September 22, 2006
- by Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Instead of "Who was that Masked Man?" it should be who are those people behind the masks. The people I am referring to are those people who participate in Internet Research. Research has shown that the differences between the online and offline population are vastly different in attitudes and behaviors. These differences are so great that balancing. modeling, weighting or adjusting the sample to emulate a national representative sample is, to say the least, folly.
Recent articles have shown how the online and offline populations differ. We have also seen research that has shown that even within the online population, there are differences that negatively affect research results. From personal experience, the online respondents appear to be very different from those that I had been accustomed to seeing in my more traditional research. Consider a couple of examples.
The followingresults were obtained in a study among members of an online panel.
64.5% of the respondents said they'd like to receive 8 or more surveys per month.
18.1%were interested in receiving 5 to 7 surveys per month.
13.4% wanted 3 to 4 per month.
3.7% wanted 1 to 2 per month.
Only 0.3% wanted fewer than 1 survey per month. In studies where I have been involved, participation was limited to once every six months.
In another publication from another online research group where they were enumerating the benefits of online survey participation, they cited the following response from one of their participants.
"Personally I love it! I take my son to school, come home and start taking surveys. Work for maybe an hour or two, then head off to the gym. Come home and do a few more surveys. Run out to do a few errands and pick up my son from school. Do a focus group or a few more surveys before dinner and I'm done for the day. I fit my work in whenever I can. The part I like best is I can do it for 5 minutes or a few hours. I can fit it in whenever I have time and I'm not tied down for long periods of time, and I never have to leave the house."
The above comment was from a publication promoting online research as "Where Your Opinion Is Worth A Paycheck." They cite:
Get paid to take online surveys -$5 to $75 per survey!
Get paid to participate in onlie focus groups $50 to $150 per hour!
Get paid to try new products - keep the product and get paid too!
Get paid to preview movie trailers $4 to $25 per hour!
The above are just two examples of over six I have received in the past two years. And we wonder why over 9 out of 10 new brand introductions fail in the market within one year.
I don't know about you, but for some reason, people attracted to these panels do not seem to be the type I would want making major decisions for my business.