What does the professional use
Copyright William Gore 2016
Table of contents.
The American expert in the field of advertizing K. Longmen spoke 25 years ago: “We have to know whether people are informed on existence of our brand, on this or that class of competitive goods. We have to know whether people have favorable opinion on our brand and on brand of competitive goods. We need to know that for people use our brand and what – competitive… And still we need to know that for buyers get
All these questions are urgent and today. Only market researches including systematic collecting and the analysis of information necessary for adoption of the right marketing decision can give answers to them. Despite a variety of the real market situations demanding the marketing analysis, all researches are based on uniform methodological approaches and are carried out with use of the general procedures and methods. In this material we will begin the story about what methods of collecting and the analysis of information are applied most often today.
Quantitative (selective) methods
When it is necessary to find out that consumers think of these or those goods, it isn’t obligatory to interview all population of the country or city at all. It would involve improbable time and financial expenditure. How to obtain the reliable information reflecting the most widespread points of view occurring in various groups of the population? For this purpose there are quantitative (selective) methods of a research. Quantitative methods are based on a research of a certain (rather big) number of people who are selected so that their opinions adequately reflected opinions of all population (or a certain target group). Set of the selected respondents is called selection. Formation to her adequately set marketing task – always rather complex problem which only the expert can solve. Otherwise results of poll will have very indirect relation to reality.
In quantitative researches information gathers in the most various ways: by means of telephone interviews, post poll, questioning at the place of residence or works, etc. But at all visible differences these methods have the general element – the questionnaire (system of the questions united among themselves by a uniform research task).
The most popular quantitative methods of collection of information are polls and an interview. Their main difference from each other consists in the form of contact of the researcher and interviewed.
The interview is the discussion led on a previously developed plan assuming direct contact of the interviewer with the respondent during which the interviewer fixes answers of the respondent. Depending on extent of standardization of this “dialogue” allocate three main types of an interview:
- the formalized interviews (a conversation according to in details developed program including the sequence and a design of questions, versions of possible answers).
- the focused interviews (detailed discussion of any subject (or subjects) with which the respondent has been in advance acquainted, the providing obtaining answers to the fixed circle of questions);
- free interviews (a long conversation according to the general program, but without specification of specific questions with the minimum specification of behavior of the interviewer).
Unlike an interview poll (or questioning) is mediated (through the questionnaire) way of communication of the researcher and interviewed. The respondent gets acquainted with contents of the questionnaire, independently interprets sense of questions and fixes the answers. When holding poll the role of the interviewer as a matter of fact is limited to preliminary explanations of rules of filling of the questionnaire.
There is a mass of kinds of selective methods. Let’s consider how they can be applied in market researches.
Post poll consists in mailing of questionnaires and obtaining answers to them by mail. This method of collection of information has the mass of advantages. He differs in simplicity of the organization as there is no need for training of big staff of interviewers and control of their work. Post poll allows “to reach” the most remote regions. Time for filling of the questionnaire is chosen by the respondent, and, so he can quietly deal with all difficult questions. Besides post poll belongs to rather cheap methods of collection of information.
The main problem of such polls is the incomplete return of questionnaires connected not so much with casual circumstances, how many with features of social and demographic and psychological characteristics of “voluntary respondents”. Depending on poll subject can take more active part either youth in it, or pensioners, or housewives, etc. In addition quite often the people having peculiar relation to the studied problem participate in post poll. If, for example, you decide to find out thus satisfaction with living conditions, then it will turn out that among sent answers number dissatisfied above, than among the population in general.
Thus, when holding post poll there is a real danger of obtaining the “displaced” information. To reduce this risk, there is a mass of various procedures, beginning from features of drawing up the post questionnaire to the application of the cover letter and small souvenirs. In market researches post poll is, as a rule, used in the stocks “директ mail”, along with distribution of advertizing materials. It removes many problems. And, first of all, targeting of a research increases. Questionnaires get not to casual people, and to those who are in a varying degree interested in a research subject.
For example, the firm which is engaged in realization of medicines needs to obtain information on satisfaction with medicine “A”. In this case the questionnaire is attached to advertizing materials, and mailing is carried out according to the list of the medical institutions using this medicine …
Kind of post poll is press poll. His difference is that the questionnaire isn’t distributed, and is published in any edition. Press poll is usually used in two cases: when the editorial office like to learn opinion of readers on the edition or when through publication the relation of a certain group of the population to any urgent and important problem becomes clear. Recently business concerns together with periodicals began to carry out peculiar advertizing and research actions.
For example, in the female illustrated magazine throughout certain time advertizing of cream from wrinkles is placed. Then on pages of the magazine the questionnaire in which readers are asked to answer a number of questions about this cream is published. As a result the marketing specialist obtains information both on consumer properties of these goods, and on advertizing efficiency in this edition.
Polls or interview at the place of residence, in the place of work, etc. represent distribution of questionnaires among group of people with a request them to fill and to return. Organization of such type of poll more labor-consuming: development of the questionnaire, selection calculation (definition of number and scheme of selection of respondents), instructing of interviewers and control of their work, etc. However by the correct preparation quality of the obtained information is incomparable above.
Depending on research objectives it is possible to conduct polls or an interview among visitors of shop (about quality of service and the range of goods), among residents of the certain area (about popularity of the shop located nearby), among workers of a certain sphere (about popularity and use of new medicine by health workers), etc.
One more popular form of collecting marketing information are telephone interviews. It is one of the most operational and inexpensive polling methods which allows to recognize opinions of various groups of the population practically by any questions. However, it must be kept in mind that holding similar interviews is possible only in those settlements where extent of installation of telephones is high. Otherwise the obtained information will be doubtful.
The lack of telephone interviewing can be considered the fact that its average duration shouldn’t make more than 15 minutes. In this regard by means of phone it isn’t possible to collect deep information or opinions of respondents on a wide range of questions.
By phone it is especially convenient to hold express polls. For example, the firm has released the new commercial. In several days after his display on television it is possible to conduct telephone survey which will allow to define whether he has been noticed by various groups of consumers, the roller was pleasant or not, it was remembered or not, etc.
Main types of polls which are most often applied by researchers are that. What method should be chosen in each case? Defined clarity in it the question is brought by the scheme of the German marketing specialists E.Dikhtl and H.Khershgen:
Evaluation criteria post poll personal interview telephone survey
Financial expenses + – +
The volume of information which can be received during the poll – + -
Share answered from among respondents – + 0
Speed of obtaining results of poll – - +
Complexity of the obtained information – + 0
Influence of the interviewer on results of poll + – 0
Influence of strangers on the respondent – + 0
Danger of the wrong interpretation of questions of the questionnaire – + +
The accounting of nonverbal reaction – + -
Anonymity guarantees – + -
Note: “+” means that this form of poll has advantages from the point of view of this criterion, “-” – shortcomings from the point of view of this criterion, “0” – absence of both particular advantages, and shortcomings.
Not selective methods
In recent years among marketing specialists the methods of collection of information in the majority borrowed from psychology began to enjoy special popularity so-called qualitative (or not selective). It is connected with keen interest in identification of deep motives of actions of the consumer, studying of both the rational, and irrational reasons of his consumer behavior.
So, the famous French marketing specialist A. Deyan considers that results of psychological procedures of a research of consumers represent invaluable material as they allow to reveal:
- motives of purchase and factors interfering purchase of goods;
- processes of obtaining information and making decision on purchase;
- existence of the leaders of public opinion influencing consumer behavior of the consumer, and extent of this influence;
- various characteristics of consumer behavior of separate groups of consumers;
- loudspeakers of tastes and habits of various groups of consumers, etc.
Along with it psychological procedures are irreplaceable at development stages and estimates of efficiency of advertizing campaigns, and also in the analysis of life cycles of goods, studying of image of trademarks, a research of various sales channels. Let’s consider some types of such procedures which are actively applied in market researches. Especially often marketing specialists use focus groups. This method represents holding the focused interview, but not with one person, and along with group of social characteristics of people, similar on a row. At the same time the conversation is fixed on video (or an audiofilm).
In what cases the method of focus groups is applied? First of all, for development and approbation of questionnaires according to which it is supposed to conduct mass surveys. Let’s assume, the marketing specialist is faced by a task to find out opinions of specialists of the Moscow firms trading in video equipment on the current state of demand for production of Sony. It is for this purpose expedient to use a method of a telephone interview which demands the careful formulation of the questionnaire. In this case it makes sense to carry out previously focus groups during which all details of future telephone conversations will be specified.
Besides, use of focus groups happens necessary for assessment of new goods, approbations of advertizing materials, etc. Practice of approbation of advertizing videos and other advertizing production is extremely extended by method of focus groups. For example, the known company British American Tobacco quite so selected video advertizing of the 555 cigarettes. Respondents were offered to watch several videos, to define that which is pleasant to them more than others and to explain why. Focus groups have a number of advantages in comparison with carrying out equivalent number of individual interviews according to the similar questionnaire as they are cheaper method, save time, don’t demand training of big staff of interviewers. In addition focus groups represent a source of additional information which doesn’t manage to be recorded during the individual conversation. It is about exchange of opinions at discussion of any problem which allows the marketing specialist to simulate a real situation (for example, a
conversation between buyers in shop).
Along with focus groups in marketing a number of other qualitative group methods of collecting and the analysis of data, and also various projective techniques considerably enriching a range of the obtained information is rather widely used. Their short description is provided in tables.
Group qualitative social and psychological methods
Focus groups the Group focused semi-standardized interview in the form of a group discussion according to in advance developed scenario of 6-12 people Obtaining preliminary information on the interesting subject. Development of research hypotheses. Studying of perception of certain objects. Stimulation of the new ideas and creative concepts. The method of a group discussion used in focus groups is the cornerstone practically of all group methods of social psychology
Reer-Gruppy the Transitional method from individual interviews to group 2-4 persons similarly Create a possibility of obtaining more detailed information from each participant
Nominal Option 1 groups. Results of individual interviews of one participants are discussed by other participants. Option 2. Participants form a uniform group, but answer questions on one, without direct interaction with each other. to 12 people similarly are Most often used when it is impossible to gather the interesting group (the famous politicians, scientists, officials, experts, etc.)
The landing Carrying Out Group Discussions groups in a real situation of 6-12 people Are similarly used for creation of a situation, close to the truth
Brainstorming Method of a group collective producing the new ideas. At the same time process of promotion of the ideas is separated from process of their critical evaluation and selection from 3 people the Most various: from the solution of scientific and technical, administrative, creative tasks before search of options of behavior in certain situations the Procedure is carried out in two steps: 1. idea promotion; 2. assessment of the ideas. It is better to carry out a stage 2 in several days
Sinektichesky groups the Discussion there begin leaders, trying to present various points of view concerning a conversation subject. Gradually the others join. During the discussion the group decision more than 10 people the Analysis of characteristics of the tested product, the choice of advertizing strategy, creation of advertizing constructs Special technicians is developed: “personal analogies”, “title of the book”, “approximate retreat”, etc.
Delfi-gruppy Promotion of the ideas about the future (for the purpose of the forecast) based on collective opinion of experts. Summation of forecasts in a statistical form. Definition of key provisions. Transfer of materials for the following discussion. more than 10 people Development of forecasts in social and economic and political spheres the Procedure repeat or before achievement of the uniform point of view, or to lack of further changes in individual forecasts
Groups of the conflict are Specially completed so that to provoke collision of various opinions of participants of 6-12 people Comparison of various lifestyles, views, opinions. Development of the new ideas At set of participants unlike focus groups is absent the principle of homogeneity
The Discussion without Leader groups Group discussion of a problem without participation of the leader of 6-10 people Obtaining preliminary information on the interesting subject. Development of research hypotheses. Studying of perception of certain objects. Stimulation of the new ideas and creative concepts. When carrying out such groups very detailed instructions can be given to participants as the general, not detailed, and
Adaptation groups Are focused on definition of in what measure the use of goods is defined their social or with a consumer value of 6-12 people For definition of factors of the relation to these or those goods, to the phenomenon are Most often applied to studying of a phenomenon of prestigious consumption
The expanded creative Performance by Group of Various Projective Tasks groups with their subsequent discussion of 6-10 people the Analysis of characteristics of the tested product, the choice of advertizing strategy, creation of advertizing constructs Projective technicians: intuitive associations, pictural technicians, collages, role-playing games, psychological tests, anthropomorphous techniques
In our following publications we will continue a conversation on qualitative researches. Besides you learn about such methods of market researches as “observation” and “content analysis”.