It's surprising that a test market is still being considered instead of a proper marketing research initiative in the 21st century.
To obtain the most cost-efficient proposal from a research agency, you must provide a concise specification including your detailed expected deliverables.
Conducting a proper product testing project takes time since we need to give enough time to the consumers we've recruited as respondents to experience the product and form their opinion.
It's critical that the different panels in product testing projects are matched as closely as possible in all aspects.
In a quantitative research, diagnostics would cause the questionnaire to be longer and the project cost to increase due to the additional analyses incurred.
Marketing is not an exact science. A proper scientific experiment, if possible, would help supporting or refuting a marketing theory.
Data collection strategy depends strongly on the research objectives and project constraints like time and cost.
A customer experience survey must be conducted not too long from the actual event for customers to recall the experience well.
Statistics can help in providing guidance to assess if the observed difference between two scores really matters.
It's expected that branded and unbranded product tests may yield different results.
Think of sample size as a magnifying glass. You need a bigger sample size to detect a smaller difference.
Changing the layout and planogram of a store without any proper research could run the risk of alienating the loyal shoppers.
Research objectives determine the data collection strategy, not the other way around.
It shouldn't come as a surprise to see a difference in awareness level when comparing two tracking waves with a one year gap.
Online or offline is only a data collection strategy. In the end, research objectives should dictate which one is better suited.
Avoid asking two questions with highly correlated answers.
A Usage & Attitude study is intended to capture a snapshot of the current market condition.
In marketing research, the devil is also in the detail as well.
Calculating a rate card makes sense only if the specs are clearly defined & the variation from project to project is very small.
Research agencies, don't ignore the intangible high mental cost dealing with poor operations when calculating your gross margin.
Ignoring light and non-buyers of a brand is no recipe for growth (Byron Sharp).
In this environmentally friendly era, it's just a shame to demand research agencies to submit a hard copy of the proposal.
A new method takes time to create, develop, evaluate, test in a real situation, and implement commercially.
Very small businesses can also benefit from market research by asking for a simple feedback from their customers before launching a new promotion.
The conclusions are only as good as the data they're based on.
Marketing research can help business owners to identify potential consumers.
In an online survey, use a grid question sparingly since it actually counts as multiple questions.
Forcing customers to voice their opinion is not a good way to conduct a customer experience survey.
Manipulating fixed format ASCII data is a dying skill in marketing research.
In an unbranded product test, it's just too good to be true if respondents can guess the flavor or fragrance perfectly.
A poorly designed research is worse than no research at all.
If a research project is unplanned and there is only a limited budget, don't expect a comprehensive research design.
It's more important to reach the right target respondents than to be fast.
Marketing research can help business owners to understand their current consumers.
Without explicitly written criteria in the research brief, no marketing research agency can prepare a complete questionnaire.
You need to put yourself in your respondent's shoes when asking him/her to fill in a diary you've created.
A tool should be selected not due to its sexiness but due to its ability to answer the research objective.
Watch out for the order bias in the long list of responses when designing an offline pen-paper diary.
All people involved in the business of consumer insights must really master the fundamental of marketing research.
Questionnaire design & writing should really be left to professional marketing researchers.
Brand managers should have a mastery of marketing research principles to be able to write a proper research brief.
In a volumetric exercise, it's implicitly assumed that the concept & product are already optimized in the previous research stage.
It's almost impossible to try to understand the market, the category, your brands, and users of your brands from just one marketing research project only.
Principles of behavioral economics can help designing a survey questionnaire which minimizes the inherent biases of respondents. They can also be used to nudge consumers to prefer your brands.
Business objectives in a marketing research project must come from the brand team.
A good research would provide a guidance in your company intentional growth plan.
A better way to measure the length of interview in a survey is to count the number of questions.
"If you don't have a point of difference, you'd better have a low price." (Jack Trout)
Survey length should be determined by the number of questions asked, not the length of interview.
The acceptance of a product should be based on the evaluation by common consumers, not an expert panel.
In this digital age, marketing research is still all about excellent operations.
You must really think way out of the box to design a brand health check study covering 4 different categories in 7 different cities with a budget of only IDR 100 million.
In a self-completion mode of data collection, researchers should from time to time try out the questionnaires themselves to empathize with the respondents.
Users of marketing research services must acknowledge that each analytical solution has its own limitation.
Testing a new product branded but unpriced is dangerous since in the end price does matter.
Marketers who don't fully understand their own business issues can't write accurate research briefs.
It's a cardinal sin to tweak your data to fit your story.
Creating a rate card is a futile exercise if the project specifications are vague.
A boutique research agency doesn't mean a cheap research agency.
When business is good, you don't value research and data. When business is poor, you suddenly realize that you've got no data to guide you in the right direction.
When you've got a predetermined bias favoring a particular research method, you just can't see that another research method would be more suitable to achieve your objectives.
Behavioral economics covers a lot of topics; e.g., judgments, heuristics, biases, and choices.
Unless the questionnaire is very simple and short, interviewing by street intercept is to be avoided.
Always prepare a proper table specs before you start your data analysis.
To be able to extract some consumer insights for decision making purposes, you need to conduct some research. Doing a consumer research does require some investment.
Is there any correlation between the involvement of Procurement and the decline in the quality in the marketing research world?
Like Christmas which gives hope, market research casts light on the right direction businesses have to take.
When your Discussion Guide covers everything from A to Z, it indicates that you have no clue what you want to get out of the research and you are just on a big fishing expedition.
Before adopting a cheaper ingredient in a product, test it among the loyal users to avoid alienation.
An "evidence-based decision making" process must start with a clearly defined business objective.
Procuring market research services is not the same as procuring tangible goods.
All specific research questions must be specified by all stakeholders before embarking on a marketing research project.
Think of market research as your payment for relevant information to reduce risks in new product management.
When developing close-ended questions in your questionnaire, make sure to include "Not Applicable" as one of the possible answers.
A "sexy" method should be selected because it can answer the business objectives well, not because of its "sexiness" only.
Without access to retail audit and consumer panel data, it's just extremely difficult to monitor the market movement and develop the appropriate growth strategy for the brand.
If you can't accept the findings, then you'd better not conduct any marketing research in the first place.
To date, 2017 was the peak of the marketing research business in Indonesia. Hopefully the positive trend would continue in 2018, the "election year" (Tahun Pilkada).
A little knowledge is indeed dangerous. However, it's even more dangerous if you ignore experts' advice.
Garbage in, garbage out. Fancy analysis and graphics can't cover up poorly executed field operations
Fieldwork cost can be reduced by hiring inexperienced interviewers and letting go the proper field training and the various standard quality control checks at the expense of quality.
In the restaurant business, ingredients determine the quality of the foods served. In MR, field quality is the key success factor.
When testing your new product in a marketing research project, make sure you benchmark it against an existing product in the same class.
Churn is a good example where data mining and marketing research can complement each other.
There're several variants of the implicit association research method. Beware of what you're buying from research agencies.
When you're creating a new product or service and want to test it on your prospects, make sure you set aside a big enough budget to finance the research.
Even in data mining projects, the data in the customers database can still contain errors.
Variance of measurements from regular respondents can't be expected to be as low as that from trained panelists.
Preventing a disease is much better than treating it. Conducting a concept product test must precede launching a new product.
Marketing research can't guarantee any sales increase; probably only a price discount can.
Research is valuable if it can be translated into tangible marketing actions (in Steven A. Silbiger. The Ten-Day MBA 4th Ed. 2012).
An "evidence-based decision making" process should be augmented by good technologies to run smoothly and efficiently.
Respondents' fatigue must be taken into account seriously when designing a questionnaire.
"It is worth repeating the truism that research methods should be chosen based on the specific task at hand." (in Doing Qualitative Research by David Silverman, 5th Ed., 2018)
The proposal writer(s) must get involved in executing the project to ensure common sense is upheld in designing the study.
In the self-completion mode of data collection, each question must be very precise without any double interpretation.
Qualitative researchers must also understand the principles of experimentation like randomization and rotation to minimize bias.
Once the data and tables from the Data Processing Department are ready, always check & recheck for errors.
Newness of a methodology doesn't guarantee its validity and usefulness. Older methods have their own merits to be able to survive the test of time.
Research design determines the analytics that can be applied, and vice versa.
Volume forecast follows a branded test like a concept test or a concept-product test, and not an unbranded one.
Sampling theory makes it possible for us not to collect data from every location / area.
There are only two informative open-end questions in product testing projects; i.e., spontaneous likes and dislikes.
Quantitative research tries hard to shorten the length of interview to under 30 minutes while a focus group discussion can easily last for 3 hours.
Faster, better, cheaper is a myth! (Robert G. Cooper, in Winning at New Products: Creating Value Through Innovation, 5th Ed., 2017)
Excellent fieldwork execution is a must in every marketing research projects, and also in Sea Games 2017.
It's just an overkill to invite 6 research agencies to pitch for a standard concept-product test project.
A census will collect information from all relevant participants in the population, not just from a subset of the population.
The proliferation of small research agencies, originated from fieldwork suppliers, with only barely minimum technical competencies but offering a full marketing research service might deteriorate the quality of research in general.
A New Year wish: leave managing research to the research professionals.
Research proposals are supposed to be evaluated comprehensively, not only the investment section.
If an initiative is important enough, then there should be a proper written research brief.
In an online or mobile survey, the layout of a grid question must be designed well to avoid confusing & tiring respondents.
Cost Per Interview is a function of many factors; e.g., project type, sample size, respondent's criteria, no. of visits, interview length, and data collection method.
We should wait for all data to be collected and tabulated before studying the summary statistics to get a more reliable estimate. This is a practical application of the Law of Large Numbers.
It's a bad practice to cover many different topics in one research project.
Product performance must be evaluated in a proper context. A concept & product test methodology provides it.
In the end, comparing the quality of field service providers is like comparing SQ to Air Asia.
R&D should also understand well the basics of marketing & marketing research to be able to support the business effectively.
It's just unfortunate when research is used only to support an argument in an internal political debate within a company.
It's futile to ask respondents what they want directly in a marketing research project.
Small businesses can conduct a simple market research just by interviewing their own employees who may already know customers' likes, dislikes, and preferences.
Performance of a recently launched product should always be evaluated via a post launch check survey.
When designing a face-to-face interviewer administered questionnaire, try to put yourself in interviewers' shoes.
Randomness shouldn't be a determining factor when deciding to conduct mobile surveys.
Brand Managers, research will be just a waste of valuable resources if you, yourselves, are not sure what you're trying to sell to consumers.
A good branded evaluation should take into account the competition.
Qualitative research is useful in an exploratory study since the moderator has the flexibility to change the flow of questioning and the questions during a focus group discussion
A questionnaire administered face-to-face by an interviewer must be designed differently from a self-completion one.
Data collection method depends on the research objectives, analytics, cost & time constraints, and country specific limitation.
Marketing research can only provide a prediction via a simulation. The actual results must be confirmed via an experimentation.
Plan the analysis early, even at the proposal stage. Envision the end results as early as possible.
Qualitative research results in general are not supposed to be generalized to the wider population.
A good researcher must act as a trusted advisor for the client, not as a slave.
A mobile panel can provide a quick, simple, and cheap solution to screen out non-critical options.
An "evidence-based decision making" process would rely on the solid data sensemaking skills of the analysts to be able to be completed successfully.
It's just insane if you choose a particular software tool to boast only.
Completing a 60-question mobile survey is an experience you don't want to repeat.
When commissioning a large scale quantitative project to a fieldwork supplier directly, make sure your supplier has a strong enough financial resource to be able to complete the project.
Sometimes, the best way to understand why customers did what they did is to ask them directly instead of trying to model it.
Marketing research should be indispensable in an "evidence-based decision making" process.
A well executed segmentation exercise will depend heavily on pre-determined crystal clear business objectives.
Always focus on the research and business objectives when analyzing your data.
Marketing research can help business owners to identify potential consumers.
Big data project can be considered as providing the "inside view" while marketing research provides the "outside view".
If a particular brand image is problematic within an organization, then it'd be better to exclude in from the survey questionnaire.
Software package is only a tool to help you solve business problems.
Business insight is only as good as the quality of data it's based on.
Before conducting a post launch check, you need to wait and give enough time to the consumers to be aware of your brand and buy it.
A quick reminder. Changing the methodology slightly might change the end results significantly.
When writing a survey questionnaire, avoid creating an imagery attribute in two sentences joined by the conjunction 'or'.
Technology still can't replace basic marketing research skills like designing and writing a good questionnaire.
It's surprising that some researchers still don't understand that different data collection methods could yield different results.
It's just discouraging that some business folks still don't understand that marketing research must go through a proper process to extract good insights from the respondents.
A CEO should understand well and fully what marketing research is all about before condemning it useless.
Marketing research can't perform witchcraft. You can't just ask respondents directly & then come up with a new positioning concept.
You must have a clear definition for every possible answers in each question in your questionnaire.
You must not mislead respondents by providing a wrong description about your competitor's product in an unbranded product test.
Volume forecast in the FMCG world requires that we talk to all potential buyers to obtain the most accurate number.
Consumers are not brand managers. It doesn't make sense to expect them to think like a brand manager in a survey or focus group.
The number of questions in a mobile survey via a smartphone must be really limited to get good quality data.
Asking too detailed purchase habit in a survey is really problematic since memory fades very quickly.
You must not use marketing research to try to elicit confidential information from respondents.
No matter how big or small your data are, the appropriate research design and methodology will always depend on your objectives.
Market research agencies can launch standard projects in a short time. Usually, it's the brand team who's having problem finalizing the stimulus in time.
When doing data collection via an online or mobile panel, you need to let go imposing various quotas on your sample to be able to complete fieldwork within a reasonable time frame unless your panel database is extremely huge.
It's a wishful thinking to expect fieldwork to be 100% efficient. Even machinery can't be 100% efficient.
Before discussing sample size requirement, check first the size of the universe population.
It must be made a standard operating procedure that the R&D team must attend every product testing marketing research presentation.
The huge amount & different types of data in your disposal are relevant only if they help you achieve your business objectives.
Sample size determination is in the end a function of research budget or stimulus availability.
Software and tools can't replace the skills possessed by a well trained Statistician.
In every research project, it's of the utmost importance to define very clearly in advance the expected outputs.
Qualitative research asks "why" while quantitative research asks "what".
Don't confuse research methodology with operations excellence.
It's just a waste of resource when clients rush you for a proposal but at the end the initiative gets postponed indefinitely since the brand team can't produce the stimulus.
In this digital age, it's unfortunate that some clients still consider doing a 3 to 4-hour usage & attitude study.
A quality research proposal can be written if clients can provide agencies with a quality research brief.
Beware of the few outspoken respondents representing only the minority in the actual population when conducting Qual Research.
Each tool / technique has its own strengths and weaknesses. There's no perfect tool / technique.
Members of Consumer Insight Department should master Marketing Research principles to collaborate well with research agencies.
A new product launch shouldn't be left to an inexperienced brand team with only a limited knowledge about marketing research.
Every question in the questionnaire must have one and only one meaning.
The validity of the result of a marketing research project depends on the unbiased research design, not on the size of the sample.
"Faster, cheaper, better" must be compensated by a very focused, short, and to-the-point questionnaire.
Having more participants in one focus group discussion doesn't necessarily yield better insights.
Marketeers must master the market research principles to be able to collaborate well with MR agencies to solve business issues.