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Consumer Research

Consumer Research Paradigms

• Quantitative

Quantitative Research
• Descriptive in nature.
• Enables marketers to “predict” consumer
• Research methods include experiments,
survey techniques, and observation.
• Findings are descriptive, empirical and
• Quantitative Research
– Descriptive and conclusive
• Addresses research objectives through empirical
assessments that involve numerical measurement and
statistical analysis.
Qualitative Research
• Consists of depth interviews, focus groups,
metaphor analysis etc.,
• Administered by highly trained
• Findings tend to be subjective.
• Findings not usually generalizable
• Small sample sizes.
• Qualitative business research
– Exploratory
• Uses small versus large samples
• Asks a broad range of questions versus structured
• Subjective interpretation versus statistical analysis
Combining Qualitative and
Quantitative Research Findings
• The research paradigms are complementary in
• Produce a richer and more robust profile of
consumer behavior than either research
approach used alone.
Experimental designs
• What are its distinguishing features?
• How is it best applied in marketing?
Distinguishing features
• Testing product/services/ competitive
situation that don’t currently exist
– Need is great when historical info. is not indicative
of future customers and products
– Address a difficult problem that cannot be
addressed without some intervention by the
• Random assignment of prospective consumers
to either test or control group
• Key independent variable is manipulated by the
• Experimental design plan
– Opportunity to create a plan that reflects all the different
– Experimental design can test beyond the historical range
– Simple plan: Test product and a control product
– Complex plan: 10 new product concepts
– Factorial design: Product attributes are defined a factors
and each attribute is tested at multiple levels
• Eg. Laptop- Price at three levels, Processor at two levels and
memory at three levels
• Blocking designs- blocking factor
• Dependant variables-Stated interest in
product, purchase intention, actual purchase,
image perceptions, usage behaviour
Marketing/ Consumer behaviour
• Product testing
• Trade off analysis
– Very effective to estimate the impact of large
number of product attributes
– Hypotheses includes competitive cross effects-
price cuts?
– Segment differences
– Overall attribute effects- Key drivers of demand
• Market tests