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Online market research increasing in popularity

The online market research sector in Europe and North America is set to expand dramatically, according to the 'Online Research Barometer' by Net-based data collection specialist Ciao.

The recent survey involved interviews with 260 market researchers in Europe and North America who use online research. The top-line results show the rapid development of the medium, with 87 per cent expecting their use of online to increase for the six months from when the survey was carried out, in July and August this year, and over a third (36 per cent) saying it will increase greatly.

Researchers were also asked their reasons for choosing online over other methodologies. Seventy-three per cent cited time advantages and 71 per cent competitive pricing. Whilst nearly two-thirds mentioned the use of multimedia elements (59 per cent) and over half (53 per cent) cited access to complex target groups.

Most of those using online research are adopting it on a broad range of studies. Over two thirds have used online for satisfaction studies (73 per cent), Usability & Attitude studies (71 per cent) and concept tests (68 per cent).

Eighty per cent have used it for consumer goods research and 40 per cent for business-to-business research.

Nicholas Metzke, senior vice-president of Ciao Survey Solutions, said: "We undertook this extensive survey in order to be able to understand the global market context. The message is clear - online data collection is booming."

MD Gunnar Piening says the survey shows a maturing sector: “Market researchers wanting to push boundaries need to start thinking of online not in terms of something that’s fast and cost effective, but rather the methodological advantages that can be gained by having access to respondents in the convenience of their own homes or workplaces.”

Sources: New Media Age, Revolution Magazine

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