Factors that Impact Market Research – Admin & Bias

When developing a survey to suit your business market research needs, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind to ensure you successfully gain valuable insight from your target audience.

This guide by leading UK audience insight company Redshift Research (Click here to view their range of professional services) shines the spotlight on two important factors which can make or break a survey – administration issues and bias.

Administrative Issues

While admin considerations might seem like a small matter when developing a survey, they are crucial to successful and cost effective market research. Do keep these factors in mind:


It is important to set you maximum budget for your market research needs as this will allow a professional company to choose the best solutions to fit. On the other hand, you might find that your budget restrictions prevent you from certain types of market research. For example, you might be keen on face to face interviews, but find the cost is too high. That said, a reputable market research company will help you get results while staying within budget.


Different types of market research will require certain facilities, such as a well-equipped telephone service for phone interviews, a comfortable room for focus groups or an email service for online surveys. This is a factor that will affect your market research budget significantly.


Different types of surveys have different personnel requirements. For example, online and telephone surveys often need moderators to proof the work (rid it of type-o’s), while skilled interviewers are needed to get the most from face to face surveys. This will need to be factored into your budget.

Turnaround Time

Face to face interviews for example would take far longer to gather feedback from respondents; postal surveys involve sending follow up reminders; while the fastest turnaround combined with the highest response rates would be paid online surveys. Each option however has both benefits and disadvantages, their suitability will depend on the type of insight your business needs. Do factor this in to your market research expectations and budget.


Every consumer has an in-built set of biases based on their gender, age cultural identity, upbringing, education etc. These are key bias factors to consider when developing a market research survey to suit your business:

Social Desirability

Everyone innately wants to avoid embarrassing themselves or appearing foolish so a survey that asks questions that make people look bad will naturally not make them want to complete the study, or at in the best case scenario they will not tell the truth. This is particularly true in face to face interviews – the respondent will typically rather lie than appear socially undesirable. This factor can wreak havoc with market research.

Interviewer Distortion

Additionally, interviewers themselves may inadvertently distort survey findings during an interview. For example, they may shy away from asking tough questions that make them uncomfortable; they may fail to listen carefully to the respondent and thereby record inaccurate answers; and they may think they can predict a respondent’s answer based on previous questions when in reality they are mistaken in their assumption.

Wrong Respondent

Sometimes the incorrect respondent will complete a survey, which will not gather the valuable insight that is desired. For example, a CEO might have his secretary do a telephone survey because he hasn’t the time, or the wrong homeowner could take part in a survey which requires the main financial earner to provide accurate answers. Face to face interviews do away with this risk, however they take more time than other types of surveys and might not be suitable to the answers your business is looking for.


Although this guide demonstrates that there are a number of hidden factors which will determine the success and cost of a market research survey, respected specialists such as Redshift Research will be able to give you the right steer to match your consumer insight needs and budget. Click here to view the range of services that leading professionals can offer.

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