Introduction to ConsumerResearch Consumer Research is a form of applied sociology that concentrates on understanding the preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of consumers in a market based economy, and it aims to understand the effects and comparative success of marketing campaigns. The field of consumer marketing research as a statistical science was pioneered by Arthur Nielsen with founding of the
Introduction to ConsumerResearch (cont..) The consumer research focuses more on the data collection and relationship building and strengthening between the contracted consumer and the company. For the action part, the company identifies the participants and fixes their problems.
Evolution of Consumer Research The early consumer researchers gave little thought to the impact of mood, emotion or situation on consumers decisions. They believed that marketing was applied economics, and that consumers were rational decision-makers who actively evaluated the goods and services available to them and selected those that gave highest utility at the lowest cost. In 1939, a Viennese psychoanalyst named Ernest Dichter began to use Freudian psychoanalyst techniques to uncover the hidden motivation of consumers which is commonly known as Motivational research that includes Qualitative and Quantitative research.
Consumer ResearchParadigms Usually customers hesitates to reveal their reasons or motivational factor which made them to purchase a product or service at that time the consumer researchers use the two different types of research methodology to study consumer behavior: quantitative research and qualitative research.
Quantitative Research It is descriptive in nature and this method is used to predict the consumer behavior. This method always consists of experiments, surveys techniques, and observations. The findings are empirical and if collected randomly this can be generalized to large populations and the data are quantitative, they lend to sophisticated statistical analysis. Designs used in Quantitative Research Observational research Experimentation Surveys
Observational research Here in this method the people or customers are observed when they are purchasing the product or using the product Mechanical observation Uses a mechanical or electronic device to record customer behavior or responses to a particular marketing stimulus.
Experimentation It is possible to test the relative sales appeal of many types of variables, such as package designs, prices promotional offers, or copy themes through experiments designed to identify cause and effect. Surveys There are various survey methods are there they are, personal interview survey telephone survey mail surveys online surveys
Qualitative research This includes depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, and projective techniques. Here sample sizes are necessarily small so we cannot generalized to larger population they are used to obtain new ideas for promotional campaigns. The important methods of data collection in this research design are depth interview, focus group, discussion guides, projective techniques and metaphor analysis. These techniques are regularly used the early stages of attitude research to pinpoint relevant product related beliefs and to develop an initial picture of consumer attitude.
Depth interview: This is a lengthy non structured interview between a respondent and highly trained interviewer, who minimizes his own participation in the discussion after establishing the general subject to be discussed Focus group: This consist of 8 to10 respondents who meet with a moderator analyst for a group discussion “focused” on a particular product or product category. Projective techniques: This is designed to tap the underlying motives of individuals despite their unconscious rationalizations or efforts at conscious concealment.
Metaphor analysis: In the 1990, a stream of consumer research emerged suggesting the most communication is non verbal and that people do not think in words but in images.
Combining qualitative andquantitative research Marketers often use a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to help make strategic marketing decisions. For Example, They use qualitative research findings to discover new ideas and to develop promotional strategy, and quantitative research findings to predict consumer reactions to various promotional inputs. The combined findings enable marketers to design more meaningful and effective marketing strategies.
Scope of Consumer Research Market Research: Determining the size of current and potential markets; Assessing the purchase trends; Assessing the strengths and weakness of the competitors offerings; Demand/Sales Forecasting Product Research: Assessing modifications needed in the product; Consumer acceptance/ rejection of the product; Comparative study of competitive products.
Advertising Research:Testing of: Advertising message and appeal; Effectiveness and add. Copy; Media Related Research; Over all effectiveness of the Ad. Pricing Research: Consumer’s price expectations and reaction to prices; Testing of alternative price strategies.
Positive Aspects Of Consumer Research Here Both consumers and marketers can benefit from consumer research. Consumers generally have better consumption experiences, and marketers can learn to build stronger relationships by paying attention to consumer research:1. Better Consumption Experiences2. Potential For Building Customer Relationships
Negative Aspects Of ConsumerResearch Consumer research is a very complex process, with a number of potentially negative aspects. These include the following difficulties:1.Tracking Consumer Behaviors In Different Countries.• Ex: Focus Group are not appropriate in all countries or U.S. marketers often put husbands and wives together in a focus group to explore attitudes toward products like furniture. However, this approach would not work in countries like Saudi Arabia where women are unlikely to speak freely and are highly unlikely to disagree with their husbands.
2.Potentially Higher Marketing Costs.3.Invasion Of Consumer Privacy.4.Deceptive Research Practices• some unscrupulous researchers may engage in deceptive practices. One such practice is lying about the sponsor of the research by, saying it is being conducted by a non-profit organization when it is really being conducted by a for profit company.