Always be conscious of where your market research participants come from; fake respondents equal bad results, and inadequate back-checking has been a rife problem within the market research industry since its very beginning. Many (and that’s probably about 95%!) of market research agencies utilise what is known as ‘independent recruiters’ - a largely unregulated field that tends to be the source of many professional market research respondents, individuals who shift themselves into the desired criteria through deceit, having been fed what they need to say i.e. “Hi John, it’s Jane again, I’ve got another one of those paid market research jobs worth £75 if you can pretend ‘this time’ that your married with kids and drive a BMW 7 Series….. it’s only a hour and Peter and Paul are going as well but obviously just remember you’re not meant to know them otherwise I’ll get in trouble”.
Be very aware of the dangerous threat that these independent market researchers recruiters pose to your market research projects, and understand that while they may be cheap, the cost of inaccurate data is much dearer. If independent recruiters are part of your process, having run short of other options, always double-check the participants - ring them, re-screen them, and re-re-screen them again. It’s not all independent recruiters, but it is a large number of them who unfortunately focus more on getting their fee over finding genuine people for research.
Interestingly, MRFGR.com was actually started back in 2008 to combat this very problem (rogue independent market research recruiters invalidating projects with bad respondents) and as such all our market research projects are recruited by our very own specially trained inhouse team to strict recruitment guidelines (and who are also adept in spotting bad respondents!). We never hint, lead or feed individuals screening requirements, and we remain persistently vigilant to ensure that we never send a participant to a research session without being entirely confident of their genuineness. Unlike many other agencies who only check 10% of the respondent pool, MRFGR performs 100% full quality back-checks on all market research participants. Only in very rare and exceptional circumstances do we reach out to a handful of trusted recruiters to help us source a particularly hard to reach market research demographic/respondent type (perhaps less than 0.1% of our total projects). Even then, we follow our own advice and don’t provide the recruiter with too much information and personally re-screen any respondents they put forward.