June 15, 2006
- by Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II(The Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In a recent conversation with a marketing student, I was asked what I thought were the key learnings for a person entering the field of market research. Following were my top of the mind responses.
1. Speed and Price should not be a major consideration in your research, it should be Reliability and Validity. If the results are not valid, of what use are they?
2. Keep in mind, we develop products and sell brands. Therefore, as we develop a product, we should utilize blind testing to evaluate the product and brand identified testing to evaluate market potential.
3. People do not purchase products or brands, they purchase solutions to their needs. Without a consumer need, you don't have a viable brand. Bottom line, keep in touch with consumers' needs.
4. Get up close and personal with the consumer. The poorest view of the world is from behind your desk. Don't just look at the numbers in your research, include feelings, emotions and needs in your assessment of potential.
5. Simulation is fine in early experimentation but when push comes to shove, reality needs to enter into your research. The difference between "Let’s Pretend" and the "Real World" can have a major impact on your research results. Consider the differences in judgment when playing paint ball war games. During the game, would you take the same risks if the ammunition were real bullets and not paint balls? Simulation minimizes the risks. That is the real difference in "pretending" and the "real world."
6. Pair or Single Product testing? If we are evaluating the product, it calls for single product testing. If we are making a choice between two different products, it is pair testing. It is the difference between choice and evaluation.
7. Know who is in your population sample and more importantly who is not. Who can give you the answers to your questions and who has a lesser value input? If you are planning to sell a tutorial for new users of a computer, you should not use internet research. Your focus of interest should be on non-users of computers.
8. Insure that the respondent understands your questions. As a good friend always told me, "Respondents will answer any question you ask, but it may not be the answer to the question you thought you were asking."
9. Know the difference between Reliability and Validity, especially as it relates to confidence Limits (+/- X%). The Confidence Limit is a Reliability Statistic and has nothing to do with Validity.
1O.To properly evaluate a product, the user must know the "Reason for Being:"
11. There is a difference between testers and users. Know when to use each in your research.
~ ~ Oregon: 800.542.0123 ~ ~ Minnesota: 888.616.0123 ~ ~ Pennsylvania: 866.993.0123 ~ ~