If you’ve been asked to take part in a research project, first of all thank you! Market research is really important in helping companies make decisions, to make sure their products and services meet the needs of the people who might buy them, so thank you for giving us your time and opinions

Here’s a bit of background to let you know what will happen

The form of the research may vary: it might be a group discussion, or a one to one interview, we might be coming to meet you in your home, or to go shopping with you, it might be an interview over the phone, or we might ask you to keep an online diary. Whichever it is, we’ll tell you before we start so you know what to expect

Whatever form the research takes, we will treat your comments as confidential, and we’ll never pass them on in any way that could identify you

Market research is about your opinions: there are absolutely no right or wrong answers, so please feel free to speak your mind. All we ask is that you also allow others to speak up: if it’s a group exercise, we might not all agree, but we do want to hear everyone’s opinion

We might ask you to think about things in creative ways, and some of the ways we do this can seem silly, but we’ll never ask you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable

If we’re discussing products, brands or ideas, we are never, ever trying to sell them to you. Sometimes, it might be important that you try a product or brand before you come along, but if we ask you to do this we will either supply the product to you or reimburse you for it

Sometimes there will be a follow up stage to the project. We will ask you when you arrive whether you’re happy to be re-contacted for this, and will only contact you afterwards if you agree

In return for your time and your opinions, we will give you a small gift to say thank you. This will often be cash or may sometimes be a voucher – you’ll be told about this before you take part, so you know what to expect. Please check this while you are still in the room, as we can’t rectify any mistakes once you have left

It’s really helpful if you can arrive 10-15 minutes early, so we can be sure of finishing on time

If you need glasses, for distance or for reading, please bring them with you

In some cases, we might need you to stand up for a while. If this will be a problem for you, please let us know in advance so we can plan around it

Unless we’ve specifically asked you to come as a family, please don’t bring your children – they won’t be able to take part in the research with you

We really need your undivided attention for the time you’re here – if you need to be on call, for work or family reasons, we’re really sorry but it’s not appropriate for you to take part. Your recruiter might be able to find another time when you can be completely free to take part


There are a number of ways in which we collect data about you, and we are fully committed to doing this responsibly. Here’s how we go about that

Before you take part

Before you come along, we will be given your name, phone number, often your email address, and some key facts about you based on the questions we asked you to see if you were suitable for the project. These might include your age, your marital status, what you do as a job, your children’s ages, some things you think or things you buy. We keep these details in electronic form for 2 years after you’ve taken part: this is because our clients have the right to ask follow-up questions for up to 2 years, and we may need to check on details. Electronic files are password protected and deleted after 2 years. We do not keep paper copies of this information: any printed copies that we have on the day itself are destroyed immediately afterwards

We will never give any details that could identify you to our clients or to any other parties

Your name will never be added to databases, for sales or any other purposes, as a result of taking part

If you’re taking part in a group discussion, interview, or other face-to-face research

When you arrive, we will ask you to sign in, giving your name, address and a signature. This is for accounting purposes: we need proof that the research did actually take place, and that we gave you the cash or voucher we promised you as a ‘thank you’. The signature sheets we use form part of our accounts process, and we need to keep these for up to 7 years. This is because HMRC has the right to audit our accounts at any point in a 7 year period, and the sheets would be needed for this. Unless HMRC needs to see them, we don’t go back to them. The sheets are kept in a locked safe and are destroyed after 7 years

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If you’re taking part in online or telephone research

If we don’t meet face-to-face, we can’t give you your ‘thank you’ in person, so we will usually suggest that we pay it directly into your bank. For this we will need your bank account number and sort code. If we take this approach, we will ask you to confirm that you have received the payment, and then we will destroy all records of your bank account details. If you would rather not give us your bank account details, we will send a cheque or voucher to your home address

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If you would like to know what information we have relating to you, you can ask to see it (use our ‘Contact us’ page) and, if you wish, you can ask us to amend or delete it. If you do so, we will respond to you within 40 days

To protect against data hacks, we have thorough security software that is always kept up to date