Research Measurement. It is why research matters.By Tom Dougherty
Research measurement for more than just usage and attitudes
Most believe research measurement is examining usage, awareness and general attitudes. That is important. But the meanings underneath those measurements provide the underpinnings for meaningful brand building and strategy to steal market share. Taking it one step further and asking “Why?” to those findings leads our clients to a more persuasive position.
Your Usage and Attitude (U&A) study must be projectable research. If, for example, the U&A study reveals that customers like the ease of use of your product, that should lead to more questions and more meaningful ones. But the methodology of how that study is conducted must give you the confidence that the findings are projectable to the market as a whole. If your research is not projectable, then anything you discover is not important. You see, checking your research measurement is how you keep confidence in your research results.
If it is projectable, you need to go deeper. Why is “ease of use” important? Is it a switching trigger? It’s not enough to know that customers like your ease of use. You have to know why.
Even more critically, your market research must help you understand what is it about the target audience that makes, for example, ease of use important. Instead, ask this. What is it that they believe makes them desire ease of use? Those elements, called precepts or belief systems, are what your brand must be aligned with in order to create preference and increase your market share.
Marketing research in context
In addition, your market research cannot exist in a vacuum. It must be developed with your competitors in mind, which means finding those uncomfortable truths about them but also finding strategic and tactical opportunities.
Therefore, in addition to the usual U&A research, your marketing research measurement must ensure that you dig into precepts, switching triggers, and competitive analysis in order to uncover a position and strategies that resonate strongest with your target audiences.
We have found over the years that open-ended questions are often unsatisfactory. We prefer to ask strategic questions on a scale of agreement. For example, when an open-ended question asks why you choose the brand of beer you prefer, the overwhelming response is “I like the taste.” As taste is a personal and unquantifiable value, I think we can rest assured that everyone likes the taste of the beer they drink. It is a better market study when you ask hypothetical questions and asks for the level of agreement.
On a scale of 1 meaning you absolutely disagree and 5 that you absolutely agree, please rate your level of agreement with the following statements:
“I like the beer I drink to be…”
Obviously, research studies like this are more difficult to write because the strategist needs to try to solve the problem in a myriad of ways and then test them. However, the hard work is well worth the effort, and the market research studies conducted by Resultant Research have led the way to meaningful changes for countless brands all across the globe.
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Great brand research asks more than a traditional usage and attitude study does. Supplemental research, like focus groups and name testing, is misleading and a waste of money.Click here for more information.