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Social networking - Ranking market research methods
ZINC's 2010 survey shows researchers who to contact - and how

Which market research methods are best? Among practitioners, this is a hotly-debated subject - and there's rarely a clear-cut winner - but what do participants have to say about it? Which methods are they most comfortable with? Which ones don't they like at all?

In the 2010 edition of The Bridge, ZINC Research's syndicated online user segmentation survey, a research panel of 1,200 provides insights on the prevailing attitudes among social network users and non-users alike. Results, including a breakdown by user segments, are shown in the table below.

And the verdict is...   

In the winners' circle...

Which methods are people comfortable with and would be willing to participate in? Online employee surveys, favoured by 76% of respondents, followed by online community consultation surveys (75%) and onsite surveys (70%).

The also-rans...

Which methods are people less comfortable with? In-depth interviews conducted at home (30%), followed by video-based research (44%) and telephone surveys (52%). The phone survey has traditionally been the tool of choice in public opinion polling, but continues to be a method that only half of Canadians are comfortable with. This is sobering news for the traditional print and electronic media, who appear to still favour reporting on telephone-based polls.

 
THE RESEARCH COMFORT ZONE
Research Preferences (%) by User Segment
Aggregate responses: "Completely, Very, and Somewhat Comfortable"
Highlights: Top 3 Choices by Segment

"What is your level of comfort in participating in the following activities - if approached by a representative from a reputable research company - over the next 12 months?" 
 
 

 
TOTAL   HEAVY
USERS
BUSINESS
USERS
SOCIAL
USERS
FRIENDS &
FAMILY
CIRCLES
CASUAL
USERS
NON-USERS
BASE 1096 98 85 177 297 337 102
Online
employee survey
 76%  83%  90%  82%  77%  67%  77%
Online community
consultation survey
 75%  82%  86%  80%  80%  66%  72%
Onsite survey
 70%  70%  71%  80%  68%  64%  77%
Online community 
survey
 61%  72%  67%  72%  63% 51%   56%
Focus group
61%  68%  74%  71%  61%  51%  66% 
Public consultation
process
61%   69% 73%  66%  60%  54%  60% 
Telephone survey
52%   57% 56%   54% 50%   47% 60% 
Video-based
research
44%  63%  40%  60%  46%  31%  40% 
In-depth interview
at home
30%  41%  36%  37%  25%  24%  39% 

 

Is The Bridge right for your organization?
For information on The Bridge and other syndicated surveys conducted by ZINC Research, contact Brian Singh at: zincresearch.com.