What is
Continuous Market Research/
Tracking Studies?

This is any market research that involves the measurement of something over time to see how it is evolving.

What are the aims of Tracking Studies?

They allow a brand to understand its own and rivals’ progress in consumers’ eyes. This reveals whether the brand’s actions are getting noticed and securing competitive leverage within the market. The scope of tracking studies encompasses everything from the broadest picture of brand health to an individual strand of the business proposition e.g. quality or service.

How are Tracking Studies undertaken?

These are typically quantitative in nature because they are very accurate in measuring change – change, rather than absolute scores, being the aspect of most interest to clients here. This is because change presents opportunities/threats and defines whether a business is on the way up/down.

A constant challenge for tracking studies is the fact that things often change quite slowly. It is easy for clients to get bored with them on the basis that little 'new news’ is being generated. Our experience shows that storyline reporting and complementary qualitative research helps to avoid this risk – forcing continual reassessment of the data and the implications for the client.

In running continuous studies, great care needs to be taken in retaining consistency in the fieldwork approach over time and ensuring questionnaire changes, often needed to keep the survey relevant, are implemented sensitively – using parallel runs where more significant tweaks are made.

What’s an example of a Tracking Study?

For one of our client’s, quality is such a cornerstone of its overall brand proposition that ABA was asked to set up a study that constantly monitors progress on this dimension – across each business unit and all key sub-groups of its shoppers. People taking part in this study have all had very recent experience of the brand; ensuring results give a very sensitive, detailed read on current performance.

What is a Tracking Study?