Most companies that provide omnibus services are not very flexible. Move outside their normal processes and it’s as if they’re being asked to solve world hunger. Their systems have evolved as a function of the internal metrics that reward maximum profit per headcount. Our team understands the impact rigid policies have on clients. In fact, it was precisely these policies that enabled us to exploit the white space we believed existed in the marketplace. Our flexible approach to omnibus research didn’t evolve over time; it represents the very basis our company was founded upon.
Most omnibus companies are inflexible when it comes to augmenting sample. Although we’d probably love it if our regular weekly sample of 1,500 respondents covered the needs of all our clients, the truth is it doesn’t. We’re continually adding something to the mix. It could be doubling the sample because the number of denture adhesive users was too small for a meaningful analysis, or it could mean adding unacculturated Hispanics because one of our clients’ marketing programs is focused on better understanding the Hispanic market.
Number of Questions
We prefer to keep most surveys to under 20 minutes because of the sudden increase in the number of suspends that occurs around the 20-minute mark (due to respondent fatigue). Other than that we have no other real limitations.
Many other omnibus services will place a limit of around ten questions for a given client, on a given topic. The primary reason some suppliers limit the number of questions any one client can add to an omnibus survey is not because of technology restrictions or data concerns, but rather because if a client has a “more-substantial” set of questions, it becomes more profitable for the research supplier to declare it a “custom survey” that needs to field independently. This ends up potentially costing the client up to five times as much as it would have by simply fielding through the omnibus service. Simply put, most limitations on the number of questions one client can add to an omnibus are made purely to benefit the research supplier’s profit margins, not to serve the best interests of the client.
Types of Questions
VeraQuest uses the same survey programming software as many of the larger custom research companies; therefore, our survey construction capabilities are the same. We can program grids, semantic differential questions, looping questions, open-ended questions, etc. Our programming is so robust that we can also incorporate advanced interactive graphical interfaces when necessary.