Consumer Research

Consumer Research

Quantitative Research

•     Descriptive in nature.

•     Enables marketers to “predict” consumer behavior.

•     Research methods include experiments, survey techniques, and observation.

•     Findings are descriptive, empirical and generalizable.

Qualitative Research

•     Consists of depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, and projective techniques.

•     Administered by highly trained interviewer-analysts.

•     Findings tend to be subjective.

•     Small sample sizes.

The Consumer Research Process

•     Six steps

–    defining the objectives of the research

–    collecting and evaluating secondary data

–    designing a primary research study

–    collecting primary data

–    analyzing the data

–    preparing a report on the findings

Developing Research Objectives

•     Defining purposes and objectives helps ensure an appropriate research design.

•     A statement of objectives helps to define the type and level of information needed.

Secondary Versus Primary Data

•     Secondary data: data that has been collected for reasons other than the specific research project at hand

•     Primary data: data collected by the researcher for the purpose of meeting specific objectives

Data Collection Methods

Observational Research

•     Helps marketers gain an in-depth understanding of the relationship between people and products by watching them buying and using products.

•     Helps researchers gain a better understanding of what the product symbolizes.

•     Widely used by interpretivist researchers.


•     Can be used to test the relative sales appeal of many types of variables.

•     Only one variable is manipulated at a time, keeping other elements constant.

•     Can be conducted in laboratories or in the field.

Survey Data Collection Methods

Attitude Scales

•     Likert scales: easy for researchers to prepare and interpret, and simple for consumers to answer.

•     Semantic differential scales:  relatively easy to construct and administer.

•     Rank-order scales: subjects rank items in order of preference in terms of some criteria.
Customer Satisfaction Measurement

•     Customer Satisfaction Surveys

•     Gap Analysis of Expectations versus Experience

•     Mystery Shoppers

•     Customer Complaint Analysis

•     Analysis of Customer Defections

Sampling Plan Decisions