FocusVision COVID-19 Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a shift in survey participation rates?

We’ve seen survey participation to be steady or better in the last seven days vs. the seven days prior. Any increase in survey participation is likely to be due to self-isolating individuals having more time at home and time to exhaust online.

What about data changes?

Broadly data changes aren’t being reported. However, given how quickly everything changed, it may be too early to say one way or another.

Are brands still running research?

Overall, yes. However, again the situation is fluid and extremely dependent upon the industry and internal factors for companies. We are expecting to see a shift in the types of research conducted with companies looking to understand consumer sentiment, buying behavior, and other such indicators.

Should we be conducting research?

Yes. Understanding how your customers are thinking and feeling, what’s going on in your industry, as well as in broader society will help you take an informed path as you make numerous business decisions.

Things to Do

Take an Iterative Approach

Given this unknown environment, it’s important to think about research as an iterative process where the questions asked evolve, adapt and change from one conversation to another, building layers of insight.

Be sensitive in the questions you ask, and to whom you are asking them

There are some signs of sensitivity to questions around healthcare, ailment, and travel. This is understandable given all that is going on within these industries, so unless questioning is specifically related to COVID-19, tread lightly.

Keep a close eye on your current studies

Trending data may change given to the extraordinary circumstances that many are experiencing, and so it is essential to view the data in this light.

Be Creative with your Research Approach

As with any research study, the approach that you use will depend on your objectives and what you need to get from data. But it is a good time to be creative on how you get the insights you need.

Online focus groups and interviews

While face-to-face isn’t an option, it is still possible to have meaningful conversations with your customers through online focus groups or interviews. With these, you can get at top of mind sentiment or sense check an idea while seeing people’s expressions and body language to gauge their non-verbal reactions as well as their verbal responses.

Protect your participants and your company from data vulnerability found in open video platforms by using a dedicated research platform


Mobile ethnographies

With changes to every aspect of people’s lives – from working at home and home schooling to changing eating and viewing habits – mobile ethnography is a powerful way to explore how your customers are thinking, feeling, and acting.

Depending on what’s relevant to your brand and industry, you may look to understand how people are adapting to life at home, explore changes in mealtime patterns, how life may look different in the future, what they think they’ll take away from this world event.

To provide ideas on how to frame this type of questioning, we’ve created some examples within the FocusVision Revelation Activity Library.


Here are some approaches to consider

Pulse surveys

Pulse surveys are short check-ins on a topic. They can be quickly re-run at set intervals to monitor whether things are changing or whether it is status quo.

They are generally 4-8 questions, and while at first you may wonder what you can gain from such a brief survey, there are countless possibilities.

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We’ve created a few to provide thought-starters on the types of insight you can capture through these short pulses.

  • COVID-19 Response: monitor a company’s or industry’s response to COVID-19.
  • Information Requirements: determine what content is most useful for your customers and see how that changes over time
  • Organizational Priorities: understand and monitor how things are shifting within businesses
  • Employee Pulse: check-in with your employees to see how they are feeling and what they need

Note these are example surveys intended to be customized based on your industry, your specific objectives, and how the data will be used.

Best Practice is Critical

Best practices need to be top of mind when creating new studies, for example:

  • Be crystal clear on the research objectives and how the data will be used.
  • Avoid long, in-depth surveys. At the best of times, we recommend questionnaires are 15 minutes or less. People may be more open to taking surveys at this time, but their patience may also be in shorter supply.
  • Similarly, don’t overburden customers with research requests.


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