The Monday buzz at The Market Research Event was all about a presentation by Taco Bell about how they are using Facebook to conduct low-cost online qualitative research.
I admit that I was not able to attend the presentation. Apparently, Taco Bell has developed a Facebook site that is separate from typical Facebook pages and is not searchable by the Internet search engines. Within this space, they have developed a small community of people who “like” Taco Bell. This community of 300 or so people become their research panel.
Taco Bell on-staff moderators recruit participants to do online qualitative research quickly and at a fraction of the cost of outsourcing.
The conference buzz occurs because Taco Bell, its marketers and its researchers have embraced Facebook and conducting internal research at a lower price, even with traditional researchers’ concerns over a lack sampling accuracy, representativeness and objectivity.
I’m reporting this second-hand because I did not attend the presentation but I do find it fascinating and an indicator of things to come. If you have first-hand info or additional insights, please comment.