Market Research Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Filed Under: Best Practices, COVID, Market Research


Steve Stallard

Senior Vice President, Quantitative Research

It goes without saying that we are all worried about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)…duh. What will happen in the stock market? How is this going to impact my life, my work, my family? These are the types of questions that are unanswerable today.

So, how do these concerns impact the research we are doing, or considering, right now in this ‘Coronavirus Context? If behaviors and attitudes are affected (which they are), what concerns does this raise in the research we’re doing?

When I think of the research considerations in this context, two major items come to mind:

  1. the target population, and
  2. the research topic/product itself.

As an example, we should give careful consideration if we want to focus on recent purchasers of cleaning or disinfecting products. Research conducted in the past week shows that consumers of organic cleaning products are more likely now to switch to chemically-based solutions during this crisis, reflecting a willingness to use something perceived to be “stronger.” We’ve seen evidence of consumers’ perspectives changing just recently, and they will likely continue to evolve. Other examples include conducting research in certain categories, such as travel, hospitality, etc. It’s probably not a good time to be attempting to measure aspirational intentions in such sectors. Similarly, careful consideration should be given to research focusing on high-end purchases, or retirement..

The examples of scenarios we need to give more consideration to today have grown just compared to last week, and these are only the tip of the iceberg, but I think you get the idea. As researchers, we need to be cognizant of the current realities and how they may impact what we’re measuring and the objectives we’re setting out to achieve. Its important to stay abreast of these situations as they evolve, and consider how they may affect consumers, their attitudes, and the goals of our research.

At C+R, we are being extra diligent by reviewing all of our current and upcoming projects to ensure the current consumer climate won’t have an impact on study results and we’re providing recommendations to clients when we feel there could be an impact. We’re committed to continually providing high quality research to our clients in this time of uncertainty.

For information regarding C+R’s client support or other perspectives on market research during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see our colleagues’ blog posts:

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