Thursday, 10 April 2008

What's in a (brand) name?

Oral-me? A Malaysian-made toothpaste is raising eyebrows due to its suggestive brand name. "Manufacturers should think twice before naming their products." Kuala Lumpur-based advertising executive Martin Voon asked if the manufacturers understood the product name while coining it.

"I'm shocked. These kind of words are normally found on a spoof, but this is an actual product."

"I'm glad I don't have children as it would be difficult to explain that it is a joke," he said.

Kieran Sharkey, an English teacher at a college in Sabah, said the name did not carry a positive connotation.

"With all the information available to the younger generation, I feel that they can interpret it wrongly."

Pro Dental B Corporation Sdn Bhd executive director Sunny Saw saw nothing wrong with the name as it was connected to oral care.

"The name is just to show that it is an oral product."

MarketTools promises to clean up panels

According to an article on Research Live, the US based MarketTools launched TrueSample, a system designed to ensure better online panels by eliminating fraudulent respondents.

The system follows a three-step process:

  1. Checks of prospective panellists to ensure they are who they claim to be by verifying the information they provide against what MarketTools calls “extensive databases with objectively validated consumer demographics”. Tests have seen as many as 20% of people turned away from the panel at this stage, the company said.
  2. Digital Computer Fingerprint. This fingerprint allows panellists to be cross-checked against other panel members and other panels that have signed up to use the service, stamping out duplicate respondents in studies that utilise multiple panels, and preventing respondents from taking the same survey more than once. Use of TrueSample to date has seen around 3% of respondents fail this test at the outset of each survey, the company said.
  3. Data validation technology should spot fraudulent behaviour by correlating survey completion time and response patterns. Activity flagged as fraudulent includes the usual: speeding, straight-lining and ‘satisficing’, but in addition those found to have engaged in such activity will have their computers’ "digital fingerprints" blacklisted.

TrueSample would be available in the US this quarter and was on track for a release in the Europe during the third quarter. It is already in use on MarketTools’ own ZoomPanel and on panels operated by partners Luth Research and Greenfield Online. The TrueSample launch comes within a month of a similar product release from Peanut Labs, called OptimusID.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Why do some panel sources cost more than others?

I've addressed the issue of panels and panel providers before. But I cannot emphasize enough that you should check and understand what type of online sample you're purchasing for your online survey. Online Access Panels from companies like SSI, GMI, ToLuna, CIAO/Greenfield, but especially also from niche market panel providers vary greatly in quality and this affects price. You should screen the panel sources you use and check them to see if they meet your minimum expectations of panel quality.
  • Non marketing panel – so you avoid education effects from advertising campaigns influencing the results of research
  • Diversely recruited panel – that sourced respondents are derived from a lot of different locations and in different ways to ensure an attitudinal spread in the panel population
  • No excessively high rewards – as this tends to result in panellists that are money/discount sensitive, which in turn can affect their research responses
  • Actively seek to exclude professional respondents – both through their recruiting (not using professional respondent sites) and through active management (screening and deleting straight lining respondents)
  • Well managed to avoid sampling biases – regularly cleaned and scrubbed to remove non active panellists, consistently updated and profiled, panellists are not over-used, sample eliminations are available to avoid education effects from past research participation

As a general rule panels that include a combination of online and offline recruiting are more costly to develop and tend to attract a premium price in the market. This is because they minimise the biases associated with online recruiting alone.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Did you know? Shift happens....

You may have seen the previous version, or perhaps even this one too... I find it quite "inspirational" although some may say that asking the questions is easy, it's all about providing the answers.... take a look. Did you know... ? It's the official update to the original "Shift Happens" video from Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, this June 2007 update includes new and updated statistics, thought-provoking questions and a fresh design. For more information, or to join the conversation, please visit -- Content by Karl Fisch and Scott McLeod, design and development by XPLANE