Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why

By Max Sutherland; Alice K. Sylvester | Go to book overview
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11
Continuous tracking:
are you being followed?

We estimate that among major packaged goods manufacturers, telcoms and financial services companies probably 25 per cent or more are now tracking their competitors' as well as their own activities with continuous customer surveys. Among durable goods manufacturers, utilities and pharmaceutical manufacturers the figure is lower but growing quite quickly. These are not once-a-year or once-a-quarter surveys. They are conducted every week, on small samples each week which accumulate over the year into a large database and provide a total, continuous picture.

Every week these organizations capture, in their computers, fresh information on a new sample of consumers. The information covers all players in the market. Ideally, it would cover the state of play for that week in regard to people's behavior, attitudes, brand awareness and brand image as well as direct communication effects such as advertising recall, advertising recognition and message take-out. This is then related to other information such as media data (indicating what advertisers were on air during that week, at what times and at what advertising weight) along with sales and market share data.

Continuous market research technology has rapidly become accepted as the best way of accurately assessing advertising effects in terms of what works and what doesn't. 1 Continuous monitoring of purchase information can reveal whether something worked or didn't. However, knowing whether it worked is one thing while finding out why or why not, is another. This

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