Located in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Mobile Communications is a prominent competitor in the worldwide electronics equipment market.


Located in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Mobile Communications is a prominent competitor in the worldwide electronics equipment market. Because of stagnant sales in its ultra HD TVs, that division has decided to use an online panel company as the data collection method for a survey on consumer attitudes and perceptions of Sony and its major competitors, such as Samsung and LG. Among the reasons for this decision are (1) use of an online questionnaire, (2) assurance of a random sample that represents U.S. households, (3) high response rate, (4) quick survey data collection, (5) low refusals to particular questions, (6) no need to ask about demographics, electronics ownership, and lifestyle, because these attributes of online panel members are known, and (7) reasonable total cost. The Sony marketing research specialist heading up this survey has narrowed the choice to two online panel companies, based on inspections of their website descriptions, email and telephone communications, and other factors. The costs of using these companies are comparable, so no single provider is favored at this time. To assist in the selection process, the research team studies the set of questions published by the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR), Questions to Help Research Buyers of Online Samples . The team selects five questions that are geared toward data quality. Each competing online panel company has prepared short responses to the five questions.
Your task is to review the responses of Company A and Company B and to recommend which company to use. In your decision, remember that the assurance of highest data quality is the most important consideration.

Question 1. What experience does your company have with providing online samples for market research?
Company A: We have conducted market research since 1999. We are the only panel company to take advantage of computer technology and provide a truly nationally representative U.S. sample online.
Company B: We have supplied online U.S. samples since 1990 and European samples since 2000, and our Asian Panel went “live” in 2005. We have supplied approximately 5,000 online samples to our clients in the past 10 years.

Question 2. Please describe and explain the type(s) of online sample sources from which you recruit respondents.
Company A: Individuals volunteer for our online panel via our website, where they are informed that they will be compensated with redemption points based on the number of surveys in which they take part.
Company B: We recruit household members by asking them to join our panel, telling them they can have a say in the development of new products and services.
They are rewarded with “credits” they can use to claim products.
Question 3. What steps do you take to achieve a representative sample of the target population?
Company A: Our master panel of over 100,000 individuals mirrors the population distribution of the U.S. Census with respect to 10 demographic factors such as gender, education, income, marital status, etc.
Company B: The client specifies the target market population using any one of 1,000 variables, including demographic, ownership, purchase behavior, and other variables. We invite panelists who meet the client’s criteria to participate in the survey.
Question 4. What profiling data are held on respondents? How is it done?
Company A: We maintain extensive individual-level data in the form of about 1,000 variables, including demographics, household characteristics, financials, shopping and ownership, lifestyles, and more. All are updated every other year.
Company B: For each panelist, we have about 2,500 data points on demographics, assortment of goods and services owned, segmentation/lifestyle factors, healthrelated matters, political opinions, travel, financials, Internet usage, leisure activities, memberships, etc. Our updating is done annually.
Question 5. Please describe your survey invitation process.
Company A: Typically a survey invitation is sent via email and posted on every selected panel member’s personal member page with a link to the online survey location: “Click here to start your survey.” The email invitation is sent daily to selected panelists until the survey quota is filled.
Company B: Based on the client’s sample requirements, we email selected panelists with a link to the online survey. After 48 hours, if the panelist has not participated, we send a reminder, and we do so again 48 hours after the first reminder.

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Marketing Research

ISBN: 9781292153261

8th Global Edition

Authors: Alvin C. Burns, Ronald F. Bush, Ann F. Veeck

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