Chapter 2: The consumer Research Process

Secondary Information
Information already collected for some other purpose other than the present research.

Saves time and money; provides a sounder starting point and sometimes even answers the full question. However, it could also be categorized differently than what they might have picked.

A) Internal secondary data
B) External secondary data

Primary Research
1.) Qualitative
2).) Quantitative

New research, especially designed and collected for purposes of a current research problem.

Qualitative Research
Rooted in psychoanalytics and psychology; opened ended, free response
Focus groups, and depth interviews, and specific associated research approaches. However because this method uses a small sample size, it cannot be used to generalize the overall population.

Must consider the purpose of the study, type of interviews, types of research methods.
ex new ideas for company projects, re-positioning, etc.

Quantitative Research
Observational &exploratory research, experimentation, survey research and their associated research approaches for collecting information from consumers.

ex. how many target customers are in area, who uses the product, acceptance of a new brand,frequency of use, levels of satisfaction, finding a niche,

1) experimentation
2) Survey
3) Observation.

The Consumer Research Process
1) Defining the objective of the studies
2) collecting and evaluating secondary data
3) Designing a primary research study
4) Collecting Primary data
5) Analyzing the data
6) Prepare a report on the findings
Exploratory Study
This takes places before a quantitative study and the researcher does not know what questions to ask.

ex focus group sessions, in depth 1-1 interviews,

Customer lifetime value profiles
Information (sales audit, customer service calls, letters, warranty data) collected previously by the company that are organized in profiles or segments- to determine the profits and costs associated with a particular customer. (and the expected duration of that customer)
External Public Data
Information for outside sources that are available for free (public information) or for a nominal fee. ( business journals, publishing newspapers, books, etc)

Also helps keep a pulse of consumer’s tastes in current industries.

Examples include the marketing whitebook, the national council of applied economic research, Hansa research group, AC nielson, pathfinders india, proquest, lexisnexis, wallstreet journal, NY times, Business week, forbes, Fortune, Havard business review, advertising age, brandweek, marketing news, journal of marketing, journal of marketing research, journal of consumer research, European Journal Marketing,

Portable People meters
PDA size devices that a person would carry, that would monitor all exposed advertising ( including outside advertising)
Consumer Panels
Boxes that are put in compensated consumer’s homes to record their television viewing habits whilst the advertisers pay a subscription fee to see these results.

This also applies to websites that can use information posted by customers to submit messages to other marketers interested in selling products to that type of consumer.

Motivational Researches
Those the rejected the basic economic assumption that consumers act rationally, objectively evaluate goods & services, and select the one with the most bang for the buck.

Consumers they argued, are not always aware of why they buy things, and if they are, they may not want to admit it to themselves or others.

ex People buy Harleys to feel young

Earnest Dichter
Father of motivational research, 1930’s, 50’s & 60’s. using Freudian psychoanalytics with focus groups & interviews to see how consumers tick,
Depth Interview
1-to-1 interview (20-60 mins long) between person & interview, try to get the person to talk as much as possible (probe the person) ; shows ideas, sketches, etc. and see the person’s reactions.
Focus Groups
8-10 People who meet with a moderator to “focus” or “explore” on a product or category, discuss reactions, new advertising or communication campaigns.
analysis takes a highly trained person with both audio and video training; observed using 1 way mirrors
Screener Questioner
A list of questions that weeds out certain factors that they do not want in their survey, these characteristics determine whether or not the subject is within the target market.
Projective Techniques
This method taps into the underlying motives of individual; this is used to study the unconscious associations of consumers. common in depth interviews..

ex. incomplete sentences, ink blots, connect the dots, untitled pictures, word-associations, other-person characteristics, role playing, photos for storytelling etc.
Qualitative research

Metaphor Anaylsis
The belief that most communication is nonverbal (sounds music, drawings and pictures) & that people think in images but cannot express what they see in words. (or metaphors)
Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET)
The first patented marketing research tool in the United States; taking pictures from other other advertisements about the value of Advertising.
Looking-in research
A method using key phrase searches, designed to capture consumer’s experiences, opinions, forecasts, and things they wish the product had.
Observational Research
Carefully observing consumer’s actions of purchasing and consuming especially in their natural environment (whether through video tapes, mechanical or electronic devices, customer rewards cards, audits- that tell what is being sold &how much if left); shows how people purchase products and how they use them.

Tells the marketer what the product means to the consumer & brand loyalty, and any issues with the product but not WHY.

Physiological observation
Devices that monitor respondents’ patterns of information processing. (brain activity, eye focus, heartbeat, pupil dilation etc )
An test designed to see the effects of different variables on an outcome.
Manipulation of at least 1 or more variable(s): dependent variable
Controlled Experiment
This type of experimentation ensures that any difference in the outcome (dependent variable) is due to different treatments of the variable under study and not extraneous factors.
test marketing
A major application of casual research; small scale application (in a lab) to apply to the larger population
this usually includes the selection of a representative target market, then conduct a market introduction in order to test the actual response of the consumer under actual conditions.
Survey research
Asking consumers about their opinions via in person, phone, email, mail, or through the internet.
personal interview survey
usually takes place in a public area or shopping center, more commonly known as mall intercepts (and also because people do not like to allow strangers into their homes)
Telephone Interview survey
Surveys via the phone, but usually only can reach people on nights and weekends. However consumers can even turn hostile when their free time is interrupted- if they answer at all.
Mail Surveys
Using the postal service to distributing questioners to target consumers, and sending already paid postage, and return envelopes. Some consumers combat this by create lists of people willing to fill out these surveys and paying them.
E-mail surveys
One of the cheapest surveys to get the word out and easy to maintain with an accurate list of email addresses.
Online or Internet-based surveys
Target market customers are directed to the marketer’s online website. Usually uses demographics as a basis for more specific questions.

Downside: This cannot be applied to the larger population due to self-selecting and some people create internet personalities that are not the same as the ones in real life.

Used to describe an experiment that answers the questions or objectives of the research project.
Quantitative Research Collection Instruments
1) Questionnaires
2) Attitude Scales
3) Customer Satisfaction
If the same questions from the study are asked again and find similar findings it is said to be ______
This is the primary data collection instrument for quantitative research. These must be interesting, objective, unambiguous, easy to complete, and generally not burdensome. Wording and the order the questions are in are considered the most challenging aspects.

Questions include demographic information as well as information to complete the study.

(It can be disguised- hiding the true purpose or undisguised- where the purpose is clear. Questions can also open-ended- requiring the respondent to put the answer in their own words or closed-ended- simply marking a pre-determined option. )

attitude scales
Given a list of products, or product attributes, consumers must then give their opinions.
1) Likert Scales
2) Semantic Scales
3) Behavioral Intention Scale
Likert Scales
a list of questions that can be answered by some level of agreement or disagreement, able to consider the responses separately
ex measurement, instructor evaluations
Semantic Differential scale
This scale consists of a series of bipolar adjectives. usually used to measure a product and the “ideal” product

ex exploratory, image studies (publix vs win-dixie)

Rank order scale
This scale ranks items in terms of preference (Like Quality or money)
Customer Level Satisfaction
Includes both qualitative and quantitative measures
1) surveys
2) Mystery shoppers
3) complaint analysis
Customer satisfaction surveys
Measures how customers are satisfied with a product or service, usually a series of semantic differential scales.

adequate and desired performance

Mystery Shoppers
Professional observers who pose as customers and interact with and provide unbiased evaluations of the company’s service personnel to improve operations and efficiecy
Complaint analysis
a good one of these encourages customers to
1) complain about an unsatisfactory product
2) provide suggestions for improvement
3) Establish customer “listening posts” To deal with complaints.
a subset of the population that is used to estimate the characteristics of the entire population. (so it must be representative)

1) probability sample
2) non-probability sample

Probability sample
respondents are selected in such a way that every member of the population studied has a known , nonzero chance of being selected.
Non-probability sample
The population under study has been pre-determined in a nonrandom fashion to include a more diverse group of responses.

a) convenience sample
b) judgment sample
c) quota sample

Simple Random sampling
every member of the population has a known and equal chance of being selected
Systematic random sampling
A member of the population is selected at random and then every nth person is selected.
Stratified random sampling
The population is divided into mutually exclusive groups (such as an age or ethnic group) and random samples are drawn form each group.
Cluster (area) sample
The population is divided into groups and the researcher draws a sample of the group to interview
Convenience Sample
The researcher selects the most accessible population members to obtain info from.
Judgement Sample
The researcher uses his or her judgement to select who is in the sample.
Quota Sample
The researcher interviews a certain amount of people in several catagories (50 men 50 women)
Thorstein Veblen
Economist/ Sociolgist: Conscious capitalism and the benevolent conservative
John Mackey
Founder of Whole Foods
Hypothetical Constucts

lazy students= motivation (relationship)
abstract theories (nothing physical)
sources of diversity (Motivation, personal, relationships)

lifestyle vs interest

Created by observation (hypothetical); soft science
These can relationships can be obvious to one person but not to another person; trying to measure the intangible

ex motivation or intelligence

Qualitative research

3 Basic methods for collecting Primary data (Quantitative research)
Treatment effect
Influencing the dependent variable
Extraneous factors
Factors that are not expected in an experiment

ex heat wave, holidays

Mall intercepts
When a marketer approaches someone in a mall asking them to complete a survey. etc.
Open Ended Vs Closed Ended questions
Open ended: Free response, able to put one’s own response
Closed: Select from the pre-determined options, not room for explainations
Positivist Approach
Given enough data, you can predict outcomes
Interpretive Approach
Ever changing dynamics & reactions (like dna roulette)
What is the most credible source of information available to consumers when making purchase decisions?
Word of mouth/ the internet