Qualitative Methods

We offer all types of marketing and sociological studies, e.g. focus groups, depth interviews, expert interviews and much more.

Some of the methods we use are:

Ethnography is about immersion in the consumer's life, since ethnographic interviews take place at his or her home rather than on the researcher's premises. We see the person in their natural setting, we can better understand their habits and lifestyle, we can see what they eat and drink, what toiletries they use, what medical drugs they take etc. This method would be especially useful to admen and our foreign partners who want to see the real life of the Russian consumer. 

As reality around us is changing, we change along with it, adopting the latest tools that can prove useful in the work we do. One of such tools is online blogs that allow us to observe respondents' life for a certain period of time. Blogs provide us with more than just words on the computer screen; we may also ask consumers to upload their videos and photos so that we could actually see themselves and their setting. And even more importantly, we can have a live discussion with the respondent to explore what we see or learn, no matter where he/she is currently located or what time it is out there. 

Along with the standard Concept Tests, Validata offers Concept Lab, a dynamic and creative process of concept generation that involves consumers, clients and the advertising agency. Concept Lab is ideal for situations when the Client has many (probably too many) ideas for insights, RTB or product offers. Then during the group we team up with consumers to tie various bits together like pieces of puzzle and create ready-to-use concepts.  

Eye-tracking is a method that allows to see advertising / packaging / website / magazine layout with consumers' eyes. Special software and equipment are used to record the activity of the respondent's eyes, with the respondent just sitting back in an armchair. The great thing about this tool is that the respondent doesn't have to use any bulky devices, and the resulting data can be quickly analyzed and graphically rendered.

Our approach to some types of studies:

We employ a semiotic approach to package test: not only do we try to find out what resonates with consumers but also what connection it has with the codes and symbols existing in the local culture and the category. When testing packaging, we use "shelf mockup" exercises, various techniques to explore spontaneous reactions, and also look out for participants' nonverbal communication. The eye-tracking method can also be used for package tests.  

We love U&A studies because they help us understand the real life of consumers. To make the most of this method, we go beyond standard group discussions as we try to dive into consumer's life: we ask consumers to complete diaries and blogs, to write essays about their relationship with a brand or product, we go shopping with them to see with our own eyes how they choose different products, and even create supermarket or pharmacy shelves to test them during the groups.  
Insight exploration implies a deep dive in the consumers' world and their minds. There are various methods to do it effectively, for example "Deep dive", semantic mapping, laddering, conflicting collages etc.

Concept test always is a creative process. We use both projective exercises and techniques that visually reflect what consumers have chosen and how far behind the leader has left the losers. We always try to finetune the wording together with consumers to create concepts that our Client would be able to use right away.    

We have a vast experience of conducting Brand Health Studies and Brand Equity Studies, in particular for umbrella brands. We have conducted such studies both in Russia and other countries, some of them lasted for several years, which allowed us to track changes in the perceptions and image of the brand and reflect our findings in the report. This kind of studies are probably impossible to carry out without additional techniques, that's why we actively use projective exercises and techniques used for insight exploration.    

When testing advertising, we watch out for spontaneous reactions using special techniques to gauge them. At the same time we realize that the devil is in the detail (such as claims and slogans, print layouts, understandability of storyline in TV advertising etc.), so we thoroughly check each. We use special methods to check memorability and uniqueness of advertising.  When testing prints, we can use the eye-tracking method that allows to see what elements the respondent's eyes spontaneously stop on.

It is impossible to understand what people need without understanding these people and their values.  Lifestyle studies are indispensable here, and we have a considerable experience of conducting this type of studies. We explored aspirations of metropolitan trendsetters and values of country dwellers; we delved into the world of a modern woman and kids' life. Of course, we use a variety of exercises and techniques to make the most of these studies, the most valuable being ethnographic methods and friendship groups/ dyads.

Quantitative Methods

We can help businesses address various marketing challenges they face at different stages of the product lifecycle.

Our areas of expertise are:

  • U&A studies
  • Consumer segmentation and strategic positioning analysis (in addition to U&A or as an independent study)
 
What are our strengths that you will benefit from? 
  • We have a vast experience of conducting U&A and segmentation studies in a wide range of categories (from baby care products to sports equipment)
  • We use a variety of statistical methods to identify market trends and situations with maximum precision  
  • Our team is always ready to offer a customized solution to the most unconventional tasks   
 
As a result of the study you'll learn more about...
  • The category: its penetration, consumer needs, choice drivers and barriers, consumption occasions and consumer's perspective on sub-categories 
  • The brand in competitive environment: brand awareness, image, use, its position and prospects, its perception by consumers in terms of needs, drivers, barriers and occasions 
  • Consumers: consumer portraits, primary and secondary audiences 
 
  • Product tests
  • Package tests
  • Positioning tests and advertising pre-tests (concepts, animatics, ready  reels)
  • Tests of names, slogans and logos 
  • Price studies
 
What are our strengths that you will benefit from? 
  • We know which metrics are suitable for each category 
  • We strictly follow the methods and protocol of the tests  
  • We know how to create ideal conditions for product storage and presentation 
  • You can rely on us when it comes to purchase and logistics of the tested products  
 
As a result of the study... 
  • We will provide our recommendations on which options have the greatest potential for further use 
  • We will substantiate our recommendations by showing which aspects   contribute to their superiority 
  • We will indicate elements or characteristics that need improvement 
 
  • Separate campaigns or long-term tracking studies 
  • Advertising post-tests
 
What are our strengths that you will benefit from? 
  • We are sure that you can't measure all campaigns by the same yardstick. This is why initially we choose the survey method depending on specifics on the particular campaign, i.e. channels and placement, volume, target audience etc. 
  • But once the method has been chosen we stick to it and ensure that the same tools are used for each wave  
 
As a result of the study we will tell you about... 
  • The effect the campaign has had; we will also monitor the dynamics if it is a long-term tracking study
  • Which channels proved to work better than others and how the next campaign can be improved 
  • We can combine the traditional approach and social media monitoring, adding another dimension to the results 
 
What are our strengths that you will benefit from? 
  • We know that for each category there is the most relevant method of measurement. This is why we will offer you a custom approach based on your background, market share, objectives and tasks 
  • We are perfectly aware of what data comparability is all about, that's why  the same method is used across all waves 
  • At the same time we realize that businesses face new challenges all the time, that's why we know how to be flexible and complement an established study with new tools to answer new questions 
 
As a result of the study... 
  • We will tell you more about brand's position in competitive environment: how well-known it is, how it is used, what image it has 
  • We will gauge dynamics of all parameters and try to interpret changes in brand health in the context of the market environment 
What are our strengths that you will benefit from? 
  • We have an extensive experience in identifying drivers of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, fundamental loyalty factors, as well as exploration of touchpoints and evaluation of interactions in them 
 
As a result of the study... 
  • We will tell you more about the relation between the overall experience that your client has when working with you and various aspects of your business; also, we will identify the key touchpoints   
  • For every driver and factor, we will show your position in the competitive context and compare results for individual departments within your company 
 

We use the following data collection methods:

Highlights: This method is more representative than others and helps minimize errors related to interviewer's work  

 

Advantages:

  • Relatively low cost 
  • It is possible to control and adjust data collection in real time (from  changing the interview scenario to replacing operators)
  • The method prevents errors related to questionnaire logic (because questionnaires are programmed)

 

Limitations:

  • Questionnaire should be relatively short (max. 20 minutes)
  • Using stimuli (photos, videos etc.) is impossible 
Highlights: At least half of Russians go online at least once a day to communicate, search for information, do their shopping and lots of other things. Some of them actually live online; so this is the place to interview them.
 
Advantages:
  • One of the most time- and money-saving methods 
  • It is possible to test images, videos, conduct click tests  
  • It is possible to measure answer times 
  • Real-time control of data, including export of data and answer distribution at any moment during the survey  
  • Programming of complicated logic in conjoint analysis
 
Limitations:
  • Difficult to implement for some target groups (older age groups,  subject-matter experts, patients suffering from serious diseases etc.)

Highlights: This is still the most customary way to gather information. Presence of interviewer can motivate respondent to complete even a very long interview. This method will help to reach the most difficult audiences 

 

Advantages:

  • Allows to test images and videos, conduct click tests
  • Allows to conduct product tests of any complexity and to test any stimuli  
  • Allows to reach difficult  target audiences
  • The client can attend fieldwork in real time

 

Limitations:

  • Higher costs as compared to CATI and online
  • It is not always possible to control all aspects of recruitment and interviewing, but we make this our priority to ensure the highest quality of fieldwork  

 

Depending on your objectives, tasks and budget, we can conduct face-to-face interviews using the PAPI (Pen and Paper Interviewing) method or links/programs on tablets/PCs;  our recruitment methods include random recruiting (using routes sheets), intercept (e.g. in points of sale), pre-recruit (inviting them to hall tests or conducting in-home interviews)

Highlights: A hall test is practically the same as face-to-face interviews but with an extra benefit of control over the setting and protocol. We can immerse the respondent in the environment you need and guarantee that we will strictly follow your specifications 
 
Advantages:
  • The setting/arrangements/protocol are the same for all interviews 
  • Better control of adherence to methodology and order of sample  demonstration compared to standard face-to-face interviews 
 
Limitations:
  • Higher costs as compared to face-to-face interviews because we need to rent premises for the test and it is frequently necessary to pre-recruit respondents 
Highlights: You get an opportunity to see your service through the customer's eyes and  hands-on experience with all potential controversial situations that may come up at any stage of the business-client communication 
 
Advantages:
  • You get more objective information because "respondents" are not aware that they are involved in a market research study  
  • The method can be used in a variety of industries 
 
Limitations:
  • Higher costs as compared to CATI and online
  • Fieldwork takes more time