Interesting reading in the January issues of still another trade rag. This time it's Inside Research and the topic is the rapid growth of online research over the last 10 years, from just $4 million in 1996 to a reported $1.4 billion in 2006. The projections for 2007 are for 15 percent growth to $1.6 billion. For those of you who don't follow these things closely, that's 38.5 percent of total MR survey revenues expected in 2007. Impressive for sure, but not exactly fitting the recent RBR headline, "Online leaving CATI in the Dust."
There are two other interesting factoids in this piece. The first is that this growth has been driven almost completely by panels with an estimated 87 percent of online research using private or public panels as their sample source. Offline recruiting--a.k.a phone or mail to Web--comes in at an insignificant 1 percent.
The second is the type of research being done. Concept and product testing accounts for about a third, sales tracking and U&A together constitute another third, followed by smaller amounts of advertising and brand tracking, customer sat, copy testing, and so on.
The interesting question posed by IR at the conclusion of the piece is the likely impact of emerging client concerns about panel response rates and the validity on online survey results. IR is not sure and neither am I.