Far too many people endure poor experiences while participating in market research. In fact, 70% of research participants report a recent negative research experience. Clearly, a poor user experience is detrimental to the research industry and negatively impacts our industry’s ability to meet the needs of the businesses counting on us. But, what you might not know is that a poor research experience has a negative impact on the brand or brands (known or thought to be) commissioning the research.

Every time a respondent has a negative research experience, we risk damage to our industry as well as to our clients’ brands. For us, as professionals within and caretakers of this industry, it is crazy to allow this behavior to continue unabated. Clearly, we must do something to correct this situation. And fortunately, we are.

The Global Research Business Network (GRBN) is leading an important initiative to improve the experience of research participants. By improving the respondent experience, the GRBN intends to rebuild the public trust of research, stemming declining participation rates and the negative impact these are having on everyone in our industry.

GRBN’s research shows that a respondent’s experience when taking a survey is a key driver of trust, and trust is a key driver of participation in research.

Who is the GRBN, you might ask, and what are they intending to do?

The Global Research Business Network (GRBN) connects four regional federations, over 40 national market, social and opinion research associations and over 3,500 research businesses on six continents. GRBN supports the advancement of the business of research by addressing our industry’s key challenges, including the issues of trust and participant engagement. In fact, a key GRBN initiative just getting underway endeavors to build all important trust in our industry by improving the experience we provide to our respondents.

The GRBN Participant Engagement Initiative is focused on action and changing behavior – on behalf of all the stakeholders in the marketing research industry. From sample providers to research suppliers, to data collection agencies, to clients, GRBN aims to accomplish two things:

  1. Create a handbook of best practices for increasing participant engagement. This handbook will be distributed to all industry stakeholders around the globe.
  2. Establish standard metrics for measuring both the user experience and impact on brands. Understanding what factors cause a good or bad survey experience will help us use that knowledge to change research behavior.

Participant engagement and trust is an issue for all of us, and we must all participate in the solution. I hope you’ll join RTi Research and me personally in getting involved in this crucial global initiative to benefit our industry. We want to partner with our clients and other industry stakeholders to improve respondent engagement in research.

Let me know if you would like more information or read more about the GRBN initiative here.

GRBN’s 2016 User Experience Survey