4 Pillars for Better Recruitment on Qualitative Insights Projects
You may not come to think about it before you are running a concrete project. How to find your target consumers to take part in the focus group on cuisine, cooking and food? How to find the right participants to test your app, giving direct feedback on its features and usability? Participants’ demography is only the starting point; their behaviour, ways of thinking, and ability to contribute have a direct impact on the success, validity and quality of the insights sourced.
Pillar 1: Relevant and Meaningful Targeting
It all starts with defining WHO. If the purpose is to learn what energy drink drinkers think about your new product variant, you are interested in the opinions of those who are current consumers of the category. Coke or Pepsi fans do not qualify. Furthermore, you might be interested to poll the opinions of those who drink some of your other existing product variants, versus those who drink competitors’ products. Some still consider basic demographic attributes such as participants’ age, gender, domicile and life situation as “the” approach to target and screen participants for an interview or focus group. This is rudimentary; we believe that true value in insights is based on identifying, understanding and learning behaviours. Consequently, this sets requirements for behavioural targeting and ultimately, the recruitment execution of best consumer participants.
Pillar 2: Access to Relevant Audiences
After answering to the question WHO, it is the time to think about HOW. What is the channel that provides you the best access to your core audience? If your goal is to compare the consumer preferences between your current products and benchmark within your own product range, you may find the channel in-house. Naturally, this means that you knowingly rule out the public access and meaningful inclusion of competition. Sometimes this is the purpose, but sometimes it is called a mistake.
For any private company that has a consumer offering it is challenging to establish, nurture and grow an audience that provides a certain degree on objectivity and impartiality. This is natural; your audience is always close to you; in many cases they may be called as your fanbase. Would the members of the Metallica fan club provide objective, meaningful insights on Justin Bieber? The best access could be characterized as third-party, objective and impartial to your business and product categories, possessing an existing, large, and meaningful mass of people matching to your needs and interests. It is typical to source participants through 3rd party agencies who specialise in recruitment. However, the quality of respondents vary based on the rigor and/or method applied.
Pillar 3: Speed and Quality of Recruitment
I started this article by describing how you may not come to think about the challenges of qualitative insights project recruitment before you are actually doing it. I sincerely wish you have not been in a situation where you realize it is the crash action time. If you have been there, you have my sympathies… it is not a nice spot to be.
It is easy to assume that the right people are easy to find. “Hey, I know friends who match with the criteria, and there is Facebook, Insta, TikTok, and tons of other channels to help me, right?” Friends might not be interested in doing a work-related favour (at least not when asked for the third time). Friends’ opinions in the actual session are also questionable in the level of validity. On social media, you cannot target and screen potential candidates based on your core criteria, without giving away the reward. Many suddenly become fans of green plants if that is specified as the green thumb focus group theme, along with the mention of 100€ reward for a 2-hour focus group session participation. Participants on social media are easy to find, but the ability to identify and target properly are very thin. This damages the quality of insights. It is not “quality or speed”. It needs to be “quality with speed”. The timelines and schedules are set, and we live in a world where things change; being it covid, falling ill, or breaking a leg on icy walkway (welcome to Finland in January). This calls for a service that adapts and reacts to the changed situation in minutes, replacing the cancelled participant, still matching the original recruitment criteria.
“Participants on social media are easy to find, but the ability to identify and target properly are very thin. This damages the quality of insights.”
It is not “quality or speed”. It needs to be “quality with speed”. The timelines and schedules are set, and we live in a world where things change; being it covid, falling ill, or breaking a leg on icy walkway (welcome to Finland in January). This calls for a service that adapts and reacts to the changed situation in minutes, replacing the cancelled participant, still matching the original recruitment criteria.
Pillar 4: Agility and Easiness
Qualitative insights stand for quality. The focus needs to be on quality, in-depth insights of the interviews, focus groups, and other sessions where you drill down into your audiences’ minds, inspirations and emotional triggers.
The better you are able to ignore the processual and admin-related stuff on recruitment, the better. Let someone who has specialized in the participant recruitment do it for you, based on the specs you hand over. This allows you more time to focus on what really matters, the scope and quality of the content of the qualitative session. This includes the practicalities when the sessions are completed. The participants need to be rewarded, based on what has been outlined as incentives when their recruitment started. Instead of wasting time on payment processes, official taxation reporting and other stuff; forget it. Better if someone else does it for you, right?
Crowst – The Best-In-Class Recruitment Base in Finland
In Finland, Crowst has the reach base of around 140 000 people. Within this base, our core asset is the group of 40 000 individuals who can be identified, targeted and screened for any consumer-related qualitative insight project you may have. In addition to essential attributes that define people’s lives, their likes, dislikes, and so on, we are equipped to quickly identify core subsets of those participants who match specific behaviours unique to your brand or to specific industry trend.
In the past weeks we have worked on qualitative recruitment projects in the following areas: store concept ideation, online grocery shopping behaviour, beverage tastings, and behaviours on food and cooking. Do you have recruitment needs? Let’s talk!
Read more about our audiences and behavioural targeting possibilities.
Stating the obvious; all our contact and recruitment data is anonymous, and we provide individuals’ personal data only based on the individuals’ separate, explicit, and documented consent.
Tired of outdated and expensive research methods? Call or send me an email, we have the cure at Crowst.