Conducting Market Research in a Time of Crisis

By January 12, 2021March 4th, 2021No Comments

Conducting Market Research

In a Time of Crisis


Benjamin Zammit,
Business Unit Leader



The Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly affecting the world around us. Understanding consumer behaviours during these fast-changing times is essential to keep a note of any shifts in attitudes, ranging from general purchase behaviours to the specific requirements of your customers.


As businesses are getting faced with the realities of the pandemic, they are starting to experience the uncertainty as everyone else. This is where market research has an important role to play, to ensure that management teams are in touch with customers and employees and offering the best possible product or service. Such decisions should be based on evidence and not an assumption. People understand how they feel and what they are doing differently, so all you need is to ask them.


The good news is that with today’s consumer insights tools enabled by technology, online data collection is faster than ever before. Data collection and analysis that might have taken weeks in the past can now be completed in the order of several hours using online systems. 

Here are three market insights that your business can benefit from during this pandemic:

Benjamin Zammit,
Business Unit Leader


1. People’s response to the crisis and its implications

Onest’s Reaction Tracker is just one example of a source of information that allows you to track the behaviours, fears and expectations of the population as the pandemic progresses. This weekly survey held amongst Maltese residents tracks the public’s reaction to health measures implemented, government financial incentives and media outlets. It also includes insights on the impact of the pandemic on the individual’s income as well as day-to-day activities. Such information can help one understand the implications of the crisis on a progressive scale as the crisis is evolving.

2. Customer behaviour shifts in all categories

All around the world, brands had to adapt to changes in their day-to-day operations. With shops closing, people are seeking e-commerce alternatives and social media to shop and acquire services. Now is the time to understand what customers are looking for in a product or service to avoid frustration and complaints. Onest has conducted a detailed study on consumer behaviour in Malta during this time with information on consumer income and spending amounts, as well as spending category. A custom study involving qualitative research in your industry offers a means to get a detailed understanding of how people stuck in their homes are reacting to new ways of shopping. 

3. How are your employees feeling?

If you are in a leadership position, you must understand that your employees are feeling no less uncertain that the rest of the population. Some will voice their concerns, demanding certain actions to be implemented for their safety and that of others. But beyond the obvious concerns, what other practical and emotional needs must be addressed? Employees working on a remote basis might find it hard to express their needs and opinions during these times. This is why Onest proposes a Remote Work Pulse to listen and act on employee needs during challenging business disruptions. This tool offers two ways to check-in with your workforce:

Most companies are just emerging from the initial shock that the pandemic caused and they are just starting to understand the implications. Once this initial phase comes to an end, companies will be adjusting and fine-tuning their services. This is the crucial time where the right decisions need to be made to ensure the right tone of voice and offerings. Every business needs to know what is happening as it happens, and automated online research tools can help you respond with innovative solutions and content. Whatever decision you make, market research should play an important role to ensure the right actions are taken to safeguard the future of the company, its employees and the wider community.

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