Archive for the ‘Online Survey’ Category

Archive for the ‘Online Survey’ Category

How much data do I need for my research project?

This is a common question we get asked, and one that needs careful consideration because talking to the right number of people or getting a significant number of people to answer your survey is vital to the statistical reliability of your research.

But how do you know how many respondents are enough? How big does a sample need to be in order to accurately reflect the attitudes / opinions of a population / the group of people who you want to understand?

Firstly, it is vital to establish who your population is: if you were doing an all-inclusive employee survey – this would be the entire workforce. If you wanted to find out how and why people use public parks in a particular city, your population would be the number of residents of that specific city.

Once you have figured out your population size, the next step is to consider how certain you need to be that the answers you collect reflect the views of the population as a whole.

In all of our surveys, we specifically consider statistical reliability of the sample size and use confidence levels and intervals.

‘Confidence interval’ is the plus-or-minus figure usually reported in newspaper or television opinion poll results. For example, if you use a confidence interval of 4 and 47% percent of your sample picks an answer you can be “sure” that if you had asked the question of the entire relevant population between 43% (47% – 4%) and 51% (47% + 4%) would have picked that answer.

The ‘confidence level’ is the likelihood of the sample accurately reflecting your population. A 95% confidence level means that if you were to repeat a sample of the same population you would get the same results 95% of the time – This is the most commonly used confidence level and if used, you can therefore say you are 95% certain (plus or minus the confidence level, as above) that the results are true of your whole population.

So how big does the data sample need to be?

This handy little table shows you a rough guide:

Sample size table

As you can see the calculation is not proportionally linear and there is a point when populations in excess of one million will generate the same sample size. At Mackman, we make certain you have the correct sample size for your research, so if you have a research project you would like to discuss, please get in touch.

New MRS Code of Conduct

The Market Research Society (MRS) has launched and updated a new edition of their Code of Conduct, which will come in to effect on 1st September 2014, and is relevant for market, social and opinion research. The Code is significant to the research industry because it underpins ethical research, best practice guidance, legal instruction and ‘exists to protect the entire research supply chain’. With the fast revolutionising research market facing questions about the collection and use of personal data, the MRS Code of Conduct is crucial in helping to protect and regulate first-rate research practice. This gives everyone concerned greater assurance in research from the research providers who adhere to the Code, through to buyers and research participants.

Jane Frost, the Chief Executive of MRS, has said: “The UK research sector is worth more than £3bn and it’s growing. The emergence of massive datasets and the public’s concern around privacy are just two examples of challenges to the sector that didn’t exist ten years ago, let alone sixty. The updated Code is the bedrock on which this sector will continue to flourish - it ensures that research is legal, ethical and transparent, and that is critical to customer and consumer trust.”

Our research director, Gemma Mackman, is a member of the MRS and thus all research carried out by Mackman Research , whether business to business, social, online, telephone, qualitative or quantitative, is executed in accordance with with the rules and regulations.

Our researchers also conform to the Code and follow strict procedures. We are always direct with our introductions when conducting research on behalf of our clients and offer an explanation as to why we are conducting the research. All responses are collected in a strictly confidential manner and in such instance both clients and participants remain anonymous throughout and breaches of confidence do not occur under any circumstances.

 

CIM National Excellence Award Winners

CIM National Excellence Award Winners

It’s been a good week at Mackman. Not only are we celebrating our 10th Anniversary this month, but we were awarded the Marketing Excellence Award in the Education Category at the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s (CIM) national awards ceremony.We were one of just 23 winners, selected from hundreds of entries, and accepted our award from comedian, Jimmy Carr.

We won the award after submitting the work we undertook on behalf of Harlow College. The integrated campaign was designed to raise awareness around the number one status at the College and began with two perception surveys with prospective students and parents of students. The results were used to inform some creative designs; developing new posters, video and a microsite, as well as a PR campaign.

Paul Mackman, director, said, “This has been the perfect start to our tenth year in business. We’re delighted as this project encapsulates the spirit of how our specialists work closely with clients to produce integrated campaigns that provide return on investment. Considering the scale and intense level of competition associated with the CIM awards, we’re glad to have done Sudbury proud.”

A targeted and strategic approach enabled our research, planning, communications, design and web development teams to create compelling campaign that achieved significant return on investment.

Simon Boyce, head of marketing at Harlow College, said, “Mackman’s comprehensive campaign delivered huge results for us. Winning the award verifies the standard of their work and passion for what they do. They worked closely with our in-house team and delivered a thoughtful campaign that produced a very positive response.”

Learn more about the project that won us the award, by taking a look at the Harlow College Case Study.

Customer Satisfaction Survey – Mixed Methodology

Background

Specflue is the UK’s number one supplier of flue, chimney and renewable energy solutions, based in Sudbury Suffolk and Honiton, Devon. The business was founded in 1992 as an independent company, with the guiding principles of innovation, the provision of top class products and outstanding service. These elements allowed Specflue to grow into a leader in its sector.

Mackman Research was commissioned to conduct a benchmark customer satisfaction survey on behalf of Specflue. The study was carried out to help Specflue improve the overall quality of customer service. The aim was to gain more insight into current service levels, identifying strengths and weaknesses to help Specflue implement changes to foster competitive advantage and ascertain future development requirements to enable them to further grow their business.

Approach

In collaboration with Specflue managers, Mackman Research designed a questionnaire based on the objectives, to help assess and measure the level of customer service provision across different commercial sectors and all areas of their day-to-day business. Clients were invited by a letter from the National Sales Manager of Specflue to take part in the survey. Specflue provided a large contacts database containing information which was subsequently used to subdivide data by business area and location.

Specflue provided individual contact details. Survey participation was in the form of a telephone interview, lasting approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. In addition, customers who were unobtainable by telephone and had a valid email address supplied, were invited to take part through an online version of the survey. The survey consisted of closed questions and open questions. Numerous attempts were made to book a convenient time to conduct the survey with as many contacts as possible in the six week time scale.

Results

From Specflue’s customer population, the research achieved a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/- 5.49%.

There was a positive response to Specflue’s customer satisfaction survey with a higher number of contributors than estimated in the set timescale. Mackman Research achieved 25% above the target response rate. It is very clear that Specflue have a loyal customer base who trade with them because of the quality of service they receive. The overall results for Specflue demonstrate excellent levels of service for their industry sector and highlighted areas where further improvement can be made. Mackman Research identified a number of key areas for development and recommended activities to influence customer satisfaction going forward. The study also informed Specflue about potential future developments for the business and provided competitor information.

Specflue

Customer satisfaction survey for flue and chimney specialists

Specflue

Mackman Research is delighted to have worked with Sudbury based Specflue to complete a bench mark customer satisfaction survey. The study took part at the end of the summer and was commissioned by Specflue to understand and improve the overall quality of customer services at the company. Mackman Research designed a questionnaire on behalf of the company, to help assess and measure the level of customer service provision.

To achieve the highest response rate possible, we used a mixed methodology. Primarily a telephone survey combined with the support of an online survey. There was an encouraging response to the survey and in the six week calling period our researchers achieved 25% more than the target number of responses. Specflue project manager, Maria Marston-Fuller said, “In our initial meetings Mackman showed that they understood our business and what we were trying to achieve. As a company we had never outsourced our customer satisfaction surveys before and wanted to ensure we got it right. We felt confident that Mackman would help us achieve this. I also liked the thought of working with a local company; having a company close to hand in case of any issues. I would not hesitate to work with Mackman again.”

If you are thinking about conducting a customer satisfaction survey, please contact us at customerservice@mackmangroup.co.uk or telephone 01787 3788038

Customer Research – Mixed Methodology

Background

Mackman Research was commissioned by Eastern IFCA to conduct a benchmark awareness survey to understand stakeholder awareness and engagement, across Eastern IFCAís three counties (Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk). In particular, assessing the role that Eastern IFCA has in the coastal community and measuring the level of understanding for Eastern IFCAís change of emphasis towards sustainability as well as their requirement to balance social and economic benefits of sea fisheries against exploitation. Eastern IFCA needed the research to inform them about how well they are doing to meet these objectives, and also to identify where they need to target their engagement activities in the future. They also wanted the research to create a set of bench mark measurements against which Eastern IFCA can show progress.

Approach

To achieve the highest response rate possible, Mackman Research used a mixed approach using a combination of an online survey (by email), telephone survey and face to face interviews for the more difficult to reach populations. Within each main stakeholders group we identified sub-user groups which shared the same attributes and characteristics of the key stakeholder group. Because of this, we recommended the project employ a random stratified methodology. All surveys were anonymous and respondents were notified of this.

Each sub-group were contacted by an email address (if supplied) and by telephone if a number was available. The online survey was ëliveí over the course of two and a half weeks. During this time, three reminder emails were sent. Telephone contacts were sent a letter from Eastern IFCA informing them of the awareness survey and that a researcher from Mackman would be calling. The telephone survey lasted approximately six minutes with a Mackman researcher. Several respondents asked for the survey to be emailed and were sent a ëliveí link to the online version of the questionnaire. The face to face interviews took place over two days. The fieldwork crucially needed to consider the weather and the tides. Fieldwork took place in Southwold / Aldeburgh and the North Norfolk stretch of coastline between Cley next the Sea and Cromer, respectively. A paper version of the survey was used to question members of the public at all of these locations. Participation was monitored and when one group was found to have a low response rate, more contacts from this grouping where sought.

219 respondents completed the online and telephone survey, achieving a confidence level of 95% and a confidence interval of +/-6.6%, from a population of 528. In addition to this, 64 face to face qualitative interviews were conducted during the fieldwork stage

Results

The awareness research has been valuable to Eastern IFCA and assisted the government organisation in targeting their future engagement activities. To help Eastern IFCA accomplish this, Mackman Research considered the coastal users' level of understanding and ratings for Eastern IFCA priorities. The research identified areas for improved communication and the importance of reaching out to hard to reach populations. The investigation has also helped Eastern IFCA think about their broader marketing and how how they can expand their current offering to members of the public and the fishing community.

 

 

 

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

Eastern IFCA survey screen example

 

 

 

 

 

International Customer Satisfaction – Online Survey

Background

Mackman Research has worked with Twinings to conduct an international online survey for six consecutive years. The annual survey is centred on Twining’s clients’ customer satisfaction and knowledge of customer services. The survey measures the overall satisfaction levels of customers and their experience of dealing with Twining’s’ International Customer Services. The on-line survey method is used to survey Twining’s clients in 70 countries worldwide.

Approach

The questionnaire has been amended and improved year on year to reflect changes in the company and to take in to account the preceding year’s results.

Mackman Research was supplied with a copy of the Twinings’ customer contact database and all customer contacts were emailed and invited to take part in the on-line survey. The on-line survey was “live” over the course of two weeks and a one week extension was agreed, when a low response rate was documented after two weeks. In specific cases, a faxed copy of the questionnaire was used to make certain a response was gathered.

Results

The comparative data demonstrates levels of satisfaction over a twelve-monthly period and the results are cross tabulated to show differences between product and market. The results of the international customer services satisfaction survey continue to help support and monitor improvement to Twinings customer services, coinciding with an important time in their business strategy. We provide a PowerPoint presentation version of the results in addition to the standard comprehensive report.


Mackman Research support No. 1 campaign for Harlow College

What does No.1 mean to you?

Word Cloud: What does No.1 mean to you?

We’re delighted to announce that we have recently joined forces with Harlow College in Essex. Harlow College has been undergoing a transformation in recent years and has now achieved the prestigious status of 'number one college in England' based on their outstanding results.

The college commissioned Mackman to develop a tactical marketing campaign to help change perceptions of Harlow College and raise awareness of their success. Mackman Research conducted two perception surveys for the initial stages of the campaign with prospective students and parents. In turn, Mackman Marketing and creative teams used the results to inform their creative design; developing new posters, video and a microsite, as well as a PR campaign.

In the first case Mackman Research designed a student survey for Year 10 students who will be completing their GCSE’s next year and starting to make decisions about what step to take next after their exams. Copies of the five page paper survey containing tick box options and boxes for open ended responses were handed out to pupils at a local school which has a high proportion of students attending nearby Harlow College every year. The students completed a paper copy of the survey and the responses were inputted in to a database and collated by Mackman researchers.

In a bid to capture parent views and perceptions of Harlow College, a second survey with equivalent questions was designed for respective parents of students at the same school. This allowed for easy comparison between the two populations. The participating school emailed parents inviting them to take part in an online version of the perception survey which was ‘live’ for six days.

The Harlow Colllege number 1 campaign has been an exciting group effort for Mackman, with the team working in collaboration to produce something that students and parents will respond to.

Client Lead, Sara Cullis says ‘It’s great to be working with the number one college in England on a truly integrated campaign. We’ve done the research and created an exciting campaign around its results that will aim not only at students but at parents and stakeholders too’.

The microsite can be viewed at: http://www.harlowcollegeno1.org/

Moving on up…

Mackman Group new office, Sudbury, Suffolk

Mackman Group new office, Sudbury, Suffolk

With the Mackman team continually growing as demand for business increases, the company is moving into a bigger office. The company has acquired a new building in Sudbury, just down the road from the current premises.

The design and technical departments have moved into the new building already, with the marketing, research and publicity teams moving down later in the year. Being a bunch of creatives, everyone has plenty of ideas as to how the new space can be decorated!

This exciting news marks an important step forward for the Group as its steady and significant growth has enabled this move. The new building has plenty of office space, multiple meeting rooms, on site parking and a rose-filled outside space. Watch this space for news of a 'House Warming' party in the New Year!

Mackman Research Success

We've raised a cuppa in celebration to a job well done after successfully completing a research project for tea giant Twinings for the fifth year running.

Mackman Research, based in Station Rd, Sudbury, interviewed key international wholesale buyers on behalf of Twinings. The survey measured overall satisfaction levels of customers and their experience of dealing with Twinings’ international customer services. Questions were based around customer satisfaction and perceptions of Twinings’ international customer services. As well as offering a prize incentive, Twinings donated money to Save the Children for each completed questionnaire.

Twinings’ international customer services manager, Sharlene Moffitt, praised the work of Mackman Research and said, 'Mackman has worked professionally at all times, enabling clear presentation of the results to identify key trends and areas for growth and improvement of the Customer Services team now and in the future.' She added the work had 'proved to be an invaluable tool for helping Twinings shape the future of the Customer Services we deliver.'

Starting life as a small, family firm, Mackman Research is recognised nationally as a research leader, specialising in creating and undertaking customer satisfaction surveys for ‘top end’ clients. Experts at the firm devised the methodology, designed the questionnaire, built a secure web portal to collect the data, analysed the information and provided a findings report. Twinings will use the findings to inform their decisions and company practise.

Gemma Mackman, Research Director of Mackman Research, part of Mackman Group, says, 'We are really proud to include Twinings in our list of clients and enjoy working with Sharlene and her team.'

Gemma added, 'Customer service is high on people’s agendas because it is a key way to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. Leading firms are using surveys like this as part of their growth strategy and they want to outsource to a specialist.'


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