Full attendance from High-Level individuals recruited through extensive outreach campaign

Read about how we managed to recruit high level consumers through extensive outreach campaigns while utilising optional incentives. This case study also delves into a recent online survey project we completed for a client, the complex programming techniques at our disposal with the MRFGR survey platform, and a few of the different ways we can deliver data, allowing for ease of analysis and reporting.

We recruited owners of high performance sports cars for a remote focus group.

Our experienced qualitative team provided our client with guidance on the appropriate incentives, methodology, and feasibility of targeting this specific audience.

The recruitment of this difficult, hard-to-reach audience was possible thanks to our detailed outreach campaigns which targeted hobbyists and high earners through social groups, networking events and forums. With the tricky audience in mind, we decided that proof was necessary, so along with our standard 3-step screening process (which includes an initial, non-leading questionnaire, a re-screen verification by phone and final confirmation of details), we also requested registration numbers and pictures of the respondent's vehicles to validate them as a true research participants.

Successful recruits were further managed by MRFGR to ensure high attendance levels and a smooth transition from fieldwork into findings for our client.

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Remote focus groups - High-level consumers - UK

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.

    Online Survey - Consumers - UK

    One of our long term clients approached us with with an online survey requirement; they wanted to speak with 1,000 consumers who had stayed at a budget hotel in the UK within the last 6 months. In addition, respondents needed to have heard of a specific chain and not be outright rejectors. The sample was further divided into customers targeted through our client’s own mailing list (50%) and non-customers (50%), sourced through our own panel.

    Our initial counts and preliminary research identified an estimated incidence rate (IR) of 40%-50%, establishing full feasibility and enabling us to offer a competitive CPI. In addition to sampling, we helped with the design of the survey questionnaire and the hosting of the online survey.

    The client already had a good idea of the types of questions they’d like to ask, but wanted our advice on the best way to ask them. They sent over a draft survey and our quantitative team quickly got to work. Within the same day, we sent back our own draft which contained a comprehensive set of suggestions which aimed to:

  • Reduce the Length of Interview (LOI) as much as possible without negatively impacting the survey - e.g. mainly through combining questions where we could.
  • Clarity, Spelling, Gramatical, and phrasing checks - such as reconstructing questions to make sure they’re non-leading
  • Expanding answer options to create a more user-friendly survey for respondents and to pave the way for analysis-friendly deliverables
  • Providing general advice from experienced market research consultants in relation to survey direction
  • Giving a general overview of the appearance of some questions or remarking on certain design concepts
  • Once the survey was planned, our programming team set the survey up on our system by the following morning. They were able to recreate the survey faithfully as per the original design, utilising an array of basic and complex logic to construct a “semi-unique” experience for respondents, such as:

  • Validation equations - respondents were required to answer some questions in a certain way as instructed by the client - e.g. a multiple numerical input where all answers must reach a specific total.
  • Question skip - basic logic meant some questions could be skipped based on previous answers
  • Relevancy equations - displayed answer options heavily depended on users prior answers
  • Route logic - users experienced different orders of some questions and answer-options based upon randomisation
  • In the end, the survey was 85% closed-questions, with 15% open-ended questions. There was a broad range of question types used, including arrays, short answer text, image displays, numbered responses, ‘drag and drop’ card sorting, dropdown, radio, and multi-select checkboxes.

    When we were satisfied with the survey, we sent it across to our client and asked if they wanted to make any last-minute additions or changes. Once happy, we proceeded with a soft-launch - this means targeting for only 10% of the overall sample so that we can give the client an idea of how users are responding to the survey and how the results will appear before we fully launch. If the client decided that one of the questions still isn’t quite working, based on the responses, we were able to revise accordingly.

    Once fully launched, we provided our client with daily updates on numbers, full responses and quota-counts (while there wasn’t any quotas per se, our quantitative team did keep an eye on these to make sure there was no unnatural skew towards one demographic over another - though often, as in this case, the fallout was generally representative).

    Once the project was concluded, we provided our client with three deliverables:

  • Raw Data Spreadsheet
  • Response sheet with coded open answers
  • Data tables
  • The client was overall very satisfied, with the deliverables being provided within an agreed timeframe of five days from project sign-off.

    We look forward to continuing our work on a variety of projects within the coming weeks. Remember that if you have anything you’d like to discuss, questions, or enquiries, you can reach us through our contact page. We hope to hear from you soon!

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