Participant Recruitment: Zeroing-in on Methods

In our second blog of the Participant Recruitment series, we will look at various methods used to recruit the right participant for a given study.

Snowballing Pays Dividends

Think back to the good old days – remember the last time you had a snowball fight? It was probably fun as you sized up your target and ducked away from the frozen incoming missiles! For a marketing research agency, snowballing has a different connotation. As you know, snowballing, sometimes called chain referral, is where participants are asked to assist researchers in identifying other subjects, typically in their social network.

Snowballing provides us the ability to communicate quickly with hidden populations. This technique tends to provide participants that already meet the requirements of the study – remember behaviors flock together? The success of this method is contingent on the initial engagement with the participant. The holistic strategy, that Echo subscribes to, ensures the participant’s involvement and excitement throughout the lifecycle of the project.  This trusted approach consistently pays dividends through an increased participant network.

Social Media Uncovers, Adds Depth to Research Process

Qualitative research and social media go together like a lazy Sunday and a good book. It just feels right. Leveraging social media provides a crumb-trail of information to obtain accurate participants. It also adds to the quality of our questioning. One area integral to qualitative research is asking the right questions.  The interview guide, a critical instrument to the study, is put in place to optimize the chances of valid research findings. But, how do we know we have the right questions in place? Another appeal of social media! The interactive nature of these relationships allows for confirming a pre-conceived notion with the target audience. Information is obtained and validated through ongoing interaction and observation. It uncovers new topics or questions that may have remained hidden by using other methods. Additionally, subpopulations may emerge that were not initially targeted for the study resulting in more depth of research findings.

Hidden Online Chat Groups

As you know, most researchers must be resourceful in recruitment strategies. They work to get referrals from people who fit the profile and know other folks in their sphere of influence. Sometimes we reach out to a previous colleague, supply partner or community member using LinkedIn and Twitter and come across a hidden online chat room. We have found these buried chat groups yield a wealth of information. Moreover, recruiting from these groups is one of the most cost-effective strategies out there. As discussed in the previous blog, active recruiting , prides itself on using this recruitment method.

These recruitment strategies give Echo a distinct advantage in supporting your marketing research projects. Sign up for the Echo blog as we continue our discussion on integrating technology into your recruitment strategy.