How to Conduct Market Research with Military Veterans

male veteran standing in front of U.S. flag

While almost everyone knows a military veteran, this audience can be tricky to reach and recruit for market research. Especially on a large scale! 

Luckily for one client who contacted Drive Research, our team has experience with this audience and knows just how to reach them. 

This case study outlines the step-by-step process for our most recent veteran recruitment project. 

Step 1: The Kickoff

Once a signed contract is in place, our market research firm held a 30-minute kickoff meeting to discuss the project. 

In this introductory meeting, we recap: 

  • Core project objectives
  • Recruitment highlights
  • Timeline 
  • Drive Research’s recruitment process 
  • Next steps 

This kickoff meeting ensures both the client and Drive Research team are on the same page before beginning the study.  

Step 2: Screener Development

Following the completed kickoff call, our team began developing the screener we would utilize to pre-qualify military veterans. 

The recruitment highlights were as follows: 

  • Must be age 18 or older 
  • Have served in the United States Armed Forces 
  • Describe their military affiliation as a veteran 
  • Have baseline technology access
  • Have experienced depression symptoms for a week or longer which impacted their typical day-to-day routine
  • Willingness to learn more about the research program
  • Diverse demographics

For further context, I recommend reading our blog post What is a Recruitment Screener in Market Research?

Step 3: Programming and Launching the Screener

Upon screener sign-off, our team begins our internal setup. This includes: 

  • Programming the pre-qualification screener in our online system 
  • Creating recruitment materials for our team:
    • Re-screening questionnaire to confirm qualification 
    • Call sheet to record responses and track all quotas 
    • Email confirmations and other reminder scripts
  • Briefing our recruitment team on the study
  • Launching the pre-screener

In general, it takes our qualitative recruiting team 2 to 3 days following screener approval to complete the above steps. 

Step 4: Recruiting the Veterans for Market Research

Once our team has built a pool of pre-qualified respondents, we begin our re-screening phone calls and scheduling outreach. 

First, our team hand-picks the “best of the best” from a large pool of qualified participants. 

In our re-screening calls, we validate qualifications by re-asking questions from the screening questionnaire. 

We also include an open-ended question to confirm all participants are articulate, engaged, and able to provide thoughtful responses. 

Once a participant has passed the re-screening questionnaire, we schedule their interview. 

If our team senses any hesitation whatsoever, the participant is placed on hold status. 

Step 5: Confirmations

When choosing a qualitative recruiting firm, be sure they are using multiple, personal outreach methods. 

For instance, to ensure participants remain engaged, we run them through a very rigorous confirmation process. 

This includes: 

  • Replying to a confirmation email 
  • Accepting a calendar invite 
  • Answering a reminder call the night before 
  • Receiving a reminder text 

We ask a lot of our participants, but this rigorous confirmation process is one of the many reasons our firm can boast of an average show rate of 92%! It's important to our team that we do not use automated market research recruitment.

More on our process below!

step by step recruitment process with drive research

Step 6: Conducting Research Interviews with Military Veterans

The interviews for this project were client moderated. However, that does not mean we are completely hands-off when conducting market research with Veterans. 

30-minutes ahead of the research interview, participants receive a reminder text. Their point-of-contact remains available to resolve any technical issues a participant may encounter. 

Following confirmation of a completed interview, rewards are processed through our online payment platform. 

The Outcome

In total, 16 military veterans were recruited to participate in this project. Participants were asked to attend pre-scheduled 90-minute in-depth interviews through Zoom. 

In addition to the core qualification criteria, our team also recruited a mix of the following quotas to interview a diverse audience: 

  • Age 
  • Gender 
  • Those who do and do not use VHA services 
  • Ethnicity
  • Education level 
  • Socioeconomic status

Because stimuli would be shown through screen-sharing, participants were asked to participate through their desktop/laptop computer. 

All 16 scheduled participants completed their interviews (a 100% show rate). 

Conducting Research with Veterans? Contact Us. 

Despite veterans making up less than 10% of the U.S. population, our firm is experienced in recruiting this audience through our in-house panel and targeted social media ads. 

With our success in targeting, along with our thorough screening and confirmation process, we have the tools to ensure quality participants who follow through with their commitments. 

Have a need for veterans in your next market research project? Use the information below to contact us: 

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Ashley Reynolds

With nearly 10 years of experience in market research, Ashley has worked on countless quantitative and qualitative research studies. As a Fieldwork Manager at Drive Research, she’s involved in every stage of the project, especially recruitment.

Learn more about Ashley, here.

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