Arbitron is using a novel approach to improve compliance among 18- to 34-year-old panel participants in its portable people meter service. In New York, Houston and Philadelphia, PPM households with a person 18-34 have access to the PPM VIP Service, a user-controlled, Web-based, telephone wakeup and reminder service.
Panelists simply visit a password-protected Web page and register to receive customized alerts for any personal event on as many as five different phone numbers. With the alert message, the PPM panelist also gets a standard compliance reminder to carry the PPM.
Research companies such as Arbitron face an increasingly uphill climb to get younger consumers to participate in research surveys and panels. Over the years money has been the most common incentive, but packaging and rewards have also been tried. If the new concept plays out, Arbitron plans to add new features to the service and expand it to additional PPM markets.
"We've made tremendous strides in improving the representation of 18-34 year olds in all our PPM markets," said Owen Charlebois, president of technology, research and development for Arbitron. "We've seen double digit increases in DDI performance for 18-34 across the board, with equally significant increases for blacks and Hispanics in that demographic. The PPM VIP service is just of one of many tools and programs we are using to enhance sample quality in our continuous improvement programs."