FAQ – Market research in times of corona

Contact | Requests for proposal regarding Corona
31. March 2020

Often asked questions and answers.

Which changes have the corona pandemic brought about for us and our industry?

First of all, we see it as our responsibility to not put ourselves and others to unnecessary risks. That is why we decided to let all employees work from home, but of course we can still be reached by phone and email as usual. We also follow the recommendations of the ADM (Working Group of German Market and Social Research Institutes e.V.), of which we are a member, on how to deal with the current situation.

How is it ensured that there are no failures and losses?

Our interviewers also work from home and continue to do so on our system, so that all quality requirements are still fully met. Since IFF has always used technical solutions to maintain the industry standards developed by the ISO certifications and professional associations, little has actually changed except for the physical presence of our employees. The interviews will continue to be monitored, there will be a lively exchange of feedback with our interviewers and the supervisor team and the management of the field will be available to our team for questions and suggestions as usual.

The technical conditions for home office work were brought up to date as part of our move from Ulm to Frankfurt in autumn 2018, when long-time interviewers from Ulm remained part of our day-to-day business with their home office work from Ulm. As a result, we did not have to reinvent the wheel, but only extended the technical requirements to the Frankfurt location.

We can therefore guarantee that your projects will continue to be carried out 100% from a technical point of view, and that from all three IFF Group branches in Frankfurt, Palermo and London.

And how does the corona crisis affect respondents’ response behavior?

Day-to-day business and our projects continue to run without restrictions and to the usual extent, both in the B2B and B2C areas. In the past few days and weeks, we have already been able to gain initial insights into the validity of the data and have observed that despite the Corona crisis, valid answers can still be expected. So far, we have not been able to identify any bias from our respondents in our survey results, especially in questions that are not directly related to the corona pandemic. Of course, the impact of the corona crisis is reflected in tracking studies, for example, but these are designed to measure and analyze the effect of the current situation, so that the surveys nevertheless provide valid results.

What alternatives are available for F2F research?

Here, too, the ADM suggests either to postpone interviews, which is certainly not in your interest or that of your clients, or alternatively to conduct the F2F research temporarily by telephone or online in order to comply with the requirement of social distancing.

In the past, IFF has carried out qualitative studies in the area of telephony and online surveys, sometimes including social media, so that we are sure that we will find a suitable alternative solution for your study in a joint exchange !

In the past week, the availability and willingness to participate of respondents has increased, especially in the area of telephony, because many people are now at home for most of the day and are looking forward to a change from the ubiquitous topic of the corona pandemic.

Other survey methods (such as social media recruiting) remain unaffected by the current crisis.

Which topics and target groups can be researched particularly well at the moment?

We have found that many target groups, both in the B2B and B2C area, are currently very easy to reach, because many people are at home or in the home office and are happy to reduce their boredom within their own four walls . Accessibility for telephone interviews and willingness to participate are currently even increasing.

We were also able to observe this phenomenon in the area of online surveys.

Of course, the corona crisis and the exceptional situation we are currently in, can also offer the potential for new research topics, because the effects of the pandemic are omnipresent and the effects on society, consumers and media use can therefore be researched.

Where can research projects currently be carried out?

The corona pandemic is having a global impact. Nevertheless, research can still be carried out in many countries. Many of our long-term partner institutes have already switched to technical home office solutions, so that studies can also be carried out in other regions of the world.


Overall, we observed that the willingness of our respondents to participate is particularly high in the current situation and that there is no reason to assume that the response quality will lose its validity.

There are many ways to achieve relevant research results even in times of this corona crisis. If you have any questions about our measures or would like to discuss a project with us, be it in the quantitative or qualitative area, we are at your disposal at any time.

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