All articles from
Anne-Marie David
What is your number?

At Ad Hoc Research, we conduct groups in sizes ranging anywhere from pairs to 8 individuals, depending on specific project objectives. In some rare, specific instances, we would even work with 9 or 10. The most common group size with our client base is 6 to 8.

The research industry as a whole seems to be gravitating toward fewer rather than more participants per group. We believe this traces back to clients seeking to maximize the amount of content covered in each qualitative project in a context where research spending is closely monitored.

Therefore, we can highlight three factors to keep in mind while making that decision:

  1. Quantity of subject matter to cover is a primary criterion for establishing ideal group size.
  2. Participant profile is another key factor: for example, business people, moms with infants, or customers of a given service provider are audiences who are often very keen to expressing their opinions and therefore require more individual ‘air time’.
  3. Topic area is third factor to consider. Smaller groups - and even individual interviews - are advisable for more complex or sensitive topics.
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Local Schmocal?

Categories : News
Local Schmocal?

Every time I’ve tested products, services or brands in focus groups in recent years, participants have stressed the importance of local products*.

In qualitative research, local companies, brands or products are often preferred over others, and the reasons for gravitating towards these are legion…

  1. Higher quality perception: For example, fruits and vegetables are considered fresher; and Canadian regulations for several types of products (e.g. meats, electronics) are considered stricter than those in our neighbouring countries;
  2. Stimulating the local economy or supporting local producers and artists;
  3. National or regional pride;
  4. For some types of products - clothes, for example - consumers will argue that Canada offers better working conditions to labourers, which they want to support;
  5. Other consumers get their green on, arguing that local products are more environmentally friendly, since they travel smaller distances;
  6. A sense of uniqueness: For example, locally-made clothing is usually created on a much smaller scale than mass-produced items;
  7. Local manufacturers are claimed to be more aware of local needs: Just think of anything that needs to resist our harsh Canadian winters.

It’s very interesting to hear the arguments for local products flow abundantly, but do consumers put their money where their mouth is?

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For the better part of a decade, I was a tracking study specialist. Some clients thought Customer-Service was my last name and others were surprised to find out I also did other types of studies, even qualitative ones.

One such client was a small bank which surpassed its early expectations so much that they decided to expand and branch out, and they started buying insurance companies left and right, going outside their fields of expertise to diversify their assets.

Tracking studies helped them improve the service and their product offerings in some sectors while assessing what wasn’t working. Customer satisfaction trackings with existing customers, new clients and former consumers being treated and surveyed equally let them improve the parts of the business that clients - the brand’s source of income and profit - were witnesses to. This gave the head honchos enough time to convene, analyse the data and cross-reference it with their internal accounting, and take the required amount of time to turn their ship around and figure out which assets to keep and which didn’t fit their business model as well as they’d initially thought.

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Jamais sans mes Air Miles!

Categories : News
Jamais sans mes Air Miles!

Avez-vous déjà compté le nombre de cartes de programmes de fidélisation qui dorment tout au fond de votre portefeuille? J’ai fait l’exercice et voici ce que j’y ai trouvé : des cartes de magasins de vêtements (American Eagle, Dynamite, etc. de pharmacies (Jean Coutu), de restaurants et cafés (David’s Tea, Starbucks, etc.) ainsi que d’innombrables déclinaisons de cartes de crédit permettant de cumuler des points. Au total, plus d’une dizaine de cartes, la plupart rarement utilisées voire carrément oubliées.

Ce rapide décompte démontre ce que tout un chacun a pu remarquer au cours des dernières années : les programmes de fidélisation sont omniprésents! C’est notamment le cas dans les chaînes de supermarchés. Ainsi, Metro vous envoie un chèque-récompenses mensuel, IGA vous octroie des AirMiles alors que Loblaws, Provigo et Maxi vous font des offres personnalisées sur la base de vos achats. Les bénéfices pour les clients sont évidents puisqu’ils obtiennent, à terme, des gratuités et des rabais sans changer, du moins en apparence, leurs habitudes d’achat.

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What you always wanted to know about online reporting without ever asking

So you want to jump onboard the online reporting trend, but don’t know where to start?  At Ad Hoc Research, we’ve been fortunate enough to get in on the trend rather early.  In fact, after two years of intensively using an online reporting and dashboarding tool, my colleagues and I have come to the conclusion that succeeding at online reporting in market research takes the perfect combination of client, project, time and money! 

Before making the leap, here are four questions you should ask yourself:

(1). Is this really what my client wants?

The benefits of online reporting are great - the capacity to analyse large quantities of data according to personalised needs in a visually appealing way - however, a client that is not comfortable with technology or that wants their supplier to analyse the data for them may be frustrated with online reporting.  Yes, it sounds sexy to say your reporting is going online, but at the end of the day, it needs to fit the client’s needs.  Ideally, your client is technologically forward, a staunch believer in “D-I-T” (Doing-It-Themselves) and needs to drill-down data.

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