When not to conduct market research

03 May 2017 | Research & Business Knowledge

For many people in the UK, bank holidays are greatly anticipated and for those in the research industry it’s no different. However, it also usually means an increase in work load in the run-up to the holiday and also during the post-holiday catch-up period, having lost a day or two at work.

When planning international market research we don’t always take into account holidays in other countries, especially ones we’re unfamiliar with, but public holidays abroad can be significant and affect the availability of resources.

For countries like China and Brazil, the impact of reduced availability can be magnified as public holidays, such as Chinese New Year or Carnival, span multiple days.

Preparing research and fielding

Being aware of specific dates and the culture surrounding them is important during the planning and fielding stages of research. Both translators and respondents are likely to be busy before as well as during the bank holiday and may also be unavailable afterwards.

To achieve the best research possible, it’s advisable to plan ahead and script and translate your studies at least two weeks ahead of a bank holiday. Demand tends to surge around both UK and international bank holidays and translator availability is often reduced.

With your translated study already prepared, you can then start fielding at a time when quality interviewers and respondents are readily available.

Protect your project timelines

It’s good to be aware of singular public holidays, as even one day falling on a Tuesday or a Thursday can have an impact on resource availability, especially when it’s common for people to take bridging holidays. Did you know in Brazil, for example, it is common to take a bridging holiday on the Friday after the annual public holiday ‘Corpus Christi’, which is always held on a Thursday?

But, for project success, it pays dividends to be aware of longer holidays too, such as Ramadan and Eid Al-Adha in Saudi Arabia. During these holidays the impact on project timelines is likely to be more significant, as quality respondents and translators won’t be as readily available.

To help you plan ahead for international bank holidays, and select the best time to conduct market research, The Language Factory has put together a handy interactive infographic for eleven countries you may be targeting. Hover over the dates to see more information about the public holiday and if a bridging holiday is likely to be taken.

About the author

Asha Dowe is Marketing Manager at The Language Factory, an agency specialising in international market research translations, proofreading and coding. Email if you would like more information about their services.