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The vast majority of marketers worldwide who conduct market research are expecting their companies’ use of online data providers and online-access panels to increase in the next 12 months, according to The Online Research Barometer, a survey conducted by Greenfield Online and Ciao Surveys.

Some 82% of market researchers surveyed in North America and 87% in Europe predict that their use of online respondent providers will increase in the next 12 months. That’s up from 76% and 85%, respectively, from November 2005, when the previous Online Research Barometer was last issued.

B2B research accounts for 34% and 25% of market research efforts in North America and Europe, respectively, according to the study:


Among other findings of the Online Research Barometer:

  • The two most important reasons for conducting market research online remained time, mentioned by 81% of North American market researchers and 78% of Europeans, and competitive pricing (76% and 75%, respectively).
  • North Americans were particularly interested in access to complex target sample groups (62%).


  • Europeans are particularly interested in the ability to access respondents internationally (57%).


  • Across North America and Europe, the ability to recruit large sample groups, as well as the ability to use multi-media elements in questionnaires, were also cited as important considerations for the use of online research.
  • The survey revealed differences in online research by industry sector:
    • Consumer goods remains the industry most using online research worldwide (83% in North America, 71% Europe).


In North America, Consulting, Banking/Finance/Insurance, Healthcare, Communication and Retail are also important markets.


In Europe, researchers are more likely to be conducting online studies for the Banking/Finance/Insurance, Telecommunications, or Technology industries.

  • European market researchers expect in the future to use less of other methodologies, such as telephone (30%) and face-to-face interviews (27%), in favor of online as a preferred research methodology.

About the study: The survey was conducted by Greenfield Online-Ciao Surveys among 289 marketer researchers globally during the period July 31-August 24, 2007.

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