Market Research Articles
Market Research in a Down Economy

MARKET RESEARCH IN A DOWN ECONOMY

By:  Debbie McNamara

Time to Focus

Rising energy costs and wholesale prices coupled with the recent mortgage crisis and uncertainty over the upcoming Presidential election have set the landscape for a weak economic year.  More than ever, executives are being asked to cut unnecessary costs and reduce budgets while continuing to serve customers and market to prospective customers.  Understanding who your target audience is, what they want, and how much they will pay for your products and services are critical to success in a down economy. 
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How to Maximize Your Results at a Focus Group Facility

Focus Groups have proven to be an extremely effective means of market research for testing new ideas or evaluating services. They are in-depth by nature and can give market research clients specific information about the way end users think and their decision process in evaluating a product or idea. Thus, it is imperative that proper planning is done to ensure the appropriate atmosphere to best facilitate conversation and maximize findings. The following is a set of helpful guidelines that will aid the process of creating effective focus groups.

  1. Identify the Ideal Focus Group Participant As Soon As Possible! Focus groups are typically composed of a homogenous group of individuals with similar interests or demographic characteristics that make it easier for the group to have a more productive conversation. Therefore, the earlier you define the target audience, the more time the host facility has to recruit the respondents. Typically, focus group facilities require a detailed screener at least two weeks in advance of hosting a group. This allows the facility ample time to recruit, follow-up with respondents, and secure the best possible participants.
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Online Focus Groups: Can They Work for You?

By: Debbie Liberty

As marketing budgets become tighter and more consumers go online, businesses are looking to online focus groups to provide a new tool for market research. Focus groups have been used successfully for years to bring together consumers to evaluate a product or service. As a tool for qualitative research, they help businesses determine why something works (or doesn't) as well as provide insights into new approaches.

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Online Surveys That Deliver

By: Kristin Bright

As the percentage of consumers with computers and broadband continues to increase, online surveys have become a reliable methodology for collecting data for select target groups. Following are tips for writing online surveys that will deliver results you can take action on.

  1. Online surveys must be brief. Keep it short! Nothing more than 10-12 minutes. Remember, a web survey is a self administered survey. Respondents tend to scan questions and get bored with too much content. Drop out rates increase markedly after 12 minutes.

  2. Online surveys must be clear and concise. Be wary of lengthy descriptions or explanations. Descriptions of product concepts should be written as you would in an advertisement - clear and concise. Lengthy descriptions will get lost in translation.

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Market Research with Telephone Surveys

Knowing When to Use Them

By: Debbie Liberty

When should I use a telephone survey is a common question posed by many researchers and clients today. As with any methodology, there are many advantages and disadvantages to conducting telephone surveys. A rule of thumb is that when you are trying to reach the general population, telephone surveys are typically the best approach.

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Guidelines for Writing Effective Market Research Survey Questions

By: Kristin Bright

Clients often ask us about the particular wording of market research survey questions and whether questionnaire wording affects the outcome of a survey. Wording of certain types of questions can definitely impact the interpretation by a respondent. Even small nuances can alter the response to a question and therefore yield misinterpreted results. However, it is easier to discuss the ways not to compose survey questions that cause bias or ambiguity than it is to discuss how to write a proper question. The following quick, five point checklist is a helpful tool when composing questions in any type of survey.
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Advantages of Using a Professional Focus Group Moderator

By: Debbie Liberty

Qualitative research is used to gain insight into the consumer's mind or identify their perspective. It enables the researcher to better evaluate consumer behaviors such as intentions and feelings that cannot be measured or observed directly. Insight into the complexity and range of a respondent's decision process and concerns can help clients strategically position themselves in an existing marketplace or help develop new product solutions to existing problems. Therefore, it is imperative to use a professionally trained focus group moderator who can utilize cutting edge techniques that go beyond the usual top-of-mind responses to uncover the respondent's true perceptions. Advantages of using a professional moderator include...

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