As can happen with many research projects, trackers begin with team buy-in and clear intentions; but quickly become bloated and stale as marketing plans evolve, and questionnaires are laden with “nice-to-have questions”. This results in untapped insights due to the sheer volume of data, and the difficulty in converting this data into actionable outputs.

However, we understand that this mainstay of commercial monitoring isn’t going to go out of fashion any time soon, but rather should be continuously refined and honed, supported with the right philosophy and mindset to get the best from every wave.

At HRW, our approach to tracking is underpinned by three foundational elements, ensuring data quality, creating a flexible and innovative questionnaire, and maximizing the value of outputs.


1. Data Quality

The respondent experience is a major consideration when it comes to data quality. Studies have shown that questionnaire length and content are, unsurprisingly, linked to respondent fatigue – a longer survey with a topic of low interest to respondents will have a negative impact on data quality and completion rates. With that in mind, the questionnaire development process is a critical component of data quality, and we focus on two main guideposts throughout:

Concise questionnaires – we recommend fielding a questionnaire with a maximum length of 30-minutes: this increases the likelihood that respondents can complete the survey in one sitting

Engaging questions – this means creating questions that are intuitive to answer and working with our programmers to develop a gamified approach to the survey design, including our proprietary approaches (such as ESET™ allocations), and the usual drags, drops and sliders


2. Innovative Questionnaire Design

In the project design phase, we consider how the market, brand strategy and client needs will evolve, and we develop a battery of questions to anticipate this evolution. These questions are programmed and turned on / off as needed during the project, for a more agile response to the changing landscape. Using a recent HCP uptake and usage project as an example:
• A full set of classic ATU questions are included in the baseline wave (from awareness and behavior to attribute importance)…

• …For subsequent waves, questions that are more sensitive to marketing tactics would be tracked each wave e.g. awareness, behavior, patient requests. However, questions that take longer to move the needle would be suppressed e.g. perceptions (importance and performance), allowing for more detailed tracking of the dynamic metrics

This modular approach to questionnaire design and programming enables researchers to spend less time on operational tasks, and more time on insights and strategy.


3. Actionable Outputs

The outputs of tracking studies can be hugely valuable – but are often hidden in dull slides with too many waves of data, which require specialist knowledge of the research materials to unpack into insights.

To ensure the value isn’t lost in the reporting stage, we consider who will be using the insights. We create infographic-inspired outputs to convey an intuitive story that marketing, and sales organization teams can use without prior involvement in the research –supplemented with a dynamic KPI dashboard deliverable.

And as needed, we enhance these ‘stakeholder ready’ outputs with powerful data mining techniques to dig deeper into the data – from key drivers and Principle Component Analysis (to evaluate the brand positioning); to CHAID and regression analysis to reveal the drivers behind perceptions and behavior. This allows us to make the most of the data and identify ways to increase the targeting and effectiveness of the brand’s strategy.

If you would like to know more about our approach, please get in touch!


By Richard Hutchings and Jaz Gill


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