BitTime.com's recent survey for Procter & Gamble em-ployed sophisticated Web-based market research tools to quantify Hispanic consumers.
The Miami company sampled online consumer response to ads promoting P&G's Charmin products.
"BitTime's re-search provided input we needed to make an informed decision about the future of our campaign," said Jorge Silva, brand manager at Proctor & Gamble Latin America. "The process was simpler, cheaper and more direct."
BitTime.com, a 1999 startup co-founded by Stanford University grad Alberto Gross, develops online incentive and loyalty solutions using the Internet as a delivery platform.
In the past, said Gross, companies like P&G relied on direct mail and other traditional research methods to survey Latino consumers.
BitTime's week-long survey produced a response rate of 45 percent, versus direct mail rates of less than 10 percent.
The research firm was able to deliver precisely targeted demographics, using a consumer database, comprised roughly of 35 percent U.S. Hispanic participants, 30 percent Latin Americans and 35 percent Brazilians.
BitTime's respondents were users of TrocaMania, an online network that rewards participants with an electronic incentive currency called trocas.
Survey participants received e-mailed invitations, clicked through a series of qualifying questions, then downloaded one of two Charmin commercials. P&G monitored results in real time through an administrative interface.
Participants were able to redeem their trocas for incentives that included Florida lottery tickets, Amazon.com gift certificates and frequent flyer miles from airlines such as Brazil's Varig.
"Certainly the client learned new information," said Gross. "But more than learn, P&G realized a new way of implementing traditional activities with tremendous econ-omies of cost and execution."