News WBA Helps Lay Foundation for Successful 2022 Economic Census

Posted by WBA Research    May 04, 2022   0 comments

The U.S. Census Bureau serves as the leading source of official data about the nation’s people and economy. With planning underway for the 2022 Economic Census, which is the U.S. government’s official five-year measure of American business and the economy, the initial focus is being directed towards response promotion and data collection efforts. Building upon successful strategies developed for the 2017 Economic Census, the Census Bureau faces new challenges in creating awareness and increasing participation among the business community.
As we have for the past five Economic Censuses (25 years), WBA Research worked with the marketing agency GRAFIK to execute a research plan to seek insights from small and mid-sized business owners that will help direct outreach efforts. More specifically, the research examined awareness and perceptions of the U.S. Census Bureau and the Economic Census, along with potential barriers to completing the Economic Census. Messaging strategies and ad campaign concepts were tested to determine what approaches are most effective at building awareness, conveying information, and motivating response.
In October 2021, OMB (Office of Management and Budget) approved a plan for up to 14 focus group sessions with business owners and those within the firm responsible for completing government requests for business information. Between February 15 and March 3, 2022, 14 focus groups were conducted in six markets — Miami, Houston, Philadelphia, New York City, Chicago, and Irvine/Los Angeles. A total of 111 business people participated in the research. The discussions were moderated by Steve Markenson of WBA Research. Participants included business owners and executives, department heads, or in some cases an office manager who is tasked with filling out government forms on behalf of the business.
The learnings from the research are now being used by GRAFIK and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Respondent Outreach and Promotion Branch to develop a communications plan to be launched this Fall.