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Researching on-line: Where is it coming from, where is it heading to? Olaf Hofmann Managing Director SKOPOS Germany.

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Presentation on theme: "Researching on-line: Where is it coming from, where is it heading to? Olaf Hofmann Managing Director SKOPOS Germany."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researching on-line: Where is it coming from, where is it heading to? Olaf Hofmann Managing Director SKOPOS Germany

2 Olaf Hofmann, Psychology Graduate, 35 years of age Chairman of the German On-line Research Society Managing director of SKOPOS Market Research Founded in 1995 by Olaf Hofmann & Jörg Korff Who’s talking?

3 SKOPOS has been researching on-line since 1998 Strategic partnership with dooyoo, an internet opinion portal since 2000 Branches in Cologne, London, Paris, Madrid, Rome Clients: Ford, GM, BMW, Ericsson, Siemens etc. Who’s talking?

4 1. The early days 2. The state of the art 3. Future trends Preview

5 Early activities were (mis-)guided by: the view that the web would be a cure-all over-ambitious expectations too many companies entering the market Non adherence to established quality standards The early days

6 Contrasting prognoses with reality gives an idea of the misconceptions: In 1999 a proportion of up to 10% of on-line projects was expected for 2001 for the German market The actual proportion in 2001 will be as low as 2 to 3%... The early days

7 High pioneering spirit, massive VC investments and low barriers to market entry trapped many online research providers into: a quick-and-cheap (and dirty...) approach inappropriate deployment of available technology a premature entry into an extremely small rapidly growing quarterly changing methodologicalwise extremely difficult market The early days

8 1. The early days 2. The state of the art 3. Future trends Preview

9 The field has sobered up, the hype has vanished. Markets are getting cleared up: portals, ISPs etc. are either withdrawing or turning into mere data delivery services which is good: for them, for us, for you The state of the art

10 Two main camps are discernible: Some contest the value of researching on-line Others have started sorting out what is feasible on-line and what isn’t The latter camp focuses on quality standards... The state of the art

11 On-line panels illustrate the development of contemporary research. From the beginning, they were an important resource. Their advantages: simple recruitment easy and detailed screening quick access highly specific target groups  research in hitherto inaccessible domains The state of the art

12 However, insufficient attention was paid to the recruitment: participants of many panels were passively recruited recruitment was hardly controlled for effects of selection marketing and market research activities have been mixed

13 The state of the art This caused a number of problems: High panel mortality “professional participants” low representativity due to: an undefined population “incentive hunters” low response rates

14 The state of the art Several strategies were developed to overcome such problems: Combining active recruiting methods (e.g. CATI, web sites, post etc.) attenuates response bias Constant adjustment to online-population parameters by means of reference studies (“rotating panel”) Permanent evaluation of: panellists (panel satisfaction, mortality etc.) raw data (checks of consistency and plausibility)

15 1. The early days 2. The state of the art 3. Future trends Preview

16 Beyond the early days-hype, on-line research is coming to be viewed as an integral component of market research On-line research is not a stand-alone method nor an alternative to off-line research Integration and useful extension of research methods are the keywords for the future Future trends

17 Integration of on-line components into studies must turn into advantage the real assets of on-line tools: Improved piloting Maximised time & cost efficiency Better field control in international studies Future trends

18 Integration will work on several levels of mixed off-line & online studies: Off-line recruiting for on-line panels Studio tests of on-line materials On-line piloting for lab experiments Future trends

19 Quality standards will be rigorously adhered to The quick-and-dirty approach of the old days is no longer feasible Current research regulations and codes of practice must be amended to reflect this development Future trends

20 Researching on-line could usefully extend the repertoire of research methods Most importantly, on-line research should focus on more than just putting questionnaires to the web For the first time, data is available on-line that once could only be collected in the studio! New technologies from basic research can be seamlessly transferred to market research Future trends

21 Implicit Assessment Technology (IAT) might serve to illustrate the smart new methods: IAT can be used to measure consumer’s attitudes to products, brands or adverts Future trends

22 Unlike traditional measures, IAT measures response times during dichotomous classification of products, brands or adverts Specific response criteria suppress conscious cognition  This yields unbiased data at unrivalled test power  Even subtle effects no longer go undetected Future trends

23 IAT-based studies will require fewer participants reduced field costs faster studies more complex designs with less effort An example: context effects on ad placement Future trends IAT design Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Ad contact No ad contact N=250 N=250 N=250

24 General recommendations for deployment of on-line research: Use of excellent & independent MR Agencies due to lack of in house experience start to build a feeling for: - on-line target groups - dos & don‘ts of on-line research - sampling problems in the net transition phase: - use both methods, at the same time for a limited time, costs more for a while, saves money medium term, gives you the opportunity to learn, develop a feeling Future trends

25 Established methods vertical panels B2B research (ad pre-tests) international/global research adaptive conjoints & pricing IAT is coming in place  Ad hoc marketing research Future trends IT decision makers pregnant women minorities Image tracking tracking of ad efficancy Any type of tracking (except web site research) Problematic methods

26 On-line research is one of the most difficult methods to implement: Future trends Need for on-line research Outcome Seduction + _ Ad banners (self-recruitment) Generalisation despite low coverage Active recruitment Careful handling of target groups Marketing Cost reductionExpectations Difficulties & Challenges

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