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Marketing Essentials
2021
Professor Steven Litt
@StrategySteven
Ready to be a Marketing professional?
Practical Sample Criteria
©2021 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Marketers at times start a conversation about a Target in
a vague, soft way, with loose criteria, hazy descriptions,
non-measurable attributes.
Not so for Researchers when they discuss a Sample;
we must be ‘tighter’. Sample Qualifying Criteria
must uniformly, quickly & clearly clarify, for a Study,
WHO IS IN? versus WHO IS OUT?
(ie Qualifiers are a sort of simple ‘Sorting Hat’).
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Geographic Traits: eg Resident of GTA→ Geographic
traits are usually the least contentious!
But do invest some time to consider if you want resident
location, or work location (or either). Also consider if there is a
minimum length of time they need to have been a resident.
Tip: Avoid jargon! ‘Torontonian’ might be interpreted to mean
‘GTA resident’, ‘City Of Toronto’ resident, etc. Some ex-Toronto
residents living in Niagara Region, Elliot Lake or Hollywood
may still consider themselves Torontonians at heart (big shout
out to Vince Carter!)
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Demographic Traits:
‘Middle Income’: Not specific enough. And is this Personal Income or
Household Income?
‘Discretionary Income >$25,000’: do you know your ‘discretionary
income’? Avoid the jargon!
‘Gen Y’: replace this with birth years or actual age. This is a soft label,
not a qualifier
‘Lower Class’: offensive AND vague!
‘Has children at home’: How many? What age?
Tip: StatsCan and US Census Bureau may provide wise bracket
ideas and segment break ideas.
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Demographic Traits: (continued)
Are you creating your own trait brackets?
Why are you doing that?
Is ‘25 to 48 years old’ age criteria a bracket used in an important
benchmark study you am to compare against? Was it used in a
past brand study? If so, fine.
If not, then use a bracket used by StatsCanor US Census Bureau,
Statista, Vividata!
Then you can compare, extrapolate results!
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Behaviour Attributes: eg brand, category & shopping traits
‘Purchasing Power of $35 to $50’: Whaaaaat?
‘Early Adopter’- Get rid of the jargon!
‘Uses wifi’: How recently? How often? Their own wifi, or anyone’s?
‘Affinity for Gucci’: Do you mean: ‘Owns at least 2 Gucci products?’
‘Tends to enjoy ice cream’: is that “Eats ice cream 2+ times/week”?
“Grocery Buyer”: is that “Buys Most of Household’s Groceries”?
‘Prefers Bentley’? Who doesn’t? That, or a Rolls Royce, would be nice.
What do you really want to be the Sample Qualifier criteria?
‘Shops at Natural Foods stores’: How recently? How often? Might you
list a few to ensure we agree on what is defined as such? → eg
‘Has Shopped at a Natural Food Stores (eg Noah’s, Whole Foods etc) in Past 2 Months’.
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Psychographic Traits:
‘Enjoys shopping’: unless you hire the specialized Psychographic experts eg the Prizm team, it’s
more practical to qualify with behaviours than attitudes →instead of ‘Enjoys shopping’ eg try
“Shops at least monthly primarily to see what is new”
‘Category involved’: wiser to qualify with behaviours, rather than attitudes → instead try
“Do you usually read the full ingredient label before you buy a new item of Category X?”; or
“Have you asked a Store Associate for information about a Category X item in the past year?”
‘Health-conscious’: Who would NOT say so? Replace with eg if they play a competitive sport,
visit a gym 3+ times/week, how often they shop at Whole Foods, whether they exercise 4+
times a week, etc
‘Eco-conscious’: Who would NOT say they are? Consider charities they donate to, if they
participated in a community cleanup in Past 6 months, if they buy Fair Trade items, if they use
phosphate-free laundry detergent at home, etc
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study?
Final Tips on Sample Traits:
1. Be clear about whether a Study Participant must meet ONE of the
criteria or ALL of them. You may create confusion if you convey a list of
traits without a disclaimer upfront saying either
‘Participants must meet all the following criteria’ or
‘Participants qualify if they meet any of these criteria’.
If you do include a trait list, include the words ‘and’/ ‘or’ at end of each
line, to clarify!
2. Weak, hazy Sample Criteria just may signal a fine underlying idea! Just as
a badly written Research Hypothesis may conceal a fine idea for a Research
Hypothesis! Be patient: probe for what the writer was trying to get at.
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
CASE: Ready to apply the lessons?
The Marketing Assistant is preparing a Research Brief for Ontario Science Centre (OSC)
to elicit a study proposal to find: “Which GTA residents are most interested in visiting
OSC after distancing measures are lifted, and what are the key reasons for the visit?”
Learning this might help to tighten messaging, and find ‘lookalike’ prospects to reach
with new media. The Assistant brings you a draft of the Brief; it says:
“Sample: Local adults who might have kids. And people who like science (geeks).
High Income people inclined to visit local tourism sites”.
Would this work? → Alas, No, it would not.
Your challenge: Write the Sample Criteria that would apply here.
Tips: Replace vague with specific . Replace jargon with well understood wording.
Replace ‘soft’ attitude traits with specific behaviour traits that quickly help decide:
WHO IS IN? versus WHO IS OUT?
Go ahead- create your Sorting Hat!
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
SOURCES
● StrategySteven.com accessed February 5, 2021 strategysteven.com
● Litt, Steven ‘Applied Marketing Research: A Grad Student Reader’;
5th Edition, TopHat, 2020
• Steven Litt, StrategySteven.com accessed February 15, 2021
strategysteven.com
• Cover photo courtesy of Mandy S Photography
• Thanks to Jill Greenwood, Annie Pettit, Alice Paquette,
Melinda Lehman – so lucky to be inspired by such
illuminating, insightful industry professionals.
©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.

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Practical Sample Criteria litt2021

  • 1. Marketing Essentials 2021 Professor Steven Litt @StrategySteven Ready to be a Marketing professional? Practical Sample Criteria ©2021 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 2. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Marketers at times start a conversation about a Target in a vague, soft way, with loose criteria, hazy descriptions, non-measurable attributes. Not so for Researchers when they discuss a Sample; we must be ‘tighter’. Sample Qualifying Criteria must uniformly, quickly & clearly clarify, for a Study, WHO IS IN? versus WHO IS OUT? (ie Qualifiers are a sort of simple ‘Sorting Hat’). ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 3. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Geographic Traits: eg Resident of GTA→ Geographic traits are usually the least contentious! But do invest some time to consider if you want resident location, or work location (or either). Also consider if there is a minimum length of time they need to have been a resident. Tip: Avoid jargon! ‘Torontonian’ might be interpreted to mean ‘GTA resident’, ‘City Of Toronto’ resident, etc. Some ex-Toronto residents living in Niagara Region, Elliot Lake or Hollywood may still consider themselves Torontonians at heart (big shout out to Vince Carter!) ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 4. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Demographic Traits: ‘Middle Income’: Not specific enough. And is this Personal Income or Household Income? ‘Discretionary Income >$25,000’: do you know your ‘discretionary income’? Avoid the jargon! ‘Gen Y’: replace this with birth years or actual age. This is a soft label, not a qualifier ‘Lower Class’: offensive AND vague! ‘Has children at home’: How many? What age? Tip: StatsCan and US Census Bureau may provide wise bracket ideas and segment break ideas. ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 5. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Demographic Traits: (continued) Are you creating your own trait brackets? Why are you doing that? Is ‘25 to 48 years old’ age criteria a bracket used in an important benchmark study you am to compare against? Was it used in a past brand study? If so, fine. If not, then use a bracket used by StatsCanor US Census Bureau, Statista, Vividata! Then you can compare, extrapolate results! ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 6. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Behaviour Attributes: eg brand, category & shopping traits ‘Purchasing Power of $35 to $50’: Whaaaaat? ‘Early Adopter’- Get rid of the jargon! ‘Uses wifi’: How recently? How often? Their own wifi, or anyone’s? ‘Affinity for Gucci’: Do you mean: ‘Owns at least 2 Gucci products?’ ‘Tends to enjoy ice cream’: is that “Eats ice cream 2+ times/week”? “Grocery Buyer”: is that “Buys Most of Household’s Groceries”? ‘Prefers Bentley’? Who doesn’t? That, or a Rolls Royce, would be nice. What do you really want to be the Sample Qualifier criteria? ‘Shops at Natural Foods stores’: How recently? How often? Might you list a few to ensure we agree on what is defined as such? → eg ‘Has Shopped at a Natural Food Stores (eg Noah’s, Whole Foods etc) in Past 2 Months’. ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 7. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Psychographic Traits: ‘Enjoys shopping’: unless you hire the specialized Psychographic experts eg the Prizm team, it’s more practical to qualify with behaviours than attitudes →instead of ‘Enjoys shopping’ eg try “Shops at least monthly primarily to see what is new” ‘Category involved’: wiser to qualify with behaviours, rather than attitudes → instead try “Do you usually read the full ingredient label before you buy a new item of Category X?”; or “Have you asked a Store Associate for information about a Category X item in the past year?” ‘Health-conscious’: Who would NOT say so? Replace with eg if they play a competitive sport, visit a gym 3+ times/week, how often they shop at Whole Foods, whether they exercise 4+ times a week, etc ‘Eco-conscious’: Who would NOT say they are? Consider charities they donate to, if they participated in a community cleanup in Past 6 months, if they buy Fair Trade items, if they use phosphate-free laundry detergent at home, etc ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 8. Deciding who belongs in your Sample for a Research study? Final Tips on Sample Traits: 1. Be clear about whether a Study Participant must meet ONE of the criteria or ALL of them. You may create confusion if you convey a list of traits without a disclaimer upfront saying either ‘Participants must meet all the following criteria’ or ‘Participants qualify if they meet any of these criteria’. If you do include a trait list, include the words ‘and’/ ‘or’ at end of each line, to clarify! 2. Weak, hazy Sample Criteria just may signal a fine underlying idea! Just as a badly written Research Hypothesis may conceal a fine idea for a Research Hypothesis! Be patient: probe for what the writer was trying to get at. ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 9. CASE: Ready to apply the lessons? The Marketing Assistant is preparing a Research Brief for Ontario Science Centre (OSC) to elicit a study proposal to find: “Which GTA residents are most interested in visiting OSC after distancing measures are lifted, and what are the key reasons for the visit?” Learning this might help to tighten messaging, and find ‘lookalike’ prospects to reach with new media. The Assistant brings you a draft of the Brief; it says: “Sample: Local adults who might have kids. And people who like science (geeks). High Income people inclined to visit local tourism sites”. Would this work? → Alas, No, it would not. Your challenge: Write the Sample Criteria that would apply here. Tips: Replace vague with specific . Replace jargon with well understood wording. Replace ‘soft’ attitude traits with specific behaviour traits that quickly help decide: WHO IS IN? versus WHO IS OUT? Go ahead- create your Sorting Hat! ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.
  • 10. SOURCES ● StrategySteven.com accessed February 5, 2021 strategysteven.com ● Litt, Steven ‘Applied Marketing Research: A Grad Student Reader’; 5th Edition, TopHat, 2020 • Steven Litt, StrategySteven.com accessed February 15, 2021 strategysteven.com • Cover photo courtesy of Mandy S Photography • Thanks to Jill Greenwood, Annie Pettit, Alice Paquette, Melinda Lehman – so lucky to be inspired by such illuminating, insightful industry professionals. ©2020 Steven Litt . All rights reserved. May not be scanned, copied, duplicated or posted publicly to a website in a whole or in part.