What exactly is marketing research and why should I participate?
In terms of how you as a consumer may see it, marketing research is your opportunity to participate in decisions being made currently that very well may impact you in the future. As a participant, you can influence:
– The design of new products (online games and websites, specialty coffee blends, even how new movies from Hollywood end!)
– The service you receive from your bank or favorite retailer
– Policies being considered by public agencies involving programs targeted for citizens like you (availability of healthcare services, the types of recreational facilities built in local parks, what it costs to park downtown, etc.)
– How easy it is to order what you want to purchase online
– Who delivers your local news on television
– To make sure that decisions being made include the consideration of your opinions, say “Yes” the next time we ask if you would like to participate in our research.
Why me? Why was my household selected for the research?
In some cases, you are contacted because you have characteristics that make you someone who might be interested in the product, service or issue we are studying. This is often the case with members of our focus group panel or database.
What will happen to my information if I participate in the research?
The answers you give to questions in a survey are ‘coded’ numerically and grouped with other respondents’ answers in our computers. After all interviews are completed, the information is tabulated and printed out in summarized reports. Answers are never analyzed for any specific respondent or household – only in total or among groups who share some common characteristic (such as age or gender.)
How will participating in research benefit me?
Also, in the case of some studies where you are asked to give more time and effort, like a focus group or in-depth interview, clients pay you for your participation.
I am on a national or state 'Do Not Call List.' Why would I be called for research?
Recognizing the value of research services, Congress specifically exempted legitimate research from these laws. However, even though researchers are not compelled by law, they will make every effort to respect your decision not to participate in any particular poll or research project.
If I choose to participate in a research project, what are my rights?
– Your privacy and the privacy of your answers will be respected and maintained.
– Your name, address, phone number, e-mail, personal information, or individual responses will not be disclosed to anyone outside the research project without your permission.
– You will be informed in advance if your interview or group session is to be recorded. Additionally, you will be told of the intended use of the recording.
– The researcher will be identified to you. You will be told the name of the research organization and the general nature of the survey.
– You will not be sold anything, or asked for money, under the guise of research.
– You will be contacted at reasonable times, but if the time is inconvenient, you may ask to be re-contacted at a more convenient time.
– Your decision to participate in a study, answer specific questions, be re-contacted at another time, or discontinue your participation will be respected.
– You are assured that the highest standards of professional conduct will be upheld in the collection and reporting of information you provide.
What exactly are focus groups?
Because our clients appreciate the time and effort that people make to attend these sessions, group members are also paid an honorarium for their participation. Topics of the general sessions we conduct are diverse; from consumer products and services to mock juries and television newscast personalities.
We also conduct groups and interviews among business executives, medical professionals and government agency staff members. At times, these projects involve focus group sessions at our facilities. Other times, our interviewers will come to your office or other convenient locations.
If I decide to join your database in order to participate in research, what will happen?
Our interviewers always identify themselves by name and say they are calling from Northwest Insights. If you are busy when we call, we are always happy to call back at a more convenient time. You will be asked a series of questions (usually taking 5 minutes or less) to see if you fit the guidelines set for the project. If you provide us with your email, you may receive emails with a link to a short online survey (takes a couple minutes at most). If it looks like you may qualify for that study, we will follow-up with a phone call. Also, while we have you on the phone, we may ask you a few questions regarding the other studies we’re running to see if you might be a good fit for those.
If you qualify, an invitation is extended to participate further. We will then offer details regarding the day, time, length, location, topic and the amount of the cash gift provided. If interested and available, you are then scheduled, sent a letter with directions to the facility and called a day or two beforehand to confirm your eligibility and attendance.
Every project is based on gathering information from people with particular characteristics which have been identified by our clients. Our clients ask us to obtain a mix of residents who live in our geographic areas so that not all of the opinions that are included are from any one demographic category. There will be times that you may not qualify and if that does happen, you will still be called for future studies.
The registration information we collect when you join our database is obtained with your consent through this web site, written submission or contact with our staff of professionals. We will never sell or share your information with any third parties. Our interest is in your opinions only. We will never attempt to sell you anything. If at any time you no longer wish to be contacted, just let us know.