Frequently Asked Questions


Agency or Marketing Department Clients: Have you worked with someone like us before?

Roughly half of our work comes from advertising and public relations agencies, or consultants. The rest comes directly from client-side marketers. We are comfortable working with both. Terry Pranses, our President, started his career on the client side, then worked on the agency side. He understands the roles.

Creative Development or Creative Testing: When should we use the research step?

Some of our clients use research twice within a new product cycle — first to better define the product and its essential promise, and later to evaluate the strongest ways to present the item. More often we come in once. That is most typically after the product has been refined and there are several options to evaluate. Those can be about the packaging, pricing or campaign approach.

Focus Group Balance: We’ve all seen them … someone who sits at the end of the table and opinionates so strongly that others become quiet. How do you prevent that?

We set a tone. We make it clear upfront that all are supposed to participate and that we need a range of reactions. We call on the “quiet types” early, to get them involved. We often use forms within the flow of the group to register individual opinions, then follow up with questions to all respondents — what they said and why they said it.

Global Market: We need feedback inside the U.S. and beyond. Can you help?

This is particularly important for our B2B and Professional Association clients. We’ve done many projects where telephone and the Web have been used to interview or survey prospects in other countries.

Home Use Tests: Our product must be used to be evaluated. Can you handle that?

Yes! We often conduct Home Use Tests (HUTs) to gather reaction to how a product works in the actual environment. Foods and cooking equipment often want this extra involvement. As with other research, we pre-recruit per client specifications, then issue the product, often with usage directions or suggestions. Then, often after 1-2 weeks of home use, we receive back a mailed or web survey, or we conduct telephone interviews.

Language Requirements: Can you help us conduct this research in Spanish?

Yes. We have interviewing and translation capabilities in both French and Spanish. If other languages are required, we are prepared to contract the requisite interviewers.

Mall Intercepts: When is this methodology useful?

Often our clients need quantitative results regarding a product that must be seen or tried, or creative that requires some thoughtful review. We find malls can often provide a wide range of consumer reaction, and specific venues can be selected to reflect demographic targeting or distribution patterns.

Multi-City: We need you to conduct focus groups in many different markets. Can you do this type of research far from your base of operations?

Many of our focus groups are held outside the New York/New Jersey Metro. In fact we’ve worked coast-to-coast. Our QRCA affiliation gives us a directory of focus group facilities across the country and contacts in each market to provide hands-on reviews of facility and recruiting capabilities.

Pricing: We want quality results, but how can we be sure we’re minimizing expenses?

We understand budget constraints and are happy to work with you to get the learning you need at reasonable cost. Often clients share their budget parameters upfront, which helps us develop a proposal that fits. We’re often told that our pricing is very competitive. We intend to keep it that way!

Recruiting Costs: How can you help us keep this item under control? It seems to get higher with each project.

We share with you the concern about recruiting costs. Often we are able to do recruiting directly by using a client’s database or purchasing one that is a fit. We also have, for upscale consumer studies in the New York/New Jersey Metro, our own database which will provide appropriate candidates.

References: May I speak with some other clients?

Many new clients ask for references as a part of getting to know Pranses Research Services. We’ll be happy to provide prospects with appropriate contacts based on the industry, topic and methodology involved.

Respondent Quality: How do I know we’ll get the exact types of people we need?

We work with you to develop a screener that identifies those with exactly the demographics, usage and decision-making characteristics that are right for your study. We often buy lists that move us closer to the target. Or we’ll work with your customer and/or prospect lists, when that is the best place to start.

Sample Reports: I really want to know what we’ll be getting? Can you send us a past report?

All of our work is for specific clients and they own the findings. In a few cases, they have made the findings public. In most cases, we’ll have to direct you to past clients for references or show you some prototypes in a meeting.

Sophisticated Needs: We have a complex product and an intelligent prospect. Can you handle that type of interview?

Many of our consumer studies, and all of our business studies, require us to interact with affluent, highly-educated respondents. Our senior interviewers have attended leading colleges and universities and they are veterans of in-depth interviewing on complex products and services and complicated issues. Please review our profiles in the “About Us” section, and ask us about specific experience that may relate to your needs.

Speaking Engagements: Our professional organization is always trying to learn more. Could someone there speak at our meeting?

Terry Pranses has often been a featured speaker or panel member. Please visit the “Contact Us” section and make your request.

Telephone vs. Web: Which of these is the best way to survey our market?

Increasingly survey work is being conducted online. It may or may not make sense for the research you need. Often there’s a sample size “breakeven point” below which telephone offers economies. And national studies are more likely than regional or local to provide a robust sample using the Web. When it makes sense, we’ll look at both options and report back on the tradeoffs involved.

Topline vs. Full-Length Reports: We only need a topline. Do you work that way?

We design the output to fit your requirements. Most of our clients want in-depth reporting, so we have an Executive Summary followed by Detailed Findings. Others, due to timing or internal roles, only want a Topline.Often our clients in consulting firms and advertising agencies prefer to provide the report based on their own understanding of the issues and review of results.

Trade Show Venues:Should we do this research at the upcoming show?

Often clients, particularly those in B2B, need reactions from attendees to a tradeshow. We often work with them to set up in-depth interviews or focus groups. Most often these are held in the conference center, but in a separate space, away from the noise and activity of the main exposition hall.

Travel Logistics and Expense:Do we really need to go to these prospects? They’re so spread out, it will be hard to get them in one room at one time! Many clients, particularly those in specialized B2B, cite these concerns. We understand. Often it’s more cost-efficient to recruit by telephone and then have a series of telephone in-depth interviews. Often stimuli can be shared by Internet or shipping.

Other: We realize that this recaps only a few, often-asked items. We expect the FAQs list to grow over time. Meanwhile, don’t hesitate to ask your other question.