It’s a great time to be a qualitative research professional. With broadband and smartphone connectivity getting closer and closer to absolute ubiquity, and technology solutions rapidly emerging, the arsenal of weapons available to facilitate qualitative research online and via mobile devices is ever-expanding. However, getting these studies off the ground and finding qualified/capable participants is also becoming increasingly more complicated.
When it comes to launching an online qualitative research project, identifying your target audience and choosing your desired platform are the easy parts. However, if you don’t factor in the other logistical pitfalls that may come up during your study, a seemingly easy project can become a bit of a nightmare. Elements to consider during the setup and recruitment of your online qual study include:
As pioneers in online qualitative research, Accelerant Research is keenly aware of what factors will make for successful project setup and participant recruitment (i.e., we sweat the details). We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step and experience the difference that we provide for yourself. Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (email@example.com).
According to Wikipedia, farm-to-table is a social movement which promotes serving local food at restaurants, preferably through direct acquisition from the producer. Moreover, farm-to-table often incorporates a form of food traceability (celebrated as "knowing where your food comes from") where the origin of the food is identified to consumers.
To achieve the highest quality in recruiting participants for market research studies, Accelerant Research has adopted a parallel program of farm-to-table in its recruiting practices. Doing so has proven to be the single most important ingredient in our success, resulting in continued growth in the amount of recruiting projects we are asked to provide for our clients.
For us, it begins with our nationwide panel of consumers, amassed through several years of rigorous vetting and pruning to cast out the “professional survey takers” and keep only those who are articulate and have substantive knowledge on a given subject of study. Those that we catch “cheating the system” by trying to game a screener, or otherwise attempt to deceive our recruiters are deleted from our database. Conversely, those that are genuine, who show up on time at designated sites, and truly participate, are recognized as “elite participants” that are used (after a timeout period) for special clients on special projects.
Another important ingredient in our farm-to-table recipe for qual recruiting include the meticulous scrutiny we bring to bear on our clients’ screeners. In the spirit of farm-to-table quality in our recruiting services, we carefully vet screeners to ensure they provide operational definitions of the target population members to be recruited. This way, clients get exactly what they ordered and
recruiting projects run smoothly without surprises
At Accelerant Research, our team of recruiters are well trained to be sensitive to these conditions of lying and faking, and require all potential participants to provide anecdotes and even artifacts (photos, etc.) to validate their usage of or experience with the study topic. We pay close attention to their “stories” and probe them to clarify or expand their answers. In the end, we provide quality recruits that are both qualified and articulate.
We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step. Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of recruiting service you receive will be a marked improvement.
Recruiting qualified, articulate participants that show up for the study is not so easy. Yet, it can be argued that recruiting skills may be as essential as the moderator’s research skills in the successful execution of a study. Even the most gifted, seasoned qualitative research professional can be upended by poor recruiting, despite his or her abilities to unearth participants’ input and the insights that they yield. As such, in order to best serve their clients, recruiters must appreciate and manage the great many glitches that can occur in any study, regardless of the venue, methodology, or target population.
Focus Groups and In-depth Interviews
Surely the most tried and true method to obtain qualitative research data is through the traditional in-person focus group (FG) and its close cousin, the in-depth interview (IDI). Assuming a focus group facility as the standard venue for these types of studies, simple things like reminder calls, directions to the facility, parking availability, and other logistical details that are essential for the participant, may be overlooked by the facility. Other essential aspects of the production that may be taken for granted include equipment and supplies. Audio and video recording, live streaming, and other technology-related requirements must always be checked in advance prior to scheduled interview sessions. Ample supplies must always be on hand, whether it is a simple matter of colored pens, easel pads, or post-it notes. There is nothing more stressful to a moderator than to have these sorts of things breakdown after an interview has begun. In light of these realities, flawless execution must be the rule of the day for every single project.
What if the study is ethnographic in nature and requires the researcher to conduct interviews in participants’ home? This methodology is fraught with disastrous potentialities, to say the least, and only a kid gloves treatment of the recruiting activities will make study success more likely. The fact is, both the participant and the researcher must be made comfortable in advance in order for the in-person exchange to be fruitful. For participants, they need to feel safe enough to invite a complete stranger into their homes, and not feel threatened in any way. Likewise, researchers need to feel safe and welcome as they are being (considerably) paid to conduct the research. Researchers will have concerns about whether the residence is home to any weapons, illegal drugs, or even pets that may or may not be under sufficient control by the participant. Steps taken in advance in the recruiting process in ascertaining the status of these and other issues, and exchanged between the two parties, is absolutely crucial in setting positive conditions for in-home ethnographies.
Online Qualitative Research
Another popular venue for qualitative research is online. Whether the particular methodology is webcam FGs, asynchronous bulletin board, or some other medium within which moderators and participants interact in a computer-mediated environment, there are several “deal breaker” factors that loom large in the potential outcome of an online qualitative study. For example, certain basic computing necessities exist such as a webcam that works, one which the participant knows how to use. Other times, it is something like ownership of a smart phone that can snap photos, take video, add text, and perhaps email the whole set of data with attachments. Does it exist and does the participant know how to do that? Even other times, especially with bulletin boards, participants can drift into “screensaver mode” as participants fall off schedules and fail to respond to probing questions from the moderator. Simply put, recruiters must keep tab on these conditions to ensure the moderator gets his or her money’s worth in the quality and quantity of participants’ responses who are otherwise being provided an incentive for their effort.
At Accelerant Research, we appreciate all that goes into planning and executing qualitative research. But even with the most highly skilled moderator, in the most state-of-the-art facility, offering a handsome incentive, if recruitment fails to deliver “real participants” that show up and are candid, the study will fail.
From the recruiting team at Accelerant Research…best regards and safe travels.
For decades, the Insights industry has relied on the same model for recruiting participants to qualitative research studies…hire the local focus group facility to start making phone calls to their “database” of potential respondents. While technology has advanced and new/improved methods have emerged for conducting qualitative interviews, observing in realtime from any location, producing high quality audio/video, and analyzing/presenting results, the model for recruiting participants had remained unchanged…until now.
Accelerant Research offers an outstanding approach for recruiting quality participants in a timely and cost-effective fashion; and on a nationwide scale. We provide a one-stop shop for all study-related recruitment, logistics, and incentive mangement, which allows qualitative research consultants and end-clients to focus their efforts on study design and analysis.
Accelerant has developed a White Glove recruiting method, which embraces technology, speed, and scalability, but delivers well-vetted, verbose, high quality recruits. Accelerant’s recruiting services inclue: