Marketing Research Using Multimedia Technologies

Marketing Research Using Multimedia Technologies

Martin Meißner (Bielefeld University, Germany), Sören W. Scholz (Bielefeld University, Germany) and Ralf Wagner (University of Kassel, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch120
OnDemand PDF Download:
$30.00
List Price: $37.50

Abstract

Marketing research is the process of systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data pertaining to the company’s market, customers, and competitors, with a view to improving marketing decisions. Multimedia technologies and the Internet have created opportunities previously unimagined in marketing research practice. Electronic or online marketing research takes one of two forms: research about the Internet and research on the Internet. Generally, marketing research activities cover the provision of relevant information to identify or solve marketing problems in the areas of market segmentation (e.g., selecting target markets or segments) as well as product (e.g., preference measurement for concept testing or new product development), pricing (e.g., identifying price thresholds), promotion (e.g., media and copy decisions), and distribution (e.g., location of retail outlets) decisions (Malhotra & Birks, 2005). This article aims to: • Review the impact of applying multimedia technologies to classic marketing research problems. • Present the different types of marketing research activities about the Internet as the most prominent application area of multimedia technologies. • Discuss the use of multimedia in online surveys in comparison to the traditional paper-and-pencil approach. The main contribution of the article is a discussion of advantages and challenges provided by innovative multimedia and network technologies for marketing researchers. Moreover, we present cues for improving the quality of surveys. The remainder of the article is structured as follows: First, we present examples of the application of multimedia technologies to illustrate the impact of multimedia on classic marketing research tasks. Subsequently, Web log mining, Web usage mining, and Web content mining are introduced as common marketing research fields directly concerned with research about the Internet. Then, benefits and challenges of online surveys are reviewed. Thereafter, we discuss response errors and ethical questions as crucial issues for the quality of data gained by online surveys. Finally, we draw conclusions and provide a spot on future developments.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

Marketing research is the process of systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data pertaining to the company’s market, customers, and competitors, with a view to improving marketing decisions.

Multimedia technologies and the Internet have created opportunities previously unimagined in marketing research practice. Electronic or online marketing research takes one of two forms: research about the Internet and research on the Internet. Generally, marketing research activities cover the provision of relevant information to identify or solve marketing problems in the areas of market segmentation (e.g., selecting target markets or segments) as well as product (e.g., preference measurement for concept testing or new product development), pricing (e.g., identifying price thresholds), promotion (e.g., media and copy decisions), and distribution (e.g., location of retail outlets) decisions (Malhotra & Birks, 2005).

This article aims to:

  • Review the impact of applying multimedia technologies to classic marketing research problems.

  • Present the different types of marketing research activities about the Internet as the most prominent application area of multimedia technologies.

  • Discuss the use of multimedia in online surveys in comparison to the traditional paper-and-pencil approach.

The main contribution of the article is a discussion of advantages and challenges provided by innovative multimedia and network technologies for marketing researchers. Moreover, we present cues for improving the quality of surveys.

The remainder of the article is structured as follows: First, we present examples of the application of multimedia technologies to illustrate the impact of multimedia on classic marketing research tasks. Subsequently, Web log mining, Web usage mining, and Web content mining are introduced as common marketing research fields directly concerned with research about the Internet. Then, benefits and challenges of online surveys are reviewed. Thereafter, we discuss response errors and ethical questions as crucial issues for the quality of data gained by online surveys. Finally, we draw conclusions and provide a spot on future developments.

Top

Research Tasks

Applying Multimedia in Preference Measurement

Multimedia technologies enable the combination of different types of stimuli, such as text and visual representation, as well as various choice alternatives. An often decisive plus of using multimedia technologies in marketing research is the ability to interact with the respondent. A salient example of the virtue of this fact is the adaptive conjoint analysis (ACA) from Sawtooth Software, which facilitates the measurement of customers’ preferences for different product or service designs. ACA customizes each interview so that each respondent is asked in detail only about those attributes of greatest relevance to him or her.

A screenshot of a pair-wise comparison from the ACA of Sawtooth Software is depicted in Figure 1. Two complex products have to be compared according to their desirability.

Figure 1.

Screenshot from the ACA Software (with kind permission from Sawtooth Software Inc.)

As indicated in Figure 1, various types of information can be combined in the use of multimedia. In this example, a combination of visual and textual stimuli, and the possibility to answer by means of ticking a checkbox, is dovetailed into the multimedia. Of course, the annotation of further multimedia technologies, such as sound, is easy to conceive.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Coverage Error: Mismatch between the target population and frame population.

Web Mining: Aims to identify interesting patterns of consumers’ behavior (Web usage mining), competitors’ behavior (Web content mining), and the structure of the vital information space, which is a marketplace in itself (Web structure mining).

Sampling Error: Non-representative selection of the sample from the frame population.

Marketing Research: Process of systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data pertaining to the company’s market, customers, and competitors, with the goal of improving marketing decisions.

Online Surveys: The creation of questionnaires for publication on the Internet as Web sites, as e-mail attachments, or as plain text e-mails.

Non-Response Error: Differences between respondents and non-respondents on the variables of interest.

Virtual Concept Testing: The presentation of a new product concept in an online environment to a sample of potential customers, in terms of its function, benefits, design, and branding to discover consumer’s reactions, attitudes, and purchasing intentions toward the product.

Measurement Error: Deviation of the answers of respondents from their true values on the measure.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset