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Marketing Research Discipline “The Voice of the Consumer”. Food Marketing Economics ApEc 4451/5451 Fall 2008 November 8, 2007 Dennis Degeneffe Research Fellow The Food Industry Center. Role of Marketing. “There will always be a need for selling.

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Marketing research discipline the voice of the consumer

Marketing Research Discipline “The Voice of the Consumer”

Food Marketing Economics

ApEc 4451/5451

Fall 2008

November 8, 2007

Dennis Degeneffe

Research Fellow

The Food Industry Center

Role of marketing
Role of Marketing

“There will always be a need for selling.

But the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. The aim of marketing is to know and understand the consumer so well that the product sells itself.”

-Peter Drucker

Marketing research is
Marketing Research Is …

… getting ideas and testing ideas.

-Larry Gibson

VP MRD General Mills – 1970-80s

Role implications
Role Implications

  • Testing Ideas – Marketing Research Methods

  • Getting Ideas – Knowledge Generation

    • Consumer Insights

    • Intuition

    • Implications for a Business

    • Creativity

    • Thought Leadership

The “Softer Skills”

The consumer knowledge cycle
The “Consumer Knowledge Cycle”

Internal MR Staff

External MR Companies

Partner with Brand Management Team

Types of research
Types of “Research”

  • Secondary Research – Already existing (e.g. U.S. Census, various search engines)

  • PrimaryResearch

    • Quantitative Research – Assessment

    • Qualitative Research – Development

  • Syndicated Research – Shared databases (e.g. Nielsen)

    • Sales Tracking

    • Consumer Trends

Secondary research
Secondary Research

  • Advantages

    • Free!

    • May address your need, at least add insight

    • May help in the research process

    • Therefore a secondary data search should be the routine first step in any business problem.

  • Limitations:

    • May not be perfectly relevant

    • May not be accurate

Primary research quantitative
Primary Research - Quantitative

  • Quantitative Methods = Measurement … assigning numerical values to some phenomenon.

  • Most Quantitative research methods fall into two camps:

    • Surveys – Broad scope but not very clear on what actions to take. Can provide an understanding, but not what exactly to do about it.

    • Tests – Narrow scope, but very clear on what actions to take … provided that study is properly designed. May not provide insights as to why.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Surveys – descriptive.

    • Why is consumption falling?

    • Who are the consumers of our brand?

    • What do they think about it?

    • When do they use it?

    • How do they use it?

  • Testing– evaluative.

    • What if:

      • How strong is the concept – should we proceed to development?

      • What if we changed the formula - e.g. reduced the fat content?

      • Does advertising copy persuade consumers to buy the product?

      • If we reduced the price, would sales increase enough to result in more profit?

Theory of measurement
Theory of Measurement

“Just go out and ask consumers what they think…”

-Famous last words from a former Marketing Manager)

Three issues:

  • Accuracy

  • Validity

  • Interpretation


  • Types of error

    • Total Error:

      • Random – Sufficient Sample Size

      • Systematic– Absence of “Bias”

  • Sources of Systematic Error

    • Population definition

    • Sampling method

    • Measures

    • Interviewers

    • Data Processing

    • Non-Response

  • Validity

    • The ability of a measure to predict the variable for which it is intended to predict.

      • Valid measures???

        • Atmospheric Pressure predicts Type of Weather

        • Player Salaries predict Win/Loss Record

        • Super Bowl Winner predicts Election Results

        • Product Preference predicts Brand Choice

        • Buying intent predicts Product Sales

    • To determine the validity of a measure we need to assess it on several aspects…

    Assessing validity
    Assessing Validity

    • Does it make sense? – “Face Validity”

    • Does it cover all the necessary dimensions of the relationship, or is something major left out? – “Content Validity”

    • Is it accurate? – “Predictive Validity”


    Introducing Kraft Easy Mac


    48% of Consumers say they would Buy this Concept!!

    • Is this a good or bad score?

    • To interpret the meaning we need:

      • Benchmarks – Comparisons to other concepts we know something about – in-market performance.

      • Norms – Database ranges that we know are successful based on historical testing.

      • Models – Mathematical relationships based on other concepts that went to market and succeeded and others that failed.

    Now your children can prepare Kraft Macaroni & Cheese themselves. New Kraft Easy Mac is microwavable and can be prepared in one easy step One 8 ounce package costs $1.59

    Qualitative research
    Qualitative Research

    A loosely defined term applied to research findings not subject to quantification.

    -McDaniels & Gates

    Types of qualitative research
    Types of Qualitative Research

    • Observation:

      • Observe consumers in the market place

      • At point of sale, or point of usage

        • Note behavior

        • Deduce reasons for behavior

    • Depth Interviews:

      • Individual one-on-one interviews

      • Interview lasts 15 minutes to an hour

      • Most studies involve 10 to 30 interviews

      • “Ethnographic Interviews” are more involved version – in “natural setting.”

    • Focus Groups:

      • Discussion led by a trained (hopefully) moderator of 6 to 12 target respondents.

    Popularity of focus groups
    Popularity of Focus Groups

    • Easily to conduct

    • Fast turnaround

    • Inexpensive versus Quantitative Research

    • Getting wide exposure

      • Political research

      • On TV shows and in advertising

      • Almost becoming a generic germ for Marketing Research

    • Frequently the only research small organizations can afford.

    • Unfortunately, limitations are not well understood ...

    Role of qualitative research
    Role of Qualitative Research

    • To provide broad and general development direction.

    • Exploratory – To Frame Issues

    • Understand the consumer:

      • Comprehension

      • Motivations

      • Feelings

    Limitations of focus groups
    Limitations of Focus Groups

    • Small samples – violates many measurement requirements

    • “Group effect”

    • Judgment based interpretation

    • What is explicitly said may be misleading or superficial.

    • Sometimes more of an art than a science.

    Appropriate qualitative research objectives
    Appropriate Qualitative Research Objectives

    • Exploration of opportunity/issue areas

    • Reactions to alternative ideas - the whys.

    • Communications check

    • Input to quantitative research.

    • Explanation of quantitative research results

    • NOT to measure anything.

    Typical focus group designs
    Typical Focus Group Designs

    • Identify specific consumer target

      • Brand users vs. non-users

      • Mindsets – e.g. Health Oriented Consumers

      • Etc.

    • Multiple cities

    • Usually minimum of 2 groups per treatment – need to do repetitions.

    • Each group lasts normally 2 hours.

    Some key points
    Some Key Points

    • The Marketing Research Function serves as the “Voice of the Consumer” for marketing oriented organizations.

    • The role of Marketing Research is essentially one of “getting ideas and testing ideas.”

    • In the broad sense, there are many types of research, but primary research methods tend to either Quantitative or Qualitative.

      • Quantitative Research is about measurement – and therefore requires rigor around validity, reliability and interpretation

      • Qualitative Research is about getting developmental direction, and not about evaluation.

    Focus group exercise
    Focus Group Exercise

    • Purpose:

      • Demonstrate the use of Focus Groups to provide guidance

      • Obtain some input on group class projects

    • Roles:

      • Designate one team member as moderator – responsible for leading group discussion

      • Others play the role of consumers

    • Discussion Guide

      • Moderator introduces concept

      • Asks everyone to brainstorm:

        • Likes

        • Dislikes, Problems, Issues

      • Asks group to suggest ways the product could be improved.