Sunday, July 29, 2012

November 2011 Newsletter for Research Professionals

The Newsletter for Research Professionals:     
November 2011
Market research as an occupation has changed significantly with the advent of internet marketing. While in the past market research professionals were limited to a few market opinion/behavior research options, they now have online resources at their disposal as well. In fact, online market research and inbound marketing campaigns have become standard methodologies for market research professionals. As market research becomes an imperative to successful company and organization building the field of market research is an increasingly interesting and lucrative career choice. ResearchNetwork currently has 715 job postings under the category of market research.

Developing Marketing Strategies

A key component of the market research manager’s job is expertise in formulating questions for researchers to employ in their quest to understand market behavior or intent. The types of questions a market researcher might ask can be loosely framed under a few categories, each of which requires a different approach in terms of questioning. While this is par for the course for market research experts, for those new to the industry, and as a refresher, the three main categories of questions should include these considerations:

Asking non-threatening questions about behavior
·         Remember, the time period of the questions should be related to the saliency of the topic.
·         When asking closed ended questions about behavior make sure that all of the alternatives are included, otherwise stick to open ended ones. This point holds true for all marketing survey questions.
·         Use words that all respondents will understand, again this is a universal survey rule of thumb.

Asking threatening questions about behavior
·         Computer generated questionnaires can reduce the threat of socially questionable answers and increase perceived confidentiality.
·         Reduce the perceived importance of threatening topics by embedding them amid other more and less threatening topics.
·         Remember long questions are better than short questions when they are potentially threatening.
·         Don’t repeat questions even using different wording as this may place undesired importance on the topic or question.

Asking questions about attitude or intended behaviors
·         Make sure the attitudes being measured are clearly specified and articulated.
·         Remember to avoid double barrelled questions that don’t allow a single answer.
·         Ask the least popular question last when asking questions with underlying values and differing degrees of popularity.
·         Wherever possible separate the issues from the individuals.
·         Finally, decide which critical aspects of attitude/behavior you are measuring; cognitive, evaluative or behavioral. Don’t assume that each of these will be the same.

Good data is vital to forming market research strategies based upon real attitudes and behaviors. It is imperative that market researchers thus frame all of their questions to illicit, not the answers they want to hear but, the authentic intent and beliefs of the market.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Market Research Humor

A man was walking along a country road and overhead there drifted a hot air balloon with a single occupant. The man in the balloon calls down to the man on the ground: "Excuse me sir, can you tell me where I am?"

After a moment of consideration the man on the ground replies: "You are in a balloon, 70 feet above the ground, drifting at 4 miles per hour, in a Southeasterly direction."

The man in the balloon then replied: "You must be a market researcher?"

The man on the ground said: "Why, yes, how did you know?"

To which the man in the balloon answered: "Because, while everything you have told me is absolutely true, it is of no use to me and I am no better off than I was before."

To this, the market researcher responded: "Then you must be a marketing manager. You were lost... didn't know where you were... didn't know where you were going. You asked for my help and I gave it to you, and though you are still lost, now it is my fault."!

“Inquiry is fatal to certainty”.
 Will Durant

Top interview tips for market researchers
Attend your interview armed with a portfolio of successful campaigns – it’s not bragging it’s proving yourself. Brush up on the basics of all aspects of modern marketing including the fundamentals of inbound marketing, outbound marketing and how both of these can utilize qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Marketing is a rapidly changing field and our number one interview tip for market researchers is, prove you are at the top of your game by showing and in-depth proficiency for contemporary marketing. In other words – do your research!
"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." 
 Mark Twain

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To all of our members and guests, we welcome you and thank you for your ongoing interest. We hope you have enjoyed the information provided here. We would love to hear your thoughts on this and any other aspect of our site, please contact us anytime.


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