Incidence Critical to Successful Surveys

Live Telephone Interviews Bring Best Results

Just The Facts, Inc.® market research is constantly wrestling with the balance between a survey’s cost and it’s incidence level.  Survey costs can be among the most difficult to pinpoint, especially with unknown or low incidence target audiences.

What’s at Stake, Solving the Incidence Puzzle

Just The Facts, Inc.® market research has discovered that younger audiences, under 30, are increasingly harder to reach with phone surveys.  Yet with the large movement to online surveys, the quality of them is more suspect.

For survey research, Just The Facts, Inc.® market research still prefers phone methodology.  This is for several reasons.  Having a live interviewer contact, who is engaging, personal and inviting, enables adapting to respondent participation and concerns.   We also see better quality data and minimal self-selection bias. Self-selection bias can be a significant issue as the number of “professional online panel survey-takers” increases.

With phone surveys there are a number of sample options to consider in targeting the correct audience for clients’ projects.

“Random Digit Dial”

(RDD) has in the past been the standard and most cost efficient as it taps into home land lines.  But today, land lines tend to skew older (age 45+), as the proliferation of cell phones burgeons.  Fewer Millennials have land lines and also take their existing numbers with them as they move around with higher frequency.  So, area codes may not be reflective of actual residence and location.

“Listed Sample”

(LS) enables the purchase of more targeted audiences by various demographics such as age, gender, house-hold income and education, but it’s more costly and again, there’s the issue of cell phone usage.

“Registered Voter”

(RV) lists can offer a good alternative to consider in a sample selection mix.  RV provides the names of all household members, address, city, state and phone number of those who have registered to vote.  When analyzing primary voting records one can also see the voting pattern for Republican or Democrat, which can provide some direction on the psychographics of a particular audience.

“Enhanced wireless”

(EW) is an evolving option from at least one sample list provider.  While in the earlier stages of implementation, it offers identifying cell phone numbers by proper geography.

With today’s increasingly “mobile” culture, costs have increased significantly from the past.  Whereas land-line surveys used to be a 15:1 call-to-complete ration, now, it can be as high as 40:1 depending on the target incidence.  And cell phone completes are 2 ½ times higher at 100:1, this due to the reticence of cell owners to answer numbers with no caller ID or unrecognized number.  This means that if you want 300 cell phone completes, on average, your call center will need 30,000 records to dial against!

Another aspect that increases costs of using cell phone surveys is that cell numbers can’t by law be placed on “auto-dialing” systems, and must therefore be manually dialed, which impacts labor greatly.

When Just The Facts, Inc.® market research evaluates a client survey project these are all the factors to be considered.  Often times, to get the best results it means using a mix of different sample options to get the project completed with the desired target audience.  Phone surveys have become a great deal of “art” in their proper execution.

For questions and advice on which type of marketing survey is right for your next market research project, call Just The Facts, Inc ® market research at 847-506-0033 for a free consultation.  Just The Facts, Inc ® works with clients on all aspects of setting up, fielding, data collection, analysis and reporting of findings… a “total turn-key” process.

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