By this point, the notion of considerate research shouldn’t be an envelope-pushing thing. For years, brands and gurus and marketers have preached the return on investment of better listening, good corporate citizenship and respect for customers—or in the case of market research, respect for answer-givers.
Why, then, is this notion still considered innovative?
Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Can we accommodate the demand for vast amounts of insight while being considerate to individuals? We must. If we don’t engage people in a way that inclines them to answer questions honestly, all the science and design in the world will be for naught.
The industry is awash with talk of speeders and straightliners and bailers and incentive-driven cheaters and while we work frantically to catch and discard for the sake of results, we forget to consider our own role in creating them.
When you ask someone to take part in something unenjoyable—even good-intentioned, honest people—you incent them to act poorly. Rather than bailing on something unenjoyable, most people will reach the end of patience and switch on an auto-pilot that speeds and careens and skews and distorts its way through the rest, reaching for the end.
Respondent-centric research is a counter to the often blind, relentless pinging of market research. It’s a graciousness that can sometimes get lost in the pursuit of sheer quantity—which makes answer-givers feel more like cattle than valued participants in the direction of a brand.
Respondent-centric research is a nurturing rather than a trawling, most often led by the following tactics and ideals:
1. Respect the gift of time.
2. Qualify in rather than qualifying out.
3. Be visual.
4. Don’t incent. Engage.
5. Be as open as your questions.
What can we do as market researchers to both satisfy the thirst for information on behalf of our clients, while respecting the experience and time of respondents? What does respondent-centric research look like to you?