According to the most recent GreenBook survey of market researchers, penetration of online surveys actually accelerated, jumping from 82% to 89% in nine months, after climbing from just 78% to 82% in the prior year. This climb is surprising given that growth usually slows as penetration approaches 100%. Only mobile surveys showed similar growth, rising from 27% to 32% over the past 9 months.

quantitative research methods trends

A number of quantitative research methods rebounded slightly to make up for some of their losses last time, including CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing), face-to-face, CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing), mail, and people meters. Given that this is a convenience sample, with a practical margin of error larger than the 3% margin for a probability sample, a more conservative interpretation would be that usage has held steady for these techniques.

The level of usage of CATI, CAPI, and face-to-face interviewing must surprise the North American researcher, but this is a global sample. Where 11% of North American researchers used CAPI, 35% of researchers in the rest of the world (outside Europe) did so; similarly for CATI, 37% of North Americans used it, contrasted with 63% of the rest of the world. North Americans were somewhat more likely to use online surveys (91% vs. 87% for Europe vs. 84% for rest of the world) but mobile surveys showed similar levels regardless of region: 33% for North America and the rest of the world outside Europe, and 25% for Europe. This is not surprising, since many regions have seen mobile penetration leap past desktop/laptop penetration.

quantitative research methods geography

Usage of these methods is for the most part comparable across client- and supplier-side researchers.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.