Will our samples change as a result of COVID-19?

By: Pete Cape
Director, Global Knowledge

Government actions around the world are aimed at lowering the peak of the virus and spreading it out over a longer period of time. We would not then expect large number of our panellists to be ill at the same time, so production should not be affected. If you are still concerned about this, ask yourself how many of your friends and relatives are actually ill right now? Or your work colleagues? Panellists are just people too, same as you and me. Remember also that although the number of cases being reported may seem frighteningly high, they still represent a relatively small percentage of the population.
Of course, many countries are now in “lock-down mode” with many more people spending a lot more time at home, which is also an outcome when we all apply “social distancing”. Should this increase survey taking? Although I would naturally say that market research is endlessly fascinating, and my surveys are a joy to fill in, with the best will in the world a survey is not going to compete with a Netflix box series for entertainment value. Survey-taking is, generally, habitual. Our panellists take their surveys at a time that they personally have set aside for it, and do the volume of surveys that suits them, within our engagement rules. I expect to see no difference in demand from panellists for surveys.
On the B2B side, with so many people now working from home, should we expect changes there? Almost all online B2B surveys are taken during the evening, out of work hours, and most of our B2B panellists provide us with a personal not work email address. So, we expect little disruption to our B2B samples.
In all this we must remain cognisant that there is a global pandemic in process and people are worried, for themselves and for their loved ones. I’d urge all survey writers to take just a little more time over their surveys, be sensitive and genuinely thank people for their time and effort in these testing times.
Click here to download Dynata’s Global Trends Report Special Edition: COVID-19