Traditional Vs. Online Surveying For Home Video Concept Testing

Susan Jacobson
Discovery Communications

In deciding if online surveys can be effective for a research project, it is important to understand your target market and whether or not online users can adequately represent that market. By conducting the same concept test among two samples, America Online users vs. MarketFacts Panel, we found stark differences in concept potential, despite fairly similar demographics. The differences were particularly pronounced among the female population, a critical market for home videos and a fairly new online audience. It appears that, at least among our target sample of documentary/ how-to video buyers, females online represent a typical early adopters rather than the general female market

Executive Summary

Discovery Communications, Inc. (DCI), with the assistance of The M/A/R/Croup, is developing an ongoing system to measure purchase potential of new video concepts prior to in-market introduction. For the benchmarking phase, two tests of 25 existing titles were conducted concurrently. One test used a MarketFacts Mail Panel (mail screen – mailed concepts – phone interview) and the other used the Opinion Place survey site, a permanent site on America Online which integrates The M/A/R/C Group's interviewing software with online media. This site is owned by DMS and is a joint venture of M/A/R/C and AOL. The parallel tests were performed in an effort to produce comparable concept ranking results. If the two samples produced titles which ranked the same in each sampling scenario, DCI would have an efficient and less-costly medium with which to gather data (Opinion Place). If the two samples were not comparable, however, the Market Facts sample would be used in future concept tests.