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AskingCanadians announces the launch of the AskingPets panel

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New panel responds to growth in the online pet consumer goods industry

(Toronto, ON) April 1, 2014 – Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Last year, the online pet consumer goods industry grew by three per cent in Canada. In response, AskingCanadians, an online data collection firm with access to 600,000 Canadians, has developed the AskingPets panel, the first of its breed.

The move is expected to shift previous qualitative pet research to a more quantitative approach by contacting pets directly, which has researchers salivating in Pavlovian-like fashion.

This custom panel was developed by targeting existing pet owners and getting their pets to double-opt in to participate in online surveys.

“For years we’ve been targeting teens through parents. Targeting pets through owners is the logical next step,” said Raj Manocha, Vice President of AskingCanadians. Experts are quick to point out that response rates among pets are higher than male teens particularly where dogs are concerned. Manocha added, “Dogs have an innate sense to please their masters, whereas most teens wallow in inexperience and apathy.”

Pet composition on the panel is as such:

The move comes at a time where technology is ripe for this kind of research. In an era of smartphones and mobile tablets, pets can now choose the products they prefer directly instead of pet owners having to make the purchase only to waste money on a toy a pet never uses. This is expected to save pet-owners between $300-$500 per year and Chihuahua owners $1,250 annually. The CPIs are quite competitive because the incentive-based system is chicken feed—in some cases literally.

In an attempt to improve response rates, advanced targeting practices are used. For example, sample is sent out to cats at roughly 3 to 5 a.m., during the hours when they are most awake and a pain in the ass. Notifications of a survey are accompanied by the sound of an automatic can opener which drives felines to the survey.

One area that still needs refinement is the tropical fish segment. Researchers have expressed concern about how certain aquariums and water bends light so that the accuracy of the data collected comes into question. One researcher states, “With light refracted through glass and water, how can we be sure of the accuracy of the data in regards to shelf tests, card sorts and hotspot exercises? How do we know the fish meant to choose that?”

The great value add of this panel is an ongoing forum in which pets can discuss changes in the workplace. An online focus group/chat room affectionately referred to as “The Hydrant” is where pets can provide free feedback about developments in the pet consumer goods marketplace. Researchers are invited to start threads based on specific products to gain traditional qualitative insight on pet products. The panel is expected to grow significantly over the next 12 years before having to be put down.

For more information about the AskingPets panel, please visit www.askingpets.com.