In This Issue
As we mentioned last month, a team of us from CSR will attend the upcoming Quirk’s event in Brooklyn on March 3rd and 4th. If you are also planning to attend the conference, please let us know; we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee or glass of wine!Questions? Click here to send us an email with your request.
- Vol. 15, Issue 2, February 2020
In This Issue
Hello!Happy Valentine’s Day! Love is in the air, and of course, so is research. Read on to learn how these two passionate pursuits intertwine, in this edition of Research with a Twist, called, “Love (Research), Actually”.
Love (Research), Actually
As most of us know, from songs, movies, novels, comic books, poems, advertising, fairy tales, Facebook, and even sometimes, our own lives, finding “the one” can be a key to happiness in life (even if our spouses don’t always think so!).
The same urgency of finding “the one” applies to market research, but even more so. Recruiting the wrong research participant is one of the few things more painful than that first date with that fellow commuter that you thought you had a lot in common with, but you find out you don’t about two sips into your first cocktail together. If we are going to make the sacred commitment of engaging (pun intended) in a research interaction with someone, it must be someone who is the right fit for our study. The following are our thoughts on finding that “special someone”:
Finding “the right one” online
Many of us find “the one” online. Match, OKCupid, Tinder, etc., are de rigueur for finding dates these days. Most of these sites make matches based on an algorithm that requires screening questions that we hope are answered honestly when getting matched. Unfortunately, there’s no way, on those sites, to verify that our potential dates are telling the truth. Which is why it’s crucial to establish a baseline of communication prior to agreeing to meet in person. If you can get through a week or two of texts or emails without receiving unsolicited nude photos, or a creepy, frightening vibe, you just might have a winner there! (Or not.)
Screening research participants online is similar, but it can be a lot easier than dating sites to verify key criteria during screening, especially for B2B participants. At CSR, if a potential B2B research participant’s identity is not pre-verified, meaning the contact doesn’t come from a client’s list, we will add questions to screening that only someone from the targeted job description would know. All’s fair in love and research!
Finding “the right one” for in-person interactions
The stakes are even higher, obviously, for in-person meetings. To agree to meet someone in person in the dating world is risky to say the least. In talking with friends going on first (or even second or third) dates with people they’ve met online, the concept of “serial killer” is almost always seriously considered.
Luckily, for in-person research interactions, for example, focus groups, we always re-screen prior to the groups. We’ve had two research participants in the past year who appeared to qualify for focus groups during phone screening, then changed their answers when asked the same questions face-to-face. While it was slightly awkward when we informed them that they didn’t meet criteria and weren’t qualified to participate, it would have been much more awkward for them, and us, if the “inconsistencies” came out during the focus groups. Bottom line: Re-screen so that your physician recruit doesn’t net you a Dr. Strangelove in your focus group!
For either, don’t be shy about using Google
Another great practice when recruiting B2B research participants is to Google your recruits, and in particular, verify their current positions on LinkedIn. It takes a little time and effort, but is well worth it.
Did your date tell you that she was a doctor, or a lawyer, or even better, a market researcher? Easy enough to verify online! Some may call this stalker-ish behavior, but we’d rather be creepy than risk a bad match.
Here’s the Twist: With Valentine’s Day upon us, we think it’s a good time to reflect on the fact that sometimes finding the right connection takes some work, whether it’s thorough online screening, re-screening for in-person research interactions, or getting stalker-y with the Google. At CSR, we consider ourselves ready, willing, and more than happy to be your research matchmakers!
Mixology (Putting Research into Practice)
Here are some additional hot tips for finding the most eligible research participants:
- Calling the organizations’ general number: In addition to checking LinkedIn profiles for B2B research, it’s also helpful to call the general number of the research participant’s organization to verify that the person works there and in the expected functional area.
- Ask a question to understand “intangibles”: For some types of research, especially focus groups or online video interactions, participant personality is very important. On those occasions, screen using a general question, like, “What types of vacation are you planning, or would you like to plan, over the next year?”, and test whether the potential participant has what you need, in terms of creativity, insight, or even fully-formed responses.
- It’s not who you are, it’s what you know: Many of our clients foster organization structures that are less hierarchical and more fluid than in previous generations. As a result, we find it fruitful to ask about “responsibilities” instead of “title”. One company’s Human Resources Director is another company’s Human Capital Guru!
As we mentioned last month, a team of us from CSR will attend the upcoming Quirk’s event in Brooklyn on March 3rd and 4th. If you are also planning to attend the conference, please let us know; we’d love to meet for a cup of coffee or glass of wine!
The Center for Strategy Research, Inc. (CSR) is a research firm. The “Twist” to what we offer is this: We combine open-ended questioning with our proprietary technology to create quantifiable data. As a result our clients gain more actionable and valuable insights from their research efforts.