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Behavioral Research

Behavioral Research

Behavioral Research: Customers leave traces of their purchasing behavior in store scanning data, catalog purchases reflect consumer database.

Marketers can learn much by analyzing these data. Actual purchases reflect consumers’ preference and often are more reliable than statements they offer to market researchers.

For example, grocery shopping data show that high-income people don’t necessarily buy the more expensive brands, contrary to what they might state in interviews, and many low-income people buy some expensive brands.

As Chapter 4 described, there is a wealth of online data to collect from consumers, Clearly, American Airlines can learn many useful things about its passengers by analyzing ticket purchase records and online behavior.

The most scientifically valid research is experimental research, design to capture cause-and-effect relationships by eliminating competing explanations of the findings. If the experiment is well designed and executed, research and marketing managers can have confidence in the conclusions.

Experiments call for selecting matched groups of subject, subjecting them to different treatments, controlling extraneous variables, and checking weather observed response differences are statistically significant.

If we can eliminate or controls extraneous factors. we can relate the observed effects to the variations in the treatment or stimuli.

American Airlines might introduce ultra high-speed Wi-Fi service on one of its regular flights from Chicago to Tokyo and charge $25 one week and $15 the next week. If the plane carried approximately the same number of first-class passengers each weak and the particular weeks made no difference, the airline could relate any significant difference in the number of passengers using the service to the price charged


Marketing researchers have a choice of three main research instruments in collocating primary data: questionnaires, qualitative measures, and technological devices.

Questionnaires A questionnaire consist of a set of questions presented to respondents. Because of its flexibility, it is by far the most common instrument used to collect primary data.

The form, wording, and sequence of the questions can all influence the response, so testing and DE-bugging are necessary.

Closed-end question specify all the possible answers, and the response are easier to interpret and tabulate. Open-end question allow respondents to answer in their own words.

They are especially useful in exploratory research, where the researcher is looking of insight into how people think rather measuring how many think a certain way. Table 5.1 provides example of both type of question; also see ”Marketing Memo : Questionnaire Dos and Don’s”

Quality Measures
Some marketers prefer qualitative methods for gauging consumer opinion because they feel consumers’ actions don’t always match their answers to survey questions.

Qualitative research techniques are relatively indirect and unstructured measurement approaches, limited only by the marketing researcher’s creativity, that permit a range of response.

They can be an especially useful first step in exploring consumers’ perceptions because respondents may be less guarded and reveal more about themselves in the process.c

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