Recruiting for video tasks in market research

At Big Sofa, we have seen many weird and wonderful video responses from a wide range of project types. A recent favourite was a guy who decided to enact his assumed life-long dream of hosting a cooking show. He sauntered on camera with the exact right mix of smug and gleeful, and spoke to the camera as if he were preparing a Michelin star meal, rather than instant noodles.

(JT serving us some ramen realness)

Qualitative responses are often the holy grail of engaging content, where insights can be drawn from dialogue and behaviour.  Clients know this and are often much more comfortable with collecting video when respondents have been recruited through qualitative channels. Quantitative responses are another story altogether, often relying on huge panels which consist of the same people who crop up time and time again, in the office we’ve made it into a game – spotting the repeat offenders!

Obviously, we realise this is a worrying prospect for both the client and insight industry.

Increasingly at Big Sofa, we are providing consultancy on how to not only use video in quant surveys areas, but also how to recruit for them. We’ve come up with seven steps to success to help ensure you get quality respondents in both quant and qual projects.

1. Recruit qual where budget allows

2. Clever survey design

3. Engaging video questions

4. Quality Control

5. Incentivise

6. Show an example

7. Celebrate the results

The first step speaks for itself. We believe that qual recruitment is king and will provide you with the respondents who will deliver the best quality responses to video questions. By recruiting qual, you will reap the benefits from more accurate screening, respondents who are engaged and higher response rates.

With video questions featuring more and more in all types of surveys and the industry evolving to reflect this, so too must respondents adapt to become comfortable with video. Survey design is critical to avoiding respondent fatigue. Five and seven-point scales still have a place in surveys, but work best when combined with a video question. Question type, order and number need to be carefully considered to get the most out of your respondents.

It all depends on the objective of your research, but if you’re looking for a general rule of thumb: a colloquial, informal approach works best for video. It is all about capturing authenticity and to do so, the question itself must be authentic. Questions that are too rigid will deliver responses of the same kind. Bullet point prompts are a great way to encourage respondents to beyond “I like it”!

This is crucial. If your recruiter isn’t doing this for you, be sure to take the time when fieldwork begins to review your first few video responses. These can act as your yardstick to see how your informal and colloquial video questions are working and if not go back and refine! Big Sofa’s tech will screen out the basic issues (speech detection, length etc.) and we’re happy to provide further quality control checks if needed!

Despite being in a smartphone dominated era where we have no qualms filming ourselves, asking respondents to film themselves doing their laundry or reviewing a concept needs to be appropriately incentivised. This is why QC is so important – make sure you’re getting what you need from respondents before paying them!

As we say at Big Sofa - show me, don’t tell me. Provide an example video response to guide your respondents in how you would like them to film or take a photo. This is particularly important for when you’re collecting behavioural video. Make sure you have camera and microphone checks in the survey before asking video questions.

Congratulations! You now have a wealth of information at your fingertips in the form of authentic video, directly from engaged and incentivised consumers. From the array of someone’s herbs and spices in their cupboard to the way someone’s expression changes when reviewing an early stage advertising concept, you can see and hear it all in video.  All responses, even a disengaged sigh, can provide valuable insight on areas to improve. 

Now it needs managing, interpreting and analysing – luckily we know someone who can help...(clue: it isn't JT)