About: Penn and Associates, Inc.

Brief overview of services
Penn and Associates provide full-service marketing research. We offer verifiable mixed-mode (online, postcard-to-website invitations, email invitations with embedded survey link, and on-site intercepts) data collection and address-based sampling (probability-based sampling). Our research methodology provides our clients with statistically significant sample and data results where recommendations can be quantifiably projected onto the general population for all respondent demographic groups (percentages the same or close to census data), even those difficult to reach and often under-represented.

Our pledge
We are committed to providing relevant, accurate, and reliable marketing research information to all kinds of organizations. When so much depends on the truthfulness of honest, accurate, marketing research, rely on the full-service resources of Penn and Associates, Inc. to benefit you and your organization.

Our objectives
We conduct marketing research that is free from bias and is designed to better link our clients with their customers.

Areas of expertise
Data collection: Mail, Internet, observation, one-on-one in-depth interviews, focus groups, and secondary source research services are all available. Our current recommended methodology is address-based sampling utilizing the U.S. Postal Service Computerized Delivery Sequence File because it can be used to select probability-based samples of addresses in finely defined areas. 

Evaluations: Many organizations have a wealth of data, but little or no interpretation of what their information really means. Penn and Associates provide analysis and trending for such data. We recommend methods, criteria, and systems for ongoing information extraction.

Web survey considerations: Responsive Design means that respondents can access questionnaires from any device (PC, laptop, tablet, and smartphone) and complete surveys in their own time and at their own convenience. With careful, effective language and logo/name recognition, we receive statistically significant response rates for our clients.

B2B Surveys: Penn and Associates observe that web-based data collection achieves a higher percentage of larger organizations than was the case using traditional methods.

Consumer Surveys: Deteriorating response rates and evolving technology dictates that marketing research move away from telephone surveys. Penn and Associates offer a probability-based sample (i.e. not a panel) address-based sampling plan utilizing USPS’s Delivery Sequence File, which accounts for 100% of U.S. addresses. Addresses in our samples are geographically stratified proportional to the target population. Our sampling is designed to achieve a statistically significant random sample of completed interviews. Our graphic designer creates 4-color postcards containing a unique online survey URL. Our printer mails the postcards from Cleveland, Ohio.

Reports: Penn and Associates provide detailed reporting. Our custom-built online survey sites are secure, exhaustively tested, and designed for ease-of-use by respondents. We strictly observe the confidentiality and rights of consumers and organizations providing information. Reports include quotations and insights from answers to verbatim questions, Full Report, Infographics (for dissemination), Executive Summary (for dissemination), Methodology, Recommendations, Presentation slides, and onsite presentations.

Study Design: This begins with problem definition and secondary research. Penn and Associates design questionnaires to extract from respondents the precise information needs of our clients. Information needs become survey questions with language that motivates respondents to complete interviews.

Method: Penn and Associates provide both qualitative and quantitative marketing research.

Qualitative Research
Penn and Associates' focus group moderators are ethical and trained to extract insights and details from participants. We consider that focus groups conducted after quantitative research provide detailed clarification of any issues that may be raised by a significant number of respondents.

Quantitative Research
Quantitative research requires large samples. It is more conclusive than qualitative research and can be used in decision making. If done with integrity, these data will combine well with secondary sources and published research reports (especially from the U.S. Census Bureau). Quantitative research results can be projected onto populations with a specific degree of confidence (depending on both the sample size and the percentage of respondents responding the same way to a question) that the results would be the same if the entire population had been interviewed.

Sample Size
Penn and Associates provide appropriate confidence levels and confidence intervals for all sample sizes. A convenient level of confidence is 95% with +/-5 confidence interval; this is an industry standard. Up to a certain point, the larger the sample, the higher the confidence level. A decision about sample size is typically based on factors such as time, budget, and necessary degree of precision.

Quality Control
Survey data is checked to identify incomplete, inconsistent, or ambiguous responses. We conduct extensive statistical testing, such as correlation and comparing "each response to all," to ensure a random sample has been achieved. Achieving a true random sample is an essential part of the initial research design plan that is developed prior to any data collection.

Data Analysis
A frequency distribution produces tables of counts, percentages, and cumulative percentages for all the values associated with the variables. The mean, mode, and median of a frequency distribution are measures of central tendency (central limit theorem). The normal distribution is assumed in describing the variability of the distribution. These measures include the range, variance, standard deviation, coefficient of variation, and inter-quartile range. Other statistical tests utilized by Penn and Associates include analysis of variance (ANOVA), regression, correlation, factor, and cluster analyses.

Reports, articles, and presentations
Experts at Penn and Associates write reports and articles interpreting research data. Reports typically include an executive summary followed by a full and detailed report with tables and graphs. Reports conclude with recommendations. Slide presentation of the information is also available. Reports are accompanied by full-sets of data tables. Articles written for publication by Penn and Associates are printed in national journals and trade press.