Last week, we were happy to participate in the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association’s (MRIA) virtual January seminar, where our co-founder Paul Neto participated in a panel with Brian Lamar of EMI and Melanie Courtright of the Insights Association. During the four-hour event, speakers addressed persistent challenges faced by the polling and market research industries, as well as covering new approaches and opportunities for change.
During our session, Brian kicked off with a discussion about how online sample selection can affect accuracy, citing differences among panels (derived from issues such as recruiting and management practices) delivering varied end results. Then Melanie joined to talk about layers of bias and gave an overview of the hierarchy of total survey error, such as problems with representation and measurement. She said that the increased polarization of the world around us is exacerbating the problems with nonparticipation, nonresponse and representative demographic and psychographic segments.
Paul wrapped up the panel with a discussion of trust, transparency and privacy, during which he talked about Measure’s experience in behavioral data collection, and how this type of data “moves up the scale of sensitivity” from a consumer perspective. Accessing this kind of data requires a new approach to building trust, pursuing data quality and prioritizing the respondent experience.
Steps like these truly affect all aspects of the industry, as traditionally consumers have been largely left out of the equation. Paul says this is no longer tenable. Considering the effort we put into methodology and standards as an industry, the lack of focus on the consumer should concern us as we seek accurate representative data. It has become evident that building consumer trust is crucial to winning and retaining customers, all the way to encouraging participation in any kind of insights project.
He continued by acknowledging that the rules are changing, and people are being more careful with their data. Studies show that people are wary of the market research industry, and we must make trust a core value, focus on mainstreaming the protection of consumer rights, and closely examine consumer needs. This means a consistent experience for consumers, building trust over time which, in turn, leads to greater participation and better data quality.
Paul also covered some of the data we’ve uncovered with our own research, including our deep dive into data quality, covered in our white paper “Is trust the solution to dirty data?” He wrapped up by talking about some of the trust principles that can help to build a new paradigm for the industry, including privacy by design (not by compliance), providing consumers with greater control over their data, transparency for all processes, fair consumer rewards and a relentless commitment to user experience.
More on the event can be found here: https://mria-arim.ca/page-18135