An Ipsos Research Tool for Quantitative & Qualitative Data Collection

Ipsos Public Affairs in North America conducts strategic research in partnership with clients from the government, public, corporate and not-for-profit sectors to understand and manage issues, advance reputations, determine and pinpoint shifts in attitude and opinion, enhance communications, and evaluate policy.

We see respondents as citizens, stakeholders, employees, and voters — not just as consumers. We can effectively and quickly reach elite stakeholders and other highly targeted respondents, as well as the general public to ensure that our clients get the answers they need, from the audience who is critical to their interests.

What are CitizensLabs?

When there are defined concepts (i.e. storyboards/policies/strategies) available for testing and a “pick one” style decision is required and/or in-person audience voting is required, we recommend using Ipsos’ CitizensLab approach. CitizensLab is a unique Ipsos methodology that allows us to incorporate the best of both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. It is a method that allows for immediate results, and the research is often completed in just one evening per market.

For stimuli testing, the CitizensLab methodology may be applied quantitatively or qualitatively.

A quantitative approach: a sample of respondents (25 for example) are recruited to a central location, and for approximately 30-60 minutes, answer survey style questions using wireless touchpad technology to rate a series of stimuli/materials. Data is tabulated in real time enabling clients to view responses to the closed-ended questions on a video screen on location.

A qualitative approach: groups of 8-9 respondents are selected to stay behind after a quantitative session for an hour to discuss their reactions to the stimuli/ materials in more detail. Participants in the qualitative session can be selected in one of three ways:

  1. by pre-selection, based on specific screening criteria;
  2. by their quantitative responses (i.e. those who selected a certain concept in the quant session); or
  3. at random, from among the most articulate from the preceding quant session.

There are several benefits to this hybrid approach:

  • The quantitative approach during part one of the session effectively manages group bias/think by capturing instantaneous, individual reaction from participants immediately following exposure to the stimuli/materials;
  • The quantitative approach also provides access to Ipsos’:
    • Proprietary social marketing diagnosis questions
    • Communication normative database, which is used to benchmark test materials vs. campaigns in this space
  • We can select participants for the qualitative session based on instantaneous data, which facilitates more focused focus groups, and produces more strategic and actionable insights (e.g., we can select participants who rated the “winning” concept(s) as “somewhat positive/negative” to determine what is required to move them into a more favourable position);
  • Clients can join us so they can live and breathe the sessions in real time (i.e., viewing results, interacting with each other, asking questions, etc.);
  • In the case of our online CitizensLabs, participants from across the province (or a particular sub-region) can participate simultaneously, limiting travel expenses and/or market-centric feedback;

For audience voting during public consultations for example, the keypads are used to vote on key questions as a group. Often we instantaneously display the result of the voting to the audience to stimulate constructive plenary discussion. These data are also valuable for analysis and reporting.


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BradGriffin Brad Griffin
Senior Vice President, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs

MarcBeaudoin Marc Beaudoin
Vice President / Vice-Président, Canada
Ipsos Public Affairs

TrentRoss Trent Ross
Executive Vice President
North America

Ipsos Public Affairs