Chapter 3: Utilizing Mixed-Mode Methodologies

This is the third chapter of our ongoing blog series on U.S. Hispanic tracking research. 2016 has been a banner year for those in the Hispanic research industry. As awareness of the importance of Hispanic consumers continues to rise among Fortune 1000 and mid-sized businesses, these companies are now seeking actionable insights to help them gain market share among this super consumer. This increased demand for Hispanic market research presents a tremendous opportunity for sample providers looking to provide research companies with high-quality sample. This blog series is aimed at helping sample providers better navigate Hispanic sample requests, specifically those for Hispanic tracking.

As a company that focuses solely on multicultural sample, we know all the headaches that come with providing for such a niche audience. This is further complicated by the nuances that are specific to Hispanic sample such as acculturation, country of origin, and language. More often than not, a bid will come through that looks impossible to do 100% online. I’m here to tell you that it is OK to say “no” to those requests, but with this caveat: Hispanic sample requests are not fully feasible through online panels but are fully feasible online.

Consider online-intercepts.

This sounds old school, but people are out there intercepting respondents in malls, flea markets, and swap meets. To some extent, it’s an outdated technique, but there is now a 21st-century twist. Instead of the interviewers being armed with clipboards and paper (for Gen Z-ers paper is what we had to write with before smartphones…yes, really) they are now equipped with Wi-Fi connected tablets. The experience is no different for the respondent and is as if they took the survey from home.

Some clients may be resistant to the idea of introducing online intercept into the mix when they have traditionally completed their trackers 100% through online panel sample. However, when it comes to Hispanic trackers, for some groups, the mix of panel sample and intercepts gives better representation.

While it’s true Hispanics have overcome the digital divide that was prevalent about a decade ago, increasingly difficult quotas compounded by lower internet penetration among certain Hispanic sub-populations makes online intercept a great option.

Educate your clients on the methodology and confirm upfront quotas. This will alleviate any potentially data quality issues.

Some key things to look out for when thinking about introducing intercept are as follows:

  • Infrastructure – Intercept takes a lot more management hours than online sample. Make sure you have buy-in from your team members regarding added responsibilities as many times you are dealing with multiple facilities. You’ll also need sign-in sheets to track multiple companies, etc.
  • Budget – Intercept is significantly more expensive than online sample, at least 2-3 times the costs. Before you price out intercept, see if your client is willing to pay extra for those completes to make a truly representative Hispanic online sample.
  • Quality tracking – As with any methodology, intercept comes with its unique set of potential data quality issues. Sign-in sheets are the crux of measuring data quality. Having your intercept partners fax or mail sign-in sheets to track daily respondents is essential to the success of the project. You’ll also want to randomly call the respondents to verify basic demographic information to ensure you are speaking to the right people.

Mixed-mode online intercept studies can feel like a heavy lift but with the right team, client buy-in, and a good strategy, mixed-mode can help you deliver on studies that you may have otherwise, turned down in the past.

Track on!