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Internet Ethics And Best Practices In The Online Research Industry


... and growing, our online market research panel is one of the largest in the world. ... The use of Spambots, Spiders, Sniffers or other 'agents' that collect ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Internet Ethics And Best Practices In The Online Research Industry

Internet Ethics And Best Practices In The Online
Research Industry
  • Presented to
  • May 9th, 2003

New York/Northeast and Philadelphia Chapters
IMRO / KL Communications
Online Research in the U.S. Lessons Learned
1995 to 2003
IMRO / KL Communications
US Internet Usage
  • DATE - April 2002
  • NUMBER - 165.75 million
  • POP - 59.1
  • SOURCE - NielsenNetRatings

Internet usage doubled in just three years March
1999 / 83 million / 30.7 - Millward Brown
Evolution of Web-based Surveying
  • The research industry in the U.S. began actively
    working with Web-based surveying around 1995
  • In the early years, online research was met with
    skepticism from academic, business and
    traditional research agencies
  • Key Concerns
  • Web penetration was too low to be
    representative and projectable
  • Identity of online participants was difficult to
  • Significant minority communities of the
    population were not online
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Low Income
  • Low Education
  • Fear of changing from traditional methods

Benefits Now Outweighing Concerns
  • Over time, many of the issues causing concern
    have been either corrected or determined to be
    less important
  • Numerous studies have shown that Web-based
    surveys (when done with similar demographic
    groups) yield virtually the same results as
    traditional methods
  • Other benefits have superceded procedural
  • Cost
  • Speed
  • Cooperation Rates (gt45)
  • Quality of Data
  • At the same time, the response rates to
    traditional requests have fallen sharply
  • Random telephone response rates (lt12)
  • Cooperation rates (lt40)

Model of U.S. Adoption of Web Research
Many U.S. companies projecting more than 60 of
research to be switched from traditional
to online
U.S. Online Populations
  • U.S. Online Populations are beginning to match
    broader population statistics
  • Consumer Demographics Similar
  • Gender
  • Race/Origin
  • Age Groups (lt50)
  • Geographic Dispersion
  • Household Type
  • Business Firmographics Similar
  • 86 Web penetration
  • Equal distribution across major SIC categories
  • E-mail/Web preferred method of communication by
    Business Decision Makers

Recommendation http//
Growth in U.S. Web Research Revenue
  • Web-based research is expected to grow at an
    average of 30 per annum over the next two years
    to 45 of U.S. research revenue in 2005

Source Inside Research, March 2002
Online Research Economics
lt4 Hours
Productivity enhancementsdrive down costs and
Online Research Economics
  • Most traditional research costs are
  • driven by marginal, variable costs
  • Interviewers
  • Online research costs are mostly fixed,
  • up-front charges with low variable costs

For larger sample sizes,Web can be half the
costof phone.
Online Research Industry Profile
Some of The Major Players
  • Greenfield Online
  • Current panel of 1.2 members plus access to the
    MSN database of 65 million subscribers
  • Harris Online
  • Multimillion members and growing, our online
    market research panel is one of the largest in
    the world. Features custom offshoots.
  • NFO Interactive
  • The largest representative panel of online
    households in the U.S.
  • Knowledge Networks
  • The only Web-enabled panel founded on the science
    of probability sampling. Employs WebTV to build
    its random database

Some of The Major Players
  • Market Tools / Zoomerang
  • Need a robust survey and panel system? Learn how
    zTelligence can work for you or your company
  • Insight Express (An NFO Offshoot)
  • The world's leading provider of fully automated
    market research

Online Qualitative/Not Catching On
  • The online qualitative market is small and not
  • Only 3 of all qualitative is online
  • 1st generation online groups (glorified chat
    rooms) havent caught on
  • 2nd generation online options
  • Bulletin Boards (e.g. have
    received favorable buzz
  • Typically 3 to 5 day discussion
  • Traditional moderators favor this option
  • Audio / Visual enhanced (WebEx / Pixion) are a
    better mouse trap that hasnt made a dent in the
  • Considering resistance to travel nowadays, youd
    have to think online groups will eventually make

Negotiating Power Shifting to Buyers
  • Prior to 2001, most of the research industry had
    not invested in the infrastructure required to
    execute sophisticated online surveys
  • Currently, all of the top research agencies in
    the U.S. claim to have some form of Web
    interviewing technology
  • The industry has now somewhat over-invested in
    Web capacity and some are using the Web as a
    loss leader in order to get more familiar,
    traditional business (particularly phone) for
    which they have heavy equipment and know-how
  • Do it yourself (DIY) software is making deep
    inroads into companies targeting decision-makers,
    not researchers
  • This tends to disintermediate professional
    research departments who traditionally use
    external resources ? effectively lowering demand
  • More about the DIY issue later

Online Ethics
  • No Spamming Allowed

Online Ethics
  • Rights of Confidentiality
  • By default and design, confidentiality shall be
    granted for all information collected from
    customers and individuals and will be used for
    the clearly stated and intended purposes only.
  • All personal data will be secured against access
    by third parties and/or unauthorized individuals
    or organizations.
  • Rights of Privacy
  • The right of the individual to be free from
    unsolicited contact is duly recognized.
  • By default and design, customers and individuals
    will have the right to opt out of the research

Opt Out / Standard Language
  • KL Communications is an independent market
    research firm conducting this study on behalf of
    a major publisher. This study is for market
    research purposes only. Your identity and
    answers will remain strictly confidential.
    Contest drawing is void where prohibited.
  • If you do not wish to participate in future
    surveys, please respond to this e-mail with
    REMOVE in the subject line and we apologize for
    any inconvenience.

Online Ethics
  • IMRO members will abstain from the following
    types of surreptitious sampling and unsolicited
    or unethical recruitment techniques, known
    collectively as "spamming

Online Ethics / Surreptitious Sampling
  • Collection of respondent emails from Web sites,
    portals, Usenet or other bulletin board postings
    without specifically notifying individuals that
    they are being "recruited" for research purposes

Online Ethics / Surreptitious Sampling
  • The use of Spambots, Spiders, Sniffers or other
    "agents" that collect personal information
    without the respondents' explicit awareness

Online Ethics / Surreptitious Sampling
  • The purchase of bulk email addresses from sources
    that have not provided verifiable documentation
    that the individuals on the list have opted for
    contact for the purposes of research

Online Ethics / Surreptitious Sampling
  • The use of client customer lists that have been
    assembled without the express consent of the
    individual for future contact for the purposes of
    marketing research
  • Last part of the above phrase was struck from
    IMRO Code of Ethics for being too restrictive
    (The Lonnie Amendment)

Unsolicited/Unethical Recruitment (Spamming)
  • Unsolicited e-mail recruitment of potential
  • Misleading or off-topic newsgroup postings
    designed to "trick" a potential respondent into
    participating in research
  • Junk mail sent in bulk to recruit for studies or

Unsolicited/Unethical Recruitment
  • Scamming
  • The practice of recruiting under false pretenses
    (e.g. recruitment for research that is in reality
    a sales or contribution solicitation pitch)
  • Spoofing
  • The practice of putting in a false or missing
    return e-mail address
  • Chain or "buddy" letters
  • Aimed at recruiting respondents' friends,
    relatives or colleagues for studies or panels.

  • IMRO members will at all times conform to the
    1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
    (COPPA) and not collect personal data from
    children under the age of thirteen without the
    express approval of their parents or guardians.

Best Practices
  • The Evolution of online research
  • Whats the buzz?

Online Research BUZZ
  • I think the biggest change over the next couple
    of years will be that Internet will replace RDD
    telephone as the primary data collection
    methodthe only long term solution is having
    high-quality respondent panels. And I feel that
    Internet is a more effective and cost efficient
    way to manage panels
  • Ravi Raina, director of client services, MMR,
  • Clients have less confidence in traditional phone
    interviewing. They cant imagine themselves
    responding to a survey call and so dont believe
    that normal folks agree to respond. At the
    same time, clients look askance at online
  • Lynne Mobilio, partner, Lewis, Mobilio
  • Companies realize they need something to bridge
    all of the long used research methods together
  • Deborah Yeh, senior product marketing manager,
    Vividence, Inc.

Source Quirks Marketing News
Online Research BUZZ
  • I think that the Internet is here to stay and
    that research will continue to grow in the area
    as the increase to broadband continues to grow.
    We will need to be creative in gaining
    respondents beyond sweepstakes in order to
    maintain response rate
  • Mary Wang, eastern regional sales manager, SPSS
  • As the Internet keeps getting larger and larger
    and people become that much harder to reach via
    the phone, I believe that the Internet is going
    to become more of the norm in reaching
  • Stacey Hurwitz, president, Strategic Business
  • The Internet is definitely here to stay but I
    think a new technology will emerge, something
    like the handheld BlackBerry devices that have
    Internet access. This will result in many more
    mixed-methodology studies (mall, phone and web)
  • Merrill Dubrow, vice president, client
    development, Harris Interactive

Source Quirks Marketing News
DIY Online Research Epidemic
Research Business Report
  • DIY Online Research Epidemic
  • Our tale is less horror and more slowly unfolding
    tragedywe have discovered 20 different
    organizations within our company have purchased
    various types of survey tools
  • Research Director - Fortune 100 Durable Goods
  • More than 95 of corporate side researchers
    admitted to varying degrees of DIY within their
  • Marc Dresner / executive editor, Research
    Business Report

Online Research Industry Profile
Achieving the Top Right Quadrant
  • Need to commit continual resources to
    technological commitments
  • Differentiate from low-end (DIY) alternatives
    through research expertise (e.g. Multivariate
  • Offer clients a complete package of data
    collection options
  • Not just online, not just phone
  • Partner, as necessary

Achieving the Top Right Quadrant
  • Have to offer analytical techniques (e.g.
  • Interestingly enough, this capability implies
    both research and technological expertise
  • Either offer this in-house or use firms
    specializing in online analytical software
  • SOFTWARE OPTIONS SPSS MR, Sawtooth Software
  • VENDOR OPTIONS Critical Mix, Moskowitz

Overall Research Concern
  • Confront the declining response rate issue now
  • Clients...cant imagine themselves responding to
    a survey call and so dont believe that normal
    folks agree to respond
  • This is an industry wide issue, impacting all
    methods of offline online data collection
  • Need to regain the publics trust
  • Play up to our audience, not just a few minutes
    more when we know better

Whats in Store for Market Research in the Future
  • Data collection will increasingly come from
    pre-recruited communities / panels
  • Service levels will rise to meet the demands of
    an interactive community
  • Most interactive communities are actually managed
  • Traditional panel companies will increasingly
    segment into specialty panels with exclusivity

Whats in Store for Market Research in the Future
  • The definition of full service has changed
  • No longer means qualitative quantitative
  • Full Service now implies all facets of offline
    and online data collection combined with top tier
    analytical techniques report writing skills
  • Firms viewed as primarily online or offline
    will be considered niche vendors
  • Niche vendors will receive RFPs for tactical
    research but be shut out for the more
    prestigious strategic research partnering

Whats in Store for Market Research in the Future
  • A copy of this report will be posted on the KL
    Communications web site next week
  • http//
  • Sign up for IMRO at
  • http//
  • Feel free to e-mail me with your thoughts
  • Kevin Lonnie