Did Acumen invitation grab your attention?
You may or may not have seen an outdoor advertising campaign over the past fortnight imploring consumers to sign up to Acumen, a consumer panel run by Behaviour and Attitudes.
The market research company will be using its skills to measure how many people did.
“The campaign is unusual in that there’s a case study element to it,” says the firm’s managing director Ian McShane.
“The idea essentially is that in addition to recruiting people to the Acumen panel, we will conduct awareness surveys around the campaign.”
Tracking consumer awareness of Acumen before, during and after the campaign will “test the effectiveness of outdoor as an advertising medium for driving traffic online”, he says. The co-funder of the nationwide campaign is the outdoor advertising company JC Decaux.
Before this campaign, Behaviour and Attitudes had built up Acumen over a two-year period to the point where it had 6,000 panellists, “which is fairly chunky, obviously, but you can always do with more panellists, because some fall off it, or you might want to represent a particular demographic”.
McShane says “a few hundred” people signed up during the main phase of the campaign.
Acumen is used by Behaviour and Attitudes to measure the effectiveness of digital advertising campaigns and to test new concepts during new product development.
Up to now all the recruitment to the panel has, unsurprisingly, taken place on- line, via banner advertising for the panel or emails to opt- in consumer databases.
Online panels, while not suitable for all research, are often “perfect” for testing new designs or brand names, according to McShane. “The type of people who join online panels tend to be early adopters and they tend to be astute as well,” he notes.
There are small financial incentives for completing surveys – points are awarded depending on the length of the surveys and can be converted into AllGifts.ievouchers. But the incentives are not why people do it, says McShane.
“The real reason people tend to join panels like this or participate in research is that they’re interested.”