Expertise

The science of understanding.

At FMG, our team of highly trained social scientists works to better understand the unique challenges and underlying questions our clients face. As your partner, we will work to clarify your needs, identify the most appropriate research strategy, and provide clear and concise results. Our mission is to provide actionable, data-driven recommendations that will positively impact your bottom line.

Capabilities

Survey Design and Administration

From survey development, to administration, to analysis and reporting, FMG has conducted over 100 federally sponsored survey research efforts. With the in-house capabilities to collect, verify, clean, and analyze data thoroughly, our statisticians and scientists are able to translate even the most intricate research data into highly usable takeaways to assist clients in making evidence-based decisions.

  • Survey Design and Content Development
  • Sampling and Weighting
  • Survey Administration
  • Data Cleaning and Quality Assurance
  • Data Analysis and Reporting

Custom Research and Analysis

Clients have different needs and problems. FMG has the capabilities to tailor its research design to meet specific challenges and deliver targeted results. We approach our clients’ questions through a research lens and follow the scientific method, regardless of whether we gather data through interviews or an experimental design. We consult background research, develop hypotheses on what we would expect to happen, design our study to test our expectations, and then analyze our data with the most appropriate techniques in the most cost-effective manner possible.

  • Research Synthesis and Gap Analysis
  • Developing and Assessing Methodological Innovations
  • Qualitative Research (e.g., Focus Groups, Interviews, Ethnographies)
  • Experimental/Quasi-Experimental Designs
  • Observational and Field Research
  • Advanced Statistical Analysis
  • Complex Data Modeling

Evaluation

Clients need to hear candid feedback from all of their stakeholders—including the people expected to benefit most from their efforts—to determine how well their programs and trainings are working. By serving as an objective third party, FMG is able to conduct evaluations that will provide the most useful data for your organization. Given our past experience, we are able to determine what types of evaluation methods and questions will yield valuable responses and help identify ways to improve the function and outcomes of your programs.

  • Needs Assessment Evaluations
  • Process and Outcome Effectiveness Evaluations
  • Conceptual Framework Development
  • Policy Decision and Impact Analyses
  • Training Evaluations
  • User Experience Testing

Strategic Communication

Communication is important, difficult and can almost always be improved. Across teams, organizations, and industries, clear, accurate, efficient, reliable, and direct communication facilitates whatever outcome is desired. Whether it’s internal or external messaging that needs to be drafted, tested, improved, and rolled out, our team of highly trained communication experts can help you speak to your priority audience in a way that resonates and influences change.

  • Communication Planning and Design
  • Persuasive Communication
  • Public Health and Risk Communication
  • Attitude Formation and Behavioral Change

Did You Know?...

Subject Areas

Audience insights are the foundation of great campaigns. At FMG, we see research as supporting rather than competing with the creative process and we’ve worked side-by-side with agency teams to identify broad message strategies and specific executions that resonate most with priority audiences. In other cases, we’ve played the role of evaluator, drawing on our experience with large-scale data collection and statistical analysis. Whatever our role, our approach is grounded in science, and our team leverages strong theory, methodology, and sophisticated analysis to help agencies and their clients develop, improve, and evaluate communication programs, advertising, marketing, and branding. Offerings include:

  • Advertising Evaluation and Tracking
  • Communication Planning, Design, and Evaluation
  • Consumer Attitude and Opinion Measurement
  • Concept/Copy/Message Testing (including eye tracking and implicit measurement tools such as EDA)
  • Audience Segmentation and Differentiation

Each year, FMG conducts thousands of customer service evaluation surveys across a wide variety of industries and through many platforms. We are acutely aware that our measurement must be consistent with the customer service environment. For example, perceptions of equitable treatment may be a higher priority than customer satisfaction for a law enforcement agency and should be reflected in its evaluation. For this reason and many others, our projects start with a thorough needs analysis conducted by an industrial/organizational psychologist to ensure the most important and frequent performance will be measured and subsequently reinforced and repeated. We couple this expertise in measurement with our advanced data analysis and visualization to ensure that this data can be fully integrated into ongoing business decisions throughout the organization. Offerings include:

  • Organizational Needs Analysis
  • Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Reputation Measurement
  • Customer Service Measurement
  • Market Segmentation and Customer Differentiation
  • Customer Service Training Solutions

Effective workforce development is crucial in recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining engaged employees to further organizational success. Our industrial/organizational psychologists are experts in personnel assessment and have helped organizations develop systems to ensure employees and managers are able to enhance their job performance, career progression, and development as leaders. Offerings include:

  • Organizational Attraction and Recruitment Research
  • Competency Modeling/Performance Management Systems
  • Personnel Assessment and Selection
  • Leadership Development Assessment and Coaching
  • Total Organizational Health Survey (TOHS) and other Employee Attitude Surveys
  • Workforce and Team Training
  • Program and Training Evaluation

With more than a decade of experience, FMG is uniquely positioned to provide research that stands up to scrutiny associated with researching military populations. Following recruitment, a number of concerns and issues must be studied to ensure service members feel prepared for and are able to complete mission. As the prime contractor on many large-scale military research projects, we have provided insight into recruiting hard-to-reach populations, military member stress and quality of life, and special policy issues such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We have also done studies to help ensure veterans are able to re-enter the workforce. For each project, we first identify the primary military population to study. Next, we evaluate the role of support systems, such as academic advisors, parents, spouses, and families. As the disconnect widens between the military and the public, our research provides value and insight necessary to protect and maintain the all-volunteer force. Offerings include:

  • Recruiting and Manpower Planning
  • Military Member Stress and Quality of Life
  • Veterans Hiring/Transition
  • Overseas Voting
  • Public Affairs

The U.S. Government was our first client and remains our largest client today. Although we are a small business, we have conducted over 100 large-scale surveys for federally sponsored research efforts. We have developed multimillion-dollar strategic research agendas, designed and administered surveys to samples of over 200,000, and briefed government, military, and congressional leadership on study findings and implications. Our relevant public sector capabilities include:

  • Data Security (Completion of DIACAP process and Authority To Operate from both the VA and DoD)
    • Passed FISMA reviews from NIST and the IRS
  • Approval of Research (OMB and IRB expertise)
  • Contract Vehicles (GSA MOBIS, AIMS, and OASIS Vehicles, as well as numerous agency-specific IDIQs and BPAs)
  • To learn more about our GSA OASIS contract, click here.

Our passions lie in social marketing (not to be confused with social media!), and our expertise and experience in health and risk communication run deep. We’ve conducted studies to evaluate programs promoting smoking cessation, nutrition, pharmaceuticals, natural disaster insurance, and environmental responsibility, and we’ve provided evidence to inform policy decisions in the process. By working in highly sensitive environments, we have developed communication strategies that hold up in situations and programs that are likely to draw intense scrutiny. We use our understanding of the public health landscape, and our detailed experience in the federal public policy sector to provide scientific evidence, resources, and expertise to identify and address the health and risk issues organizations face on a daily basis. Offerings include:

  • Behavioral Research
  • Concept and Copy Testing
  • Belief Analysis

There is no denying the attitudinal shifts and generational issues that spark concern and questions from our clients. Since 2002, FMG has maintained an extensive program of survey research focused on attitudinal and behavioral differences that vary by age and life stage. Instead of making decisions based on claims or opinions from the latest reports, we provide research anchored in scientifically sound methods of survey development, sampling, analysis, and interpretation. We help clients view each generation or life stage as a chance to translate findings from scientific studies directly into communication strategy. Recent applications include:

  • Brand Perception
  • Social Media Usage and Habits
  • College and Career Choice Research

User experience is often as important as the product itself. It’s not just about watching how users react to your website, mobile app, survey, or product—it’s about understanding the cognition and emotion behind their experience that sets FMG’s User Experience team apart. Our UX team integrates the philosophies and practices of behavioral and cognitive psychology to understand how users think and interact with everyday products. We conduct research that evaluates usability metrics (i.e., accuracy, efficiency, and satisfaction) combined with human emotions and cognition. Offerings include:

  • User Experience Testing
  • Eye Tracking (on Web, Mobile, and Paper)
  • Electrodermal Activity (EDA)
  • Testing and Observation Laboratory
  • Remote and In-Field Testing

Experience

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Air National Guard Logo
Air National Guard Logo
www.ang.af.mil

Fors Marsh Group has worked on several projects for the Air National Guard. We performed copytesting of television advertisements aimed at recruiting healthcare professionals. We have also evaluated their Local Advertising Program (LAP), which is the specific advertising effort performed by each local Air Guard wing, and created an ROI model that incorporates local and national media plan information.

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Arbitron Logo
Arbitron Logo
www.arbitron.com

Fors Marsh Group worked with Arbitron to conduct a user experience expert review of the Leapfrog Radio Diary Application. The review resulted in proposed modifications to increase its usability.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Logo
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Logo

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

www.consumerfinance.gov

Fors Marsh Group has provided work in three key areas – consumer decision making research, fair lending data analysis and website usability studies. To examine consumer decision making and the use of CFPB products and services, FMG was selected to develop a research design and field of a yearly survey measuring brand awareness, trial-use of financial tools, and attitudes toward CFPB. FMG also completed fair-lending analyses on the mortgage underwriting processes of several financial institutions for the CFPB. The goal of the analyses was to determine if there were any disparate effects for protected mortgage buyers. CFPB also appointed Fors Marsh Group to evaluate and improve the usability and user experience of a number of websites and programs including pages Paying For College , Ask CFPB, and e-closing information. Our UX team targeted user groups through iterative usability testing and user experience interviews at locations across the country.

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DC Department of Health Logo
DC Department of Health Logo

DC Department of Health

doh.dc.gov

The DC Department of Health launched an anti-smoking campaign to promote its Quitline that spanned television, radio, and bus stop ads and needed a research partner to measure effectiveness. Fors Marsh Group conducted two surveys in the targeted wards to measure campaign and ad-specific recall and reactions, attitudes toward anti-smoking policies, and impressions of the District’s efforts to assist residents in quitting.

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Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies Logo

Joint Advertising Market Research & Studies

jamrs.defense.gov

Fors Marsh Group has worked extensively with DHRA/JAMRS conducting market research to aid the Department of Defense in recruiting and retaining service members and informing marketing efforts across DoD. Through this research, Fors Marsh Group has obtained a deep understanding of the youth recruit and influencer markets, medical professionals, military recruiters and job satisfaction, and engagement with the military’s advertising and outreach efforts.

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Federal Voting Assistance Program Logo
Federal Voting Assistance Program Logo

Federal Voting Assistance Program

www.fvap.gov

Military members, their dependents, and U.S. citizens living overseas depend on using Federal forms to register to vote and request/submit ballots. Fors Marsh Group developed training materials and procedures and conducted training sessions to establish Installation Voter Assistance Offices on military installations worldwide. We also conducted usability testing to assess both the paper versions of the Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) and the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) as well as the online assistants used to complete them in order to identify problems users faced with the current forms and determine ways to make the forms easier to use. Most recently, we have worked with FVAP to develop model estimates of domestic citizen, overseas citizen, and military voting success.

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Hewlett Packard Logo
Hewlett Packard Logo

Hewlett Packard

www.hp.com

Fors Marsh Group worked with our clients to evaluate a call center supporting the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) serving healthcare beneficiaries nationwide receiving, researching, resolving, and responding to questions concerning benefit enrollment and eligibility. To do so, we adopted our fairness approach, which evaluates outcome fairness (i.e., whether customers got what they wanted), procedural fairness (i.e., whether they agreed with the rules and procedures used), and interactive fairness (i.e., the quality of communication they received).

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Food and Drug Administration Logo
Food and Drug Administration Logo

Food and Drug Administration

www.fda.gov

Fors Marsh Group conducts several research projects for the FDA. We are the research partner of advertising agency Sensis, which is tasked with developing a national anti-tobacco campaign aimed at rural youth who use smokeless tobacco. We are developing and conducting the formative research, which included an audience segmentation, analysis of existing survey data, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. Together, these tools have and will allow us to leverage data in the message strategy development process as well as evaluate the creative through concept and copy testing. Further, we perform copy tests of original and edited versions of various tobacco and pharmaceutical brand advertisements and promotional labels to understand if they are misleading to consumers.

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Federal Emergency Management Agency Logo
Federal Emergency Management Agency Logo

Federal Emergency Management Agency

www.fema.gov

Fors Marsh Group conducts an ongoing ad tracking study that (1) provides the ad agency with data to gauge the effectiveness of current initiatives and adjust and optimize advertising strategy moving forward and (2) provides the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with sound evidence grounded in a rigorous research approach that can stand up to intense scrutiny.

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General Services Administration Logo
General Services Administration Logo

General Services Administration

www.gsa.gov

Fors Marsh Group conducted branding focus groups and developed a customer loyalty study for GSA. The goal of the focus groups was to engage with current and prospective clients to validate the brand structure and to solicit general customer feedback about customer service, value, and corporate reputation. We also developed GSA’s current customer loyalty survey, which is administered every year to over 10,000 government employees to monitor customer evaluations and predict future procurement decisions.

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Internal Revenue Service Logo
Internal Revenue Service Logo

Internal Revenue Service

www.irs.gov

Fors Marsh Group performs a variety of quantitative and qualitative research in support of the IRS. Our work spans IRS Divisions and Programs including Wage & Investment, Small-business/Self-employed, and Media & Publications (M&P). To date we’ve provided the following services: IRS taxpayer surveys, assessment and redesign of new and ongoing customer satisfaction measurement processes and instruments, analytical support for customer satisfaction performance goal setting, data collection and Help Desk services (in English and Spanish), development, analysis and delivery of qualitative research (including focus groups, in-depth interviews and usability tests), and education and training to IRS personnel. As part of our ongoing customer satisfaction work, FMG examines if people who interacted with IRS thought the process was fair and reasonable. In addition to our research team, FMG’s User Experience (UX) Team conducts user experience and eye-tracking studies to inform the IRS about issues with forms. Eye tracking enabled us to assess the order in which people view elements on the form and the amount of instructions people actually read while working on the forms.

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National Cancer Institute Logo
National Cancer Institute Logo
www.cancer.gov

Fors Marsh Group has worked with NCI on multiple usability projects with cancer survivors, advocates, and researchers. Results improved usability of cancer-related websites, applications, and forms. We also worked with NCI to create user personas for Spanish-speaking users of the NCI website. These personas help developers keep the end user in mind as they create and modify existing websites and products.

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National Institute of Standards and Technology Logo
National Institute of Standards and Technology Logo

National Institute of Standards and Technology

www.nist.gov

Fors Marsh Group works on several projects for NIST, including designing, administering and managing a client survey for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). Results of this quarterly data collection effort are ultimately used to evaluate the performance of individual centers and accumulated across all centers to provide indicators of program success at the national level. Results are also used for budget justifications to Congress. In addition, FMG evaluated the client survey by conducting cognitive interviews to ensure clients’ interpretations were consistent with the questions. Under another task order, FMG’s UX team conducted work for NIST’s Computer Security Division in which FMG was contracted to collect empirical data on password entry on mobile devices to complement the security data that was already in place. The guidelines that the Computer Security Division produces from these data will inform and influence usability standards of password policy in government and industry.

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Nielsen Logo
Nielsen Logo
www.nielsen.com/us/en.html

The UX team has conducted user experience testing to improve Nielsen TV habit tracking diaries – including their paper, website, and mobile (smartphone and tablet) TV applications diaries. Each test included eye tracking, informing participants about elements that attracted users’ attention, and the order in which people processed the diary entry process. Our results led to user-centered design changes to improve the diary completion experience.

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RP3 Logo
RP3 Logo

RP3

rp3agency.com

RP3 was developing a website for a client that would provide information and instructional materials to teachers and school administrators. Fors Marsh Group’s UX team conducted usability testing of a partially-clickable prototype of the website with teachers and school administrators to make tailored recommendations based on the end user’s experience.

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United States Marine Corps Logo
United States Marine Corps Logo

United States Marine Corps

www.marines.mil

Fors Marsh Group helped the USMC and its partner ad agency address alcohol abuse within their enlisted force. FMG conducted a series of focus groups and an online survey with current Marines to gauge their relationship with alcohol, their coping behaviors, and likelihood to use assistance resources within and beyond the Marine Corps. From the research, we were able to define Marines who were most at risk for alcohol abuse and recommend effective intervention strategies.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Logo
U.S. Department of Agriculture Logo

U.S. Department of Agriculture

www.usda.gov

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) faces high rates of travelers transporting banned food items across the U.S. borders and wanted to create an education and awareness campaign to reduce these incidents. FMG provided quantitative and qualitative research that was instrumental in the development and evaluation of the campaign. First, we combined data on commodity risks, country-of-origin risks, and traveler/airport violations for an audience segmentation that resulted in the identification of priority groups. We then conducted a series of focus groups and individual interviews to gain a deeper understanding of travelers’ knowledge of restrictions, their perceptions of the personal and environmental risks, and their motivations to transport the prohibited items – all the while guided by theoretical foundations in risk communication and psychological determinants of behavior. In the second phase of the program, we tested three creative concepts and executed the evaluation – a pre-post intercept survey of about 2,000 travelers.

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Logo
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Logo

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

www.va.gov

Fors Marsh Group has worked as a prime and sub-contractor on a number of projects for the Department of Veteran Affairs spanning our teams and including customer satisfaction survey work, career mapping and development consulting, usability studies, and software development. Fors Marsh Group is a key partner on the award-winning MyCareer@VA project for the VA to better attract, retain, and leverage employees’ talents. FMG was called upon to create a work taxonomy, data collection strategy and software to support a project for the VA. This program included a VA-wide competency model that allowed employees to research and develop the necessary skills to fulfill current roles of move along new career paths. In addition to our work on MyCareer@VA, we also conduct the ongoing VA Bereaved Family Member Survey.