Reaching a nationally representative audience by telephone

What is the most reliable way to reach a nationally representative audience by telephone?

How many friends and family members can you think of that rely solely on their landline number for telephone contact?

The majority of the UK population can probably count the number on one hand.

Mobile phone usage

How we communicate with each other has changed drastically since the turn of the century. With smartphones forming an integral part of our everyday lives – mobile devices have become more than just a form of verbally communicating with family and friends.

And as our reliance on mobile phones has increased, our use of the traditional landline has started to play a much smaller role in our lives.

What impact does this have on telephone research studies which require a nationally representative sample?

The answer is a significant impact.

By employing a once innovative methodology of calling as many households landline numbers as possible using random digit dialling sample (RDD), we find in this day and age that we inadvertently start to exclude a large percentage of the population – both mobile only households and an audience which is always on the move and heavily reliant on their mobile phone.

A 2018 study by Ofcom indicates a rise in mobile only households amongst 75+ year olds (up to 6%), with more than a third of 16-24-year olds (36%) living in mobile only households where 99% of this age group own a mobile phone [1].

Achieving a true nat rep sample

A truly robust methodology is one which evolves with the times and as technology changes, the approach should adapt to meet the ultimate needs of a nationally representative study – to remain nationally representative.

By introducing randomly generated mobile numbers into the sample set, a telephone approach can start to develop into one which captures three different audiences –

  • the audience reliant solely on traditional landlines
  • the audience where mobile phones are their primary device and own landline
  • the audience living in mobile only households

Over the years, the percentage of the UK population who class their mobile phone as their primary device has increased. And any methodology which seeks to match this growth should adapt in real time.

CATI solutions

Here at Yonder Data Solutions, our extremely talented and highly experienced management team run a regular telephone Omnibus – speaking to 1,000 GB respondents from Monday to Sunday.

As the only Omnibus survey of it’s kind in the UK, we target a 50:50 mix of landline and mobile users. This ensures we pick up the national proportion of ‘mobile only households’ which is key in delivering a representative telephone sample of the population.

Working closely with our trusted partners, our team ensure the 50% mobile split is representative of the market share of mobile telecoms providers, ensuring the audience interviewed each week is truly nationally representative of the Great Britain population.

As an award winning agency, Yonder Data Solutions is home to one of the UK’s leading market research telephone solutions. Each year we conduct 100,000 telephone interviews from our remote based solution with over 150 interviewers.

Contact us

If you like to get in touch to discuss our telephone offerings or to see how our cost effective CATI Omnibus solution can benefit your business – contact Kalpesh Varsani, Head of Telephone Solutions on 020 7553 4130 or

Yonder Data Solutions are extremely proud to have won the prestigious MRS Operations Award for Best Data Solution for three consecutive years and the Highly Commended award for 2019.

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