Games-based tracking studies
Tracking studies are studies that are run periodically to compare results over time. They are often done monthly or quarterly, but can be performed more or less frequently based on the needs of the study. The objective of the tracking study is to identify any trends in how the results change from one period to the next. Tracking studies can be used to measure changes in many metrics, such as product usage and engagement, customer satisfaction, or competitive health.
Tracking studies typically follow the same sample of people over time. In this way, you can measure actual changes in behaviors and attitudes because you are sampling the same people each period. By sampling the same people, you eliminate the possibility of sample differences. Thus, if you see a significant change in your metrics, you can be reasonably sure that something has caused the shift. Similarly, if you tried something new (such as a new advertising campaign) but don’t see any significant changes in your metrics, you can conclude that it was ineffective.
Running successful tracking studies
To run a successfully tracking study, you need to make sure that you are asking the right questions. Determine what metrics are important for you to track, and design your study around those specific metrics. The responses from each iteration should give actionable data. That is, when you notice differences in one iteration from the previous iteration, it should be able to direct actions or decisions that will trigger future desired outcomes.
Some other tips for designing a tracking study:
- Keep the study short and focused. Limit it to capture just the information you are tracking. Respondents will be more likely to complete the study each time if the time required to complete it is short.
- Use the same study design for each iteration. Try not to change the study questions or responses between iterations. You want to keep the study as consistent as possible. The only thing that should change is the date that it is completed.
Running a game-based tracking study
With a games-based tracking study, you would replace the monthly or quarterly survey with a game-based study. By running the same game at regular intervals, you can track shifts in the perceptions of your audience based on the results of the game. This can indicate changes in attitudes or behaviors of your target audience.
Prefer! tracking studies for brand health
Use a Prefer! game to track your relative rank against your competitors over time. Make attribute cards for your brand and four or five of your competitors and ask respondents to choose which brand best meets your area of interest. Tailor your question to ask about whatever is important to your brand.
For example, if you want to be considered an innovative company amongst your competitors, ask respondents to rate the brands on innovation. You will get a rank order of the brands for each period and can see any shifts in the attitudes towards your brand or your primary competitors.
MaxDiff Rankifier tracking studies for feature importance
MaxDiff Rankifier is great way to monitor what is important to your audience. Running the same MaxDiff Datagame at regular intervals can allow you to see when customer attitudes are shifting. Use a quarterly MaxDiff game to see how relative importance of attributes change over time.
This can especially be useful when launching products in an emerging technology. Ask respondents to rank the importance of various features in a purchase decision. As the overall public knowledge of the emerging technology grows, feature importance may shift. By using a tracking study, you can see when those shifts are occurring and alter your marketing message (or product development) accordingly.
Try Datagame for game-based tracking studies
Sign up for a free Datagame account and start a tracking study today. Build a game once, then run it on a regular scheduled basis and compare your results.