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Tuesday, 10 April 2007

SMH Reader Poll - Sunday calls from pollsters...

On Tuesday 10th April the Sydney Morning Herald published an article titled 'Pollsters may still be able to ring on Sunday, like it or not.' While Taverner Research has no objection to the general content, and praises the SMH for making the clear distinction between 'market research' and 'telemarketing', Taverner is concerned that the related 'Reader Poll' leads-in with the question 'Is telemarketing okay on a Sunday for political polling?'

Philip Mitchell-Taverner, Managing Director of Taverner Research and Fellow of the Australian Market Research and Social Research Organisation (AMSRO) has responded to this affront to genuine Market Research in a letter to the editor.

In this letter, Philip points out that "... the 'poll' question cannot be answered, because (a) political polling is not telemarketing and (b) the wording of the question introduces utter bias. The question as posed is inappropriately phrased, shows a complete lack of understanding of the issues and is inconsistent with the high standing of the newspaper."

Philip goes on to explain that "The issues affecting how households respond to unsolicited calls are far too complex to be addressed in a simplistic one question 'poll'. The community has enough difficulty understanding the difference between a telemarketing and a research call without being subjected to biased and poorly phrased questions that clearly have not been written by researchers. The essence of a good question is to eliminate bias and seek answers that can truly be acted upon."

The letter goes on to point out some of the issues facing the industry and benefits to the community of Market Research surveys, and how the environment will change once the Do Not Call register is in operation.

"Sundays are a very important day for researchers to obtain survey information... It should remain that way so that we ... collect statistically based, representative information that is beneficial in so many ways. With telemarketers unable to make calls indiscriminately, as was the case, research can re-establish itself as the important information and communication source that it deserves to be."

Please contact Philip on for a copy of the entire letter.

posted by Tom Mitchell-Taverner

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Client survey – favourable results and we are applying what we learned

Toward the end of last year Taverner carried out a survey of customers from the preceding 12 months. The purpose was to seek feedback on what we do well and to identify opportunities for continual improvement.

The survey findings gave us valuable feedback on how well we work with our clients and how we compare to the industry. We were delighted with the response and we thank all those who took part.

The survey revealed that key strengths exhibited by Taverner include flexibility, responsiveness, value for money, on-time delivery and provision of useful insights right through the research process. Clients also value their relationship with our Project Managers, who they tell us display a good understanding of their research needs.

With these fundamental levels of trust bedded down, it is our goal to continue to:
□ Deliver high quality, timely and relevant research findings
□ Develop and maintain high quality personal relationships
□ Provide cost effective research that adds value to strategies.

We also discovered through the survey that clients are looking for greater innovation from the industry, providing originality that can help them stand out from the crowd. As a research organisation we understand the relevance of innovation alongside proven statistical methodology and intend to continue to seek new and innovative ways to provide these important insights.

To enhance the level of service offered to clients, Taverner now conducts an innovation forum as part of our weekly management meetings where we discuss issues related to new proposals, existing projects, and share key leanings from the previous week’s activities. Further to this, late last year, we appointed Dr Don Porritt and Dr Deborah O’Mara, both of whom have extensive experience in research design and methodology, to act as innovation consultants across all projects.

Together these measures exemplify the push for even higher levels of innovation and originality in line with client demands, which is all part of strategy and insight – being core components of the Taverner Way to Quality Research.

To provide us with further understanding of your needs and expectations, or to provide additional feedback, speak to your Project Director, or email us at

posted by Tom Mitchell-Taverner

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