A lot needs to go right with qualitative market research studies if they are to be successful. You know your research has succeeded when your discoveries unveil:
- A better understanding of some of the underlying motivations and reasons behind purchasing decisions
- Insights into stumbling blocks for consumers
- Widespread trends in reasoning and opinion, usually discovered by conducting focus groups or in-depth interviews.
The one area where market research can go off the rails, or blow budgets, is recruiting participants for studies. Qualitative research consultants develop relationships with nationwide recruitment agencies knowing that outsourcing this crucial element of market research helps ensure success. In addition to recruiting qualified participants, market research recruiting firms project manage all aspects of recruitment, which frees up valuable time and energy for the researcher. Here are three proven approaches for recruitment engagement:
- Keep Study Participants in the Know—Time and again we’ve seen studies fall apart because participants are recruited, but aren’t told what to expect and what their responsibilities are. Participants can’t fully engage if they aren’t made aware of the expectations of participating in a study. If participants aren’t in the know, your study may experience no-shows, or confusion during in-depth interviews or focus groups. Make sure to brief participants on the study topic they’re being recruited for, and provided clear details of when, where, and how the study will be conducted. During the recruitment phase is also the time to explain what the compensation for participation will be, and when it will be paid out. When participants are well informed and clear about what their responsibilities of participation are, the better the outcome!
- Remain Connected—A recruiter’s job isn’t complete just because participants have been identified and signed up. Recruiters need to remain connected to potential and confirmed recruits throughout a study. It’s not unusual for last-minute substitutions to take place and when recruiters stay connected and engaged with a group of participants, it is much easier to manage substitutes or changes. Engaging with participants from beginning to end will have positive outcomes for the study.
- Know your Audience and Respond Accordingly—Recruiting for a healthcare study or a study aimed at executives is very different than recruiting for a general consumer study. Know your audience and respond accordingly! Executives don’t want to feel patronized, Baby Boomers may not be adept at managing newer technologies, and Gen-Z or Millennials are less likely to answer a phone call. Before engaging with recruits, you first need to be aware of professional, generational, gender, and cultural differences.
Engaging with study participants is a crucial component of successful market research study outcomes. One way to ensure success is by working with a market research recruitment firm.