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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.
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
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
• never ask questions which force an answer.
The following example will generate yes
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.
- Spring '10