In today’s digital landscape, most of us have interacted with bots – computer programs that mimic human conversation and automate tasks. Chatbots can, for example, handle website inquiries, monitor social media channels, and collect survey data. Bots are ubiquitous and used in a variety of applications, including market research. This blog addresses frequently asked questions about bots in market research panels.
In some ways, bots are revolutionizing the market research industry. Instead of relying on traditional survey methodologies, bots can help to conduct surveys quickly and more efficiently, potentially saving clients time and money. By embedding bots on popular destinations for consumers, like social media platforms, it makes it easier for them to participate in surveys. Bots can also be used to analyze large amounts of data quickly and efficiently, providing much-needed insights in a fraction of the time. But, with the benefits come the risks.
Bots can pose several threats to the integrity and reliability of market research panels, potentially compromising data quality and the validity of insights. There are malicious bots that can pose as panelists and quickly respond to surveys, resulting in deceptive responses that do not represent the opinions of the target population.
Secondly, bots can jeopardize consumer privacy, which could lead to fraud and identity theft. Bots may collect personal data from respondents without their knowledge or consent. Concerns about data privacy and ethical research practices can damage a company’s reputation and undermine clients’ confidence in the panel's integrity.
Several methods can be used to identify bots in market research panels, including:
To combat growing concerns over bots in our market research panels, ThinkNow is doubling down on existing and new quality and security measures. Listed below are a few protocols for pre and post-registration:
Additional panel controls are used pre and post-survey to detect and deter bots, such as S2S security redirects, SHA-1 encryption redirects, device fingerprint and data reconciliation.
Bots will continue to be a growing concern in market research as artificial intelligence continues to advance. By taking steps to mitigate the risks associated with bot usage, companies can ensure that their market research data is accurate, reliable, and ethical.