What it is like Participating in a Market Research Study

Working for a market research company, I generally am not given the opportunity to participate in research studies.

Although my role at Drive Research is heavily focused on executing inbound and outbound marketing strategies, it is common for those working in the research industry to not be selected to join a study.

To my surprise, I was qualified and asked to participate in a market research study with Facebook! In this blog post, I will outline the exact process from start to finish.

Interested in joining our market research panel? You will be invited to future opportunities such as online surveys and focus groups. Sign up here.

participating in market research


How I Signed Up for the Market Research Study

On June 15th, I received an email from a woman on Facebook’s user experience research team with the subject line, “Participate in a paid Facebook Research Study.”

The email said:

Hello Emily,

Facebook is holding a series of 45-minute research sessions on Monday, June 22nd-Wednesday, June 24th. This study will be held remotely so you can participate from wherever on either a laptop or desktop with a webcam. We want to learn more about how people use Facebook and how we can make it a better experience.

If you are selected and participate in a study session, you'll receive a $125 USD Facebook Research e-Reward redeemable for a selection of e-gift cards through PerksWW.

If you are interested in participating, please click here to complete a brief survey. Available times are located in the survey.

If you are selected for the study, you will receive a follow-up call or email with more details.

Taking the screener survey

I was immediately intrigued and clicked to take the survey almost immediately. This was my first time viewing a research study through the lens of a participant.

Taking a screener survey before participating in a market research study is very common. Drive Research always incorporates a recruitment screener in our projects because it easily highlights participants who would make a good fit for a study and those who would not.

A screener survey generally asks simple qualifying questions. For this particular study, I was asked questions such as:

  • Do you currently manage a Page for a business on Facebook?
  • What describes your business’s category?
  • What is your age?
  • Are you currently employed?

By completing this online survey, I was able to qualify for the paid research study based on my submitted answers.


The Process of Being Recruited for the Marketing Research

1. Re-screening phone call

Shortly after submitting the screener survey, I received a phone call from a woman on Facebook’s user experience (UX) research team. The phone call only lasted 5-minutes. On the call, the woman followed-up on a few of the questions that were asked on the recruitment screener.

This is another common step in the qualitative recruitment process. Adding a phone call allows the recruitment team to ask more questions and verify a participant’s answers on the survey.

At this stage, I was told I was qualified to complete the user experience research study.

2. Signing the “Research Participation Agreement”

We scheduled a time for the study, and I was told to expect a follow-up email where I would have to sign a “Facebook Research Participation Agreement” in order to participate.

The research participant agreement touched on:

  • How information would be collected during the research
  • How Facebook uses this information
  • How this information is shared
  • Ownership of recordings and research data
  • Voluntary participation
  • Condition for participating in research
  • The use and disclosure of confidential information

This document is standard in the market research industry. By signing it, I agreed to provide true, correct, and complete information about myself. This ensures that I engage with the research in an honest, transparent, and good-faith manner.

3. Confirmation email

Lastly, I was sent a confirmation email that outlined the date and time of the interview and how to prepare for the study.

To prepare for the interview I was asked to ensure that I would be in a private and quiet location for the duration of the study. The confirmation email also included the session dial-in information.

The session was hosted online via BlueJeans.


The Type of Market Research I Participated In

Facebook carries out a variety of research programs and focus groups in order to gain insights into how users engage with the social media platform, existing products, and services, as well as to test potential new products and services.

For this particular research project, Facebook defined it as a user experience study – however, now having already participated I would consider it to be a one-on-one web interview.

The goal of the web interview was for the UX research team to understand the expectations and satisfaction with their new Facebook for Business apps page.


My Experience Participating in the Research

My overall experience participating in the web interview was positive. The video platform was very easy to log in to – all I needed was a laptop with a webcam. The interviewer started out by introducing himself and sharing the objectives for the research.

The first part of the study the interview asked me questions such as:

  • How does your company use the Facebook advertising platform?
  • How often do you create a Facebook ad?
  • What are you most satisfied with the platform?
  • What are you least satisfied with the platform?
  • Can you offer any more general feedback for improving the Facebook advertising platform?

After these initial questions, the interviewer then shared his screen with me where I was presented with this page.

Facebook Business Page App Store

He asked if I was familiar with this webpage and how often I have visited it before. Next, he scrolled down on the page and asked several questions regarding these apps.

Apps featured on Facebook advertising

The second part of the study focused largely on these apps. He asked questions such as:

  • Are you familiar with any of these apps?
  • Did you use any of these apps after seeing them on this website?
  • What other kinds of apps would you like Facebook to feature?
  • Are there too many or too few apps displayed on this webpage?
  • What would discourage you from using these apps?

The interview lasted the allotted 45-minutes. I appreciated the interviewer being conscious of my time and not going over the scheduled time slot.  


The Incentive to Participate in Market Research

As thanks for participating, I received a $125 USD Facebook Research e-Reward (redeemable for a selection of electronic gift cards through PerksWW).

I was told to expect the reward code to be emailed to me within 2 business days of my completed session.

Our market research company always promotes offering incentives to participants and respondents. This may be in the form of a gift card or cash.

Without a reward of some kind, it can make it more difficult to recruit participants if there is no incentive for them to offer their time and feedback.

Learn more about why it is beneficial to offer research participants a reward or incentive.


Participate in Market Research with Us!

Our market research company is always adding participants to our in-house research panel. 

  • Want to give your thoughts on a new product?
  • Would you like to share your opinion on a commercial?
  • Want to give advice to organizations eager to hear your feedback?

If you said yes to any of these questions, sign up to join our panel!


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in New York. Our experts deliver businesses from across the country with the insights and data they need to develop strategic business and marketing initiatives.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today!

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Carroll

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Coordinator. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.


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