Updated: Jan 3
Written by: Megan McDowell
Millennials. The youngest group of adults, with escalating purchasing power. Everyone wants to learn from them, but few know how.
We decided to rise to the challenge. Having a software company nestled inside of a market research firm advantageously positioned us to be able to engage with a group of young people using a tech-savvy approach, all the while being informed by market research professionals on how best to gather deep insights.
We decided to create the Young Futures project in November 2017. Our project would utilize the Online Community Software that we have created and which runs our business, and would strive to set the bar for research with millennials. This project was designed to run once per month for a year, with three activities per month. We planned to engage Saskatchewan millennials on a variety of topics pertaining to their experiences, realities, and perceptions.
The project took a mixed methods approach. Each of the three activities per month would utilize a different research tool of our software. Participants completed surveys, and commented in Bulletin Board discussions. These discussions had participants interacting with the moderator, and with each other. We also created Diary Mode discussions, where a one-on-one conversation occurred between the moderator and each participant.
Our provincial research panel, SaskWatch Research®, boasts over 18 000 members, therefore we thought it would be a great place to gather our sample for the Young Futures millennial study. We strived to make our sample representative in terms of location and age. We recruited equal numbers of early millennials (18-24) and late millennials (25-34), as well as distributed our group between four regions: Regina, Saskatoon, North Saskatchewan, and South Saskatchewan. Participants were also chosen based on their indication of being “very comfortable” using technology, and “very comfortable” sharing their opinions online.
We short listed 30 participants based on these criteria, and utilized the call center on location at Insightrix Research Inc. to recruit from this narrowed list. We informed people on the call that they had been selected to participate in a province-wide millennial study that would cover a number of interesting topics. We also informed people on the call that the study had intentions of carrying on for a full year, and invited them to participate in the study in upcoming months. We found 20 people to participate in our study, all of which agreed to continue to participate in upcoming months for the duration of the study.
Participation was incentivized. We offered our participants $50 per month if they completed all three research activities, and also entered them into a draw for $100 additional dollars.
The outcome? Success! Our research project had a high level of engagement, high level of retention, and large amount of data gathered.
The first month of the project had 19 out of 20 participants complete all three research activities. The topic was media consumption, and the insights gathered were rich and insightful. We learned about social media habits, music and screen viewing preferences, as well as online dating! For more detailed results, view our Young Futures Millennial Study – Month 1 report.
Along with high participation and retention rates, there are other key elements of this project that made it so effective, and which demonstrated why this style of research is so important. This study has shown how Online Communities facilitates cost effective research. Costs associated with regular focus groups (travel, accommodation, and facility costs) add up quickly. We facilitated the study from our office with one moderator, and participants were able to access and participate in the study from anywhere. This accessibility is important, especially for this young, busy, and interconnected group. Finally, the study and production of results were fast. Study conception, programming, launch, and reporting were all done quickly and locally. The effectiveness and efficiency of this approach clearly demonstrates the value of using an Online Community for conducting research.
To learn more about our Online Community software, or to ask questions about our Young Futures project, contact us!