The NTS Research Panel: Guide Refresh Survey Results

LJ Research – an independent market research agency based in Edinburgh – has operated a research panel for the
National Trust for Scotland since 2010. The research panel gathers feedback from a broad mix of consumers to
inform ongoing decision making for the Trust.

This report provides an overview of key results from the last research panel survey, Guide Refresh Survey, which
captured feedback to inform potential redesigns of the members’ handbook – the Guide – to help ensure that it most
effectively promotes the Trust’s offer to the wide variety of current members.

Guide Refresh Survey

An online survey using Visitrac (LJ Research’s online survey system) was sent in November 2015 to research
panel participants who are members of the NTS. NTS members who opted to participate in additional research after
having completed a National trust for Scotland visitor survey questionnaire in 2015 were also invited to take part
in the research. An excellent overall response of 559 completed surveys was achieved.

Use of the Guide

Members of the National Trust for Scotland use the Guide more for planning visits to NTS properties rather than as an
information resource when actually visiting properties. From this result it can be implied that the Guide to an extent
provides inspiration to visit properties, in addition to pre-visit planning information, and is not just purely a source of practical

These findings suggest that members more readily use the Guide to find out general information about NTS properties
but tend not to rely on the Guide when actually visiting.

How regularly do you use the guide?

How regularly do you use the guide

Satisfaction with the Guide

The Guide was rated at 3.67 out of 5 which suggests a reasonable level of satisfaction but also indicates that there
is room for improvement.

Relatively consistent views of the Guide were apparent among the segments analysed with the exception of those
aged 75+ who tended to demonstrate significantly higher levels of satisfaction with the Guide.

How satisfied are you with the NTS handbook ‘Guide’?


 Font type

Respondents were presented with two example typefaces – Optima and Futura – and were asked to identify which
font type they preferred. As can be seen below, Futura was by some margin the preferred font type.

Which of the following font type do you prefer?font type

Inspiration themes

Six themes were tested with respondents asked to state which theme(s) they thought would most inspire members to visit Trust properties. As shown below, the most inspirational theme was considered to be ‘Grand Days’ cited by 65% of respondents. The next most effective themes were ‘Village Days’ (59%), ‘Wild Days’ (58%) and ‘Battle Days’ (57%).

Which of these themes do you think will inspire members
the most to visit Trust properties?themes

To assess the potential impact of inspiration themes, respondents were asked to express their level of agreement / disagreement with two statements:
– “Inspiration themes will make it easier for members to choose the types of places they like visiting.”

– “Inspiration themes will inspire members to visit more properties and/or go to properties more regularly.”

As can be seen below, there was broad if not resounding agreement with the statements suggesting overall support for the adoption of inspiration themes within the Guide.

To what extent do you agree / disagree with the following?



Comment from Roben Hera, Membership Manager, The National Trust for Scotland

“NTS members from the panel have provided very useful advice to aid the redesign of the Guide. This feedback is
critical to enable the creation of a refreshed Guide which appeals to our broad range of members and actively encourages
them to engage and interact with our sites . Thank you for taking the time to feed in your views!”