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Client Questions - Respondent Recruitment & Attendance

How do you recruit your market research respondents?

The method of respondent recruitment is very much dependent on the project at hand. Generally, we utilise several respondent recruitment methods, including in order of importance:

(1) Ongoing advertising of the MRFGR website (directing potential participants to the market research registration page) and it's various project requirements for certain types of people to participate in focus groups, depth interviews, co-creation workshops, product testing, audience participation, mystery shopping, etc.

(2) Specialist 'cold-start' research in respect of difficult briefs/hard-to-find people, where the team closely consider the project and plan a specialist recruitment strategy, and actively recruit those individuals through their work places, social media, colleagues/friends, etc.

(3) Specialist recruiters who have been trained in the 'MRFGR recruitment way' and who are closely monitored and recruits stringently checked (all respondents are called and re-screened).

What considerations should be made when selecting my respondent type?

Consider your market research project carefully and determine what you want to achieve from the research. Generally, your ideal respondent type will be someone that is either a current customer/user of your product/service or someone that you want to be a customer or user. Once you have identified the respondent type/s it’s highly probable that you’ll then want to break these down further into other identifiable areas. Such areas of consideration may include:

  • respondent age;
  • respondent gender;
  • respondent race;
  • respondent income;
  • respondent education;
  • respondent working status;
  • respondent location;
  • respondent usage/purchase frequency of the product or service;
  • the respondents use of competitor products or services;
  • How do you screen market research respondents?

    Screening potential market research respondents for focus groups, depth interviews, online surveys, etc is a critical part of the market research process. MRFGR can use client screeners or create screeners on the client’s behalf at no additional charge. Unlike our competitors MRFGR provides at least one - sometimes two - ‘additional’ layer/s of screening. Any respondents joining our panel/database are asked a series of screening questions including many general questions in regard to them personally, their lifestyle, their work, their health and their interests including any specialist areas of interest. Additionally, for every new project, respondents are then re-screened using the agreed screener via an online survey/screener and then as a further measure any potential applicants are then called and once again screened on the telephone ensuring the best screening process out there.

    In addition to this stringent market research screening process applicants are also monitored to ensure that they haven’t completed too many research projects and are what we’d class as a ‘professional market research respondents’. Generally - unless the clients requests otherwise - respondents are not included in a research project if they've completed a similar project in the last 6 months.

    How do you determine the recruitment cost of a respondent?

    The recruitment cost of a respondent type is generally dependent on three variables, (1) the time frame to recruit, (2) the level of difficulty in terms of the screening requirement/respondent type required, and (3) the number of respondents required (large scale respondent recruits can qualify for discounts depending on certain factors).

    For a quick no obligation respondent recruitment quote (we can usually turnaround a quote within minutes of the request) please call or email the office.

    What do you mean by incentives?

    Incentives are rewards that are paid to respondents for participating in a market research project. There are generally three incentive types, (1) cash, (2) cheque/bank transfer or (3) vouchers/product give-a-ways. In 99% of instances we would always recommend paying market research respondents in cash once they have completed their research (please note this is not a viable option for online surveys and instead vouchers or prizes are usually issued), so in instances of focus groups the market research participants should only be paid at the end of the group (not ‘before’ like most of the other agencies attest to).

    From many years of experience, generally if you offer cheque or bank transfer not only will it cause a headache in terms of administration but respondents are less likely to be interested in the research and are also more likely to drop out at the last minute should they have already agreed to the research. Similarly, vouchers or product give-aways are equally frowned upon by respondents and are generally only effective as an incentive if the voucher or product is of substantial value - a good gauge is to consider a cash figure and then add an equivalent voucher/product value of at least 50%, if not 100%.

    How do we determine the incentive amount for our project?

    This is a very important question. If the incentive’s too low you’ll have an issue not only in raising respondent interest to the market research project but also ensuring a good respondent turnout/participation. On the other hand if you pay too much you’ll be unnecessarily eating into your project budget.

    The best way to determine the correct incentive is to put yourself in the shoes of the respondent. What would it take for you to attend a focus group or to take part in an online survey? Particularly in respect of focus groups, consider what incentive would ensure your attendance. Would you still attend if a better opportunity presented itself - perhaps your friends have asked you out for drink? What if it was raining and you were coming by bus or train? There are many obstacles that can prevent a respondent’s attendance, but if the incentive’s good enough this should be enough to overcome them (in addition to the effective management of the recruitment process by the highly specialised MRFGR respondent recruitment team).

    How can we ensure a good respondent turnout for our research project?

    As discussed above, respondent incentives are a key element of ensuring good respondent attendance. However, even with the best incentives out there, without an effective respondent recruitment team there’s little chance of a good turnout. MRFGR are the best in the industry in ensuring respondent attendance and in 95% of projects are proud to boast 100% attendance - and still a record 90% attendance in those small 5% of cases.

    We go to great lengths to ensure not only quality screened respondents but respondents that turn-up to your research and in a timely manner (respondents are always asked to arrive 15 minutes before the actual focus group commences). Unlike our competitors we ensure that we call the respondent on at least three occasions leading up to the group to ensure their continued interest and to assess their reliability. This includes a telephone discussion on final screening selection, a call a few days before the group and a call on the morning of the group. Additionally, as a further insurance measure we also ensure - at no extra charge - that we have quality, screened reserve respondents in the unlikely instance that someone should cancel. These reserve respondents are also asked their location in respect of the group, the time it would take for them to travel to the venue in addition to being asked what would be the latest time they could be contacted to ensure their attendance in the event of someone cancelling. No one else in the industry provides this level of service to ensure full respondent turnouts.