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Selecting A Sample Partner: It’s All About the Project Manager

If you are going to conduct online research, chances are you are going to need a partner to help you find the audience you need to complete the study. There are many sample partners in the research industry and for the most part they all seem to be selling the same product.

While the product seems to be a commodity (which I would argue against but that’s for another discussion), the key differentiator in the industry is project management and execution. The best sample assets in the world cannot overcome poor execution and/or poor management. That is, if the sample is not administered correctly, then you may as well just go buy a bunch of river sample as the reliability and credibility of your data will be compromised.

So, you need to conduct a study and need to find a good sampling partner. My recommendation is you consider asking several questions across a few categories relating to the project manager (PM) that will be assigned to your project.

1. Does your PM have any market research experience?
2. Does your PM have any sampling design/framework experience?
3. How many years has the PM worked in their current role?

Understanding of Technology
4. Does your PM understand the technology used by their own company?
5. Does your PM understand the use of routers and router technology?
6. Does your PM understand the differences between single opt-in panel and double opt-in panel?

Understanding of Objectives
7. Does your PM understand how to accurately execute a market sizing study?
8. Does your PM understand how to accurately leverage pre-screeners and profiling?
9. Can your PM proactively recommend how to make your survey more productive and successful? What are their recommendations?
10. Important: Can your PM clearly explain how they are going to execute your study?

While there are several other questions you could ask, the ten questions above will give you a good enough understanding as to the qualifications of your PM. If you don’t like the answers you get, then request another PM or find another sample partner. There is too much to risk by working with an unqualified or inexperienced PM.

About Brookmark Research:
Brookmark is a research operations company focused on managing the critical components of the research process including project management, survey design, programming, hosting, sample design & management, data management and reporting solutions. Brookmark provides a full outsource solution for all your research needs.