to update the survey or if the client would like to leave fieldwork open longer.

Therefore, each wave starts and ends one month before the end of the quarter. 

Wave 2 Project Workplan (Quarter 2 ends June 30):

  • Survey updating begins on Monday, May 2
  • Report to the client on Friday, May 27 

Wave 3 Project Workplan (Quarter 3 ends September 30):

  • Survey updating begins on Monday, August 1
  • Report to the client on Friday, August 26

Wave 4 Project Workplan (Quarter 4 ends December 31):

  • Survey updating begins on Monday, October 31
  • Report to the client on Friday, November 25

💡 The Key Takeaway: Why is keeping your tracking study consistent so important? If a tracker falls off schedule, it can be harder to compare past data knowing the length between each wave is varied. The more that can be kept the same, the better.

Do Something With the Data

When receiving results from tracking study research, it’s crucial to do something with the results. Not sure where to start? A market research professional will be able to help!

After each round of a tracking study is complete, client teams will receive a report. There are typically different types of reports clients can choose from.

Types of tracking study reports include:

  • An online report: These are great because they update in real-time and can be exported into several formats (i.e., Word, Excel, PPT, PDF).
  • Topline report: Looking for something short and sweet? A topline report is what you want. These may seem like simple word documents, but they will give clients all of the key highlights in an easy, digestible format. 
  • Comprehensive tracker: This takes the topline report a step further. It will provide several data visualizations.
  • Debrief on the results: If needed, clients can also set up a meeting with the research team to debrief on the results of the study. During this discussion, the team will walk the client through the findings and shed light on how to use the results. 

In several of these reporting options, Drive Research includes a brand tracking scorecard. This helps display important KPIs year after year to see areas of opportunity and success.

brand tracking scorecard example

Learn more about the differences between a topline or comprehensive market research report.

💡 The Key Takeaway: When you get data, use it! Remember, the questions in the tracking study were specifically created to meet the study’s goals. While you may need a few waves before making a major change, consider ways the results can be used immediately. A market research professional will be able to help guide you through this process. 

Consider Hiring a Third-Party

Before embarking on an online tracking study, it’s important to consider using a third-party market research company, like Drive Research.

Market research professionals will help ensure the study is properly conducted and use best practices to ensure the results are actionable. 

A third-party market research company will help you:

  • Understand how to time the surveys accordingly 
  • Understand how to fine-tune the goals of the study
  • Create customized surveys to best meet the goals
  • Ensure the results are accurate and actionable 
  • Create digestible reports

💡 The Key Takeaway: Third-party market researchers know how to conduct customized, actionable, and successful tracking studies. They will use best practices and ensure the study provides unbiased and reliable results. 

Recommended Reading: Brand Tracking Companies - What You Can Expect With a Third-Party

Contact Drive Research to Help With Your Tracking Study

How do you conduct a tracking study? We’ve got you covered!

Drive Research is a market research company based in New York. Our team of research pros is ready to craft a unique tracking study for your specific needs. 

Want to learn more about our market research services? Reach out to us! 

  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

emily taylor about the author

Emily Taylor

As a Senior Research Analyst, Emily is approaching a decade of experience in the market research industry and loves to challenge the status quo. She is a certified VoC professional with a passion for storytelling.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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