Each year, thousands of internet users around the world complete our surveys.
How do we recruit our respondents?
We recruit respondents via panel providers - organizations that recruit and manage large panels of respondents. In each market, we typically work with 2-5 panel partners at any given time.
Although each panel provider will have its own methods, they typically invite people to join their panels via online ads, sponsored posts, online messaging and partnerships with sites. Anyone who expresses an interest then undergoes a joining process, which involves verification of their email address and submission of basic demographic information.
Separately, some panels also work with what’s called “river traffic” or “river sample”, whereby people who aren't panel members click on a survey invitation seen online and take part in the research straight away. We don’t use this type of sample in our syndicated research as we require respondents to have been verified and vetted beforehand.
How do panels decide who should take part in our research?
Before each wave of fieldwork, we supply our panel partners with demographic information about the respondents we require for our sample to be representative. This includes the number of male and female respondents, the number from each age group, and so on.
Our panel partners then distribute invitations accordingly (which could be in the form of emails, banners, texts, messaging on panel sites, and so on). Even so, we ask respondents to enter this same demographic information at the start of our surveys to verify their stored responses against their current situations.
Periodically, most panel providers will also ask their members to re-confirm this demographic data to capture any changes in circumstance and to ensure their stored responses are as accurate as possible.
How often can people take part?
We operate an annual exclusion policy. This means each respondent can only complete each of our surveys once within a 12-month period, thereby ensuring that our annual samples are unique.
How do panels incentivize people to take part?
Different people respond to different types of incentive, so our panel partners offer a variety of options, including:
- Monetary Payments / PayPal Credit
- Loyalty Points
- Charity Donations
- Competition / Sweepstake Entry
These incentives are designed to appeal to people of all backgrounds, including wealthier individuals who might be most motivated by the chance to help good causes. The value of incentives varies between markets, and will sometimes vary between demographic groups within a particular country. In addition to incentives, it’s important to note that many people see surveys as a chance to share their views; for some, this can be a bigger motivator than the incentive.
Do respondents know they are completing a GWI survey?
Respondents aren’t aware that they're being invited to complete research for GWI, with the invitation link and domain name of our surveys being de-branded. However, as part of the permissions that we collect from respondents at the start of the survey, we do inform respondents that the survey is run by Trendstream Limited (our parent company), and that their data will be used, stored and protected by Trendstream. For more about data privacy, see here.
How do we avoid duplicate respondents across our panels?
Each person who takes one of our surveys is assigned a unique and persistent identifier regardless of the panel to which they belong. This means we can see if a panelist is active on more than 1 panel (or has multiple accounts on 1 panel) and ensure they don’t take any of our surveys twice by only accepting a single response from them even if they make multiple attempts from different panels / accounts. This wouldn’t be possible utilizing the data supplied by each panel alone (e.g. member ID) as this data is unique to each panel and won’t be persistent across accounts.
This process also allows us to see who has already completed the survey within the exclusion period, and to prevent them from doing so again until the end of that period.
Additionally, most panel partners will have their own systems in place to address duplicate respondents, which might include unique IDs, digital fingerprinting and other similar checks.