MARKET research used to be a simple affair - fieldwork conducted largely by street interviewers, clipboard in hand, hovering on a street corner.
That, however, is the past. These days, research is much more sophisticated – online research has grown phenomenally and new methodologies have made it a key element of any marketing strategy.
Interestingly, the developments have almost mirrored the growth of Dipsticks, a full-service market research agency based in Hexham.
Fiona Raglan, the company’s managing director, would be the first to counter any suggestion that that’s a coincidence. She said: “We started in 1997, working from home in Allendale. It’s such a competitive industry; you need a compelling idea to set yourself apart from other companies. Ours has always been the promise of rapid research at reasonable rates, made possible thanks to our low overheads.”
Another key factor is the company’s willingness to not only embrace new technology, but to pioneer innovative systems. It’s an attitude that has made this Hexham-based company develop the number one online research panel in the world.
“We made a decision in 2005 to develop our online consumer panel, Panelbase.com,” Fiona explains. “It has recently passed 140,000 members, but it isn’t just the size of the panel that is impressive, the quality sets us apart.”
According to Fiona, Panelbase pays better than competitors for the completion of their online questionnaires, it makes its surveys interactive to maintain interest and it doesn’t give respondents more than four to complete in a month.
As well as being ranked first in the world by surveypolice.com, Panelbase has many of the biggest research agencies in the UK, Europe and the US on their books.
“We had a great end of financial year on March 31, our best year ever,” says Fiona. “Despite the advertising industry having been hit hard by recession, we are doing very well.”
If you’d like to know more about how Dipsticks Research can support your business, you can contact Fiona Raglan on 01434 611160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.