Trying to understand market research jargon

Angelfish Opinions’ Ultimate Guide to Market Research Jargon

It probably goes without saying, but there’s a lot of jargon that goes on in market research!

While some terms have more obvious meanings (such as “interview”), others can look a little intimidating (e.g. “user experience testing”) – especially if you’ve only recently started looking into taking part in paid market research projects! 

With that in mind, we’ve put together the following glossary of market research jargon and terms for you to refer back to if you’re ever unsure: 

General terms and phrases: 


According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” For example, at Angelfish, some of the brands we have worked with brands such as Farrow & Ball, the BBCMatalanSky and IKEA


The end-user of a product or service – so, you!  


Something of value that is offered to participants/respondents as a thank you for taking part in a market research project – for example, someone might take online surveys for money, a gift voucher or a cash reward. 

Market research 

A method of research used to gather information to discover what people think and feel about a particular product or service.  

Market research recruitment agency 

An organisation that specialises in sourcing and recruiting participants for market research projects (for example, Angelfish Opinions).


An individual who sits in on market research projects (usually focus groups and online communities) with participants as a neutral party, in order to help facilitate and manage activities and discussions.


The Market Research Society (MRS) and the Association for Qualitative Research (AQR) are market research organisations that represent and further the interests of the market research industry. The MRS in particular sets the standards for those looking to conduct market research projects.  

ESOMAR‘s mission is to “promote the use of opinion and market research for improving decision-making in business and society worldwide.” 


A database of individuals who have signed up to take part in market research. Their details are securely stored so that they can be contacted if a market research project arises that their demographics are suitable for (our very own panel sign-up page can be seen here).


Someone who signs up to take part in/takes part in market research projects; for example, a person who signs up to take online surveys for money.

Qualitative research 

By MRS’s definition, qualitative research is “An unstructured research approach with a small number of carefully selected individuals used to produce non-quantifiable insights into behaviour, motivations and attitudes.”


The individual or individuals who manage market research projects. 


This is a questionnaire, often carried out by a market research recruitment team, to establish whether a respondent hits all the criteria required to take part in a research project. 

Take online surveys for money

Research types 

Accompanied shopping

shopping trip where a participant is accompanied by a researcher who will observe the participant’s shopping habits and decision-making, but without getting involved themselves.

Face-to-face research 

Any kind of market research project that takes place in person in a physical environment; this could be in a venue, such as a community hall or office building, or even outdoors! 

Focus groups

group of participants (usually around 6-10) who take part in a discussion about a particular topic, product or service, in the presence of a moderator. Focus groups can take place either face-to-face or remotely. 


A one-to-one question and answer session between a participant and a researcher and/or moderator, conducted either face-to-face or online.  

Online communities

A group of participants engaging in a discussion and completing activities via a private, secure platform using a tablet, smartphone, app or computer. 

Online research 

Any kind of market research project that takes place over the internet, such as in a chat room, video meeting room like Zoom, or a dedicated online community platform. 


A selection of open or closed-ended questions given in person, over the phone, via email or on an online form.  

User experience testing

A method whereby a researcher watches participants complete various tasks on a website or app to test its functionality. It is also often called “usability testing”, user testing”, and “UX testing”.  

Take online surveys for money

Activities and tasks 


As a market research activity, a blog is a personal weblog or journal where you can share your thoughts, feelings and opinions on different topics, products and services 

Concept boards/Pin tasks 

For this activity, researchers will share photos, videos or other imagery with you to get your thoughts, opinions and feedback. 

Discussion forums 

A secure platform found in online communities where participants can communicate with each other and share opinions on different topics.

Idea generation

A type of task used to help participants generate creative ideas and provide feedback, which is then used by researchers to improve their brand’s existing concepts. 

Photo montages 

A task where participants upload photos and images with captions on the go. 


Very much the same as a blog, but in video format – i.e. a video diary. 

Participant groups 

Take online surveys for money

Baby boomers

Adult participants born between 1946 and 1964

50+ audience

Adult participants who are over 50 years of age 

Millennials (or “Gen Y”)

Participants who were born between 1981 and 1994/6

Gen Z

Participants who were born between 1997 and 2012/15

Children and young people 

According to the MRSchildren are classed as under 16 years old, and young people are classed as ages 16-17 (adults are 18+). 

Hopefully, this glossary has helped you feel a little more confident about market research jargon… 

…and perhaps even got you thinking about taking part in some paid market research projects yourself! 

Whether you are looking to take online surveys for money or be part of a focus group to share your thoughts on a favourite product or service, we’d love to hear from you; simply sign up to our panel here, and keep an eye out on our Facebook and Instagram pages for upcoming projects. 

In the meantime, if you have any other queries, be sure to take a look at our helpful FAQ page or get in touch with our super-friendly team!