Conferences Fall ’17

Conferences Fall ’17

Hands up if you are going to an MR conference this fall?

Let us know – click yes or no!


Sure am – see you there!

Not this time! Got too much on.

You are going? Great news!

We look forward to seeing you there. Conferences are a great way to mingle with peers, see all the latest MR trends and learn from the best of the best! That is why we are excited about attending:

Want to hear about all things RFG including our new DIY sample buying portal, The Sampling Place, then arrange a meeting through the form below – or get in contact with us directly via our LinkedIn pages. Here is who is going:


RFG Co-Founder


RFG Co-Founder


Key Accounts & Product Director


Business Development Director


Insights Leadership Conference


Corporate Researchers Conference



Corporate Researchers Conference


Corporate Researchers Conference



Business Development Manager


Marketing Manager


RR 17


RR 17

Not attending one of these conferences? We’re sorry we will miss you! But you can still get more info on The Sampling Place or get in contact us through our site! Check these out!

Lets Arrange A Meeting

Respect The Respondent

Respect The Respondent

Respect the Respondent!  We heard it at Samplecon ‘17. We heard it at London Insights ‘17. We heard it at IIeX NA ‘17.

RFG Co-founder Baillie Buchanan details in her Sample Company Call Out ways in which sample companies, like ourselves, can be more than just suppliers; but rather experts in our field. This includes highlighting ways in which the survey experience can be improved so that we are making the best impression we can with our respondents. After all, as we have heard time and time again: a good survey experience will reap good quality data.

So, what 3 simple rules can we follow to ensure our respondents are happy and continue to give us their time?

Respect the respondent - media icon

1. Make the survey more engaging

Surveys have the potential to be, dare I say it, annoying. Grid after grid, scale after scale… why not mix it up a bit. Include more pictures or use icons and emojis. Challenge your participants to attach a picture. Take your respondent on an interactive shopping trip. All these can break away from the “grid” format and make for a more exciting survey experience.

Respect the respondent - clock icon

2. Be upfront with the expected time

We are busy people who have busy lives. Our respondents are no different. nothing is more frustrating when you are told something will take 20 minutes but actually ends up taking 30 or 40. a frustrated respondent is more likely to disengage or drop off. During the testing period why not time yourself or a colleague (or better yet your mom) while trying your own survey?

Respect the respondent - scissors/edit icon

3. Scrap the long survey

More questions do not equate to more data. Repetitious, compound and confusing questions not only add more time to the survey (which costs more money) but it also heightens the chances that the respondent will disconnect with your survey and the brand. Keep the questions focused and necessary.

The “Respect the Respondent” message is repeated almost as many times as some of the questions in our surveys. :P. But as Baillie says, we (sample companies) need to start carving our own place at the table. That is why we at RFG are putting our money where our proverbial mouth is. Not only do we offer industry leading sample, we also have incredible Programming and Hosting capabilities that will ensure your survey is optimized for survey engagement.

We can custom our Programming & Hosting capabilities to meet your needs or you can select one of our incredible off-the-shelf packages below:

Want to get started with your next online project and take advantage of one of our amazing packages, then drop us a message now.

The State of the Industry: Co-Founder Discussion.

The State of the Industry: Co-Founder Discussion.

As Vanella Jackson of Hall & Partners highlighted in the ‘CEO’s State Of The Industry’ Keynote panel discussion at London Insights ‘17, every brief she has recently picked up is saying two things: “we want it faster and cheaper, and we need more strategic advice, with the challenge being how do we deliver these conflicting needs”. Co-panelist Bart Michels, of Added Value, also said that the current environment is creating an impatience with clients on return and clients are looking to agencies to think ahead to solve problems like this. This led for two of RFG’s co-founders, Sean Case and Baillie Buchanan to get together and talk about the state of the industry and how it has led to the development of the newest product The Sampling Place.

Sean Case
Baillie Buchanan

SC: I agree with Bart Michels in that the industry is heading down a path of impatience with many market researchers working crazy hours to meet the demands of their customers. We looked at the sample industry and we realised that the way buyers want to interact with us is no longer exclusive to email, they want to have control themselves. I think we will continue to see technology solutions introduced that will allow autonomous control, and will improve speed and efficiency (and to some degree cost) but the main driver is increased efficiency. The Sampling Place allows for that.

BB: I would say that we are already down the impatient path and The Sampling Place is a solution that provides buyers more time for strategic thinking about delivery to their customer rather than chasing suppliers for updates etc. It also means that more time can be spent designing the project so it meets the needs of participants as there is also a big call in the industry to respect the respondent.

Lastly, there’s a move towards automation in our industry and sample buying through an API can be great for some clients and sample buyers, but it is also not right for everyone. The Sampling Place is a bridge of that gap; you want the efficiency and control but you don’t want to go, or have the tech support to go, all the way down the route of an API.


SC: One thing you mentioned which is really important is that our industry, the sample space, has been highly and wrongly commoditized. The unfortunate part is that it’s very easy for someone to enter with some respondents and offer the market cheap pricing. Now the market place has this false notion that there’s an abundance of sample at really low prices but the reality is that there’s a higher demand for respondents to online surveys than ever before, but there is not enough supply to fill it. The main reason for this is that respondents are not rewarded fairly anymore. So to your point, The Sampling Place can free up time for Market Researchers to focus on important things such as a positive respondent experience. We want to ensure that participants want to come back to market research and to continue to take surveys.

[MRX has] gone so far down the path of it being a fairly terrible user experience the easiest thing is to throw a higher incentive at participants to get them to muscle through. Baillie Buchanan

BB: Yes, the incentive amount is important but it is also about finding the right balance between that and user experience. If we can improve the user experience, like closing the feedback loop or giving participants the satisfaction of knowing what changes their insights actually led to, you don’t need to throw more money at them. They are enjoying the experience along the way. Currently, we have gone so far down the path of it being a fairly terrible user experience the easiest thing is to throw a higher incentive at participants to get them to muscle through.

SC: That is another good point. I also wanted to elaborate on another good point you mentioned earlier around tech integrations. There is a wave of companies like Research For Good that have been built on the foundation of technology and so API integrations make sense for those companies. However the majority of MR buyers use 3rd party software for survey offering/data analysis, they don’t have control over the technology or ability to influence it. That is why we introduced The Sampling Place so they can still buy sample but the way want to and how they want to.

But The Sampling Place is also perfect for those who are already using self-serve market research platforms such as Survey-monkey, Question-pro or Qualtrics etc,. If you’re already programming your own surveys, buying your own sample is probably going to be a good fit, as you are already in that self-serve mode.

BB: And how does technology like this move the MR industry forward?

SC: Well I think this is part of the earlier point. As we are an impatient industry then the more technology that can be introduced to create flexibility, efficiency and, like you said, allows the buyer to focus on important things, like insights and survey design, then you are moving the industry forward.

That is how we approached this product. There are ways in which our customers like to buy sample, through a sales team rep or through tech integration, however some of our customers asked for a new model: a do-it-yourself model. For us, if a customer wants to venture down a new path, we will continue to innovate and adapt to meet their needs. We are customer driven so if a customer want’s to buy sample from us in a way we have not yet thought of then we will continue to be innovative and adapt so that they continue to want to purchase from us.

If the next big jump [in MRX] is surveys completed through Siri or Amazon Echo, or other device types, then that is where we need to be.

Sean Case

BB: And also from a participant POV. The Sampling Place is source agnostic; recruiting people from arguably the broadest cross-section of the online population and so the ability to let respondents take part in surveys the way they want to also drives the industry forward. Different kinds of sources such as email, communities, social media, real-time sampling, rewards sites, mobile apps and much more are able to send respondents into our system and the software that we have built uses profiling info: demographics, behavioural data etc. to balance the sample such that the original source almost becomes irrelevant. It is no longer fair to expect a respondent to be opening an email and sitting for 20 minutes to take a survey. Today we need to have them respond and engage on their terms. Respondents are able to participate from wherever they are and at a time that is most convenient to them. This is a big leap for our industry.

SC: You’re 100% right, people take surveys, for the most part, during their free time. We, as an industry shouldn’t be dictating what that free time is or how it is spent. If someone likes playing video games or they like to play with mobile apps that earn them rewards, we shouldn’t care about why they want to engage in surveys, nor should we care what the incentive is. What we should care about is if the participant is willing to take the survey on whatever device they are on, that they are human and have insights worth hearing. And, if the next big jump is surveys completed through Siri or Amazon Echo, or other device types, then that is where we need to be.

BB: I agree. Whether it’s applicable to The Sampling Place or not, we really need to meeting people on their terms and also communicating with them in a way they feel most comfortable. A lot of companies are moving towards video and getting recorded responses, whether it’s through YouTube, Instagram, Facebook live etc, people are comfortable with the platform and this is going to be key moving forward. You can gain so much from video that you can’t get through quant or open end responses such as facial expressions or tone. This ties into what you were saying about “other device types”. The talk right now is online vs mobile, but it is much broader than that – it’s meeting respondents wherever they are and whatever device they are using. If that’s a virtual reality headset on which a user is gaming, then we integrate a feedback system into that platform. Or take it to the next stage and create a feedback system through The Internet Of Things, where we gather feedback either passive or directly from any of their smart products. An example may be a smart lock on a front door unlocking could activate the Alexa system to ask one or two questions about a particular topic and over time we gather snippets of information that compile up to a holistic look at someone’s experience. I think we need to to be moving towards “the internet of all things” and the surveying of people through different approaches.

SC: I would add that we need to get better at making sure these experiences are optional for the user and they are permission based. I think a lot of times the execution of these concepts, such as video, include respondents who feel forced or cornered and that they are only going to get their reward if they agree to participate, but they have also already committed 10 minutes to the research. We need to be better at putting expectations upfront and communicate that we respect the respondent’s choice to participate in some ways and not others.

BB: That is interesting about what you just said about respect. There is a lot of interesting research happening around Data Quality and how that is influenced by the amount of respect you show to the respondent. Example, things like trap questions, yes they weed out those who are not paying attention but they also treat those who are paying attention like a bad respondent. Our industry starts from the guilty until proven innocent stance, but a shift away from that mindset will lead to an increase in data quality. A person who feels respected and listened to is more likely to give you more of their time, be patient through the experience and be more thoughtful as opposed to someone who feels they have to prove they’re not a criminal.

SC: Totally agree. And I think we should look at Respect the Respondent as a future blog topic.

As Sean and Baillie suggest, as we, the market research industry, move forward there is lots to think about and even more to do to ensure the best insights are achieved. What are your thoughts on the state of the industry and what is the future of MRX? Leave us a comment below. If you are interested in learning more about The Sampling Place and would like to book a walk through, then fill out the contact form below.

The Sampling Place Press Release

Learn More About The Sampling Place

Insights Show London 2017 Recap

Insights Show London 2017 Recap

In March Research For Good attended London Insights 2017 in Kensington Olympia with the aim to get fully immersed in the industry, speak to peers and learn all that we could. London Insights show did not disappoint. Between listening to talks and going stand to stand, we met some of the industry’s most influential people, saw some of the new and exciting methods in data capturing and heard some very exciting debates. Here is a recap on our experience. 

CEO Debate Insights 17

CEO Debate on Main Stage – Panel includes Kirsty Fuller, Vanella Jackson and Bart Michels. Moderated by Danny Russell

The current state of the industry was just one of the talking points in the CEO opening debate. With questions like “What can we, Market Researchers, do to ensure we get the edge?” asked to the panel it started some great conversations, but it was Vanella Jackson, Global CEO of Hall and Partners, who had the perfect answer: be disruptive. Brands need to adapt to match what the user wants and Ms. Jackson used Facebook as an example of adapting to a more mobile friendly experience. We totally agree. In a world that moves so fast it is essential that brands maximise what they can to create stand out. A good example of this is the below Spotify campaign where they generated campaign messaging based on the noteworthy listening trends of their users.

spotify-ooh-ep-2016 - insights

Spotify Campaign

The CEO’s opening debate continued and suggested that we should think of ourselves as journalists and reposition ourselves to deliver data in the best way. However, the next day in the Research Leaders of the Future debate, this approach was indirectly challenged. With Emma Kirk, Business Development Manager, Join the Dots, saying that we are not journalists and that people should not be interested in a creative story to WOW over real data. But is there a way to do both? Perhaps adopting an opinion based response means we are not just delivering data, we are giving them meaning. Which echos Ms. Kirk’s statement: “Data is meaningless without the why!”

As the Leaders of the Future debate continued it moved onto a topic that we at Research For Good hold very dear. Respecting the respondent and communicating with them on their own terms. As we reach out to Millennials and Gen-Z, why do we use traditional methods of data capture which isolate our audience before they even start? We need to be fresh and emotive when communicating with these generations. Emma Kirk went on to say that one idea that she and her clients are adopting is the use of emojis or “Digital Body Language”. These tiny icons add emotion to text and are used by 92% of smartphone users. We need to be utilizing all the modern day tech/software to ensure our respondents are providing insights in a way that is best for them. “At present,” as Ben Hogg, MD of EMEA Lucid states “the respondent isn’t at the heart of our industry.”


The Great Sample Debate – Panel includes George Davidson, Ben Hogg, Heval Ceylan-Gilchrist, Rahul Krishna & James de Vick. Moderated by Sima Vasa

Mr. Hogg was one of the panelists on The Great Sample Debate, in which the future of Sample was discussed. This discussion reiterated many of the points our Co-Founder, Baillie Buchanan covered in her Samplecon report but with one big difference, we had an end client as one of the panelists: George Davidson of InterContinental Hotels Group. Mr. Davidson was quick to put his hand up and say that clients need to take responsibility when it comes to questionnaire requests and in a move to look to the future of good survey design, we perhaps should look to the past. By this he meant bring back Pre-Survey Insights; a stage before a survey goes live in which a smaller sample are brought in to go through the survey and highlight any problematic questions. Whilst this idea is a good one, does the industry allow for this time?

As the debate came to a close the focus moved to data quality and survey design. Mr. Hogg asked why are there trick questions? It sends the wrong message and maybe we should give more trust to our participants. To this Mr. Davidson replied “absolutely not, he often meets people on the street but still locks his doors at night.”. A response that got a chuckle from the audience. But he is right, it doesn’t matter how good the questionnaire is, if the sample is bad then the data is bad and that is why there needs to be more emphasis on Sample Quality.

After 48 hours we left the conference with some invaluable knowledge and some exciting new contacts along with enough free pens and notebooks to start a stationery shop. It truly was an amazing experience and I Tip-My-Hat to the organisers – see you next year London Insights Show. Need help when planning conferences? Check out our 5 Factors to Consider when Choosing a MRX Conference blog for some helpful tips.

Smartphones and MRX go survey in hand

Smartphones and MRX go survey in hand

January saw the tenth birthday of the iPhone, a device that some claim as the defining moment for modern smartphones, we want to look at how smartphone tech has changed the way the modern consumer approaches, well the world really.

  • Productivity: “There’s an app for that.” A term that rings true for whatever you may need to do. Buy products, check flight times, plan a work out, edit photography… anything and everything can be made easier with the help of these apps. So much so that apps help users save 88 minutes of their time in a day or 22 days a year.
  • Staying Connected: Whether it is for business or fun, for safety or social reasons, our contacts and connections are at our fingertips. Need to video conference with your colleagues, you can. Want to share some pics with your family and friends from your latest Christmas Ski Break – it’s easily done.
  • Safety: With pocket taxi services you need not worry about hailing a cab whilst walking home. Or with GPS related systems like FindMyFriends your location is always easily obtained. Even the high quality camera, that each smartphone manufacturer boasts about, can be used to increase security. With apps that take a picture with the front-facing camera when someone enters the wrong PIN it means you will always know when someone is trying to unlock your phone when you’re not there.

It is hard to believe that a decade ago, smartphones didn’t exist and today it is estimated that around one quarter of the global population own a smartphone. So, why is our industry still slow to embrace mobile platforms as a means to conduct research? Here are some must read articles about mobile trends in MRX and ways in which you can make your next survey mobile compatible.

David Shanker of LightSpeed investigates why MRX is slow to embrace smartphones along with reasons why we should be moving towards them.

Patrick Comer at GreenBooks looks at how MRX trends would indicate that mobile will soon be the dominant survey format.

Qualtrics outlines best practices for mobile optimization, options for previewing and adjusting mobile formatting, and more.

The progression from traditional online surveys to mobile seems almost inevitable so isn’t it time that we, as an industry, embrace this? Perhaps it’s nerves, the apprehension to boldly go where no [few] MRX companies have been before… perhaps it’s not. Either way, we embrace the transition to mobile as it allows us to respect the respondents by tailoring surveys to match what works best for them.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on it and if you would like to understand more about how Research For Good can help with your next survey, mobile or traditional, SayHi.