Reality check in the digital age: The relationship between what we ask and what people actually do

Alice Louw
TNS Asia Pacific, Singapore
Jan Hofmeyr
TNS, South Africa


The recession has brought marketing research spending into sharp relief. Businesses worldwide are increasingly less willing to pay for data of questionable quality that may have no return on investment. At the same time, new technologies are making it possible to collect tactical information through short surveys with fast turnaround times that do aid in decision making.

This paper is about truth in traditional surveys. We improve survey fitness and validity in a resource constrained world by paying attention to the mismatch between attitudes and behaviours as reported in surveys; and behaviour as revealed in panels.

The era of the long, boring survey…