6 Tactics for Recruiting Research Participants

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Over the last several weeks, I have shared six one-off B2B customer segmentation exercises that B2B management teams can use to quickly identify and validate potential customer segmentation hypotheses. Often, companies will identify segments of interest that they have limited experience with, and will want to test their hypotheses via primary research before allocating significant resources towards targeting a given segment.

This means they will generally have to recruit research participants outside of their customer-base, which can pose a problem. Sometimes it is difficult to recruit participants for primary research. This can be the result of:

  • a small target population
  • a difficult to reach target respondent group
  • limited time or financial resources

All of these factors will influence the decisions you make for recruiting research participants.

6 Tactics for Recruiting Research Participants

1. Networking Events

Find a list of events, conferences, and/or meetups of interest to the individuals you believe would be interested in your company’s products or services. The membership, attendance, and speaker lists are great recruiting resources for B2B market segmentation primary research.

2. Association Participation

Find a list of associations that target research participants belong to. These can be identified via functional associations or focus associations. The membership lists can be a great source of target interviewees for B2B market segmentation primary research.

3. LinkedIn Communities

Find LinkedIn communities where potential target buyers are active and directly reach out to the most qualified individuals about participating in the research. You can also post an open request into the group if it is allowed by the administrator, but this is a less targeted approach that does not generally have as high success rate (even if it does save time).

4. Sampling Providers

Reach out to a sample provider that recruits and manages a B2B panel to pull a sample of potential targets profiled to meet your respondent needs. This is a great resource for survey-based research as B2B sample providers will charge you by completion. The cost per a completion will vary based on the level of specificity of the target respondent plus how hard that individual is to reach, the expected level of incidence for a given survey, and length of interview. One provider that has over 1 million members in its B2B panel and allows for fairly sophisticated searches is uSamp (disclosure: an OpenView portfolio company). Their B2B panel is growing daily at a rapid rate.

5. Connection and Recruiting Platforms

Utilize Zintro.com or another expert connection/recruiting platform. The cost is approximately $100 per expert connection plus their going rate. This tool provides access to over 60,000 experts across a very wide range of industries. For more on this, see next week’s blog post which explains how Zintro works and when it will be most useful for B2B market research.

6. Leverage Competitive Intelligence

Research competitor case studies and news articles about key vendor selections that identify buyers in this space that would be great participants in your market research. This is a very targeted approach, and it generally yields a very small number of targets. These targets are highly qualified, but require a significant amount of time invested to identify a single target. This approach does not cost any money.

These tactics can be used for B2B market research recruitment of all types, but were specifically designed to assist with recruiting research participants for market segmentation and buyer research. This is not a comprehensive list and is intended to help inspire creativity in developing approaches for recruiting research participants for your specific research project.

Next week, I will explain how to use Zintro.com for recruiting interviewees or respondents for B2B market research since this is a new medium that many market researchers have yet to discover.

Marketing Manager, Pricing Strategy