Dear clients and partners,
we are still there for you!
We are planning to restart with personal studies from May 4th onwards. This of course will be done with highest safety standards in order to minimize any risk as much as possible. Measures to ensure social distancing plus an according hygienic plan are worked out. It may be necessary in that context to minimize groups and sessions to a certain number.
Upfront we will ask respondents and clients some questions on SARS-CoV-2 and we will ask that questions again when they arrive at the facility.
This will be true for Frankfurt but is also valid for some other cities in Germany e.g. Hamburg, Berlin or Cologne.
If you are planning any personal studies just get in touch, we are happy to help to see what works and what would not. Information for conducting studies remote can be found further below.
[Update: April 2nd 2020]
All of us are facing significant challenges due to current circumstances caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. At IMR, we too seek to act responsibly and prevent further spreading of the virus. This means, that IMR Institute for Marketing Research has moved on to non-contact versions of research methods. More information to the respective methods can be found below.
The question also remains, to what extent respondents are still willing to participate in market research, as well as how their response behaviour is to be assessed.
Currently, we have seen little to no limitations for consumers. Potential respondents are showing a similarly strong interest in participation as before the crisis. In some areas we have even seen an increase in interest. We could not deduce any significant variation in response behaviour in studies conducted since the beginning of the current circumstances. Naturally, there is impact on consumer behaviour since there is now increased demand for some products, while others see little to no demand, as well as differences in consumer channels due to this new normal.
The situation is similar for the healthcare sector. After consulting with physicians, we make the confident estimation that many are not immensely busy or do not have the time/interest to part take in studies. In fact, several fields (neurology, cardiology, gynaecology, radiology, etc.) are rather underemployed, and interested and motivated to participate in market research. Undoubtedly, there are areas of expertise like pneumology or intensive care where the availability should first be verified. Occasionally, there may be cases in which respondents will cancel a study due to SARS-CoV-2 or postpone their participation. However, in the healthcare sector such cases are generally not uncommon. Furthermore, there are currently no specific limitations in recruiting patient-studies.
In other B2B sectors, the feasibility depends on whether respondents are recruited from existing databanks or if they need to be recruited freely. Individuals in databanks can be recruited without issues and are equally as interested in participation as before SARS-CoV-2, comparable to consumers. Regarding potential respondents that need to be recruited freely, this depends on whether the individuals are employed in an industry now primarily working from home, or if they are active at their place of work. Because this varies across industries, such cases need to be assessed individually.
Current viable methods:
[such as: Focus groups, individual interviews, ethnographic interviews, home-visits, etc.]
These studies are easily conducted using video/web-conferencing methods. Here, we utilize different platforms depending on the specific requirements of the project. We are happy to take over the complete organisation, including a technical check and the secure onboarding of all respondents. Naturally, we may also provide moderation, simultaneous translation, and more. Observing the groups and interviews is easily achievable and generally unproblematic.
[such as: home-use tests, simulated CLTs, etc.]
Recruiting for these studies takes place via telephone. Products are either placed through an interview, without engaging in any physical contact, or send through the mail or via courier. The interview can take place as a survey the respondents can fill out themselves, or through video/web-conferencing with interviewer assistance.
Simulated studio tests follow a similar structure to normal studio tests with pre-recruiting. The respondents are grouped into sessions and participate, simultaneously, at their designated time via web-conference. Here, the respondents will receive instructions about the test they will conduct and, should the study warrant it, clarification from the interviewer or through a short video regarding the use or preparation of the product. Respondents then test the product independently and complete the questionnaire. Naturally, such tests are also available to be conducted individually with interviewer support. We have deduced that, despite the current circumstances, these tests are still easily performed.
Quantitative Methods: online studies
[Online studies using panels]
No changes in conducting these studies as compared to before SARS-CoV-2.
Quantitative Methods: CATI
[computer-assisted phone interviews]
CATI Studies are still a viable option. Interviewers either work with spatial consideration for one another in different rooms or conduct the interviews through home office. Monitoring and quality assurance will still take place, like in regular CATI operations.
We are looking forward to working with you.
Stay safe and healthy.