Sometimes cliches or soundbites take on a life of their own. Take for instance the well-known line, “If you build it, they will come.” Most people know this line from the movie Field of Dreams, and use it to justify building something before there is an audience or known group that actually wants what you’re building. This quote has morphed from the original line from the movie which was “If you build it, he will come.” It almost doesn’t matter what the original quote was because the idea behind it has become such a familiar phrase throughout our culture.While this quote sounds great and inspirational, when it comes to market research recruiting, it couldn’t be more wrong.
We have numerous examples of organizations calling us to help them recruit people to fill out a survey. In most of these cases the organizations thought that all they had to do was create a survey and post it to their website or social networks and, bam, people would feel compelled to take the survey. It’s always a disappointment when reality sets in and you discover that most people can’t be bothered to participate in any type of qualitative or quantitative market research study without being incentivized or specifically recruited.
Some organizations provided feedback and said they thought the costs of recruiting for a large, quantitative study would be too cost prohibitive, which is why they tried to do it themselves. What they failed to understand is that failing to recruit is also cost prohibitive in that the study will be worthless without participation. We’ve delighted and surprised many clients when they learned that recruiting for quantitative studies isn’t as expensive as they feared.
Our trained recruiters have many tricks up their sleeves to get people to participate in market research, from obscure topics to general consumer studies. Each market study is unique and no two studies have the same parameters for recruiting. When it comes to recruiting for large-scale surveys, we work with the client or market research agency to figure out the best way to broadcast the survey and what will work best to incentivize people to participate. Our years of experience with market research recruiting informs our recommendations.
There is no such thing as a ‘simple’ market research study. Each study has many components and each are important to get right. Think of market research like a game of Jenga. There are lots of inter-connected pieces and if some of the foundational components get knocked out of place, the whole thing comes crashing down. Recruiting is definitely one of the foundational pieces of any market research study. Don’t move forward with a market research study thinking, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ As with any successful project, there is a lot of strategy and planning involved. Because much of this takes place behind the scenes, it may appear to outsiders that it ‘just happened.’ Market research doesn’t ‘just happen.’ Researchers and recruiting teams work hard to ensure that the important, foundational components are all in place before the first focus group, in-depth interview, or survey is launched. The more appropriate cliché for market research is, ‘The devil is in the details.’