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February, 2019
D&M Research Will Fly To You
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Learn How To Revitalise Your NPS Program

December, 2018
Revitalise Your NPS Program
If you include the Net Promoter Score (NPS) in your customer experience program as a valuable source of information, you may find this whitepaper an interesting read. This white paper not only outlines our research methodology and findings in detail, but also aims to provide solutions to the long-standing issues with NPS. The research won Best Paper at the 2017 Australian Market & Social Research Society’s National Annual Conference. To further discuss our award-winning NPS paper and resulting program, call D&M Research on (02) 9565 2655 or email Robyn* today. Download the NPS Whitepaper *Robyn Ordman is the author of the award-winning paper "5 New Ways To Revitalise Your NPS Program" and a Research Consultant at D&M Research.

Goals and Objectives

March, 2017

What’s the business problem?
The desire to do research usually starts with some sort of business problem that requires evidence to support a decision to go one way or another.

Although these problems are many and varied some common ones include:

  1. Will our latest product innovation sell – does it have enough appeal to launch and who will buy it?
  2. What should our next advertising campaign say to strike a chord with new and existing customers?
  3. Why is our category slowing – what can we do to grow it again?
  4. Why are we losing brand share when other brands are growing?
  5. Where should we reposition our brand?
  6. How do we deliver a product or service that hits the mark in terms of what customers want?
  7. Which of these three ad concepts is the best one to go with?
  8. Where are the new opportunities in our category?
  9. What is the health of our brand compared to our competitors?
  10. How do we create a better value proposition?

You will know the problem because you are already thinking about research – but spend a few minutes defining what that problem is as clearly and simply as you can. It will help to set up your research and define your objectives. It will also help you sell the idea of doing research (which always requires some budget) with other stakeholders.

What decisions will you make at the end of the research?
A really neat way to start thinking about setting up some objectives is to start thinking about the decisions you will make at the end of the research? After all, research is all about evidence-based decision making, and if you can’t define or articulate the decisions you will make then you are not ready for research.
Spend some time writing these down as part of your overall research plan. Couch them in terms of a decision, and be specific. It’s better to have a set of smaller decisions than a big hairy one that is vague.

Let’s consider one of the business problem scenarios above. A favourite, one of mine is advertising testing and optimisation. Imagine your agency has pitched three new ideas to you for an upcoming TV ad. The agency has their favourite, you have yours, and they are not the same which are different. The types of decisions you are typically faced with in this scenario are:

  1. Which of these TV commercial (TVC) ideas should we approve for production?
  2. Which one is going to connect and resonate with customers the best in order to increase propensity to buy our product?
  3. Which one does the best job of delivering its intended message?
  4. Which one does the best job of linking to our brand, and which one fits our brand the best?
  5. What, if anything, should we change in the best ad to make it even better?
  6. Which is most memorable and has the least wear-out factor?

You list of decisions could be less or more but you should try to capture all the decisions you might need to make at this stage and write them down. Review, refine and organise your decisions into a succinct list.

Translate this into an overall objective and supporting objectives
Now that you have made your decisions it’s time to translate them into research objectives. We find that having an overarching objective with a list supporting objectives is a very useful way of defining objectives. The objectives really are the decisions but translated into a language that research can address.
Again, using the example above, you may translate that into something like the following:

The overall objective of the research is to find the best advertising concept to take into production.
In order to meet this objective the following supporting objectives have been developed.


To identify:

  1. Which TVC idea is the most likeable by those in the target market?
  2. Which has the best linkage to our brand?
  3. Which has the best fit to our brand?
  4. What messages are being processed spontaneously by viewers of each TVC idea and are these positive, negative or neutral?
  5. Are these messages consistent with the intended messaging of the TVC idea?
  6. Which TVC idea has the least wear out over repeated exposures?
  7. Which TVC idea has the greatest lift in propensity to consider or buy our brand?

Note, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list of what an advertising research project would aim to achieve but gives a practical example of how you might translate decisions into research objectives.

A final word on goals and objectives.
Your research plan, which includes goals and objectives, should be a living document and don’t be afraid to revisit and modify it accordingly. It’s not unusual for business decisions and therefore goals and objectives to change over the course of the process. What’s important is to identify these and update your research plan, preferably before you leave base camp, and start designing your questionnaire. Remember spending more time at base camp really pays off – you wouldn’t attempt to climb a mountain without taking the time to plan your expedition before setting off!

Keep an eye out for the instalment in this blog series which will cover design and structure of your questionnaire!


Time At Base Camp – Planning Your Research

March, 2017

Although it’s tempting to just get started with your research project, it’s really important to take the time to plan and consider all of the options and possible issues before you start. Think about these types of questions to create a one-page research plan.

Who are you targeting?
Probably the most critical question of all is making sure that you are targeting the right people. This might sound easy but in actual fact it’s quite tricky. It’s important though because if you are talking to the wrong people then your research is likely to yield spurious results. Here are some simple guidelines.

  1. The target should match the people you want to know about – they could be existing users of a particular product or service, potential users of a new product or service, or simply people in a specific demographic, life-stage, household composition or specific geography.
  2. Can you easily define the target? – For example, grocery buyers or financial decision makers, or is it more difficult, like people who might suffer a medical condition sometime in the future?
  3. Is the target common or rare – that is, what is the likely incidence – how many people out of 10 would qualify?

How will you find them and ensure they are representative of the target audience?
There are multiple sources you can recruit respondents from, including the general public, client and prospect lists, but also permission based panels.
If you decide to recruit from the general public then you need to think about how you will find them and get them to participate (incentivise or not). In the past we have used white pages to randomly call homes and ask for the last birthday person to randomise within households. This has become more difficult in recent years because of mobiles for fixed substitution , and the lack of listings of mobiles in telephone directories. You could also do a door to door study but this is very expensive and can be less representative if not done correctly. Probably the easiest and most cost effective way to recruit respondents today is via one of the many well-established permission-based panels which are large databases of consumers who have signed up for research and have been incentivised to do so.

A word on sampling. Once you a have decided on where to get your respondents from, you need to think about how you will sample them. There are basically two types of sampling – probability sampling and convenience sampling.

Although beyond the scope of this blog – probability sampling (also known as random sampling) basically gives every person in a population (or target) the same chance (probability) of being selected and if done correctly can infer the sampled results to the total population within known error rates (thanks to some pretty funky maths). This therefore is the most representative type of sampling and should be used wherever possible. However in practice this has become difficult because, in order to do this, you need to access an entire population (known as a sample frame) to sample from.

Convenience sampling on the other hand uses lists of people or goes directly to the source (e.g. a shopping centre to speak to grocery buyers), – and as the name implies it uses convenience over probability. It is – its therefore less costly but at the same time much less representative. You do need to be pragmatic in research though, and convenience sampling has a place and if you do use it try to add some sort of randomisation – like choosing every ninth person to be in your survey.

What issues do you anticipate?
It’s pretty rare to undertake a research piece without encountering any issues along the way. Anticipating issues and problems though can really pay off and help make your project run more smoothly. Issues can come from different camps, so have a think about the types of issues that might happen before you start. To help you, here are some of the more common research issues we encounter.

  1. The lists aren’t accurate and we can’t get the numbers we want - you need to have a back-up plan to find respondents.
  2. People aren’t responding to our survey – you might need to introduce an incentive or a better incentive.
  3. The incidence is really low – we thought 1 in 10 people would qualify but only 1 in 20 qualify - either broaden your target, budget or consider a convenience sample to get to them.
  4. People aren’t grasping what we are talking about – respondents are misunderstanding the idea – you need to pilot your survey first to ensure this doesn’t happen in the field.
  5. People are starting our survey and not finishing it. – The survey is too long or not engaging enough, or not incentivised enough for the task.

How long will the survey take?
Generally speaking, a survey should be as short as it can be to achieve the objectives. Surveys typically fall into the 10 to -15 minute mark but can be shorter at 5 to 10 minutes, or longer up to 20 or even 25 minutes. As a rule of thumb, the longer the survey, the more engaging and better the incentive will need to be to ensure good participation. A longer survey also means more resources at your end to process and analyse, so you’ll need a bigger budget or resource allocation to get the job done. If you are using a third party like a permission-based panel to recruit respondents then you will pay more per completed survey, so again, think about the budget up front before committing to longer surveys.

Also Keep in mind that people respond to surveys differently and although we would prefer all of our respondents to take a considered approach to our surveys, in reality some go slow and some go fast – so you need to think about what’s a reasonable amount of time you expect people to give to the task.

Be prepared
We’ll talk about this more in future blogs but in closing, please, please, please take the time at base camp to think and prepare before jumping in and writing your survey!

Keep an eye out for our next blog which will cover setting goals and objectives!

All New Website

April, 2017
Our trusty old website has served us well, but we thought it was about time to trade it in for a newer model. We are proud to soft launch the new, easier to navigate D&M Research website. Check out some great features:
  • All mobile friendly
  • More interaction with live regular surveys
  • Simple scroll down menu
  • Easy access of important information with a mini menu on the side of each page
We think it’s pretty swish, but we’d love to hear your feedback before the official launch. Surveyhuman

Design Takes Centre Stage

January, 2017
2017 marks the year when D&M will take Visual Communications to the next level with the creation of a new full-time position of Information Designer to be filled by newly-employed designer Emre Aral. According to D&M’s MD Derek Jones - D&M Research has always placed a high priority on our production values when it comes to disseminating and communicating research findings through our reports and presentations. However researchers are not designers and with the move towards a more infographic style of reporting and the need for clients to be able to quickly re-package key findings for internal communication, we knew we needed to boost our capacity in this area,: ‘The creation of the new role is a real win-win with client’s getting professionally designed reports and infographics and D&M freeing up researcher’s capacity to spend more time on analysis and reporting – ultimately helping clients’ make better decisions’ Derek said.

D&M Wins Amp Capital Shopping Centre Customer Experience Program

December, 2016
D&M Research is proud to be awarded the CEEP (Customer Experience Performance Program) for the third consecutive year delivering cost-effective field, analysis and reporting across their entire Australian and New Zealand shopping centre portfolio. AMP Capital is currently Australia’s third largest manager of retail property, including three of the country’s top 10 centres by gross leasable area and has a current portfolio of 28 centres under management spanning across Australia and New Zealand.

D&M Spreading The Good News To Graduates

November, 2016
D&M Research has a reputation for employing, training and developing graduates to have stellar careers not only within its own organisation but beyond as researchers and buyers. Part of this program includes an annual presentation by MD Derek Jones at the University of Western Sydney’s Psychology Careers Day expo. Many graduates display an interest in a career in Market Research after attending and the feedback indicates that they have not previously considered Market Research as a career path. D&M is now working with AMSRS to secure better cooperation between employers and the graduates to ensure that the industry attracts the best minds , and that the industry attracts quality practitioners and thinkers into the future.

All Aboard The New Community Platform

December, 2016
After many years in the making D&M is excited and proud to announce the adoption of the Web Community Creator as its new MROC (Market Research Online Community) platform. Working with our long-standing research software provider Dipolar, the new product is a perfect addition to the suite of online data collection tools at our disposal. The new platform is a cloud-based discussion and community platform that promotes high levels of engagement , provides deep insight, and makes research truly social. The features of the new platform are amazing for both respondents and researchers and the best way to see what it offers is to watch this 90 second introductory Video. (https://vimeo.com/148557127)

One + One = Three

October, 2016
1+1=3
In 2016 D&M Research & Cognition announced a synergistic and strategic alliance between two boutique agencies with a long-standing working relationship. The new alliance delivers the following key benefits to our clients.
    • Complementary skill sets with D&M focusing on the delivery of Quantitative research and Cognition Qualitative research.
    • Boosts the level of senior and strategic thinking to all projects.
  • Increases the level of expertise accessible to clients.
  • Increases the ability to deliver larger and more complex projects in a timely and well-resourced manner.
The alliance just made sense following many years of working together delivering client insights and delivers a significant boost in the senior ranks for both organisations – according to the agency heads Bill Morgan and Derek Jones. “‘We truly believe that this alliance will equal more than the sum of parts and that 1+1 can equal 3.”’

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