ReconMR recently conducted a self-funded study on an important issue for many market researchers, the declining response rates to consumer surveys. Our study explores and measures the efficiency of three distinct telephone samples - Enhanced Cell Phone, Random Digit Dialing (RDD) Cell Phone, and Landline.
Austin, TX – May 6, 2013 – Recently consumer market researchers and those who measure public
opinion have been faced with the overarching dilemma of declining response rates in surveys,
especially telephone surveys. With Caller ID technologies that enable potential respondents to screen
telephone calls, in addition to the high rate of adoption of cell phones, landline samples are now less
efficient and can lead to higher project costs. “Newly released ‘enhanced’ cell phone samples offer
great potential to solve this random sampling dilemma,” according to Lyle Durbin, CEO and the study’s
Using our Telephone Interviewing Center at Customer Research International (CRI), our sister
company in San Marcos, TX, ReconMR conducted a self-funded research study to test the efficiency,
representation and any potential bias from this new telephone sample. 600 Total telephone surveys
were completed across the state of Texas, with 200 surveys completed from each of three distinct
telephone samples – Enhanced Cell Phone, Random Digit Dialing (RDD) Cell Phone, and Landline.
Data was collected and analyzed to compare response rates, cooperation rates, geographic accuracy,
and demographic representation among these three telephone sample sources.
The study’s key findings on Sampling point to the representativeness, efficiency and cost effectiveness
of cell phone samples:
• Cell phone samples (Enhanced and RDD) provided much better demographic representation compared to the landline sample.
• Specifically, respondents under the age of 25 represented 18% of the Enhanced Cell Phone sample and 20% of the RDD Cell Phone Sample, while only 4% of the Landline sample.
• Landline sample significantly overrepresented the 55 and older population at 68%, the
Enhanced Cell Phone sample contained 31% among this demographic and the RDD Cell Phone sample contained 26%.
• Racial representation was also much better, with both cell phone samples containing twice as many Hispanic respondents as the landline sample.
Demographically, the enhanced cell phone sample closely matches the RDD cell phone, with very few
differences noted. Furthermore, enhanced cell phone sample has a much higher response rate and
• Approximately 12% of the Enhanced Cell Phone list achieved a completed survey, compared with 6% for both the RDD Cell Phone sample and Landline sample.
• Although the Enhanced Cell Phone list is more expensive, this higher efficiency will keep pricing in-line with traditional landline studies.
The enhanced cell phone sample proved very accurate for targeting geographies on the zip code level.
• 74% of zip codes indicated on the Enhanced Cell Phone sample were accurate, compared with only a 10% accuracy rate on the RDD cell phone list.
• This represents a major breakthrough for consumer studies in particular, allowing small
geographies to be targeted for cell phone surveying. Previously, cell phone surveys were limited
to a county-level target, with only a 55% incidence of the respondent residing within the desired
ReconMR is an Austin-based marketing research firm that consults with the leading brands on custom research solutions to fuel their growth. The firm is focused on enterprise clients’ primary research needs for strategic decision-making and prides itself on blending sound marketing science and innovative research designs in its hands-on work. ReconMR is a full-service agency ready to address the toughest questions with both consumer and business decision-makers and provide innovative approaches that guide decision-making in the highest levels of large organizations, including Technology companies and Retailers. For more information, visit www.reconmr.com or call (877) ReconMR (732-6667).