ESOMAR report confirms that surveys are in decline

Last week I posted an article looking at the decline in survey research, which included some data from ESOMAR and some predictions. This week, ESOMAR posted the latest Global Market Research Report and it includes some interesting figures on data collection modes. Figures which are broadly in line with my predictions. The table below is mostly a repeat of the one I included in my previous post. It shows the data from the ESOMAR reports for 2007, 2010, and 2013, along with my forecasts for 2016 and 2019. In this version, I have added the data from the 2014 ESOMAR Global Market Research report at the bottom. Note, the ESOMAR data refer to the final figures for the previous year, so the 2014 report is based on the completed returns for the whole of 2013. The decline in research spending on projects where the data was collected via surveys, from 53% in the 2013 report to 48% in 2014, is a very large drop and is even faster than implied by my predictions. The ESOMAR Pricing Study would suggest that some of the drop is due to falling costs for online research and a continued switch to online from face-to-face […]

When to randomise an answer list?

One of the questions I get asked fairly often is when should an answer list, in a survey, be randomised and when should it be presented in the same order to everybody. In my opinion, the key issue is to think about how the respondent is answering the question in terms of: Does the respondent ‘know’ the answer? In which case the questionnaire needs to help them find their answer. Is the respondent looking at the answer list and picking the most applicable option or options? In which case randomising the list is highly desirable. Examples of the first category, where people already know the answer are: How old are you (show the answers in ascending age), gender (nobody randomises male/female do they?), and where do you live (organise list alphabetically or regionally). I would also include, in this category, questions like what make of car do you own, what type of phone do you have, and I might include which of these supermarkets is your main one – if the list is short. Examples of the second category, where the list guides the selection, include, which of these statements best describes your attitude to …., which of the following […]