from Advertising Age Forum (p.34) ~ February 14, 2000
Tailor Net Research to Web's strengths
Avoid doing online versions of offline work

By Patricia H. Chapman

Some of the differences between offline and online research results (for evaluating new products and concepts) may simply be the growing emphasis on more concepts, for more numbers, in less time -- a trend towards quantitative for screening that is going on offline as well as online.


When you are writing (or responding to ) up to 100 concepts in a shot, uniqueness scores and purchase interest probably do suffer in light of the sheer quantity of single-dimension concepts. There may not be that much difference from some to the next, and how unique they seem may depend on how the comparative frame is interpreted.

The real opportunity for online research is ultimately the promise of leveraging the speed, flexibility, multi-dimensionality and interactivity of the Web to find something that does not rely on doing the online version of what may already be offline.


Why not put tone and style in the concepts? Make them richer and more exciting, like other Web-like sites?

Why not take a preference measure for ideas that cut through the clutter, apart from a score based on how its ratings add up?

Drag and drop your ideal line-up. Edit. Ideate. Create.

We must learn some of this as we go -- but a balance could give us the best of both key market research tools in the near future.

Ms. Chapman is president, Stone Soup Marketing, Ossining, N.Y.

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