LP4 – Marketing Research

I thought it was going to be an interesting day when the marketing instructor, Mike Reisenauer, couldn’t make it to class to teach the new concepts of marketing research.  With Paul and Laurie filling in, they utilized the marketing students knowledge.  The combined efforts and knowledge of the marketing students proved to be more than sufficient in discussing the concepts that Mike had set up for the day’s class.

The three take aways that I had gotten from the class were marketing research techniques, types of research and usability tests.

Marketing research techniques

http://www.powerdecisions.com/FAQ-qualitative-market-research.shtml

There are two types of marketing research, qualitative and quantitive.  Qualitative focuses on certain groups or one on one in depth interviews.  On then other hand, quantitive focuses on large numbers of people to generate research. In the article I have posted above, they discuss both techniques and some of the methods companies use to gather their information.   Phono-ethnography is a qualitative technique that is conducted by watching a participants interaction with a product opposed to asking them about it.  This technique is typically recorded through video surveillance. Hybrid survey is a quantitative technique used combining different types of research techniques intending to optimize response and validity.  They usually consist of an online survey followed up by a phone interview.  Their disadvantage is that they could end up being expensive to conduct.

Types of research

http://www.mymarketresearchmethods.com/primary-secondary-market-research-difference/

Primary and secondary research are two types of marketing research.  Primary research requires a company to do their own research on a product or service to maximize sales and stay current with consumers.  Secondary research is information that is already out there that a company can utilize to help them better understand what they are trying to achieve and promote it.  Most secondary research already exists on the internet.  They just need to find it online which is cheaper and faster but can be outdated as this article mentioned above states.   The longer and more expensive way would be primary research but the information collected would be relevant and up to date.  A company could choose to hire another individual to conduct this research or have an in house operation do it.

Usability Tests

http://uxmyths.com/post/831431504/myth-22-usability-testing-is-expensive

I found usability testing to be the most interesting takeaway from this class.  We have had this concept come up before in a previous class during my first semester but it has always been intriguing to me.  In a nut shell, usability testing tests a participants ability to navigate a company’s website or interaction with their product.  One of the most important this that a designer should remember to do with a website is to keep things updated and conventional.  For instance, make the navigation bar easy to find or make it appear easily if it’s meant to be hidden.  Don’t try to be unique and change things around too drastically because it could confuse the consumer.  If they become confused or frustrated, a simple design defect could make them leave a site and find something else more conventional.  The article discusses the fact not all usability tests are expensive.  Some companies skip usability test studies because they feel that they are too costly.  Usability tests should be a must for every company wether it’s for a website or product.  It gives tips and pointers on how to reduce costs of usability tests.  Paper prototypes are good enough already.  A company doesn’t have to go all out and finish a full design before trying it out with a participant.  These tests could also be informal and skip a nice looking lab set up.

In conclusion, marketing research techniques, types and usability tests were the three things that I took away from that class.  If I would have to choose one path, I would go with a combination of qualitative and quantitative research.  Then use primary research to gather more information about my target audience and finally conduct usability tests on participants.  With all these techniques utilized correctly, I feel that having a good combination of all these studies should give a company a good idea on how they should market their product or stay update with their consumers.

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