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The SME finance monitor: The de facto authority on access to finance conditions in the UK
Shiona Davies and Caroline Ahmed, MRS Awards, Finalist, MRS Awards, December 2013
This article describes the development of the SME Finance Monitor, a measure of UK business access to credit produced by BDRC Continental.
This article describes the development of the SME Finance Monitor, a measure of UK business access to credit produced by BDRC Continental. The monitor uses telephone interviews with SME business owners and financial decision makers to understand finance applications, success, and appetite for growth. Quality is ensured by reviewing the questions asked regularly, checking data meticulously, and maintaining the independence of the report. The report has impacted on government policy, and informed the public and academic debates on issues surrounding business finance.
Coverage error in internet surveys: can fixed phones fix it?
Paula Vicente and Elizabeth Reis, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 54, No. 3, 2012, pp. 323-345
The internet is increasingly being used for cross-sectional surveys and online panels. Although internet accessibility is growing across developed and developing countries, it seems unlikely that the internet alone will ever provide complete coverage of the general population.
The internet is increasingly being used for cross-sectional surveys and online panels. Although internet accessibility is growing across developed and developing countries, it seems unlikely that the internet alone will ever provide complete coverage of the general population. Given the incomplete coverage and imbalanced penetration rate of the internet across segments of the population, it is pertinent both for survey companies and academics to assess the potential of mixing the internet with other survey modes as part of a strategy to assure validity of inferential samples when surveying general populations. The purpose of this research was to evaluate to what extent coverage error in internet surveys can be reduced by surveying the offline population via telephone. We use data from Eurobarometer collected in the EU27 member states to simulate first an internet-based survey and then a mixed-mode survey combining the internet with the telephone. Comparisons are made to identify differences in the socio-demographic characteristics of internet households and those of non-internet households with telephone. Coverage error is also estimated in each survey design. Findings reveal significant socio-demographic differences and although the coverage error is reduced in the mixed-mode survey design, it cannot be completely eliminated. Moreover, the outcomes are not homogeneous across countries.
The growing efficacy of telephone political canvassing at the 2005 and 2010 British general elections
Charles Pattie and Ron Johnston, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 54, No. 1, 2012, pp. 49-70
Partly in response to declining local party memberships, and partly as a feature of the growing modernisation and centralisation of constituency campaigns, Britain's major political parties have in recent elections turned to telephone canvassing methods to contact voters.
Partly in response to declining local party memberships, and partly as a feature of the growing modernisation and centralisation of constituency campaigns, Britain's major political parties have in recent elections turned to telephone canvassing methods to contact voters. This is despite a body of research on the efficacy of different methods of contacting citizens, which suggests that telephone contacts are much less effective in mobilising voters than face-to-face methods of canvassing. But there are grounds for believing that telephone canvassing now has a more substantial impact than previously suspected, implying that it may yet have an important role in modern campaigning. The paper therefore looks at the impact of telephone canvassing on party support during the 2005 and 2010 British general elections.
Estimating nonresponse bias and mode effects in a mixed-mode survey
Peter Lugtig, Gerty J.L.M. Lensvelt-Mulders, Remco Frerichs and Assyn Greven, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 53, No. 5, 2011, pp. 669-686
In mixed-mode surveys, it is difficult to separate sample selection differences from mode-effects that can occur when respondents respond in different interview settings.
In mixed-mode surveys, it is difficult to separate sample selection differences from mode-effects that can occur when respondents respond in different interview settings. This paper provides a framework for separating mode effects from selection effects by matching very similar respondents from different survey modes using propensity score matching. The answer patterns of the matched respondents are subsequently compared. We show that matching can explain differences in non-response and coverage in two Internet samples. When we repeat this procedure for a telephone and Internet sample however, differences persist between the samples after matching. This indicates the occurrence of mode effects in telephone and Internet surveys. Mode effects can be problematic; hence we conclude with a discussion of designs that can be used to explicitly study mode effects.
A new representative standard for online research: Conquering the challenge of the dirty little "r" word.
Steven H. Gittelman, Elaine Trimarchi and Bob Fawson, ARF Experiential Learning, Re:Think conference, 2011
As a result of rising popularity, qualitative researchers sourcing respondents online are using an increasingly congested resource.
As a result of rising popularity, qualitative researchers sourcing respondents online are using an increasingly congested resource. A suggested solution is to use scientific source blending to a new standard. Respondents need to be behaviourally pre-profiled and classified by segmentations distributed according to a demographic/behavioural standard. The distribution is conducted across three general segments – buying behaviour, socio-graphics and media – and seven market segments. A questionnaire geared to measure sample source change has been translated into 35 languages for global use. Telephone and online (river, social network and opt-in panel) sources are preferred. The authors demonstrate this standard against other prominent sampling methods in this paper.
Ethics in practice: using compliance techniques to boost telephone response rates
David H.B. Bednall, Stewart Adam and Katrine Plocinski, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 52, No. 2, 2010, pp. 155-168
Survey researchers face declining response rates, due to lower contactability and more selective cooperation by potential respondents.
Survey researchers face declining response rates, due to lower contactability and more selective cooperation by potential respondents. Commercial market research companies are under even greater pressure than academic researchers as most commercial surveys do not have high social status. Several persuasion techniques to enhance cooperation have been used in academic surveys, though some of them might be considered unethical. Given the commercial pressures of time and cost, this study investigated the extent to which market research companies favoured these persuasion techniques. A survey of fieldwork managers in companies operating in Australia was conducted, along with qualitative research. It was found that some techniques were unacceptable as they threatened long-term relationships with the public, some were impractical and others were useful, but not for all surveys.
Election forecasting: Development of the Constant Sum Scale to be used in telephone surveys
Mathew Packaral, Phil Harris and Chris Rudd, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 51, No. 6, 2009, pp. 735-750
The Constant Sum Scale has been successfully tested to forecast election results in face-to-face surveys.
The Constant Sum Scale has been successfully tested to forecast election results in face-to-face surveys. As political polls are carried out using telephone surveys, there was a need to test the scale for use in telephone surveys. In this study the Constant Sum Scale was tested for implementation in a telephone survey. The study was carried out during an election that used the single transferable voting system, and the Constant Sum Scale was utilised to forecast the election outcome. The validation against the election results showed that the Constant Sum Scale was successful in ranking the candidates in the order they prevailed in the final electoral result. Respondents' understanding, based on the judgements given by interviewers, was at a satisfactory level. The overall results suggest that the Constant Sum Scale can be implemented effectively in telephone surveys and is recommended for telephone polling of voters.
Insights vs findings: lessons learned from the trenches
Marsha E. Williams, ESOMAR, Consumer Insights Conference, Milan, May 2007
How does one differentiate between findings and insights? Can it be concluded for research in the private sector that the principle difference between findings and insights is one's ability to translate the learning into revenue? Findings are often nice to know; insights should be considered need to know.
How does one differentiate between findings and insights? Can it be concluded for research in the private sector that the principle difference between findings and insights is one's ability to translate the learning into revenue? Findings are often nice to know; insights should be considered need to know. All insights are findings, but not all findings are insights. The case studies reviewed in this paper illustrate these distinctions in real business contexts.
The usefulness of the Basic Question - procedure for determining nonresponse bias in substantive variables: a test of four telephone questionnaires
Henk van Goor and Annemiek van Goor, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 49, No. 2, 2007, pp. 221-236
The Basic Question Procedure (BQP) is a method for determining non-response bias. The BQP involves asking one basic question – that is, the question relating to the central substantive variable of the study – of those persons who refuse toparticipate in the survey.
The Basic Question Procedure (BQP) is a method for determining non-response bias. The BQP involves asking one basic question – that is, the question relating to the central substantive variable of the study – of those persons who refuse toparticipate in the survey. We studied the usefulness of this method in four telephone surveys by comparing it with the results obtained in ‘refusal conversion’ studies. (1) Does the BQP enable us to collect information on the central substantive variable of a study from a larger number of non-respondents than we can collect with the ‘refusal conversion’ procedure? (2) Do respondents and refusers differ in their answers to the basic question? The answer to both questions is affirmative. Using the BQP, we can interview at least as many, but often more refusers than in refusal conversion studies. Moreover, respondents and refusers differed in their answers to the basic question. In particular, refusers answered more often ‘don’t know’ or ‘no opinion’.
The effect of introductions on telephone survey participation rates
Zane Kearns, Susan Benson and Mike Brennan, International Journal of Market Research, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2005, pp. 65-74
This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the effects of telephone survey introductions on survey participation rates.
This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the effects of telephone survey introductions on survey participation rates. Four introduction elements were tested: an incentive (prize draw for a weekend holiday); an assurance that the survey was not a sales pitch; an assurance of confidentiality; and a short versus longer description of the survey topic. Overall, only the incentive significantly increased the participation rate. In combination, the best result, and the only one to achieve a significantly higher participation rate than the control (64% compared to 54%), was the use of the incentive coupled with a ‘no-sales’ assurance. The use of the incentive did not appear to encourage people to lie about their eligibility as a respondent. Replication studies are urged, to test these and other previously reported techniques for increasing participation rates in telephone surveys.
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