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RESEARCH FAQ

1.- Why is research important?

2.- Why was this particular consumer contacted by a research company?

3.- Why should people participate in research projects?

4.- How do I know it's research when I pick up the phone?

5.- Who sponsors research studies?

6.- Who has time for research?

7.- How does Scarborough obtain people's telephone numbers?

8.- How do consumers know that the information will be kept confidential?

1.- Why is research important?

It is not practical, of course, that companies survey every person in every area of the country. We have to select a cross-section of households that represent all the other households that won't be called. Therefore, consumers' answers are vital to the study because they are the only voice of all those other households as well. Once a household has been selected for a study, another household cannot be substituted. It only takes 15-20 minutes to be that representative that is heard.
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2.- Why was this particular consumer contacted by a research company?

Americans have always given input to the various areas of their lives; it is what we expect in our society. We let our elected politicians know what we want them to do in the government area. We let our school boards know how we'd like our children educated. And we let companies know what products or services we don't like by not buying them. Well, newspapers, radio and TV stations need to know people's opinions on what they like in their viewing, reading and listening. Research studies like this give consumers a chance to give their input on what they read in the paper, listen to on the radio, and see on TV.
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3.- Why should people participate in research projects?

Each household has been randomly selected by our computer program to represent thousands in that area as part of our yearly report on radio listening, TV viewing, and newspaper reading. Once a household has been selected, we cannot substitute someone else. This is the consumer's chance to express his/her preferences on what they see on TV, hear on the radio, and read in the newspaper.
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4.- How do I know it's research when I pick up the phone?

This is a good question: many telemarketers start their calls by asking questions, then switch to selling a service or product. A legitimate consumer survey research company will always start be telling the consumer who they are and why they are calling. If someone wants to make sure at the beginning of a call whether they are talking to a telemarketer or a research company, they should stop the caller and ask their ultimate purpose of the call. Ask the person to explain what his or her company does, and what the outcome of the call will be.

To confirm that Scarborough is a research company and not a telemarketing company, please visit our website, www.Scarboroughsurveys.com, or call our toll-free consumer number, 1-800-753-6043. Both places will provide information about the research we do. You can also visit the Marketing Research Association website at http://www.mra-net.org/.
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5.- Who sponsors research studies?

Our clients are media companies such as radio stations, newspapers, and TV stations, and consumers' answers are merged with hundreds of other peoples' answers. Answers are only released to clients at a group level, and no one individual's answers are ever identified.
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6.- Who has time for research?

Consumers' time is valuable, but equally valuable are their opinions about what's available to consumers. That is why we ask people to take time out of their hectic schedule to talk about what in newspapers/radio/TV is of interest and value to them.
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7.- How does Scarborough obtain people's telephone numbers?

Phone numbers are chosen randomly by a computer program. The program takes the numbers 0-9 and makes random combinations which are then added to the telephone exchange in specific areas to produce the numbers we dial.
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8.- How do consumers know that the information will be kept confidential?

Individual responses are combined with those of other people in that area. Individual answers are not given out to anyone. The overall information helps companies understand which groups watch, read, and listen to certain types of media.
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