CONSUMER RESEARCH Consumer Research Paradigms Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Descriptive in nature. Enables marketers to “predict” consumer behavior. Research methods include experiments, survey techniques, and observation. Findings are descriptive, empirical and generalizable. Positivism A consumer behavior research approach that regards the consumer behavior discipline as an applied marketing science. Its main focus is on consumer decision making. Qualitative Research Consists of depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, and projective techniques. Administered by highly trained intervieweranalysts. Findings tend to be subjective. Findings not usually generalizable Small sample sizes. Interpretivism A postmodernist approach to the study of consumer behavior that focuses on the act of consuming rather than on the act of buying. The Consumer Research Process The six major steps in the consumer research process are: defining the objectives of the research collecting and evaluating secondary data designing a primary research study collecting primary data analyzing the data preparing a report on the findings The Consumer Research Process Develop Objectives Collect Secondary Data Design Qualitative Research • Method • Screener questionnaire • Discussion guide Design Quantitative Research • Method • Sample design • Data collection instrument Conduct Research (Using highly trained interviewers) Collect Primary Data (Usually by field staff) Exploratory Study Analyze Data (Subjective) Analyze Data (Objective) Prepare Report Prepare report Developing Research Objectives Defining purposes and objectives helps ensure an appropriate research design. A statement of objectives helps to define the type and level of information needed. Secondary Data Data that has been collected for reasons other than the specific research project at hand. Collecting Secondary Data Secondary information is any data originally generated for some purpose other than the present research objectives. Provides clues and direction for the design of primary research. Primary Research Original research undertaken by individual researchers or organizations to meet specific objectives. Collected information is called Primary Data. Major Sources of Secondary Data Internal Sources Government Publications Internal sources include company profit-loss statements, balance sheets, sales figures, sales-call reports, invoices, inventory records, and prior research reports. Statistical Abstract, updated annually, provides summary data on demographic, economic, social, and other aspects of the American economy and society. Country and City Data Book, updated every three years, presents statistical information for counties, cities, and other geographical units on populations, education, employment, aggregate and median income, housing, bank deposits, retail sales, etc. Marketing Information Guide provides a monthly annotated bibliography of marketing information. Other government publications include the Annual Survey of Manufacturers; Business Statistics; Census of Manufacturers; Census of Population; Census f Retail Trade, Wholesale Trade, and Selected Service Industries; Census of Transportation; Federal Reserve Bulletin; Monthly Labor Review; Survey of Current Business; and Vital Statistics Report. Commercial Data A.C. Nielsen Company provides data on products and brands sold through retail outlets (Retail Index Services), data on television audiences (Media Research Services), magazine circulation data (Neodata Services, Inc.), etc. Market Research Corporation of America provides data on weekly family purchases of consumer products (National Consumer Panel); data on home food consumption (National Menu Census); and data on 6,000 retail, drug, and discount retailers in various geographical areas (Metro Trade Audits). Selling Areas-Marketing, Inc., provides reports on warehouse withdrawals to food stores in selected market areas (SAMI reports). Simmons Market Research Bureau provides annual reports covering television markets, sporting goods, proprietary drugs, etc., giving demographic data by sex, income, age, and brand preferences (selective markets and media reaching them). Burke Marketing Services, Inc., provides TV campaign testing in controlled marketing labs, marketing modeling, retail store audits, physiological measures of advertising stimuli, pre- and postTV copy testing, and customer survey research. Markets Facts, Inc., provides consumer mil panel, market teststore audit services, shopping mall facilities, WATS telephone interviewing, and ad hoc survey research. Other commercial research houses selling data to subscribers include the Audit Bureau of Circulation, Audits and Surveys, Dun and Bradstreet, Opinion Research, Roper-Starch, and Arbitron. Designing Primary Research Quantitative studies more likely for collecting descriptive information. Qualitative studies may be used to get new ideas. Quantitative Research Designs Method Sample Design Data Collection Instrument Data Collection Methods Observation Experimentation Surveys Observational Research Helps marketers gain an in-depth understanding of the relationship between people and products by watching them buying and using products. Helps researchers gain a better understanding of what the product symbolizes. Widely used by interpretivist researchers. Experimentation Can be used to test the relative sales appeal of many types of variables. Only one variable is manipulated at a time, keeping other elements constant. Can be conducted in laboratories or in the field. Surveys Personal Interview Mail Telephone Online Data Collection Instruments Questionnaires Personal Inventories Attitude Scales Discussion Guides Validity The degree to which a measurement instrument accurately reflects what it is designed to measure. Reliability The degree to which a measurement instrument is consistent in what it measures. Questionnaires Used primarily for quantitative research. Can be sent in the mail, or administered by interviewers in person or by telephone. Can be disguised or undisguised as to its true purpose. Questions can be open-ended or closed-ended. Attitude Scales The three most frequently used scales are: Likert scales: easy for researchers to prepare and interpret, and simple for consumers to answer. Semantic differential scales: relatively easy to construct and administer. Rank-order scales: subjects rank items in order of preference in terms of some criteria. Example of a Likert Scale Please place the number that best indicates how strongly you agree or disagree with each of the following statements about shopping on-line in the space to the left of the statement. 1 = Agree Strongly 2 = Agree 3 = Neither Agree or Disagree 4 = Disagree 5 = Disagree Strongly _____ a. It is fun to shop online. _____ b. Products often cost more on-line than they are worth. _____ c. It is a good way to find out about new products. _____ d. I’m afraid to give out my credit card number on-line. _____ e. I can shop whenever I want--even at 2 o’clock in the morning. _____ f. Some Web sites really encourage you to browse. _____ g. It’s easy to compare different makes and models one-line. Rank-Order Scales A. Please rank the following e-mail providers in terms of ease of access by placing a 1 in front of the service you think is best, a 2 alongside the second best, and continuing until you have ranked all six service providers. _____ America Online _____ Netscape _____ Microsoft Explorer _____ AT&T Worldnet _____ Juno _____ Erols B. Rank the following computer manufacturers in terms of hotline help by placing a 1 next to the one who provides the best telephone help a 2 next to the second best, until you have ranked all six. _____ IBM _____ Dell _____ Compaq _____Hewlett Packard _____ Gateway _____ NEC Qualitative Data Collection Methods Depth Interviews Focus Groups Projective Techniques Metaphor Analysis Depth Interviews A lengthy non structured interview between a respondent and a highly trained interviewer. Interviewer minimizes his or her own participation after establishing the general subject matter. Can provide marketers with valuable ideas about product design and provide insights for positioning or repositioning the product. Focus Group A qualitative research method in which about eight to ten persons participate in an unstructured group interview about a product or service concept. Focus Groups Consists of 8 to 10 respondents who meet with a moderator-analyst for a focused group discussion. Respondents encouraged to discuss their interests, attitudes, reactions, motives, lifestyles, feelings about the product or product category, usage experience, etc. Respondents recruited on the basis of consumer profiles, based on specifications defined by marketing management. Projective Techniques Research procedures designed to identify consumers’ subconscious feelings and motivations. These tests often require consumers to interpret ambiguous stimuli such as incomplete sentences, cartoons, or inkblots. Projective Techniques Consist of a variety of disguised “tests” that contain ambiguous stimuli. Sometimes administered as part of a focus group, but usually used with depth interviews. The theory is that respondents’ inner feelings influence how they perceive stimuli. Metaphor Analysis Based on belief that metaphors are the most basic method of thought and communication. Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) combines collage research and metaphor analysis to bring to the surface the mental models and the major themes or constructs that drive consumer thinking and behavior. Consumer values also play an important role in understanding consumer behavior. Sampling Plan Decisions Whom to survey? How many? How to select them? Analysis Qualitative Research: Moderator or test administrator usually analyzes responses. Quantitative Research: Researcher supervises the analysis. Open-ended responses are coded and quantified Responses are tabulated and analyzed Conducting A Research Study Researchers often adapt the research process to the special needs of the study. Together with the marketing manager, the researcher specifies the parameters of the population to be studied. A qualitative study might be undertaken first to gather information about the target population's attitudes and concerns about certain items. Then a quantitative study may be conducted to confirm and attach “hard” numbers to the findings.