A critically important piece of the market research puzzle is recruiting. As the term suggests, this is the process of identifying suitable participants from a pool of qualified samples, and engaging them through strategically-selected qualitative data capturing methods, such as (but not limited to) in-depth interviews, focus groups, online surveys (web, mobile, email), direct mail surveys, mystery shoppers, mock juries (for law firms), and the list go on.
However, most businesses that attempt a DIY approach to market research recruiting invariably end up paying far more and spending much longer than they anticipated; and still at the end of that investment, they do not (and cannot) get the reliable, accurate and actionable data-driven insights they need to make profitable decisions -- which, after all, is the whole point of market research in the first place. While there are many pitfalls on the DIY market research landscape, three of the most common are:
- Believing that friends and family represent a pool of qualified samples and willing participants. In the vast majority of cases (frankly, we have never seen or heard about a single success story along these lines), the members of this network are either too busy to participate in a meaningful way, or they are categorically not a representative sample. To maintain the relationship, they will consciously or subconsciously enhance the positive and diminish – or avoid – the negative. This is not market research recruiting: it is a fan club gathering!
- Even if their market research recruiting goes beyond a personal or professional network, many businesses fail to acknowledge and adjust to the fact that some participants will skew their answers to get an incentive. They may even lie (or at least not fully disclose the whole truth) in order to participate, so they can get a reward. For example, an individual that has no intention of making a big ticket purchase (e.g. new car, home, major appliance, etc.) in the next 90 days may, however, claim that it may be a possibility if they perceive that this will allow them to participate and hence get the available incentive (e.g. cash payment, gift card, etc.).
- “No-shows” are another major problem for DIY market research recruiting, which is not only frustrating and inconvenient, but it is costly as well. Employees waste their time (and hence their employers’ money) scheduling additional sessions and chasing down participants, and what was supposed to be a straightforward one or two week process can easily turn into a multi-month ordeal.
Fortunately, all of these pitfalls can be avoided by partnering with experts. Below, we highlight the 3 key advantages of hiring a full-service agency for market research recruiting:
1. Expansive Network: a full-service agency taps into a large national and, if applicable, international pool of potential participants to ensure a representative sample. This lays the groundwork for a comprehensive, accurate marketplace picture that ultimately supports intelligent, profitable decision-making.
2. Specialized Knowledge: there are substantial differences between recruiting business stakeholders (e.g. manufacturing professionals) and consumers (e.g. individuals buying retail goods). In addition, there are differences between industries and sectors; for example, the market research recruiting dynamics in the professional services space is different than that in the healthcare or IT space, and so on. A full-service agency leverages all of this specialized knowledge to drive your market research investment.
3. End-to-end Project Management: a full-service agency has experienced in-house project managers who make the entire process streamlined, focused and progressively moving forward – including conducting interviews or surveys with recruited participants. This frees up your employees and executives to focus on running your business vs. getting bogged down and held back by an overwhelming, unanticipated administrative burden.
The Bottom Line
There are many ways that businesses can make the market research recruiting process more efficient and effective, such as having a clear research opportunity (i.e. business problem to solve or goal to achieve). However, attempting to do DIY market research recruiting is not a cost or time-saving approach. On the contrary, it is a massive waste of money and time, plus it is risky as well since capable competitors are constantly either catching up or pulling away. Businesses that get stuck in a market research recruiting quagmire find themselves on the outside looking in. The fact that they are responsible for their dilemma just makes it worse!
Fortunately, partnering with a proven, professional and results-focused agency is not just the smartest decision when it comes to market research recruiting: it is the only decision that leads to impressive results and ROI.
To learn more, contact to Communications For Research team today. We are one of the nation’s most respected market research agencies, and specialize in end-to-end market research recruiting. You’ll speak with our co-CEO Colson Steber. After learning more about your company and your goals, Colson can give you market research advice, a quote and more insight from his many years of experience.
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