I'm on the plane heading back from ESOMAR. I found the diversity of opinions and ideas shared there to be both interesting and thought provoking. Over the next couple blogs I'll share my thoughts on what I got from the event.
First off, gaming; no subject divides researchers more. Several presentations showed tests that used game elements to engage the respondents. One effort by MSI created a sort of fantasy backdrop in which players answered questions to get things they would need on their game quest. The idea was to engage respondents and with that get better data. Sadly, the results didn't back that up at all. Results did not vary much (specifics are available on the ESOMAR site), but respondents who did it were more engaged. At the same time, response rates were lower (loading time put some people off and some had no interest in the game). Easy enough to theorize that the mistake here was that the game was a sort of reward for doing the survey, but not related to it. As such, it does little to engage the respondent.