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How to Conduct Extended Intercept Surveys - A Reebok Case Study

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  • Dana Welcome to Survey Analytics ’ monthly webinar, which is titled “How to Conduct Extended Intercept Surveys: A Reebok Case Study”. We invited Michael Mercier, President of Insightful Alliance, a market research firm in Cincinnati, to make this presentation. Mike will discuss a research methodology that Insightful Alliance developed in order to execute an intercept survey for Reebok. He will examine how Insightful Alliance used the tools offered by Survey Analytics to transform a traditional intercept survey into what they call an Extended Intercept survey. They found that by combining tablet, smart phone, and online access to the survey they were able to get completed surveys from people that they otherwise would not have been able to reach. This allowed them to substantially increase their completion rate with only a small incremental financial investment. Mike Thanks very much, Dana. I appreciate the invitation from Survey Analytics to present the approach we developed for this Reebok project, and I thank everyone who is tuning in in real-time online, or who might be listening at a later time to the archive file.
  • As Dana mentioned, we developed this Extended Intercept Method for an intercept survey that we did for Reebok. What I ’d like to do in this discussion is: First, provide you with an overview of the extended intercept method , including: how we developed the method the components of the method which of Survey Analytics ’ research applications we used to execute the survey how we set up those applications how they worked in the implementation Then I ’ll show you the preparation process required to prepare for an Extended Intercept survey. Then I ’ll show the benefits and costs of using this method in the Reebok case Finally, I ’ll run through a checklist of best practices , including variable decisions you should consider should you decide to conduct an Extended Intercept survey
  • To give you the basic background on this project, Reebok hired us to conduct an intercept survey at a running expo that was taking place for two days prior to the Peachtree 10K Road Race in Atlanta. The idea was that we would be in the Reebok expo booth and conduct intercept surveys with expo attendees as they entered, or walked past, the booth.
  • Now, let me explain a bit about how SurveyPocket works so that you understand the process of executing an intercept survey using it. To begin with, let me tell you a bit about Survey Analytics research system. The central core of Survey Analytics suite of research applications is a data management platform that they call Survey Analytics. Survey Anaytics is the central application where you enter, store, manage and analyze questionnaires, panel information, and collected data. Among other things, Survey Analytics allows you to program into the system a single survey questionnaire, and then make it accessible to research participants through a variety of channels. On of those channels is SurveyPocket. SurveyPocket is a mobile survey application for smart phones, tablets, and iPads. The SurveyPocket app is stored on the iPad. The way that SurveyPocket works is you download SurveyPocket from either iTunes or the Android play-store. You then enter your questionnaire in Survey Analytics, which then pushes the survey out to SurveyPocket. Once you ’re in the field you open the survey in SurveyPocket on your iPad, and as you complete surveys they are stored locally on the iPad. Later, when you have a wireless connection, you can synch the completed surveys for storage within your Survey Analytics account. So, as I said before, our initial plan on this Reebok project was simply to conduct intercept surveys using this method --- using iPads loaded with SurveyPocket.
  • Our initial plan was to conduct a traditional intercept survey in which we would approach attendees as they walked by or entered the booth, and ask them if they were willing to complete a brief survey. If they agreed, then we would execute the survey. To do this we initially had planned on using iPads loaded with Survey Analytics ’ SurveyPocket , which is a mobile survey application .
  • As we began to proceed in the project --- to begin to work with the SurveyAnalytics platform --- we were exposed to some of its additional functionality. Including the ability to set the survey up so that it was accessible through other channels ---- in addition to SurveyPocket. We saw that, in addition to providing access to a survey via iPad by using SurveyPocket, we also could simultaneously provide access to the same survey through both a smartphone and an online laptop. So, we could provide access via laptop because by generating a survey URL within Survey Analytics. The platform allowed us to custom create a URL for the survey. We also could provide access via smartphone because the Survey Analytics platform generated a survey QR-Code. We realized that if we could give the URL and the QR-Code to people that it would allow us to get people to complete the survey who otherwise would not have been able to complete it.
  • The additional people that we realized we could reach are all of the people you WISH you could reach when you do an intercept survey, including the following: those who were too busy to take the survey at the moment, but who would willing to take it at a later time; (2) those who were willing to take the survey, but who we couldn ’t reach because they passed through the booth while we were interviewing someone else; (3) those who enter the booth but whose paths we never cross.
  • So by exploiting Survey Analytics ’ additional functionality we were able to extend our reach to other participants, and conduct what we now call an Extended Intercept Survey. And to execute it we used the following tools: The iPad loaded with SurveyPocket, which we would use to conduct the intercept surveys; A 3x5 card with QR-Code and URL links to the survey; we would give this card to people who were too busy to complete the survey at the moment we intercepted them, but who were willing to complete it at a later time that was convenient for them. We also placed these cards on a “survey table” where people who were walking by could pick them up. We placed them in other spots throughout the booth. And the cashiers in the booth agreed to place them in people’s bags when they paid for their apparel purchases in the booth. We also used a table poster that contained the QR-Code . This allowed people who were in the booth while we were busy interviewing someone else to scan the QR-Code and complete the survey on their smart phone.
  • We just established that the ultimate goal of this Extended Intercept Method is to extend our reach beyond those people who we successfully interview, to include those who: are too busy to complete the survey at the moment, those who (2) enter the booth while we are occupied surveying someone else, and to those who (3) may enter the booth without our encountering them. So if the goal is to extend our reach to these groups, then the measure of the success of this method is whether we indeed increased our survey completion rate --- whether we were able to extend our reach to these other people, and whether they ultimately completed surveys? In the Reebok survey we found that 40% of our completed surveys were derived from the posters and the 3x5 cards. This is a 67% marginal completion rate. So based upon this particular case study we consider the Extended Intercept Method to have been a significant success. However, the ULTIMATE ultimate question we must ask is “what was the COST of that marginal response rate?”
  • Components of Costs In order to execute the Extended Intercept surveys, the marginal costs we incurred were simply the costs of designing, printing, and shipping the 3x5 cards and posters. While I can ’t share proprietary information about the costs we incurred from the Reebok survey, what I can do is present several realistic card and poster cost scenarios to illustrate how relatively inexpensive it is to generate this marginal completion rate using the Extended Intercept method. Budgets In the left hand column of this table I have laid out two hypothetical project budgets --- $10,000 and $20,000. The numbers, of course, could be higher, and are dependent upon how many people you have conducting the surveys, for how long you ’re conducting the surveys, etc. Costs For each of these hypothetical budgets I am showing in the 3 columns to the right hypothetical costs of the cards and posters. I consider these to be reasonable cost estimates depending upon the number of cards you print, the size of the cards, and the number and size of the posters. As you can see, the poster and card costs in this example range from $200 to $1,000. In the lower two rows of these 3 cost columns you will see the incremental costs that these represent over the base project budget of $10,000 and $20,000. This incremental cost ranges from 1% to 10% --- and this is to realize an increase response rate of 67%. It ’s a pretty negligible cost to realize a big pop in completion rate.
  • So I ’ve shown you the components of the Extended Intercept Survey --- how we executed the survey on-site using the research tools offered by Survey Analytics. (Analysis Phase is Missing.) Now that you ’ve seen the execution phase, I’d like to provide you I’d like to provide you with an overview of the process we went through prior to the execution phase --- that is, the preparation process . Doing this will help you to put into perspective the steps you take between the time you finalize your questionnaire, and the time you execute data collection on-site. You obviously know the steps that it takes to prepare for a research study. So my point in doing this is to show you how the preparation for an Extended Intercept study --- how using Survey Analytics, the iPad, the cards and the posters are integrated into that usual preparation process. Program Questionnaire Once you have written your questionnaire, the next step is to program it into the Survey Analytics platform. As you can see with this interface, this is a very simple process, just as it is with any online survey program. Generate URL & QR-Code The next step is to generate the URL and the QR-Code for the survey. As you can see with this interface, it contains both the URL and the QR-Code. To capture the QR-Code, you simply download it and save it as an image on your hard drive. You will also see that you can customize the URL so that it is easy-to-remember, easy to type, and relevant to the project or subject of the survey. Design, Print, and Ship Now that you have a URL and a QR-code, you can move forward with the process of designing, printing and shipping your posters and cards. You have to be sure to budget time for the design and print steps. Each designer and printer has different timeframes and schedules, so it ’s wise to inquire with them up-front about their time-frames, and to make them aware of your schedule and deadlines. Configure SurveyPocket on iPads Next you have the step of configuring SurveyPocket on your iPads. This process simply involves visiting iTunes or the Android Market. Then entering the survey code into the survey code field within the app. This allows you to access the app through SurveyPocket and store the survey locally. Test Survey on iPad, Smartphone, and Laptop The final step is to test the survey on the three survey platforms – on the iPad, the SmartPhone, and the laptop. This is critical, as there may be differences in the appearance and use of the survey across platforms that you want to customize. For example, there are settings for how many questions you display per page. You might find that while 4 questions is perfectly fine when you view the survey online, yet requires too much scrolling when you take the survey on the smart phone.
  • Now, as I mentioned, we conducted this survey at an Expo. But, as you can imagine, this method can be used in any context where you are conducting intercept surveys, including conferences, retail, entertainment/music, and sports. If you ’re thinking of doing this yourself, one thing you have to consider is that each of these contexts will offer different variables that you will have to make decisions about. Some of these you might not anticipate until it’s too late. So it’s going to be very helpful for you to ensure that you consider them up-front so that you can engineer the implementation so that it optimizes your effectiveness in the field. For that reason, I thought I would provide you with a checklist of variable decisions that we encountered in executing the Reebok project.
  • One variable you must consider is the size of the space within which you will be conducting the survey. The size of the space will, to some extent, determine the number of posters, cards, interviewers and iPads you will require. The size of the space also may indicate the optimal poster size. For example, if it is a vast space and you want people to be able to read the posters fro a distance, then you obviously will want to have very large posters. Another variable to consider will be the amount of wall, table and counter space that will be available to you within that space. This is important, because you have to know up-front when you order your posters whether you will require wall hangers, table stands, or, even, easels for your posters. Knowing the amount of table and counter space also helps you to plan where you might place 3x5 cards in the booth. So, for example, if you are intercepting people at the entrance of a retail store you may have no place to put posters. For that reason, it might make sense to have posters on easels. By contrast, if you ’re conducting the survey within a store --- say, a grocery store, you might have posters placed on support beams and easels.
  • Another consideration will be whether it makes sense to have the survey be something that is experienced as being at a centralized location within the space, or, whether it is perceived as being something that is decentralized and ubiquitous. This decision, of course, can be dictated by many factors. It must take into account the size of the space, the purpose and nature of the event, company politics, etc. So, to give you an example of what I ’m getting at --- for the Reebok survey we decided that it was mostly a centralized event within the booth. And there were many factors that impacted this, including the size of the booth, the fact that there were other important functions going on in the booth, such as the desire of the company to project its corporate image, so we didn’t want to obscure that message or interfere with or compete with it. There also were retail displays with expo attendees shopping, getting sales support, trying on garments, and making purchases. We also wanted to be respectful of the job that the other people in the booth had to do. However, it might have been a different story if we were conducting the surveys, say, at an outdoor carnival/fair. We might have felt that with the chaotic, showmanship atmosphere of a fair, that it would not have been intrusive in the least for us to have been ubiquitous and in people ’s faces in order to achieve our desired completion numbers. Another variable to consider is the carrying capacity of visitors in order to determine the optimal size of the cards. Remember, the purpose of the 3x5 card is to distribute the URL and the QR-Code for the survey. There ’s nothing that says you MUST distribute those two things on a 3x5 card. If you could have handed out 8x10 fliers, business card sized cards, a brochure that contains marketing information, printed magnets or other chachkis. Or, depending upon your creativity, motivation and capabilities, you could figure out a way to get that information to them electronically. For example, if you are at a business conference where attendees have an RFID chipped name tag, you could scan their card and email or text the URL and QR-Code. But my point is, if you can anticipate up-front how much carrying capacity people might have, then you can determine the optimal way of delivering the URL and QR-Code. So, for us, being at an expo we knew that people would be carrying bags from other expo booths, and that they also would have a bag with their race number and other race information. So we felt that it was best to have a good-sized card that they could throw in their bag and not lose. However, if we had been at a pro baseball game, we might have decided that there ’s a good chance that people won’t have bags, and they will be there for hours, so we might want to give them business card stock so they could easily stick them in their pockets.
  • Another factor to consider is whether your 3x5 card will be one of many other collateral pieces that people will be carrying with them, and what implications that might have for the design and delivery of the card. So, for example, for Reebok, as I mentioned, people had at least one, if not several, plastic bags with them containing their race number, badge, and information, free items they got at various expo booths, and purchases they might have made. So we were competing with a lot. In retrospect, it might have made sense for us to have made our card from a bright colored card stock, and have printed it in a bright, contrasting ink. By contrast, if you are conducting your survey at a retail outlet, they might have far fewer items to compete with. Or, at a baseball game, as I mentioned before, people might be carrying their ticket stub and program.
  • Another thing to consider is how leisurely or rushed people might be in order to determine the number of cards to print. If you are in an environment where people are very rushed, then you will have more people declining to participate in the survey at that moment and you therefore will be handing out more cards. However, if the pace is relaxed and leisurely, then you will be spending more time conducting interviews and you will spend less time giving cards to people. We noticed a significant difference at the Reebok booth between our first and second days. On the first day, July 2, people were very rushed. Many of them were running in on their lunch hour, or on a break, just to grab their race number and then run out. Many had parked their cars at a 15 minute meter outside and had to rush to get back out. However, the second day was July 3 --- the day before the holiday. And the atmosphere was completely different. People were leisurely. They had either taken the day off, or they didn ’t mind taking a long lunch if they were working, or they had flown or driven to Atlanta from another city in order to run in the race, and they therefore didn’t have any job to go to. Another thing to consider is how leisurely or rushed people might be in order to determine the number of cards to print. If you are in an environment where people are very rushed, then you will have more people declining to participate in the survey at that moment and you therefore will be handing out more cards. However, if the pace is relaxed and leisurely, then you will be spending more time conducting interviews and you will spend less time giving cards to people. We noticed a significant difference at the Reebok both between our first and second days. On the first day, July 2, people were very rushed. Many of them were running in on their lunch hour, or on a break, just to grab their race number and then run out. Many had parked their cars at a 15 minute meter outside and had to rush to get back out. However, the second day was July 3 --- the day before the holiday. And the atmosphere was completely different. People were leisurely. They had either taken the day off, or they didn ’t mind taking a long lunch if they were working, or they had flown or driven to Atlanta from another city in order to run in the race, and they therefore didn’t have any job to go to.
  • Finally, I just want to give you a quick list of things that I think are most critical to remember in order to ensure that your planning and execution are a success.
  • Finally, I just want to give you a quick list of the things I ’ve mentioned that I think are most critical to remember in order to ensure that your planning and execution are a success.
  • Finally, I just want to give you a quick list of things that I think are most critical to remember in order to ensure that your planning and execution are a success.
  • Finally, I just want to give you a quick list of things that I think are most critical to remember in order to ensure that your planning and execution are a success.
  • Transcript

    • 1. HOW TO CONDUCT EXTENDED INTERCEPT SURVEYSA Case Study March 28, 2013
    • 2. TOPICS COVERED method benefit/cost preparation best practices
    • 3. STUDY BACKGROUND
    • 4. Survey Questions
    • 5. INITIAL PLAN: STANDARD MOBILE INTERCEPT
    • 6. ADDITIONAL SURVEY ACCESS CHANNELS
    • 7. ADDITIONAL RESEARCH PARTICIPANTS1. Those who are too busy2. Those who pass while we interview someone else3. Those who enter the booth, but whose paths we don’t cross
    • 8. OUR FIELD TOOLS
    • 9. BENEFITS OF EXTENDED INTERCEPT METHOD• 40% completes derived from poster and index cards• 67% marginal response rate
    • 10. INCREMENTAL COSTS OF POSTERS & CARDSProject Budget $300 $500 $1,000 $15,000 2% 3% 7% $20,000 1.5% 2.5% 5%
    • 11. PREPARATION PROCESS
    • 12. INTERCEPT SURVEY VENUES1. expos2. conferences3. retail4. entertainment/music5. sports
    • 13. CHECKLIST OF CONSIDERATIONS1. Consider size of the space in order to determine the number and size of posters.2. Consider available wall, table and counter space to determine whether you will need wall-fasteners, table stands, or easels for the posters.
    • 14. CHECKLIST OF CONSIDERATIONS3. Consider whether it makes sense to have the survey be centralized in the physical space where it’s being executed, or decentralized and ubiquitous.4. Consider the carrying capacity of visitors in order to determine the size of the index cards.
    • 15. CHECKLIST OF CONSIDERATIONS5. Consider whether your index card will be one of many collateral pieces that people will be carrying with them, and what implications that might have for the design and delivery of the card.
    • 16. CHECKLIST OF CONSIDERATIONS6. Consider how leisurely or rushed people might be in order to determine the number of cards to print.7. Consider any restrictions the venue or facility might have on conducting surveys.
    • 17. THINGS TO REMEMBER• time for designing, printing and shipping posters and cards• budget time to test the survey across platforms• have a table in which to place index cards, iPads or tablets when not being used
    • 18. THINGS TO REMEMBER• have 2 iPad or Android tablets per person to avoid down time when batteries run out• check with the venue for any restrictions that might impact your execution
    • 19. DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?www.surveyanalytics.com www.insightfulalliance.com THANK YOU FOR JOINING US
    • 20. PROGRAMMING THE QUESTIONNAIRE
    • 21. SURVEY QR CODE AND URL

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