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Data collection methods and questionnaire design

Applied Marketing (Market Research Methods) Topic 3: Data collection methods and questionnaire design
Dr James Abdey

Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods


Consideration should be given to the contact method The most common methods of contact are face-to-face interview, telephone interview and online/postal/mail (so-called self-completion) interview In most countries you can assume the following:
An interviewer-administered face-to-face questionnaire will be the most expensive to carry out Telephone surveys depend very much on whether your target population is on the telephone (and how good the telephone system is) Self-completion questionnaires can have a low response rate

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

Face-to-face interview:
Advantages: Good for personal questions; allow for probing issues in greater depth; permit difcult concepts to be explained; can show samples (such as new product designs) Disadvantages: (Very) expensive; not always easy to obtain detailed information on the spot

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods


Face-to-face interviewer a survey of shopping patterns
Here you need to be able to contact a sample of the whole population You can assume that a large proportion would not bother to complete a postal questionnaire after all, the subject matter is not very important and it takes time to ll in a form! Using a telephone would exclude those (for example, the poor and the elderly) who either do not have access to a telephone or are unwilling to talk to strangers by telephone

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Telephone interview:
Advantages: Easy to achieve a large number of interviews; easy to check on quality of interviewers (through a central switchboard perhaps) Disadvantages: Not everyone has a telephone so the sample can be biased; cannot usually show samples; although telephone directories exist for landline numbers, what about mobile numbers? Also, young people are more likely to use mobiles rather than landlines, so are more likely to be excluded

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Telephone interviewer a survey of businessmen and their attitude to a new item of ofce equipment
All of them will have a telephone, and also the questions should be simple to ask Here, booking time for a telephone interview at work (once it has been agreed with the administration) should be much more effective than waiting for a form to be lled in, or sending interviewers to disrupt ofce routine

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods


Self-completion interview:

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods

Advantages: Most people can be contacted this way (there will be little non-response due to not-at-home reasons); allows time for people to look up details such as income, tax returns etc. Disadvantages: High non-response rate it requires effort to complete the questionnaire; answers to some questions may inuence answers to earlier questions since the whole questionnaire is revealed to the respondent this is important where the order of a questionnaire matters; you have no control over who answers the questionnaire

Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods


Postal/mail questionnaire a survey of teachers about their pay and conditions
Here, on-the-spot interviews will not elicit the level of detail needed Most people do not remember their exact pay and taxation, particularly if they are needed for earlier years We would expect a high response rate and good-quality data the recipients are motivated to reply, since they may be hoping for a pay rise! Also, the recipients come from a group of people who nd it relatively easy to ll in forms without needing the help, or prompting, of an interviewer

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Remember that it is always possible to combine methods The Family Expenditure Survey in the UK, for example, combines the approach of using an interviewer three times over a fortnight (to raise response and explain details) while the respondent household is required to ll in a self-completion diary (showing expenditure, which could not be obtained by interview alone)

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

Similarly, telephone interviews may be combined with a mail-shot sub-sampled individual survey, in the case of ofces and businesses faxing additional information In the case of the telephone survey of businessmen described above, a description of the new equipment could be faxed to the businessmen in advance, or as they are telephoned

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Data collection methods

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

Remember also that email surveys are already widespread and becoming increasingly popular, although they are only appropriate when the population to be studied uses them heavily and is likely to reply to your questions, such as employees in your ofce An obvious advantage is that this method is very cheap to administer

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Qualitative methods
Subtle form of investigation which seeks to understand factors explaining buyer behaviour mainly diagnostic Consumer motives for product selection Functions:
Generate language, hypotheses for subsequent quantitative research Check, sort and prioritise potential advertising, product, pack concepts Find out new trends in product usage

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Forms:
In-depth interviews Focus groups (groups of people with similar characteristics)

Qualitative research
Principal methods of researching consumer products

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods

Gap analysis looking at perceptual map; brainstorm about a new product or brand Action studies case studies; diaries Brainstorming solutions to problems (generate different ideas) Synectics see problems in a new light; do not describe a specic problem

Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Focus groups

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods

Focus groups use 8 to 15 people in a discussion group can be used for testing products Good for developing ideas for new products Good for developing questions for use in a questionnaire

Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Quantity of focus groups


How many focus groups should be conducted? Factors to consider:
The extent to which comparisons are sought The different types of participant to be targeted and how well they mix together The geographic spread of participants The paradigm that underpins the choice of a focus group The time and budget available

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Mystery shopping

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

Mystery shopping involves the researcher carrying out an activity rather than asking about it Question: How long do you generally queue in post ofce X? Or mystery shopping interviewer A is to go to post ofce X and measure how long s/he has to wait to be served

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Example of mystery shopping

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

In the UK the Post Ofce uses mystery shopping nationwide to test services in post ofces from the point of view of
Time spent in queues and being served Efciency of service Helpfulness and politeness of staff

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Example of mystery shopping


In a post ofce survey over each year a national sample is obtained by stratifying by area and type of region Mystery shoppers sent to named post ofces in their area anonymously Mystery shoppers given tasks, for example
Queue at 11:00, 13:00 and 17:00 Ask how much it costs to send a 1kg parcel to Japan Ask about social security benets Ask to renew driving licence

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Questionnaire design
We consider the importance of questionnaire design ensuring questionnaires are effective An art as much as a science Inevitably questionnaire design involves a series of trade-offs Guidelines for developing sound questionnaires are provided Ultimately we seek to engage respondents and stimulate their interest

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Questionnaire design
A questionnaire is a method of obtaining specic information about a dened problem
Highly structured with formal questions Unstructured with free-style questions Mix

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Five classes of information


Facts and knowledge Opinions Motives Past behaviour Future behaviour

Questionnaire requirements
Respondents must understand the question They must be able to provide the information requested They must be willing to provide it Simple words short and specic questions Facts are preferable to opinions Information sought should be within ability of people to recall accurately Checklists may introduce bias

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Questionnaire design

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Questionning approach
Funnel technique Inverted funnel technique

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Types of questions
Open-ended Closed

Individual question content


Sometimes, several questions are needed to obtain the required information in an unambiguous manner Consider the question:
Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty and refreshing soft drink? (Incorrect)

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Such a question is called a double-barrelled question, because two or more questions are combined into one To obtain the required information, two distinct questions should be asked:
Do you think Coca-Cola is a tasty soft drink? and Do you think Coca-Cola is a refreshing soft drink? (Correct)

Overcoming inability to answer

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

How many litres of soft drinks did you consume during the last four weeks? (Incorrect) How often do you consume soft drinks in a typical week?
1. 2. 3. 4. _____ Less than once per week _____ 1 to 3 times per week _____ 4 to 6 times per week _____ 7 or more times per week

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

(Correct)

Overcoming unwillingness to answer


Please list all the departments from which you purchased merchandise on your most recent shopping trip to a department store (Incorrect) In the list that follows, please tick all the departments from which you purchased merchandise on your most recent shopping trip to a department store
1. 2. 3. 4. Womens dresses Mens clothing Childrens clothing Cosmetics . . . _____ _____ _____ _____

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

16. Jewellery _____ 17. Other (please specify) _____

(Correct)

Multiple choice questions

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

In multiple choice questions, the researcher provides a choice of answers and respondents are asked to select one or more of the alternatives given Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Denitely will not buy Probably will not buy Undecided Probably will buy Denitely will buy Other (please specify)

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Dichotomous questions

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

A dichotomous question has only two response alternatives: yes or no, agree or disagree, and so on Often, the two alternatives of interest are supplemented by a neutral alternative, such as no opinion, dont know, both, or none Do you intend to buy a new car within the next six months?
_____ _____ _____ Yes No Dont know

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Choosing question wording


Dene the issue in terms of who, what, when, where and why Who, what, when and where are particularly important Which brand of shampoo do you use? (Incorrect) Which brand or brands of shampoo have you personally used at home during the last month?
In case of more than one brand, please list all the brands that apply (Correct)

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Choosing question wording

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design

Use ordinary words


Do you think the distribution of soft drinks is adequate? (Incorrect) Do you think soft drinks are readily available when you want to buy them? (Correct)

Choosing question wording

Choosing question wording


In a typical month, how often do you shop in a health shop?
_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Never Occasionally Sometimes Often Regularly (Incorrect)

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

In a typical month, how often do you shop in a health shop?


_____ _____ _____ _____ Less than once 1 or 2 times 3 or 4 times More than 4 times

(Correct)

Choosing question wording


A leading question is one that nudges the respondent to what the answer should be, as in the following: Do you think that patriotic people should buy imported cars when that would put domestic workers out of employment?
_____ _____ _____ Yes No Dont know

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

(Incorrect)

Do you think that people should buy imported cars?


_____ _____ _____ Yes No Dont know

(Correct)

Choosing question wording

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

An alternative that is not explicitly expressed in the options is an implicit alternative Do you like to y when travelling short distances? (Incorrect) Do you like to y when travelling short distances, or would you rather drive? (Correct)

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Choosing question wording

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Data collection methods

Questions should not be worded so that the answer is dependent upon implicit assumptions about what will happen as a consequence Are you in favour of a balanced budget? (Incorrect) Are you in favour of a balanced budget if it would result in an increase in personal income tax? (Correct)

Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

Choosing question wording

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

What is the annual per capita expenditure on groceries in your household? (Incorrect) What is the monthly (or weekly) expenditure on groceries in your household?
and

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording

How many members are there in your household? (Correct)

Choosing question wording

Data collection methods and questionnaire design Dr James Abdey

Effect on subsequent questions:


General questions should precede specic questions (funnel approach) Q1: What considerations are important to you in selecting a coffee shop? Q2: In selecting a coffee shop, how important is convenience of location? (Correct)

Data collection methods Qualitative methods Questionnaire design Choosing question wording