As we move closer and closer towards the summer, MRFGR continue to sign off some new and exciting projects within the consumer, b2b and healthcare sectors - and we can’t wait to start work on them all (watch this space - as we’ll be posting about these soon!)
Our long term studies - such as the international online survey on a certain skin condition - is still performing well, and we’re also getting started on the planning and strategy for various projects which are due to take place within May. That said, let’s share what we’ve been up to this week - including some handy tips for successful outreach campaigns and online survey planning.
MRFGR were approached by a client with a difficult request; they wanted to recruit individuals who were earning significantly large salaries and ‘on top’ of the socioeconomic scale. Generally speaking, high-level individuals aren’t readily available for market research on our pre-existing database, can be difficult to incentivise, and are hard to contact.
We make a habit of never promising what isn’t possible - we remain transparent with our clients at all times, whether at the beginning of a project or in the midst of one, so as standard practice, we deliver a full feasibility assessment before signing off any work to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and with the same expectations.
The difficult criteria was this: they wanted to speak with owners of high-performance cars (Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc) for a F2F focus group. There’s a few immediate issues here - first, the obvious: people who can afford to own these cars aren’t typically interested in market research. You have to remember that they’re going to be very high on the socioeconomic scale, with large incomes and small amounts of free time. Secondly, with success comes a hectic schedule, so getting them all together in one room at the same time is a challenge in and of itself. Finally, in the current climate - would a F2F focus group even be possible? When this client approached us, the lockdown hadn’t yet begun. The world outlook at the time was very much in the position of, ‘wait and see what happens’, but it was plain to see, even then, that it could cause trouble for us.
However, if something doesn’t appear to be feasible, we offer solutions where we can.
We suggested a remote focus group to help counteract any issues potentially caused by Coronavirus, with the additional benefit being that it would boost feasibility - allowing us to recruit from anywhere within the UK and enabling respondents to join the session from the comfort of their own home, making the research less demanding on their schedule. The possibility of 1-on-1 interviews was raised, but our client was keen to see respondents in a group setting - where their joint enthusiasm was bound to encourage greater discussion and a more interesting chat all round.
Incentives are difficult with this target audience. Incentives need to be something that they actually want or need - and simply put, people who buy high-performance cars aren’t really in need of… well, anything - or anything that can justifiably be given as an incentive, anyway.
We discussed this with our client at length and heavily interrogated the possibilities. Ultimately, we settled on an offering of the following:A substantial monetary incentive that could even be accepted in payment, or;A substantial donation made to a charity of the respondents choice, or;A gift card redeemable for a driving experience day.
As vast as it is, an audience like this isn’t really available on our database, and while some did screen through, it definitely wasn’t a substantial enough sample for any focus group. With high-level audiences, we like to prove they’re genuine, and the best way to do this is to find them at a natural source.
The great thing about this target audience is that they have a clearly defined interest that they love to talk about. Our qualitative recruitment team went straight to the forums, social groups, and networking sites for this one, specifically communicating with those centred on the cars and brands that we were interested in.
Outreaching requires a bit of research in itself. You need to know your target audience, where they hang out, who they talk to, and what they like doing. The broad and indiscriminate approach of contacting everywhere possible can only take you so far - and you’re heavily relying on luck.
Getting outreach for market research right can be tough, but you need to approach it in the frame of, ‘how would I like to be contacted?’ Here’s a few tips from our own qualitative team on the best ways for successful outreach:Most importantly, remember that GDPR is still a thing. It’s not something that came and went in that grim May of 2018. Don’t commit to outreach that involves processing a person’s personal data without their permission.Keep it personal. At the end of your communication is another person, remember that. An indirect approach is unlikely to gain the same interest as a direct one.Be transparent. Never trick your ways into communities, groups, forums, or past a receptionist for the sake of getting the message across. This is likely to get you a quick ban, a waste of efforts, and now an avenue of outreach will be closed off to you entirely. Chat to site moderators and be honest about your intentions; we found that many have given us boosted / pinned posts, or even sent emails out for us.Be clear. Keep the information concise and easy to digest. Remember that most respondents don’t care about the exact venue at this stage - a general location will suffice - and a sentence on the research topic is fine, they don’t want whole paragraphs. Consider your message and reduce it where possible to build a precise and effective communication.Offer choices. Over the years, we’ve realised that a lot of people don’t apply for research they’re interested in through outreach purely because the link to register looks unfamiliar. That’s fine - give them a choice: a link to a Google Form, a telephone number to call. This will increase the response rate exponentially.
Thanks to our extensive outreach efforts and targeting, we successfully managed to recruit all participants. Currently, we are in the process of managing the participant list - consistently connecting with them to ensure engagement, and making sure they’ve all tested the online platform for compatibility with their devices / internet before the research sessions.