ATU tracking research can be one of the most powerful sources of insights – identifying trends early that enable marketing teams to adjust tactics in a timely manner. However, burdening ATUs with ‘nice to have’ questions and unengaging reporting (e.g., endless line charts) will mean missed opportunities to course correct.

At HRW our approach to ATU trackers is underpinned by three foundational elements, flexible and innovative questionnaire design, data quality, and maximizing the utility of outputs.


Flexible And innovative Questionnaire Design

In the project design phase, we consider how the market, brand strategy and client needs will evolve, and develop a battery of questions to anticipate this evolution. These questions are programmed and turned on/off as needed during the project, for an agile response to the changing landscape:

–  A full set of standard ATU questions are included in the baseline wave (awareness, behavior, attribute ratings [importance and performance], patient request and practice support)

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


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 we focus on two main guideposts:

 –  Concise questionnaires – we recommend fielding a questionnaire with a maximum length of 30-minutes

 –  Engaging questions – we create questions that are intuitive to answer by working with our programmers to develop a gamified approach to survey design, including our proprietary Early Share Estimator Technique (ESET™), ‘dating-app style’ swiping exercises, and video/audio open end responses


Actionable Outputs

The outputs from ATU 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 maximize the data’s utility, we consider the intended use of the data.

We create infographic-inspired outputs to convey an intuitive story that marketing, and sales organization teams can use without prior involvement in the research – which can be supplemented with a dynamic KPI dashboard.

For deeper holistic analyses, we work with our Behavioral Science Team (HRW Shift) to contextualize trends, illuminate barriers to behavior and provide a clear path of action to address each barrier. These analyses are rooted in an integrated behavior change framework developed from a meta-analysis of 19 different behavior change models.

The model is based on 3 factors that influence behavior:

  • Capabilitymental or physical ability
  • Opportunity availability or social influences
  • Motivationgut reactions and calculated reasoning

After we have identified the factors that impact behavior we recommend evidence-based action strategies to optimize behavior change.


If you would like to know more about our approach, and how HRW can enhance your ATU studies, please email info@hrwheathcare.com


By Paul Boyce, Richard Hutchings, and Allie Dautrich


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