Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Qualitative Recruitment for Neuro Research Studies

Neuro research studies have grown in popularity over the past several years, and for many good reasons that center on enabling marketers to collect data based on involuntary human responses that are not subject to the traditional error sources of market research such as social desirability, telescoping, memory decay, and others.  While many neuro-type studies also include traditional forms of inquiry, such as survey items and open-ended questions, they are usually focused on eye-tracking, facial expression coding, EEG analysis, and the like.  But like any market research study, either traditional in methodology, or more cutting edge, the success of these studies is based, in large part, on the quality of participants.  As such, quality recruitment is paramount to ensuring that quality data are collected. 

Often times these studies are conducted in store, where aisles stocked with products of interest are available to serve as test stimuli to which participants respond and react, and quantitative data and their measurements are obtained.  Other times, these studies are carried out at facilities where another form of in-person data collection is carried out.

Regardless of the venue, setting, and other study-specific variants, participants need to be recruited.  In that recruiting process, the laws of good market research practices must prevail by instituting special quality control measures such as:

  • Having live discussions between recruiters and potential participants
  • Assessing screening-related criteria for qualification
  • Spotting gamers, cheaters, and others who try to deceive recruiters in order to be chosen for paid-participation studies
  • Providing logistical information such as date, time, address, of where data are collected
  • Explaining parking conditions, materials needed, form of incentive payment
  • Preparing participants for what to expect in the research, as some of the devices and techniques can be intimidating to participants without the proper ‘heads up’

Neuro studies are neither above nor outside the laws of good market research practices.  Rather they are no different than traditional focus groups, IDIs, in-home ethnographies, and other purer forms of qualitative research.  Neuro-researchers have enough to do in running their studies and managing their clients.  The last thing they want to do is worry about the quality of recruitment, no-shows, screener mess-ups, and poor communications of dates, times, places, and all other related logistical problems.

We invite you to request a cost estimate from us as a first step.  Simply give us a call (704-206-8500) or send us an email (  If we are granted the opportunity to work with you, we are confident that the quality of service you receive will be a marked improvement. 

Good luck and safe travels.