Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) today announced the launch of Forrester’s Ultimate Consumer Panel™ (Ultimate), a single-source, opt-in, highly secure panel that electronically captures online and offline behavior from a representative group of more than 10,000 US households. Clients including MasterCard and Household Credit Card Services use Ultimate data and analysis to better understand current and prospective customers, hone marketing strategies and messages, predict adoption for new products and services, and gain intelligence on their market landscapes.

“Creating Ultimate was a natural progression for Forrester. For years, we have done research on how and why consumers buy and adopt technology,” said Michael E. Gazala, senior vice president, Forrester Data. “Today, we are able to go beyond fielding surveys and use technology to change the way consumer research is done. With Ultimate, we can observe actual consumer behavior — from the transactions on their credit cards to the minutes used on their wireless plans.”

The Ultimate Difference

With the stakes of marketing success increasing, the demand for more insightful market research continues to grow. Surveying alone cannot answer marketers’ toughest questions. Because Ultimate passively tracks the actual behavior of a consistent panel over time, Forrester’s data analysts collect and analyze information that is more accurate and timely than self-reported survey results and diary panels. With Ultimate, credit card issuers, for example, can gain competitive intelligence that historically has been difficult to attain — information like marketplace policies on late fee charges and actual data about how pricing changes affect consumer behavior.

With Ultimate, Forrester leverages multiple technologies to capture a vast amount of offline and online behavior. Forrester achieves these results while adhering to a strong privacy policy under which the anonymity of each panelist is maintained. Ultimate captures three types of data from its panelists:

  • 24,000 electronic monthly statements — including valuable credit rating information like credit scores and detailed data from a growing number of statements and bills that currently stands at more than 8,000 credit card statements, 2,800 bank account statements, and 2,500 wireless and 3,700 residential phone bills.
  • Online behavior and activities — daily Web behavior, including the URL for every site online panelists visit and what they do on those sites.
  • Survey data — based on bimonthly surveys fielded with panelists, we collect data about their demographics, attitudes, products they own, media consumption, retail behaviors, technology profile, and a range of other topics.

Ultimate’s Industry Insights

Ultimate’s data and analysis of actual credit card and bank transactions, Web site clickstream behavior, and consumers’ survey responses answer key questions, such as wallet share across credit card products, consumer spending levels at leading US retailers, and the link between online and offline purchasing and account activity.

Currently, Ultimate provides credit card issuers, retail banks, multichannel retailers, and telecom companies with the data and analysis necessary to build a complete view of their clients and prospects. Ultimate answers the following types of questions:

Credit Card Networks/Issuers

  • What behaviors trigger APR changes for customers?
  • How do cardholders use other providers’ cards?
  • Who is transferring balances from one card to another?
  • How do different card loyalty and reward programs motivate consumers?

Retail Banks

  • How do different product offerings — such as free checking or free bill payment — motivate consumers? Do they attract profitable customers?
  • How can I identify which of my customers I am most at risk of losing? Why are they at risk?
  • How can I get more of my customers to use electronic banking services?
  • How can I increase the effectiveness of my cross-selling and pricing strategies?

Multichannel Retailers

  • How often and why do consumers opt to buy from my competitor — online or offline?
  • How does online behavior relate to online and offline purchases?
  • What kind of returns are my competitors getting from their online efforts?
  • How do the demographics, spending patterns, and behavior of my customers compare with my competitors’ customers?

Telecom Companies

  • What additional services — such as text messaging, international calling plans, ring tones, and games — are consumers buying? From which providers?
  • Among telecom, cable, and satellite companies, who’s winning the battle to offer broadband services to consumers?
  • Which consumers are shifting calls from residential to wireless offerings?
  • How are consumers’ telecom budgets allocated? Which services and providers are winning — and which are losing?

Ultimate is a part of Forrester’s suite of data offerings. Forrester’s Data products focus on understanding how consumers and businesses think about and make decisions, including purchasing habits, spending plans, technology attitudes, and adoption trends. Forrester’s range of Data products include Consumer Technographics®, Business Technographics, Custom Consumer Research, and Forrester’s Ultimate Consumer Panel.