An online survey rated a Procter & Gamble coffee concept No. 7 among 12 ideas, but an mail survey ranked it highest. General Motors Corp.'sresponse rate for satisfaction surveys in 1999 was 27%. The response rate this year is only 18%.
The participation rate for Arbitron radio-measurement panels in the mid-1990s was in the mid-40% range. Today it's in the low 30% range. Arbitron has to double its phone calls to yield the same sample size as five years ago. And mistakes can be costly: One-tenth of a rating point can be worth $50 million to a TV network.
Some 59% of research companies are concerned about respondent cooperation, up from 49% in 2005. Moreover, 16% list it as their biggest concern. But it's been on their radar for a long time: The industry formed the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research 14 years ago to help stem the decline.