July 27, 2006
- by Robert E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All too often we forget just how much our choice of testing protocols plays in our test results and ultimately the decisions we make. This is especially true of attitude studies.
Asking the Right People: Would you ask a woman without a child in diapers about a new diaper design? I doubt it. How often do we confirm that the person submitting the responses to our questions is really the person we thought we were communicating with, especially if we are conducting our research through the internet? Research by Gary Mullet, president of Gary Mullet Associates, shows that 50% of the respondents of a study were not the intended respondent but were other members of the household, generally teenagers.
My choice is a function of the protocol being used. If the interview is not conducted face-to-face, I believe in confirm, confirm and re-confirm that the participant is actually the one intended.
Asking at the Right Time: Would you ask about Snow Blower purchase motivation in the Spring Time? I hope not. Would it not be more appropriate to ask about purchase motivation at the time of purchase?
My ideal choice for the Right Time is when the respondent has just completed the purchase decision.
Asking in the Right Place: Would you ask a person about the price of an item when they have no idea of what they usually pay for an item in the category? Keep in mind the objective of the study. We are interested in determining the consumer’s reactions to the price and not testing the memory of the participant. I have research that shows that few people really know the prices of the products that they have purchased. As the time since the purchase increases, the awareness of the correct price diminishes.
I have data that shows across identical brands, the "Definitely Would Buy" percentages from the Intent To Purchase Scale will vary by location. In Central Locations other than the Store, we find the DWB percents to be on average 20% higher than those collected in the Supermarket.
In a major study investigating a brand repositioning that was expected to generate a high sales volume and had initial sales figures in the expected range but repurchase sales were very low, we found that our two tests involving phone interviews yielded very different results from a test conducted in the store. The In-store data showed that 25% of the initial purchasers would not repurchase the brand because of a single negative feature. The two telephone tests, EBES and U&A, showed negative results for the feature at 3% and 5% respectively.
My choice of the Right Place is, whenever possible, in the context of competition and their prices, which for me is usually in the supermarket.
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