Online consumer research firm eMarketer announced today the formation of an intensive research subdivision it calls Real Live Clicks (RLC). eMarketer has allocated considerable assets and 600 of its employees for the team, which it hopes will work to elucidate online consumer habits in a manner which no study has done before.
Beginning in late April, RLC specialists will be deployed into offices, schools, and homes around the country to study the habits of Internet users firsthand. While researchers will closely tally which websites users visit, how long they spend there, and which online ads draw their interest, they will also focus on offline behaviors such as how close their face is to the computer screen, how comfortable their chair is, what items they fiddle with, the number of trips they make to the bathroom per hour, and the number of hours they spend playing solitaire/freecell.
“We’ve reached the point where online marketing has become conscious of its two-dimensionality,” David Murrow, spokesperson for eMarketer recently told ADOTAS. “We want to help businesses understand the invisible margins of internet usage—what a typical user’s experience is framed by in the real world.”
So that they could ensure accurate and unimpeded data, the Real Live Clicks team endured a rigorous CIA training program to learn how to become wholly camouflaged within their environment. Office-environment RLC agents (nicknamed “Imposters”) will be gainfully employed, tie-wearing members of selected corporate staffs.
School-environment RLC agents (nicknamed “Narcs”) will appear to be normal, 11- to 18-year-old students. Home-environment RLC agents (nicknamed “Usurpers”) will employ seduction techniques to gain full access to observation of targeted households.