Monolithic to Modular Research Methods for Global Brand Tracking at Research & Results 2019

This post highlights from a case study for a global consumer brand that Dalia presented at Research and Results 2019 in Munich, October 23-24. This post includes presentation slides and a full summary of Dalia’s monolithic to modular research methodology for mobile-first market research. The impact of the survey design and execution was presented at Research and Results 2019.

According to a 2019-2020 Annual CMO Spend Survey research by Gartner showed that nearly 1/3 of CMO budgets have allocated their budgets to MarTech (marketing technology) to help brands innovate and continue their digital transformation. The challenge for many global brands is sourcing the latest technologies that improve survey research quality while also matching existing enterprise reporting intervals and decision making processes. Dalia Research has worked with global consumer brands to not only deliver cross-country surveys at speed and scale, but improve the actionable quality of insights and frequency of tracking to match reporting cycles. 

This year, Christoph Dölitzsch, Dalia’s Insights Innovation Lead, shared Dalia’s approach at Research & Results 2019, which featured 186 exhibitors and over 3400 attendees from the market research industry.

Saving the Brand Tracker

Market research brand tracking cycle

The vicious cycle costly, ineffective global research

To start, Christoph introduced a common challenge for global brands that invest in their trackers and find diminishing returns despite efforts to gather more insights. This was one case for Dalia client that adapted their existing single-market US survey to be a focused multi-country brand tracking exercise for the multi-country EU market. This consumer brand took the opportunity to identify core KPIs that they wanted to track at regular intervals. 

The solution involves two key components:

  1. Improving research design and delivery with a mobile-first approach
  2. Increasing response quality and relevance through survey UX

Improving Research Design and Delivery with a Mobile-First Approach

mobile first uxui design

Mobile-first design uses best practices from responsive UX/UI design for all devices

To start, Dalia worked with this client to create a mobile-first survey design. A mobile-first approach is commonly misunderstood as “smartphone only” surveys. Instead, mobile-first approach to survey design is device agnostic and delivered to online-connected survey respondents across platforms such as smartphones, desktop PCs, and even gaming consoles. This approach has three main benefits:


  • Ubiquity and coverage because desktop users usually have smartphones, whereas the reverse may not be true
  • Consistent and comparable cross-country data because there is a unified approach to research design and delivery
  • Improving respondent experience using best practices in UX/UI design, including responsive web applications


Increasing Response Quality and Relevance Through Survey UX

brand tracking kpis

Assessing current survey questions to improve survey UX

For the second section of the workshop, Christoph walked attendees through Dalia’s monolithic to modular research design process that optimises surveys for online delivery formats. Using a case with a client global mattress brand, Christoph explained the steps for cutting at survey with over 60 questions and long delivery cycles to a focused survey with questions mapped to core KPIs.

mobile first survey design

Adapting survey UX and questions for mobile respondent engagement

The monolithic to modular process begins with assessing a client’s existing survey and identifying the corresponding KPIs (such as slides) that decision makers focus on each reporting cycle. Based on these identified priorities, Dalia works with a client to redesign survey questions that are intuitive for respondents, and also suited for responses on a mobile screen.

Christoph used an example of a question in the client’s original survey: “What mattress size do you expect to buy next?” This question was one of the many questions that does not have a direct correlation with the brand tracking goals of the survey. Instead, better questions to ask may be:

  •  What is the brand of the mattresses you currently use? 
  • Which of the following brand’s mattresses would you consider buying?

These questions can be designed easily on mobile with open-text responses for unaided brand awareness or multiple choice answers with either text brand names or logos. 

Introducing monolithic to modular research design for global brand tracking

Lean and modularised surveys can be enriched with more modules on demand, such as sustainability

Using this method, Dalia’s client was able to achieve 80% conversion rates for surveys and analyse the results within weeks. After the value of modular surveys was confirmed in their initial EU markets, the client was able to quickly replicate the same survey in additional markets.

Incorporate Research Redesign into Digital Transformation

how to conduct market research

Successful monolithic to modular research design is mobile first, has radical focus on KPIs, and is modular

By increasing the efficiency of survey delivery, Dalia’s client was able to invest in higher frequency for brand tracking, in more markets, and enriched with additional modules, such as an annual sustainability tracker, where appropriate. By using a modularised global tracking approach, brands can immediately see efficiency gains in digital transformation for brand tracking.

Christoph closed the workshop by summarising the fundamental pillars of survey redesign:

  1. Mobile-first design approaches for consistency in delivery and data
  2. Radical focus on questions that correspond directly to strategic KPIs
  3. Modularising surveys to add modules where necessary

While a modular and mobile-first approach to research design requires fundamental shifts in mindset, Christoph emphasised that the method requires small modifications to existing approaches. You can find the slides from this presentation below:

If you would like to learn more about Dalia’s monolithic to modular methodology, please reach out to

You can find additional highlight sessions from Research & Results 2019 in our summary post. Please sign up to our newsletter to stay updated about the latest solutions for the research industry.