What is the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology?

With market research, you are never short of options. There are hundreds of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

A top factor of choice when deciding which market research study to conduct is cost. While it is important to find a methodology most closely aligned with your project goals and objectives, our market research company understands budget plays a large role in our client’s final decision.

So this begs the question – what is the most cost-effective market research methodology?

I asked some members of the research team at Drive Research this hard-hitting question to provide you with the inside scoop. The good news is…you still have options.

What is the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology?

With hundreds of market research methodologies available, it can be hard to decide which best meets your project objectives and budget. Our research team shares what study they think is not only the most cost-effective but carries many other advantages.

Why Online Focus Groups are the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology

By Emily Taylor, Senior Research Analyst

When thinking about cost-effective market research, online focus groups stand out. Similar to traditional in-person focus groups, online focus groups recruit individuals to participate in a group discussion.

These online focus group sessions typically last between 60 to 90 minutes and include 8 to 12 participants. Whether the focus group is in-person or online, it’s also common for participants to be provided an incentive as a thank you for their time and participation.

What makes online focus groups cost-effective?

It all stems from the logistics - logistics which make traditional in-person focus groups more costly. Factors that cause an increase in price tag for in-person focus groups include facility and recruitment costs.

With traditional focus groups, you are at the liberty of geography. If you are an organization in Upstate New York, you must choose a focus group facility in Syracuse, Albany, Rochester, Buffalo, etc.

Additionally, you are limited to participants who live near that facility in order to be able to drive to the focus group. For this reason, qualitative recruitment costs may be higher than when conducting online focus groups because your sample is much smaller.

As you can see, the costs for focus group facilities can add up quickly. In addition to renting a facility, there may be added costs such as:

  • Providing food and refreshments for participants
  • Printing
  • Videotaping
  • Audio recording
  • Higher incentives or rewards for participants

Having a remote focus group dramatically decreases these costs. This can save organizations looking to conduct focus groups hundreds or thousands of dollars by slightly switching their approach.

Additionally, holding focus groups online can decrease the amount needed to give to participants as an incentive.

In other words, recruiters would not need to pay someone who can participate in a focus group at home the same amount as someone who is driving 20 miles to participate in a focus group.

For example, if the incentive for an in-person focus group is $125, recruiters may be able to offer participants $100 if the focus group is conducted online because they can participate in the comfort of their own home. By saving $25 on the incentive for 10 participants, you can decrease the amount spent on incentives by $250.

Learn why higher rewards can lead to lower recruitment costs.

Why Online Surveys are the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology

By Tim Gell, Research Analyst

If you need questions answered but don’t want to shell out a hoard of money, online surveys are the market research methodology for you. Online surveys generally make the most out of every dollar you invest. 

The first main advantage of online surveys is automation.

Once the survey is written and programmed into a platform, much of the fieldwork and reporting process has the potential to do the heavy lifting.

Email campaigns to reach respondents, quality checks, and data visualizations can all be executed with minimal human interaction. The less professional time during the research process translates to a better bottom line for you. 

Also, a factor to the cost-savings of online surveys is the larger audience reach.

Countless research vendors offer targeted email lists of respondents. These lists grant market research firms like ours access to millions of survey respondents in a moment’s notice. Furthermore, our market research company often utilizes social media to widen the net of survey respondents even more.

There is often no cheaper way to speak with such specific audiences than through an online survey. 

Another cost-effective benefit of online surveys is the recommended incentives for respondents.

Because of their brevity, online surveys can frequently collect enough sample size for analysis without the need for monetary rewards per response. Many respondents are simply motivated by a chance to win a gift card or willing to offer their feedback for free in order to help a company they support.

Last but certainly not least, time is money!

Our market research firm has been able to turnaround full online survey projects in less than 24 hours. The capabilities of quick fieldwork and real-time insights are unmatched when compared to other market research methodologies.

As a bonus, online surveys are even more cost-effective if you have your own list of respondents to contact such as a customer or subscriber email list.

Why Geofencing Surveys are the Most Cost-Effective Market Research Methodology

By Elizabeth Sincavage, Research Assistant

Take a look around you. Chances are, you’ll see more than a few smartphones. As the world around us has changed, market researchers have learned to create and utilize methodologies that fit into consumers’ lives.

Geofencing surveys capitalize on the increasing number of location-enabled devices in the hands of consumers and yield to their busy schedules. 

A geofence is a virtual boundary or fence surrounding a specific geographic location. When a location-enabled device enters or leaves the established boundary, the user is then notified using a pre-programmed action. This notification is typically from an app inviting them to take a survey. 

There are several advantages of geofencing surveys as a market research methodology.

Since geofencing surveys are location-based, they can be used as an alternative to in-person or intercept interviews in locations such as malls, restaurants, or airports. Automizing the in-person interview is more cost-effective, saves time, and eliminates any potential interviewer bias

Geofencing surveys also allow market researchers to reach their target audience with more precision than social media targeting or email surveys due to its ability to hyper-target specific areas.

For example, if you’re looking to target Macy’s shoppers, but the Macy’s is located in a large mall, geofencing allows researchers to create a boundary around only Macy’s, excluding the rest of the mall. 

The ability to hyper-target a specific area is essential because the notification will only be shown to those it applies to, such as Macy’s shoppers, which increases the likelihood that the survey will apply to the shopper it is being shown to and furthermore reducing recruitment costs.

How do geofencing survey lower recruitment costs?

Instead of spending large sums of money on a social media ad and hoping it gets shown to a recent Macy’s shopper, geofencing allows our market research company to get their survey in front of those who are most likely to interact with it and have the most recent feedback for your brand. 

Learn more about how geofencing is used in market research surveys.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company. located in New York. Our team can help recommend and execute any methodology based on your project objectives, goals, audience, and budget. 

Interested in conducting a market research study? Contact us today!

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