Editor's note: Jay Tye is the COO of Echo Market Research.

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In the ever-evolving world of market research and now with the integration of AI, finding the right participants and ensuring their engagement and honesty throughout the research process is paramount. Fortunately, locating these participants is not as challenging as it may seem.

First, let’s abandon the practice of referring to respondents as objects and instead regard them as individuals. After all, they are human beings and it’s essential to humanize their role in the research process. By merely shifting our perspective, we can begin to see them as people.

For so many years they have served us, isn’t it time we served them? 

Research has always been a gig, we just didn’t know it

By reimagining the database model, we can establish an interactive network of consumers based on gig work principles – think Task Rabbit or Uber but tailored for market research. By adopting this approach, we can effectively tackle numerous persistent challenges related to participant and data quality. It aligns the recruitment process with the demands of our modern world, offering individuals multiple and flexible opportunities to earn money while fostering a network of genuine people with authentic opinions. 

Implementing these changes ultimately eliminates the urge for participants to cheat the system or devise creative ways to bypass screeners. Instead, it creates an environment where validation is intrinsic. Moreover, by prioritizing the participant experience and allowing them to provide ratings and feedback on their research experience, you not only gain valuable insights but also build trust and rapport with them. 

Why cheat when you can make money the honest way? 

Better-quality experience, better-quality people

While people are initially motivated monetarily, participating in the market research gig economy can be even more rewarding. This innovative approach has global reach for all types of studies, ensuring a diverse pool of participants while maintaining high quality standards. The promise of better-quality people participating in your research, with a robust participant pool, can help you find target audiences that are typically challenging to recruit. Furthermore, prioritizing the participant experience ensures that respondents are fully engaged, providing thoughtful and accurate responses.

Creating such an environment alone isn’t the answer. While it certainly helps, there needs to be multiple levels to help build that two-way trust and respect. Giving participants alternative ways to earn and listening to their feedback combined with informing them of their rights is the sweet spot. 

Championing participant rights

In a world where insights are constantly sought after, it is essential to give the utmost priority to the source of these insights – our participants!

Echo and other partner organizations have joined forces with the Insights Association to launch an initiative called the Participant Bill of Rights. This initiative aims to protect, inform and respect our industry’s most valuable resource…our respondents! By prioritizing the rights of participants, market researchers can build a solid foundation of trust and mutual respect, leading to the acquisition of more reliable and insightful data. 

We value your input and welcome your thoughts on this initiative. Please visit http://bit.ly/3Yi7u4o to share your insights and additionally, you can watch this short video (https://youtu.be/9vIzjM6Xga4) to learn more about what we’re doing. The more individuals we have contributing to this discussion, the more cohesive and unified the participants’ experiences will become. 

Don’t just take our word for it… 

Echo Market Research firmly believes in “practice what you preach,” which led us to develop a brand-new gig economy platform for market research called hivemind.zone. An innovative environment that prioritizes participants above all else and provides them with many different ways to engage with our industry beyond completing a focus group or taking a survey. Everyone involved in the platform undergoes a comprehensive 360-degree review process, ensuring complete verification and fostering trust and respect. As a result, this approach leads to more profound and accurate responses, enriching the research outcomes. 

THEY win, WE win, YOU win…