Conjoint analysis is an underused but powerful survey methodology for public opinion research and public affairs campaigns. Conjoint analysis helps unravel the complexities of the public’s decision-making as they weigh trade-offs and make choices. Pluriel can partner with you to harness the power of conjoint analysis to deliver cost-effective, fast, and actionable insights.

While conjoint analysis has been widely embraced in marketing and product research, it is remarkably underused in the crafting of advocacy, public affairs, and strategic communications campaigns.

Conjoint analysis—a research methodology that unravels the complexities of decision-making—is a powerful tool that Pluriel has deployed to deliver sophisticated and cost-effective insights into the choices and trade-offs that go into the formation of public preferences. 

What is conjoint analysis?

Conjoint analysis is a market research methodology designed to uncover how people make decisions based on multiple factors. It arose from the recognition that people aren’t unidimensional—decision-making (whether on who to vote for or what product to buy) asks them to weigh trade-offs and make choices. 

In a typical conjoint survey, respondents are presented with a series of “packages,” each composed of different combinations of attributes. By analyzing how people choose between these packages, we can discern the relative importance of each attribute and predict how changes in them could affect public opinion or behaviour.

The potential of conjoint analysis for advocacy and public affairs

Traditional survey methods often restrict respondents to simplistic choices or expressions of support/agreement, failing to capture the nuance and multi-dimensionality of issues. 

Conjoint analysis, on the other hand, allows for the exploration of complex policy questions in a way that mimics real-world decision-making. It reveals not only what people prefer but also why they prefer it, thus illuminating the trade-offs they are willing to make.

Example: Public opinion on mental health policy

Imagine you’re an advocacy group focused on mental health care reform. You might want to know how the public would respond to changes in different aspects of mental health care—like cost, access, and quality. 

A conjoint survey could present various hypothetical mental health care plans, varying in terms of out-of-pocket costs, provider choice, wait-times for services, and breadth of services provided. It might look something like this:

The statistical analysis would then reveal how each of these attributes weighs into the public’s preferences, helping you tailor your advocacy goals or messaging strategies more effectively.

Compared to conventional public opinion surveys, conjoint analysis offers an unparalleled depth of insight, particularly suited to the nuanced and multifaceted issues often found in advocacy and public affairs campaigns. 

It goes beyond telling you what people think—it illuminates why they think that way and what trade-offs they are willing to consider. 

Why partner with Pluriel on a conjoint research program? 

We don’t think you’ll find a research company that can implement a conjoint research program as cost-effectively or as quickly as Pluriel. Our team has published academic articles and policy reports that feature conjoint analysis at their centre. As an online-first research company, methodologies like conjoint analysis (and MaxDiff, which you can read more about here) are our gold standard, and we tailor our programs to meet your goals.