We use cookies to give you the most relevant experience. By clicking Accept All, you consent to our use of cookies.

Privacy PolicyDo Not Sell My Personal Information

We write about sample aggregation for Greenbook’s 2022 Business & Innovation GRIT Report

We were honored to write for this year’s much-anticipated GRIT report, see below for a complete copy of our article.


by Patrick Stokes, Rep Data

Even though many of us are sick to death of analyzing the pandemic and its impact, the truth is that it has changed the face of market research for good. As a supplier, we are seeing buyers who are seeking new ways to find survey respondents. 

In the past, sourcing respondents from a single sample or panel provider was the norm. While this approach had already begun to fall from favor pre-pandemic, recent events accelerated the need for change. We’re actually seeing a bit of desperation when it comes to finding the right respondents for studies in a fast, efficient (and feasible) manner. Because desired audiences are becoming more and more niche, in both the B2B and B2C segments, the net must be cast even wider to find respondents who meet stringent profiling criteria.

This reality is driving some of the massive merger and acquisition activity we’re seeing in market research right now, particularly on the supply side. Bringing multiple sources together, so sample comes from a wide number of places, panels, recruitment methods and more, is one of the only ways to effectively find the right audiences. Sample buyers are embracing this type of aggregation to meet quotas and feasibility requirements for their studies.

This evolving landscape requires a deft blend of technical expertise, multi-sourcing and industry knowledge. Sample partners must deeply understand the overall ecosystem so they know where to go to find even the most niche audiences, plus the technical savvy to find these audiences via the wide number of DIY platforms and technology solutions available today. Ultimately, this approach can reduce individual supplier bias, increase feasibility, speed up field time, and lower cost - not to mention achieving greater representativity and even diversity among respondent bases. Of course, there is always the persistent issue of data quality, which can be tricky when bringing in respondents from multiple places. A layered approach to fraud mitigation, plus expert project management, can help exponentially. 

As this GRIT report indicates, the industry’s “vital signs” are high when it comes to spending, revenue and staffing. This is great news for all insights professionals. But even as the pandemic winds down, and GRIT considers “retiring its battery” of pandemic-related questions, its lingering effects remain. One of those is clearly seen in the way suppliers are finding, and buyers are seeking, new methods to deliver sample supply.