May 31st, 2007 by Jared Bothwell
The Australian Government has backed down on plans to prevent market research companies from calling householders on Sundays to conduct telephone polls. While this article is a respite for research companies it should be taken as a cautionary warning to the industry that random telephone surveys are increasingly being viewed as a unwanted disturbance and interruption. It is now time that surveying alternatives should be seriously considered.
The New Zealand 2006 census results have demonstrated an increase in the uptake of both cell phones and the internet. In 2001, 37% of households had access to the internet with 60.5% of households having access in 2006. This substantial increase means that researchers are more able to rely on internet surveys and the benefits that they bring.
It is also interesting to note that in 2006 74.3% of New Zealanders had access to a cell phone. As ownership of cell phones increases it is likely that we will see greater usage of this medium for surveying. The unqualified success of cell phone voting for shows like NZ Idol and Dancing with the Stars (nice one Suzanne Paul) indicates that consumers are increasingly becoming more use to using their cell phones for a variety of purposes. Consumers just as likely to respond favourably to surveys delivered to cell phones.