Wednesday, December 21, 2005

BIG Research? Or, BOGUS Research?

The 2004 BIG Research internet study of simultaneous media consumption put radio in 3rd or 4th place in terms of effectiveness when compared to other media being used simultaneously.

"When listening, 57.3% simultaneously go online, 46.9% read newspaper and 17.7% watch TV…SIMM usage poses challenge for media companies and marketers…who’s paying attention to what? 51.2% of radio listening multitaskers say they pay more attention to one medium more than the other…these same people put stock in what friends say, 77% of them said word of mouth is important or very important in influencing their purchase decisions..."

So, this morning, when they sent out their press release on the 7th update to the research and radio didn't even make the top ten I was more than a little bit skeptical.

This simply can not be true.

BIG Research's own video briefing puts radio high when it looks at usage while consuming other media simultaneously. As the original "word of mouth medium," radio simply had to be underestimated by the participants in the latest study, or by the writers of the new press release.

Their Media Center researchers make the point that the correct interpretation of research relies on understanding what questions were posed and how. "Most anyone between the ages of eight and 80 will tell you they watch television, they read newspapers, they listen to the radio, they navigate the Internet, they use their cell phones, and they learn from the screens around them. They do many of these things at the same time. The answer to the simple question is increasingly complex in the age of access. Here’s the paradox of our time: the more we know, the more uncertain we are about the future. Traditional market research mostly adds to the clutter of an unquantifiable world. Consider a study by a major research company that provided these stunning statistics: when asked if they thought life was better than ever, 82 percent of the respondents answered “yes.” When asked if they thought life was worse than ever, 82 percent of the respondents said “yes.""

Too bad that they didn't have room for THAT in today's (misleading?) press release!

If I am missing something, hopefully someone will educate me. If a client or one of your sellers brings this new report up, I'd recommend that they spend some time at the highly-credible Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab.

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