Which Question, Which Method Formulating the right research questions is both an art and science Surveys vs personal interviews Surveys Used to track changes over time Personal Interviews Consumer’sexperience with relatively new products
Formulating Questions Commonly used questions What the consumer thinks of a Brand A more counterintuitive approach What the brand thinks of the consumer Example Mercedes Benz
Framing Effective Research Questions Determine the generic question Determine whether the basic question should be specific to Brand, Category, or Problem Pose more general and specific versions Determine whether you need to know direction, velocity, or both Allow for surprises Convert assumptions into questions Employ a clairvoyant Employ a wizard
Determine the Generic Question By exploring the consumers’ generic attitudes, the company can identify fundamental thoughts or emotions relevant to many contexts Attitudes and perceptions that crop up in diverse contexts are likely to be highly relevant and deeply embedded Firms can also gain by examining published resources or consulting experts
Determine whether the Basic Question should be specific to the Brand, Category, or Problem Decide whether you should ask about the Brand, the Category, or the Problem making the brand or category relevant Basic Problem – Creating a new brand story Specific Brand – Hoe consumers perceive the brand story Category – Brand positioning
Pose more General and Specific Versions Think of a question… Rephrase it in more general terms… Rephrase it again in more specific terms… Which will yield the most important information?
Determine whether you need to know Direction, Velocity, or Both What is most important Direction – The attractiveness or appeal of a concept or product Velocity – The products likely initial unit sales Direction is essential for launch decisions, Velocity for production decisions Answer direction first, then velocity
Allow for Surprises Ask interviewees to share their thoughts Ask the interviewee to pose a question as if they were giving the survey
Convert Assumptions into Questions All research rests on assumptions that inform core questions Identify these assumptions early and test their validity
Employ a Clairvoyant Imagine you could have one question answered… Revise your original question to be more complex…
Employ a Wizard Imagine that a particular decision has proven ineffective… What would the wizard fix to correct this problem?
What Do Data Tell Managers? First… What is Data? What Are Answers?
What Do Data Tell Managers? Data Say Very Little … Without Managers bring meaning to it People with Different Viewpoints will have difference interpretation for the same data Example: “do significantly more women than men purchase computers hardware on the Internet?”
What Do Data Tell Managers? It’s a matter of judgment: The More Important a Manager judges a question… … The more closely he/she will examine the data and expend to make sense of it. Disagreements about interpretation of data typically cover up for disagreements about the importance of the research question
What Do Data Tell Managers? It’s a matter of judgment: The More Important a Manager judges a question… … The more closely he/she will examine the data and expend to make sense of it. Disagreements about interpretation of data typically cover up for disagreements about the importance of the research question Many factors contribute to the ultimate data.
How objective Are Numbers? They are not! Managers decide how to obtain the “objective numbers” thus influence the outcome Researcher’s expectations influence the results in +99% Probabilities of answers include flaws in the design of questions So 95% probability of being “true” may still be wrong Example: “Definitely will buy” is evenly interpreted by consumers as either 50% chance of buying or as 100% of buying.
Shaping the Meaning of a Number: Frames Of Reference Without reference, numbers are meaningless. Example: 3 groups of newspaper readers RegionHours per Week
Shaping the Meaning of a Number: Frames Of Reference Example (con’d) All numbers presented to one professional group Each reader group was described if reference to the other One number presented to one out three professional groups All readers groups were described roughly the same Same data worded differently is also perceived differently Disease Example
Using Data as Advisors Numbers can help when are combined with other information Ask yourself: What Did I Miss? What Can Go Wrong? (“Consult a Wizard”) Use Your Imagination Use Creativity When Designing a Market Research Question your questions!