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


Rep Data’s custom recruitment finds the right respondents for VML

Rep Data’s custom recruitment finds the right respondents for VML, boosting data quality by up to 50%


VML is a global partner for brands, providing creative, strategic and technology driven services to drive growth for its clients. With 200 offices in 90 markets around the world, the agency uses its highly specialized expertise, including comprehensive market research, to help both its internal teams and clients achieve their goals.

The company team that handles the market research function conducts a wide range of projects that encompass qualitative to quantitative studies among business and consumer audiences. Their findings help to guide projects such as thought leadership pieces, white papers, pitches, product development, communications, brand messaging and overall client growth strategies in nearly every vertical industry. As part of this process, this specialized team is always looking for high-quality respondents for their studies.

The Challenge

Because of the nature of the business, VML projects often require very niche target recruitment—especially in the B2B realm. For example, one recent project required hard-to-find IT decision makers who determine technology platform adoption at their companies, while another required individuals with certain education levels from specific alma maters. To find respondents to meet these types of stringent criteria was hard, and even some who indicated they did meet criteria gave bad data.

In fact, the team was running into significant problems with sample quality and, upon occasion, throwing away up to 30-50% of completes. These poor responses were identified as coming from bots, or unengaged respondents who were straight-lining, writing gibberish for open-ended questions, and displaying other similar nonsensical behaviors that showed they didn’t fit the necessary profile.

The team was finding that traditional digital recruitment methods, like email invitations, were not delivering the right respondents or the desired results, and were resulting in high rejection rates. This trickled down and impacted costs, as CPIs for specific projects were based on assumed incidence rates—and these rates were not being delivered upon. In order to obtain the number of quality responses needed, the research team was forced to reset study parameters mid-stream, costing high amounts of time and money, while negatively impacting data quality.

The Solution

The VML research team turned to Rep Data for help. Instead of sending out an email link to find respondents, Rep Data designed a custom recruitment methodology, sourcing respondents from a variety of business databases, business and professional associations and other business platforms such as LinkedIn, D&BHoovers and Zoominfo. They scheduled interviews with respondents, and administered the live survey with real people who fit the niche profile, eliminating bots, fraudulent respondents and poor response habits in the process.

“Our market research team often has to find solutions to complicated challenges when it comes to sample and data collection. The Rep Data team acts as a true partner and collaborator— they are responsive, flexible and come up with creative approaches that really work. It is refreshing to have this kind of amazing teamwork to successfully execute client projects.”

Craig Passkoff

The Result

Using Rep Data’s custom approach exponentially improved resulting data quality. Respondents gave open- end responses that made good sense, and didn’t engage in speeding behaviors, like straight-lining. Response rejection rates drastically dropped to 2%, from a previous rejection rate of more than 40%. The VML team was doing far less data cleaning, saving time and money.

In one instance, when the team was presenting results to a client, the client asked specifically about data quality and if the respondents were real people. They were able to confidently reassure the client that every response was valid, each respondent had been contacted personally by phone, met the specific parameters for the project, and that the results were solid.