Market research glossary

Business to Business Research (B2B) – Research for a client who sells primarily to businesses. Therefore, the research will be conducted with specific individuals or roles within target companies.

Consumer Research (B2C) – Research for a client who sells primarily to consumers, or members of the public. The research could be conducted with anyone who fits the client’s target market.

Cross Analysis – When the results of the research are broken down to show responses given by different groups, for example: age, gender, economic status, geographical location etc.

Data Analysis – Once the fieldwork has been completed, the results are analysed to enable us to present clear results and actionable recommendations to the client.

Data Processing – If the responses to a questionnaire have been recorded on paper, the data will be entered into an industry recognised software database (such as SNAP or SPSS) which will allow for a range of data analyses to be conducted.

Desk research – Secondary research, where we will look at information already in the public domain, either online or through generic published market research reports, that may be useful for the client.

Fieldwork – The gathering of primary or fresh information through one-to-one engagement with targeted groups of respondents.

Focus Groups – Groups of six to ten people with a specific profile are recruited and an in-depth discussion about the subject matter takes place at a neutral venue. The subject matter could be to stimulate new ideas for new product development for a company, or evaluating their existing products or services.

Frequency – This shows the number of times an incident or event occurs. In a market research report these will be presented as an absolute number and a profile percentage.

Hall Tests – A member of the public fitting a specific demographic or behavioural trait, will be recruited to evaluate a new product or service. Usually this type of research will be more interactive than a traditional survey, with the interviewee being asked pre-determined questions about what they can see, hear or perceive.

In-depth interviews – Longer, more analytical interviews carried out with specifically recruited individuals, usually with a high degree of knowledge relevant to the project, on a one-to-one or paired depth basis.

Interview – This is the term used for the process used by a Market Research interviewer to capture information from the respondent using a structured questionnaire. The interview can take place through a range of research methods.

Multivariate Analysis – Further levels of statistical analysis of quantitative data, such as regression analysis or conjoint analysis, which evaluate how datasets interact.

Mystery Shopping – A market research interviewer will pose as a member of the public to analyse how a company, or a representative from the company, interacts with its customers according to a number of criteria.

Online Research – A market research company will set up a survey and host it on a website. They will then invite people, traditionally through email or a pop-up on an existing webpage, to take part. The surveys can be interactive, showing the interviewee a range of information on the screen. The results are then fed back directly for analysis.

Primary Research – Research that involves collecting new data from the client’s target market using one from a wide range of research methods, for example random or quota sampling.

Postal Surveys – Research that involves delivering a questionnaire to a selected group of individuals, inviting them to complete it and return it in a pre-paid envelope.

Qualitative Research – Research that goes into more depth about specific subject matter with a smaller number of individuals. Questions are more open-ended and subjective than fixed responses and discussions are generally longer so as to evaluate quality of response. Typical questions asked are How? And Why? Rather than When? or Where? which are more objective. Qualitative research methods include in-depth interviews, hall tests and Focus Groups. Often participants are incentivised for their participation.

Quantitative Research – Research that aims to collect and collate large amounts of data that answer specific fixed response and open-ended questions which will satisfy the objectives of the survey. The number of respondents must be of sufficient magnitude to provide reliable data that can be tracked over time. Quantitative research methods include: street interviewing, telephone research, postal research and online research.

Questionnaire – We will work with a client to formulate the questionnaire to ensure all of the information they require insight into is covered. Questionnaires should be easy to understand, unambiguous and free from bias thereby not leading the respondent towards preferred results.

Quota Sample – We may be asked to ensure that the respondents are a representation of the population being observed, for example, 50% male, 50% female. The quota may be derived from the latest Census or the client’s own data.

Sample – The number of respondents we engage to participate in the survey. The sample should be large enough to ensure that there can be a high level of confidence in the results, for example, a representative sample conducted in a large town or city would be 400 interviews.

Self-Completion Surveys – Questionnaires that respondents fill in themselves. Sometimes an interviewer can be at ‘arms length’ so to help the individual if they require any part of the survey explaining.

Street Interviewing – Research where members of the public are approached, usually at random, and asked if they will take part in a survey if they fit the pre-determined quota requested by the client. The interviewer will then go through a list of set questions with the interviewee and record responses, either on paper or a hand held computer (CAPI). This works best for consumer research.

Telephone Interviewing – Research where an interviewer will call up a potential respondent asking them to take part in a survey. The interviewer will then go through a list of set questions and record responses either on paper or directly onto a computer (CATI). This research works best when the client or research company has a database of specific individuals or companies they wish to take part.

Tracking – This is the process of monitoring consumer behaviour and opinions over time. For effective tracking to take place the questionnaire should be kept the same as much as possible and the sample should be large enough to have a high level of confidence in the results and any differences.

Virtual Focus Groups – Focus Groups that take place online in a specialist chat room facility. These are used when the target respondents are geographically disparate, or the topic is sensitive thus requiring anonymity of response.

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