Nuts & Bolts - Online Marketing: Taking the Measure of Research Respondents
Online market research surveys have long been a staple in the direct marketer's diet. But now they appear to have become the main course—all but replacing face-to-face focus groups in helping companies determine long-term direct marketing strategies.
So now there's a new problem to solve. How can direct marketers know that what they're getting is steak and not fake?
Patricia Graham, chief strategy officer at Menlo Park, Calif.-based custom survey research company Knowledge Networks, provides insight into how businesses can avoid being duped.
"One of the things that people can do to understand whether they're getting spammers or bad respondents is to use technology," she says, "one of which is digital fingerprinting, which is what Optimus ID does from Peanut Labs. And it addresses directly data quality issues that are in online research."
Starting with respondents who may not realize they're causing data quality issues for companies and moving on to bad actors, Graham says digital fingerprinting identifies:
1. Respondents who take the same survey multiple times because they've received multiple panel invites. "An example [might be] somebody who might have catastrophic cancer and be in a certain stage of cancer that a pharmaceutical company wants to ask questions of. That person might be in multiple panels. And because they're so hard to find and recruit, they could be receiving multiple invites to that survey."
2. Respondents who are more fraudulent, whom Graham politely calls "professionals," who speed through surveys, take the same survey several times from within a panel or who purposely belong to several panels to continue to take the same survey.
3. "Most importantly … there are more bots out there," she says. The technology identifies geo-IP offenders, or respondents who show up in a survey hailing from a geographical location different from what the survey requires.