This video offers an overview of research methodologies to understand consumer behavior.
- How do we understand the reasons people buy or don't buy? The solutions range from the very simple, just ask them to the very complex where they don't necessarily know the reason that they chose one product over another. There are a range of research techniques available to better understand your customers. Depending on what you're trying to explore, some tools work better than others.
That's why it's so important to not just use the same tool for every problem. In other words, don't be a hammer in search of a nail. Let's start with qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative methods probe for deep answers by asking a lot of questions to a relatively small sample of people. The answers we get can be very rich and detailed but they can't necessarily be generalized to a larger group.
Generally, we often turn to qualitative methods first to do exploratory research in order to get a good feel for what our customers are actually experiencing. The most widely used qualitative technique is a focus group. This typically involves a group of about eight to 12 individuals who meet certain criteria. For example, women in their 20s who do yoga.
A trained moderator leads the discussion as group members come to a facility to share their opinions about products, activities or even whether they like different package designs. In some cases, the clients sit behind a one way mirror and observe what consumers have to say about them. The moderator's job is to keep the group on topic or focused. Today, it's also common for focus groups to be conducted online as participants log in from home to participate.
A more intensive form of qualitative research is based on ethnography, the technique that anthropologists use to study people in other cultures. Marketing researchers may actually go live with the natives. They visit consumers in their homes and share their experiences to see how buyers actually use the products they take home. As you can imagine, these studies can take a lot of time but they often yield fascinating results.
As the name suggests, quantitative research studies try to assign numerical values to consumers' feelings, beliefs or behaviors about products. For example, a survey might ask you to rate how positively you feel about a brand on a scale from one to seven. The results you get aren't nearly as rich as qualitative approaches but they allow you to consider feedback from a large sample of consumers so that you can more confidently generalize to a much larger market.
Surveys can be conducted by phone, mail or door to door but today it's much more common to see online surveys that can quickly and cheaply reach a large number of people. The social media revolution also gives us powerful new tools. Our customers, thousands or even millions of them, are literally posting feedback about our products 24/7.
New techniques like web scraping allow us to pull posts from Facebook, Instagram and other platforms and track what consumers have to say about our brands in real time. As technology advances, new approaches also are being tested. Some companies have developed the practice of neuromarketing for example. Essentially, this involves hooking people up to an fMRI that monitors electrical activity in different parts of the brain.
When we see certain brands, our brains light up. So we can analyze what consumers really think about our brands. There are lots of ways to figure out why we buy. Just remember, don't be a hammer in search of a nail.
First, learn the importance of consumer behavior in helping us understand when, why, and how purchasing decisions are made. Michael shares how factors such as color, shape, and sound influence our perception of brands and products. He discusses gender identity and products geared towards different genders, as well as how consumer lifestyles, values, and attitudes affect product preferences. Michael also goes into external influences on consumer behavior, covering how groups make decisions and how ideas spread. Finally, Michael explores the role emotion plays in purchase decisions, and how you can structure messages to maximize persuasion.
- Sensory marketing as a strategic tool
- How gender identity can affect product choice
- Personality and brand image
- Decision-making in groups
- Retailing as theater
- How ideas spread through the market
- Persuasive communications
- Influencing consumer behavior