According to this article on the Ad Age website, the issue of non-participation in marketing surveys brought ” 30 of the top executives in market research to Chicago on Sept. 28 for a roundtable at the Research Industry Summit for Improving Respondent Cooperation.”

Writer Jack Neff went on to add,

The heads of the five leading global research companies and top research executives from the likes of Procter & Gamble Co., General Motors Corp., IBM and McDonald’s for four hours hashed over a problem stunning in its scope, if uncertain in its impact.

Though no truly global figures are available, almost every researcher has seen participation erode in recent years, with rates under 10% increasingly common.

The part that I found most interesting?

Just 0.25% of the population supplies 32% of responses to online surveys, said Simon Chadwick, former head of NOP Research in the U.K. and now principal of Cambiar, a Phoenix consultancy, citing research by ComScore Networks. More broadly, he said, 50% of all survey responses come from less than 5% of the population.

So – can anyone think of a way to hear more directly from a broader customer base? Anyone? Anyone?

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