recruiting respondents for market research

Research recruitment cannot succeed on typing tools alone (here’s why)

A typing tool, also known as a segmentation tool or an algorithm, is something used to define customer segments.

They usually come in the form of an excel spreadsheet where answers to specific questions are coded to automatically provide a score or segment.

Essentially, it’s a way for brands to ensure they are speaking with the right customers. However, although they are incredibly useful for segmentation purposes, when it comes to research recruitment, typing tools on their own aren’t enough.

Read on to find out why - and what you can do to nail your research recruitment with typing tools!

How do typing tools work?

As we said above, typing tools are used to define core customer segments, usually derived from quantitative data.

For example, if a brand has a project where they want to meet a specific type of respondent, it might be that out of 10 customer segments, they decide to recruit from two of them. This is where the typing tool comes in, to narrow the respondents down to ensure they meet the right criteria.

However, the danger is that by using typing tools in addition to screener questions, the pool of eligible respondents becomes increasingly narrow – which can lead to longer timeframes and more costly recruits.

The typing tool challenge

One of the main challenges with typing tools, then, is that they can be too simplistic when it comes to ruling people out for research.

They can often be black and white and sometimes don’t take human complexities or ‘grey areas’ into account, which can result in losing fantastic respondents who would actually be a great fit for the research. In fact, sometimes we even see people screen out on the algorithm without knowing why, because the scoring is usually blind to the recruiter.

What’s more, typing tools can also be pretty time consuming if you have to manually enter hundreds of leads to see if they fit a segment. So, if you’re conducting a research project using typing tools, here’s how to ensure your recruitment is a success.

4 ways to nail your research recruitment when using typing tools

From asking questions upfront to enable you to bulk enter data and speed up the recruitment process to encouraging participants to answer typing tools online, there are a number of things you can do to overcome potential issues with typing tools and ensure your research recruitment runs smoothly.

Some ideas include:

recruiting respondents for market research (1)

1. Check the typing tools work!

This sounds like a bit of an obvious step, but before you get started, it’s always important to check that the typing tool works!

Always have a play around to check if the formulas are working, or you may lose people unnecessarily. You could get your team to complete it to get an idea of what the potential incidence or hitting a segment could be.

Plus, it also helps to check that the questions make sense and that the respondents will be able to confidently answer them.

Finally, it’s a good idea at this stage to see if it’s possible to bulk enter data to speed up the recruitment process, or whether the typing tool needs individual manual entry to determine a segment.

2. Encourage participants to answer online

Another way to speed up the recruitment process when using typing tools is by asking participants to answer typing tools online.

This helps to speed the process up because you can work out their segments as soon as possible and before speaking to them over the phone.

By determining whether or not they meet the required customer segment ASAP, you can ensure you’re only taking the right participants through to telephone validation, which can save a considerable amount of time.

3. Probe more deeply

If the typing tool you are working with is quite restrictive, it’s always worth questioning how they have been put together and what is the key criteria each segment is based on.

By understanding what defines a segment, you can probe deeper and even discuss with your clients the possibility of accepting participants who might not meet the typing tool but do still meet the essence of the profile.

This way, you can ask additional screening questions to decipher whether or not someone would be a good fit for the research, rather than simply relying on the typing tools alone and potentially losing valuable respondents.

In a similar vein, if a typing tool or customer segmentation is really low incidence or difficult to recruit, you could suggest using a pen portrait.

A pen portrait can provide more of an in-depth summary of a respondent in relation to the topic and/or screener, building a detailed picture of them - which again enables you to ensure that high quality candidates aren’t screening out.

4. Enlist expert help

If you are finding recruitment with a typing tool to be a challenge, it’s always a good idea to enlist the help of an expert user research recruitment agency.

As well as having years of experience in supporting brands and businesses with their market research recruitment and customer segmentation, a specialist research recruitment agency can:

  • Advise on the best market research methodologies and analysis tools
  • Help you to write an effective screener for recruiting research participants
  • Conduct expert respondent validation to ensure you get the best possible participants
  • Brief and prepare your selected participants fully for the research session

At Angelfish, for example, we have years of experience of creating screeners and working with clients with complex quotas and criteria.

In fact, we are experts in recruiting to specific customer segments, and can provide additional help and advice to ensure that you recruit the high-quality respondents you need.

Ready to get started?

To sum up, whilst typing tools have an important place in research recruitment and can be useful for segmentation, it’s important to be aware that they can sometimes be too simplistic. As such, you should always dig deeper and try to really understand who you are looking to recruit and why.

People don’t often fit into one box, and consumer behaviours can often be a grey area with changing behaviours and tastes. So, by following the tips above, you can make sure you don’t lose great respondents.

If you would like to find out more about how we can help with your research recruitment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

In the meantime, be sure to download and read our guide to writing an effective user research recruitment screener for additional top tips and best practices.

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