Market researcher targets consumers through net service

A company claims it will change the face of Britain’s market research industry by communicating with consumers via the internet.

A company claims it will change the face of Britain’s market

research industry by communicating with consumers via the internet.



By capitalising on the massive expansion of internet use, Effcom.net

says it is hastening the end of high street interviews conducted by

clipboard-carrying researchers.



The company plans to recruit 6,000 households by offering them

membership of a ’consumer club’, which will give Air Miles as a reward

for participating in the research.



The service is aimed at overcoming the long-standing problem of

processing quantitative research quickly.



It will download creative work, including commercials, packaging design

and other visual material, along with questionnaires onto consumers’

PCs.



Replies will be returned to the company for checking before being

transmitted online to clients.



The software will allow clients to carry out their own analysis of the

data within two days. The company says it will also help agencies

wanting speedy consumer views on creative work.



The service is the brainchild of Ron Whelan, a research consultant. He

has set up the company in partnership with Geoff Howard-Spink, the

co-founder of Lowe Howard-Spink; Rick Sheldon, the ex-chief executive of

CIA International; Sean O’Connor, a former Lowes director; and the

software consultant, Nigel Kent.



Whelan claimed the research industry had been slow to exploit the

internet because of what he called its ’pseudo-academic culture’ and

because of the need for less researchers if consumers were allowed to

complete their own questionnaires.



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