Still thinking about the quality of the conversation…

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Here at Blue Marble, we’ve been troubled by the emphasis on incentives to get bums on seats. Research respondents are fundamental to what we do. That’s why we don’t want just bums, we want engaged people ready to share their opinions. But it can feel like the relationship between respondent and researcher is less about the seeking and giving of opinions and more about a commercial transaction: ‘give me the fifty quid and I’ll talk.’ We don’t think this is quite in the spirit of things…and it has got us thinking. If we can genuinely find the mutual benefit for both researcher and respondent, surely this will improve not only the experience but the quality of the conversation too.

We’ve been putting our ideas into practice. For instance, we ran business groups recently as early morning breakfast events with time for networking – not to mention great food. This made for some very buzzy discussions. Our participants left with a clutch of new contacts and some useful shared knowledge and guess what…they’ll be happy to help again.

We’ve been innovating in the same way with teenage audiences and we’ll be saying more about this when we case study a recent project in January at the MRS Youth Research Conference. Watch this space…