Not so long ago (10-15 years ago) it was one of the very important requirements that the respondent has never participated in market research or only participated in surveys no more than three times in his entire life.
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Then this criteria came down to: "not once in the last two years", "not once in the last year", "not once in the last three months." But is this criteria really so important? What three criteria do you really need to pay attention to and why participation in research is not the main criteria for recruiting in the modern world?
At the moment when marketing research began to appear in Russia (early 90s) and actively began to gain its popularity (early 2000s), people simply did not understand what a focus group or in-depth interview was, and when an interviewer ran up to them on the street with a request to take part in the survey, many avoided this and refused. But time does not stand still - now every second resident of Moscow has taken part in market research at least once. The picture has changed dramatically in recent years. Therefore, if you have criteria for "not participating in the study", it is not the key in the selection.
What exactly to look for when choosing respondents for the study? Let's analyze the points:
To what extent is the person knowledgeable in the research topic, to what extent is he your target audience? This can be revealed when recruiting respondents, with the help of screening questions, preferably open ones, where a person can describe the process of buying a product on your resource and add comments immediately, what difficulties he has encountered when buying, which a person who does not have this experience cannot do.
To what extent is the respondent disposed to communicate? Here it is important to avoid a situation when a person is overly sociable or withdrawn, we can identify this criterion when communicating with a respondent on the phone, ask questions about the research topic and ask you to answer several open questions, during which it is revealed how large an error in one direction or another is and we can understand whether to invite such a respondent to the survey.
With regard to the frequency of participation in the study, when communicating with the respondent, if he often participates in surveys and really earns some kind of income from this, which is actually a rare aspect, since literally in half a year of active participation the respondent will be in all bases and there will be unscrupulous comments on it, for example, the wrong one who pretended to be, and so on, this very rarely happens, since it is simply impossible to make money in this area by frequent participation in surveys, without having a main profession and a permanent sphere activities.
What can you find with a phone screening?
How much more sociable such a person is than others? Is he really overly active? Does he communicate on distant topics, does he pour a lot of water unrelated to the topic of research and the experience of his shopping? Can't describe the whole purchase process, tell you about the difficulties you encountered? Can't immediately tell you the color palette of the site or application where you made the purchase?
If there is a question, do not invite a respondent corresponding to your target audience to the survey because he has participated in the research more than three times in his life or, when he had free time, he took part in surveys several times during the year, being in looking for a job at that time, it is better to miss these criteria since when selecting respondents you simply omit the main point, find your target audience, and not find a respondent who has never participated in surveys or has not done it more than three times in his life.
What is the reason for the criterion for "not participating", and if I mark it, it is often recommended to adhere to? The fact is that checking on the base and rejecting a potential respondent who participated in the study more than three times is a kind of "panacea", since it is much more difficult to pay attention when recruiting to those aspects of how much a person really relates to our target audience, for this you need to have a large experience to be able to immediately ask leading questions over the phone, the so-called questions - "frogs".
Now, when the market is oversaturated with research and in Moscow every second inhabitant of it took part in the research at least once, it is not worth rejecting respondents at this stage. Otherwise, you simply lose the opportunity to find a true respondent who will give you valuable information. What to look for when screening, we described above what questions the frog should ask the respondent and why checking in the database is not a panacea, we described.
One of the important points when ordering a study from a third-party organization
You should understand that if your project is "one of" this company, most likely in this organization there is simply no opportunity and budget for training employees in the skills of selecting respondents, communicating with the respondent, analyzing how he answers screening questions. And, in this case, the easiest way is to initially check the respondent in the database, and then promptly invite him to the survey. Organizations conducting complex research can often request some kind of confirmation from the respondent, but the main emphasis will be on the results of the base check, and not on additional selection stages.
As with all technologies, some are becoming obsolete, while others are acquiring new values for the market. For example, if a respondent previously applied for participation in a survey for respondents with an economic education, being a lawyer, this fact should alert you. But, first of all, it is necessary to focus on the screening and analysis of the respondent's answers not only in electronic format, but also when talking in person, since “at the exit” the respondent may have two higher educations: legal and economic and use the “Consultant +” program, and being it's loyal customer. And if we reject a respondent outright based on the results of a database check, we may thereby lose the opportunity to find the most relevant respondent for a research. Which will give us valuable information. Above was a specific case from our practice.