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Research Tools

FM3 utilizes a variety of research tools to provide our clients with strategic insights and advice. Some of these tools are quantitative, such as surveys; some are qualitative, such as focus groups; and others fall somewhere in between.  (And we regularly conduct our research with diverse and multicultural audiences, in English and other languages.)  Additionally, we continue to utilize and experiment with newly evolving online and digital research approaches. Part of this involves FM3 actively monitoring methodological developments through our industry’s trade association – the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) – in order to provide our clients with the best tools to meet their needs.

FM3's Quantitative Research Tools

Quantitative research is well-suited for determining what a particular population is thinking and what may persuade them to change their minds about a specific issue or to adopt different behaviors. This type of research typically involves conducting surveys with large samples (e.g., hundreds to thousands) to provide overall population and subgroup analysis. FM3 regularly conducts a variety of different kinds of surveys with voters, the general public, and other more narrowly defined populations in English, Spanish, Chinese, and other languages.  The most common types of surveys conducted by FM3 are:

  • Telephone surveys conducted on cell phones and landlines
  • Online surveys conducted on computers, cell phones, and tablets
  • Traditional mail surveys
  • Intercept surveys conducted in-person

Additionally, we often blend these different survey techniques into dual- or multi-mode surveys (i.e., conducting surveys by telephone and online).  This allows us to reach populations that may prefer taking surveys in one mode over another.

FM3 also conducts advertising and media testing both online and in-person.  This can provide robust quantitative results with larger samples, while still capturing qualitative feedback and emotional reactions.

FM3's Qualitative Research Tools

Qualitative research is well-suited for determining why a particular population is thinking what they do about a specific issue. This research is normally conducted with smaller groups with the intent to assess more emotional and visceral reactions to a topic, as well as to dig deeper into more complicated subject mater. It can be used to complement quantitative research or as standalone research, and allows for testing of visual elements. FM3 regularly conducts several different kinds of qualitative research in English, Spanish, Chinese, and other languages.  The most common types of qualitative research conducted by FM3 are:

  • In-person and online focus groups of 8-10 individuals
  • Executive interviews conducted one-on-one with populations of 10-30 individuals

FM3 also conducts an increasing amount of its qualitative research through online discussion boards of 20-30 individuals.  This enables us to capture both traditional qualitative feedback, and also to prompt participants to answer specific questions like they would in a survey.

FM3's Strategic Consulting

Ultimately, the value FM3 provides is not limited to our quantitative or qualitative research, but also includes the strategic consulting this research enables us to provide. We feel it is insufficient to simply report survey results or focus group findings to our clients. We go further and pride ourselves on providing actionable insights and advice to help our clients achieve whatever goals they seek and to equip them with the tools to make better-informed decisions.