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AIP's Answers to ESOMAR26

Company Profile

1.What experience does your company have with providing online samples for market research?
 
  AIP has been a pioneer in online marketing research for the Asian region since 1999. We are one of the first companies to offer panels across Asia to international clients. Our client portfolio includes some of the top ten global market research agencies. With over a decade of experience conducting online research in Asia, you will be able to utilize our knowledge and insight of local cultures and behaviors, to bring you prompt and reliable answers.

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Sample Source

 
2.Please describe and explain the types of source(s) for the online sample that you provide (are these databases, actively managed panels, direct marketing lists, web intercept sampling, river sampling or other)?
 
  AIP's core products, its panels (AIP ONLINE SURVEYS), are actively managed to provide industries with credible and quality responses that are representative of all demographics. To this end, river sampling and web intercept sampling are not employed. AIP’s dedicated panel management team is solely focused on developing and maintaining active respondents and implementing our unique quality control standards. In addition to our own AIP panels, we partner with high-quality online sampling service providers in several Asian countries. AIP will inform its clients in the event we work with a sampling partner.
 
3.What do you consider to be the primary advantage of your sample over other sample sources in the marketplace?
 
  Combining AIP's proprietary managed panels and global fieldwork experience, we efficiently and effectively expand your business capabilities in Asia and beyond, providing the full package for your online market research needs. Our team is composed of dedicated and experienced multi-national/lingual specialists who are fully focused on meeting your goals and expectations. Their knowledge and insight into local markets and cultures ensure we offer you the right solutions, making seemingly complex cultural issues simple and logical. This is offered in the form of free language, cultural and logic feedback on all surveys. We actively continue to expand our offering of products, including internet Home-Use Test (iHUT) surveys and Online Focus Groups. In addition to our managed panels, we also offer specialty managed panels.
 
4.If the sample source is a panel or database, is the panel or database used solely for market research? If not, please explain.
 
  Yes. AIP ONLINE SURVEYS panels are used solely for market research purposes. Members will not be approached, for any telemarketing or direct marketing activities, under any circumstance. Members are assured of this upon registration.
 
5.How do you source groups that may be hard-to-reach on the internet?
 
  AIP operates proprietary online panels in several countries, employing various recruiting methodologies to attract hard-to-reach demographic groups. In addition to consumer panels, AIP offers specialty panels in Asia focusing on “in-demand” and difficult -to-reach respondents. Premium panels include IT decision-makers (ITDM), B2B, travelers, kids, finance, automotive, and other difficult to reach audiences. In addition, AIP maintains partnerships with high-quality panel providers in countries that are often difficult to sample.

We source our panels from portals that are not biased towards any particular demographic and thus reflective of general market opinion. We regularly review our partnerships with these sources in order to maintain the high level of quality we demand.
 
6.What are people told when they are recruited?
 
  AIP panelists are asked to provide their honest opinions for business and marketing purposes, and the community is based on the fundamental belief of the integrity of panelists. Panelists are informed that participation will be rewarded. These rewards include payments in the local currency and coupons redeemable for gifts. In exchange for these rewards, respondents are required to abide by the terms of the member agreement, which can be found online at our website.
(An example of our India panel site: http://in.aipsurveys.com/en/member/).

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Panel Recruitment

 
7.If the sample comes from a panel, what is your annual panel turnover/attrition/retention rate and how is it calculated?
 
  If a member has not responded to a survey within the past 12 months, it is AIP’s policy to remove him/her from AIP's targetable panel.

We constantly maintain attrition and retention rates. As these statistics are constantly changing, they will be provided on a per-request basis.
 
8.Please describe the opt-in process.
 
  To join AIP ONLINE SURVEYS, registrants must undergo a double opt-in process. Any registrant who wishes to join will be asked to fill in a preliminary registration form. A link is then sent to his or her registered e-mail address. A registrant will access the link, proceeding to the main registration page. Once this process has been completed, the registrant becomes a member.
 
 
9.Do you have a confirmation of identity procedure? Do you have procedures to detect fraudulent respondents at the time of registration with the panel? If so, please describe.
 
 

AIP employs strict, on-going quality control practices to identify and remove questionable bad data, both upon registration and during periodic cleaning. These include but are not limited to:

  • Screening for registered information that is likely authored by the same individual (e.g. johndoe01@yahoo.com, johndoe02@yahoo.com);
  • Comparing multiple sources of information to identify duplicate registrations (e.g. same name, address, phone number);
  • Noting suspicious data for future reference;
  • Conducting 'trap' surveys to spot dishonest/click happy respondents;
  • Conducting sign-up surveys upon registration to add as an extra layer of screening;
  • Removing invalid e-mails and inactive members;
  • Cleaning data (data collection projects only).

For example, in South Korea, it is a prerequisite to provide their Korean social security ID number upon registration, which can then be checked against official Korean government records. AIP is also implementing a verification method collecting I-PIN (Internet Personal Identification Number) of each registered member, which is a commercial alternative to the Resident Registration Number used in South Korea for online identification.

In China, members are required to provide their ID number. Furthermore, methods to verify identity via SMS are also implemented to increase the verification authenticity for China.

 
10.What profile data is kept on panel members? For how many members is this data collected and how often is this data updated?
 
  AIP maintains basic demographic and profile information for all members of our panels. Further personal information can be submitted by members, including home internet connection, use of game consoles, and car ownership. Compulsory data is collected on all registered members, and they are required to renew their information at least once a year.
 
11.What is the size and/or the capacity of the panel, based on active panel members on a given date? Can you provide an overview of active panelists by type of source?
 
  AIP's network of panels is comprised of more than 7 million members in 44 countries. Please request our panel books for details.

An active member sourced from one of our proprietary managed panels is defined as follows: A registrant who has completed the double opt-in process to become a member of AIP ONLINE SURVEYS in the past 12 months, or a member who has logged into their 'My Page' (exclusive page for members) at least once in the past 12 months. Samples can also be sourced from partner panels which are chosen by AIP in accordance to strict quality standards.

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Panel and Sample Management

 
12.Please describe your sampling process including your exclusion procedures if applicable. Can samples be deployed as batches/replicates, by time zones, geography, etc? If so, how is this controlled?
 
  AIP's mailing out system enables us to deploy samples in batches/replicates by time zones and geography. We apply randomized deployment, unless the projects are re-contact types. For re-contact surveys, we are able to invite respondents who have taken part in previous versions of a survey. We can also de-duplicate or exclude members who have completed a previous version of the survey. Further, we can set pre-screening notices to notify respondents of software that might be necessary to take part in a survey (e.g. Flash Media player, a specific web-browser, etc.).
 
13.Explain how people are invited to take part in a survey. What does a typical invitation look like?
 
  AIP's panelists are typically invited to take part in a survey via an email invitation. The invitation includes the expected length of time required to answer the questionnaire, number of points that will be rewarded, and links to the privacy policy, member agreement form, and Q&A portal. Special invitations are also sent out for internet Home-Use Test (iHUT), surveys requiring parental referral/approval and any other types of specialized surveys.
 
14.Please describe the nature of your incentive system(s). How does this vary by length of interview, respondent characteristics, or other factors you may consider?
 
 

AIP panel members receive incentives for their participation in AIP-run surveys in the form of EPoints. These EPoints can be converted to cash, gift vouchers, online vouchers and donations. Members can convert their EPoints after having accumulated a predetermined basic EPoint value (this differs across each managed panels). Incentive value is determined by the length of the online survey.

 
15.How often are individual members contacted for online surveys within a given time period? Do you keep data on panelist participation history and are limits placed on the frequency that members are contacted and asked to participate in a survey?
 
  The AIP mailing out system randomly sends invitations to members. As such, we do not apply limits to the frequency of a member's participation. If a survey requires the exclusion of previous participants of past surveys on the same topic, we advise our clients to add a screenout question that will have the same function. By client request, we are also able to de-duplicate or exclude members who have already participated in previous versions of the same survey.

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Policies and Compliance

 
16.Is there a privacy policy in place? If so, what does it state? Is the panel compliant with all regional, national and local laws with respect to privacy, data protection and children e.g. EU Safe Harbour, and COPPA in the US? What other research industry standards do you comply with e.g. ICC/ESOMAR International Code on Market and Social Research, CASRO guidelines etc.?
 
  Our privacy policy is displayed prominently at the below URL. Members also have access to the policy from their account.
http://www.aip-global.com/EN/policy.html.

AIP complies with all regional, national and local laws with respect to privacy, confidentiality, and children.

Personal information is stored in Japan, where stringent privacy laws are implemented. Specifically, AIP panels ascribe to the Japan Marketing Research Association's stipulation on private information protection ("Guidelines for Personal Information Protection in the Marketing Research Industry" and the "Code of Conduct of Marketing Research"). AIP also subscribes to the Privacy Mark System, with each panel site holding the status. A detailed description of the system is available at http://privacymark.org/. Continued retention requires a privacy information protection standard audit every 2 years. In addition, we are members of and adhere to the privacy information protection regulations of several regional and international market research organizations, including ESOMAR and its "ICC/ESOMAR Code".
 
17. What data protection/security measures do you have in place?
 
 

AIP employs strict data protection/security measures to safeguard respondent information. Different security measures are employed depending on when private information was acquired:

  • Registration: AIP ensures that information being supplied by new members is protected by [Encryption Communication Technologies (SSL)];
  • Storage of private information: AIP uses a [Site Authentication System] which prevents unauthorized access;
  • Private information management: AIP appoints a privacy information officer who, together with our panel managers, is tasked to managing the acquired private information of members. They are also in charge of dispensing private information to third parties such as clients. In rare circumstances, when clients require access to this information to ensure the validity of a survey, we will require our client to sign a non-disclosure agreement with AIP.

In addition, all AIP employees who have access to panel members’ private information undertake a privacy policy seminar and sign a non-disclosure agreement with AIP as well.

 
18. Do you apply a quality management system? Please describe it.
 
 

AIP’s quality management system makes use of area-specific laws and norms. We also run yearly trap surveys to assess panel quality. Data quality is assured on every survey we run with AIP’s proprietary panels.

For sampling-only projects, we encourage clients to inform us of respondents who provide substandard answers. This data is used for future reference, in order to screen out offending respondents. For data collection projects, we offer detailed, project-based quality control, including checks for:

  • Duplicate IP addresses;
  • Click-through patterns;
  • Speedsters;
  • Contradictory answers; and
  • Nonsensical answers on Open- ended questions.
 
19. Do you conduct online surveys with children and young people? If so, please describe the process for obtaining permission.
 
  AIP does conduct surveys of children. However, registration is only for those aged 16 or above. Children's participation is typically obtained via referral invitations wherein a parent is invited to have their children participate in our surveys under their supervision.

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Partnerships and Multiple Panel Partnership

 
20. Do you supplement your samples with samples from other providers? How do you select these partners? Is it your policy to notify a client in advance when using a third party provider? Do you de-duplicate the sample when using multiple sample providers?
 
 

AIP has proprietary managed panels in all key Asian markets. We prioritize the use of these panels in carrying out surveys in these markets. Because of this, we prevent duplicate participation of members in the same surveys. AIP also employs CROP DUSTER(R) technology at the point of registration and on all internal surveys to ensure that there are no duplicate respondents.

Delivering the samples that we promise to our client is our top priority at AIP. For difficult surveys (e.g. those with low IRs), we keep the option of using partner panels in tandem with ours. In these cases, we inform and require the permission of our clients.

When working with partners, various factors are taken into consideration in deciding who we work with in markets where we don’t have our own panels. Some of these considerations include; a partner’s membership in local or regional market research organizations and their adherence to these organizations’ sampling standards. We also confer to these partners AIP’s very high standards in sampling. As mentioned in Item 1, we have had the privilege of being the pioneer in online research in Asia. This gives us the advantage of having formed exclusive or close partnerships with local sample providers who are also pioneers of online sampling in their respective markets. In markets where we don’t have our own panels, it is AIP policy not to use multiple partners, with the exception of when a survey is again very difficult to finish (e.g. due to low IR). This lessens duplicated participation in a survey for which we provide samples. In addition to ensuring de-duplication, we also encourage our clients to employ a cookies meter and digital fingerprinting technology.

 
21. Do you have a policy regarding multi-panel membership? What efforts do you undertake to ensure that survey results are unbiased given that some individuals belong to multiple panels?
 
  No, we do not have a policy regarding multi-panel membership, particularly as we prioritize the use of our own panels. To prevent cross-panel participation, we recommend our clients use their own cookies limiter to prevent duplicate survey participation by respondents. AIP utilizes CROP DUSTER (R) technology to ensure that panelists are unique between panels.

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Data Quality and Validation

 
22. What are likely survey start rates drop-out and participation rates in connection with a provided sample? How are these computed?
 
 
  • Start or access rate: dividing the number of members who enter our survey site and click the links by the number of invitations sent;
  • Response rate: the number of accesses minus drop-outs, divided by the number of invitations sent.

Fluctuations in response rate vary across our panels, ranging from 14%-55%. Fluctuations in response rate can be attributed to seasonal shifts, national holidays such as the Chinese Lunar New Years. For further information on response rates, please consult one of our project managers.

 
23. Do you maintain individual level data such as recent participation history, date of entry, source, etc., on your panelists? Are you able to supply your client with a per job analysis of such individual level data?
 
  AIP records all data involving an individual member’s participation in each survey. This is available upon request, conditioned upon its relevance to a particular survey or client.
 
24. Do you use data quality analysis and validation techniques to identify inattentive and fraudulent respondents? If yes, what techniques are used and at what point in the process are they applied?
 
 

AIP is acutely aware of the issue of data quality, and thus places a particular emphasis on maintaining the integrity of our data. As mentioned, we encourage clients to provide us with all cases where data has been deemed inappropriate, particularly those listed in Item 18. These respondents are placed on AIP’s fraud tracking list, and the appropriate action is taken depending on the severity and frequency of offence. We also run trap surveys yearly. Those panelists who provide fraudulent answers are marked with a “Watch status” and their further actions are placed under increased scrutiny. If panelists receive 3 marks of fraudulent responses, they will be put into a “Black List” whereby they can no longer take part in any surveys.

As mentioned in Item 18, for data collection projects, we offer project-based quality control measures, including checks for:
  • Duplicate IP addresses;
  • Click-through patterns;
  • Speedsters;
  • Contradictory answers; and
  • Nonsensical answers on Open- ended questions.
 
25. Do you measure respondent satisfaction?
 
  Yes, AIP regularly measures the satisfaction of our respondents. Specifically, we believe that respondent satisfaction is in correlation with quality data. Hence, we are always exploring ways to deliver an increasingly pleasing respondent experience. Furthermore, satisfaction surveys are periodically implemented to identify potential areas of improvement.
 
26. What information do you provide to debrief your client after the project has finished?
 
  AIP provides, upon request, metrics and variables that might be pertinent to the survey, including gross sample, start/access rate, participation/response rate, drop-out rate, and incidence rate at the conclusion of a survey. When necessary, we also provide demographic information to clients after a survey if the client opted not to ask these as part of the screener questions. This is conditioned on not violating our privacy policy.
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