Thank you for visiting this page. You may have landed here for a variety of reasons.
Most likely, you were taking part in one of our online surveys and as you finished answering the preliminary questions, you were told you were screened out. We understand that this process can be frustrating.
That is why we want to clarify a few things about the screening process, market research and its definitions, and why we do things the way we do. We hope this is helpful!
What is screening? Why is it done?
To make sure the people we survey are relevant to the outcomes of the research.
For market research to carry out surveys that are pertinent and sound, we always need to find potential participants from a broad and representative pool of qualified respondents. To ensure the results of our surveys are relevant, we need to survey people that meet certain set criteria to ensure we can compare data in an environment where a lot of factors have been isolated.
The preliminary questions we ask you serve two purposes:
- Making sure the survey is relevant to you: a lot of surveys will look at the awareness of a brand on a specific market or ask you about specialised areas of professional life. Just because your job title, or primary speciality, or the revenue of your company suggest that you would have the type of experience we are looking for, making that assumption would subject you to a lot of research surveys that are not relevant to you at all.
- Making sure that the people we speak to fall into a variety of categories, called quotas, so that we know our findings are representative of a broad range from a particular group of individuals. This could mean anything from the number of patients you see in a month to your preferences in terms of financial services provider, and more.
What this means is that you will not always meet the specific criteria (i.e. set of requirements or experience) we are looking for. Allowing you to proceed to the survey would be a poor and irrelevant experience for you. Alternatively, you may fall into a category (a quota) where we’ve spoken to all the people we are looking for. You still need to answer these questions because before you do so, there’s always a possibility that you meet all our criteria. We only find out once you’re done. We’ll always try to mitigate the risk of this happening!
What do you do to make the screening process less frustrating if you do it all the time?
We only ask essential questions and stop the process as early as possible.
We understand that the screening process can be frustrating, especially if you spend time answering questions that result in your exclusion from one of our surveys. Below, you will find a list of things we aim to do with every survey to minimise this frustration:
- We will always keep screeners as short as possible. The list of questions we need to ask you to identify whether you are eligible should take as little of your time as possible.
- Every question is designed to only check whether you are eligible. None of the questions we ask are used to collect data about you.
- Because all the questions we ask are designed to check on your eligibility, as soon as you give an answer that will prevent you from taking part, we stop the screening process to waste as little of your time as possible.
- We will always give you as much information as possible in the invitation e-mail you receive from us – how long it will take, the incentive you can receive for participating, topic of the survey… but there’s only so much we can reveal without introducing bias into the research, so we may sometimes conceal the name of our client until the end of the survey.
I do a lot of surveys, why do I always need to answer the same preliminary questions?
We want to make sure the information we have is completely up-to-date, and we want to give you all the information you need to give your informed consent to the research.
If you’ve taken part in a lot of research surveys, you may have noticed that a lot of the screening questions tend to be very similar and repetitive. We’ll often ask questions that you’ve answered many times before and you may find this frustrating; this is why we do it:
- Up-to-date information. A lot of the information we ask you for is liable to change over time. From seniority levels, patient load, specific experience with drugs or contextual information specific to the survey. Asking you these questions helps us confirm you are eligible at the time of participation.
- Legitimacy. Our clients need to know, from you directly, that you are eligible for the research. Market research is an industry driven by compliance and good practice; relying on information that we assume is accurate without getting you to provide it again simply would not be good enough!
- Compliance. When taking part in research, you will often see ‘consent statements’ where we explain what we will do with your data, how will be able to view it, and for what purposes. It is our duty of care to you, as participants to research, to provide you with this information every time that you take part in research. Although you may find this long and overbearing at times, these statements are designed to protect you and your data.
What is my data being used for, and by whom?
This will change from project to project, but you can rest assured that we will never use the data you collect for any other purpose than market research.
We conduct market research for a broad range of clients. These could be pharmaceutical companies, automotive manufacturers, government bodies and institutions (a selection of which you can find on our website, if you’d like to know more). We also work on behalf of research agencies that have been commissioned by larger end-clients. We help them reach you as a qualified respondent.
The value of incentives offered for participation changes all the time. How is it calculated?
Research companies and regulatory bodies standardise incentive values based on the length of the interview, average remuneration in your field, and how complex the study will be.
If you are a healthcare professional, the keyword to solving the incentive value question is FMV, Fair Market Value. Every pharmaceutical company sets payment caps that can be deemed reasonable for the time and experience lent by healthcare professionals to research efforts.
It cannot be excessive, because it could be perceived as bribery on behalf of pharmaceutical companies, but it needs to be fair remuneration for the time you spend. Every pharmaceutical company will draw their own line depending on a range of considerations, but we have to abide by the caps they set and fulfil our legal obligations, where relevant, to disclose these transfers of value.
For example, French law dictates that incentive payments need to be disclosed to achieve two goals: 1. Allowing private citizens to objectively assess the relations maintained between healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical companies (Loi Bertrand) and 2. Ensuring that pharmaceutical companies cannot encourage healthcare professionals to prescribe specific drugs or use specific products by rewarding them under the guide of market research remuneration (Loi Anti-Cadeaux).
I spent more time on the survey than advertised. Why is that?
We will always do our best to advertise the length of the survey as accurately as possible, but every respondent will affect the actual length depending on the answers they give.
It can be difficult for us to accurately estimate the time it will take each participant to complete the survey. One reason for this is that everyone spends a different amount of time answering questions. Another reason is that, depending on your answers, you may get more (or less) questions than other participants (for example, if you are aware of a lot of brands or if the ratings you provide are very low on the scale, you may get more follow-up questions than someone with limited awareness or someone that is completely satisfied with the service they are getting).
Our teams always time surveys to understand how long it will take to complete, on average, and as we speak to more and more people, we will compare actual completion time against expected completion time. If there is a significant difference from what we had expected, we will ensure that this information is updated for subsequent communication to avoid misleading you.
How do I know you are a genuine research company? What are your quality assurances?
Market research and data processing are heavily-regulated endeavours and we abide by a range of applicable codes of conduct, legal and regulatory obligations, and industry best practice.
Our commitment to you and the quality of our work is enshrined in the following memberships of trades associations, certifications to ISO standards, and initiatives.
- Company Partners of UK Market Research Society (MRS)
- Corporate Members of The British Healthcare Business Intelligence Association (BHBIA)
- Associate Members of The European Pharmaceutical Market Research Association (EphMRA)
- Members of the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR)
- Registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (Reg. number: ZA219373)
- Operating in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998
- Working towards full compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- RONIN48 incentive scheme (48-hour turnaround on incentive payments)
- ISO 20252-certified (quality management system for operational excellence)
- Compliance with local legislation
I have more questions, who should I speak to?
You can always reach out to us through our contact form and we’d be happy to help.