Editor’s note: Ian Floyd is the senior content marketing manager at Tremendous. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title "New survey: Market research goes global, yet incentive strategies lag."

Market researchers target hard-to-reach and global audiences. Their incentive strategies and budgets need to evolve to keep up. 

The industry had long clung to old school payment methods – paper checks, plastic gift cards and envelopes of cash. COVID-19 compelled many organizations to seek a digital solution but many still offer limited redemption methods and use time-consuming manual tracking processes. In fact, only 42% of those we surveyed report using an incentive platform.

Tremendous surveyed three dozen market research leaders, project managers and recruiters at Quirk’s NYC 2022. (Naturally, we incentivized their participation with our product. We paid $20 for approximately 10 minutes of survey time.) 

Here’s how some of the industry's top in-house research teams (such as PepsiCo, Anthem and H-E-B) and market research firms (including Forsta, IvyExec and OvationMR) approach incentives.

A vast majority of respondents (70%) raised their incentive budgets in the last two years. On average, payments increased roughly 18%. 

Many cited inflation, COVID-19 and the need to pay more to recruit quality participants. The U.S. saw 7% inflation in 2021 and 8.5% this year (at the time of publication).

Others said they’re increasing incentives in line with “more internal demand for research” – particularly global research in areas where “audiences are harder to reach.”

Two-thirds of respondents conduct international research. Among them, half conduct research in more than 10 countries. As we note below, international research has been a particular pain point for researchers. 

Of the 66% of respondents conducting international research, 74% int...