Business Unusual: How Paradigm Sample Provides Creative Solutions to Tough Problems

Business Unusual: How Paradigm Sample Provides Creative Solutions to Tough Problems

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.

– John Foster Dulles, Former US Secretary of State

At Paradigm Sample, we work with some of the most talented consumer insights professionals in the industry.

No matter the title – from Vice Presidents of Consumer Insights and Directors of Revenue & Growth to Vice Presidents of Strategic Partnerships and Directors of Marketing & Analytics, our clients are all focused on high-quality insights that will ultimately guide business decisions and drive results.

As trusted team members, their experience is rewarded with finding solutions to tough brand challenges. These professionals are looking for vendors, peers, colleagues, and vendors who will help them source creative solutions to their problems and, ultimately, move their company forward.
We know finding the right vendor at the right point of time in the project lifecycle can make all the difference.

  • How can I spend less time getting to qualified respondents?
  • How can I maximize my research budget without compromising on quality?
  • How can I get more creative or innovative solutions that drive strategy?

We answer these questions by applying not only industry best practices, but our industry experience as well. Having spent years innovating around survey design, respondent recruitment, panel qualification, and data collection, we deliver insight solutions that have a direct impact on the quality of the outcomes. We know quality insights depend on the quality of targeting the right respondent, validating their qualifications and engaging them to provide great feedback.


The screener is the first line of defense to keep unwanted feedback out of survey research. It is good practice to methodically drill down from a generalized audience to a specialized audience with challenging questions that quickly identify and exclude participants who do not meet targeted qualifications.
However, too often, we see clients providing screeners with leading questions to quickly filter out respondents to save time and money by getting their project in field sooner.
While those motivations are understandable, consider the difference between these two qualifying questions:

  • What type of electronic equipment do you use at work?
  • What kind of equipment do you use at work?

The first question may provide a “qualified” answer, but it also may over-inform the potential respondent about the nature of the survey and what it would take to qualify – and ultimately get rewarded.
There is a balance between moving the potential participant through the screener quickly to avoid possible annoyance and making sure the representative sample is the most accurate version of the clients’ target audience.
At Paradigm Sample, we help clients think about targeting by using our industry expertise to develop a screener that will help filter out potential participation from system gamers, in turn delivering a highly specialized audience. By implementing a non-biased screener, we exclude “cheaters and repeaters” and get high-quality data from only the most qualified participants.


There is always potential for “professional survey takers.” It is important for panel companies to proactively deal with ways people try to game survey reward systems on an ongoing basis. But even when people are not trying to cheat, they may inadvertently be chosen for a survey campaign they may not necessarily be a fit for.
We often hear…

  • How do we authenticate the respondent as the one who engaged with my brand?
  • Can we verify research participants saw the right ad we are trying to gain insights on?
  • Is the survey being sent directly to the contact who purchases our jeans?
  • How can I get responses only from those who completed the test drive?

Regardless of details, clients are asking for innovation in verifying and sourcing respondents and delivery of surveys.

Our innovation includes:


We build custom API connections to vendors with third-party databases that allow us to match and confirm respondents through tracking codes.


We create beacons and cookies to send pre-programmed surveys based on identified triggered actions. For example, we can immediately deliver relevant surveys to people who have just completed watching an online advertisement.


We create single-use beacons to identify multiple starts or duplicate survey results from the same respondent. When we are hired to augment survey responses beyond a company’s own database, a single-use feature can be built in to disallow duplicate survey respondents regardless of the point of entry.
Without proper verification, clients may be tainting their respondent pool inadvertently, which leads to diluted data. It is our job at Paradigm Sample to carefully apply protocols to ensure quality assurance processes address potential issues and deliver the highest standards of authentication.


Sending an airline survey three weeks after someone has traveled is unlikely to deliver quality results. The results may be skewed.  The more time between the activity completion and receipt of the survey, the less likely the respondent is to have total recall of the experience.  People rarely remember adequate service, they may remember something stellar, but they are far more likely to engage & report if the experience were quite negative, as that would be memorable enough to share. Making certain our clients’ surveys are in field as quickly as possible ensures they are receiving accurate data about their participant’s experience while it is still top of mind.


One of the benefits of proper targeting is better respondent engagement. However, once the correct audience has been selected you still need them to be motivated to engage in the survey.
A few ways we have innovated to meet this challenge include:


We work with clients to identify respondents/users within a panel who have experience with their brand or have been targeted for a specific reason. Pulse recruitment allows us to isolate that subset of respondents and further screen them for the likelihood of increased engagement. Over time, these smaller groups can be augmented as needed.  Overall, that will help ensure a lower cost per incidence (CPI).
If a client has an app, we can engage their proprietary users and continue to segment their respondents into a subset group thereby creating a ready-made group of respondents for follow-up engagement.


For a long-term approach to research, clients may choose to build out a custom panel to streamline survey fielding and lower recruitment costs when the target audience does not change.

Partnering with a client who already has identified their users by app downloads is one creative way to drive better engagement on studies over time. Starting with client assets, this “pre-qualification” has a high engagement outcome because the respondent is not generically sourced.

In the short-term, surveys have high engagement because of relevancy. In the long-term, the client can quickly go back and survey this same audience with newly emerging brand questions.
When the client is ready to re-engage those active users they only need to tap back into their proprietary panel. Over time, new recruits feed into this system, allowing this ecosystem to organically replenish the qualified respondents and maintain relevancy.
No matter what your survey needs, the right audience must be targeted, validated, and engaged to deliver the best data and gain the best insights. In the case of wanting cheaper, better, and faster,
Paradigm Sample can check all the boxes through our collaborative approach and innovative solutions. Our team works to solve complex brand challenges by applying our industry expertise and global resources within helpful frameworks to guarantee your project is a success.