The ESOMAR 28 Questions are designed to guide and help buyers of online research samples.
ESOMAR, the World Association for Social, Opinion and Market Research, is focused on encouraging, advancing, and elevating market research. ESOMAR strives to enable better quality in the research of markets, consumers, and societies. These 28 Questions aim to increase transparency and raise awareness of the key issues for researchers to consider when deciding whether an online sampling approach fits their purpose.
If you have found your way to this page, you are a research buyer or someone who wishes to learn more about our approach to panel management, recruiting, and data collection. Strategic Research is a boutique market research company, typically offering curated online panel survey and recruiting projects, as well as RDD telephone data collection and recruiting.
As a low volume market research producer, we find ourselves completing 20-50 projects against our panel each year, which significantly reduces our risk of panel validity issues that may be seen with other panel providers driven by large order volumes. The over-use and abuse by respondents through survey-as-income practices and of panel respondents by repeat study qualification fatigue that these questions are meant to address are seen less often in smaller providers than you may see with larger sample providers.
The ESOMAR questions and responses that follow pertain to our approaches to general data management using our CATI data collection systems and our panel management systems for our research participants.
Since 1996 Strategic Research Associates has provided recruiting, data collection, and survey samples for market research purposes. Much of our work involves leveraging samples we curate and manage for our data collection purposes, as our panel is never leased or sold to any third-party clients for their personal use.
Our team of research strategists combines real-work research, business, marketing, communications, and design experience into in-depth research insights that inspire and provide our clients with the details they need to know to take action.
We have a proven track record of delivering excellent research services, qualitative and quantitative, to our clients across the US. With specific experience in the non-profit and public sectors, we are a go-to resource for public entities looking to better understand their constituents as well as private entities searching for new opportunities in their customer base with their products and services.
Approximately 30% of our work in support of the not for profit sector helping us meet our goal of positively impacting the communities we live and work within.
Sample Sources and Recruitment
Panelists and samples sourced for data collection are all sourced either through our Strategic Research Associates actively managed research panel, or through RDD, Social Network referrals, advertising, and other lead generation methods.
All individuals sourced for sample must first be part of the Strategic Research panel and participant database. All persons on this panel are opted in, and their opt-in is collected either via telephone conversation or via two-step online authentication through our web portal at www.strategicresearch.net.
Participants can be solicited to be added to our panel via:
- Online recruitment using SEO and Google advertising
- Online recruit using Social Media pages, organic search, and advertising (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other emerging networks)
- Email recruitment through our own internal panel newsletters
- Specific invitations sent to our database
- Email recruitment by sending invitations to a permission-based database provided by our clients
- Active recruitment via telephone
- Active recruitment through face-to-face (F2F) interactions
At times our telephone recruiting and data collection efforts may involve the use of RDD cellphone and landline targets as well respondents from our internal panel.
In cases such as this, the RDD samples are used to supplement panel data and called at random from the lists provided to us by our sample providers to fill in responses as needed using a first-in, first-out approach.
Online data collection efforts always use a single sample source for simplicity and to ensure no blending is required to eliminate bias. If multiple online sample sources are needed, each sample is treated separately, and data is collected and tagged to the sample source for analysis and appropriate treatment in the final dataset.
Our sample sources are solely used for market research purposes only, never for any other use.
Sources that are hard to reach via the internet (older populations, low income, those without internet access) are reached via telephone and on occasion intercept recruiting.
Many projects that are looking for representative general population studies involve a mixed-mode approach (data collected both by online and telephone, respondents are first invited via email then non-respondents are called to complete via telephone) to ensure that online-only respondent bias does not affect our final results.
We only use a handful of secondary sample providers, and select partners who we have successfully worked with in past and have a longstanding relationship with. Partners must have strict data security and accuracy controls to earn our business as a third-party provider.
Clients are notified in advance if the need arises to use a third-party provider to enhance sample depth for fielding studies.
Sampling and Project Management
Representativeness in sampling is achieved through quota controls in both our sample selection and our data collection.
When a project is launched, internal quotas are set in place based on known data in panelist profile data. Those profiles with “null” data in key profile fields are always assumed to be among the sample population until additional panelist information is collected to verify they are not part of the target population.
A full sample is pulled from our database, and if that sample is larger than needed for the specific project, we will use stratification techniques to pare our sample down to the final selection needed for data collection and fielding in online and telephone studies.
No, we do not employ a survey router when collecting data for online studies from our panel.
We do not use a survey router.
We do not use a survey router.
We do not use a survey router.
Panelist profile data is all held within a panelist CRM system. This system is scalable, secure, GDPR compliant, and managed through a third-party solution.
Profile data held on each respondent contains all or some of the following fields:
- Employment Status
- Total Household Income
- Children in Household
- Marital Status
- Political Preference
- Health Insurance Source
- Project/Study Participation History
Profile information is either collected by Strategic Research team members through telephone interviewing and entered directly into our panelist database, or entered by the panelist through a web portal.
Panelists are emailed on at least an annual basis, asking them to view and update their profile information to ensure that this information is up to date.
Unless the study warrants it, all survey invitations are concise and blind to ensure we do not bias responses during data collection.
Participants are sent an email, called via telephone, or receive an SMS invitation to complete a study or qualify for a recruiting project.
Invitations only contain the following key pieces of information:
- Length of the survey or expected participant effort required
- Incentive or drawing amount, if applicable
- The project sponsor, if applicable
- A reminder that all responses are reported in aggregate to our clients with anonymized datasets
- That their feedback is invaluable to the process
Incentives vary based on the length of the study and the level of participant effort.
Some studies offer no incentive.
Some studies offer an incentive in the form of a random drawing, where the odds are never worse than 1 in 400 to win a cash prize.
Some studies offer a direct small value ($5, $10, $20) incentive for participation, the respondent chooses during data collection their preferred reimbursement source, which is an option of Amazon Gift Card, Paypal, Venmo, or donate to a pre-selected Non-Profit.
Some studies, those with participant engagement of 20 minutes or more offer larger direct payment incentives of $100 or more. These are typically directly interview projects, and participants choose through the invitation and recruiting process how they wish to be paid, either via Amazon Gift Card, Cash App, Check, Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle.
Your contact at Strategic Research will work with you to collect the information needed for accurate feasibility estimates. Typically we request the planned length of the interview, number of required responses, screening qualifications, and any pre-determined quota constraints.
Panelist and respondent satisfaction is not measured through any formal metrics at this time. Panelist churn is monitored by our database administration team and used to inform leadership on general sentiment and panel health.
Most projects are custom designed, and turnkey. Clients are provided with raw datasets and crosstabulated reports for all studies for independent data validation and further analysis.
Additional reports can always be run on demand, and are done on a as requested basis or as designed basis depending on the project itself.
Project files, programming, data sets, samples sourced, etc. are kept on our in-facility servers for no less than 7 years post project.
Data Quality and Validation
IP addresses are tracked for all responses; duplicate IP address responses are evaluated and removed if duplicates.
Responses are also manually checked for no-value, non-response, open-end non-sensical responses, and other red flags and removed if found to be not useful in our final dataset.
Time spent in the survey is also monitored. Fast responders are also evaluated during the data check process.
Questionnaire and screener design are also a critical step in data quality; by including terminates for non-response questions and requiring character limits on open-end responses, we greatly reduce the number of “fake respondents” completing the study.
Our invitation process limits invitations to panelists until they complete the study. Once they either respond, terminate out, or opt-out of the panel, they are removed from the sample base for that specific project.
In most projects, panelists are only contacted twice to encourage participation. We find multiple and repetitive responses beyond an invitation, and a reminder increases the rate of false responses.
Our time-out, or between project quarantine period, is based on the type of study the panelist is being considered for as part of an online sample.
Each panelist’s participation in studies is tracked. Suppose the panelist is being invited to an online survey with a small honoraria or a random drawing honoraria. In that case, they are limited to being included in the invitation process for only one study at a time, and if they complete the study, they are placed in a 14-day quarantine pool.
Panelists who complete a study with an honorarium of $50 or more are placed into a 6-month quarantine pool.
The quarantine pool we hold for participation is panel wide. The length of any time-out that each panelist has earned remains on their profile and removes them from the selection pool throughout the time-out automation period.
Yes, we track individual-level data such as recent participation history, date of entry, sample source, and other details on survey respondents to ensure panel health and quality.
Respondent identities are confirmed using a positive match to email, as well as a multiple-step profile development process.
When an individual joins our sample and online study panel, they are first added to a temporary pool of potential respondents. They are then asked to complete a 3-step profile creation process that asks them on different instances to add to and complete their profile.
The entire process takes between 14 and 45 days for most respondents. Once their profile has been updated, then they are added to our pool for potential surveys.
By adding this delay and putting the onus on the panelists to participate before live studies, we eliminate any bot created panelists and non-value respondents from our sample.
As we do not use survey routers, participants do not enter through this method.
Samples generated from 3rd party sources may have different identity processes. We will rely on those sample providers to identify confirmation processes if those samples are used in a study.
Policies and Compliance
At the time of panel recruitment, panelists are made aware of the panel’s purpose and asked to join (i.e. to participate in market research).
When a panelist is invited to a study, they are informed about the confidential nature of their responses and given the opportunity to ‘opt-out’.
As part of the registration process, panelists are asked to complete key profiling questions, including a confirmation of their consent to join the panel.
This policy is always available for review on our website; and a link to this policy is included with every email communication with our panelists in the footer of our emails. This includes communication about study projects, profile updates, and general newsletters.
We comply with all applicable data protection laws and regulations and implement all information security best practices.
Additional security includes:
- Users are automatically logged off after a given period of non-activity
- Secure survey links are deployed
- Respondents are given access to their surveys by unique identifiers only
- Users are automatically logged off after a given period of non-activity
- All servers, networks, and services are monitored 24/7
- Deployment of Secure Sockets Layers (SSL) for all sampling, panel management, and panelist information.
Online research is certainly not the best approach for every project. With their decades of market research experience, our project managers work closely with our clients to review the objectives, information to be presented, and sampling methodology to determine if the chosen study method is the best approach.
If the survey contains any sensitive material or content, it is clearly cited in the survey invitation and, where appropriate within the survey, giving panelists the opportunity to opt-out. Our approach of using invitation-only survey tools ensures that sensitive information is strictly controlled and not available for public consumption.
Panelist obligations with respect to sensitive material or content are included in our panelist Terms and Conditions agreements that every panelist agrees to through their participation. All violations are promptly addressed.
No, we are not certified by any specific quality system.
We comply with all applicable laws and regulations with respect to conducting studies with children and minors. Studies are only performed with minors after we have received the needed consent for their parent or guardian to participate, as well as assent from the minor of their intention to participate.
This consent, assent process is managed through digital signature. The signatures are collected for each study instance to ensure continued compliance with regulations such as COPPA for minors under the age of 13 and other rules for teenage minors.