April 24, 2020 TVG Staff

Research in the Time of COVID-19

Research is often defined as “the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.” While busy executives often understand the importance of research, the response to the suggestion of it often plays out like this: “We know research is valuable and we should conduct it before we develop a new campaign, introduce a new product, update our digital messaging, or launch new creative concepts, but we just don’t have time and budget! Plus, we talk to our customers all the time, so we know what they want and think. Thanks, we have this covered.”

At a time when the mantra “We’re all in this together” is trending on nearly every commercial, news cast, on social media channels and everywhere in between, the idea that everyone is having the same experience during the COVID-19 pandemic does not mirror reality.  While we may all be sheltering in place and social distancing from family, friends and co-workers, everyone has unique situations and challenges affecting their personal and work lives. With most businesses on indefinite pause or focused on creating new ways to stay in contact with customers and building up their business, research can play a pivotal role in understanding your customer’s perceptions, behaviors, and outlook during the COVID 19 pandemic. Understanding consumer behavior during times of uncertainty is pivotal information. Businesses need to create and test messaging that resonates with audiences in a way that is both compassionate and offers solutions to barriers they face in this new reality.

Most research methodologies made the switch from traditional in-person research to virtual methodologies long before the spread of the coronavirus. No longer do we have to conduct focus groups in a controlled setting with research participants convened in a conference room, for instance. We can interact with them where they are- whether that’s at home, in their office, at their lake cabin and anywhere else that has an internet connection. We have access to resources that support research studies via online methods, including focus groups, panel research, one-on-one interviews, and surveys distributed through social media or sent to targeted lists.

We are here to support you and your business. If you have questions about how research can benefit your business – just ask. We love questions and we are ready to answer yours!

Stay curious. Stay healthy. Stay safe.


By Patty Olsen, Senior Project Manager at The Vandiver Group in St. Louis, Missouri


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