ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stacey Penczak
With an insatiable appetite for literature, Stacey can often be found curled up with her cats, swooning over her latest fantasy or historical fiction obsession. When she’s not managing research projects for AYTM, this yoga enthusiast and NJ native delights in baking (& eating!) desserts, finger painting with oils, practicing archery in her backyard, and exploring the nearby riverbanks year-round.
Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through Research

Gaining a Competitive Advantage Through Research

Marketers are regularly tasked with making decisions that are influenced by the competitive market structure – Which new product(s) will give us a competitive advantage? How do we address new entries in the market? What is the best positioning for this product? To help answer questions like these and gain a competitive advantage, researchers should begin by identifying the competitors and completing a competitive analysis. A competitive analysis is key because it reminds business decision makers that consumers often have many options in the marketplace and enables companies to assess their strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition.

Read more

3 Simple Techniques for Statistically Adjusting Data

3 Simple Techniques for Statistically Adjusting Data

Your strategic and tactical quantitative research work – designing, programming, and fielding an online questionnaire – result in raw data files containing all the respondents’ answers to your survey. Typically, some form of data preparation must be completed before your analysis begins. Neglecting to carefully prepare your raw data may jeopardize the statistical results and bias your interpretations and subsequent findings.

Read more

Painless Programming: Using Question Libraries and Automated Logic

Painless Programming: Using Question Libraries and Automated Logic

The adaption of widespread internet usage worldwide has greatly simplified the administration of questionnaires. Although in-person interviews of various forms may still be popular and appropriate in some countries and for certain studies, the increased global online presence has cultivated an expanding landscape for survey research.

Respondents may be recruited over the internet from panels or by using conventional methods (telephone, mail) and asked to participate in a live survey that they complete from an internet-equipped device at their convenience – be it work, home or while on-the-go. Many surveys are not even limited to desktop or laptop usage, embracing society’s transition to mobile devices like tablets and smartphones making on-the-go respondents more accessible.

Read more

Selecting the Best Research Design for Your Project

Selecting the Best Research Design for Your Project

Applying the findings collected from a market research study is a smart way to address your business concerns and answer questions. Therefore, you want to make sure you’re selecting the appropriate research design to collect useful data. Read more

Five Decisions Researchers Make When Constructing Itemized Rating Scales

Five Decisions Researchers Make When Constructing Itemized Rating Scales

When designing a questionnaire, a researcher has a variety of rating scales to choose from.

If you recall, rating scales can be comparative or noncomparative. Comparative rating scales are used to directly compare stimuli, and the collected data (which has ordinal or rank properties) can only be analyzed in relative terms. Conversely, noncomparative rating scales, also known as monadic scales, evaluate only one stimulus at a time. Noncomparative scales can be either continuous or itemized.

Read more

How to Conduct Customer Loyalty Research: An Introduction

How to Conduct Customer Loyalty Research: An Introduction

Quality control and management was once limited to conforming to internal company standards and specifications. If the product was built according to plan and worked as intended, it was ready to be shipped to the customer.

Today, organizations recognize that the customer, not the manufacturer, has the final say on whether or not a product’s quality satisfies expectations. Modern quality management efforts must be directed by the “voice of the consumer”, meaning organizations must understand their target customers’ needs and expectations, undergo continuous quality planning and improvement efforts, and keep the lines of company-consumer communication open at all times.

Read more

Using Market Segmentation to Understand Your Customers

Using Market Segmentation to Understand Your Customers

The goal of any market research is to provide actionable information concerning your/your client’s organization’s customers, operating environment, and marketing mix to help make better decisions. Market research spending can therefore be considered a risk-reduction investment, and each project should be clearly defined by decision making criteria. Segmentation research can be used to support decisions around identifying and selecting target customers of opportunity.

Read more

How to Estimate the Value of a Product’s Features: Conjoint Analysis vs. Discrete Choice Modeling

How to Estimate the Value of a Product’s Features: Conjoint Analysis vs. Discrete Choice Modeling

When developing a new product, you will complete several rounds of research to generate new ideas, optimize concepts, and position the final product in the marketplace. During the product development process, you’ll need to understand what features are most valuable or motivating to consumers. Two commonly used methods to quantitatively estimate the value of a product’s features include Conjoint Analysis and Discrete Choice Modeling.

Read more

Quantitative Approaches to Shopper Marketing

Quantitative Approaches to Shopper Marketing

You’re likely familiar with marketing research that focuses on consumer behavior, but shopper marketing requires a different approach, and it’s important to understand the differences between them. Consumer behavior research addresses what products people want or need and how to use marketing to stimulate the purchasing of said products.

Read more

How to Optimize and Adapt Your Survey to Field in Other Countries

How to Optimize and Adapt Your Survey to Field in Other Countries

As a market researcher, you may find that your company or agency has a need to conduct research in countries outside of your home country. This may take the form of foreign research, multinational research, or cross-cultural research – but all are considered international research. To complete a successful international research project, it is helpful for you to first familiarize yourself with the environment of the country(s) where you plan to field your survey.

Read more

Understanding the International Research Environment

Understanding the International Research Environment

As economic conditions continue to improve globally, combined with the lowering of trade barriers, many companies seek expansion overseas outside of the U.S. This naturally leads to increased opportunities for market research companies to contribute significantly to the development of the new international marketing strategies needed for said expansion.

Read more

How to Use AYTM Brand Templates – Part 2

How to Use AYTM Brand Templates – Part 2

When you sign up for any type of AYTM account (from ECO to PRIME) and open your Dashboard, at the top of the “Drafts” section you’ll see a collapsible purple-colored folder entitled “AYTM SURVEY TEMPLATES LIBRARY”. When you click on that folder, 10 survey templates will appear.

Our templates are your plug-and-play solution for testing logos, ads, product concepts, and more. No more guesswork or hunting down survey examples online – our team of researchers crafted these templates, and you can customize them for your needs. You don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting the folder or any of the templates within it because they’ll always be there for your use! To learn more about a template, click on the gear icon to the right of it. To start using a template, simply click on the clone/edit button  to clone the survey to your account and begin editing.

Read more

How to Use AYTM Brand Templates – Part 1

How to Use AYTM Brand Templates – Part 1

Brand and Competitor Assessment Template

When you sign up for any type of AYTM account (from ECO to PRIME) and open your Dashboard, at the top of the “Drafts” section you’ll see a collapsible purple-colored folder entitled “AYTM SURVEY TEMPLATES LIBRARY”. When you click on that folder, 10 survey templates will appear.

Our templates are your plug-and-play solution for testing logos, ads, product concepts, and more. No more guesswork or hunting down survey examples online – our team of researchers crafted these templates, and you can customize them for your needs. You don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting the folder or any of the templates within it because they’ll always be there for your use! To learn more about a template, click on the gear icon to the right of it. To start using a template, simply click on the clone/edit button  to clone the survey to your account and begin editing.

Read more

Unlock Your MROC’s Potential: Making the Most of Your Online Community

Unlock Your MROC’s Potential: Making the Most of Your Online Community

Whether you’re just getting started or have been utilizing them for years, market research online communities (MROCs) are a modern, hybrid approach to collecting both qualitative and quantitative data in a cost-efficient way by engaging with a community of respondents in a private forum that is usually invite-only. Online communities can last anywhere from one project spanning a few weeks to functioning as a semi-permanent source of respondents and information. Social media, remote working, flex hours, smart phones, tablets – technology enables people to be connected online 24/7 and contacted more quickly and easily than ever. Many generations of respondents you’ll be interested in talking to over the next several years have grown up with the internet and may find discussing product usage or brand preferences more natural on a MROC app than in a contrived focus group setting – not to mention, much more convenient. While there are many advantages of using online communities, to ensure you’re gathering the most useful and insightful data from your target market, be sure to follow these tips for a successful project.

Read more

The Role of Experimentation in Market Research

The Role of Experimentation in Market Research

Imagine you’re the product manager for a line of athleisure wear. You’re hoping to launch your newest product line at a major department store to round out the brand’s total offering, increase sales, and grow your brand’s floor and shelf presence. Unfortunately, the sportswear department’s buyer isn’t convinced this new line is needed, fearing it will cannibalize sales from your brand’s current assortment. To support your theory that the new line will yield incremental sales, you suggest conducting an in-store test by launching the new product line at a handful of stores representative of the total market and comparing sales and basket data pre- and post- launch. The sportswear buyer agrees to a 5 week in-store test, and you’re eager for the opportunity to win the additional business. Now, it’s time to start carefully planning for this in-field experimental research and learn if your hypothesis (the new line will create incremental sales) can be inferred based on the test market findings.

Read more

What? So What? Now What? : Enhancing the Impact of Insights and Recommendations

What? So What? Now What? : Enhancing the Impact of Insights and Recommendations

Your carefully constructed survey is out of field, and you’ve completed your data analysis. The last step in completing your market research project is to prepare the report. Your report can be written and/or oral and should detail the research process, results, and recommendations or conclusions tailored to a specific audience. This may mean developing several reports that highlight the information most important to each invested stakeholder group.

Read more

Do’s and Don’ts of Question Wording

Do’s and Don’ts of Question Wording

Deciding how to word your survey questions may seem like one of the easier tasks of survey writing, but it is actually one of the most difficult and critical tasks. Poorly worded questions can result in bad data: respondents may refuse to answer the question entirely or misinterpret what the question is asking, and as a result, answer incorrectly. These lead to response errors and can make data analysis more challenging. It is key that both the researcher and respondent interpret the questions identically, otherwise you wind up with biased data. Consider the following six tips when writing your survey questions to help optimize wording and, ultimately, obtain more accurate data.

Read more

Overcoming Respondent Inability and Unwillingness to Answer

Overcoming Respondent Inability and Unwillingness to Answer

A structured survey is the most common quantitative method for collecting primary data from a sample of a population. The sample of respondents is asked a variety of questions regarding past or future behavior, attitudes, motivations, lifestyle, and demographic traits. There are several advantages to using a survey methodology: the questionnaire is easy to administer, the data are reliable, and using fixed answer choices reduces any interviewer bias or variability that may have resulted in a phone or in-person interview, for example. A disadvantage; however, is that respondents may be unable or unwilling to provide the information you’re looking for. When writing your survey, consider the following information and techniques to help encourage more informed and accurate answers from respondents.

Read more

Comparative Scaling Techniques Simplified

Comparative Scaling Techniques Simplified

You want to use comparative scales when you have two or more objects (stimuli) that you
want respondents to compare at the same time. The major advantage of comparative scales for you as a researcher is that small differences between your test stimuli can be detected. From a respondent perspective, comparative scales are easily understood. Respondents are shown the stimuli simultaneously, allowing them to compare the objects starting from the same reference points, which helps reduce carry over effects (such as order bias) from one judgement/response to another. As respondents compare the objects, they are forced to make a choice between them. The resulting data has only ordinal (rank order) properties. It may be helpful to first brush up on the Fundamentals of Market Research Scaling Techniques to ensure you have a fresh understanding of the types of scales used in Market Research.

Read more

Fundamentals of Market Research Scaling Techniques

Fundamentals of Market Research Scaling Techniques

You’ve planned your research design and identified the type(s) of information you want to gather. Now you’re ready for the next step in developing your research survey: deciding which measurement and scaling techniques you want to use to collect your data.

Read more