Online Research Surpasses Phone Surveys

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Atlanta, GA February 27, 2007 — Telephone research used to be the accepted method to deploy a survey, says Jared Heyman, founder and president of Infosurv. Now telephone survey usage is falling, while online surveys are on the rise–and rising rapidly.

The online segment of survey-based research grew by 12% in 2006, according to Infosurv, a leader in the field of online research specializing in customer, employee, and market research surveys.

This growth surpasses that of telephone-based research, according to data posted by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO). In the results of their 2006 financial survey, CASRO points out that revenue from research projects primarily using the Internet exceeded those conducted by phone by almost $100 million. For the past three years, the primary source of research industry growth is Internet-related.

“This is due in part to the arrival of new technologies such as Do Not Call lists, caller ID and voicemail, which are really limiting what you can accomplish with a telephone,” says Heyman.

Infosurv has discovered that there is a cultural shift in the usage of phones versus the Web, which is making online research the preferred method to obtain a truly representative sample population when conducting research.

“In today’s dynamic climate, many individuals, especially in the younger demographics, no longer see the need for a home phone,” says Heyman. “With a cell phone as their primary form of communication, they are unreachable by phone surveys, as telemarketing to cell phones is illegal due to the cost of receiving an inbound call.”

“This is why online surveys are now the new Gold Standard in market research,” Heyman says. “In recent years, the use and adoption rates of the Internet have skyrocketed. Even with the elderly, it is possible to put together a representative sample online. The World Wide Web has so permeated almost every age group, culture, and demographic that no audience is out of reach. That’s not to say that phone or mail surveys do not still have a place, but for the overwhelming majority of target groups, online surveys are going to deliver to you the most accurate research, with less cost and a quicker turnaround time.”

The majority of online research currently focuses on marketing-related activities. Infosurv reported that 66% of their business in 2006 centered on either market research or customer surveys. Employee surveys came in second with 28% and surveys for membership organizations placed a distant third, accounting for only 5% of Infosurv projects.

Infosurv projects a 50% growth in sales in 2007. They plan to accomplish this goal while staying strictly within the online research segment.

“With so much potential in online surveys, why diversify into weaker forms of research?” asks Heyman. “We’re the best at what we do, and with a large portion of this market still untapped, we can scale within our exiting niche and continue to experience record growth.”

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Christian Wright

Christian Wright is the VP of Client Services at Infosurv. With a master’s in marketing research, he’s equipped to design actionable research that yields impactful insights and drives change.
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