Stowell tests by phone

Seattle-based market research firm Leigh Stowell collects demographic, psychographic, media consumption and consumer behavior information from individual respondents to provide its client stations with qualitative data that, according to one client, 'goes way beyond 18-49.'Greg Mudry, general sales manager at Toronto-based...

Seattle-based market research firm Leigh Stowell collects demographic, psychographic, media consumption and consumer behavior information from individual respondents to provide its client stations with qualitative data that, according to one client, ‘goes way beyond 18-49.’

Greg Mudry, general sales manager at Toronto-based citytv, says the Leigh Stowell consumer market profile allows tv stations to more intelligently market their air-time to advertisers who say they need to know more about their audience than just its age group.

‘From our perspective, it’s a very powerful research tool,’ Mudry says.

Values

In addition to questions about their viewing, listening and reading habits, Leigh Stowell asks respondents to provide details of their values, attitudes and beliefs.

The responses to these psychographic questions are used to segment the market into as many as eight groups.

As well, interviewers gather information on purchase habits in up to 20 categories selected by the client station.

Products or services can include home entertainment, fast food restaurants, beer, apparel, home improvements, financial institutions, soft drinks, film processing and automobiles, among other categories.

‘We’re not faced with trying to pull together, from a variety of different sources, some kind of notion of who our consumers are,’ Mudry says. ‘We have in one database, in one single source, a profile.’

As well, he says the data are considered reliable because the information is gathered in telephone interviews, a methodology which he says most researchers believe is more effective than self-completed questionnaires.

Sandy Schlee, executive vice-president of Leigh Stowell, says there are several reasons the company considers its methodology superior to the diary method of collecting information.

Control

Schlee says telephone interviews allow control over the selection of participants, while sending a diary through the mail to a particular individual does not guarantee that person will be the one to answer the questions.

He says interviewers can ask questions in the order in which they were designed to be asked, while consumers who read through the survey before answering may be influenced by information contained in questions that were meant to be asked later.

As well, he says, telephone interviews capture spontaneous reactions more effectively than a questionnaire filled out by a respondent, who may think through and perhaps censor answers before committing them to paper.

Although this is the first year citytv has used the service, Mudry says the station has already applied many of Leigh Stowell’s findings to its marketing efforts.

In addition to citytv, Leigh Stowell’s Canadian television clients include ckvr in Barrie, Ont. cfcn in Calgary and citv in Edmonton. BYS