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Behaviorally-Verified Sampling vs. Self-Claimed Sampling: A Study on Data Quality, Effectiveness and Accuracy

In a time where data is abundant and time is finite, it can be easy to opt for data that is “good enough.” 84.51° embarked on a journey to understand if research could truly be “good enough.”  

New research shows that brands may be basing major business decisions on fundamentally flawed data. How? Far too many traditional surveys rely on respondents to report specific behavior that is nearly impossible for anyone to accurately recall. The research shows that 75% of self-claimed respondents misstated their purchase behavior and should not have been in the study sample.   

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In concept tests, self-claimed respondents inflated key metrics such as purchase intent and ad ratings by 22% on average versus their verified counterparts across the studied categories. That kind of gap isn't just misleading—it can tank major product launches, campaigns, and investments.

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 This research is a reminder that business excellence stems from hearing the customer’s voice. In a sea of data, brands must continually evaluate sources to glean consumer truth, not fiction.


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