Guide To Market Research Participant Recruitment

04 May 2022
Finding the right respondents for your market research studies can be a significant challenge. This is why having a market research participant recruitment strategy is essential. FieldworkHub has successfully delivered hundreds of projects for over one hundred brands across forty countries. By delivering critical insights for companies such as Google, Meta, Salesforce, McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group and more, we’ve perfected the art of sourcing top market research participants.
Here are some of FieldworkHub’s top tips for finding the ideal participants for your next market research project.

Setting Up Your Market Research Recruitment Drive

To run a successful market research recruitment campaign you need to have the right processes in place. At FieldworkHub, before launching a campaign we create the right assets and apply strategic forethought; ensuring quality respondents, and efficient recruitment processes which deliver better quality insights. Before you start any recruitment campaign, we recommend following these preliminary steps:

Identify the right type of participants

Know your target audience. The first step to successful recruitment is determining who you want to talk to.
• Which market segments do you want to learn more about?
• Which customers or prospects are most important to your research study?
• What are you aiming to find out from this market research and how will the participants benefit from taking part?

Answering these questions will help you identify which segments are most important to your research study and suggest ways in which they can be targeted.

Develop a screener

Identifying which segments you want to speak to in your research is a necessary starting point, but once you’ve done this, you then need a way of determining whether a particular candidate fits into any of your segments. That’s where a screener comes in. A screener is a logical series of questions to determine whether someone is suitable to take part in your market research study and, if so, which segment or segments they belong to.
Sometimes a screener can be very simple (e.g. if you just want people who have used your product in the last month) but often the situation is more complicated than this, particularly for B2B projects (e.g. you may want people who are decision-makers for a particular type of software, have worked for a company of a particular size for at least a year, have a reasonable level of understanding of what your software does, but currently use one of several competing products). An experienced market research agency, like FieldworkHub, will be able to take a description of your target segments and turn it into a robust screener to ensure that the right participants are recruited and unsuitable participants are rejected.

Create campaign momentum

Once you've finalised your screener, it's time to create momentum around the project. A great way to do this is by creating a research participants’ page on your website. Not only does this give potential respondents an idea of what they're getting themselves into, but also allows you to collect the contact details of people who are interested in taking part. You can promote this page as part of your social media or advertising campaign.
At FieldworkHub, we’ve built a massive global database of verified and active market research respondents across many different customer segments from B2B industry leaders, FMCG consumers, social media users and more. This enables us to recruit many different types of participant quickly and efficiently.

Sell the experience

The best way to get people excited about being involved in your research is by being explicit about how the process will benefit them, how they will be helping others, and how much time is required to take part. If you have a loyal customer base and you’re not asking for much of their time, then you may manage to convince them to take part without any form of financial reward, but in most cases, your budget should include an allowance for paying incentives to participants in the form of cash or vouchers. FieldworkHub is happy to advise on the appropriate level of incentives for different types of projects and audiences.

Ways to recruit market research participants

Know your target audience. The first step to successful recruitment is determining who you want to get insights from. What niche do you want to learn more about? Which of your customers or prospects are most important to the specific issue that you want to lean about.
Think creatively. Once you know who you’re looking for, think outside the box when reaching out to those people. How can you engage with them? Where can you reach them? Are they more likely to respond through social media, text messages or email? What incentives would motivate them to take part in your study?

Past participants

A good place to start is by checking past participants and any database that you have of current customers and prospects.
Reach out to the people on your database via email or text message to ask them if they would like to participate in a focus group or an interview. People who have taken part already are more likely to volunteer again, or recommend colleagues, friends and family if it’s important for you to get fresh faces. 

Advertise for market research participants

Another good way to recruit participants for market research is by advertising on Google. You can use the Google Display Network which allows you to create ads based on what people are searching for in the search engine. This is a great way to target people who are actively looking for opportunities like focus groups or paid interviews.

Social media

You can also find great participants by posting on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If you have a substantial number of followers, then simply posting on your usual channels may attract enough volunteers, but if not, then social media platforms allow you to boost your post to target specific demographics, or make other types of paid ads, so that you can reach the people you are trying to target!

Professional profiles

If you need B2B participants, you can also use LinkedIn and other communities (like Reddit) to post a request for participants or start reaching out to individuals who fit your target profile. LinkedIn has thousands of professional groups from B2B SaaS Sales to Accountants that you can join and potentially use to post about your need for research participants (but check with the group moderator first - not all groups will accept this kind of post). Lastly, consider if there are any other ways of reaching your target audience: for example, are these people easy to find in the Yellow Pages or via Google? Do they belong to a professional association which publishes a directory?

Street intercepts

Before the internet, stopping people in the street was one of the most common ways of finding market research participants. Although not nearly as popular now, it can still be very effective for certain types of research, e.g. if you want to know what people think about your shop or restaurant, stopping people on the way out is a great way to collect insight. It’s also a good way of getting a cross-section of people to give feedback on new product varieties: FieldworkHub uses this approach to find participants for taste and smell tests.

Fieldwork Hub’s Four Core Pillars To Market Research Recruitment

Without structure, your market research project is likely going to hit challenges very rapidly, depending on project size and complexity. We’ve identified four core pillars that enable you to have the right systems in place to hit your market research goals and get the mission-critical insights you need.
Here are FieldworkHub’s four key pillars to a successful market research participant recruitment strategy:

Planning

The best way to ensure you're able to recruit the right people for your market research is to plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Unfortunately, this is one element of the equation that you can't always control: things happen, and sometimes your projections are off. However, with a little bit of planning and some time spent on tailoring your approach, you'll be able to set yourself up for success.
• Create a participant recruitment plan
• Design social media assets
• Assign advertising budgets
• Build participant profiles
• Construct landing pages that convert

Targeting

Vague market research participant recruitment criteria will lead to a vague sample group — your goal should be to find participants that are in line with what you’re looking for. When planning a study, take a look at the demographics of your target audience and think about how you can tailor the personas you create to include relevant demographic, experience and attitudinal information.
• Where are you looking to find insights?
• When are you doing the research?
• What strategic purpose is the research looking to achieve?
• Who are you looking to target and why them?

Rewards

When setting up your market research programme it’s important to provide appropriate levels of rewards to the participants, depending on the length of the study, the value of the participants’ time and the value to the client themselves. If a luxury brand is looking for high net worth individuals, the rewards are going to be very different to a mainstream dog food brand, for example.
• Financial rewards
• Vouchers
• Free trials
• Sampler
• Early / Beta Access

Creativity

Sometimes, especially when you have a hyper-niche or highly targeted market research study, getting participants can be a challenge. Time to get creative! Try new methods, channels, creative approaches and testing new methods.
• Testing new digital channels
• Direct approaches
• New technology adoption
• Conversational marketing / Chatbots

Why use FieldworkHub for market research participant recruitment

We’ve got a database of tens of thousands of active market research participants across both consumer and B2B profiles via our participant website, MyFieldworkHub.com.
Visit MyFieldworkHub
Our database contains information about thousands of participants who have registered with us and opted-in to take part in market research. Our team of in-house recruiters identifies the best match for your specific requirements, ensuring you get the most relevant responses for your research.
Our team are market research participant recruitment specialists
We are able to source participants from many unusual or hard-to-find demographics. Our in-house experts work tirelessly to ensure your needs are met, no matter how unique they may be.
If you are looking to find candidates, get in touch with FieldworkHub today to find out how we can get the mission-critical data you need to make informed decisions.
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