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‘Project Leapfrog’ Hops to Next Lily Pad

Arbitron tests brochures for online diaries

Arbitron shared limited results of a field test in May and June in its “Project Leapfrog,” the move to push the diary measurement service into the future with online and mobile data collection.

The company is looking to increase value of its diary measurement service in medium and small markets, areas where it may not make economic sense to migrate to the Portable People Meter for audience measurement.

With Leapfrog, the audience research firm hopes to shift away from phone-based to mail-based recruitment. Last year, the company tested whether people who were mailed a brochure would go online and register; this year, Arbitron tested different packaging approaches in five markets, with a total of about 10,000 mailings.

Initial results were encouraging; it ended up with close to 1,500 completed Web diaries, according to Arbitron VP of Product Management and Client Services Brad Feldhaus.

During a client briefing this week, he characterized Leapfrog as an experimental recruiting approach that needs more testing and refinement. “Our commitment is strong and this test reinforces that commitment.” More work is planned for 2012.