Use a Telephone Depth Interview to Get Insights in a Tight Economy

The telephone depth interview can get you insights and save marketing research money.

Has the tight economy slashed or trimmed your marketing research budget?

Here’s the dilemma. A tight economy is major reason to get current consumer insights and competitive intelligence.

In a tough economy, you need to get current data, information, and knowledge because the slow economy affects your customers and competitors.

It causes not only changes in demand, but often major shifts in buyer behavior and attitudes, and competitor activity. And, that means longer term threats and opportunities.

If your focus groups are on hold or cut, here’s a cost-effective way to get consumer insights and competitive intelligence.

Use the Telephone

10 to 30 telephone interviews can save you tens of thousands of dollars, compared to face-to-face focus groups.

Telephone interviews cost less than focus groups. You don’t have to pay focus group rents, travels, lodging, and meals.

Plus, if you recruit respondents yourself, you don’t need to pay recruiting fees. Use your house list of customers, distributors, dealers, retailers. However recruiting is tedious and time consuming. You may want to consider using a professional respondent recruiter, so you can focus on important actions.

Your cash outlay is respondent incentives, if you pay cash, for consumer research. And your other cost is your time.

If you interview experts, often you can give them a summary report in exchange for a telephone interview. Same when you interview distributors, dealers, and retailers. A summary of your findings can entice experts and people in the channels to agree to a telephone interview.

Save Money

You can hire a professional moderator for depth interviews, if you have budget.

But if budgets are very tight, consider moderating telephone interviews yourself. This will save you money. Weigh the pros and cons and your budget.

Most marketing managers or product managers can conduct a depth interview, with the right techniques and questions.

Make sure you write clear research objectives

Then write out your questions.See how to write qualitative questions.

And write research objectives and questions in a moderator guide – a script with questions you want to ask. A well-written moderator guide makes a telephone depth interview easy.

And keep your studies blind. Don’t reveal the name of your company to respondents to minimize reference bias.

Record the telephone interview with a digital voice recorder – get respondents’ permission because it’s the law in many states.

Get recordings transcribed. Then analyze the data…the verbatim quotes. Look for common patterns and themes across the interviews. They are your insights and knowledge.

If you are a copywriter, product manager, marketing manager, sales manager, advertising manager, research manager, or small business owner, use telephone depth interviews.

Prepare your research objectives, questions, and pick up the phone.

Get Valuable Insights and Knowledge

Best of all, 10 to 30 telephone interviews with customers, prospects, or experts can get you just as much information, knowledge and insights as focus groups.

Here’s why. The interview respondent spends more time talking than a focus group respondent.

On average, each focus group respondent only talks for about 10 minutes in a two-hour focus group. Compare this to a 30-minute one-on-one, telephone depth interview. See the analysis focus groups versus depth interviews.

You can use telephone interviews for several research applications: exploration, competitive intelligence, concept testing, test market, product positioning, channels, and more.

A tight economy is simply not an excuse for not getting consumer insights and competitive intelligence. In fact is a critical time to conduct marketing research because of changes in attitudes, behaviors, and industry structure.

Don’t conduct research and you’ll be in dark, as major economic changes sweep through your industry and product categories.

Decide your research objectives, get your call list, prepare your questions, and start calling…and gain current information, insights and knowledge.

Use the telephone interview if tight budgets cut focus groups.

Also, use telephone interviews to talk to busy experts, executives, and channel personnel, regardless of economy's condition. And gain insight and advantage.

Return to Moderating from depth interview
Return to Home Page