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Market Research on the Cheap

Posted on October 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

Working people didn’t spend 20% of their annual income on Encyclopedia sets because some door to door salesman tricked them into thinking how nice it would be to own a bunch of books. People paid high prices for those gold bound Encyclopedias because they wanted to feel like good parents who were giving their offspring an advantage.

Emotions and the desires that spring from those emotions are the reason that people buy almost everything. A successful business understands the buying emotions and the desires of its customers, and finds a way to satisfy them.

Master salesman will tell you that it is impossible to create a need for a product or service that will not plainly satisfy what people want. Some business schools still teach that wants and needs can be created with slick marketing. How little those academics know about human nature.

The purpose of market research is to know your customer, to unravel the bundle of human emotions and find out what your potential customers really want.

Here are three ways that you can do market research on the cheap. Just because the research method is online does not mean that it cannot also be applied to an off-line business.

1. Keyword Analysis. Everyday people type queries into Google and the other search engines on an almost infinite variety of topics. There are free keyword research tools offered by Google and Microsoft, among others, that will return hundreds or results of the exact phrases that people used to find out more about any topic.

Your job as a market research analyst is to look behind the words and phrases that people use to search. Do some phrases have a greater sense of urgency than others? Are some searches more specific about the nature of a problem?

It will take a little practice, but after a while you can develop a sense of what people really want from the keyword phrases they use when they search on the Internet.

2. Active Forums. There are online forums or communities on thousands of different topics where strangers get together and talk about a common problem with more frankness and honestly then they probably would in person. Anonymity has its virtue.

You would spend thousands of dollars to do market research with a focus group. You can do nearly the same thing for free with online forums.

3. The Competitions’ Sales Letters. A professionally written sales letter will deliberately target buying emotions. Top copywriters get paid thousands of dollars to write those sales letters. You can take advantage of your competitor’s research and the copywriter’s expertise by studying the well written sales letter to identify and understand those dominant buying emotions.

How to Get a Job Doing Qualitative Marketing Research

Posted on September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Qualitative market research is an important tool used by businesses to identify customer needs and people’s perception of a product with the goal of meeting those needs. This can be done by improving product lines, distribution, sales strategies and all the other things that will increase its sales and generate more profit.

Educational Attainment and Skills Employers Look For

Even entry level jobs in this field favor a bachelor’s degree holder and most companies require a master’s degree for higher level positions. Although any baccalaureate degree is acceptable, there is a bachelor’s degree course that focuses on market research. Other preferred courses are degrees in statistics, mathematics or computer science. A background in economics, business administration or the social sciences adds to a more impressive resume.

The Marketing Research Association, a non-profit trade organization composed of member companies, offers professional research certifications that attest to professional competency and increases your advantage over other applicants in job-seeking. There are certain criteria to be met in experience and knowledge before one can be certified. Internships and sales job experiences are helpful for a marketing career. So are exposures to work doing data analysis, writing reports and making surveys.

To land a job doing qualitative research for sales, employers look for specific skills and competencies. Computer proficiency is a must since the newer methodologies in conducting market statistical studies makes extensive use of computer software. Analytical thinking skills are necessary to understand and scrutinize massive quantities of data. Communication skills involve conversing with people to gather information, interpret them and present them to clients. Other valuable capabilities are critical thinking competency and detail orientation because the work entails precise data analysis and assessment of information gathered to determine the action plans.

Duties of a Qualitative Marketing Researcher

Traditional qualitative market research uses two methodologies for data gathering: focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. The former makes use of a small group of eight to ten respondents in a discussion during which their behaviors, perceptions and attitudes toward a certain topic are solicited and explored. The latter is a one-on-one interview by phone or in person for more complex issues.

Modern methodologies are carried out with the use of computers. These include webcam groups, online bulletin boards, video diaries, mobile research, email surveys and other techniques that are constantly being tested. Hence, these occupations call for working, usually alone, on the computer – amassing data and assessing them and making reports. Depending on needs, longer hours of work may be required.

Typical Duties of a Qualitative Marketing Researcher

The qualitative market analyst usually works on small groups to collect large amounts of information. They communicate with respondents through the internet, by phone or in person to gain insights into their behaviors and opinions, research a topic, analyze and interpret data, and prepare reports, graphs and tables and present them to management. Their tasks include monitoring and forecasting of sales trends, measuring the effectiveness of marketing strategies, formulating plans and proposals.

Most of these tasks are done using specialized statistical software, so a market specialist must have computer knowledge and learn how to use these specific programs.

A market research job is challenging and mentally stimulating. It draws out a person’s creativity by discovering new ways to do things. According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual mean wage for market research analysts as of May 2011 is $67,130, with the lowest ten percent being $33, 490 and the highest ten percent at $112,560.

Eye-Tracking For Marketing Research

Posted on September 6, 2018 in Uncategorized

Ever watched a TV commercial and not known what it was advertising? Sometimes we can see the same advertisement day after day and even become familiar with the advertisement’s narrative content. Yet when asked what the advertisement is trying to sell, we are at a loss. The question is why is the commercial failing so badly?

One way to answer this question is to run a marketing research study and simply ask respondents why they didn’t or couldn’t engage with the branding message in the advertisement. This might provide an answer. However, research has shown that visual attention is complex and involves both conscious and unconscious impulses. Because visual attention often depends upon unconscious impulses, respondents may not really understand their own visual behaviour. This can lead respondents to give rationalizations for their patterns of visual attention that are, in fact, quite wrong. This is a serious problem as, in marketing research, a wrong answer is often much worse than no answer at all.

You may well have heard of eye-tracking for marketing research. When used in a marketing research study, eye-tracking can give important insights into viewers’ engagement with marketing material through visual behaviour analysis. At a very basic level, visual behaviour analysis allows the marketing researcher to see through the eyes of the customer and to determine the customer’s focus of attention at any given point in time. The hope is that by conducting visual behaviour analysis, we can spot potential problems with the marketing material before the campaign is launched.

What can visual behavior analysis tell us that we don’t already know? Marketing professionals rely upon marketing research to garner insights into customer opinions and behaviour. This data is often interpreted with the aid of empathic skills, intuition and experience. However, eye-tracking gives a more direct access to the viewer’s thought processes through visual behaviour analysis. This is important as eye-tracking is not merely about viewers’ eye-gaze patterns: visual behaviour analysis helps us understand what the viewer is thinking. When we watch a viewer’s eye-gaze pattern over an advertisement, we gain an understanding of the viewer’s thought processes. What they are looking at and why? Are they paying attention to the key branding visuals? What is the link between attention to branding visuals and the ability of the viewer to recall branding information at a later date? Do the viewers read textual information? If so, how much of the text do they read?

These are just some of the generic insights offered by visual behaviour analysis. However, when we combine visual behaviour data with contextual information relating to the advertisement, the respondents’ demographic data and the respondents’ self-reported data, it is possible to build up a rich picture of the viewers’ overall engagement with the advertisement in terms of both behaviour and underlying opinions. This data helps us to better understand the viewer. It helps us determine what marketing messages work for viewers and what marketing messages leave them cold. As part of a multi-modal marketing research study, eye-tracking allows us to determine if the viewers ‘get’ our marketing message. If the viewer does ‘get it’, eye-tracking studies will tell us why and if the viewer doesn’t ‘get it’, the visual behaviour analysis will give us the data we need to determine why the advertisement has failed.

Eye-tracking involves three important steps. These are:-

The study – for the results of the eye-tracking study to be valid, the study itself must be performed using a rigorous research methodology. What this means is that the study should be performed in a scientific manner. This is often a point of confusion as some people claim that eye-tracking is not a science but rather qualitative and subjective. This is both true and false. It is true that eye-tracking data can be analysed in a qualitative way. The analysts can draw subjective inferences from the eye-tracking data. However, the validity of these inferences depends upon the validity of the data upon which they are founded. In order for the data to be valid, it must be collected in a scientific fashion. Failure to do so will not only lead to validity problems with the data but will seriously undermine the validity of any inferences drawn from the data.

The Analysis – at its most basic level, eye-tracking data reduces to a series of ‘point of regard’ co-ordinates. For screen based test media, this can be a data file containing time-stamped screen co-ordinates of the tracking subject’s eye-gaze. This data needs to be analysed to gain useful insights from the study. What can be done? Well there are many useful eye-tracking metrics. For instance, it is possible to track every glance test subjects make on the product as and when it appears on the screen. To do this, the product visuals are tracked within the advertisement and intersected with the test subjects’ point of regard co-ordinates. This will allow the analyst to quantify the test subjects’ focus of attention on the product and monitor their level of attention over time. Basically, if a metric involves viewer’s focus on attention to media visuals, it can be used.

The interpretation – provided the eye-tracking data has been collected in a valid way and processed so as to produce useful information, the eye-tracking analyst will provide you with a rigorous set of data and metrics relating to the viewer’s engagement with the advertisement and highlight potential problem areas. The eye-tracking data will be complemented with test subjects’ self-reported data. Respondents will be questioned about problem areas within the media and their overall level of recall of branding information will be assessed. Where retention of key marketing messages is wanting, the analyst will review the respondents’ eye-tracking data to try to discover what went wrong.

Consider the benefits of running eye-tacking studies against prospective marketing campaigns before they are launched. The visual behaviour analysis could identify problems with a campaign which could be corrected before the campaign begins. This has the potential to make campaigns more effective and allow you to avoid the situation where viewers are watching your advertisement with little idea of what you are trying to sell.

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