Majority of Market Research Professionals Are Concerned with Online Survey Cooperation Rates

Eroding online survey rates jeopardize the research quality and business decisions made using online surveys, say industry professionals

Stamford, CT, May 07, 2007 --( A new study from MarketResearchCareers reveals that despite the use of online surveys by nearly nine out of ten Market Research professionals to gain insights into business issues, the majority (57%) of research professionals are concerned about the quality of online surveys due to declining cooperation rates.

Furthermore according to the 2007 edition of MarketResearchCareers' Annual Survey of Market Research Professionals, online surveys are viewed by participants to have superior quality compared to mail-based surveys but inferior quality relative to their telephone-based counterpart.

Within survey research, low cooperation and/or completion rates can severely skew research results—potentially leading to different business conclusions. Data released by comScore citing only 0.25% of the online population generates 32% of all online survey responses sparked concern within the Market Research industry—leading to the "Research Industry Summit for Improving Respondent Cooperation" held in September, 2006.

From the recently released MarketResearchCareers 2007 study, potential solutions to low online survey rates cited by Market Research professionals include:

Solution: Percent of Market Research Professionals Agreeing

* Limit number of questions or time required to complete a survey: 64%

* Make surveys generally more engaging for respondents: 63%

* Better target surveys to respondents with an interest in the researched topic: 57%

* Attempt to identify respondents providing insincere answers: 45%

* Increase the use of survey incentives: 38%

* Create an independent third party to identify/eliminate ‘professional’ respondents from online panels: 37%

* Create engaged panels of highly compensated survey participants: 33%

Of least interest (27%) to Market Research professionals is the establishment of an industry-wide educational program encouraging consumers to participate within online surveys.

The implementation of any solution may be difficult given Market Research Suppliers, compared to Market Research Buyers, are significantly more likely to believe the solution requires shorter, more engaging and better targeted online surveys. The challenge emerges given Market Research Buyers are typically exclusively responsible for the content, length and audience selection for surveys.

Supporting this conflict, more than one-third (37%) of all participants believe Market Research Suppliers are exclusively responsible for correcting the problem of low online survey cooperation and completion rates. Interestingly, only 5% of participants believe Market Research Buyers are exclusively responsible for resolving the issue with nearly half (53%) believing a cooperative effort between Market Research Buyers and Suppliers is required to address this critical industry topic.

The research was conducted between March 21 and March 31, 2007 with 237 Market Research professionals (both Suppliers and Buyers) completing an online survey. The survey completion rate was 71.7% and the aggregate data have a tolerance of +/- 6.4%.

If you would like a detailed report of these and other findings, please contact:
Patrick E. Maldonado
Director Sales & Marketing

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Patrick E. Maldonado