NEWS26 July 2011

Esomar and Casro plan online sample standard

Europe Features North America Technology

NETHERLANDS/US— Research associations Esomar and Casro are working on a draft standard for online sample quality.

The two associations said they hope to publish the draft later this year and invite interested companies to comment and contribute to its development.

The standard will aim to ensure “consistency and transparency” in online sampling processes, codifying best practice in the areas of respondent authentification, survey engagement and dealing with duplicate and repeat respondents.

“Compliance with this quality standard will be subject to verification through auditing and certification procedures conducted by independent and objective certification bodies,” the parties said in a joint statement.

It will aim to give buyers confidence when choosing between the numerous available tools for rooting out fake and duplicate respondents, from panel and technology providers including MarketTools, Toluna, SSI, Mo’web, Globalpark and Mktg.

The announcement comes a few weeks after Kantar and GfK revealed that their partnership to develop common industry-backed sample quality solutions had fallen through.

Kantar has now adopted MarketTools’ TrueSample tool in the US (but said it still hopes for an “industry-wide solution”), while GfK said it supported the free-market development of quality tools, with “independent industry validation”.

Esomar and Casro emphasised that the standard will not seek to “stifle creativity” or dictate the methods used to achieve quality control. What is important is “accountability for outcomes using explicit procedures that are subject to verification”, said Casro chair Susan Schwartz McDonald.

A task force has been set up to work on the standard, chaired by Peter Milla of Peter Milla Consulting and also including Reg Baker of Market Strategies International, Duane Berlin of Lev & Berlin, Simon Chadwick of Cambiar and Mike Cooke of GfK.

Chadwick said: “Clients rightly expect that the data they receive from online surveys be accurate and replicable. It is the industry’s responsibility to give concrete assurance that this is the case and that clients can trust in the decisions that they make on the basis of these data.”