Methodology is key to high resolution research.
The best way to gauge the reliability of research data is to look at how the data are collected. Results alone, no matter how reasonable they appear, can reveal little about how well they represent a population.
There are only two sure methods for generating a complete view of a market. The first involves interviewing every single person in that market, a logistical impossibility when it includes over 226 million adults. The other way is to interview a representative sample, selected at random, of the entire population.
Finding that representative sample is one of the great challenges in market research, and any shortcuts in the process will have a negative impact on data reliability. For example, a survey that relies exclusively on the Internet for recruiting and interviewing respondents can only represent the universe of Internet users. It can tell us nothing about the 15% of U.S. adults who have no Internet access, or the 26% who haven’t used the Internet in the past 30 days. Similarly, 22% of U.S. adults don’t have land lines, and cannot be reached by telephone survey recruiters. Who will represent them?
GfK MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer™ uses a methodology that gives every adult in the U.S. an equal chance at representation. Additionally, and unlike most current market research, data are collected in person, with in-home, face-to-face interviews. At each stage of the data collection process - from recruiting respondents and interviewing them, to working with them to understand and complete a comprehensive product and lifestyle questionnaire - GfK MRI relies on direct personal interaction to advance the reliability of the Survey's research results.