Breaking Through The Boundaries

MR techniques to understand what individual customers really want, and acting on it

Phyllis Macfarlane
NOP Research Group


In this paper we outline the background to the development of the Customer Census, the challenges we had to meet, and the range of methodologies we tested and refined to ensure the survey met both Customer and Client requirements, the lessons learnt, and the benefits the survey has brought. We believe that as a result of this survey, BT will once again be seen as redefining research and, in particular, the relationship between research and marketing.

BT'S history in the UK market research industry

BT first changed the face of the industry when it launched its TelCare programme in the early 1980's. Until then telephone data collection had been seen as a very poor relation of face-to-face interviewing. 'But, only 80% of the population has a telephone' the purists used to splutter, and, 'what about ex-directory customers?'. Even for B2B research, where at least the penetration levels of 100% could not be criticised, there were considerable doubts about the validity and accuracy of data collected by telephone.