Nationwide market research recruiting firms have lots of tricks and techniques for finding the most qualified people to participate in market research studies. Our team of recruiters bring different skill sets to recruiting, and depending on the subject of the study, we’ll deploy different recruiters for different studies (e.g. medical studies or political recruitment.) Even though different recruiters have different ways of connecting with qualified participants, there are some commonalities that most recruiters share. Today we’ll share with you three tips for improving market research recruitment.
1) Identify your TARGET audience
The best study outcomes happen when participants are representative of existing, or eventual, customers. Before you can design a study or create a screening guide, the first step is to clearly define who your intended participants are. Be realistic about who your customers are and focus on recruiting them to participate in your market research study. Work backwards to quickly figure out who your target audience is. What are the goals of your research study? What do you want to discover? By answering these questions first, it will become clear who your target audience is.
With your audience in mind the next step is to find a representative mix of participants. Good recruiters think beyond geography and demographics. While these are important, you want to also consider attitudes, characteristics, and behaviours of your participants. Some examples of more clearly defined categories of participants might include: Ohio parents who have children enrolled in pre-school; Golfers in the southeast who are active on social media sites; or 30-50 year old women who regularly commute more than 10 miles for work.
Don’t forget that defining who doesn’t qualify to participate in your study as defining who does. Spending time on this first step makes the next step, writing your screening guide, a lot easier!
2) Screening Guides
Now that you’ve identified your target audience, your next step is to create a screening guide to help identify qualified people to participate in your study. We’ve written about the importance of screening guides in assisting recruiters in past blogs, but in a nutshell, screening guides will help you weed out people who don’t meet all the criteria for participating in your study. They’re also great tools for helping identify ‘professional research participants’ or those who are savvy enough to answer questions in such a way to get them into studies that they don’t really qualify for.
The trick to getting the wording right in screening guides is not to give too much away. Don’t reveal the purpose of the research study; don’t reveal the name of the product or company; and, don’t ask leading questions.
Use the opportunity during the screening process to identify expressive and communicative people. If the respondents give only curt answers and aren’t descriptive in how they communicate during the screening process, chances are they’ll be the same during the study.
3) Incentives for Participation
Offering monetary incentives in exchange for participating in a study will greatly improve your response rate and motivate people to complete the full study. It’s a bit of a juggle to know how much to offer as an incentive for participation. Here are 3 tips for finding the right balance:In-person studies (focus groups or in-depth interviews) should have higher incentive amounts than online or virtual participation. The additional logistics and time involved to participate in person commands a higher incentive.
1. If your recruiting high-income earners to participate in market research, they need to be paid a higher amount than lower-income earners. For instance, when recruiting for medical research studies, doctors and nurses require higher incentive payments than non-medical professionals.
2. The longer the time commitment to fully complete a study, the higher the incentive needs to be. If you’re doing a longitudinal study, or requiring participants to be active and engaged over any period of time, then you’ll need to offer a higher incentive.
3. Once a participant has fully completed his/her obligations, don’t delay payment. If payments will take a few weeks or a month to process, be very clear upfront about the delay.
Market research recruitment is more than just finding people. There are many steps involved and it takes considerable time and energy. Most companies and even market research firms work with nationwide recruiting agencies to fulfill this important piece of market research. Sure, it’s possible to do recruiting in-house, but the stakes are too high to get it wrong. Outsourcing to professional agencies is your best bet for finding the most qualified people to participate in your market research study.