Non-response – an opportunity to look into their hearts & souls

Declining response rates have been identified as one of the major issues facing the market research industry today. ESOMAR in Europe and CASRO, CAMRO, and PMRS in North America have all placed the issue in the top tier of concerns facing the industry. It is arguably an even more significant issue in readership research where the audience measurement for an individual publication could differ between those responding to the survey and those who do not. Non-response could impact the overall measurement of print media or advantage specific publications at the expense of others. To overcome this concern, media measurement studies demand high response rates. In fact, in comparison, most studies outside the media measurement sector place no demands on response rates.
It is well known that some demographics such as age and gender are affected by response rate. For example, younger people and males are more difficult to reach and require repeated callbacks. However, not all demographics or lifestyle elements are impacted by response rates. Do the readership habits of non-responders differ from those responding to the surveys?

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