SRI Consulting, partner of SRI International and formerly Stanford Research Institute conducts an annual survey of consumers that is used to classify persons into VALS-2 (Values and Lifestyles) types for segmentation purposes Information on specific aspects of consumers’ lifestyles is also available. GfK Custom Research North America annual survey of 5,000 consumers who participate in leisure sports and recreational activities. Several firms conduct surveys to compile demographic and psycho graphic information at the household, sub-zip (e.g., 30306-3035), and zip-code level, which is then made available on a subscription basis. Such information is particularly valuable for client firms seeking to enhance internally generated customer data for database marketing
Evaluation of effectiveness is even more critical in the case of TV advertising. Television commercials are evaluated using either the recruited audience method or the in-home viewing method. In the former method, respondents are recruited and brought to a central viewing facility, such as a theater or mobile viewing laboratory. The respondents view the commercials and provide data regarding knowledge, attitudes, and preferences related to the product being advertised and the commercial itself. In the in-home viewing method, consumers evaluate commercials at home in their normal viewing environment. New commercials can be pretested at the network level or in local markets distributed via DVDs. A survey of viewers is then conducted to assess the effectiveness of the commercials. Gallup & Robinson, Inc. offers testing of television commercials using both these methods
These methods are also used for testing the effectiveness of advertising in other media such as magazines, radio, newspapers, and direct mail. Experience Simmons conducts four different surveys with a large sample of respondents so that magazine, TV, newspaper, and radio media exposure can be monitored. Media mark Research & Intelligence is another ftrm that makes available information on the consumption of media, products, and services by household. Its Starch Readership Survey specializes in measuring audience levels for print media. Starch annually measures exposure and readership levels for nearly 1,000 issues of consumer, business, and industrial publications. Personal interviews are conducted with a sample of more than 100,000 respondents
USES OF SURVEYS Since a wide variety of data can be obtained, survey data have numerous uses. They can be used for market segmentation, as with psycho graphics and lifestyles data, and for establishing consumer prof ties. Surveys are also useful for determining product image, measurement and positioning, and conducting price perception analysis. Other notable uses include advertising theme selection and evaluation of advenising effectiveness
Opinion Research Corporation is a research and consulting firm that helps organizations marketing performance. One of its service offerings,is a twice-weekly telephone survey, each conducted among a national probability sample of 1,000 adults. An online version is also offered
On the other hand, survey data may be limited in several significant ways. The researcher has to rely primarily on the respondents’ self-reports. There is a gap between what people say and what they actually do. Errors may occur because respondents remember incorrectly or give socially desirable responses. Furthermore, samples may be biased, questions poorly phrased, interviewers not properly instructed or supervised, and results misinterpreted.
Purchase and Media Panels
Often, survey data can be complemented with data obtained from purchase and media panels. While panels are also maintained for conducting surveys, the distinguishing feature of purchase and media panels is that the respondents record specific behaviors as they occur. Previously, behavior was recorded in a diary, and the diary was returned to the research organization every lone to four weeks. Paper diaries have been gradually replaced by electronic diaries. Now, most .of the panels are online and the behavior is recorded electronically, either entered online by the respondents or recorded automatically by electronic devices. Panel members are compensated purchase panels for their participation with gifts, coupons, information, or cash. The content of information A recorded is different for purchase panels and media panels.
Information in These Diaries (Panels) Is No Secret
The NPD Group is a leading provider of essential market information collected and delivered online for a wide range of industries and markets and has over 1600 clients. ranging from Fortune ]00 leaders to smaller businesses as of 2009. NPD combines information obtained via surveys with that recorded by resp.: dents about their behaviors to generate reports on consumption behaviors, industry sales, market sh.a>. and key demographic trends. NPD consumer information is collected from their Online Panel about a wide range of product categories, including fashion, food, fun, house and home. tech and auto. Respondents provide detailed information regarding the brand and amount purchased. price paid, whether any special deals were involved, the store where purchased, and intended use. The composition of the panel is representative of the U.S. population as a whole. For example, a recent study conducted by NPD revealed that women actually like shopping for swimwear. According to the survey, women rated their overall shopping experience for swim wear as excellent or very 1l00d, with 69 percent of satisfied shoppers being in the age range of 35-44. The results also showed that the biggest purchasing influences for a retail buyer are point-of-purchase display and the hang-tag description on the suit, while for a catalog buyer the catalog layout is important. These findings have obvious implications for the marketing of swimwear, Another recent study identified the top five wejoen’s accessory purchases as (I) handbag/purse, (2) coso tume/fashion jewelry, (3) fashion hair accessory, (4) sunglasses, and (5) gloves/mittens. Such findings help department stores in determining the product mix for women’s departrnents
MEDIA PANELS In media panels, electronic devices automatically record viewing behavior, thus supplementing a diary or an online panel. Perhaps the most familiar media panel is Nielsen Television Index by Nielsen Media Research which provides television ratings and audience estimates. The heart of the Nielsen Media Research national ratings service is an electronic measurement system called the Nielsen People Meter. These meters are placed in a sample of 11,000 households in the United States, randomly selected and recruited by Nielsen Media so as to be representative of the population. The People Meter is placed on each TV in the sample household. The meter measures two things-what program or channel is being tuned in and who is watching. Household tuning data for each day are stored in the in-home metering system until they are automatically retrieved by Nielsen Media Research’s computers each night. Nielsen Media Research’s Operations Center in Dunedin, florida, processes this information each night for release to the television industry and other customers the next day
In addition to the Nielsen Television Index, other services provide media panels. Arbitron maintains local and regional radio and TV diary panels. Arbitron’s Portable People Meter IS a panel-based measure of multimedia, including TV, radio, satellite radio, and the Web.27 In the ScanAmerica peoplemeter ratings system, an’ electronic meter automatically collects continuous detailed measures of television set tuning for every set in the home. TV Behavior Graphics'” , by Simmons Market Research Bureau is a behavioral targeting system used to identify the best prospects for products and services based on consumers’ viewing of broadcast and cable television programs. The system was developed through an integration process that merges the Nielsen National Television Index (NTI) with the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NCS). It consists of a multi segment cluster system that classifies consumers into distinct groups based on their television viewing behavior. The system, which is used by the top advertising agencies and television media, is available to subscribers.
Syndicated services also collect the same type of audience data for radio. Radio audience statistics are typically collected using diaries two to four times per year Given the growing popularity of the Internet, syndicated services are also geared to this medium. Nielsen Online tracks and collects Internet usage In real time from over 50,000 home and work users. It reports site and e-comrnerce activity: number of visits to properties, domains, and unique sites; rankings by site and by category; time and frequency statistics; traffic patterns; and e-commerce transactions. It also reports banner advertising: audience response to banners, creative content, frequency. and site placement. This service has been launched in collaboration with Nielsen