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
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’
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.