Here, you will find information on qualitative research and a variety of suggestions to bear in mind when planning to carry out fieldwork in Spain. Most of the tips and articles are coined by us but we are very much in favour of making reference to other author's links whenever we consider they may be useful to market research practitioners.

viernes, 7 de junio de 2013

Tips from a traveling moderator: facility faux pas and fantastic finds

Article AbstractModerator Gwyn Gibbs offers advice on how qualitative research facilities can improve to be more accommodating to moderators, clients and respondents.

As a qualitative moderator coming off of a 24-city tour - visiting 24 facilities in under three months - I saw the good, the bad and the ugly in research facilities across the country. Based on my experiences, here are a few things you can do to help your facility stand out - and some ideas on how to make it happen. 

Do: Have great recruiting, with respondents who show up and who show up on time. Without respondents - and without respondents who arrive on time to get signed in and hear all of the introductions - we do not have any research.
Idea: One facility held an early-bird raffle to encourage early arrival. Participants who arrived early had their names put in a jar and the respondent whose name was chosen received a small reward.
Idea: One facility over-recruits by one respondent and does not charge the client for the extra efforts.
Hint: Do take the extra time to go over directions, traffic patterns and parking with respondents when calling to confirm.

Do: Know all the hotels in your area. Most moderators have no idea where they are or how far you are from their hotel or the airport.
Idea: One facility offered to send a cab to the hotel to pick me up.
Hint: Anyone answering the phone should be able to give directions from all hotels and the airport.

Do: Have a designated qualitative assistant. Moderators usually make all of the room adjustments, paperwork requests, copies needed and the all-important dinner questions right away. The hallways at facilities are atypically long to provide quiet and confidentiality to research rooms, however this makes for a lot of time and foot travel when I'm trying to find someone to help me.
Hint: Introduce the qualitative assistant and plan on them shadowing the moderator for the first 15 minutes after they settle in. It's a great help to have that person ready to answer and pitch in, and then the moderator can grab a breather or meet with a client.

Do: Make it easy to get from the research room and back room to the restroom, front desk and respondent waiting area. Some facilities are one big maze, and although you may know exactly where you are, the moderator, the other clients and the respondents are in foreign territory.
Hint: Wall signs pointing to these popular destinations can be very useful when things get busy.

Do: Supply focus room-friendly supplies. Because research minutes are very expensive, once the group starts there's no leaving for the moderator.
Hint: Have a large-faced desk clock (our eyes are old!), working flip-chart markers, non-sticky flip-chart paper (their sticky cousins don't travel well), a pad and pen, water, tissues and hand sanitizer.

Do: Have cost- and health-minded back-room amenities. With cost-conscious clients it is best to keep the food to a minimum to assist clients in maintaining strict budgets. With cold and flu season around, it is best to keep prepackaged snacks on hand.
Idea: One facility has a water cooler, which is much more eco-friendly than the 10 bottles of water I can drink in a research day, not to mention other clients or respondents.
Idea: One facility baked a small batch of homemade cookies. The cost was minimal and the experience? Priceless.
Hint: Wrapped granola bars, packaged nuts/dried fruit are great for healthier-minded, protein-wanting clients, and they are more sanitary than their open-bowl counterparts.

Do: Have something available to assist the moderator in transporting materials. Often the materials are hauled in manually by the weary moderator en route to the hotel or airport.
Hint: A recyclable bag with handles (and with your logo!) is great for carrying flip-chart notes, screener lists, research stimuli and bottled water. These are just a few of the items that may be in tow late in the evening.

Do: Partner with a great transportation service. Research often ends in the dark hours of the evening, and moderators (often traveling alone) are getting into unfamiliar cabs in unknown cities.
Idea: One facility had partnered with a car service. The Escalade arrived and was charged to the facility (to be billed later).  Another great feature was that the driver was very customer-service oriented because they wanted the facility business. What a great last impression!

Do: Get feedback from your moderator about the service of your facility. However, handing out those customer service surveys as the moderator is leaving is problematic. By then, I'm wiped out and the last thing I want to do is to fill out a questionnaire about someone who is standing in front of me.
Idea: One facility put the questionnaire in a small, lightweight goody bag with a self-addressed stamped envelope to return to the facility. 

As you can see, it's the little things that make the difference. Do your best to make it as easy and pleasurable for moderators, clients and research participants as possible, and you'll be surprised at how far these small gestures can take you!
By Gwyn Gibbs

Gwyn Gibbs is senior project director at Integrated Marketing Associates, a Bryn Mawr, Pa., research firm. She can be reached at
This article appeared in the February 8, 2010, edition of Quirk's e-newsletter.
Article ID: 20100225-1