What is ESOMAR 36?
ESOMAR 36 is a set of questions, standardized by ESOMAR, to help buyers evaluate the offerings of different online sample providers. The purpose of these 36 questions and answers is to start a conversation between prospective sample buyers and Lucid.

Company Profile

1. What experience does your company have in providing online samples for market research?

Founded in 2010, Lucid revolutionized the sampling industry with our creation of the first global, programmatic marketplace. Through Lucid’s technology and innovation, the Marketplace now connects buyers and sellers of survey sample across the world. Since inception, thousands of sample buyers have managed over 5 million projects, for over 250 million completes, in 112 countries, among 350 sample suppliers. 

The strengths of Lucid lie within the dynamics of a true marketplace – our demand and supply-sides benefit from the transparent and open nature of the model. Lucid’s automated platform creates ongoing opportunities for buyers and sellers to connect with unprecedented reach – via multi-sourcing. It instantly connects buyers to hundreds of panels, identifies the exact respondents needed, and matches them to surveys immediately. Our Marketplace also reduces sampling bias because buyers know that their sample is coming from the widest pool of respondents.

The Lucid Marketplace allows users to set up detailed project specifications and launch within minutes. Many of the Marketplace’s unique functionalities are enabled by automation: its multi-panel feasibility; deduplication technology; blending capabilities; push-button fielding; and real-time analytics that enable informed decision making.

2. Do you have staff with responsibility for developing and monitoring the performance of the sampling algorithms and related automated functions who also have knowledge and experience in this area? What sort of training in sampling techniques do you provide to your frontline staff?

Lucid has a global team of product and software engineering experts that oversee the development, implementation, and maintenance of all sampling functionality in the Lucid Marketplace. Our team has expertise in multiple technical disciplines, with a particular focus on automation, AI, and Machine Learning techniques.

Additionally, Lucid trains its frontline staff in a variety of sampling methodologies including market sizing, quota balancing, and pacing. This includes Customer Success, Project Success, Integrations, and Product team members.

3. What other services do you offer? Do you cover sample-only, or do you offer a broad range of data collection and analysis services?

In addition to Lucid sampling services, Lucid provides programming and hosting and data processing services. Beyond sampling, we also offer media measurement services via Lucid’s Impact Measurement product, as well as data-set measurement services with Data Score.

Unique respondents to date


Questions answered


Sample sources and recruitment

Broadly speaking, there are two models of sample sources and recruitment:

These are databases of potential participants who declare that they will cooperate for future data collection if selected, generally in exchange for a reward/incentive. This includes traditional access panels, co-branded panels, or opt-in databases of individuals who agreed to complete research projects and also undertake other nonmarket research activities (watch ads, download an app, complete marketing offers, etc, also known as loyalty programmes, or rewards communities within GPT (Get paid to) sites.) Loyalty card and subscription databases are included here if there is a continuous relationship with members who understand the commitment asked of them.

This includes intercepts from offer walls, affiliate networks, social media or other platforms to drive traffic to a survey. Intercept is an approach where potential participants are asked to take a survey for a reward while they are engaged in another activity such as playing an online game, reading news, or some other online activity. Intercepted participants may be previously unknown to the sample provider or may have been pre-identified and profiled through a prior survey experience.

4. Using the broad classifications above, from what sources of online sample do you derive participants?

Buyers in the Lucid Marketplace are given full autonomy to select the vendors or types of sources they want to utilize. To ensure a diversity of choice, Lucid’s supply partners include double opt-in panels, publishing networks, social media, and other types of online communities. 

Over the past 12 months, the Lucid Marketplace has managed 350+ sample suppliers in 112 countries. Of the 400 million interviews conducted, 85% were delivered by double-opt in panels. The remaining 15% were sourced for supplying to panel builds and community recruits from publishing networks, social media and non-incentivized sample sources that are uniquely suited.

5. Which of these sources are proprietary or exclusive and what is the percent share of each in the total sample provided to a buyer?

(Assume proprietary to mean that the sample provider owns the asset. Assume exclusive to mean that the sample provider has an exclusive agreement to manage/provide access to sample originally collected by another entity.) 

Lucid has exclusive agreements with each sample supplier that provides access to survey respondents via the Marketplace. Thus, 100% of the sample procured through Lucid is exclusive, as Lucid does not own or operate any online panels or other sample sources.

6. What recruitment channels are you using for each of the sources you have described? Is the recruitment process ‘open to all’ or by invitation only? Are you using probabilistic methods? Are you using affiliate networks and referral programs and in what proportions? How does your use of these channels vary by geography?

Survey invitations are handled by the Lucid Marketplace suppliers and can take many forms, including:

  • Targeted email invitation
  • Survey link within a respondent-facing platform
  • In-app notification from a webpage/offerwall of surveys 
  • SMS notification
7. What form of validation do you use in recruitment to ensure that participants are real, unique, and are who they say they are?

Describe this both in terms of the practical steps you take within your own organisation and the technologies you are using. Please try to be as specific and quantify as much as you can.

We employ various deduplication methods with security options at the buyer account, survey group (e.g. multiple waves for tracker and wave studies), and individual survey (e.g. ad hoc projects) level:

  • IP address 
  • Unique Respondent identifier 
8. What brand (domain) and/or app are you using with proprietary sources?

Summarize, by source, the proportion of sample accessing surveys by mobile app, email or other specified means. 

Lucid does not have any proprietary sample sources.

9. Which model(s) do you offer to deliver sample? Managed service, self-serve, or API integration?

Lucid offers all of these methods of sample delivery, based on individual customers’ needs. 

For Managed Services projects, Marketplace customers work with the project success team, which handles the fielding strategy, inputting quotas, managing CPI, and monitoring the study as it fields.

In our ProServe model, customers outsource the project in full to Lucid. The project success team works from the customer’s account, handling the fielding strategy, inputting quotas, managing CPI, and monitoring the study as it fields. In this scenario, survey-completes count against the customer contract.

Self-serve (software) accounts are handled by the customer success team, which helps to support Marketplace users as they manage and field their own studies. 

Marketplace APIs enable users to access the Marketplace from their own platform. An API integration is implemented by the customer’s or Lucid’s development resources in coordination with Lucid’s Marketplace integrations team. These integrations can also be customized.

10. If offering intercepts, or providing access to more than one source, what level of transparency do you offer over the composition of your sample (sample sources, sample providers included in the blend). Do you let buyers control which sources of sample to include in their projects, and if so how? Do you have any integration mechanisms with third-party sources offered?

Transparency is the foundation of the Lucid Marketplace, which acts as a Demand Side Platform (DSP) for buyers and gives full control and transparency into sample suppliers. 

The supplier blend can be determined on a survey-by-survey basis or at the account level. Sample blends are easily duplicated over time with blend templates that can be applied at both the survey level and account level – providing the same suppliers an identical or similar allocation of completes each time. Lucid Supplier Quality Scores can help ensure consistent and replicable sampling. 

Our Marketplace users fully control which suppliers are allowed to access the project via the Marketplace software as well as passthrough supplier identifiers so that the sample mix can be tracked within the survey platform. While in-field, suppliers can be added or removed according to project requirements with complete transparency.

11. Of the sample sources you have available, how would you describe the suitability of each for different research applications? For example, Is there sample suitable for product testing or other recruit/recall situations where the buyer may need to go back again to the same sample? Is the sample suitable for shorter or longer questionnaires? For mobile-only or desktop-only questionnaires? Is it suitable to recruit for communities? For online focus groups?

The Lucid Marketplace can be used for a range of research purposes. Sample procured through the Marketplace is suitable for general market research, product testing, recontact studies (also known as recruit/recall), academic research, brand lift studies, brand trackers, and more. 

The Marketplace is best suited for shorter questionnaires, as we consider lower interview lengths to be a research best practice – particularly for online surveys. Our platform is suited for both mobile and desktop surveys. 

Lucid is not optimized for panel recruits, but is well-suited for community builds. Please note that the Lucid Marketplace is used solely for market research. Under no circumstances do we use our system to advertise or market to survey respondents.

Sampling and project management

12. Briefly describe your overall process from invitation to survey completion. What steps do you take to achieve a sample that “looks like” the target population? What demographic quota controls, if any, do you recommend?

The Lucid Marketplace offers complete customization of quota setup, as well as templated quota breakouts for frequently used census representations. Additionally, our Marketplace Services team is well versed in determining the representative population of any census and customizing the survey setup to meet the project specifications.

13. What profiling information do you hold on at least 80% of your panel members plus any intercepts known to you through prior contact? How does this differ by the sources you offer? How often is each of those data points updated? Can you supply these data points as appends to the data set? Do you collect this profiling information directly or is it supplied by a third party?

Each supplier makes their own profiling decisions, which Lucid does not have insight into. Lucid stores profiling data for 90 days, after which the information must be resubmitted by either the supplier or respondent. Lucid does not have insight into how often suppliers update profiling.

These data points can be supplied as appends, but only if the profiling is used to target on a given survey.

Lucid collects profiling information directly, as well as from third-party suppliers. If profiling is needed to qualify respondents for a given survey, the information is either provided by the supplier, or Lucid will collect it on our platform.

14. What information do you need about a project in order to provide an estimate of feasibility? What, if anything, do you do to give upper or lower boundaries around these estimates?

Reach, Lucid’s feasibility and price estimation tool enables every Lucid Marketplace user to understand the future success of their study. To receive a feasibility estimation, users must provide:

  • Country-language
  • Number survey-completes
  • Length of interview (LOI)
  • Days in field
  • Incidence rate (IR)
  • Cost per interview (CPI)
  • Audience type
  • Specific quotas (if applicable)
  • Qualifying device/traffic type
  • PII collection

It is important to note that estimates generated are not a guarantee of cost and feasibility. Other considerations may include:

  • Category requirements
  • Exclusions
15. What do you do if the project proves impossible for you to complete in field? Do you inform the sample buyer as to who you would use to complete the project? In such circumstances, how do you maintain and certify third party sources/sub-contractors?

If a project cannot be completed in-field with the initial project specifications, Lucid’s team will provide guidance to help sample buyers adjust their quotas, CPI, and possibly explore other sample suppliers within the Marketplace. 

If a new supplier is needed to complete a Managed Services or ProServe project, sample buyers are made aware of the change. Marketplace software users operate in a self-serve capacity and are able to select suppliers themselves.

16. Do you employ a survey router or any yield management techniques? If yes, please describe how you go about allocating participants to surveys. How are potential participants asked to participate in a study? Please specify how this is done for each of the sources you offer.

The Lucid Marketplace employs API-integrated sampling to allocate surveys to respondents rather than rely on a survey router. Since 2016, Lucid provides an out-of-the-box integration that allows suppliers to leverage API technology without undergoing an involved development process. 

Lucid’s API-integrated sampling enables precision targeting of respondents with opportunities for which they qualify — simultaneously eliminating inefficiencies while enhancing the respondent experience. Additionally, Lucid Marketplace suppliers can customize their integrations with the Lucid Marketplace API to enable advanced targeting.

17. Do you set limits on the amount of time a participant can be in the router before they qualify for a survey?

The Lucid Marketplace employs API-integrated sampling to allocate surveys to respondents — and has nearly phased out its legacy router. As of January 2020, less than 25% of Lucid Marketplace traffic uses routing technology.

18. What information about a project is given to potential participants before they choose whether to take the survey or not? How does this differ by the sources you offer?

This is determined on a case-by-case basis by suppliers. Each supplier may choose to provide potential respondents with different levels of project information prior to having them participate in a survey. The most common pieces of information provided to the participants by suppliers include LOI and the reward a participant receives for generating a complete.

19. Do you allow participants to choose a survey from a selection of available surveys? If so, what are they told about each survey that helps them to make that choice?

Suppliers integrated with the Lucid Marketplace are responsible for inviting their respondents/participants to surveys based on specific profiling qualifications. Prior to entering a survey, respondents are asked to complete screening questions to ensure that they are an appropriate match for the survey.

20. What ability do you have to increase (or decrease) incentives being offered to potential participants (or sub-groups of participants) during the course of a survey? If so, can this be flagged at the participant level in the dataset?

All incentives are handled by our supply partners. Each incentive program is unique. Incentives come in the form of:

  • Cash
  • Gift cards
  • Loyalty rewards
  • Charitable Donations
21. Do you measure participant satisfaction at the individual project level? If so, can you provide normative data for similar projects (by length, by type, by subject, by target group)?

Lucid recommends all Marketplace clients measure and manage the respondent experience, using metrics such as conversion rates, dropout rates, and quality of responses. 

In addition, Lucid provides suppliers with the information and tools to define and enhance their respondent satisfaction. Lucid recommends that suppliers:

  • Limit time spent qualifying for surveys by appending profiling information to entry links
  • Determine optimal survey lengths for their respondents and send accordingly
  • Develop a fair incentive structure given study specifications
22. Do you provide a debrief report about a project after it has completed? If yes, can you provide an example?

One of the foundational beliefs of Lucid is end-to-end transparency. Marketplace clients have complete, 24/7 access to all survey-or system-related data in real-time during the project process directly through our web-based client reporting tools. 

Some metrics of interest include:

  • Conversion rate (the proportion of people who enter a survey and ultimately complete)
  • Mobile/tablet conversion
  • Incidence rate
  • Average LOI
  • Termination LOI

Data quality and validation

23. How often can the same individual participate in a survey? How does this vary across your sample sources? What is the mean and maximum amount of time a person may have already been taking surveys before they entered this survey? How do you manage this?

Sample buyers determine the frequency of an individual’s activity within a specified period. We deduplicate within a survey, survey group, or category by IP, participant ID, or cookies. These settings are easily accessed and adjusted through the Marketplace user interface. 

All Lucid Marketplace buyers have the ability to block respondents against associated surveys or industry categories to prevent respondents from repeating a tracker or survey topic category – for customized periods of time for each project. Sample sources compete with one another to optimize how they recruit, retain, and incentivize survey respondents within our platform, based on respondent’s efficiency and response quality. 

Each supplier in the Lucid Marketplace makes independent determinations as to the frequency of respondent activity.

24. What data do you maintain on individual participants such as recent participation history, date(s) of entry, source/channel, etc? Are you able to supply buyers with a project analysis of such individual level data? Are you able to append such data points to your participant records?

One of Lucid’s core differentiators is our depth of profiling. Over the past eight years, more than 450 million respondents have been profiled across 28 billion data points.

Using their API integrations, suppliers can continuously update respondent profiles according to responses in the Lucid Marketplace. Additionally, to maximize the efficiency of our APIs, we receive real-time profile data from our supplier sources via the URL string and respondent validation data with our in-house Survey Protection features. 

The Lucid Marketplace stores all non-PII demographic, behavioral and category data points that are used to screen respondents. Profiling info is refreshed every 30 days.

Additionally, the Marketplace tracks individual-level data such as recent participation history, date of entry, and supplier source information. Lucid can access this information at any time and provide the data to clients upon request.

25. Please describe your procedures for confirmation of participant identity at the project level. Please describe these procedures as they are implemented at the point of entry to a survey or router.

The Lucid Marketplace can confirm identity and deduplicate respondents based on any combination of the following:

  • Geo-IP address
  • Cookie Identifier
  • Device Identifiers 
  • Panelist identification number (PID)
  • Lucid respondent identification number
  • Custom data points sent by the supplier
  • Invalid traffic information 
  • LinkedIn information (optional, B2B) 


Lucid attempts to prevent fraudulent behaviors by:

  • Comparing geo-IP with survey country
  • Validating encrypted variables upon exit and entry from the Lucid Marketplace and the client survey
  • Preventing users below a buyer’s Relevant ID threshold from entering
  • Implementing Secure Client Callback, a server-to-server endpoint that connects survey platforms directly to the Lucid Marketplace, preventing potential fraudulent activity from misrepresenting completes.
  • Hashing respondent redirects to prevent URL manipulation
26. How do you manage source consistency and blend at the project level? With regard to trackers, how do you ensure that the nature and composition of sample sources remain the same over time? Do you have reports on blends and sources that can be provided to buyers? Can source be appended to the participant data records?

The Lucid Quality Program, an independent benchmarking study that measures and reports on supplier quality across the Marketplace, measures composition as one of its core metrics. Respondents’ behavioral attributes are used in a time-series comparison that measures a supplier’s source consistency. Additionally, the program measures platform-wide customer satisfaction with each supplier based on reconciliation rates. 

These measures are indexed for each Marketplace supplier so buyers can make procurement and blending decisions accordingly. Buyers are encouraged to use the Quality Program scores, in addition to our feasibility tools to select the right sample suppliers for their needs.

27. Please describe your participant/member quality tracking, along with any health metrics you maintain on members/participants, and how those metrics are used to invite, track, quarantine, and block people from entering the platform, router, or a survey. What processes do you have in place to compare profiled and known data to in-survey responses?

Our technology is built to ensure our clients receive accurate and secure results. We have developed data algorithms and employ security checks to authorize respondent identities and behaviors. These checks help to eliminate poor quality respondents from taking surveys.

28. For work where you program, host, and deliver the survey data, what processes do you have in place to reduce or eliminate undesired in-survey behaviours, such as (a) random responding, (b) Illogical or inconsistent responding, (c) overuse of item nonresponse (e.g., “Don’t Know”) (d) inaccurate or inconsistent responding, (e) incomplete responding, or (f) too rapid survey completion?

The Lucid Marketplace can identify and terminate respondents that exhibit the following fraudulent behaviors:

  • Respondent’s IP is outside of the survey country
  • An allotted variance from the LOI (e.g. 30% allows completes up to 9 minutes faster/slower than a 30 minute LOI)
  • The respondent did not enter/return from the Lucid Marketplace/client survey with the expected encryption variables

In addition, we work with our partners to examine reconciliations and identify respondents that don’t meet the quality standards of our clients.

Policies and compliance

29. Please provide the link to your participant privacy notice (sometimes referred to as a privacy policy) as well as a summary of the key concepts it addresses.
30. How do you comply with key data protection laws and regulations that apply in the various jurisdictions in which you operate? How do you address requirements regarding consent or other legal bases for the processing of personal data? How do you address requirements for data breach response, cross-border transfer, and data retention? Have you appointed a data protection officer?

Lucid has a dedicated Privacy and Compliance team, led by the Chief Privacy Officer, which focuses on Lucid’s compliance with key data protection laws and regulations that apply in the various jurisdictions in which we operate. Lucid addresses data protection laws and regulations through the use of data privacy agreements with our partners and updates to our policies and procedures to ensure Lucid is establishing the appropriate controls to encourage the best privacy practices throughout the company. 

Lucid collects opt-in consent for pre-qualifying data collected by Lucid which also refers to its privacy policy. For its Media Measurement engagements, Lucid also relies upon the publisher (or upon its advertiser or ad agency client) to obtain consent for information captured regarding the data subject when the ad is viewed on the publisher site.

31. How can participants provide, manage and revise consent for the processing of their personal data? What support channels do you provide for participants?

The Lucid Marketplace facilitates the relationship between suppliers of sample and our clients who are conducting market research. Lucid relies upon its clients to obtain consent for information captured regarding the data subject when the data subject is provided access to a client’s survey. Lucid collects opt-in consent for pre-qualifying data collected by Lucid on the Lucid Marketplace. Participants who wish to exercise their rights under applicable data protection laws may do so by accessing our Data Rights Portal, as detailed in our privacy policy at Here a participant can request access, correction, or deletion of their data. In addition, Lucid’s privacy policy provides an email address for questions to be submitted. 

32. How do you track and comply with other applicable laws and regulations, such as those that might impact the incentives paid to participants?

This is not applicable to Lucid. Lucid operates a programmatic sample marketplace that connects buyers and sample providers. Lucid does not manage incentives paid to participants. Regarding applicable laws and regulations other than data protection laws, Lucid’s legal team provides guidance regarding all laws and regulations that are applicable to Lucid.

33. What is your approach to collecting and processing the personal data of children and young people? Do you adhere to standards and guidelines provided by ESOMAR or GRBN member associations? How do you comply with applicable data protection laws and regulations?

Lucid only permits surveys for age groups as allowed by global laws. Lucid does not permit data subjects under 13 years old on the Lucid Marketplace. Lucid may permit data subjects between the ages of 13 and 16 years old depending on the nature of the survey, and the applicable minority age thresholds in the relevant country. The Lucid Marketplace entrants under minimum age by country will be directed out of the Lucid Marketplace and back to the panel from which they came.

34. Do you implement “data protection by design” (sometimes referred to as “privacy by design”) in your systems and processes?

Lucid aspires to be as proactive as possible when it comes to addressing data protection in our systems and business processes. While we do not have a formal privacy by design policy, Lucid’s privacy team works closely with product development teams and a formal privacy by design policy is part of the roadmap for future updates to our privacy program.

35. What are the key elements of your information security compliance program? Please specify the framework(s) or auditing procedure(s) you comply with or certify to. Does your program include an asset-based risk assessment and internal audit process?

Lucid has documented policies relating to information security, such as data privacy policies and acceptable use policies, that have been approved by management. Lucid is in the process of working towards ISO 27001 compliance and expects to enhance and/or supplement its policies relating to information security.

36. Do you certify to or comply with a quality framework such as ISO 20252?

Lucid is ISO 20252 certified in Australia.