Gamification in Market Research: Promises, Results, and Limitations

Gamification in Market Research: Promises, Results, and Limitations

Kartik Pashupati (Research Now, USA) and Pushkala Raman (Texas Woman's University, USA)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8651-9.ch005
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This chapter presents an overview of gamification in the domain of market research, with a specific focus on digital data collection methods, such as online surveys. The problems faced by the market research industry are outlined, followed by a discussion of why gamification has been offered as a possible way to overcome some of these challenges. The literature on gamification is reviewed, with a focus on results from empirical studies investigating the impact of gamification on outcome variables such as data quality and respondent engagement. Finally, the authors present results from an original study conducted in 2013, comparing differences between a conventional (text-dominant) survey and a gamified version of the same survey.
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The Challenges Of Engaging Survey Participants

Unlike other forms of data collection, such as face-to-face or telephone interviews, most online and mobile surveys tend to be self-administered. Self-administered surveys have many advantages – including the ability to administer surveys asynchronously, and the reduction of social desirability bias in answers – but they also present challenges in terms of how to keep participants engaged in the data collection process. A skilled interviewer can find ways to encourage people to stay interested in a survey, probe for additional information, and extract answers to open-ended questions. Even if the research topic is not very interesting – or the survey is very long -- the very presence of the interviewer might help to reduce the temptation among respondents to abandon the survey.

With the growing popularity of online surveys, “researchers have raised concerns about the effects of long, onerous, poorly designed and simply dull surveys” (Downes-Le Guin, Baker, Mechling & Ruyle 2012). A report by the National Science Foundation (NSF) raises concerns that the validity – and indeed the very future – of survey research may be endangered, due to declining response rates, accompanied by rising costs (NSF 2011).

Besides declining response rates, market researchers are also concerned about declining attention spans among survey takers. For example, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) launched the Foundations of Quality (FoQ) initiative in 2007, with the mission of investigating key concerns in online research. Among other topics, the ARF FoQ 1.0 underlined the need to study the effects of respondent motivations and engagement on survey results (ARF 2012).

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