The conversation around conducting surveys with online panels rather than face to face or CATI is one that comes up every day for me in South East Asia. Whilst this is an entirely valid discussion, online actually adds ways to ensure trustworthy and valid respondents. In this mini-series, we unlock the truths behind these myths.
Knowing who someone really is isn’t exclusive to our industry. If we look at the everyday world, people can look us in the eye and lie. We filter this, both consciously and subconsciously and take forward what we have confidence in being true. Now back to research. As a student, I had friends who would get calls from focus group recruiters offering them 5000 Rs ($80 USD). The next question would be 'do you like/ consume ‘x’ product?' They would agree to anything to get into the focus group and take the money home, including saying they drank Malibu regularly (I’m not sure anyone can say that hand on heart!) Whilst these recruiters are not a fair reflection of all in the industry, online uses pre-screeners that are far more subtle than this tactic (and far less heavily incentivised, granted) which encourage a level of honesty from the outset.