When we talk to agency leaders about why they do not want to invest in participant engagement, the overwhelming reason given is that end clients just don’t care. As part of our preparations for the SampleCon panel we ran last week on ‘Agency and End Client Perceptions on Participant Engagement, we decided to investigate and interviewed 10 end clients about this topic.
Now, we are the first to admit that this sample is neither large nor representative of the end client universe, but even so, if the myth was true, we would have expected to hear from most of them that they don’t care about participant engagement. The opposite was in fact true… only one of the clients we talked to said they did not care about this.
If you are a born cynic, you might say that they are lying or just being politically correct, but we don’t believe that. Based not only on the answer to that specific question, but to all the other things we discussed during the interviews, we believe they really do care.
SO WHY DO THESE CLIENTS CARE?
These clients are not stupid. They understand that participant engagement impacts both data quality for the survey at hand, as well as for future surveys.
‘This is something that everyone in the industry needs to be obsessed with… it’s garbage in, garbage out’
They are concerned about the emotional state of people answering their surveys.
‘Participant engagement is incredibly important. The more you frustrate people and the more you don’t make it enjoyable, you are not going to get quality responses. It impacts the actionability of my results’
They are concerned with what they see as the decreasing pool of ‘real’ people willing to participate in their surveys.
“Yes. Response rates and who is in the shrinking sample pool. I worry about professional respondents”
The clients we talked to are also largely clued up on the importance of market research as a touchpoint, either for the brand or for the category/industry they work in. They are acutely aware of the changing consumer landscape and how it is impacting the way their companies interact with customers and potential customers. They see the way their companies are investing heavily in both UX and CX as a direct reflection on this changing landscape, but also as something which is raising the bar for everyone, market researchers included.
SO WHY DON’T THEY INSIST THAT THEIR AGENCIES CREATE GREAT USER EXPERIENCES WHICH DRIVE UP PARTICIPANT ENGAGEMENT?
This is the next topic we explored during the interviews, and found that we have another myth to bust… Read more here (Mythbuster 2)
We would like to thank Andrew Grenville at Maru/Matchbox for helping out with the interviews, as well as David Rothstein at RTi Research for helping set up many of the interviews. I would also like to thank all the clients who took the time to talk with us on this issue.
The Australian Market and Social Research Society is linked globally to 45 associations through its partnership with the Global Research Business Network (GRBN) and the Asia Pacific Research Committee (APRC). Click here to read about the AMSRS global network. This article is sourced from GRBN newsletter.