The other is that if you are looking for a fairly small target audience of professional buyers, the sample size in the CIMS study may be too small to give adequate readership data. The following three studies usually offer larger samples in much smaller universes.
Adams Co.'s Business Computing Segmentation Study, Simmons Market Research Bureau's CompPro Study and Adams' Electronics Market Tracking "Top 200" Study round out the information high-tech media planners need.
Here is a brief look at each of the three studies:
Adams Co., Palo Alto, Calif.
John Adams and his Adams Co. have been in the business of high-tech syndicated research for about a decade. That's longer than anyone else, and he continues to pioneer new ideas.
His 1997 Business Computing Segmentation Study, an upgrade of the Adams Co.'s 1995 Computer Primaries Study, will look at the reading and buying habits of 2 million to 3 million "primary computer decisionmakers" at all U.S. business locations with more than 50 employees, and selected locations with 10 to 49 employees.
In addition to normal buying and readership data, Adams has an ambitious plan to create a series of psychographic profiles for high-tech buyers.
Psychographics have been used by consumer advertisers for more than 20 years with studies like VALS and PRIZM classifying each of us in one of several psychographic categories-but it's believed nothing like this has been done for business buyers.
Mr. Adams is being helped by Francis Cristen who led the creation of VALS II for SRI in 1988.
Respondents will be "typed" by their attitudes toward technology, product priorities, information values and personality.
Simmons Market Research Bureau, New York
Simmons is now in the field with the fifth edition of its CompPro Study. It has published one each year for several years.
This is the smallest and most targeted of the syndicated studies in the computer field. It covers the buying and reading habits of about 800,000 computer professionals at medium- to large-size organizations. By focusing on computer professionals it provides a high number of respondents among a select group of important computer buying influencers.
If information systems professionals at larger organizations are your primary target, this study can be useful.
Adams' electronics study
If you're interested in the electronics market, Adams' Electronics Market Tracking "Top 200" Study is your only syndicated research choice.
In 1996, Adams conducted a standard study of the reading and buying habits of roughly 600,000 electronics engineers and managers, using a universe drawn from the subscriber lists of the key electronics publications.
For 1997, Adams has expanded this study to add a section on brand awareness.
It is attempting to measure changes in awareness over time-an elusive goal in the business-to-business marketplace.
The study will also provide "share of voice" information to advertisers who participate.
If this works as planned, Adams claims that " . . . for the first time ever, vendors can measure if their communications efforts have had any effect on their primary target customers . . . advertising goals can be quantified . . . and spending levels can be set to address these objectives."