Research for "Understanding Consumers"


By

Dr. Manoj K. Trivedi
Assistant Professor
MBA Department
Maharana Pratap Engg. College
Kanpur
 


Who ultimately design the product?
Who decide to buy brands?
Who's running the organization?
Who is the most important in any business activity?
              . Answer is only consumer

The success of any Product/ Brand is depends upon the acceptance by consumers. In the era of cutthroat competition the survival of any organization depends upon the satisfied consumers. Researches help us to understand consumers, to sell better as well as to track consumer satisfaction with the brand choice taken, both in the short term and the long term. The latest area of research helps us to understand the level customer satisfaction. 

Consumer behavior is a multilevel complex process. Research is used to identify the hidden truth of consumers. Research can be used to examine each of the elements of the buyer behavior process, from understanding motives, perception, life style, beliefs, attitude etc. to understand & predict consumer and its behavior.

To understand consumers each brand has to start by asking these basic questions;

WHO

Who is the consumer? What are the consumer's demographics? Where does consumer stay? Which socio-economic class does consumer belong? Who can influence the purchase behavior?

WHY

Why does consumer buy this product? This brand? What are their beliefs? What is consumer attitude towards the brand any the key competitors? What needs does this brand fulfill?

WHEN

When does consumer buy the brand? Daily, weekly or Monthly? When does consumer use the brand?

WHERE

Where does consumer buy the brand? Where else may consumer want to buy the brand? Where does consumer use the brand? At home ? Outside?

Research can give the answer of above-mentioned questions.

Quantitative research methods for understanding consumers

Quantitative research methods are those where the findings can be expected to represent the total population of consumers. These methods use proven questioning methods and tested sampling procedures to help marketers make estimates about the overall population of target consumers.

Following are the common quantitative research methods:

  • FACE TO FACE QUESTIONNAIRE (Interviewer administered)
  • SELF ADMINISTERED QUESTIONNAIRE
  • MAIL SURVEY
  • TELEPHONE SURVEY
  • INTERNET SURVEY
  • PANNEL STUDIES
  • TRACKING STUDIES
  • OBSERVATION STUDY
     
  • FACE TO FACE QUESTIONNAIRE (Interviewer administered):

    This is still the most common form of quantitative research. Trained investigators move across the various locations, on the basis of a sampling plan & interviewing consumers. The place of interview could be the home, office, shopping areas or airports.
     
  • SELF ADMINISTERED QUESTIONNAIRE

    In this method, the respondent is requested to fill up the questionnaire himself/herself. At times investigator at offices and homes to be picked up drops these self-administered questionnaires. The main benefit of this method is that the respondent can answer the questionnaire whenever he/she has the free time.
     
  • MAIL SURVEY

    Mail survey is form of self-administered questionnaire wherein the questionnaire is delivered and returned by post. Often there is a pre paid envelope to encourage response and there may even be a guaranteed gift.
     
  • TELEPHONE SURVEY

    This form of method is the most common in developed markets where telephone penetration is almost 100%. In India this kind of survey have been used for short interviews to the experts of different areas.
     
  • INTERNET SURVEY

    Web site can encourage visitors to answer a questionnaire that could help them win gifts. This method is known as the method of future and has time and cost advantage.
     
  • PANNEL STUDIES

    Some consumer behavior trend can be understood only if measure is the behavior, of same set of consumer over a period of time. The most common once are consumer panel, Retail panel, Academic panel and TV panel etc.
     
  • TRACKING STUDIES

    Most consumer product marketers want to study over a period of time the awareness level of their brands (Vs Competitors), trail, repeat purchase, image scores, advertisement recall etc.
     
  • OBSERVATION STUDY

    How does a consumer ask for a brand? How does he/she pick the pack from the shelf? How does the retailer to consumer queries? These and other such question can be answered only by observation.

With the help of these Research methods the marketer can understand the consumer and take a competitive advantage.
 


Dr. Manoj K. Trivedi
Assistant Professor
MBA Department
Maharana Pratap Engg. College
Kanpur
 

Source: E-mail July 1, 2006

     

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