The U.S. test marketing scene and a new test marketing methodology for capturing all panelist purchases

Date of publication: June 15, 1988

Company: Burke, Inc.

Author: Lynn Y.S. Lin


The U.S. test marketing scene has been going through revolutionary changes since 1980 with the advent of electronic technology with high powered minicomputers. It is now possible to collect supermarket laser scanner sales data, TV viewing patterns, packaged good purchase histories and household demographics into a single (household) source database. These data enables us for the first time to realistically evaluate the cause-and-effect relationship of many marketing variables such as advertising weight and scheduling, promotional synergy, commercial copy quality and their relationship to sales. There are three major suppliers of these test marketing services in the U.S. These are Information Resources, Inc., SAMI/Burke Inc. and A.C. Neilsen. The second part of this paper presents a new test marketing technology provided by SAMI/Burke’s Test Marketing Group for capturing all panelist purchases through a supplementary data wand. In SAMI/Burke’s ViewScan markets, panelists use the data wand at home to supplement purchase records gathered in scanner grocery stores by means of a scan wand. Data obtained through this combined method are presented and comparison made with respect to store scanner only data to show the significant improvement on data quality and coverage, especially in health and beauty aids and over-the-counter drug categories.

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