Key Research Stages - Before Fieldwork
G. Preparing the Sample
The size of the sample should be appropriate to meet the market research objectives. If the sample size is unnecessarily large, the market research may be considered a promotional vehicle.
Over-Researching MR subjects4.6
Researchers should manage and monitor the frequency with which potential MR subjects participate in market research and try to avoid over-researching individuals.
Drawing a Sample from a List4.7
Anonymity of MR subjects Drawn from Lists4.8
The client company MUST NOT be informed of the identity of market research participants, i.e. who on the list was interviewed.
Do Not Contact Status4.9
MR subjects that have chosen to opt-out of, or not be contacted for, market research must be excluded.
Revealing the Source of a List4.10
When lists of named individuals are used for sample selection, the source of the list should be revealed to potential MR subjects. The source of the list MUST be revealed to potential MR subject(s) at an appropriate point in the interview, if it is requested. In Germany MR industry guidelines state that MR subjects MUST be told the client company’s identity if the client company supplied their name. This can be given at the end of the interview rather than the beginning, but it MUST be given. In Finland, a researcher MUST NOT disclose the identity of the sponsor (unless legally required to do so) to any third party without the consent of the sponsor.
Correcting Listed Information4.11
If list details are missing or incorrect, the supplier of the list may be told this but corrected details cannot be passed back to the list supplier to update their databases without specific consent. However it is allowable to pass back the personal details of those who have:
- Died or moved away – so they may be removed from the list
- Asked that their details should be marked ‘do not contact’ or removed from the list
- Agreed to be re-contacted for specific follow up
Adding Personal Data to a Database4.12
Personal data can be added to the database only if the MR subject is told of this intention at the time of data collection except in Germany. MR subjects MUST also be told why and for what purposes the data will be used, and that under no circumstances will it be released or used for any non-research purpose.
- An entry recording that a particular individual was interviewed or contacted on a given survey, or that they do not wish to be contacted for further research, is permitted if the purpose of the entry is solely to ensure that that individual will not be unnecessarily approached for research at some later date except in Germany.
The MR subject has the right to request the deletion of any or all of their personal data from the database at any time.
Return or Destruction of Client Databases or MR subject Details4.13
Client databases MUST be returned to the client or destroyed at the end of the project. MR subject requests to have their personal data removed from a list or database must be respected.