ESOMAR Online-Panel Panelists Concur: Market Research Still Has a Pulse

Geoffrey Precourt

For its very first Online Panels conference, ESOMAR recruited one chair and three program directors: Reg Baker (Chair), COO, Market Strategies International, USA; Monique Morden, EVP, Angus Reid Strategies, Canada; Steve Schwartz, CMRI, Group Quality and Vendor Management, Microsoft; and Michael Bartl, CEO, HYVE, Germany.

Now, to conclude its newly-expanded Online Research gathering in Chicago,  which has replaced its regular Panels conference, ESOMAR reconvened these original leaders for a wrap-up session. And their overriding message: Online research is off life support.

Reg Baker, COO, Market Strategies International, USA

  • "The most sensitive issue of all to me is the fine line that divides research from marketing [in online communities]. And this is not just a vague ethical issue. It's a legal issue that gets down to our ability to function as an industry. Europeans, in particular, are very sensitive to the problems that will rain down on our industry if the authorities discover that we're doing things that really are not any different than direct marketing."
  • "It strikes me that, throughout my career, marketing research was always tied to survey research. Now that link has been broken. There are fewer surveys and a lot more other things. Have we lost our standards to the IT geeks and the venture capitalists? And what does this mean for privacy and confidentiality?"
  • "We've been talking about Web 2.0 for so long. Now, it's time to digest the discussion and discover what specific techniques and ways work best."
  • "The future is different than the past in ways we cannot imagine . We need to reevaluate and possibly reinvent."