marketresearch - ProFile 2 UNIT 10 Market research Market...

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Unformatted text preview: ProFile 2 UNIT 10 Market research Market research often plays an important part in the development of new products and services, or the modification of existing ones. Researchers have to be experts in consumer behaviour, psychology, and know-how, to process data and interpret statistics. BACKGROUND Researchers often use questionnaires. These commonly use ‘yes / no’ questions, multiple choice answers, or attitudinal scales. The results they yield are easier to analyse and measure statistically. Sometimes open-ended questions are used where respondents can say what they really think, but these are more difficult to interpret and statistically measure, especially over a large sample of users. Follow these rules for writing questionnaires: • use simple language • avoid questions which use a negative structure • never ask questions which force an answer. The following example will generate yes answers: Your pet deserves the best. yes no F OCUS GROUPS Focus groups have to be led carefully because as in any group, it may become dominated by one or two confident speakers. These speakers may also feel the need to perform for the hidden audience and give value for money. See the ProFile Student’s site: www.oup.com/elt/profile DUSTBIN SURVEYS A dustbin survey is a form of market research based on consumers keeping the wrappers and packaging of products they have bought. This is a useful technique for monitoring how buying patterns and consumer behaviour change over a longer period of time. It is an open-ended longitudinal research method. DID YOU KNOW? • Before New Coke was launched, it was taste-tested by 190,000 people. The vast majority said they liked it. However, when the product was released, it was a flop. • If you ask people how much they weigh, smoke, or drink, shame may make them underplay their answer! • If two choices are given, people will tend to go for the second choice. The question ‘Do you prefer the new model or the old model?’ will yield a majority answering ‘the old one’. • Research can affect the results. This is known as the Hawthorne Effect after an experiment at the Hawthorne electrical plant. Researcher Elton Mayo wanted to establish how lighting affected production. When the lighting was increased, production went up, yet when it was reduced, productivity continued to rise. Mayo concluded that productivity had little to do with the level of lighting, but that workers worked harder because they were the object of an experiment. This suggests that we should be sceptical when interpreting the results of research. Photocopiable © Oxford University Press ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/12/2010 for the course RBS BCN taught by Professor Dekoe during the Spring '10 term at Rotterdam Business School.

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