Marketing Research Methodologies


In The DRG’s Client Satisfaction Survey, over 90% strongly agree we are a partner that:

  • Delivers high-quality information
  • Can be counted on to complete projects on time and on budget
  • They are likely to use again in the future

Additional qualitative methodologies The DRG has experience with include:

  • Online Focus Groups
  • Online Discussion Boards
  • Central Location Tests
  • In-Home Use Tests
  • Ethnography

Gathering Information to Meet Research Objectives

With 40 years’ experience, The DRG consults with you on the most effective methodology for your specific needs, while also considering your business, industry, and market. The ideal methodology is less about cost and timing (though these are also considered) and more about how to best achieve your research objectives. Whether it’s a small, one-time qualitative project or a large-scale quantitative tracking study, The DRG offers full-service capabilities including questionnaire development, recruiting, moderating, data collection, analysis, and reporting.


Qualitative Research

Understanding ‘why’ customers and prospects feel the way they do can provide valuable insights. When working with The DRG, you have experts to lead in-depth discussions exploring the attitudes, experiences, and personal opinions of participants. We also understand when and how qualitative research is most effective.  Examples of situations where we have successfully used qualitative methodologies include:

  • Brainstorming new ideas and concepts
  • Exploring perceptions of a product, concept, ad, or website
  • Learning more about a specific experience or process, such as a purchase decision or use of a new product
  • Identifying initial reactions before making the decision to invest further in development

Overviews of the more common qualitative methodologies (focus groups and in-depth interviews) are discussed below.
Methodologies Focus Groups

Focus Groups

When people discuss their thoughts and opinions with a group of peers, great ideas are generated and subsequently, insights are created. The DRG has seasoned moderators who are trained to facilitate these group discussions, delving beneath surface answers to understand opinions and perceptions.

The DRG consults with you to identify and recruit the ideal participants for each focus group. For Milwaukee area discussions, we typically host the group at our Focus Center, which was named a ‘Top Rated Facility’ in the 2014 Impulse Survey. Focus groups can also be conducted at a client’s location or coordinated with partner facilities/hotels when outside of the Milwaukee area.

Regardless of where they are conducted, focus groups enable you to hear directly from individuals who are most impacted by your product or service. Participants can respond to and build on each others’ ideas, and the group dynamic is ideal for brainstorming and learning about initial perceptions of a new concept.
Methodologies IDIs

In-depth Interviews (IDIs)

There are situations when insights are best gained through one-on-one, rather than group discussions. In-depth interviews can be a stand-alone study, such as win-loss research with new customers and lost prospects. IDIs can also be held in combination with a quantitative survey, following up with respondents to ask more open-ended questions for a deeper understanding of why they gave the ratings they did. Whether the interview is in-person or over the phone, The DRG’s Analysts are trained to lead in-depth discussions that probe on key aspects of the objectives in a fluid and professional manner.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research studies are at the heart of The DRG’s business. We have conducted large, projectable research studies on behalf of clients for over 40 years, and have experience in a variety of techniques including web, phone, and mail. Quantitative research studies can be used to:

  • Compare attitudes and perceptions of different respondent segments or groups
  • Evaluate and measure key metrics, such as satisfaction or awareness
  • Trend data from surveys that are repeated on an ongoing basis to monitor any changes in the market
  • Analyze data through advanced analytics, such as a key driver or segmentation analysis

If looking to The DRG to handle a project turnkey or to oversee just a portion (e.g., fielding management), you can feel 100% confident in the survey results. Quality is a key tenet of The DRG’s mission, and we work to provide valid, reliable data that will help guide your important business decisions.
Methodologies Web

Online Surveys

As consumers continue to become more mobile and active online, web surveys are often an ideal methodology to reach potential respondents and gather their opinions. Over the past 15 years, online surveys have grown to be The DRG’s most frequently used methodology, and we’ve completed over 350,000 web interviews in the past five years. Although web surveys aren’t the right solution for every study, there are benefits unique to this approach:

  • Allows for the use of audio, video, and visuals within the survey.
  • Can be accessed on PCs, smart phones, and tablets, allowing respondents to complete the survey on the device most convenient for them.
  • If the questionnaire includes complex terminology, respondents can mouse-over selected words or phrases to see definitions.
  • Trade-off exercises, such as conjoint and MaxDiff, can be incorporated to better understand priorities and/or simulate a purchase decision.

At The DRG, we provide all the security and quality checks needed to be sure your web study is a success.

  • All surveys are hosted in-house on one of our secure web servers.
  • Surveys are programmed to be mobile-compatible, so respondents can complete them on any computer or mobile device.
  • Many quality checks are built into our web programs to ensure participants complete the survey accurately and efficiently.
  • We have established partnerships with online research panels to identify and recruit qualified participants.

Methodologies Phone

Phone Surveys

The DRG has 40 years of experience conducting phone surveys, and over the past five years, we have completed over 145,000 phone interviews. The DRG Call Center, located in-house at our Brookfield headquarters, consists of 50 stations equipped with CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) technology. The Call Center Manager has over 17 years of interviewing and management experience at The DRG.

The DRG Call Center has a highly-skilled staff of experienced, productive, and effective Interviewers, dedicated to providing the information you need in a timely manner. All Interviewers are hired on a permanent basis (not project-by-project). For more difficult surveys, The DRG offers Executive-Level Interviewers, a team of seasoned Interviewers who are skilled at reaching and completing surveys with C-level Executives, Physicians, and other senior-level business participants.

Methodologies Mail

Mail Surveys

Even in this fast-paced, high-tech culture, mail surveys are still an effective method for research and are particularly useful in reaching a broad audience. In the past five years, The DRG has completed more than 120 mail studies that involved mailing out more than 2.5 million items (primarily questionnaires and postcards) and processing approximately 180,000 completed surveys. All printing, mailing, and data entry services are completed at The DRG’s in-house Mail Center.

The majority of the mail studies The DRG conducts are customer-focused research with consumers, as a higher participation rate can be achieved with a customer mail list, especially when you are identified as the research sponsor.