Marketers: Use of Online Surveys for Market Research to Increase

October 17, 2007

The vast majority of marketers worldwide who conduct market research are expecting their companies’ use of online data providers and online-access panels to increase in the next 12 months, according to The Online Research Barometer, a survey conducted by Greenfield Online and Ciao Surveys.

Some 82% of market researchers surveyed in North America and 87% in Europe predict that their use of online respondent providers will increase in the next 12 months. That’s up from 76% and 85%, respectively, from November 2005, when the previous Online Research Barometer was last issued.

B2B research accounts for 34% and 25% of market research efforts in North America and Europe, respectively, according to the study:


Among other findings of the Online Research Barometer:

  • The two most important reasons for conducting market research online remained time, mentioned by 81% of North American market researchers and 78% of Europeans, and competitive pricing (76% and 75%, respectively).
  • North Americans were particularly interested in access to complex target sample groups (62%).


  • Europeans are particularly interested in the ability to access respondents internationally (57%).


  • Across North America and Europe, the ability to recruit large sample groups, as well as the ability to use multi-media elements in questionnaires, were also cited as important considerations for the use of online research.
  • The survey revealed differences in online research by industry sector:
    • Consumer goods remains the industry most using online research worldwide (83% in North America, 71% Europe).


In North America, Consulting, Banking/Finance/Insurance, Healthcare, Communication and Retail are also important markets.


In Europe, researchers are more likely to be conducting online studies for the Banking/Finance/Insurance, Telecommunications, or Technology industries.

  • European market researchers expect in the future to use less of other methodologies, such as telephone (30%) and face-to-face interviews (27%), in favor of online as a preferred research methodology.

About the study: The survey was conducted by Greenfield Online-Ciao Surveys among 289 marketer researchers globally during the period July 31-August 24, 2007.

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