We’re not usually big fans of marketing data collected from surveys. We’ve written about it several times. We often find the methodologies flawed, the questions suspect and the respondents even more suspect.
AdAge just published an article that confirms what we’ve been saying. Jack Neff wrote about it in “Consumers Rebel Against Marketers’ Endless Surveys: 30 Top Industry Execs Gather to Discuss ‘Opinion Fatigue’ Crisis“. The article is disturbing especially the following:
“VNU’s Nielsen Media Research has actually seen respondent rates rise
from 36% to 45% the past five years, said Paul Donato, chief research
officer. That’s largely because it pays respondents handsomely for
their two-year commitments — so handsomely that Mr. Donato
acknowledged that some on the Media Research Council think it may bias
results — allowing panelists to buy cable subscriptions and DVRs.
Ironically, no one in a roomful of market researchers
suggested researching what might best persuade nonrespondents to
participate, though Dennis Murphy, VP of the technology practice at
Directions Research, said it’s time to find out how different
nonresponders really are from responders — something largely neglected
since the 1970s.”