Assign modules on offcanvas module position to make them visible in the sidebar.

Digital technology is reshaping consumer attitudes, needs and behavior and redefining the business of marketing. There is an ever increasing number of channels through which companies can reach their consumers. And there is a huge amount of data just sitting on the internet where still companies are trying to figure out the way it should be used. Hence as market research organizations we need to look in to different ways of working and making use of the technology available to provide better insights to our clients.

In many ways, face-to-face interviewing seems to have been challenged by the evolution of research. After all, interviews served via the internet on PCs, tabs or mobiles have several inherent advantages that remind us why face-to-face interviewing isn’t always an ideal solution. Online research data can be collated and analyzed more quickly. Because there are less human intermediaries, it provides less room for error. And thanks to mobile technology and integration with listening software, online surveys can increasingly be served to consumers’ at the most relevant point, close to the moment when the experiences they are concerned with actually take place.

Given the importance, there is no reason to lag behind online research when it comes to quality, responsiveness and innovation. In markets like Sri Lanka where internet penetration has still not emerged fully, doing market research solely online is unrepresentative. It’s true that mobile offers a unique opportunity in many of these markets, but the practical constraints of survey length mean that face-to-face still has an important role to play. Even in developed markets where internet penetration is higher, more complex surveys require a face to face approach to ensure top quality sampling, especially in political and social work where precise measurement is vital that all types of people must have an equal opportunity to participate.
Online research has already proven its value in helping to improve survey response rate. Transferring face-to-face surveys onto laptops and tablets are extending the same benefits to the field operations. Handing over a tablet for a respondent to scroll through a survey and complete it themselves gives a better experience. Showing a pack design or poster, playing the video of an ad, or using a video to recreate familiar contexts all reduce the dependency on memory and description to induce meaningful responses. Data can now be instantly synchronized over a wi-fi or cell phone network, transforming the contribution that face-to-face interviewing can make to rapid-response, actionable insight.

By removing the need for manual data entry, tablets eliminate one of the most significant potential sources of error in any data collation process. By providing logic checks into the interview script, they are able to prevent slip-ups by the interviewers themselves. Fraud can be a natural concern when co-ordinating large-scale surveys in remote locations. By recording questions and answers using the tablet, we can check that surveys are conducted fully and properly and by incorporating GPS technology, we can monitor to ensure they are taking place when and where they should be.

However, there are sets of new challenges also emerging when using technology for data collection. These include device management and difficulties in conventional quality procedures like back checks. Hence, it is important that agencies need to think through and invest resources on digital quality management mechanisms and procedures along with the transformation to technology enabling research.

Submitted by:Aysha Riffsy, Project Director, Research, TNS Lanka