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Previous Issues

Click on the issue number to view the list of articles and abstracts. Full MRS Members and Premium Subscribers have access to the entire archive. Standard Subscribers can access articles published in the last 12 months.

This online archive only goes back to 1991 with the exception of a few Landmark Papers. Options for publishing papers prior to this date are being considered. If you are looking for a paper before this date please contact us.


Volume 58 (2016)

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 641–646 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey previews the articles in the September 2016 issue of IJMR, covering topics including luxury brands in China, product placement strategies and measuring brand preferences in the US. A paper from Italy investigates the predictive power of Katona's Index of Consumer Sentiment in recent economic recession to forecast consumption, in order to illustrate its relevance to market research. A US-based paper addresses the challenge posed in research surveys that require participants to rate their preferences where they are faced with a long list of potential product attributes.
Published 26 September 2016

Binary choice vs ratings scales: a behavioural science perspective
Chris Harvey pp. 647–648 [Download PDF]
This paper argues for the adoption of binary choice over ratings scales, from the knowledge that the majority of human decision making takes place in what Kahneman (2011) and others have described as 'system 1'. Negative issues associated with the use of ratings scales in surveys have been widely reported (e.g. Revilla 2015), with the binary choice response option having been proposed as a better method due to its elimination of a number of biases. Given that we regularly classify concepts, objects, organisations or other people in binary format using system 1, the binary choice response option would seem to provide a method not only less biased than ratings scales but, critically, more realistic.
Published 26 September 2016

How to mix brand placements in television programmes to maximise effectiveness
Nathalie Dens, Patrick De Pelsmacker, Peter Goos and Leonids Aleksandrovs pp. 649–670 [Download PDF]
This research, based on 20 brand placement campaigns for 17 brands in 11 Belgian entertainment shows, uses the mixture modelling technique to identify the optimal mix of brand placement types in a programme. It determines the ideal proportions of prop placements (branded products that are put on display during the programme, without active interaction between the product and a person), interactive placements (placements that entail interaction between a branded product and a person), and look-and-feel placements (branding elements that are visually incorporated in the scenery of the programme) to maximise brand attitude and brand recall. Controlling for programme connectedness, brand attitude is maximised when all brand placements in a programme are interactive. The optimal mix for brand recall is more diverse, and changes for consumers with different viewing frequencies. For light viewers, 39% interactive and 61% prop placements should be used. For consumers with high viewing frequency, a relatively larger proportion should be allocated to interactive placements (44%).
Published 4 May 2016

Consumer sentiment after the global financial crisis
Edoardo Lozza, Andrea Bonanomi, Cinzia Castiglioni and Claudio A. Bosio pp. 671–692 [Download PDF]
The present study seeks to analyse the predictive capacity of the Index of Consumer Sentiment (ICS) (a leading index in international market research) in Italy, before and after the global financial crisis. The analysis focuses on the period 2005–2013 and investigates the predictive power of the ICS with regard to two different outcomes: (1) the actual level of household consumption (considering both its absolute value as total spending and its quarterly variations) and (2) consumers' strategies (i.e. reducing their consumption, focusing on discounts and promotions, focusing on quality), both in general and in specific sectors (e.g. food, leisure, health). The study is based on a second-level analysis of data collected by the Italian Statistical Institute (ISTAT) and a tracking survey on Italian consumers' perceptions and strategic intentions (four waves per year, each consisting of 1,000 telephone interviews based on a structured questionnaire). The findings show that the ICS is predictive of quarterly variations in household consumption, and not of its absolute values; that the index is more predictive in the following trimester, while less predictive synchronously (i.e. in the same quarter); and that its predictive power was stronger between 2009 and 2013 compared to previous years. Furthermore, after 2008, the ICS was also predictive of consumer strategies, particularly those aimed at reducing expenses and focusing on quality (while no relation seems to exist between consumer sentiment and consumers' strategies aimed at discounts and promotions). Implications for marketing and market research are discussed.
Published 1 December 2015

A respondent-friendly method of ranking long lists
James Heyman and John Sailors pp. 693–710 [Download PDF]
This article illustrates a respondent-friendly approach to preference elicitation over large choice sets, which overcomes limitations of rating, full-list ranking, conjoint and choice-based approaches. This approach, HLm, requires respondents to identify the top and bottom m items from an overall list. Across respondents, the number of times an item appears in participants’ L (low) list is subtracted from the number of times it appears in participants' H (high) list. These net scores are then used to order the total list. We illustrate the approach in three experiments, demonstrating that it compares favourably to familiar methods, while being much less demanding on survey participants. Experiment 1 had participants alphabetise words, suggesting the HLm method is easier than full ranking but less accurate if m does not increase with increases in list length. The objective of experiment 2 was to order US states by population. In this domain, where knowledge was imperfect, HLm outperformed full ranking. Experiment 3 involved eliciting respondents’ personal tastes for fruit. HLm resulted in a final ranking that correlated highly with MaxDiff scaling. We argue that HLm is a viable method for obtaining aggregate order of preferences across large numbers of alternatives.
Published 4 January 2016

Exploring Luxury Value Perceptions in China: Direct and indirect effects
Gong Sun, Steven D'Alessandro and Lester W. Johnson pp. 711–732 [Download PDF]
Taking the case of China, this paper examines the relationship between different luxury value dimensions, and explores how these affect consumers’ purchase intentions. China is now the second largest luxury market in the world. Most previous studies of luxury consumption have tested only the direct influences of luxury value perceptions on purchasing behaviour. For this paper, sample data were gathered through surveys administered to 409 Chinese nationals living in China. The model is empirically tested using structural equation modelling. The current research incorporates both personal- and social-oriented perceived values, and draws a holistic picture of consumers’ decision-making processes in luxury consumption. The results suggest that perceived social value and perceived emotional value both directly influence luxury purchase intention. Perceived unique value exerts an indirect impact on luxury purchase intention. Perceived quality value has both a direct and indirect effect on luxury purchase intention. We also account for cultural differences rather than simply replicating previous studies in China. We consider local culture in order to understand what consumers actually value from luxury products, and we discuss the implications of indigenisation for future international marketing research.
Published 1 April 2016

Exploring the past behaviour of new brand buyers
Arry Tanusondjaja, Giang Trinh and Jenni Romaniuk pp. 733–748 [Download PDF]
This research examines the retrospective buying behaviour of customers acquired by a new brand, both at category and brand level. New brand launches are risky endeavours for marketers, as many fail to attract a sustainable customer base. We examine new brand launches in six packaged goods categories in the UK, across a wide range of brand and category conditions, including premium brands and private labels. The results show that, in the pre-launch period, buyers of a new brand are more likely to have been heavier (more frequent) category buyers and, where applicable, heavier buyers of a parent brand. However, despite disproportionately drawing from heavy category buyers, the buyers of new launches tend to become only light brand buyers. This suggests that new brands are more likely to 'slip' into the repertoire of heavy category or parent brand buyers. This research contributes to our understanding of repertoire formation in packaged goods categories. It also has implications for the pre-testing of new launches and the scheduling of marketing activities.
Published 26 September 2016

Insight Intelligence Market Research Summit 2016, 9-10 May, London
Ian Bramley and Emma Bramwell pp. 749–753 [Download PDF]
This article covers a new approach to measuring rail passengers' experience by exploring the emotions associated with rail travel among London commuters. A multi-stage design involved creating and validating a new non-verbal emotional scale, and capturing these emotions in the moment via an in-app survey. The results show that, in a transport research landscape filled with standardised scales for measuring recalled experience, there is a place for monitoring the in-the-moment emotional experience of passengers.
Published 26 September 2016

Insight Intelligence Market Research Summit 2016, 9-10 May, London
Jillian Ney pp. 754–760 [Download PDF]
This article considers social media intelligence in market research, including the tools needed to analyse conversations and the challenge of how to extract value from the millions of online conversations that happen daily. Social media can be seen as the largest focus group in the world, however, unlike other forms of online research, the challenge is to extract value from the millions of online conversations that happen daily without asking any direct questions and without anyone knowing you are there. To get the scale required to analyse social media conversations, we rely on social analysis tools, from analytics to audience interest mapping to social listening. These tools require a skilled end user to analyse and interpret the data to turn the conversations into insight. As an industry, market research must overcome the barriers associated with social media intelligence.
Published 26 September 2016

Book Review: Creating value with Big Data analytics: making smarter marketing decisions, by Peter C. Verhoef, Edwin Kooge and Natasha Walk
Peter Mouncey pp. 761–764 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Creating value with Big Data analytics: making smarter marketing decisions', by Peter C. Verhoef, Edwin Kooge and Natasha Walk. The book covers more than just the analytic techniques that might be applied in the world of Big Data. At the heart of it is also a useful framework for operationalising Big Data within the company. It can provide market researchers with a perspective on the skills and techniques necessary to extend their role in developing insight from a wider range of data sources.
Published 26 September 2016

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 491–498 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey previews the articles in volume 58(4) of IJMR, including research into the decline of the term 'market research' and the impact of incentives on participation in online surveys. Peter also discusses the Viewpoint piece about the place of market researchers within the Big Data revolution and the Forum section on applying 'raking' to market research data. The editorial describes the second IJMR lecture of the year which included Professor Patrick Sturgis and Professor John Curtice discussing the inquiry into the failure of polling before the 2015 UK General Election. Peter notes that the final IJMR Lecture for 2016 will be on the 1st November and be focused on the project investigating ethics in social media research and the MRS response in terms of new guidelines.
Published 5 August 2016

The big opportunity in Big Data
Colin Strong pp. 499–502 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint describes the new opportunity for market researchers provided by the data trails that track our lives and behaviour with increasing levels of granularity and precision. Recent studies have suggested that presently brands aren't realising the potential of this data and are often failing to get a return on their investments. Big Data should be studied to derive an understanding about consumers' psychology; relatively simple pieces of data can reveal deep truths about who people are. The challenge of data is actually resulting in a return to the heritage of market research as a key gateway between academia and industry. Market research has, for a long time, relied heavily on consumers self-reporting their needs, attitudes and emotions; data has the potential to bypass the biases of self-reporting to derive new insights and radically change our understanding of human behaviour.
Published 5 August 2016

The declining use of the term market research: An empirical analysis
Daniel Nunan pp. 503–522 [Download PDF]
This paper analyses the use of the term ‘market research’ in a contemporary context. Although the term is well established as an industry definition, its use and meaning have become increasingly contested. This study brings together empirical data from a range of sources that reflect key stakeholders within the market research sector. Findings suggest that the term ‘market research’ has become increasingly marginalised amongst these key stakeholders. Few of the leading research firms use this term to describe their core activity, and data suggest that wider use of the term has declined over the past decade. Where ‘market research’ is used, the term is typically demoted to describing a set of skills rather than a strategic concept around adding value. A number of explanations for this are explored, including isomorphism among research firms, the role of research in generating value, and the broader economic context in which research takes place. Finally, the paper considers whether continuing use of the term is beneficial to the future success of the research sector.
Published 1 June 2016

Device use in web surveys: the effect of differential incentives
Aigul Mavletova and Mick P. Couper pp. 523–544 [Download PDF]
This paper hypothesises that conditional differential incentives can increase overall participation rates and the proportion of respondents who use a particular device in web surveys. Previous studies have not found effective ways of encouraging participants to use smartphones to complete web surveys. We conducted an experiment using a volunteer online access panel in Russia with 5,474 invitations sent to regular mobile internet users. We varied the invitation mode (SMS vs email) and encouragement to use a particular device for completing the survey: mobile phone or personal computer (PC). SMS increased the proportion of mobile web respondents, while email increased the proportion of PC web respondents. As expected, differential incentives increased the overall participation rates by 8–10 percentage points if higher incentives were offered for completing the survey on a mobile phone. Contrary to expectations, offering higher incentives to PC web respondents did not produce higher participation rates compared to the control condition. Both encouraging the use of a mobile phone and offering higher incentives were effective at increasing the proportion of respondents using mobile devices. In terms of both participation rates and the proportion of respondents using mobile devices, offering incentives 50% higher was as efficient as offering incentives 100% higher for mobile web respondents. Offering higher incentives to mobile web respondents also had an effect on sample composition. Significantly higher participation rates were found among females and those with higher education.
Published 5 August 2016

Negative online consumer reviews: can the impact be mitigated?
L.G. Pee pp. 545–568 [Download PDF]
This study proposes that managing the marketing variables of product information, price, promotion and product distribution can mitigate the impact of negative online reviews (NOR). NOR are often inevitable, have a much wider reach, dwell much longer and threaten product sales. It is therefore necessary to understand how the negative impact can be managed more actively. The marketing variables are conceptualised for the e-commerce context. Analysis of objective data on 500 books supports the hypotheses and provides empirical evidence for the relative effectiveness of the variables. In addition to adapting the 4Ps framework of marketing management to the e-commerce context, this study highlights the need and potential to extend theoretical development and research efforts beyond the antecedents and effects of NOR to understand how to manage NOR. The findings have practical relevance for e-commerce businesses. Avenues for future research are also identified.
Published 5 August 2016

Plackett-Burman design in choice-based conjoint analysis: A case of estimating warning message distribution on tobacco packages
Ruben Huertas-Garcia, Laura Guitart-Tarrés and Ana Núñez-Carballosa pp. 569–594 [Download PDF]
The authors propose a Plackett-Burman experimental design to rearrange profiles in blocks in choice-based conjoint analysis as an alternative technique for measuring preferences that accommodate large numbers of options. Although in choice-based conjoint analysis profiles are usually randomly organised in blocks, we propose a manually statistical arrangement because its design takes into account all the factors in the same number and equally distributed, and because it allows us to determine the degree of resolution in advance. Plackett-Burman can be an efficient design if we consider a trade-off between the number of stimuli in each choice set and the number of choice sets used in the assessment process. To illustrate its uses we describe an empirical application measuring preferences for shocking warning messages on cigarette packages described in 11 pictures and we estimate the distribution of these on tobacco products to optimise impact on teenagers.
Published 1 October 2015

Assessing the response format effects on the scaling of marketing stimuli
Ling Peng and Adam Finn pp. 595–620 [Download PDF]
Multi-item rating scales are the accepted solution for achieving reliable and valid measures in the social sciences. Issues not fully resolved include the optimal number of response categories, choice of semantic rating versus Likert form, and the appropriateness of mixing positively and negatively expressed items. While there is considerable empirical research on these issues, it addresses the scaling of respondents and is yet to produce consensus as to the most appropriate practice. In marketing, multi-item scales are not only used to scale consumer respondents, they are used to scale marketing stimuli. This article examines these response format issues when the primary objective is to scale marketing stimuli rather than consumers using generalisability theory criteria for data quality. G-study website assessment data using different response formats are used to compare their effects on the observed variance components and G-coefficients for websites. Conclusions are drawn for the most appropriate response format to use in marketing studies that scale marketing stimuli.
Published 1 August 2015

A better rim weighting algorithm
Michael Baxter pp. 621–634 [Download PDF]
This paper proposes the asymmetric rim weighting algorithm as an alternative to rim weighting (also called raking). The latter is currently a popular method for grossing up the results of a sample survey, but asymmetric rim weighting produces results that are more efficient and have fewer high weights, with little or no increase in processing time.
Published 5 August 2016

Black box thinking: the surprising truth about success, by Matthew Syed
Dick Stroud pp. 635–637 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Black box thinking: the surprising truth about success' by Matthew Syed. 'Black box thinking' looks at the very different ways that various people and organisations can respond to failure; in particular, comparing the aviation industry's process of compiling data after any accident with healthcare's tendency to deny responsibility for any failures. Healthcare is defined by Syed as a 'closed loop' where failure does not lead to progress, whereas aviation is an 'open loop' that systematically analyses failure to ensure it is not repeated. Individuals, like the industries discussed, also benefit from admitting their mistakes and trying to learn from them. The book investigates organisational cultures where failure is used to drive progress through case studies such as James Dyson, Unilever, and Team Sky.
Published 5 August 2016

Management of the fuzzy front end of innovation, by Oliver Gassman and Fiona Schweitzer
Nusa Fain and Beverly Wagner pp. 637–638 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Management of the fuzzy front end of innovation' edited by Oliver Gassmann and Fiona Schweitzer. The inadequate management of the early innovation phase if commonly referred to as the fuzzy front end (FFE); empirical research suggests the FFE is essential to successful innovation, but management continues to have difficulty designing this stage. This book aims to address this issue by presenting practical explanations, tools and examples of how to manage and implement the FFE of the innovation process. The research draws upon a wide range of knowledge within the field of innovation management and includes contributions by key scholars and practitioners in accessible language. The integration of empirical research with practical case studies makes the book a unique and compelling read which achieves its primary objective of explaining the FFE and the impact its effective management can have on innovation outcomes.
Published 5 August 2016

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 341–350 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey previews the articles in volume 58(3) of IJMR, including whether codes of conduct actually influence day-to-day behaviour and how a quantitative analysis can be applied to qualitative data. Peter also discusses the first IJMR Lecture of the year – delivered by Mike Savage on the issue of social class – and the IJMR hosted debate at Impact 2016 entitled 'Who will succeed in the new age of data discovery?'. Finally, this editorial outlines the final report of the British Polling Council (BPC)/MRS polls inquiry.
Published 27 May 2016

The new rules of engagement
Samantha Bond pp. 351–354 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint describes the challenges that the market research industry is facing when it comes to Millennial employees and outlines some positive steps that should be taken. 70% of Millennials see themselves working independently in the future; this highlights the disparity between what traditional employers are offering and what Millennial employees actually want. To appeal to future generations, market researchers must recognise that some of the cornerstones of their industry are outdated and work to redefine archaic processes and tools. The market research industry must tap the millennial mindset and implement a Millennial start-up mentality to better attract and retain the top Millennial talent. In particular, Millennials value flexibility, incentivisation and belonging in a way that is distinctly different to previous generations.
Published 27 May 2016

Gender and the media: investigating audience opinions on TV, radio and the Internet
David Bunker and James Bryson pp. 355–380 [Download PDF]
In this paper the authors explain how they investigated the issue of gender and the media in the UK, looking at how the audience feels about both the amount of coverage of men and women and their views on the quality and character of portrayal on TV, radio and online. As well as exploring the methodological challenges in researching the subject, they also discuss how they used the Bem Sex Role Inventory to explore whether where the audience sits on a spectrum of masculinity/femininity helps to explain their consumption and appreciation of the television they consume.
Published 27 May 2016

Investigating market research ethics
Anca C. Yallop and Simon Mowatt pp. 381–400 [Download PDF]
In academic and practitioner literature, codes of ethics are generally understood to act as a mechanism guiding and ensuring ethical behaviour. However, this premise has not yet been thoroughly explored. Using a qualitative research approach this study examines the tools used in ethical decision-making by New Zealand marketing research practitioners, with a focus on client relationships. Participants reported on their awareness, familiarity, and use of professional and organisational codes of ethics. In particular, information was sought on how ethical issues were dealt with when they arose in their relationships with clients. This empirical research focused on the effects of different variables and emerging constructs, and the interplay between them, on ethical decision-making in client relationships. The paper concludes with a discussion of research contributions, implications for the practice of marketing research, and future research opportunities.
Published 26 January 2016

Understanding shopper transaction data: how to identify cross-category purchasing patterns using the duplication coefficient
Arry Tanusondjaja, Magda Nenycz-Thiel and Rachel Kennedy pp. 401–420 [Download PDF]
This paper applies the D Duplication Coefficient from the Duplication of Purchase Law as a benchmark to help investigate patterns in simultaneous product category purchases. Shopper transaction data enable a deep analysis of what goes into shoppers’ baskets; however, robust benchmarks are critical to see patterns in such rich data. We demonstrate the application of D Duplication Coefficient data to 30,000-plus UK and US supermarket transactions. The cross-category benchmarks allow meaningful deviations to be identified, isolating categories that are more or less intensely co-purchased than expected, which can then be used to guide decisions regarding store layout, prioritise in-store activations and plan product category promotions.
Published 27 May 2016

The benefits of quantifying qualitative brand data
Kaleel Rahman and Charles S. Areni pp. 421–450 [Download PDF]
Researchers suggest quantification of qualitative data as an innovative approach to knowledge creation. Brand associations, a form of qualitative data, are common in measuring customer-based brand equity. The branding literature suggests that not all brand associations are equal. The strength, uniqueness and valence of brand associations need to be considered when assessing brand associations (Keller 1993). Although Keller's work is cited by many, no study has devised a method to quantify and integrate these three dimensions into a single index. This study provides an approach to address all three dimensions simultaneously. The approach first determines uniqueness of brand associations by coding associations into several mutually exclusive meaning categories. Then the serial order of free-association elicitation is used to assess association strength. The serial order, combined with a measure of valence, creates a quantification of open-ended brand associations called a 'weighted valence index' (WVI). In conclusion, the paper discusses the reliability and validity of the proposed measure.
Published 1 September 2015

3D visualisation for online retail: factors in consumer behaviour
Andrew Wodehouse and Mohammed Abba pp. 451–472 [Download PDF]
This work investigates the effect of 3D product visualisation on online shopping behaviour. A virtual shopping interface with product categories projected in both 2D and 3D was developed and deployed. The main purpose of this system was to determine the suitability of a 3D virtual catalogue as a shopping outlet for consumers and the potential impact on consumer shopping behaviour. The virtual catalogue was implemented as a web-based interface, with products displayed with the intent of determining whether the level of presence experienced affected consumer motivations to shop. Participants completed an immersive tendency questionnaire to ascertain their alertness and levels of immersion before viewing the interface, and afterwards completed a presence questionnaire related to the viewing experience. The results showed significant correlations between individual immersive tendencies and presence experienced. In addition, items in the presence questionnaire were aligned with ease of use, interactivity and realism. This leads to a number of recommendations for the design of future virtual shopping environments and considerations for the assessment of online consumer behaviour.
Published 27 May 2016

IJMR-hosted debate: 'Who will succeed in the new era of data discovery' – Impact 2016, London, 15 March 2016
Adam Phillips, Edwin Kooge, Paul Bosher and Rachel Lawes pp. 473–484 [Download PDF]
The MRS's Impact 2016 conference showcased the research sector's curiosity, its talent to mine dazzling insights and its ability to ignite revolution in business and society. The IJMR-hosted debate focused upon the question of 'who will succeed in the new era of data discovery' and included Adam Phillips from Real Research who chaired the debate, as well as speakers: Edwin Kooge from Metrixlab Big Data Analytics, Paul Bosher from Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rachel Lawes from Regent's University, London, and Christina Jenkins from LinkedIn. The new era offers the opportunity for researchers to act as 'data curators': identifying, sourcing, integrating, analysing and interpreting the 'smart data' that delivers real added-value insights to clients. Researchers will need to have a new range of skills and experience – from both the data analysis and the business side – in order to truly make the most of the exciting new era.
Published 27 May 2016

The storytelling book: finding the golden thread in your presentations, by Anthony Tasgal
David Smith pp. 485–485 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'The storytelling book: finding the golden thread in your presentations' by Anthony Tasgal. 'The storytelling book' will interest those who want to know more about the idea of using the emotional power of stories to engage audiences. The first section of the book is dedicated to illustrating how past presenters have lost their way and the development of the 'death by PowerPoint' style of presentation. The second section focuses on encouraging readers to be 'meaning hunters' and not hide behind masses of data. The final section of the book includes 24 useful tips to help people develop their storytelling craft.
Published 27 May 2016

Explaining Cameron's comeback, by Robert Worcester, Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill
Humphrey Taylor pp. 486–488 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Explaining Cameron's comeback' by Robert Worcester, Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines and Mark Gill. This book is the fifth in a series of books covering the recent UK elections, based predominantly on Ipsos MORI polling data. 'Explaining Cameron's comeback' concerns itself with explaining why the final Ipsos MORI poll, and all the other ten national polls, showed the main two parties neck and neck, despite the subsequent Conservative victory. The authors argue that the polls were actually not as wrong as they now appear and that the key issue was that the estimates of probable Labour voters were too high – this is different from the main reasons the BPC/MRS report has identified for the shortcomings of the polls.
Published 27 May 2016

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 159–170 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey discusses the interim findings of the British Polling Council (BPC)/MRS inquiry into the shortcomings of the pollsters during the 2015 UK General Election campaign. Research methodology is under the microscope in the run-up to the EU Referendum and the interim findings received a significant amount of media attention, at least partially because the media are key clients for opinion polls. Peter outlines the key factors that have emerged from the inquiry so far, looks forward to the lessons that should be learnt and considers the implications for the future of polling. This editorial also introduces the papers in this issue and includes details about the MRS Silver Medal and the IJMR Reviewer of the Year award winners.
Published 7 March 2016

Developing research skills in emerging economies – a dilemma
Phyllis Macfarlane pp. 171–174 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint looks at how market research skills can be developed in emerging economies and the challenges facing research in these distinct environments. Market research 'pioneers' in new markets faced situations where there was no MR development history or infrastructure and often they had to set about creating the MR resources required from scratch. There hasn't been a lot of opportunity to develop local methods and this means there is now a dilemma about how to develop skills that can face both old and new challenges. To address this problem we must: stop turning a blind eye to the real methodological problems that exist in emerging markets and support more training for these particular markets.
Published 7 March 2016

True lies and true implicit: how priming reveals the hidden truth
David Penn pp. 175–200 [Download PDF]
This paper explains how response latency and semantic priming were harnessed to create a truly implicit methodology that taps in to automatic processes. Much of the truth (about brands, advertising and products) lies submerged, in our implicit mind. Direct questioning cannot elicit this truth, because we cannot express attitudes that we don’t know we possess. To penetrate the implicit mind, we need approaches that reflect its fast, automatic nature. For eBay, the approach described here revealed a strong (and hidden) negative bias among non-users and showed that these beliefs could be successfully challenged by new ATL advertising.
Published 7 March 2016

Using Greimas' semiotics in ethnic consumer research
Virginie Silhouette-Dercourt and Christel de Lassus pp. 201–226 [Download PDF]
With a rapidly growing number of consumers experiencing migration around the world, the need for new research methodologies to understand ethnic consumption becomes more pressing for managers operating in global markets. The objective of this contribution is to show that Greimasian semiotics is a very relevant interpretive framework to capture the symbolic and dynamic dimensions of ethnicity. In the context of a three-cities research programme (Paris, Berlin, Kuala Lumpur), we use the spatial identity semiotic square to interpret consumers' discourses in the context of dominated and non-dominated acculturation experiences. We show that informants' discourses are structured around four identity anchors and that dual culture consumers use products, brands, ingredients and retail environments to construct their identities. Managing two spatial reference points within a coherent self can be, at times, challenging for consumers coming from 'third' or 'first' world countries. The issue is even more pressing for ethnic consumers who experience discrimination, since they are constantly reminded of their difference. This research confirms the relevance of semiotics, in terms of market research methodology, for grasping the deeper symbolic dimensions of ethnic consumers' discourse.
Published 1 November 2015

Capturing consumption emotions in service encounters: Why immediacy matters when studying service-related emotions
Louise Maguire pp. 227–252 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the methodological arguments for using 'SMS diaries' to capture the emotions experienced by consumers of services at the very moment they are being felt. The objective of the methodology was to capture the emotions that patrons experienced in real time, in a manner that gives them the freedom to express these feelings in their own words, without having to adhere to a predefined list of emotions, which could potentially be considered restrictive. The importance of capturing emotions as they are being experienced cannot be overstated, as previous studies (and indeed the one outlined here) have evidenced that consumers can forget the emotions they have experienced when asked to recall them in retrospect. Using mobile phones to capture consumption experiences has found some take-up in consumer research, but not in the context of the emotional 'journeys' that customers experience in service situations. These emotional episodes are important to understand as they can influence customer satisfaction levels and the overall evaluative judgements of service providers. The SMS diaries used here proved to be an effective and compelling way of learning about the consumption emotions that patrons experienced while using a variety of services.
Published 1 July 2015

The economic worth of product placement in prime-time television shows
Genevieve Begy and Vishal Talwar pp. 253–275 [Download PDF]
Product placement is fiercely being courted by firms as a consequence of the declining credibility of traditional broadcast advertising and the '30-second spot'. Very little research analysing its economic worth exists outside of the realm of film, however. This paper responds by applying a consistent measure of placement effectiveness to television through use of event analyses. It finds a mean cumulative abnormal return of 0.79% in a sample of 264 placements from the 2011-12 prime-time season, confirming that product placement in television is positively and significantly associated with movement in firms' stock prices. Placement in a season premiere has significantly higher mean returns than in a non-pivotal episode, irrespective of whether the firm places the product in both episodes. A cross-sectional analysis of placement, episode and show factors suggests that the duration of placement and one-hour show length are positively associated with stock price movement. Placement in a show's debut season is adversely associated to worth.
Published 1 April 2015

Cultural influence on the adoption of social networking sites
María-del-Carmen Alarcón-del-Amo, Carlota Lorenzo-Romero and Miguel-Ángel Gómez-Borja pp. 277–300 [Download PDF]
The main objective of this paper is to understand user interaction behaviour on social networking sites (SNS), and to investigate cultural influence on acceptance and use behaviour. SNS are growing in importance, and the many advantages they offer to companies are on the increase. The model described in this paper has been defined on the basis of a technology acceptance model (TAM) to examine the adoption and use of SNS, by adding trust and perceived risk constructs. To analyse the culture as a moderating effect of the causal relationships proposed, we focus on two European countries, using a multi-group structural equation model (SEM). This study shows that extended TAM (ETAM) is appropriate for use in predicting the acceptance of voluntary-use technologies, and it focuses on social relationships. The cultural effects may moderate some theoretical relationships in the adoption process.
Published 7 March 2016

Cultural embeddedness of products: a new measurement of culture and its effects
Alexander Jakubanecs and Magne Supphellen pp. 301–324 [Download PDF]
This paper develops a measurement of culture on the product category level, called the cultural embeddedness of products (CEP) scale, and progresses the scale in accordance with standard procedures. It defines CEP as the degree to which a product is connected with ethnic/national culture. The centrality of national/ethnic identity and culture, and its meanings for individuals, lead us to propose CEP as predictive of consumer attitudes and intentions. In particular, we posit that CEP plays a role for local products and potential brands, similar to that played by perceived brand globalness for global brands. We validate a two-dimensional CEP scale in two cultures – American and Norwegian – and find that the scale exhibits good psychometric qualities in both. We also present the particularly consistent effects of the ethnic identity relevance dimension of CEP on attitudes and purchase intentions through perceived product quality. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for marketing research theory and practice.
Published 7 March 2016

'To game or not to game: an investigation of the impact of survey visualisation and gamification' – MRS 'Methodology in context', London, 26 November 2015
Chrissie Wells pp. 325–332 [Download PDF]
The MRS Methodology in Context conference was designed to examine the genesis, practice and implications of methodologies that generate valuable consumer and citizen insight. This presentation describes a unique experiment on the impact of visualisation and gamification on a global survey about a low-engagement topic. There are real concerns about the representativeness of survey participants who are recruited from online panels and gamification is a potential method of transforming and revitalising the survey experience. This article explores why, when compelling evidence for the impact of more engaging surveys exists, the average survey has changed little in the past seven years.
Published 7 March 2016

The rational animal: How evolution made us smarter than we think, by Douglas T. Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicius
Omar Mahmoud pp. 333–335 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'The rational animal: how evolution made us smarter than we think' by Douglas T. Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicius. A valuable contribution to the library of decision making and rationality, 'The rational animal' uses a solid scientific framework to address two issues of human behaviour: our apparent irrationality and our inconsistency. The book presents an alternative view of human nature that sees behaviour driven by occasions and circumstances, rather than by consistent traits. 'The rational animal' is not a to-do book, but it does offer helpful ideas for decision making and makes the reader reflect upon the fact that our desire for certain products or experiences is driven by deep evolutionary needs.
Published 7 March 2016

Social class in the 21st century, by Mike Savage
Peter Mouncey pp. 335–338 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at 'Social class in the 21st century' by Mike Savage, which is primarily based upon a major investigation, involving 325,000 people, by the BBC into this topic. 'Social class' is a lucid analysis and reporting of the findings from the study, with evidence-based arguments throughout vested in the contexts of modern Britain and the origins of social classification methods. The author examines two groups in detail – the Elites at the top of today's social structure and the 'precarious Precariat' at the bottom – and the extent individuals are conscious of the class structure. At the heart of this thought-provoking book is the subject of inequality and a call to action for all researchers to think more carefully about the methods we use to differentiate people in today's world.
Published 7 March 2016

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–14 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey discusses the shortcomings of the polling that preceded last year's UK General Election and posits whether pollsters can find ways to either produce samples that reflect voters, or develop models to sufficiently adjust the data from general samples. This issue has undoubtedly placed modern research methods under the microscope and remains vitally important in the run-up to the EU referendum. While the investigation into what happened in May 2015 continues to unfold, everyone involved in market research should have already recognised the lesson that the quantity of data is meaningless unless the quality can be assured.
Published 19 January 2016

Market research industry, tipping point or no return?
Laurent Florès pp. 15–18 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint argues that the industry of market research is in danger of reaching a point of no return if it does not grasp the opportunities available to it. Online research has transformed market research over the past 15 years into a more concentrated industry with only small growth year-on-year – compared to related market intelligence or consulting industries that show double-digit growth annually. Moreover, while market research makes data 'speak', the profession does not receive nearly the same amount of attention as Big Data players or data scientists. This all demands that market research leverage the tipping point at which it is currently poised to create a bigger, proactive, and more exciting research industry for the future.
Published 19 January 2016

Exploring reidentification risk: is anonymisation a promise we can keep?
Daniel Nunan and MariaLaura Di Domenico pp. 19–34 [Download PDF]
The anonymisation of personal data has multiple purposes within research: as a marker of ethical practice, a means of reducing regulation and as a safeguard for protecting respondent privacy. However, the growing capabilities of technology to gather and analyse data have raised concerns over the potential reidentification of anonymised datasets. This has sparked a wide-ranging debate among both academic researchers and policy makers as to whether anonymisation can continue to be relied upon. This debate has the potential to create important implications for market research. This paper analyses the key arguments both for and against anonymisation as an effective tool given the changing technological environment. We consider the future position of anonymisation and question whether anonymisation can retain its key role given the potential impact on both respondent trust and the nature of self-regulation within market research.
Published 19 January 2016

Stakeholder preference and stated vs derived importance satisfaction research
Steven J. Greenland, Ian A. Combe and Andrew M. Farrell pp. 35–56 [Download PDF]
This paper presents a case study that reveals how stakeholders in the research process, by recommending specific data collection and analytical techniques, exert significant ‘hidden’ influence on the decisions made on the basis of market research findings. While disagreements among stakeholders regarding research design are likely, the possibility that strategies adopted by companies are dependent upon stakeholder research preferences has not been adequately addressed in the literature. Two widely used quantitative customer satisfaction evaluation approaches, involving stated and derived importance, are compared within a real-life market research setting at an international bank. The comparative analysis informs an ongoing debate surrounding the applicability of explicit and implicit importance measures, and demonstrates how recommendations are dependent upon the methodological and analytical techniques selected. The findings, therefore, have significant implications for importance-based satisfaction market research planning, and highlight the need to consider the impact of stakeholder preferences on research outcomes.
Published 19 January 2016

Comparing approaches to elicit brand attributes both face-to-face and online
Samantha Hogan, Jenni Romaniuk and Margaret Faulkner pp. 57–78 [Download PDF]
Brand attributes play an important role in tracking customer-based brand equity. Therefore researchers need an effective approach for eliciting attributes. This paper has two aims: to determine which of four different techniques elicit(s) better results; and to test if online data collection is a viable alternative to face-to-face collection. The techniques compared are: Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET), Free Elicitation (FE), Repertory Grid (RG) and Projective Elicitation (PE). These approaches are compared on the number and variety of attributes generated, as well as respondent evaluation. FE is the best-performing technique in a face-to-face context, generating the most attributes, evaluated positively by respondents and providing a typical distribution of attribute types. We also provide evidence that online is a viable data collection method for attribute elicitation studies, except ZMET due to respondent drop-out. Online we recommend a combination of FE and PE to obtain a range and variety of responses.
Published 1 February 2015

A new measure of consideration set size: The average number of salient brands
Lara Stocchi, Melissa Banelis and Malcolm Wright pp. 79–94 [Download PDF]
This research proposes a new method for computing consideration set size as the sum of the associative penetrations (or the 'mental' repertoire). This multi-cued non-attitudinal measure represents the chances of retrieving brands from memory, or the average number of salient brands. It is consistent with developments in memory theory and conceptually similar to a behavioural measure, i.e. purchase repertoire size. As such, it offers a stronger conceptual framework and a more robust empirical basis for comparisons between the cognitive and behavioural dimensions of consumer choice. This measure and the underlying theoretical approach is validated through empirical analysis across multiple categories, which includes: (i) appraisal of the extent to which the 'mental' repertoire is larger yet correlated with the behavioural (or purchase) repertoire; (ii) appraisal of the extent to which this relationship reveals the expected usage effect in brand image data; and (iii) a clarification of whether the interplay between retrieval propensities and purchase propensities in determining repertoire size is borne out by observation. The new approach enables individual brand-level diagnostic benchmarks to be specified. It also provides insights for marketing practice, including a framework by which marketing strategies may affect retrieval and purchase propensities differently.
Published 1 May 2015

Deal of the day: analysing purchase frequency-based subscriber segmentation
Edward Boon and Nir Ofek pp. 95–118 [Download PDF]
Deal of the day is a form of e-commerce in which an intermediary allows merchants access to a subscriber list, to promote their offerings at a discount. This study performs a cluster analysis on the purchase history of a deal intermediary, to identify customer segments based on their purchase frequency, price sensitivity and the types of deal they buy. Five segments were identified, including a large group of customers who made one purchase and then stopped buying, a small group of extremely deal-prone subscribers, and a segment that limits their purchases to very few types of product (e.g. restaurant meals or spa treatments). The findings further show that targeting deals to specific customers may be desirable in the future to prevent information overload and ensure loyalty.
Published 19 January 2016

Experiential motivations of socially responsible consumption
Saeed Shobeiri, Lova Rajaobelina, Fabien Duff and Caroline Boivin pp. 119–140 [Download PDF]
This paper uses the experiential marketing concept to explain some of the motivations for socially responsible consumption. It is argued that practising responsible behaviour helps consumers to perceive five different types of experiential value: emotional, cognitive, sensory, relational and behavioural. A web-based survey on a panel of more than 1,000 North American respondents confirmed the presence of an average level of each experiential value type in responsible decisions. We also found evidence for gender and age differences in the perception of those experiential benefits. This study provides guidelines to better promote socially responsible consumption through enriching consumers’ experiential motivations. The findings of this study also provide ideas for demographic-based targeting of responsible goods/services.
Published 19 January 2016

'Tackling data overload: making sense of complex multi-source data', Association of Survey Computing (ASC) conference, Royal Statistical Society, 20 November 2015
Jon Puleston pp. 141–152 [Download PDF]
This Association of Survey Computing (ASC) conference was interested in exploring how the concept of "research data" is changing and discovering the ways practitioners are getting to grips with the many challenges and opportunities thrown up by this data revolution. This article showcases a presentation by Jon Puleston – VP of Innovation of Lightspeed GMI at Kantar business – that investigates the science of visual communication and examines the role icons, charts and visuals play in the gathering and delivery of research data. Amongst other things, it discusses how we process visual information, how visuals help us to remember information and how visuals motivate us to consume information. It also provides best practice advice for using icons and charts in research and guidance on how to exploit visuals when delivering research information.
Published 19 January 2016

Book review: What is a 21st century brand? New thinking from the next generation of advertising leaders, edited by Nick Kendall
David Smith pp. 153–155 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'What is a 21st century brand: New thinking from the next generation of advertising leaders'. Edited by Nick Kendall, this book is a collection of award-winning Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) papers assembled to investigate what brands can do to engage with today's truly empowered and streetwise customers. The main part of the book is split into three sections that seek to answer: 'What is a brand?', 'What is a brand idea?', and 'How should we organise to deliver?'. Overall, the book contains lots of different essays on wide-ranging topics that ask leading-edge thinkers to share beliefs and thoughts on the future of brands. Despite lacking a comprehensive section of overarching conclusions and observations, the book will be enjoyed by advertising practitioners and serves as a useful reference for ideas and inspiration.
Published 19 January 2016

Book review: Inside the nudge unit: how small changes can make a big difference, by David Halpern
Omar Mahmoud pp. 155–157 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Inside the nudge unit: how small changes can make a big difference', which presents an interesting model of human behaviour and demonstrates how it can be applied to different areas of public policy and well-being. The author, Dr. David Halpern, is a behavioural scientist and Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), commonly known as the Nudge Unit. This book stands out from other behavioural economics books not because of Halpern's obvious expertise, however, but because of its practicality. Throughout the work Dr. Halpern provides an overview of how the ideas can be applied to a wide range of policy issues and personal concerns which include everything from getting people to pay taxes on time to quitting smoking. This book should, therefore, prove extremely useful for anyone in the business of, or with an interest in, the mechanics of behaviour change.
Published 19 January 2016


Volume 57 (2015)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 807–814 [Download PDF]
In his Editorial, Peter Mouncey discusses the role and future of qualitative research in an era where commoditisation has taken root and many managers and clients find comfort in numbers. Without understanding the consumer mindset there is a danger that Big Data never becomes 'Smart Data' and so is of limited value to marketers. An appreciation of the underlying assumptions within the data and of the motivations behind consumer actions is likely to improve the way findings are understood and communicated within a strategic context.
Published 20 November 2015

Authors and authenticity
Rebecca Wynberg pp. 815–818 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint argues that increased use of technology-enabled approaches in research is not solving the problem of poor standards in qualitative research. Technology enables us to get information more quickly and to access behaviour or impressions about brands that was previously difficult to access. However worrying trends are becoming apparent in qualitative research such as increased reportage, declining analytical thinking and method commodification. The need for a more personalised, involved authorship and for placing value on authenticity is urgent.
Published 20 November 2015

Measuring the efficiency of community engagement: an ecological analogy
John May pp. 819–836 [Download PDF]
Evaluation of community engagement has historically avoided or ignored the question of the efficiency of the processes used. This paper suggests a way of measuring efficiency that is robust, quantifiable, straightforward to calculate and intelligible. Curiosity about a striking feature of two case studies led to the realisation that there are significant parallels between community engagement and theoretical ecology. Some of these parallels are briefly explored before the ecology analogy is used to construct a numerical measure of the efficiency of community engagement. Possible applications of the new measure are then discussed. An illustration of the method by which the new efficiency measure is computed is given in an appendix.
Published 20 November 2015

Quantitative and qualitative research: perceptual foundations
Chris Barnham pp. 837–854 [Download PDF]
The way in which quantitative research and qualitative research are conventionally contrasted with each other runs along familiar lines – the former is seen as offering ‘hard’, ‘factual’ data, while the latter is depicted as softer, as providing deeper insight, but at the expense of being necessarily more ‘interpretivist’ and ‘subjective’ in its approach. Seldom is it recognised that this way of distinguishing the two methodologies is, in fact, rooted in our quantitatively determined beliefs about human experience. This paper aims to uncover these assumptions and to identify how they are rooted in our underlying preconceptions about the perceptual process itself. It outlines a new platform upon which the distinction between quantitative and qualitative research can be established and which links the latter with semiotics.
Published 20 November 2015

In researching emerging markets, anthropology often trumps statistics
Christopher Hylton Fitzroy Nailer, Bruce William Stening and Marina Yue Zhang pp. 855–876 [Download PDF]
For reasons primarily associated with the reliability of the data it generates, the timeliness with which it can be produced (and hence its relevance) and its limitations in handling context-sensitive issues, market research in emerging markets that relies too heavily on quantitative methodologies has considerable limitations. For this reason, there has been an increasing realisation that qualitative methods, emphasising data richness and a deep understanding of consumers – ‘why’ as well as ‘what’ and ‘how much’ – are a critical component of research in emerging markets. This paper proposes an approach that integrates quantitative and qualitative methods. It argues that a thorough understanding of emerging markets requires a mind-set and set of skills akin to those of an anthropologist, and sets out how these can be acquired.
Published 2 March 2015

Why Chinese elites buy what they buy: The signalling value of conspicuous consumption in China
Xiaotong Jin, Hefeng Wang, Tianxin Wang, Yang Li and Shengliang Deng pp. 877–908 [Download PDF]
In 1899, Thorstein Veblen introduced socially contingent consumption into the economic literature. However, it was not until recent years that empirical studies of his theory begin to appear in mainstream economic literature with diversified conclusions. This article complements the scarce empirical literature by testing his conjecture on consumers in China's transitional economic context. Three sets of hypotheses were tested with a sample of 1,021 Chinese consumers. The findings of the study support Veblen's contention, especially the argument advanced by Leibenstein (1950) that the primary motivation for conspicuous consumption rests on social status seeking and position enhancement. With a rising per capita income in China and the birth of an elite social class, conspicuous consumption has to some extent replaced the traditional Chinese values of modesty and frugality in search of social recognition and self-realisation.
Published 1 June 2015

Forecasting financial products acquisition via dynamic segmentation: an application to the Italian market
Francesca Bassi pp. 909–930 [Download PDF]
The topic of market segmentation is still one of the most pervasive in marketing. Among clustering techniques, finite mixture models have gained recognition as a method of segmentation with several advantages over traditional methods; one variant of finite mixture models – the latent class (LC) model – is probably the most popular. The LC approach is innovative and flexible, and can provide suitable solutions to several problems regarding the definition and development of marketing strategies, because it takes into account specific features of the collected data, such as their scale of measure (often ordinal or categorical, rather than continuous), their hierarchical structure and their longitudinal component. Dynamic segmentation is of key importance in many markets where it is unrealistic to assume stationary segments due to the dynamics in consumers’ needs and product choices. In this paper, a mixture latent class Markov model is proposed to dynamically segment Italian households with reference to financial products ownership. The mixture approach is compared with the standard one in terms of its ability to forecast customers’ behaviour in the reference market.
Published 20 November 2015

Would you snap up the deal? A study of consumer behaviour under flash sales
Savannah Wei Shi and Ming Chen pp. 931–958 [Download PDF]
Flash sales refer to an emerging e-commerce practice in which a firm offers one or more products/service at a substantial discount within limited time. Macro-economic environment (residential areas), demographic (age, income and occupation) and ad media decision may collectively affect purchase behaviour on flash-sale websites. This study investigates the unique characteristics of consumer behaviour under flash sales in developing countries, based on large-scale survey data from a major flash-sale website in China. We find that purchase behaviour differs substantially across regions and, within each region, purchase propensity is moderated by income. Regional marketing strategy is therefore of great importance. Contrary to our expectations, flash-sale websites are less likely to attract impulse purchase. Rather, consumers who make more purchases exhibit higher levels of cautiousness. TV commercials and social media are currently the major ad media, yet shopping engines and search engines should not be overlooked.
Published 20 November 2015

Book review: A tale of two cultures: Qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences, by Gary Goertz and James Mahoney
Ray Poynter pp. 959–961 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'A tale of two cultures: Qualitative and quantitative research in the social sciences', which focuses on the different ways in which causal relationships are investigated by qualitative and quantitative researchers. The book is an illuminating read for anybody interested in bridging the gap between academic and commercial research, and anybody interested in understanding some of the key differences that underpin qualitative and quantitative research.
Published 20 November 2015

Book review: Misbehaving: the making of behavioral economics, by Richard H. Thaler
Omar Mahmoud pp. 961–963 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Misbehaving: the making of behavioral economics', which observes the discrepancy between actual human behaviour and economic theory, discussing the various irrationalities and biases in people's behaviour, particularly in the area of finance and spending. However, the power of behavioural economics is not limited to its ability to explain human irrationalities; it also opens new possibilities to do something about them. Behavioural economics offers more opportunities for public policy interventions because it takes into account many factors that traditional economics considers to be irrelevant. The book has practical value for a wide variety of professions, from marketers and advertisers to fundraisers and policy makers.
Published 20 November 2015

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 657–668 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey introduces the BPC/MRS enquiry on researching voting intentions, discussing the pollsters' views, the challenges surrounding data collection methods in a complex world and whether Britain is a nation of liars.
Published 28 September 2015

Viewpoint: The power of brand love
Ryan Barker, Jeffrey Peacock and Marc Fetscherin pp. 669–672 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint aims to provide evidence that brand love can lead to greater profitability and total shareholder return. The article is a response to a Viewpoint by Jenni Romaniuk published in IJMR in 2013 which argued that there is no evidence that building brand love leads to higher market share, sales or profitability.
Published 28 September 2015

Reply to Viewpoint: Tainted love
Jenni Romaniuk pp. 673–676 [Download PDF]
This article responds to the Viewpoint 'The power of brand love' in this issue of IJMR, arguing that the authors fall short in two key areas: the relationship stages don't fit with decades of evidence about buyer behaviour, and when using BERA scores, correlation does not mean causation.
Published 28 September 2015

The influence of Bill Schlackman on qualitative research
Simon Patterson and Francesca Malpass pp. 677–700 [Download PDF]
William ‘Bill’ Schlackman played a major role in the development of qualitative research in the UK. His experience in psychotherapy, clinical psychology and motivational research, as well as his relationship with Ernest Dichter, helped form what we know as qualitative research today. He ran various workshops on the use of projective techniques, for which he is widely remembered, as well as presenting a number of papers at MRS Conferences between 1961 and 1986. Schlackman’s passion and enthusiasm for experimental research design, and the use of projective and motivational techniques in market research, helped propel qualitative research to achieve a deeper understanding of consumer motivations. His early work on packaging research can be equated with the modern practice of semiotics, and his development of sensitivity panels can be compared with online communities.
Published 28 September 2015

New conjoint approaches to scaling brand equity and optimising share of preference prediction
Hervé Guyon and Jean-François Petiot pp. 701–726 [Download PDF]
Ratings-based conjoint analysis suffers two problems: the distortion raised by consumer perceptions of brand equity, and the lack of efficiency of probabilistic models for estimating preference shares. This article proposes two new approaches to scale customer-based brand equity using repeated measures and structural equation modeling and to estimate the share of preferences on the basis of a randomized first choice. The outcome is a new tool to predict accurate preference shares, taking into account product utilities (estimated by rating-based conjoint analysis) and the brand equity related to product attributes (estimated as a latent variable with structural equation modeling). An example with three products illustrates this new approach.
Published 28 September 2015

A new approach to network analysis for brand positioning
Hui-Ju Wang pp. 727–742 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this paper is to expand the domain of brand positioning measurement by demonstrating how network analysis techniques are used in brand positioning research. Using 12 sample brands in the electronic industry, this paper proposes a four-step process as a practical guide in analysing the effects of brand positioning on differentiation. Through the techniques of core-periphery structure, the paper creates four clusters to reveal differentiation of brand positioning. It provides clear arguments for using network analysis as the preferred method to capture the structure of brand positioning. The results have significant theoretical and practical implications for academic researchers and practitioners in the field of brand management.
Published 28 September 2015

Using choice experiments to find double jeopardy patterns
Luke Greenacre, Arry Tanusondjaja, Steven Dunn and Bill Page pp. 743–758 [Download PDF]
Double jeopardy is one of the most important empirical patterns of consumer brand purchase behaviour. It asserts that large brands benefit from having more consumers who are also generally more loyal. Traditional methods for detecting double jeopardy patterns in consumer purchasing behaviour rely heavily on the availability of panel data. Although alternative methods have been proposed, these too require large quantities of data, making them costly to implement for many managers and researchers. This study proposes a new method for detecting double jeopardy patterns that requires only small samples of data. Using the instant coffee market in the US to test this new method, it is shown that repeated discrete choice experiments can produce proximate measures to those used as inputs to double jeopardy calculations. This approach gives researchers an economical and easy method to test whether a market conforms to double jeopardy, allowing them to keep managers informed about the properties of consumer purchase behaviour in their markets.
Published 28 September 2015

Eliminating order effects in association tasks without using randomisation
Ian Durbach and Gareth Lloyd pp. 759–776 [Download PDF]
It has often been observed that changing an item’s position in a list can substantially affect the probability that it is chosen. This paper assesses the magnitude of these so-called order effects in brand-attribute association tasks, and examines the confounding roles played by brand usage and question framing. While our main order effect is roughly the same as that observed for similar response formats, we find substantially larger order effects among users of a brand than non-users; and question frames that first ask respondents to create an attribute shortlist before making associations on this reduced set eliminate or greatly reduce the magnitude of the order effect and its interaction with brand usage. These simple modifications to question framings may be useful where randomisation is not feasible.
Published 1 December 2014

The brand likeability scale: An exploratory study of likeability in firm-level brands
Bang Nguyen, Yuksel Ekinci, Lyndon Simkin and T.C. Melewar pp. 777–800 [Download PDF]
We develop a new measurement scale to assess consumers’ brand likeability in firm-level brands. We present brand likeability as a multidimensional construct. In the context of service experience purchases, we find that increased likeability in brands results in: (1) greater amount of positive association; (2) increased interaction interest; (3) more personified quality; and (4) increased brand contentment. The four-dimensional multiple-item scale demonstrates good psychometric properties, showing strong evidence of reliability as well as convergent, discriminant and nomological validity. Our findings reveal that brand likeability is positively associated with satisfaction and positive word of mouth. The scale extends existing branding research, providing brand managers with a metric so that likeability can be managed strategically. It addresses the need for firms to act more likeably in an interaction-dominated economy. Focusing on likeability acts as a differentiator and encourages likeable brand personality traits. We present theoretical implications and future research directions on the holistic brand likeability concept.
Published 28 September 2015

Book review: Brand psychology: consumer perceptions, corporate reputations, by Jonathan Gabay
Jennifer Brannon Barhorst pp. 801–802 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Brand psychology: consumer perceptions, corporate reputations', which aims to explain the psychology behind cultural, political and commercial brands, and how they secure trust, loyalty and business. The book explores topics of consumer motivation and brand perception, as well as ethics, big data, brand storytelling and the psychology of the modern CEO. It also provides case studies and supporting material on its website.
Published 28 September 2015

Book review: The psychology of fear in organisations: how to transform anxiety into well-being, productivity and innovation, by Sheila M. Keegan
Malcolm McDonald pp. 803–804 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'The psychology of fear in organisations: how to transform anxiety into well-being, productivity and innovation', which deals with the paradox of fear and how it shapes organisations, and suggests how to harness fear to improve productivity and organisational health through promoting human values. The book is written by an experienced psychologist with years of practical business experience, and brings scholarship to the topic in an engaging and interesting way.
Published 28 September 2015

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 507–516 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey announces the winner of the IJMR Collaborative Award, addresses the poor performance of the opinion polls in the UK general election and discusses the opportunities and challenges for contemporary data collection, including mobile and social media, as presented at this year's ASC conference.
Published 28 July 2015

Viewpoint: Does every opinion count?
David Smith pp. 517–520 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint addresses the rise of the opinion culture, an era that seems to legitimise putting opinions into the public domain with little reflection on the implications of offering them. After years of market researchers campaigning on the theme of 'your opinion counts', could its success end up working against the interests of the industry?
Published 28 July 2015

Forum: What market researchers should know about mobile surveys
Tom Wells pp. 521–532 [Download PDF]
Survey completions on mobile devices have been increasing rapidly. This important shift is something market researchers should definitely consider when designing and conducting self-administered online surveys. This article briefly summarises existing research and empirical results from mobile surveys. Based on the specific findings discussed, market researchers should be better aware of what to expect when fielding surveys completed by mobile respondents, whether this is intended or not. Bringing the findings together and discussing more broadly, for online surveys, market researchers should consider consciously and deliberately accommodating both mobile and PC respondents. Thus far, the research on mobile surveys indicates that consumers want the choice and ability to take surveys when they want, where they want and on the device of their choosing. It is to be hoped that market researchers are listening and become willing to accommodate survey respondents in terms of device and, by extension, time and location.
Published 28 July 2015

Fit for purpose? The impact of between-wave engagement strategies on response to a longitudinal survey
Andrew Cleary and Nigel Balmer pp. 533–554 [Download PDF]
Maintaining participant engagement in longitudinal surveys has been a key focus of survey research, and has implications for the quality of response and cost of administration. This paper presents new research measuring the impact of the design of between-wave keeping-in-touch mailings on response to the mailing and subsequent wave of a longitudinal survey. Three design attributes of the mailings were randomly implemented: the form of response request (whether respondents were asked to respond only if their address had changed, or in all cases to confirm or update their address); the newsletter included with the mailing (contrasting a newsletter with content tailored to respondent characteristics with a general newsletter and no newsletter); and the outgoing postage used (stamped or franked). The experiments were fielded on a new longitudinal study, the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Panel Survey (CSJPS), and took place between waves one and two. Fieldwork for both waves was conducted by Ipsos MORI face-to-face interviewers. Our main finding was that the tailored newsletter was associated with a significant increase in the wave-two response rate. However, in relation to response to the request, the tailored newsletter, or sending no newsletter at all, were equally effective at inducing response, and significantly better than the general newsletter. We also found that, in relation to the form of request, the ‘change of address’ request was as effective as the more costly ‘confirmation’ request. Findings are discussed with reference to the design of keeping-in-touch mailings for longitudinal surveys.
Published 28 July 2015

The best times to call in a mobile phone survey
Paula Vicente pp. 555–570 [Download PDF]
Establishing contact with the sample units is an important part of the survey response process, and an efficient calling schedule is critical to achieve high response rates. The rapid increase in mobile phone ownership has triggered the interest of marketing researchers in the use of mobile phones for collecting survey data about consumers. Mobile phone surveys may favour establishing contact with sample units since the mobile phone is a personal device carried at all times, thus making the person permanently contactable. This paper aims to identify the best times to call in a mobile phone survey by investigating the influence of the day and time of the call on the likelihood of establishing contact and obtaining an interview. A three-level ranking of calling periods, based on call efficiency, is proposed. Outcomes also revealed that the level of efficiency of calling periods is not dissociated from respondents’ socio-demographic characteristics, namely in terms of age and region of residence.
Published 28 July 2015

Value co-creation: Literature review and proposed conceptual framework
Kumkum Bharti, Rajat Agrawal, and Vinay Sharma pp. 571–604 [Download PDF]
Recently, the concept of value co-creation has gained popularity as it embraces customer and operant resources into the entire value-creation process, thereby overcoming the gaps of conventional marketing. In the last decade, literature of value co-creation gave multiple definitions to clarify the concept. The overlapping definitions became a source of confusion to both academics and practitioners. Realizing this need, a detailed structured literature review was undertaken and using a thematic content analysis, 27 elements of co-creation were identified. These elements were further classified into five pillars, namely: process environment, resource, co-production, perceived benefits and management structure. The paper presents a conceptualization of value co-creation by developing a framework that integrates five categories. This research is limited to the selected articles published on value co-creation in the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Published 2 February 2015

Grounding consumer-brand engagement: A field-driven conceptualisation
Guendalina Graffigna and Rossella C. Gambetti pp. 605–629 [Download PDF]
Consumer–brand engagement (CBE) is a priority in the current marketing agenda. However, there is still a lack of empirically based studies appraising its essence. Hence our study is aimed at investigating the distinctive characteristics and the development phases of CBE. Our study adopted Grounded Theory methodology. Data were collected throughout semi-structured interviews on a theoretical sample of 41 Italian consumers of both genders, aged between 18 and 35, all having a favourite brand belonging to different market sectors. The evidence allowed us to build a conceptual framework of the CBE construct and of its development. This framework highlights that a brand is perceived by consumers as engaging when it is emotionally lived as a ‘life mate’. Furthermore CBE emerges as a dynamic process that evolves in three progressive relational phases: friendship, intimacy and symbiosis. Hence, to engage consumers, brands should get into their life, activating them both emotionally and physically, and establishing with them a deep and authentic relationship that gets increasingly intimate, private and exclusive over time. To achieve this goal, marketers should carry out a brand strategy based on brand personification, value-based affinity and affective bonding with consumers. The original value of our study lies in that it has been designed to anchor a new marketing concept such as CBE in the deep understanding of consumers’ meaning-making processes and relationship stories with a brand to get a comprehensive picture of the construct and how it develops that may better orientate current and future marketing practice.
Published 28 July 2015

Relating brand equity and customer equity: An exploratory study
Jaime Romero and Maria Jesús Yagüe pp. 631–651 [Download PDF]
Brand equity and customer equity, respectively, constitute the value provided by brand and customer portfolios to companies. These are metrics of marketing performance in the long term, as well as key factors in firm valuation processes. However, their relation has not been empirically analysed to date. This study explores the connection between brand equity and customer equity. We employ a simultaneous equations model in which brand equity and customer equity depend on each other and also on marketing expenditures. We find that these metrics partially overlap, particularly in some industries. Hence, our results highlight the importance of implementing models that consider the interaction between them in order to obtain reliable measurements of the overall productivity of marketing actions. Additionally, our results suggest that the value of brands and customer portfolios should be jointly measured so as to obtain trustworthy assessments of firm value.
Published 28 July 2015

Book review: Measuring Service Performance: Practical Research for Better Quality, by Ralf Lisch
Phyllis Macfarlane pp. 653–655 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Measuring Service Performance: Practical Research for Better Quality', a book that is not for those looking for easy answers but for those who are seriously interested in improving service quality. The author is a strong advocate of qualitative research through the examination of case studies and recommends detailed content analysis of, for example, customer complaint.
Published 28 July 2015

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 325–334 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey focuses on the IJMR-hosted debate on 'Fit-for-purpose sampling in the internet age' held at Impact 2015. He also provides a summary of the key points from other sessions at the conference and introduces the papers in this issue of IJMR.
Published 26 May 2015

Can MAD replace significance tests? Comments on 'When "significant" is not significant'
Chuck Chakrapani pp. 335–338 [Download PDF]
This article offers some comments and questions on the article 'When "significant" is not significant', by Kennedy, Scriven and Nenycz-Thiel, published in IJMR volume 56, issue 5, 2014.
Published 26 May 2015

Response to comments on 'When "significant" is not significant'
Rachel Kennedy, John Scriven and Magda Nenycz-Thiel pp. 339–342 [Download PDF]
This article provides a response to the comments and questions raised in 'Can MAD replace significance tests? Comments on 'When "significant" is not significant', published in this issue of IJMR.
Published 26 May 2015

Viewpoint: How not to assess advertising
Dominic Twose pp. 343–345 [Download PDF]
This article argues that advertising assessment based on ad recognition is essentially flawed and that ad recognition is not a good surrogate for exposure. The author argues that while this type of analysis has a superficial appeal, it is a variant of what has become known as the Rosser Reeves fallacy, which dates back to the 1960s.
Published 26 May 2015

An investigation in brand growth and decline across categories
Giang Tue Trinh and Zachary William Anesbury pp. 347–356 [Download PDF]
This study investigates the variation in brand growth and decline across many different product categories. It uses recent consumer panel data from the UK, covering 639 brands across 28 categories, including food, personal care, home care and pet food, over a five-year period from 2008 to 2012. Consistent with the literature, the study finds that most brands in the consumer packaged goods market are stationary, as only 14% of the brands change their market share by more than three points. However, the study discovers that some categories are more dynamic than others. The percentage of brands that change their share by more than three points is different across the categories, varying from 0% to 44%. The study further examines some potential factors that can affect the variation and finds that category penetration and purchase frequency have significant effects on the variation. The lower the category penetration and category purchase frequency, the lower the brand share stationarity. On the other hand, proportion of sales on promotion in the category and new SKU introductions do not have a significant effect on the variation.
Published 26 May 2015

The elicitation capabilities of qualitative projective techniques in political brand image research
Christopher Pich, Guja Armannsdottir and Dianne Dean pp. 357–394 [Download PDF]
There is a paucity of research that outlines how to understand the image of political brands. Responding to this identified gap in the literature, this research seeks to demonstrate the elicitation capabilities of qualitative projective techniques to explore the political brand image of the UK Conservative Party. This paper highlights that projective techniques can provide a greater understanding of underlying feelings and deep-seated attitudes towards political parties, candidates, and the positive and negative aspects of brand image. Many of the associations and perceptions may have been overlooked if other research methods had been adopted. Projective techniques may be adopted by political actors to assess how their brands are understood and, if required, make adaptations to their communicated brand identity.
Published 26 May 2015

Can a non-probabilistic online panel achieve question quality similar to that of the European Social Survey?
Melanie Revilla, Willem Saris, Germán Loewe and Carlos Ochoa pp. 395–412 [Download PDF]
Recently, Revilla and Saris (2012) showed, using data from the Netherlands, that the quality of responses (product of reliability and validity) in a probability-based online panel (LISS) can be similar to those from face-to-face surveys (European Social Survey round 4). However, most online panels select their members in a non probability-based way. They usually also send many more surveys per month to their panellists. Both together can generate professional respondents whose quality of answers may be different. Therefore, it makes sense to make a similar comparison for a non-probability-based online panel (Netquest). Although differences are found, the similarities prevail. Overall, we cannot say that one of the surveys has higher estimates of quality, when defined as the product of reliability and validity, than the other.
Published 26 May 2015

A gamification effect in longitudinal web surveys among children and adolescents
Aigul Mavletova pp. 413–438 [Download PDF]
The paper measures a gamification effect in longitudinal web surveys among children and adolescents 7–15 years old. Two waves of the study were conducted using a volunteer online access panel in Russia among 737 children. Respondents were randomly assigned to one of the three conditions in the first wave without changing the treatment in the second wave: (1) a text-only survey, (2) a visual survey and (3) a gamified survey. Though in the first wave of the study respondents found it more enjoyable and easier to complete the gamified survey, no differences in participation rates were found between the conditions in the second wave. Contrary to expectations, a higher breakoff was found in the gamified condition. Moreover, it produced lower test-retest reliability correlations than the text-only and visual conditions in all survey questions. The promising gamification effect found in the first wave of the study faded in the second wave. It seems that implementing gamified elements in longitudinal web surveys might differ from the implementation of gamified elements in cross-sectional surveys.
Published 26 May 2015

Factors associated with the production of word of mouth
Robert East, Mark Uncles, Jenni Romaniuk and Francesca Dall'Olmo Riley pp. 439–458 [Download PDF]
Factors that occur before word-of-mouth (WOM) production are examined, using an influential typology established by Mangold et al. (1999). We conduct two surveys, each covering four service categories, and measure the factors associated with both positive and negative word of mouth. We ask respondents to report on both giving and receiving word of mouth. This approach allows us to address three frequency-related concerns about WOM. The first concern is to supply an accurate survey-based count of word-of-mouth antecedents, which will assist those making marketing decisions and formulating advertising strategies. The second use of our results is to build knowledge about WOM factors in a way that assists understanding of the nature of word of mouth. We find limited variation in the frequency of WOM factors by service category. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction have equal frequency in the production of WOM about services and, more generally, the frequencies of the antecedents of positive and negative WOM on services are similar. There is also little difference between the frequencies measured for factors associated with giving WOM and those related to receiving WOM. A third concern has been the practice of deriving frequencies from qualitative reports, as was done by Mangold et al. (1999). Comparing their results with our own, we find substantial differences, which have implications for market research practice. One explanation for these differences is that retrieval bias operates more strongly in qualitative work than in surveys.
Published 26 May 2015

The voice of the Chinese customer: Facilitating e-commerce encounters
James O. Stanworth, Clyde A. Warden and Ryan Shuwei Hsu pp. 459–481 [Download PDF]
Numerous studies report the failure of western e-commerce experiences to effectively engage the Chinese customer. While culture shapes significantly customers' interpretation of their e-commerce experience we have not considered the way (dis)satisfactory determinants shape managerial action outside the western world. Our action research design, spread over a six-year period, integrates critical incidents to facilitate managerial reflection. We surface a new dimension of respect, while revealing important distinct interpretations of existing dimensions. Our narrative, which integrates a prototypical e-commerce experience, acts to crystallise fundamental insights for the management of Chinese e-commerce encounters.
Published 26 May 2015

Impact 2015 (MRS annual conference), Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, London, 17-18 March 2015
Adam Phillips, Reg Baker, Douglas Rivers and Corrine Moy pp. 483–494 [Download PDF]
With online now the first or second most important mode of research by value in the top ten research markets, IJMR sought to inject a dose of science and some practical advice into the debate about the quality of online research at a session at Impact 2015, held in London in March. This article presents the findings from the debate, focusing on non-probability sampling, the margin of error controversy and fit-for-purpose sampling in the internet age.
Published 26 May 2015

Making conjoint behavioural
Leigh Caldwell pp. 495–501 [Download PDF]
Traditional choice-based conjoint methods are based on an unrealistically rational model of consumer decision-making. These methods work accurately only if we assume that consumers can process all the information given to them, weigh it up and make a calculated, accurate decision. Modern discoveries in behavioural economics make it clear that these assumptions are incorrect. To accurately understand consumers’ decisions and preferences, conjoint methods must be updated to include behavioural understanding. This paper presents five ways in which this can be done: rank-finding conjoint, goal-attribute conjoint, intangible-attribute conjoint, algorithmic conjoint and contextual conjoint. Each of these extensions to the standard conjoint method can explore a specific aspect of the decision-maker’s psychology, and together they result in a much deeper and more accurate reading of consumer behaviour and desires.
Published 26 May 2015

Book review: Humanizing Big Data: Marketing at the Meeting of Social Science and Consumer Insight, by Colin Strong
Justin Gutmann pp. 503–505 [Download PDF]
This book review examines 'Humanizing Big Data: Marketing at the Meeting of Social Science and Consumer Insight' which takes stock, critiques, warns against and welcomes Big Data and the new and rapidly maturing set of techniques that will not go away.
Published 26 May 2015

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 167–175 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this issue of IJMR beginning with a look at a case study from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which focuses on neighbourhood approaches to the growing problem of loneliness in Western societies. Mouncey also announces the 2014 IJMR Reviewer of the Year and takes a look at the journal archives to reveal methodological issues faced by researchers in the past that are still relevant today.
Published 27 March 2015

Addressing the market research skills gap
Daniel Nunan pp. 177–178 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint focuses on the debate in market research around the gap between academia and practitioners. It argues that the debate misses the key role that universities play in the provision of market research skills and that it is this skills gap that needs to be addressed in order to ensure the future of research as a profession.
Published 27 March 2015

Exploring the drivers of status consumption for the wedding occasion
Bikram Jit Singh Mann and Supreet Kaur Sahni pp. 179–202 [Download PDF]
The study investigates the antecedents of status consumption pertaining to the wedding, which is considered to be one of the most celebrated events in a person’s life. The article explores the interrelationship between the dimensions of lifestyle and brand consciousness, and the constructs related to conspicuous consumption, status consumption and self-expression. The results validate that consumers are stimulated to impetuously purchase branded products with an intention to flaunt their possessions in their social circle, to signal wealth and status. Furthermore, consumers purchase ostentatious products to gain affirmation from their social groups and hierarchy. The study facilitates marketers in framing their marketing and communication strategies to succeed in the marketplace, thus attracting customers to purchase status products for weddings.
Published 27 March 2015

Yes-no answers versus check-all in self-administered modes
Mario Callegaro, Michael H. Murakami, Ziv Tepman and Vani Henderson pp. 203–223 [Download PDF]
When writing questions with dichotomous response options, those administering surveys on the web or on paper can choose from a variety of formats, including a check-all-that-apply or a forced-choice format (e.g. yes-no) in self-administered questionnaires. These two formats have been compared and evaluated in many experimental studies. In this paper, we conduct a systematic review and a few meta-analyses of different aspects of the available research that compares these two formats. We find that endorsement levels increase by a factor of 1.42 when questions are posed in a forced-choice rather than check-all format. However, when comparing across a battery of questions, the rank order of endorsement rates remains the same for both formats. While most authors hypothesise that respondents endorse more alternatives presented in a forced-choice (versus check-all-that-apply) format because they process that format at a deeper cognitive level, we introduce the acquiescence bias hypothesis as an alternative and complementary explanation. Further research is required to identify which format elicits answers closer to the ‘true level’ of endorsement, since the few validation studies have proved inconclusive.
Published 2 February 2015

Effect of using different labels for the scales in a web survey
Melanie Revilla pp. 225–238 [Download PDF]
Surveys mainly use questions in which it is allowed to answer only through a closed series of alternatives. The choice of labels for these closed alternatives is an important decision. Depending on this choice, different results can be found. This paper focuses on the impact of using low versus high frequencies or durations scales. The novelty is that it studies panellists of an online panel oriented towards marketing surveys. Also, it uses data from countries little studied before: Spain, Mexico and Colombia. Using a split-ballot experimental design, it shows that significant differences in answers are obtained depending on the scale used. In order to determine which scale gives results closer to the reality, the correlation with an external variable is used; the higher this correlation, the better the scale. In practice, this information can and should be used to select the best scale for a survey.
Published 1 June 2014

Why the level-free forced-choice binary measure of brand benefit beliefs works so well
John R. Rossiter, Sara Dolnicar and Bettina Grün pp. 239–256 [Download PDF]
The level-free version of the Forced-Choice Binary measure of brand benefit beliefs was introduced in a recent article in IJMR (Dolnicar et al. 2012) and was shown to yield more stable – hence more reliable and trustworthy – results than the shorter 'Pick-Any' measure and the longer '7-Point Scale' measure. The aims of the present article are (1) to explain how and why the Level-Free Forced-Choice Binary measure works so well, and (2) to point out its advantages over other belief measure formats – advantages that, importantly, include prevention of all forms of response bias.
Published 1 November 2014

Measuring the degree of corporate social media use
Thomas Aichner and Frank Jacob pp. 257–275 [Download PDF]
This article aims to provide a model with which to measure the degree of corporate social media use or, in other words, the extent to which companies are exploiting the potentialities of single or multiple social media platforms. This is, however, explicitly different from using metrics to assess the success of social media activities, as it is purely measuring how intensively a pre-defined group of social media is utilised, taking into account the frequency of social media activity by the brand as well as the related user reactions. The degree of corporate social media use helps companies and market researchers analyse single brands or companies and compare them with other brands, competitors or industry averages. The degree of corporate social media use is a useful indicator, which should be combined with social media metrics in order to draw better conclusions about where to increase or intensify social media activities.
Published 27 March 2015

The competitive landscape for leisure: why wide appeal matters
John Scriven, Diana Pérez-Bustamante Yábar, Maria Clemente and Dag Bennett pp. 277–298 [Download PDF]
This article reports the results of an analysis of participation across a range of leisure activities in the UK. This work follows that of Chris Hand and Jay Singh in the January 2014 issue of IJMR, which analysed participation and partitioning in the UK betting market using the same UK government DCMS Taking Part database. Our paper uses a duplication technique, widely used in other consumer goods markets, which gives a clear understanding of the polygamous portfolio structure of leisure choices, revealing for the first time how choice processes for free-time activities are similar to those for other consumer goods. The results show that leisure activities of all kinds compete for the free-time choices of all consumers. The market has some partitioning – for example, ‘cultural’ activities attract more overlapping customers than expected. However, those in this group do not participate in these activities to the exclusion of more populist ones they are at least as likely to participate in those too. We contrast this with the extant literature, much of which suggests more marked segmentation between leisure activities. This has major implications for the purveyors of competitive offerings; in particular it means that whether marketing ‘cultural’ or ‘leisure’ activities, strategies that emphasise reaching the largest possible number of occasional customers are most likely to succeed.
Published 27 March 2015

SRA 2014 – Workshop Session: Behavioural research
Justin Gutmann pp. 299–390 [Download PDF]
This article outlines three papers about social research and public-sector policy that had been presented at the SRA Annual Conference held in London in December 2014. Topics include using randomised control trials to test the effectiveness of service improvements and explaining consumers' hierarchies of priorities and how they behave differently in some markets than others.
Published 27 March 2015

SRA 2014 – Workshop session: Maintaining quality
Bob Erens pp. 300–305 [Download PDF]
This article discusses the use of non-probability web surveys to measure sexual behaviours and attitudes in the British general population, as introduced in a session on changing social research at the SRA Annual Conference held in London in December 2014.
Published 27 March 2015

SRA 2014 – Workshop session: Innovative qualitative methods
Emily Fu and Daniel Clay pp. 305–308 [Download PDF]
The topic of e-cigarettes presents interesting behavioural challenges due to the extent to which it is driven by the unconscious. This article focuses on the use of mobile qualitative research to understand smoking rituals, as presented in a session on changing social research at the SRA Annual Conference held in London in December 2014.
Published 27 March 2015

SRA 2014 – Ethnography goes digital: Researching professionals using a qualitative mobile app
Isabella Pereira, Chris Perry and Stephen Johnson pp. 308–311 [Download PDF]
This article, based on a case study presented at the SRA Annual Conference held in London in December 2014, introduces a project which used a qualitative mobile app to conduct research among professionals in the sphere of child protection. It discusses the strengths and weaknesses of this methodology, and what approaches can be taken to improve data quality when using mobile apps.
Published 27 March 2015

But what will people think? Getting beyond social desirability bias by increasing cognitive load
Megan Stodel pp. 313–321 [Download PDF]
Social desirability bias reduces data quality when respondents adjust how they answer questions, leading to responses that less accurately reflect reality. Cognitive loading could mitigate this. By setting respondents a task to do alongside answering survey questions, this technique occupies the respondent, which could mean that they will be less concerned with social desirability. Previous research indicates that people who have been cognitively loaded are more honest and less strategic, so theoretically it is possible this would have a notable effect. It would be useful to test this as, if it is effective, it would be beneficial for market and social research, and further to this could have gamification applications, leading to surveys that produce higher quality data alongside being more engaging.
Published 27 March 2015

Book Review: The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently about Advertising, by Paul Feldwick
Alan Wilson pp. 323–324 [Download PDF]
This review examines the book 'The Anatomy of Humbug: How to Think Differently about Advertising' in which the author questions the meaning and roots of the various assumptions and practitioner theories that influence advertising decision making. The book pulls on evidence from many practitioners, market researchers and research bodies such as the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, but it does not come up with a definitive answer as to how advertising works. Instead it makes the reader question some of the tenets that the advertising industry has taken for granted in the past.
Published 27 March 2015

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–14 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey introduces the winning entry in the 2014 New Writer award, 'YBMs: religious identity and consumption among young British Muslims', by Hannah Wright (Illuminas). Mouncey also announces the winners of other research awards, discusses the 2014 conference of the MRS Census and Geodemographic Group, and introduces the papers in this issue of IJMR.
Published 27 January 2015

The (un)changing role of the researcher
Claire Moon pp. 15–16 [Download PDF]
This article asks how the role of the researcher will change with the rise of tools that can mine, aggregate and make sense of consumer-driven data. While these tools may improve impartiality and accuracy by removing researcher bias, the conclusions these tools draw are still open to interpretation. The decisions behind how to apply the tools will also always involve a level of judgement, depending on the question that needs to be answered and the knowledge, skills and influence of the researcher will become increasingly important.
Published 27 January 2015

Gamification in market research: Increasing enjoyment, participant engagement and richness of data, but what of data validity?
Pippa Bailey, Gareth Pritchard and Hollie Kernohan pp. 17–28 [Download PDF]
Research undertaken into the role of gamification in online surveys has already clearly demonstrated that applying some gamification principles can significantly increase the richness of spontaneous data and participant engagement, as well as the time that participants take to complete a survey. It is obviously appreciated that consumer engagement is critical for ensuring completion rates, reducing boredom within survey and also for panel membership moving forward, but the primary consideration and focus when designing any research survey has to be on accessing reality for the consumer and hence data validity. This paper shares the results of a research-on-research study that was conducted to understand the role of gamification, not only in terms of participant engagement and richness of data but also data validity.
Published 27 January 2015

Developing and testing an online tool for probing customer preferences
Maria Riala and Tuomas Nummelin pp. 29–50 [Download PDF]
This article describes the development of a new online tool for collecting data about customer preferences. The tool was created to produce comprehensive data on the connections between important variables, while offering an interesting and easy-to-use tool for respondents and researchers. The tool uses the principle of a mind-map. It was applied to two cases concerning housing preferences, and to one of municipal construction. Consumer preferences are complex and the authors thought that a visual tool could prove helpful in data collection. We present examples of network analysis, which give good insights into the complexity of preferences. Ways to improve the usability and analytical potential of the tool are also discussed. The mind-map tool shows potential for being a good data collection method, although further development is necessary to uncover the whole potential of the tool.
Published 27 January 2015

How categorisation shapes the attitude-behaviour gap in responsible consumption
Paolo Antonetti and Stan Maklan pp. 51–72 [Download PDF]
Scholars have documented that many consumers have positive attitudes towards responsible products but do not consistently buy these alternatives. In this paper we present a new perspective, based on categorisation theory, to examine the attitude–behaviour gap. Through a qualitative study, we identify two dimensions that influence consumers’ categorisation of ethical products: (1) construing the decision as altruistic or self-interested and (2) perceiving the context of the behaviour as private or public. Using these dimensions to assess the consumption situation, consumers construe four types of responsible purchase that rest on different motivations. Analysing the categorisation process allows a more nuanced understanding of the potential reasons that underpin the attitude–behaviour gap. We show that the inconsistency between words and deeds has different explanations depending on the frame applied by consumers to the decision, and suggest that a deeper understanding of framing processes is necessary for the development of more effective marketing strategies.
Published 27 January 2015

Brand equity and store brand tiers: An analysis based on an experimental design
Óscar González-Benito, Mercedes Martos-Partal and Mariana Fustinoni-Venturini pp. 73–94 [Download PDF]
The creation of strong brands interests manufacturers and distributors, as well as researchers. However, previous investigations of brand equity have focused almost exclusively on manufacturers’ brands, without considering the brand equity of store brands. A few exceptions analyse store brands from an aggregate perspective, without differentiating their types. The present study instead considers the effect of store brand tiers (e.g. generics, standard, premium) on brand equity. An experimental design compares scores for different store and manufacturer brands across branded and unbranded tests. Store brands, including premium ones, suffer a brand equity disadvantage compared with manufacturers’ brands. Generic store brands are at a clear disadvantage; premium store brands do not differ from standard store brands in terms of brand equity.
Published 27 January 2015

Multidimensional structures of brand and country images, and their effects on product evaluation
Yamen Koubaa, Rym Boudali Methamem and Fatitha Fort pp. 95–124 [Download PDF]
Marketers are interested in how consumers perceive product cues in order to build an appropriate marketing mix. Country and brand images are some of the cues proven to be of significant impact on consumer behaviour. This paper studies country and brand image multi-dimensional structures across several brands, countries and products. A model relating country image to brand image and then to product evaluation was built with country and brand image as multi-dimensional concepts. A within-subject intercultural investigation serves as a basis for data collection (1,400 consumers). The investigation was done in Japan, France and Tunisia. Three products were investigated, with three brands for each product: computer (Dell, Sony and Acer); hand cream (Shiseido, Nivea and L’Oréal); and sports shoes (Nike, Asics and le coq sportif). Results show a conjoint effect of country and brand images on product evaluation in addition to their separate effects. Country image structures differ across countries and influence differently product evaluation. Similarly, brand image structures differ across brands, across countries and across products.
Published 27 January 2015

Cosmetic scents by visual and olfactory senses versus purchase intention
Li-Chun Yang and Kuan-Nien Chen pp. 125–144 [Download PDF]
While scent is generally considered the more important factor determining consumers’ choice of cosmetics, the first impression gained by a potential purchaser is the sight of the packaging design. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relative roles of sight and smell in consumers’ choice of body lotion, using a combination of sense testing, questionnaire and interview. A total of 492 convenience-selected volunteers were asked to designate their favourite scents of five prepared body lotion samples by sight and by smell. They then undertook a questionnaire survey, and 21 of the group took part in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Most participants chose different scents when relying on sight or smell, and this difference affected their purchasing intention and purchasing motivation, with visual features of products influencing intentions more than olfactory properties. While scent was not the major reason for purchasing a cosmetic, for many participants it was an important factor. The method used may have advantages in market research over others not utilising one or other of the components.
Published 1 September 2014

Does society any longer influence behaviour?
Richard Webber pp. 145–149 [Download PDF]
This article examines the appropriate balance between two contrasting modes of understanding and predicting personal behaviour. One, older, assumption is that the most significant differences in consumer attitudes and behaviours can be understood in terms of cultural and social influences. The more recent assumption is that the individual is the principal master of his or her own decisions, although digitally connected and self-selects communications based on personal interest. While Big Data and faster processing power has allowed for greater specificity, there needs to be a balance between these two views that recognises the validity of "area effects", such as geography and ethnic background.
Published 27 January 2015

YBMs: religious identity and consumption among young British Muslims
Hannah Wright pp. 151–163 [Download PDF]
This paper aims to explore the importance of religious identity amongst young second- and third-generation British Muslims. It further seeks to understand the influence, if any, religious identity has on their consumer behaviour, examining the global rise of an Islamic consumer against a more localised set of needs and preferences. Primary research for this paper consisted of qualitative interviews with young British Muslims in London and Greater Manchester, as well as a written reflection on identity and consumption completed by participants ahead of their interview. The findings of this research challenge existing assumptions around young British Muslims, and as such will be of interest to brands and research agencies alike.
Published 27 January 2015

Book review: Online panel research: a data quality perspective
Alan Wilson pp. 165–166 [Download PDF]
This book review examines "Online panel research: a data quality perspective", which aims to provide new insights into the accuracy and value of survey data generated from online panels. The book takes the form of 19 chapters, each of which reads like a discussion paper on an individual theme relating to the value of this research approach, supported by a website that contains the original datasets used. The reviewer recommends the book to researchers and research buyers who are seeking peace of mind as they rely on online panel survey data when making decisions.
Published 27 January 2015


Volume 56 (2014)

Issue 6 +

The future of survey research
Peter Mouncey pp. 695–704 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey, editor of the International Journal of Market Research, introduces this issue of IJMR and focuses on the three topics: a presentation on 'the future of survey research', a review of the past 10 years in market research, and guidelines on open access publishing. Mouncey also discusses the papers from the issue.
Published 25 November 2014

Mobile Market Research, 2014
Ray Poynter pp. 705–707 [Download PDF]
This overview highlights what mobile market research means in 2014, as online surveys and CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) grows in usage. Mobile research can be considered 'big', both in terms of usage, dollars spent and impact on MR, and in terms of being talked about, making headlines and attracting business start-ups. Key issues include understanding the impact of the mode on research results, ethical issues and improving range, breadth and depth of sampling options.
Published 25 November 2014

Consumer literacy
Samuel Mohun Himmelweit pp. 709–716 [Download PDF]
The goal of consumer policy is often to improve the functioning of markets in which consumer needs are not being met. Yet we know that consumers do not always act in their own best interests and often face detriment because of this. This paper explores the gap between the consumer capabilities of real consumers measuring what we call 'consumer literacy' – a combination of skills, knowledge and engagement – we find that only one in 250 consumers even approaches the ideal model, and that those most likely to are older, more educated and have a higher income. The research finds that older people score well because they are more likely to be engaged with their consumption. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the issues sparked and questions raised by these findings.
Published 25 November 2014

The importance of rank for shorter, smarter surveys
Kyle Findlay, Jan Hofmeyr and Alice Louw pp. 717–736 [Download PDF]
The traditional market research paradigm believes that, the more data you measure, the more potential for insight the data will hold. However, this paper takes the counter-intuitive standpoint that'‘less is more'. Drawing on the authors' familiarity with neuroscience and behavioural economics, as well as five years' worth of panel behavioural data in three categories and data from 2,769 studies across 1.9 million respondents, the paper argues that, just as it is important to ask the right questions in a survey, it is similarly important to measure 'just enough' but not too much information about brands. We show that measuring too much data is unnecessary and can even be detrimental to the richness of your data. Readers should take away practical guidelines for creating shorter, smarter surveys that still maintain the integrity of their data and perhaps even improve it.
Published 1 August 2014

A Comparison of ABS Mail and RDD Surveys for Measuring Consumer Attitudes
Mahmoud Elkasabi, Z. Tuba Suzer-Gurtekin, James M. Lepkowski, Uiyoung Kim, Richard Curtin and Rebecca McBee pp. 737–756 [Download PDF]
The increasing cost and decreasing coverage of Random Digit Dialing (RDD) landline telephone surveys motivated The Surveys of Consumer Attitudes (SCA) at the University of Michigan to conduct monthly experimental mail survey studies using address-based sampling (ABS). The primary objectives of the experimental studies were to evaluate the feasibility of transitioning the data collection operations from telephone to mail and to investigate differential survey errors between the two modes. Overall mail survey response rates were comparable to the RDD landline survey. Coverage improved using ABS, with more than 20% of the mail responses from non-landline telephone households not covered by the RDD landline telephone surveys. Mail survey respondents from households without landline telephones were more likely to be younger, have lower income, be renters and live in one-person households. There were no apparent measurement or reporting differences between the telephone and mail self-administered modes of data collection. Furthermore, inclusion of non-landline telephone households did not result in any substantial demographic or economic attitude differences between the two approaches.
Published 1 May 2014

Product longevity: exploring success factors in the children's market
Jony Oktavian Haryanto and Luiz Moutinho pp. 757–782 [Download PDF]
The potential of the child segment offers an immense opportunity for marketers to explore. In the ever more dynamic and ever changing children’s market, the identification and ability to optimise the factors that can preserve product dominance are key to product longevity. This paper attempts to identify those factors that can influence the success of products in the children’s market. We focus on identifying the antecedents of brand relationship and brand loyalty for the children’s market. It is hoped that this study will contribute to the body of knowledge, and build understanding between the factors and their interrelations so that, in the end, product longevity in the children’s market is finally achieved.
Published 25 November 2014

Assessment of brand equity measures
Rong Huang, Emine Sarigöllü pp. 783–806 [Download PDF]
Although several brand equity measures have been proposed in the literature, a comparative assessment of their characteristics and performances is lacking. This paper attempts to fill that gap. Combining survey data with real market data, it assesses two types of brand equity measure: customer mind-set measures (brand knowledge) and product-market performance measures (revenue premium). The results confirm that the customer mind-set measure captures cumulative brand-building effects better and offers diagnostic information. However, the revenue premium is found as a better choice for continuous tracking of brand equity because (a) it could reveal the true changes in brand equity; (b) it is a practical and convenient measure since its data requirements are readily available; and (c) it flags any change in brand-equity before the customer mind-set measure. Furthermore, the product-market performance measure is found to precede the customer mind-set. This study also conducts the first empirical test of the well-known brand value chain model on real market data. Finally, operationalising the customer mind-set measure on real market data for the first time, this study confirms that advertising and distribution are positively associated with brand-equity, while price promotion is negatively associated. By considering multiple measures, this study improves the robustness of the findings as well as addressing marketing accountability issues.
Published 1 July 2014

Influences of Co-creation on Brand Experience: The Role of Brand Engagement
Herbjørn Nysveen and Per Pedersen pp. 807–832 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this article is to study the influence of customer co-creation participation on customers’ brand experience, brand satisfaction and brand loyalty. We apply a service logic approach in which co-creation participation refers to co-creation of customer value together with the brand, co-creation of new value with the brand and co-creation of value together with other customers within the context of the brand. The reasoning applied is that customers’ co-creation with a brand – stimulating their engagement with the brand – influences brand experience, and through that, brand satisfaction and loyalty. A study among bank customers shows that co-creation participation positively influences sensory, affective, cognitive, behavioural and relational dimensions of a brand experience. However, influences of brand experience dimensions on satisfaction and loyalty are revealed to be complex as some of the dimensions influence satisfaction positively, while others have a negative influence. Furthermore, we show that the satisfaction and loyalty effects of co-creation participation are partially mediated by brand experience. Thus, there are both indirect and direct effects on satisfaction and loyalty from customers’ co-creation participation. Implications point to the importance of carefully managing co-creation participation in order to gain competitive advantages. Companies should be careful about how brand experience is stimulated through co-creation because of the potential risk of negative effects on satisfaction and loyalty.
Published 1 April 2014

Ethics in Qualitative Research (2nd edn)
Matthew Alexander pp. 833–835 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at Ethics in Qualitative Research, which outlines the tensions between the often linear and mechanistic approaches of university ethics committees. It also examines the 'fluidity and inductive uncertainty' that pervade qualitative research where ethical dilemmas and concerns permeate the research process. The reviewer found that the book is intellectually challenging and most appropriate for an academic or doctoral audience, although the principles and challenges raised are relevant to all qualitative researchers. Ultimately, the book shows that ethics should permeate the entire research process and not simply be a tick-box exercise.
Published 25 November 2014

Issue 5 +

When detecting significant differences may not be enough
Peter Mouncey pp. 561–567 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this issue of IJMR, beginning with a look at a paper from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute – "When 'significant' is not significant" – and discusses the role of the loyalty card in the future strategy of Tesco, the retailer.
Published 22 September 2014

Academic researchers are from Mars…
Jeffrey Henning pp. 569–570 [Download PDF]
Jeffrey Henning looks at the different environments that academic researchers and corporate researchers work in, comparing them to the atmospheres of the planets Mars and Venus. He criticises the corporate research world for failing to take into account practice settled through academic research.
Published 22 September 2014

The quest for persuasive advertising
Spike Cramphorn pp. 571–590 [Download PDF]
Much of what is described as advertising pretesting is better viewed as an incomplete and imaginative attempt to measure steps along a surmised hierarchical process that is only indirectly related to the purposes for which the advertising is created. This paper reviews design weaknesses in current advertising pretesting and highlights prevalent misconceptions. Elements that, when present, contribute to enhanced brand feelings are identified. It finds a link between how people feel towards the brand and the way they react to its advertising but strength of brand has no affect on gaining attention.
Published 22 September 2014

When 'significant' is not significant
Rachel Kennedy, John Scriven and Magda Nenycz-Thiel pp. 591–607 [Download PDF]
Big data is here for some and coming for many. It promises access to new knowledge along with some challenges, but let’s not forget the important lessons of the past to ensure that we are advancing knowledge and making the right decisions from the data we have. In this paper, we submit that marketing’s emphasis on statistical significance is misplaced, especially in the new world of big data. We include case examples to demonstrate how statistical significance is easy to find, but not necessarily important. We will also discuss the alternative route for generating robust knowledge. Specifically, we espouse the tradition pioneered by Andrew Ehrenberg of Many Sets of Data (MSoD) and descriptive models as the way to advance marketing science, and as a solid foundation for data interpretation in market research studies. We offer insights for market research practitioners and marketers alike, to ensure they are getting the best from their data for robust marketing decision-making.
Published 1 March 2014

Readership measurement in the digital age
Andrew Green pp. 609–630 [Download PDF]
Newspaper and magazine publishing businesses are going through tremendous change. Readers are accessing content in multiple formats from multiple devices and are increasingly difficult to measure. Advertisers are faced with bewildering choice as to where to place their investments, and demanding faster and more accurate data. A new study was launched in Australia in August 2013, which tried to address many of these challenges with an innovative approach to measuring reading across platforms and devices. It has drawn from experience in a handful of countries, which have also experimented with new methodologies for measuring readership and brought many of these together into a single approach.
Published 22 September 2014

The word-of-mouth phenomenon in the social media era
Ana Margarida Barreto pp. 631–654 [Download PDF]
This review addresses three contemporary questions on the topic of word of mouth (WOM): (1) Are WOM and online WOM the same phenomenon? (2) What kind of target is more likely to engage in brands recommendations? (3) Can ‘organic’ and ‘fertilised’ WOM have the same value/impact? Furthermore, the present work gives academics a framework for analysing the popular phenomenon WOM, and provides marketers with some best practice suggestions. Finally, the reader can find some suggestions for further research on this topic.
Published 22 September 2014

Validation of the customer-based corporate reputation scale in a retail context
Nic S. Terblanche pp. 655–671 [Download PDF]
A positive corporate reputation held by customers is important for both financial and customer outcome variables. However, limited research has been undertaken to examine the relationship between corporate reputation and customer-related behaviours. This paper deals with a study in which the shortened customer-based corporate reputation (CBCR) scale of Walsh et al. (2009) was validated in a study of supermarket customers in a developing country. The findings support only two of the five dimensions of the Walsh et al. scale. These are customer orientation and competitiveness of the firm. None of the original reputation dimensions or items associated with good corporate citizenship, such as good employer and being socially and environmentally responsible, was part of the dimensions that remained after the statistical analyses. Both customer orientation and competitiveness of the firm are strongly associated with important outcome variables such as trust, loyalty, repatronage intention and overall reputation. The findings of this study reiterate the view that great care should be exercised when scales are considered for application in a context not similar to the one where the scale was developed.
Published 22 September 2014

Social word of mouth: How trust develops in the market
Nick Hajli, Xiaolin Lin, Mauricio Featherman and Yichuan Wang pp. 673–689 [Download PDF]
Consumer trust is essential for a business to successfully promote new products and services. This paper develops a trust model from a social commerce perspective by investigating the influence of social commerce constructs on consumer trust in new products and services. By using an empirical study, the results of this research indicate that social commerce constructs could be measured using three dimensions; these are recommendations and referrals, ratings and reviews, and forums and communities. Furthermore, social commerce constructs have a significant positive influence on consumer trust in new products and service. Alternatively, social commerce constructs could generate social word of mouth among potential customers regarding new products and services; this in turn can shape consumer trust. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed.
Published 22 September 2014

Improving surveys with paradata: analytic uses of process information
Justin Gutmann pp. 691–693 [Download PDF]
This book review examines one book in the Wiley Series in Survey Methodology, derived from papers presented at a conference sponsored by the Institute for Employment Research in Germany. Paradata is defined as the additional data that can be captured during the process of producing a survey statistic. The book covers the idea of paradata and the different stages in the survey process of how and why they occur, paradata in survey production, and the special challenges imposed by paradata in particular situations. The book is recommended as a comprehensive introduction to paradata, and can be used as a very handy guide to improving practice.
Published 22 September 2014

Issue 4 +

Web surveys of the general population: a robust alternative to current methods?
Peter Mouncey pp. 411–420 [Download PDF]
In this editorial, Peter Mouncey discusses learnings from the National Centre for Research Methods symposium, exploring whether web surveys provided a robust methodology for conducting research among the general population. Mouncey also introduces the contents of IJMR vol. 56, issue 4 including papers on the 'health' of online panels and analysing social media data.
Published 30 July 2014

Viewpoint: Helping the public see the value of social research using social media
Alexandra Fry pp. 421–424 [Download PDF]
This article looks at how the internet has changed the way we communicate and its effect on market research. Both participants and research professionals are unclear on what information can be collected, who or what governs it and whether researchers' code of conduct should be bound by more than just the law. Due to users' concerns about their data, scepticism and suspicion about social research is tied up with their wider concerns about the online world and researchers must be more transparent about research objectives.
Published 30 July 2014

Techniques for fusing survey modules: Respondent matching and data imputation
Edward Paul Johnson, Lynn Siluk and Sarah Tarraf pp. 425–442 [Download PDF]
Survey respondents want short, applicable surveys they enjoy. In order to continue to receive good data, we need to capture respondents’ input through the means and within the capacity they are willing to provide. One way to meet the respondents’ needs is to break the traditional 20–30 minute survey into 5–10 minute modules. These shorter modules appeal to a wider audience and work well in a mobile environment, but have large amounts of missing data which can be problematic for advanced research techniques. We examine two possible techniques to fusing the modular surveys back into a data set analysts can use to perform advanced analytics: hot-deck data imputation and respondent matching. We demonstrate how each technique works in a control experiment with a 25 minute A&U (attitude and usage) study on frozen carbonated beverages. Lastly, we discuss the implications and opportunities for future research into these fusion techniques.
Published 30 July 2014

Career overall average relative response time of online panellists
Andrea Vocino and Michael J. Polonsky pp. 443–466 [Download PDF]
Scientific and commercial researchers around the world are relying increasingly on the responder insights obtained from online panels. However, from the researcher viewpoint, what distinguishes a good panel from a bad one is not clear and new metrics need to be developed to consider panel health. Given that online panels are composed of individuals, it is proposed that new individual-based metrics, taken across an individual’s career, should also be developed. This paper proposes that each respondent’s overall average relative response time (OARRT) across all surveys they have completed is one such measure, and examines how it is affected by a range of control factors. Three cohorts of panellists “ that is, ‘ongoing’, ‘unsubscribers’ and ‘three-strikers’ “ are examined. We found that the number of surveys completed and the respondent’s age affected OARRT across the three cohorts, with participation in other panels affecting OARRT for unsubscribers. Gender, education and employment status did not impact OARRT for any group. The results suggest there may be a learning effect.
Published 1 January 2014

How to mine brand Tweets: Procedural guidelines and pretest
Shintaro Okazaki, Ana M. Díaz-Martín, Mercedes Rozano and Héctor D. Menéndez-Benito pp. 467–488 [Download PDF]
This paper presents a methodological framework for using opinion mining to analyse comments on social networking sites. A series of procedural recommendations is described and compared with the content analysis method. The major steps include brand selection, determination of a classification scheme and categories, human coding, programming of the automated classification algorithm, and evaluation of the classification results. We then present the results of a pretest that examined the content of Tweets about IKEA. After human coding of 100 Tweets, the automated classification was carried out. The Precision measure achieved more than 65% for the first classification (Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Exclude) and 64% for the second classification (Sharing, Information, Opinion, Question, Reply and Exclude), demonstrating the efficiency of mining Tweets for emotional patterns. Combining the two classification schemes, the pretest performs a social network analysis to identify interrelationships among the Tweets. In closing, methodological implications and utility for marketing research are discussed.
Published 1 February 2014

Optimising human inspection work in automated verbatim coding
Giacomo Berardi, Andrea Esuli and Fabrizio Sebastiani pp. 489–512 [Download PDF]
Automatic verbatim coding technology is essential in many contexts in which, either because of the sheer size of the dataset we need to code, or because of demanding time constraints, or because of cost-effectiveness issues, manual coding is not a viable option. However, in some of these contexts the accuracy standards imposed by the customer may be too high for today’s automated verbatim coding technology; this means that human coders may need to devote some time to inspecting (and correcting where appropriate) the most problematic autocoded verbatims, with the goal of increasing the accuracy of the coded set. We discuss a software tool for optimising the human coders’ work, i.e. a tool that minimises the amount of human inspection required to reduce the overall error down to a desired level, or that (equivalently) maximises the reduction in the overall error achieved for an available amount of human inspection work.
Published 30 July 2014

Applying the Bass model to pharmaceuticals in emerging markets
Daniel Porath and Christian Schaefer pp. 513–530 [Download PDF]
Albeit the Bass model was not designed for predicting sales of newly launched drugs, pharmaceutical companies commonly use it for this purpose, mainly because of its good predictive power. Empirical experience, however, mainly refers to mature markets and it is unclear how the model behaves in emerging markets. We try to fill this gap in the literature by comparing the estimation results of the Bass model between emerging markets and mature markets in a big dataset including more than 5,000 new launches from different countries. Our results show a good performance of the model in emerging markets. Compared to mature markets the estimated parameters on average are the same, but there is a higher heterogeneity between individual countries. Our findings favour the application of the Bass model in emerging markets, but also highlight the importance of selecting individual parameters for each country and therapeutic class.
Published 30 July 2014

'Who you know and what you have to say': an alternative look at knowledge mobilisation theory
Chris Brown pp. 531–550 [Download PDF]
The process of ‘knowledge mobilisation’ is defined as the means through which decision makers within organisations digest, accept, then ‘take on board’ research findings. It is argued in Brown (2011), however, that current models designed to explain knowledge mobilisation activity fail to fully account for the complexities that affect its operation. Within this paper, existing frameworks are explored and critiqued, and an alternative approach is presented. It is argued that this alternative conceptualisation provides a more effective explanation of the knowledge mobilisation process and significantly improves on extant work in this area. The work is also augmented by the provision of a suite of qualitatively based strategies that can be used by researchers to better facilitate the knowledge mobilisation process. It is concluded that further quantitative testing of these strategies is required.
Published 30 July 2014

The art of using ethnography
Russell Belk pp. 551–553 [Download PDF]
These conference notes from 'Listening to consumers of emerging markets', the 2014 Annual Conference of the Emerging Markets Conference Board, covers the first part of a session on the art of using ethnography. It put forward the case for doing more applied and theoretical ethnographic work, using examples from Gillette, Nokia and ICICI Bank of India, to demonstrate success. Data collection techniques used include observation, mobile phone and CCTV camera use, data gathering from online sources and observing traces of consumption.
Published 30 July 2014

The art and science of ethnography
Güliz Ger pp. 553–556 [Download PDF]
These conference notes from 'Listening to consumers of emerging markets', the 2014 Annual Conference of the Emerging Markets Conference Board, covers the second part of a session on the art of using ethnography. This focused on the quality of interpretive research and how to do a rigorous study. This involved two topics: designing a study, and the methods to employ to enhance the trustworthiness and dependability of the findings; and field relationships and practices.
Published 30 July 2014

Michael Fisher, Martin Abbott and Kalle Lyytinen – The power of customer misbehaviour: drive growth and innovation by learning from your customers
Alan Wilson pp. 557–558 [Download PDF]
This review looks at 'The power of customer misbehaviour', a book about customer-driven innovation and how companies should not only learn to identify when their products are being misused, but also how they should use this knowledge to innovate. Consisting of nine relatively short chapters, topics include the importance of viral growth, the technology-adoption life cycle, identifying customer behaviour and how companies have successfully and poorly responded to customer misuse of products. The book is criticised for not fulfilling the promise of practical advise who are looking to put the learnings into practice and the main theme is in fact about a model for potentially growing information-intensive ventures.
Published 30 July 2014

Issue 3 +

'Impact 2014': MRS annual conference
Peter Mouncey pp. 269–278 [Download PDF]
In this editorial for the International Journal for Market Research, Peter Mouncey discusses the themes from from the MRS annual conference: the role that research can play in informing and influencing the strategy of an organisation, and some insights into how social values are changing. Mouncey also summarises the papers from this issue.
Published 12 May 2014

Making meaning: the fate of the consumer in market research
Chris Barnham pp. 279–282 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Chris Barnham discusses the contribution that consumers make in the process of making meaning for brands. He provides a brief history of marketing's approach to the consumer. He suggests that the key development was in the way that clients thought about meaning and, specifically, who makes meaning and this initiated many changes. This included the view that the fundamental answers to marketing and advertising problems could be found in the only place in which the brand could exist – in the mind of the consumer. However, this model seems to have reverted in recent years and consumers no longer play such a crucial role in the marketing process. The author calls for a return to recognising that consumers have a far greater role in imparting meaning onto the brand.
Published 12 May 2014

A comparison of methods used to measure the importance of service attributes
Elena Pokryshevskaya and Evgeny Antipov pp. 283–296 [Download PDF]
In this study, nine methods for measuring indirect importance are compared on the basis of their discriminatory power and stability. To the best knowledge of the authors, the stability of results obtained with different methods is assessed for the first time. The deficiencies of an existing criterion for assessing diagnosticity are pointed out and a modified version suggested. The empirical comparison is based on two real-world datasets from the ecommerce industry. Even though none of the methods appeared to be the best according to both criteria simultaneously, there seem to be grounds for recommending the theoretically sound Shapley value decomposition of R-square if stability and discrimination are about equally important for a decision maker, while negative contributions are undesirable.
Published 12 May 2014

A challenge for geomarketing in developing countries
Nicholas Allo pp. 297–316 [Download PDF]
Efforts are continually made from within and outside developing countries, to better understand the consumer and customer distribution, for the purpose of devising and delivering a more accurate means to market insight within such regions. Despite some of the efforts being made, it appears there still is an inability to achieve a similar level of market and/or population insight as there is available for most developed countries. It is anticipated, however, that hindrances to achieving the market insight desired may be akin to issues such as market entry via locations with greater disposable incomes comparative to similar locations, data limitations – inconsistencies, limited accessibility, geographies used consisting administrative boundaries and lacking information structure – and insufficient efforts from academia on this subject matter when compared to private-sector efforts, which are likely to present a bias suited to their own purposes.
Published 12 May 2014

Gossip in social networking sites
Shintaro Okazaki, Natalia Rubio and Sara Campo pp. 317–340 [Download PDF]
This study examines the effects of online gossip propensity in social networking sites (SNSs). We posit that online gossip propensity affects SNS identification, which in turn determines normative pressure and SNS engagement. The ultimate outcome is electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) intention. We also explore the impact of two types of SNS communication channel, i.e. handheld (mobile devices and tablets) and traditional (desktop PCs and laptops) computing devices. The data were collected from a questionnaire survey with 400 general consumers. Using a scenario approach, we asked the respondents how they would react to a special discount campaign for a popular beer brand ad posted on an SNS. Our structural equation modelling results indicate that online gossip propensity is indeed a significant driver of SNS identification. All hypothesised paths are supported, except the one from normative pressure to eWOM intention. Furthermore, SNS communication channels had a clear impact, since the latent means are greater for most of the constructs in the handheld computing device group than in the traditional computing device group.
Published 12 May 2014

The impact of a product-harm crisis on customer perceived value
Baolong Ma, Lin Zhang, Gao Wang and Fei Li pp. 341–366 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this research is to help better understand the effects of a productharm crisis on crisis and non-crisis brands’ customer perceived value and market competitive structure in the auto industry. The research first develops a fourdimensional customer perceived value (CPV) measure, and then uses the measure to collect data before, during and after the 2009–2010 Toyota product-harm crisis. These data are analysed and compared to investigate the impacts of the product crisis. The results show that the crisis can have a negative impact on the crisis brand’s CPV, and the impact from experienced customers is different to that from inexperienced customers. Some non-crisis brands with the same country of origin (COO) and similar product attributes to the crisis brand will also be negatively affected by the crisis. Moreover, brands with significantly higher CPV will benefit from the crisis. However, these impacts from the product crisis are short-lived and most of the brand’s CPV recovers in the post-crisis period to the pre-crisis level. The crisis also changes the competition rules of the product category by changing the weights of CPV dimensions across the pre-, during- and post-crisis periods. Therefore, all companies need to handle the product crisis carefully, so that they can adjust their strategy accordingly in the dynamic market. These findings have implications for understanding the influences of a productharm crisis. The managerial implications are also discussed.
Published 12 May 2014

Maximum difference scaling
Roberto Furlan and Graham Turner pp. 367–386 [Download PDF]
In recent years, maximum difference scaling (MDS) analysis has gained a significant increase in popularity in market research. MDS represents a valid and better alternative when collecting preference measurements, being scale-free and providing more differentiation when measuring attribute importance than standard rating scales. With growing popularity there is a clear need to better understand the potentialities and limitations of MDS. While some work has already been done (among others, Orme 2005), there are still many unexplored areas, in particular regarding the impact of the key elements in an MDS design on the accuracy of results. With this paper we try to understand to what extent the number of versions, the number of tasks and the number of respondents impact on the results.
Published 12 May 2014

A study of the impact of social media on consumers
Nick Hajli pp. 387–404 [Download PDF]
Social media have provided new opportunities to consumers to engage in social interaction on the internet. Consumers use social media, such as online communities, to generate content and to network with other users. The study of social media can also identify the advantages to be gained by business. A multidisciplinary model, building on the technology acceptance model and relevant literature on trust and social media, has been devised. The model has been validated by SEM-PLS, demonstrating the role of social media in the development of e-commerce into social commerce. The data emerging from a survey show how social media facilitate the social interaction of consumers, leading to increased trust and intention to buy. The results also show that trust has a significant direct effect on intention to buy. The perceived usefulness (PU) of a site is also identified as a contributory factor. At the end of the paper, the author discusses the results, along with implications, limitations and recommended future research directions.
Published 12 May 2014

A theory of grocery shopping
Jules Berry pp. 405–410 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at 'A theory of grocery shopping' by Shelley L. Koch, a sociologist who uses extended interviews with a range of shoppers and retail managers – an approach called "Institutional Ethnography" – to draw out and illustrate three key discourses. These are around shopping and nutrition, efficient shoppers, and consumer control. The argument is that these three discourses are fundamentally at odds with one another. The review claims the book is not aimed at those already familiar with shopper or retail research. Instead the primary audience would be those interested in the broader social organisation perspective.
Published 12 May 2014

Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers
Justin Gutmann pp. 407–409 [Download PDF]
This article reviews the updated version of 'Qualitative research practice', which supports the practice of qualitative research while at the same time embedding that practice in clearly articulated philosophical and sociological traditions. It covers a wide range of topics and discusses how to carry out qualitative research in an ethical manner. The review states that each chapter is succint but while the detail in each chapter is excellent, it is not a manual. However, it is strongly recommended to all readers of IJMR.
Published 12 May 2014

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 135–144 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for IJMR, volume 56, issue 2, Peter Mouncey discusses some of the themes and presentations from the conference on marketing research in emerging markets organised by the Indian Institute of Management, held in January 2014. He also highlights news regarding several awards schemes and introduces the papers from the issue.
Published 26 March 2014

Viewpoint: Behavioural economics: a model of thinking
Caroline Whitehill Hayter pp. 145–147 [Download PDF]
This article recommends embedding behavioural economics into all market research, instead of seeing it as a separate methodology and demonstrates ways of looking at the way we use language in order to spot biased thinking. It provides six recommendations to look at behavioural economics holistically, including don't take briefs at face value; look at actual behaviour rather than recall or intentions; and take context into account.
Published 26 March 2014

A benchmark process for measuring consumer perceptions of total quality
Noel Mark Noël pp. 149–166 [Download PDF]
Researchers and business practitioners have made much progress in the last several decades towards both the measurement and management of the many aspects of quality. However, a standardised and comprehensive methodology for the measurement of consumer perceptions of total quality has remained elusive for a variety of reasons. This article proposes an illustrative pilot study that applies magnitude estimation (psychophysics) as a valid and convenient method to benchmark consumer perceptions of the various marketing dimensions that come to define total quality. The magnitude estimation approach allows specific quality-related information to be generalised and extended to other similar studies using small-size samples of targeted respondents. The ability to validate and generalise these findings across studies allows researchers and managers to observe functional relationships between existing and new marketing stimuli for related patterns and potential innovations. The observation and analysis of treatment effects over time allows management to implement a consumer-driven quality improvement programme. An empirical pilot study is presented for illustration of the methodology.
Published 26 March 2014

The origin and success of qualitative research
Lawrence F. Bailey pp. 167–184 [Download PDF]
Qualitative research has at last achieved full respectability in the academic sphere, and the success of commercial qualitative market research is demonstrably substantial. This article traces the history of qualitative research back to the time when both strands meet, in an academic source aware of the commercial value of applied psychology, drawing upon techniques that seek to explore and explain human behaviour. It is argued that the modern understanding of qualitative research comprises a ‘package’ of component parts, and that the essential elements of these were first identifiable, beginning in 1925, in the work and advocacy of the psychologist, Paul Felix Lazarsfeld.
Published 26 March 2014

Asymmetry in leader image effects and the implications for leadership positioning in the 2010 British general election
Roger Mortimore, Paul Baines, Ian Crawford, Robert Worcester and Andrew Zelin pp. 185–205 [Download PDF]
Using national survey data on voters’ perceptions of party leaders during the 2010 British general election campaign, we use logistic regression analysis to explore the association between specific image attributes and overall satisfaction for each leader. We find attribute-satisfaction relationships differ in some respects between the three main party leaders, demonstrating that leader image effects are not symmetrical across leaders. We find evidence that negative perceptions have more powerful effects on satisfaction than positive ones, implying that parties should seek to determine a leader’s image attribute perceptions measured against the public’s expectations of them on the same dimensions. The positions that campaigners ought then to choose are those that will have the most beneficial effect in encouraging voting behaviour for each particular leader or discouraging voting behaviour for an opponent.
Published 1 November 2013

Using graphical statistics to better understand market segmentation solutions
Sara Dolnicar and Friedrich Leisch pp. 207–230 [Download PDF]
Market segmentation lies ‘at the heart of successful marketing’ (McDonald 2010), yet market segmentation solutions are not trivial to interpret, especially if consumers are segmented using post hoc or a posteriori or data-driven segmentation, where several consumer characteristics are analysed simultaneously to identify or construct market segments. In fact, 65% of marketing managers admit to having difficulties with the interpretation of data-driven market segmentation solutions. In this study we develop novel ways of visualising segmentation solutions using graphical statistics methodology. The proposed plots help academics and practitioners to interpret complex market segmentation solutions, thus improving the practical usability of market segmentation, reducing the risk of misinterpretation and contributing to closing the much-lamented ‘theory–practice divide’ in market segmentation.
Published 1 December 2013

Sentiment analysis: A market-relevant and reliable measure of public feeling?
Barrie Gunter, Nelya Koteyko and Dimitrinka Atanasova pp. 231–247 [Download PDF]
This paper critically examines emergent research with sentiment analysis tools to assess their current status and relevance to applied opinion and behaviour measurement. The rapid spread of online news and online chatter in blogs, micro-blogs and social media sites has created a potentially rich source of public opinion. Waves of public feeling are vented spontaneously on a wide range of issues on a minute-by-minute basis in the online world. These online discourses are continually being refreshed, and businesses and advertisers, governments and policy makers have woken up to the fact that this universe of self-perpetuating human sentiment could represent a valuable resource to guide political and business decisions. The massive size of this repository of emotional content renders manual analysis of it feasible only for tiny portions of its totality, and even then can be labour intensive. Computer scientists have however produced software tools that can apply linguistic rules to provide electronic readings of meanings and emotions. These tools are now being utilised by applied social science and market researchers to yield sentiment profiles from online discourses created within specific platforms that purport to represent reliable substitutes for more traditional, offline measures of public opinion. This paper considers what these tools have demonstrated so far and where caution in their application is still called for.
Published 26 March 2014

The impact of source effects and message valence on word of mouth retransmission
Jeffrey P. Radighieri and Mark Mulder pp. 249–263 [Download PDF]
The impact of word of mouth (WOM) on consumer actions is more pronounced now than ever due to technology. Modern advancements have made engaging in WOM and contributing to viral marketing very commonplace. This notion can be troubling for firms, as consumers can say anything about any firm with virtually no chance of repercussions. Therefore, it is important to study the flow of WOM to help firms design strategies to influence its transmission. This study compares the impact of WOM sender expertise and valence of the WOM message on consumer likelihood to contribute to viral marketing by retransmitting messages to others. Results of our study find that messages from experts and non-experts are equally influential when the valence is positive (PWOM), but messages from experts are more influential than those from non-experts when the valence is negative (NWOM). Explanations for this result are given, as are contributions to both theory and practice.
Published 1 April 2013

Book review: Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method, by Tom Boellstorff, Bonnie Nardi, Celia Pearce and T.L. Taylor
Alan Wilson pp. 265–266 [Download PDF]
This book review describes 'Ethnography and Virtual Worlds' as a very practical handbook aimed at researchers, students and academics interested in using ethnographic methods to understand social interactions within the contexts of the Internet, computer games and virtual worlds. The majority of the book is organised according to the stages of a research project but also defines and give a brief history of ethnographic methods, and so may serve as a useful source of information on the application of ethnography in any context and not simply as a research approach for the virtual world.
Published 26 March 2014

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–9 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for the International Journal of Market Research, Volume 56, Issue 1, Peter Mouncey looks at the future of the UK national census, as discussed at a Market Research Society conference and an ONS consultation meeting. Mouncey also provides highlights from the Cathie Marsh lecture on "What can RCTs bring to social policy evaluation?", and introduces the papers from this issue.
Published 23 January 2014

Viewpoint: We can do better
Reg Baker pp. 11–13 [Download PDF]
Reg Baker recounts a panel discussion and presentation from ESOMAR Congress 2013 where the vexed issue of online panel sampling was addressed, and point to US research for improving it. The ESOMAR participants agreed that the quality of online panels could be a problem but, conceded that increasing pressure from clients for fast research on low budgets meant that non-probability online panels had become the default sample source. Baker states that the research industry's common solution to the bias of such as approach has often been demographic quota sampling, but he questions whether this is really enough. He points to the activities of a US-based task force commissioned by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) created 'to examine the conditions under which various survey designs that do not use probability samples might still be useful for making inferences to a larger population'. It found that the risk of inaccurate data was greatest with simple convenience samples and that risk could be reduced with more complex models. He argues that the research industry should at least explore these options to improve sampling for online panels.
Published 23 January 2014

Using implicit methods to develop an objective measure of media brand engagement
Gemma Calvert, Eamon Fulcher, Geraldine Fulcher, Pauline Foster and Helen Rose pp. 15–32 [Download PDF]
Traditional market research methods that rely on explicit respondent feedback, such as focus groups or surveys, often fail to detect the deep-seated, often subconscious, emotions towards brands that reside in consumers’ minds. Recently, there has been considerable interest in the ability of well-established psychological tests that capture people’s implicit responses using speeded reaction time paradigms to tap in to these subconscious associations. In this paper, we describe the use of an adapted semantic priming paradigm to measure the strength of implicit consumer associations between a range of psychological attributes and competitor brands within this media category. The study was conducted online across ten countries and, within each country, against nine relevant competitive brands of the MTV channel. Analysis of the resulting implicit dataset revealed large statistical differences between brands in terms of consumers’ subconscious feelings that were not captured by previous explicit research methodologies into consumer brand engagement. This study clearly demonstrates the power and usefulness of combining implicit and explicit online research data to gain maximum understanding of consumers’ true feelings about brands.
Published 23 January 2014

Including Don't know answer options in brand image surveys improves data quality
Sara Dolnicar and Bettina Grün pp. 33–50 [Download PDF]
How do respondents use the Don’t know answer option in surveys? We investigate this question in the context of brand image measurement, using an experimental design with about 2,000 respondents and, for the first time, considering a range of commonly used answer formats. Results indicate that Don’t know options are primarily used when respondents genuinely cannot answer the question, as opposed to representing a quick, low-effort option to complete a survey. Two practical conclusions arise from this study: (1) a Don’t know option should be offered in cases where it is expected that some respondents may be unfamiliar with some brands under study; and (2) answer formats without a midpoint should be used in brand image studies because midpoints can either be falsely misinterpreted as an alternative to ticking the Don’t know option, or used as an avenue for respondent satisficing.
Published 1 July 2013

Social media and consumer choice
Fred Bronner and Robert de Hoog pp. 51–71 [Download PDF]
Social media are becoming increasingly important for consumer decisions. This holds true in particular for vacation decision-making, as an example of a high-involvement decision. The research focuses upon the relation between the information people search regarding aspects or properties of choice options and the types of social media used for finding it. The social media classification framework used is based on two dimensions: first, domain-specific social media versus domain-independent social media; second, large opportunities for self-disclosure versus limited or no opportunities for self-disclosure. Based on this framework, predictions are made about the relation between social media used and information sought. It was found that domain-specific social media with limited opportunities for self-disclosure, like Tripadvisor, are more frequently used for search-determined sub-decisions than for experience-determined sub-decisions. For domain-independent social media with large opportunities for self-disclosure, like Twitter and Facebook, it was found that they are used with equal frequency for both types of sub-decision. These findings are relevant for multichannel management in marketing. As regards the valence of the information obtained from different social media, we found a preponderant use of positive/mixed messages and comments, and almost no use of negative information. A practical implication of this finding is that ‘webcare’ should be focused less on complaints and more on leveraging positive aspects that are reported in social media for choices that have comparable characteristics, such as vacations. If a relatively large number of aspects play a role in a product choice process, tracking and use of positive information should be emphasised, while negative experiences should be more important for products characterised by a very limited number of relevant product choice aspects.
Published 1 September 2013

Discriminating between behaviour using market data from panels
Hsiu-Yuan Tsao, Leyland Pitt and Colin Campbell pp. 73–88 [Download PDF]
Considerable research exists on stochastic models of switching behaviour that uses sequences of individual-level purchase data. While at the individual level, sample size and sequence length are limiting factors, at the aggregate level, heterogeneity with respect to purchase sequences may assist in interpreting results. The authors propose an approach to discriminate between the switching behaviour of variety seeking, indifference and reinforcement. Only the proportion of 100% loyal customers, market share data and an estimation of the promotional effect - information all available from consumer panel data - are necessary to fit the model.
Published 1 August 2013

A cross-national comparison of extreme response style measures
Robert A. Peterson, Pablo Rhi-Perez and Gerald Albaum pp. 89–110 [Download PDF]
Five measures of extreme response style were compared across 6,146 study participants from 36 countries: the traditional measure, a modified traditional measure, the individual standard deviation, an index of dispersion and an index of entropy. The traditional measure of extreme response style, whereby the two extreme categories of an item or rating scale are assigned a value of ‘1’, all interior categories are assigned a value of ‘0’ and the sum of the ‘1’ values reflects the extent of extreme responding behaviour, performed slightly better than the other extreme response style measures examined with respect to reliability and ability to discriminate. The traditional measure of extreme response style was positively related to the variance of an attitudinal variable but unrelated to its mean. It was also related to Hofstede’s cultural orientation variables of individualism-collectivism and power distance. Future cross-cultural and cross-national empirical research should systematically incorporate measures of extreme responding so that more is learned about the phenomenon and its possible effects.
Published 23 January 2014

Segmenting the betting market in England
Chris Hand and Jaywant Singh pp. 111–127 [Download PDF]
While there are a number of studies focusing on the motivations for betting, less is known about the extent to which the market is segmented. This study investigates patterns of cross-purchasing using a sample of 7,200 adult respondents from a government survey dataset obtained via the UK Data Archive. In doing so, we apply market research techniques to a social research domain, and demonstrate the usefulness of publicly available government survey data to (social) market researchers. While we find some patterns of cross-purchase that are broadly the same as would be predicted by the duplication of purchase law, we also identify clear partitions in the market, implying the existence of behavioural segments. We identify five distinct behavioural segments, each with its own demographic characteristics. Our results have implications for the managers of betting companies, and for the design of future studies into gambling behaviour that could potentially inform public policy.
Published 1 October 2013

Book review: Consumer Satisfaction: Advancements in Theory, Modeling, and Empirical Findings, by Alessandro M. Peluso
Chris Brookes pp. 129–131 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at Alessandro's M. Peluso's book that applies and tests a new academic model of transactional 'consumer satisfaction' (or just 'customer satisfaction).
Published 23 January 2014

Book review: The Triumph of Emptiness: Consumption, Higher Education and Work Organisation, by Mats Alvesson
Michael Mayers pp. 131–133 [Download PDF]
This book review examines Mats Alvesson's book, which proposes that in today's affluent societies, mostly in Europe, North America, Australia and other countries, there is strong emphasis upon the need to look good, and argues this is vital for the success of individuals, groups and organisations.
Published 23 January 2014


Volume 55 (2013)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 743–749 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces Volume 55, Issue 6 of IJMR, which explores the theme of market research in the world of social media. As well as a summary of the papers, he highlights the key points from the 'Critical reflections on methodology and technology' conference, which are gamification, data visualisation and text management.
Published 21 November 2013

Special Issue Editorial
Mariann Hardey pp. 751–754 [Download PDF]
In this special issue of IJMR, Mariann Hardey provides a guest editorial that looks at how social media is contributing to the theory and practice of market research. Through her introduction to the papers, Hardey states that what is now needed is a critique of some of the more specific characteristics related to collaborative working, content communities and activities that are shared across digital platforms.
Published 21 November 2013

Viewpoint: The power (and danger) of the story in social media research
Gareth Price pp. 755–756 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, the author warns against trying to prove the validity of social media research by imposing mathematical order on the work. He is critical of chasing 'buzz' – essentially just 'volume of posts' – and of the belief that a bigger number means better. Instead, it is important to remember that while the numbers can provide the context, they do not necessarily provide useful insight. An example of how the same brand could generate different types of conversation in the US and UK is used to demonstrate this issue.
Published 21 November 2013

Identifying the real differences of opinion in social media sentiment
Annie Pettit pp. 757–767 [Download PDF]
This study examined the differences in social media sentiment based on author gender, age and country. After creating ten category-generic datasets, millions of social media verbatims from thousands of websites were collected, cleaned of spam, and scored into five-point sentiment scales. The results showed that women exhibit more positive sentiment, older people exhibit more positive sentiment, and Australians exhibit more positive sentiment, while Americans share more negative sentiment. The differences were small but clear, suggesting that research methodologists should apply correction factors to ensure that their results more accurately reflect differences of opinion as opposed to differences of word choice. Business users of social media data can be reassured that correction factors are not required to improve the accuracy of their research.
Published 21 November 2013

Ideal participants in online market research: Lessons from closed communities
Aleksej Heinze, Elaine Ferneley and Paul Child pp. 769–789 [Download PDF]
Online market research communities are dependent upon their members’ participation, which in turn provides market intelligence for community operators. However, people join these communities for different reasons. The selection process for market research community members and the moderation process of these communities have a number of pitfalls, which can result in misleading interpretations of intelligence and flawed decisions based on their contributions. Using social capital theory in conjunction with research on different motivational types of participant, this paper focuses on lessons from commercially operated, closed online market research communities; it provides us with insights on membership selection and community moderation methods. The practical finding is that the ideal participant of such communities would be attracted by activities and rewards, which do not directly or obviously relate to the specific objective of an online market research community.
Published 21 November 2013

Informed, uninformed and participative consent in social media research
Daniel Nunan and Baskin Yenicioglu pp. 791–808 [Download PDF]
The use of online data is becoming increasingly essential for the generation of insight in today’s research environment. This reflects the much wider range of data available online and the key role that social media now plays in interpersonal communication. However, the process of gaining permission to use social media data for research purposes creates a number of significant issues when considering compatibility with professional ethics guidelines. This paper critically explores the application of existing informed consent policies to social media research and compares with the form of consent gained by the social networks themselves, which we label ‘uninformed consent’. We argue that, as currently constructed, informed consent carries assumptions about the nature of privacy that are not consistent with the way that consumers behave in an online environment. On the other hand, uninformed consent relies on asymmetric relationships that are unlikely to succeed in an environment based on co-creation of value. The paper highlights the ethical ambiguity created by current approaches for gaining customer consent, and proposes a new conceptual framework based on participative consent that allows for greater alignment between consumer privacy and ethical concerns.
Published 21 November 2013

The benefit of social media: Bulletin board focus groups as a tool for co-creation
Sylvie E. Rolland and Guy Parmentier pp. 809–827 [Download PDF]
Bulletin board methodology emerged at the end of the 1990s and is becoming the most frequently used qualitative study technique. This interactive approach groups a community of participants in a private or public online forum for a duration that varies from several days to several months. Discoveries, exchanges of view, personal opinions and group reactions are all part of the power and interest of the internet in this era of social media. This article presents the principles of bulletin board development, and specifics to aid understanding of this tool within social networks and to help organisations adapt to a paradigm shift in marketing in which consumer-respondents are co-creators of meaning and knowledge.
Published 21 November 2013

New insights from practice: Exploring online channel management strategies and the use of social media as a market research tool
Philipp 'Phil' Klaus pp. 829–850 [Download PDF]
The concept of online customer experiences, and in particular the role of social media in online customer behaviour, has recently received great interest from academia, business and market researchers alike. Despite the belief that social media, imbedded in a corresponding online channel strategy, can be the key to successfully track and analyse consumer behaviour, most of the research focuses solely on the consumer rather than the companies’ strategic viewpoint. This study investigates current online channel management strategies of retail banking services, developing a much-needed typology of such practices. Based upon a thorough and rigorous data analysis process, we propose a typology of online channel strategies. The typology differentiates existing practices into initiators, reformers and consolidators, and discusses the differences between these categories with implications for theory and practice. We highlight the current and future roles of social media market research, and their strategic implications for the industry sector and market research in general, introducing the concept of ‘Strategic Social Intelligence (SSI)’.
Published 21 November 2013

How the larger corporations engage with stakeholders through Twitter
Lilia Ivana Mamic and Isidoro Arroyo Almaraz pp. 851–872 [Download PDF]
The digital era has revolutionised the traditional communication assumptions that we learned during past decades. Social media constitute the new communication challenge. Twitter has recently passed 517 million users. This study examines how some of the largest companies are making use of this popular microblogging site to engage with their stakeholders. Using content analysis, we coded 5,352 tweets. We analysed the tweet frequency, the followers and followings, friending behaviour, the retweets and public messages, and the use that companies are making of different communication tools provided by Twitter to augment the information shared on their tweets. The study found that corporations are not effectively employing the full interactivity potential this site offers to build mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. These findings call attention to some key interactivity features that organisations are failing to utilise.
Published 21 November 2013

Book Review: Quality in Market Research: From Theory to Practice (BIP 2206:2012), by Debrah Harding and Peter Jackson
Carol Raithatha pp. 873–874 [Download PDF]
The subject of this book review addresses what the definition of 'quality' is, by presenting philosophical issues relating to quality as applied to the world of research, and with an outline of the pragmatic implementation of quality management systems within a market research services provider. While the reviewer criticises the book for its repetition and occasional wordiness, and despite the title, the book contains little practical advice. However, the authors are commended for creating an engaging work, considering the subject matter, and it is described as a worthwhile reference book and thought-provoking read.
Published 21 November 2013

Book Review: The Signal in the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail – but Some Don't, by Nate Silver
Ray Poynter pp. 875–876 [Download PDF]
This book explores what can and can't be predicted and some of the key considerations that should be taken into account when working with so called 'big data', especially when engaged in trying to predict future outcomes. The author clearly shows that big data is now a silver bullet and can make predicting harder. His key points are included in the review. While the reviewer criticises the book for being too long, having a 'folksy' tone, and appearing to have neglected some research in order to present an apparent consensus, overall the book is considered to be useful and well balanced.
Published 21 November 2013

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 601–608 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for IJMR 55 issue 5, Peter Mouncey discusses the growing gap between the dissertations market research students produce and what actually occurs in practice and specifies the issues that he believes are contributing to this gap. Mouncey also discusses the recent AAPOR report on non-probability sampling and introduces the papers in the issue.
Published 20 September 2013

Viewpoint: Social media: opportunities and risks for regional market research
Thomas Aichner and Urban Perkmann pp. 609–610 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint looks at the benefits and problems of implementing social media to collect data for market research. While it offers easy and cheap access to young customers, there are also serious concerns over the reliability of data. The authors offer solutions for how to overcome the specific concerns relating to accurate regional data.
Published 20 September 2013

Lotteries and study results in market research online panels
Anja S. Göritz and Susanne C. Luthe pp. 611–616 [Download PDF]
[This is a digital first article – it has been published online before it appears in print] An incentives experiment was conducted in a commercial online panel to examine the effects of lotteries and of offering study results on response behaviour as reflected by participation, retention and item non-response. A cash lottery was implemented, with three different payouts that were raffled either in one lump sum or split into multiple smaller prizes. The lottery groups were contrasted to a control group without incentive. Independent of the lottery, half of the participants were offered a report of study results. Participation was higher with a lottery, when raffling the payout in a lump sum and with higher single prize size, whereas item non-response was smaller with high total payouts. Furthermore, offering study results decreased participation.
Published 4 March 2013

Seven Pillars of Wisdom: The Idea of Qualitative Market Research
Jonathan A.R. Chandler pp. 627–650 [Download PDF]
This article looks at the ‘knowledge frameworks’ underlying the practice of qualitative research. Although they are rarely articulated, qualitative research relies upon different sets of underlying assumptions about what we are looking for, what counts as evidence and what counts as knowledge. These different ‘knowledge frameworks’ are each good at addressing different kinds of issues. This article attempts to make some of these knowledge frameworks more explicit. Doing this allows us to see that some research projects ‘fail’ because they are grounded in a knowledge framework not suited to the task in hand.
Published 1 June 2013

Should the third reminder be sent? The role of survey response timing on web survey results
Kumar Rao and Julia Pennington pp. 651–674 [Download PDF]
Decreasing survey response rates are a growing concern as survey estimates may be biased by selective non-response. One method of assessing non-response bias is to examine the timing of survey response, specifically comparing those who respond late to a survey with those who respond early. This paper draws upon data obtained from multiple panel surveys conducted over a six-month period, and examines whether early, intermediate and late respondents differ significantly in demographics or in their responses to survey questions. By considering response timing as a repeated behaviour, or habit, spanning multiple surveys, a longitudinal measure of response timing is developed to identify the predictors of responding early to multiple surveys conducted over a period of time. Results indicate some directional differences in demographics and better data quality from early respondents, compared to their intermediate and late counterparts. We discuss the findings from the study and conclude with recommendations for future research.
Published 20 September 2013

Investigating the measures of relative importance in marketing research
Harvir S. Bansal and Philippe Duverger pp. 675–694 [Download PDF]
Determining the relative importance of various predictors in a marketing research model is important for both theoretical and practical reasons. To date, the most commonly used methods to assess relative importance have involved examining either the regression coefficients or zero-order correlations of each predictor. Unfortunately, these indices are problematic when the predictors are correlated, as is the case with many of the drivers of service-provider switching, loyalty studies, satisfaction models and other marketing research. In this paper, we introduce Dominance Analysis to an audience of researchers in marketing research and empirically demonstrate its usefulness for assessing predictor relative importance. Using a Monte Carlo simulation, we first compare the accuracy of five traditional methods used in marketing research assessing relative importance and comparing them to Dominance Analysis. There are theoretical, as well as empirical, advantages to using Dominance Analysis over other methods, and these are discussed in the context of an empirical example using data drawn from a larger study of auto-repair service customers (n = 355).
Published 20 September 2013

Conspicuous Conservation: Using semiotics to understand sustainable luxury
Marie-Cecile Cervellon pp. 695–717 [Download PDF]
This paper investigates the meaning of sustainable luxury among the wealthy, who are the primary target group of luxury brands. In doing so, it highlights the interest of using a combination of semiotics tools (Peirce's and Greimas' paradigms) to analyse consumers' discourses. Indeed, understanding the sign-value of a brand in relation to the natural environment and society is paramount to the development of CSR activities, in order to avoid, on one side, being perceived as greenwashing and, on the other, losing the brand meaning and authenticity. Findings indicate that the luxury clientele opposes 'ascribed luxury' (discreet and emphasising traditional manufacturing techniques) to 'achieved luxury' (conspicuous and marketed). The contribution of luxury brands to society welfare should be located on a continuum between sustainability in ethos and along the supply chain, and pure philanthropic actions, both being worthy in consumers' views, and both being expected from luxury brands to different degrees, depending on the brand ascribed or achieved status.
Published 1 May 2013

Reviews of market drivers of new product performance: Effects and relationships
Kuen-Hung Tsai, Chi-Tsun Huang and Mu-Lin Tsai pp. 719–738 [Download PDF]
This study adopts a meta-analytic approach to review the performance effects of the market predictors of new product performance and their structural relationships. Based on empirical findings from the relevant studies published before 2011, this study has a number of interesting findings. First, market orientation, competitor orientation, product advantage and launch proficiency are the dominant drivers of new product performance. Second, market orientation, marketing synergy, product advantage and competitive intensity have significant effects on new product performance. Third, product advantage serves as an important intermediary between the market predictors and new product performance. Fourth, product innovativeness per se does not affect new product performance. Finally, launch proficiency translates the effect of market orientation into new product performance. These findings not only identify the dominant market drivers of new product performance, but also profile the routes leading to better new product performance. Some important implications for market research and practice are also provided.
Published 20 September 2013

Book Review: Transport Survey Methods: Best Practice for Decision Making, by Johanna Zmud, Martin Lee-Gosselin, Marcela Munizaga and Juan Antonio Carrasco (eds)
Justin Gutmann pp. 739–741 [Download PDF]
Justin Gutmann reviews this book aimed to help transport researchers in their complex sector. It covers eight themes and Gutmann describes many of the papers included as being at the cutting edge of developments and states that the collection is applicable to all practitioners in survey methods, regardless of industry. However, the standard of English of some of the contributions is criticised.
Published 20 September 2013

Issue 4 +

Let their fingers do the talking? Using the Implicit Association Test in market research
Aiden P. Gregg, James Klymowsky, Dominic Owens and Alex Perryman [Download PDF]
[This is a digital first article – it has been published online before it appears in print] Self-report methodologies - such as surveys and interviews - elicit responses that are vulnerable to a number of standard biases. These biases include social desirability, self-deception and a lack of self-insight. However, indirect measures, such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT), offer a potential means of bypassing such biases. Here, we evaluate the scope for using the IAT in market research, drawing on recent empirical findings. We conclude that the IAT meets several desirable criteria: it yields consistent results, possesses predictive power, offers unique advantages, is relevant to commercial issues and poses no insuperable challenges to adoption.
Published 18 January 2013

Peter Mouncey pp. 467–474 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this issue of IJMR with a summary of three of the presentations given at the ASC (The Association for Survey Computing) Conference. These covered the topics of passive data collection and the application of neuroscience in market research. Mouncey also comments on the AAPOR report on non-probability sampling and introduces the contents of the issue.
Published 16 July 2013

Viewpoint: 'My' generation: shared experiences shape individual values and attitudes
Bobby Duffy pp. 475–476 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Bobby Duffy looks at how the national balance of opinion in the UK is shifting as the generations change. He looks specifically at how attitudes to welfare benefits and satisfaction with the National Health Service differ between the generations and recommends researchers take a full generational perspective to make sense of how society and consumers are changing.
Published 16 July 2013

Distortion in retrospective measures of word of mouth
Robert East, Mark D. Uncles, Jenni Romaniuk and Chris Hand pp. 477–486 [Download PDF]
[This is a digital first article – it has been published online before it appears in print] When respondents are asked to report on past behaviour, their responses may be affected by an unknown level of measurement error. This casts doubt on the findings from retrospective surveys. There is evidence that measurement error is a function of the interval between an experience and the time when the experience is reported. In this study, the volume of word of mouth (WOM) is measured as a function of this interval. Both positive and negative WOM (PWOM, NWOM) show little change with interval, which indicates that recall measures of the volume of WOM are quite reliable and may be used with confidence. Possible distorting influences on retrospective measures are discussed.
Published 18 January 2013

Market research and the ethics of big data
Daniel Nunan and MariaLaura Di Domenico pp. 505–520 [Download PDF]
[This is a digital first article – it has been published online before it appears in print] The term 'big data' has recently emerged to describe a range of technological and commercial trends enabling the storage and analysis of huge amounts of customer data, such as that generated by social networks and mobile devices. Much of the commercial promise of big data is in the ability to generate valuable insights from collecting new types and volumes of data in ways that were not previously economically viable. At the same time a number of questions have been raised about the implications for individual privacy. This paper explores key perspectives underlying the emergence of big data, and considers both the opportunities and ethical challenges raised for market research.
Published 1 February 2013

Making sense of online consumer reviews: a methodology
Karen Robson, Mana Farshid, John Bredican and Stephen Humphrey pp. 521–537 [Download PDF]
Online consumer reviews have become an increasingly important source of information for both consumers (i.e. about whether to buy) and marketers (i.e. about product strengths and weaknesses). However, online consumer reviews are unstructured and unsystematic in nature, making interpretation of these reviews an enormous challenge. The current paper sheds light on a particular methodology that can be used to investigate what consumers say about companies, brands or products. Consumer reviews of the four best-selling games available on Apple’s App Store were compiled. Leximancer, a content analysis package, was used to compare comments from users who provided games with a five-star rating versus a one-star rating. Results from the Leximancer analysis reveal the most common themes and concepts that consumers use to describe their experience with these games. Specifically, five-star reviewers describe games as fun, awesome, amazing and addictive; one-star reviewers describe games as boring, easy and stupid. Additionally, negative reviews include themes regarding the presence of ads, technological difficulties and value. Future research should explore how consumers and marketers use this information.
Published 16 July 2013

Co-creation with consumers: who has the competence and wants to cooperate?
Eric Vernette and Linda Hamdi-Kidar pp. 539–561 [Download PDF]
Lead users and emergent nature consumers are two highly attractive targets for marketing co-creation. Based on a representative sample of the French population (n = 995), we show that the competence and engagement in co-creation of these two target groups are significantly greater than for other consumers. This result is encouraging for market research companies that face a growing reluctance of customer participation in marketing studies. In addition, we have normed the distribution of lead user and emergent nature consumer scores among the population. This results in specific reference points for naming customer data while at the same time making it easier to filter respondents for future co-creation initiatives.
Published 16 July 2013

Integrated market-related internal communication: development of the construct
David Jimenez-Castillo and Manuel Sanchez-Perez pp. 563–585 [Download PDF]
Although companies are increasingly using integrative communication processes to develop and improve market information dissemination, research in marketing has typically conceptualised and measured dissemination in terms of the use and frequency of information-sharing activities. In view of this asynchrony between theory and practice, this research explores the above neglected domain of market information dissemination, proposing a new construct that we call ‘integrated market-related internal communication’ (IMIC), which encompasses the integrative communication processes implemented by firms aimed at enhancing employees’ market information processing. After conceptualising IMIC as a four-dimensional construct, we developed and validated a measurement instrument for assessing this emergent concept. In particular, the proposed dimensions were confirmed as reflective factors of the higher order-construct IMIC, and nomological validity was assessed by demonstrating the positive influence of IMIC on both employees’ capacity to assimilate market information and shared interpretation of this information.
Published 16 July 2013

Collaboration with co-researchers in communities
Anouk Willems and Tom De Ruyck pp. 587–589 [Download PDF]
These conference notes are drawn from the Association for Survey Computing conference held in London in April 2013. They consider the challenge of the gap between what a consumer shares and how a researcher understands it and provides recommendations for ways in which consumers can collaborate and become "co-researchers".
Published 16 July 2013

The use of new technologies on the British Birth Cohort Studies
Lisa Calderwood pp. 590–595 [Download PDF]
This paper is drawn from the 2012 Social Research Association annual conference, and covers how new technologies are being used on the British Birth Cohort Studies. It looks at the the experience of using the web for data collection, and of using social media for tracing in previous studies and the plans for using the web, mobile technology and social media for data collection and participant engagement on the Millennium Cohort Study.
Published 16 July 2013

Book Review: Digital Vertigo, by Andrew Keen
Peter Mouncey pp. 595–599 [Download PDF]
The subject of this book review, "Digital Vertigo", poses the question 'what defines social relationships in the early 21st century?' It takes the position of calling readers to think carefully about how social network platforms set out to seduce us to part with ever more revealing personal information and in doing so consign our right to a private persona to history. The author does this through pitting the philosophies of Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill against each other and helps the reader to understand the arguments for and against the trends in the digital world.
Published 16 July 2013

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 325–332 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this issue of IJMR with a discussion of two themes from the MRS Conference 2013: trust and behavioural "sillynomics". He also recommends the GRIT Research Industry Trends Report, highlighting its coverage of data quality and the adoption of new research methodologies. Mouncey also describes the papers within this issue.
Published 17 May 2013

Viewpoint: Social media research: developing a trust metric in the social age
Gaëlle Bertrand pp. 333–335 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint argues that there is no better place than social media conversations for brands to research what drives consumers' recommendations and what ultimately builds trust in their franchise. Through research that analysed all public social media mentions of British Gas and Marks & Spencer, the author explains how she could derive a barometer of trust for each brand.
Published 17 May 2013

'Survey': needless despoilment of a traditional research term
John F. Gaski pp. 337–356 [Download PDF]
This note demonstrates an example of lost knowledge in the marketing research field. In particular, the original meaning of the terms ‘survey’ and ‘survey research’ has been perverted, apparently through inattention. Epistemology is presented to verify, resultant problems are exposed, and some remedial conceptualisation and semantic tactics are offered. If ‘a problem recognised is half solved’, this philological endeavour aspires to cover turf at least to that midway point.
Published 17 May 2013

Conceptualising and evaluating experiences with brands on Facebook
Steve Smith pp. 357–374 [Download PDF]
Despite the growth in the number of brands with a presence on social media such as Facebook and YouTube, questions remain about how to conceptualise and measure people’s experiences with brands’ content on social media, and how to measure the value of people’s behaviour around such content to brands. By interrogating quantitative data garnered from 6,400 respondents we sent to Facebook pages belonging to 27 brands across six brand categories during June 2011, this paper presents an overview of how we designed two sets of metrics, and some of the findings from these metrics: (1) a series of ‘value of experience’ metrics based on the likelihood of people who claim to have had positive experiences with a brand’s content on Facebook to say they are likely to do different social media, purchase funnel and brand advocacy actions for that same brand; and (2) a series of ‘value of a fan’ metrics that measure the likelihood of people who say they are likely to do different social media actions on a brand’s page (such as post positive comments or share content) to say they are also likely to do different purchase funnel and advocacy actions for that brand.
Published 17 May 2013

Digging deeper: using implicit tests to define consumers' semantic network
Pierrick Rivière, Caroline Cuny, Gaël Allain and Carel Vereijken pp. 375–390 [Download PDF]
Many physiological functions, such as the digestive function, are broad, complex scientific topics. Therefore, to build relevant, accessible claims about functional foods that relate to these functions, marketers need to understand what consumers know about them, in terms of the associated symptoms, diseases and health benefits. Such knowledge cannot be captured effectively through direct questioning; it requires implicit testing that can limit biases and reveal unconscious knowledge. For this study, 240 consumers were invited to participate in an implicit lexical decision task via an online platform, and their responses reveal that the concept of ‘immunity’ is associated in mothers’ minds with three symptoms related to their personal experiences with their children. By measuring associations that emerge without pre-existing rational processes, this implicit measure offers a more precise picture of the semantic network for immunity, which consumers could not express explicitly in response to direct questioning. Thus the recommended protocol is not only new to market research but also adds substantial value to the tests that currently serve to dig into consumers’ minds.
Published 17 May 2013

Consumer meaning making: the meaning of luxury brands in a democratised luxury world
Liselot Hudders, Mario Pandelaere and Patrick Vyncke pp. 391–412 [Download PDF]
The nature of luxury is constantly changing and this makes it difficult to formulate a universal definition of luxury brands. The current paper aims to enrich the understanding of luxury brand meaning from a consumer perspective. In particular, this paper investigates consumers’ perceptions of luxury brands based on the extent to which they associate various attributes to luxury brands. A large-scale survey in the Flemish part of Belgium reveals three facets of luxury brand meaning: an expressive facet that refers to the exclusivity of luxury brands, an impressive-functional facet that refers to premium quality and an impressive-emotional facet that refers to extraordinary aesthetic aspects. In addition, the current study distinguishes three consumer segments (i.e. impressive, expressive and mixed segment) that differ from each other for the importance they attach to these facets of luxury brand meaning. The impressive segment associates luxury brand meaning with both impressive-functional and impressive-emotional facets, while the expressive segment associates luxury brand meaning with the expressive facet, rather than with impressive facets. The third segment, mixed group, thinks both expressive and impressive facets of luxury brand meaning need to be present before a brand can be categorised as luxury brand. In addition, the current study extends previous segmentations by providing a detailed profile of the segments. In particular, this study shows that the views are differentially related to both individual difference variables and various aspects of individual well-being (i.e. self-esteem and negative affect).
Published 17 May 2013

The comparative impact of critics and consumers: applying the Generalisability Theory to online movie ratings
Ling Peng, Geng Cui and Chunyu Li pp. 413–436 [Download PDF]
This study employs a new measurement theory (i.e. Generalisability Theory) to investigate the comparative influence of early movie ratings from professional critics versus ordinary consumers on latent movie performance. The empirical results show that both ordinary consumers and critics have great impact on the latent movie performance. In particular, the main effect of rater sources and the two-way interaction between raters and movies are substantial contributors to the variation in movie performance, with the contribution from ordinary consumers even more substantial than that from professional critics. However, professional critics provide more reliable ratings (a higher G coefficient) than ordinary consumers. Moreover, we found that genre familiarity is an important factor that moderates the differential effect of these two sources of ratings. Professional critic ratings contribute more to the total variance of movie performance evaluations in the case of less familiar genres, while ordinary consumer ratings contribute more to that in the case of more familiar genres. The aggregate level validity (correlation) results for each rater source indicate that professional critics consistently provide better concurrent and predictive validity than ordinary consumers. While our analyses focused on the impact of two sources of ratings on movie performance evaluations, the findings have implications not limited to the movie industry. They are also applicable to the broad category of experience goods such as music, restaurants, video games and books, where consumers could seek opinion from both experts and ordinary consumers.
Published 17 May 2013

We know exactly what you want: the development of a completely individualised conjoint analysis
Markus Voeth, Uta Herbst and Frank Liess pp. 437–458 [Download PDF]
Improving the predictive validity of conjoint analysis has been an important research objective for many years. Whereas the majority of attempts have been different approaches to preference modelling, data collection or product presentation, only a few scholars have tried to improve predictive validity by individualising conjoint designs. This comes as a surprise because many markets have observed an augmented demand for customised products and highly heterogeneous customers’ preferences. Against this background, the authors develop a conjoint variant based on a completely individualised conjoint design. More concretely, the new approach not only individualises the attributes, but also the attribute levels. The results of a comprehensive empirical study yield a significantly higher validity than existing standardised-level conjoint approaches. Consequently, they help marketers to gain deeper insights into their customers’ preferences.
Published 17 May 2013

Research Association 2012 annual conference: Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology (DMMM)
Yvette Morey pp. 459–461 [Download PDF]
The National Centre for Research Methods’ (NCRM) Networks for Methodological Innovation programme funds several Networks to promote debate, innovation and the dissemination of methodological skills in the social sciences. Both Networks discussed here, Digital Methods as Mainstream Methodology and Blurring­ the Boundaries – New Social Media, New Social Science, are concerned with the implications of the tools and possibilities offered by digital methods and social media for social science researchers. We summarise a plenary session of the Social Research Association Annual Conference where Drs Yvette Morey and Grant Blank, respectively, described the events and activities of each Network team. Please refer to the links at the end of the paper for further information about the NCRM and the Networks for Methodological Innovation. Information about the projects and their respective team members can also be found by following­ the links provided.
Published 17 May 2013

Research Association 2012 annual conference: Blurring the boundaries: New Social Media, New Social Science (NSMNSS)
Grant Blank pp. 461–464 [Download PDF]
These conference notes from the Research Association 2012 annual conference look at the advantages and disadvantages of using data from social media and the ethical implications associated with the practice. They suggest that there will be more social media data used in research in the future but development of theories that would use this data usefully is necessary.
Published 17 May 2013

Book Review: Brand Together: How Co-creation Generates Innovation and Re-energizes Brands, by Nicholas Ind, Clare Fuller and Charles Trevail
Alan Wilson pp. 465–466 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson's book review looks at "Brand Together" by Nicholas Ind, Clare Fuller and Charles Trevail, which is about innovation that is developed in partnership with the creativity of customers, within the boundaries that a strong and coherent brand has developed. Written in two parts, the first focuses more on the philosophy of co-creation, while the second part looks at the steps involved in implementing co-creation. The theory is supported by many case examples and Wilson recommends the book for the many marketing managers and researchers who see customer engagement as being no more than an online survey and the odd group discussion.
Published 17 May 2013

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 175–184 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces IJMR volume 55, issue 2 with a summary of two recent conferences: SRA 2012 annual conference 'Social Research in the Digital Age' and Warc Next Generation Research, and introduces the papers in the issue.
Published 22 March 2013

Viewpoint: What's (brand) love got to do with it?
Jenni Romaniuk pp. 185–186 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Jenni Romaniuk critiques measuring of brand love, stating that there is no evidence that building brand love leads to higher market share, sales or profitability.
Published 22 March 2013

Moving an established survey online – or not?
Tim Barber, Dave Chilvers and Sumran Kaul pp. 187–199 [Download PDF]
This paper details an experiment to migrate a long-established survey from a face-to-face to an online methodology. The survey – Ofcom’s Media Tracker – has been running for more than ten years and has generated a longitudinal dataset of great value for assessing trends over time. The value of this dataset needs to be protected against any discontinuity caused by methodological change. A novel technique was developed to determine which variables in addition to demographics should be used to reweight the data from an offline survey to best replicate what would have been achieved had the traditional data collection method continued. The results helped Ofcom to make a decision about migration for this particular survey and, more generally, provide a useful addendum to existing knowledge regarding successful modal migration.
Published 22 March 2013

It's all in the mind: changing the way we think about age
Lisa Edgar and David Bunker pp. 201–226 [Download PDF]
In this paper we explore the validity of using chronological age as a primary targeting factor. We show that the majority of people do not identify with their own chronological age group, perceiving themselves to belong to a younger age group. We explore how this varies across the age ranges, and identify the attitudinal and behavioural factors that determine how old (or young) people see themselves as. We then go on to demonstrate how our perceived age construct has been used to understand the way people consume and, in this case, how they consume TV and radio, using real data from the BBC.
Published 22 March 2013

Towards a better measure of customer experience
Philipp Klaus and Stan Maklan pp. 227–246 [Download PDF]
Defining and improving customer experience is a growing priority for market research because experience is replacing quality as the competitive battleground for marketing. Service quality is an outgrowth of the total quality management (TQM) movement of the 1980s and suffers from that movement’s focus on the provider rather than the value derived by customers. Researchers today state that customer experience is generated through a longer process of company–customer interaction across multiple channels, generated through both functional and emotional clues. Our research with practitioners indicates that most firms use customer satisfaction, or its derivative the Net Promoter Score, to assess their customers’ experiences. We question this practice based on the conceptual gap between these measures and the customer experience. In IJMR 53, 6 (2011), we introduce a new measure appropriate for the modern conceptualisation of customer experience: the customer experience quality (EXQ) scale. In this article we extend that work and compare EXQ’s predictive power with that of customer satisfaction. We establish that EXQ better explains and predicts both, loyalty and recommendations, than customer satisfaction.
Published 22 March 2013

Market research within 3D virtual worlds: an examination of pertinent issues
Tracy G. Harwood and Janet Ward pp. 247–266 [Download PDF]
This paper presents a review of extant literature about virtual worlds market research. We discuss the need for greater recognition of differences to traditional online and e-commerce web services, including social media. Our review considers what makes virtual worlds different and of particular interest to market researchers, including an overview of Second Life. We examine the issues faced and analyse how these link to research processes. We conclude that there is a need for a deep understanding of how user-participants behave ‘in-world&rsquo. This article contributes by raising awareness and informing the market research community of pertinent issues.
Published 22 March 2013

Using response surface methodology to optimise factors in conjoint experiments
Rubén Huertas-Garcia, Juan Carlos Gázquez-Abad, Francisco J. Martínez-López and Irene Esteban-Millat pp. 267–288 [Download PDF]
Identifying relevant attributes or variables is the first objective of conjoint analysis in market research. As a result of technological development, today it is common for researchers to use sequential experimental methods for adjusting design factors in successive phases. In particular, in the field of consumer behaviour these models are used predominantly for assessing subjective perceptions relating to the attributes of different products with high sensorial components (e.g. food, drinks and personal care products). This paper illustrates the use of response surface methodology in conjoint experiments, allowing sequential research in which the evaluation of a choice set determines the weight of factors in the next choice set and continues until the optimum combination is achieved. To this end we have carried out a computer simulation to determine the optimal combination of ingredients for a sauce. The simulation shows that the model needs only a few steps to reach the optimal combination of ingredients. This result indicates that response surface methodology can be considered a useful tool in the field of market research and, in particular, in studies on consumer behaviour.
Published 22 March 2013

Strategic management of new products: ex-ante simulation and market segmentation
Jae Young Choi, Jungwoo Shin and Jongsu Lee pp. 289–314 [Download PDF]
Among various methodologies for demand forecasting of new products, the random-coefficient discrete-choice model using stated preference data is considered to be effective because it reflects heterogeneity in consumer preference and enables the design of experiments in the absence of revealed-preference data. Based on estimates drawn from consumer preference data by structural hierarchical Bayesian logit models, this study develops the overall, strategic, demand-side management for new products by combining market share simulation and a rigorous clustering methodology, the Gaussian mixture model. It then applies the process to the empirical case of electronic payment instruments.
Published 22 March 2013

What research can we trust?
Rachel Kennedy pp. 315–317 [Download PDF]
These conference notes from the 2012 IJMR Research Methods Forum covers the emerging developments in bio­metrics, neuroscience and virtual environments, and their applications in marketing research but cautions researchers about adopting new technologies without fully understanding the issues and likely impacts.
Published 22 March 2013

From mixed-mode to multiple devices: Web surveys, smartphone surveys and apps: has the respondent gone ahead of us in answering surveys?
Mario Callegaro pp. 317–320 [Download PDF]
In these notes from the 2012 IJMR Research Methods Forum, the author examines the impact of mobile technologies and the issues that arise for online quantitative research, and raises concerns about whether agencies are paying sufficient attention to the device respondents are using when attempting to complete surveys.
Published 22 March 2013

A fresh look at consulting and collaboration
Mike Petch and Julie Wheals pp. 320–322 [Download PDF]
These conference notes examine the debate about whether market research agencies should adopt a consultancy approach. Overall, the interviews conducted showed that research agencies are moving from product supplier to service provider and, with that, comes a change in strategic marketing and a focus on building a brand: most market research companies would do well to provide professional consultancy services.
Published 22 March 2013

Book Review: Seducing the Subconscious: The Psychology of Emotional Influence in Advertising, by Robert Heath
Chris Barnham pp. 323–324 [Download PDF]
This book review of Seducing the Subconscious by Robert Heath recommends it as an excellent book which should be read by everyone in marketing or advertising who is involved in the business of advertising development. At the core of the book is the assertion that advertising can be effective and build brands without adopting a persuasive stance. The book has plenty of examples and case studies to illustrate the arguments as they are developed.
Published 22 March 2013

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–11 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces the first IJMR issue of 2013 with a summary of the 2012 IJMR Research Methods Forum, winning papers from the 2012 IJMR Young Research Writer award, and discusses the issue's papers, which are based around research conducted primarily in Europe.
Published 18 January 2013

Bending the rules and biting the hand
Annie Pettit pp. 13–16 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Annie Pettit investigates the validity of sentiment analysis in social media listening research and argues for the necessity of quality guidelines. While long verbatims such as blog posts and editorials contain many points, summarised in one neutral opinion, shorter opinions such as those found on Twitter tend to focus on one specific detail and sentiment. However, focusing on a specific website has its own pitfalls as brand opinions can differ massively depending on data source. Also, while the speed of receiving responses can be beneficial to research it can also bring a lot of spam, which will greatly distort results. These examples demonstrate the need for guidelines in social media listening research, however the most stifling guidelines can prevent any useful, truly observational research at all.
Published 18 January 2013

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2012 Winning Entry: 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, which brand is like me most of all?': Integrating consumers into brand personality measurement
Elina Halonen pp. 17–24 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this research was to understand whether consumers evaluate brands with personality traits congruent with their own more positively than brands with incongruent personality traits. After all, brand personality is one of the most frequently used metrics in quantitative market research, based on the implicit assumption that consumers desire and purchase brands that they perceive similar to themselves, but self-brand congruency remains virtually unexplored in market research as a measurement tool. The study was conducted as an online survey in May 2012, collected from 11 countries across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Results showed that the degree of self-brand congruency was found to be a good predictor of levels of brand appeal across all countries studied, which suggests that brands with distinct personality traits congruent with consumers' self-concepts are evaluated more positively than brands with incongruent personality traits across cultures, particularly in more westernised and developed countries such as UK, Germany, Spain and US. This suggests that the predictive ability of commercial brand personality measurement could be considerably improved by incorporating consumers' self-evaluations into the research.
Published 18 January 2013

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2012 Finalist: Using mobile devices to access the realities of youth: How identification with society influences political engagement
Martin Smith pp. 25–33 [Download PDF]
This paper describes a mobile-based research methodology to explore comparative levels of political engagement among young people in the UK, China and India, and reasons for the differences between these nations. Using the Mobile Aquarium app, which allows respondents to deliver picture, video, audio and text content throughout their daily lives, this methodology aims to offer a fresh insight into motivations and opinions among youth. This research showed that issues in China revolved around the importance placed upon 'community' and 'society', as youth are mindful of the impression they make on the rest of the world. In India, respondents demonstrated that they also recognise their country's emergence as a world economic power and they focused strongly on the growth of new markets, as well as education reform. In the UK, youth were focused primarily on issues that directly affected them. These appear to have implications for political engagement of youth in these respective societies, as in the UK, they have far less engagement with society as a whole compared to China and India.
Published 18 January 2013

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2012 Finalist: The cookie is still crumbling: the challenges facing cookie tracking research
Adam Ball pp. 34–41 [Download PDF]
The era of ‘Big Data’ offers new opportunities for researchers, as analysing a person's data trail can generate new and invaluable insights without falling foul of any 'research effect' from directly asking the participant's opinion. However, as this paper argues, once human interaction is removed it is easy to look at the results of passively captured data and assume they are the gospel truth. The paper looks at the specific example of cookie tracking, a popular and well-established method of passive data capture, and describes an instance in which it only provided a small portion of the whole story and led researchers down the wrong path.
Published 18 January 2013

Brand measurement scales and underlying cognitive dimensions
Marco Visentin, Mariachiara Colucci and Gian Luca Marzocchi pp. 43–57 [Download PDF]
The aim of this exploratory research is to compare a well-known scale, the Aaker brand personality scale, with an empirical scale based on individuals’ relevant attributes, in order to analyse why they can lead to similar brand positioning maps. We provide empirical evidence of how a bias can overwrite the ability of a measurement scale to actually measure its underlying construct. In order to do so, we first find that the two sets of attributes – one derived from the brand personality scale, the other reflecting attributes obtained through a focus group – span common cognitive representations when translated into perceptual maps. We then prove that this outcome is caused by a bias stemming from a more holistic view of the brand, which forces the two cognitive structures towards a common perceptual representation. We conclude discussing the challenges for current theory implicit in our findings, and the implications for managerial practice.
Published 18 January 2013

The role of topic interest and topic salience in online panel web surveys
Florian Keusch pp. 59–80 [Download PDF]
Invitations to web surveys sent out through online access panels usually do not mention the topic of the survey, in order to reduce the risk of expert bias. This study aims to elucidate whether online access panel members use the information on survey topic provided in email invitations in their participation decision and its influence on data quality. In a preliminary study, data about the personal interests of 1,660 panel members were collected. Panellists were then assigned to participate in one of two surveys, receiving emails with different amount of information on the survey topic. The influence of personal topic interest and topic salience on participation behaviour and data quality was measured. Evidence is presented that personal interest in the topic influences participation behaviour and data quality in online panels. Panellists who had been enrolled in the online panel for six months or less were more willing to participate if the topic of the survey was announced in advance.
Published 18 January 2013

Choice of consumer research methods in the front end of new product development
Mariëlle Creusen, Erik Jan Hultink and Katrin Eling pp. 81–104 [Download PDF]
This study investigates the choice of consumer research methods in the fuzzy front end (FFE) of the new product development (NPD) process. First, it delivers an up-to-date overview of currently available consumer research methods for use in the FFE of NPD. Second, using an online questionnaire, we obtain insights into the use of these consumer research methods by B-to-C companies based in the Netherlands (N = 88, including many major multinational companies). Third, these companies provided the major reasons for choosing these methods, and specified the types of consumer information that they aim to gather using these methods. Finally, we investigate the influence of company size, type of products developed (durable/non-durable) and product newness on the use of these methods. Based on these findings, we build a contingency framework that helps companies to improve their choice of consumer research methods in the FFE, where consumer insights are most important for new product success.
Published 18 January 2013

Clustered insights: Improving eye tracking data analysis using scan statistics
Christian Purucker, Jan R. Landwehr, David E. Sprott and Andreas Herrmann pp. 105–130 [Download PDF]
Analysis of eye-tracking data in marketing research has traditionally relied upon regions of interest (ROIs) methodology or the use of heatmaps. Clear disadvantages exist for both methods. Addressing this gap, the current research applies spatiotemporal scan statistics to the analysis and visualisation of eye tracking data. Results of a sample experiment using anthropomorphic car faces demonstrate several advantages provided by the new method. In contrast to traditional approaches, scan statistics provide a means to scan eye tracking data automatically in space and time with differing gaze clusters, with results able to be comprehensively visualised and statistically assessed.
Published 18 January 2013

'Ready to complete the survey on Facebook': Web 2.0 as a research tool in business studies
Aleix Gregori and Fabiola Baltar pp. 131–148 [Download PDF]
Practical issues associated with sampling and data collection are of real concern to business researchers. Some important methodological issues are the willingness to participate of the individuals and the provision of accurate information. Therefore, the aim of this article is to present the results obtained from the combination of social networking sites (Facebook) with an online questionnaire to study transnational entrepreneurs in Spain. The article analyses the pattern of answer of 219 entrepreneurs surveyed, and a cluster analysis of respondents and types of question is developed. The conclusion is that new technologies can help researchers to tackle some of the limitations associated with the administration of surveys to business people (e.g. lack of motivation to answer, intermediate filters) and can improve the quality of the information collected (e.g. higher level of response to confidential questions). However, it is acknowledged that ethical and methodological considerations are of great importance in this kind of study.
Published 18 January 2013

Measuring celebrity singer image
Su-Jen Chuang and Cherng G. Ding pp. 149–172 [Download PDF]
Celebrity singer worship transcends social hierarchies. The celebrity singer image is a construct including the facets of being professional, stylish, diverse and renowned, created and evoked in consumers’ minds to differentiate a brand and influence consumers’ brand preference. However, there is no existing scale in the extant literature for measuring celebrity singer image. In this study, image-related theory and literature were reviewed, and a celebrity singer image scale developed based on the second-order structure with the first-order dimensions of expertise, design, versatility and fame. Reliability and construct validity were demonstrated for the scale obtained. The second-order celebrity singer image was hypothesised to influence several relational bonds – attachment, satisfaction, trust and commitment, and purchase intention. The hypotheses were all supported, achieving criterion-related validity. Managerial implications on building and enhancing celebrity singer image are specifically discussed.
Published 18 January 2013

Book Review: Meta-luxury: Brands and the Culture of Excellence, by Manfredi Ricca and Rebecca Robins
Alan Wilson pp. 173–174 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson reviews this book, which sets out to define the true meaning of luxury, exploring its origins and achievements, before establishing what the future of luxury holds for companies, creators and brands. The authors explore the key components of luxury through 'four main pillars': craftsmanship, focus, timelessness and rarity. The chapters at the end of the book set out the authors' views on the brand and business management applications of the concept of meta-luxury, which Wilson says lack guidance on how the principles could be further developed and applied into branding strategy.
Published 18 January 2013


Volume 54 (2012)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 727–734 [Download PDF]
In his introduction to this month's IJMR, Peter Mouncey considers the growing move towards opening up access to data, as demonstrated by music company EMI and the UK government. Peter Mouncey also looks at the current challenges in data management, raised at the dataIQNOW! conference, and introduces this issue's papers.
Published 23 November 2012

Tribute: Dr Stephan Frank Buck
James Rothman pp. 734–735 [Download PDF]
James Rothman pays tribute to Stephan Buck, the longest serving Editor of this Journal, following his death in October.
Published 23 November 2012

Viewpoint: Separating methodologies?
Chris Barnham pp. 736–738 [Download PDF]
Chris Barnham proposes that quantitative and qualitative research are producing research results that are more divergent that they were a decade ago, with quantitative results being consistently more positive. Barnham believes this is due to the predominantly online and unsupervised nature of quantitative research, reducing the participant's feeling of responsibility. Being in the comfort of their own home is also likely to have a positive effect on respondents' answers.
Published 23 November 2012

More scales than a fish?
Michael Cramphorn pp. 739–749 [Download PDF]
Verbal scales are intrinsic to attitude measurement. One approach is to employ agreement–disagreement scales. However, when inter-country comparisons will be made, it cannot be presumed that results will be directly comparable. Different verbal usages often prevail, even where the language is the same. Variations in the patterns of response across cultures and languages are non-systemic, the consequence of which is that single overall country adjustments should not be used. Focusing on meaningful measurement can yield scales that provide real comparability.
Published 23 November 2012

A smarter way to select respondents for surveys?
George Terhanian and John Bremer pp. 751–780 [Download PDF]
Online research has experienced astonishing growth over the past 15 years. To keep up with this growth, researchers have developed new ways of accessing and utilising respondents. Nevertheless, they can still find it difficult to complete the needed number of interviews on time, particularly when the target population is rare or in high demand. For this reason, it is common today for researchers to use more than one sample source for some types of project, such as a tracking survey that measures change over time. Adding one or more sample source to the original might address the need for more respondents, but some evidence suggests that it might also decrease sample representativeness and reduce response accuracy. In this paper, we introduce a new methodology that enables researchers to select potential survey respondents from either a single sample source or multiple sources based on how well their characteristics match an appropriate, evolving standard with demonstrated evidence of external validity. We also present evidence suggesting that, in the aggregate, respondents who are selected through the new methodology are more representative of the target population than respondents selected by other means. Finally, we consider possible implications of the new methodology on methods other than online research with non-probability samples.
Published 23 November 2012

Creative workshops as a qualitative research tool
Martyn Richards pp. 781–798 [Download PDF]
Many commentators tell us that the qualitative research tools in most common use, while fit for many purposes, are ineffective in discovering the emotional reasons behind behaviour. In my arena – children and young people’s research – I am seeking to address this with the development of creative workshops. With this, I have for the first time combined my dual backgrounds of qualitative research and drama (before retraining as a researcher, I was in theatre for 15 years as an actor and director, including many productions for children). Workshops will comprise a mix of research and drama exercises, together accessing areas normally hidden during, for instance, standard focus groups. The impetus for this development comes from a current trend to involve storytelling in research in some way or another.
Published 23 November 2012

Strangers in strange lands: hypermarkets and Chinese consumer culture misalignment
Clyde A. Warden, James Stanworth, Judy F. Chen and Stephen Chi-Tsun Huang pp. 799–820 [Download PDF]
Western retailers find alignment with consumers in Greater China challenging. Managers struggle to understand local retail values, especially where quantitative marketing research obfuscates meanings behind overly simplified constructs – lacking richness that is key to alignment. As researchers embedded in a distant indigenous culture, we use an interpretive research design, drawing on longitudinal data collected over a six-year period, to reveal multiple lenses of local realities, giving a perspective on international retailers’ misalignment. The multi- method approach integrates ethnography, interviews, participant observations, videography and extended data in podcasts. We show how everyday products can be purely functional (global) at one time but embedded with symbolic meaning (local) at another, thereby confounding international retailers and researchers. Managers and researchers tend to reduce the legitimacy of meanings that differ from the values and beliefs of their existing (home/local) paradigm. We present a conceptual model that clarifies the marketing metaphor of ‘alignment’ for retailers targeting Far East Asian markets.
Published 23 November 2012

'Pick any' measures contaminate brand image studies
Sara Dolnicar, John R. Rossiter and Bettina Grün pp. 821–834 [Download PDF]
Brand image measures using the typical ‘pick any’ answer format have been shown to be unstable (Rungie et al. 2005). In the present study, we find that these poor stability results are mainly caused by the pick-any measure itself because it allows consumers to evade reporting true associations. Using a forced-choice binary measure, we find that stable brand attribute associations are in fact present with much higher incidence (70%), thus outperforming both the measures predominantly used in industry (pick-any, 41%) and academia (7-point scale measure, 59%). Under simulated optimal conditions, the forced-choice binary measure leads to 90% stability of brand-attribute associations and is therefore recommended as the optimal answer format for brand image studies.
Published 23 November 2012

One, few or many? An integrated framework for identifying the items in measurement scales
Naresh K. Malhotra, Soumya Mukhopadhyay, Xiaoyan Liu and Satyabhusan Dash pp. 835–862 [Download PDF]
Churchill (1979) proposed a detailed procedure for the development of better multi-item measures that has become popular. Recently, however, many scholars have challenged this dominant paradigm. They argue that, in many marketing contexts where the target construct has a precise and concrete definition, long multi-item measures can be substituted by shorter measures with fewer items, or even single-item measures. This has resulted in the controversy around the relative superiority of single- versus multi-item scales. We review the extant literature to summarise various arguments in favour of (or against) multi-item and single-item measures, respectively. Moreover, we propose an integrated framework for developing a new scale, reducing long multi-item scales to shorter multi-item measures or to single-item measures, or to expand an existing short (single-item) scale. The significant contributions of this paper to the literature are identified.
Published 23 November 2012

Book Review: Transformative Consumer Research, by David Glen Mick, Simone Pettigrew, Cornelia Pechmann and Julie L. Ozanne (eds)
Justin Gutmann pp. 863–864 [Download PDF]
This edited collection brings together research that has contributed to the ideal of Transformative Consumer Research (TCR), which has seen renewed interest following the economic downturn and questions about the role of marketing. The reviewer, Justin Gutmann, describes it as a ringing call to arms for consumer researchers to focus their efforts on making a difference to people's lives for the better.
Published 23 November 2012

Book Review: The Principles of Islamic Marketing, by Baker Ahmad Alserhan
Catherine Demangeot pp. 865–867 [Download PDF]
This book, intended for marketing managers whose activity impacts on Muslim consumers or other stakeholders, intends to educate marketing practitioners about the Islamic perspective regarding the conduct of business and the marketing of products that are compliant with the Islamic viewpoint. The book consists of three main parts, covering the main principles in Islam that have guided the evolution of commerce and business; the 'Islamic marketing mix' that looks at each of the '4Ps' in this context; and positioning issues. This volume focuses on principles rather than practices, which can lead to over-generalisation.
Published 23 November 2012

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 577–588 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this edition of the International Journal of Market Research by considering the impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the different methods of measuring the legacy provided from the £11.3 billion investment.
Published 20 September 2012

Viewpoint: Why MRS should broaden its remit
Martin Callingham pp. 587–588 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint suggests that market research should bring analysts under the same umbrella as researchers, as it would require very little redefinition of what market research traditionally entails. And so, Martin Callingham suggests that MRS repositions itself so that business analysts see it as their natural home, particularly as people are recruited to both fields from a common pool.
Published 20 September 2012

How research assisted the rollout of a mobile agriculture information service: the day Peepli went [live]
Purvi Mistry and Ameya Samant pp. 589–602 [Download PDF]
Knowledge is power. It can help you transform the way you live and the way you do business, and can help you to reap benefits that you never thought possible. A small bit of information can enable you to take informed decisions in a proactive manner and save yourself the agony of various losses: time, money and so on. The client discussed herein is the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. It wanted to empower the mass of the Indian population – the agricultural community – with basic information on weather, commodity prices and crop advice. The question was ‘How feasible is this?’ To answer this, the client partnered with IMRB International nearly five years ago. The research project was long drawn out and completed in varied stages, starting with checking the acceptance of a paper concept through a house-to-house survey of farmers, converting the same to a tangible offering upon acceptance and testing the same through central location testing, where all farmers were collectively given a demonstration of the product, their reactions recorded and, finally, a working model developed to be tested in real time by a select set of farmers to bring the finishing touches to the product. The client still touches base with subscribers through IMRB International, to garner post-usage feedback, satisfaction with services being provided and to discover any other thing that could be done better. From providing the service in one state, the client has progressed to successfully providing the service to 13 states in India. The service has enjoyed unprecedented success and is estimated to have been taken up by more than two million farmers through its usage and sharing in more than 15,000 villages. The decision-enabling nature of the information has had a direct impact on the livelihood of the farmers, enabling them to lead a better life through increased incomes and reduced losses. Individual farmers claim to have reaped significant return on their investment, achieving up to INR200,000 (US$4000) of additional profits, and savings of nearly INR400,000 (US$8000) by using this service, which costs roughly INR250 (US$5) for three months.
Published 20 September 2012

Understanding the rural consumer's behaviour in the context of his ecosystem: a telecommunication perspective
Saroj Kumar Mohanta, Abhishek Mishra and Satya Dash pp. 603–612 [Download PDF]
Rural markets have always been a challenge for market researchers. Conventional tools applicable in urban areas are not directly adaptable in the rural setting. With the emergence of rural markets in terms of brand awareness, and the shift from nominal decision-making process to a more extensive decision-making process, more innovative research tools are required to capture data about rural consumers in a more effective way. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is one tool that does precisely that. The tool itself, however, has evolved over time and has recently caught the attention of rural market researchers for commercial projects. The tool has so far been limited to application by NGOs for the implementation of either government projects or donor NGO-funded initiatives. This paper strives to highlight the evolution of PRA as well as its interpretation by MART (India’s leading rural market research firm) in terms of one commercial project undertaken for a telecom player.
Published 20 September 2012

Myths and realities of respondent engagement in online surveys
Theo Downes-Le Guin, Reg Baker, Joanne Mechling and Erica Ruyle pp. 613–633 [Download PDF]
This paper describes an experiment in which a single questionnaire was fielded in four different styles of presentation: Text Only, Decoratively Visual, Functionally Visual and Gamified. Respondents were randomly assigned to only one presentation version. To understand the effect of presentation style on survey experience and data quality, we compared response distributions, respondent behaviour (such as time to complete), and self-reports regarding the survey experience and level of engagement across the four experimental presentations. While the functionally visual and gamified treatments produced higher satisfaction scores from respondents, we found no real differences in respondent engagement measures. We also found few differences in response patterns.
Published 20 September 2012

In search of excellence: the influence of Peter Cooper on qualitative research
Alan Branthwaite and Simon Patterson pp. 634–658 [Download PDF]
Peter Cooper founded Cooper Research & Marketing (CRAM). During his career he wrote many papers and gave frequent conference presentations worldwide, which have influenced the growth and diversification of qualitative research as practised now. He promoted a breadth of vision and eclecticism that enhanced the methods used today. Peter’s influence was based on his breadth of knowledge, inventiveness, disrespect for the status quo, as well as his boldness, imagination and creativity. In this review of his contributions to qualitative research and marketing science, we focus on four key aspects – innovation, vision, professionalism and the achievements of qualitative research to bring about marketing successes.
Published 20 September 2012

The Grounded Theory approach to consumer-brand engagement: the practitioner's standpoint
Rossella C. Gambetti, Guendalina Graffigna and Silvia Biraghi pp. 659–687 [Download PDF]
Since currently there is no established, unitary and shared theory on consumer–brand engagement (CBE), this exploratory study is aimed at inductively proposing a preliminary conceptual framework of CBE disclosing the knowledge embedded in marketing practice. Our study is designed according to a Grounded Theory approach and it is focused on how practitioners conceive and pursue CBE through their branding strategies and tactics. Findings reveal that CBE is seen by practitioners as a dynamic and process-based concept evolving in intensity on the basis of the brand capability of increasingly intercepting consumers’ desires and expectations using all possible physical and virtual touchpoints between brand and consumers. CBE appears as an overarching marketing concept encapsulating different consumer decision-making dimensions, from brand preference to brand purchase. Furthermore CBE emerges as a multi-dimensional construct that beyond traditional cognitive, emotional and conative dimensions seems to be based on emerging experiential and social dimensions that appear as its central elements.
Published 20 September 2012

Choosing the right baskets for your eggs: deriving actionable customer segments using supervised genetic algorithms
Sam Davis pp. 689–706 [Download PDF]
In the context of key driver analysis in applied customer satisfaction research, the assumption of sample homogeneity (that single models perform adequately over the entirety of a survey sample) can be shown to restrict the value of the insights derived. While latent class regression has been used as a method of circumventing some of these issues, it is proposed that there are major barriers to both uptake and successful practical usage of the technique. Several of these issues are common to any multivariate technique, while others are specific to latent class regression. Following an examination of these issues, we introduce an alternative technique for deriving discrete latent classes, using a combination of genetic algorithms and (bivariate) correlations. This paper concludes that the proposed approach outperforms latent class regression in its ability to deliver action-orientated insights, and is better placed to assist marketers facing real-world research questions and datasets.
Published 20 September 2012

Why art thou resisting? Consumer resistance to the 'citizen argument' of retailers
Chiraz Aouina Mejri, Dhruv Bhatli and Mouna Benhallam pp. 707–721 [Download PDF]
Recent studies on corporate social responsibility (CSR) illustrate the positive consumer reaction to the socially responsible practices of retailers, and outline the upside for retailers to engage in these practices. However, little is known about the downside of these practices: consumer negative reaction due to the ambiguous and complex nature of consumer reaction, and consumers’ resistance to the ‘citizen argument’ put forth by retailers. This research, through 17 interviews, fills this gap to explore the complex nature of consumer reaction to CSR practices, and investigates motivations and manifestations of consumer resistance to the ‘citizen argument’ of mass-market retailers. The findings reveal consumer responses to CSR practices (their resistant behaviour), their causes, and classify them in two forms – resistance to the consumerist practice attributed to retailing, and resistance to an ‘insidious’ commitment to sustainable development where sincerity is claimed by the mass-market retailers.
Published 20 September 2012

Book Review: The Halal Frontier: Muslim Consumers in a Globalized Market, by Johan Fischer
Aliakbar Jafari pp. 723–729 [Download PDF]
In this book review, Aliakbar Jafari looks at Jonhan Fischer's continuation of his anthropological exploration of Muslim Malaysians' consumption practices, focusing on food consumption among Muslim Malays in London. The book's core value to marketers lies in demonstrating how macro and micro factors affect the production, distribution and consumption of food among Muslim consumers. Overall, Jafari describes the book as rich in terms of providing multiple insights into the complexities associated with regulating and practising the Halal. Yet, suggests that the narrative could be strengthened by explaining the possible impact of the colonial history of the country on the population's interest in religion as a sign of reviving self-pride.
Published 20 September 2012

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 443–450 [Download PDF]
IJMR editor Peter Mouncey introduces issue 54,4, continuing the theme of living in an era of 'infobesity' and its associated challenges. He presents some recent suggestions for solutions to the large amount of data market researchers have to contend with now.
Published 18 July 2012

Viewpoint: NLP in qualitative research
Judy Bartkowiak pp. 451–453 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint argues the case for using a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique to quickly identify whether individual participants in a focus group are visually, auditory or kinetically orientated, and how to use this knowledge in increasing rapport and engagement within the subsequent discussion.
Published 18 July 2012

Exploring children's attitudes towards research participation
Stacey Baxter pp. 455–464 [Download PDF]
Marketing researchers are interested in the consumption-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of children. As a result, children often constitute the target population for marketing-related research, participating in focus groups and interviews and completing questionnaires. However, what are children’s attitudes towards participating in such research? This paper presents the results of a series of focus groups conducted to address this question. Findings suggest that, overall, children (5–12 years of age) enjoy participating in research. Children over the age of 6 were also found to have a good understanding of why marketers conduct research and hold a positive attitude towards the use of information obtained. Children were found to prefer research activities that are short and visually appealing, that enable them to express their opinions and are not completed independently.
Published 18 July 2012

Predicting elections: a 'Wisdom of Crowds' approach
Martin Boon pp. 465–483 [Download PDF]
Opinion polls are the currency of politics. They are used by media organisations to evaluate the performance of governments, and by governments and political parties to test the policies that shape manifestos and reform agendas. But opinion polls all rely on one thing – asking people how they themselves intend to vote – and, too often, classical opinion research techniques fail to confront the issues that underpin inaccuracy. In the UK and in many other countries around the world, their performance over the past 20 years has ranged from excellent to disastrous. The ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ concept turns conventional predictions on their head. It assumes that any crowd that conforms to a core set of principles is capable of delivering a more accurate prediction than the smartest people within it. This paper tests this proposition within the context of actual elections in the UK, showing that the Wisdom of Crowds approach used by ICM Research at the 2010 general election would have produced the most accurate final pre-election prediction. It also shows that a Wisdom approach to regular vote intention tracking produces an interesting complement to classically conducted vote intention polls. Or, if one were to be bold, a competitor to them.
Published 18 July 2012

Consumer reality: how brands are constructed
Chris Barnham pp. 485–502 [Download PDF]
It is an implicit tenet of qualitative market research that it is possible to find out what the consumer ‘really thinks’. Our research language reflects this – we talk about ‘depth’, ‘probing’ and ‘getting under the surface’ of otherwise superficial consumer responses. This underlying assumption has a questionable intellectual pedigree, however. As qualitative researchers, we should, in contrast, be more concerned with understanding the processes and structures that determine how consumers think. If we understand these processes and structures we will be more able to identify how brands are constructed by consumers and how the meanings of brands are created.
Published 18 July 2012

Webethnography: towards a typology for quality in research design
Daniel D. Prior and Lucy M. Miller pp. 503–520 [Download PDF]
Traditional ethnography focuses on identifiable cultural groupings of individuals and, through a process of observation and participant interviews (among other techniques), the researcher explores the effects of the social dynamic with regard to a topic of interest. Webethnography (also known as netnography, webnography, online ethnography and virtual ethnography) involves the application of ethnographic research methods to specific online communities through the observation and analysis of online dialogue and other online artefacts. This paper contends that webethnography is appropriate only where almost all interactions between group members occur online through the community site – that is, the community is a virtual community in the truest sense. Where communities conduct some or most of their interaction offline, webethnography is less appropriate as a stand-alone research method. Using a case study of project manager online communities on the social networking site, we argue that a triangulation with offline data sources helps to ensure data validity and generalisation to the group of interest. This paper presents a typology that proposes three general approaches to research design, to account for the differing scope of online cultural groups. The implications of this typology include the addition of additional precautions in the design of ethnographic studies.
Published 18 July 2012

Evidence-based marketing: a perspective on the 'practice - theory divide'
Jennifer Rowley pp. 521–541 [Download PDF]
This article seeks to explore some dimensions of the relationship between marketing research and theory, including the relationship between researchers and practitioners, using the lens on the debate around evidence-based management, with a view to stimulating debate within the marketing community. The article commences by introducing the concepts of evidence-based practice and management, and reviewing some of the challenges associated with integrating management and marketing research and practice. The following section visits the notion of ‘evidence’, including its link to mode 1 and mode 2 knowledge production. Finally, ten proposals for advancing evidence-based marketing and blurring the ‘practice–theory divide’ are proposed. These include people-based strategies, knowledge and inquiry-based strategies, and dissemination, communication and publication-based strategies.
Published 18 July 2012

Children's attitudinal reactions to TV advertisements: the African experience
Ayantunji Gbadamosi, Robert E. Hinson, Eddy K. Tukamushaba and Irene Ingunjiri pp. 543–566 [Download PDF]
This paper is aimed at exploring African children’s attitudinal reactions to television advertisements. A total of 65 children from four African countries – Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda – participated in 12 focus group discussions on the subject matter. Findings suggest that they like television advertising in relation to its entertainment features – especially when the messages feature children characters, cartoons, music, celebrities and humour – and those promoting foods. They also derive excitement from advertising messages that are presented in Pidgin language and/or humorously integrated with local languages. However, they have an aversion to messages that terrify them and those they consider boring. This paper supplements the existing literature on the attitudes of children to advertising, but from Africa as a different contextual platform. It also suggests directions for the effective use of marketing communications strategies in relation to television advertising for marketers and other bodies with special roles in communicating with children such as government agencies and NGOs.
Published 18 July 2012

Developments and the impact of smart technology
Tim Macer pp. 567–570 [Download PDF]
In order to assess the extent to which market research companies were engaging with 'smart' technologies, the authors of this paper conducted a survey among 230 companies in 36 countries about firms' use of smart technologies when analysing large unstructured datasets, policies for dealing with mobile survey takers in online surveys, and techniques and technologies applied in presenting data visually. In all three areas, the survey has found that it is only a minority of companies that are engaging with technological advance in areas that are fundamental to modern market research. However, researchers are advised to engage further with these technologies or rish falling behind.
Published 18 July 2012

Walking the talk: co-creating the future of market research online communities
Thomas Troch and Tom De Ruyck pp. 570–572 [Download PDF]
The authors from InSites Consulting present at the ASC conference regarding the current uncertain economic climate and how it challenges market research agencies to find creative ways of meeting the increased expectations. In order to optimise research methodologies, it is necessary to be connected with the target group and to determine the 'Key Performance Indicators' and thus to measure the success.
Published 18 July 2012

Book Review: Measurement and Research Methods in International Marketing, by Marko Sarstedt, Manfred Schwaiger and Charles R. Taylor (eds)
Bradley Wilson pp. 573–575 [Download PDF]
Bradley Wilson reviews this edited compilation of work in marketing research, which focuses on applications within the context of international marketing. However, the book is suitable for cross-disciplinary applications and Wilson describes it as "required reading".
Published 18 July 2012

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 293–301 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for IJMR, volume 54 issue 3, Peter Mouncey looks at the dangers posed by disruptive technologies to the market research sector. He suggests that while new technology has provided opportunities to deliver very fast results, displayed in imaginative ways, he also believes that measuring customer experience requires a more complex research design to ensure that the findings provide a firm basis for decision making. Also highlighted is the Warc Online Research and MRS conferences.
Published 22 May 2012

Viewpoint: Lies, damn lies and statlish?
Debrah Harding pp. 303–304 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Debrah Harding of MRS questions whether the proliferation of statistics is good for research. Politicians and the media frequently confuse the public by abusing statistics. Researchers need to communicate their own statistics in simple English in order to prevent misinterpretation.
Published 22 May 2012

Working in depth
Roy Langmaid pp. 305–321 [Download PDF]
This paper makes the case for working at relational depth (Mearns & Cooper 2007) in qualitative work. To establish this case, I trace the roots of psychological methods in qualitative work, and their foundations in the European and American schools of psychology. In particular I describe a split between holistic and elemental approaches, which I believe has done much to undermine the potential of qualitative work. I have also tried to set qualitative work in an appropriate psycho-social context because I feel it can play such a key role in sustaining democratically-based commercial growth and innovation in the UK and elsewhere in these days when consumer choice is as important in deciding our future as any other element of society.
Published 22 May 2012

Coverage error in internet surveys: can fixed phones fix it?
Paula Vicente and Elizabeth Reis pp. 323–345 [Download PDF]
The internet is increasingly being used for cross-sectional surveys and online panels. Although internet accessibility is growing across developed and developing countries, it seems unlikely that the internet alone will ever provide complete coverage of the general population. Given the incomplete coverage and imbalanced penetration rate of the internet across segments of the population, it is pertinent both for survey companies and academics to assess the potential of mixing the internet with other survey modes as part of a strategy to assure validity of inferential samples when surveying general populations. The purpose of this research was to evaluate to what extent coverage error in internet surveys can be reduced by surveying the offline population via telephone. We use data from Eurobarometer collected in the EU27 member states to simulate first an internet-based survey and then a mixed-mode survey combining the internet with the telephone. Comparisons are made to identify differences in the socio-demographic characteristics of internet households and those of non-internet households with telephone. Coverage error is also estimated in each survey design. Findings reveal significant socio-demographic differences and although the coverage error is reduced in the mixed-mode survey design, it cannot be completely eliminated. Moreover, the outcomes are not homogeneous across countries.
Published 22 May 2012

Measuring brand choice in the older customer segment in Japan
Jaywant Singh, Francesca Dall'Olmo Riley, Chris Hand and Mari Maeda pp. 347–368 [Download PDF]
As populations around the world age, brand choice behaviour by older customers becomes an increasingly important issue for marketers. This is especially the case in Japan, which has the largest older customer segment as a proportion of the population of any country. Our study measures brand choice behaviour of the older customer segment in Japan in fast-moving consumer goods categories. We employ an 11-point purchase probability scale, the Juster, to calculate brand performance measures such as penetrations, buying frequency and sole buying for three age-based customer segments. The Juster output is used as input into a mathematical model, the Dirichlet, for benchmarking the brand performance measures. The findings here reveal new insights into the brand purchase behaviour of older customers. There are more similarities than differences between the brand purchase of younger and older customers in most categories analysed here. The results have practical implications for understanding and creating appropriate marketing strategies for the older customer segment. Our study also demonstrates a novel method for analysis of brand choice data collected via a survey instrument, as compared to the traditional consumer panel data. The research framework in our study is recommended for further empirical research in other regions where demographic changes are presenting challenges to marketers, and where panel data are often not easy to obtain.
Published 22 May 2012

Did you tell me the truth? The influence of online community on eWOM
Jun Yang, Enping (Shirley) Mai and Joseph Ben-Ur pp. 369–389 [Download PDF]
With the rapid development of online communities and social networks, marketers have started to use online opinion leaders to influence their social circles. In this study, we use a review dataset generated from an online forum to empirically investigate social influence on reviewers’ eWOM motives and readers’ feedback. Our results show that, first, community members’ reviews are not influenced by their forum involvement. Their evaluations mainly depend on product attributes. Second, the reviews from those who have established their expertise in the community generate more ‘buzz’ and more trust among online forum readers compared to reviewers with less expertise. The findings indicate that certain marketing strategies, such as ‘seeding’ targeted towards opinion leaders, may work better than a general buzz marketing strategy targeted towards a general audience. Our results also provide useful guidance on how to identify opinion leaders in the online community.
Published 22 May 2012

The effects of source credibility and message variation on mail survey response behaviour
Stavros P. Kalafatis, Debra Riley, Markos H. Tsogas and Jimmy Clodine-Florent pp. 391–406 [Download PDF]
Grounded on persuasive communications theory, the impact of source credibility and message variation on response behaviour towards a mail survey on a sample of the general public are examined. An experimental design comprising three levels (high, medium and low) of these variables is employed. Source credibility and the interaction of message variation (i.e. usefulness of the study) and source credibility have a significant impact on response rate. Overemphasising the usefulness of a study is found to be counterproductive. For sources that are arguably average or lower in credibility, a strongly worded message (in terms of usefulness) was less effective than more modest objectives.
Published 22 May 2012

Factors influencing consumer behaviour towards store brand: a meta-analysis
Xiaojun Fan, Yi Qian and Pei Huang pp. 407–430 [Download PDF]
In order to improve the effectiveness of store brand management, this study presents a meta-analysis that aggregates empirical findings from the literature on consumer behaviour towards store brands. First, the study provides a quantitative summary of bivariate findings regarding the way consumer-related factors influence store brand success. Second, the authors analyse the moderating effect of market context, product category and data type on store brand success. The resulting analysis suggest that price consciousness, quality consciousness, familiarity with store brands and perceived quality of store brands are the four most important factors that significantly influence consumer behaviour towards store brands. Market context and product category also exert significant moderating effects on the influence of some factors on consumer behaviour towards store brands. On the basis of these findings, this study concludes with a discussion of practical implications and possible directions for future research.
Published 22 May 2012

Introduction - 'Shaping the future of research in marketing in emerging economies: looking ahead', January 2012, India.
Peter Mouncey pp. 431–431 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces conference notes on a plenary session at the Shaping the Future of Research in Marketing Economies conference on "Contemporary challenges and future prospects of marketing research for earning a seat in decision maker and practitioner's perspective".
Published 22 May 2012

'Shaping the future of research in marketing in emerging economies: looking ahead', January 2012, India.
Naresh Malhotra pp. 432–434 [Download PDF]
This paper combines both the academic and the practitioner perspectives to highlight several emerging issues and trends that are shaping the role of marketing research. They were addressed at a session at the Shaping the Future of Research in Marketing Economies conference. Marketing researchers are exhorted to harness these trends to greatly enhance the value of marketing research and earn a place at the table where managers make decisions.
Published 22 May 2012

'Shaping the future of research in marketing in emerging economies: looking ahead', January 2012, India.
Michael Etgar pp. 434–435 [Download PDF]
Michael Etgar followed the theme of "Contemporary challenges and future prospects of marketing research for earning a seat in decision maker and practitioner's perspective" from the Shaping the Future of Research in Marketing Economies conference. He suggests that marketing researchers should be most of all concerned with the correct analysis of changes taking place in the marketing and business environment and with the correct encoding of future trends and developments, which can help managers gain additional market shares or retain their current market positions.
Published 22 May 2012

'Shaping the future of research in marketing in emerging economies: looking ahead', January 2012, India.
Steve Burgess pp. 435–438 [Download PDF]
Following the theme of "Contemporary challenges and future prospects of marketing research for earning a seat in decision maker and practitioner's perspective" at the Shaping the Future of Research in Marketing Economies conference, Steve Burgess recognises the complexity of emerging markets and what they can bring to the field of marketing research.
Published 22 May 2012

Book Review: The Business of Influence, by Philip Sheldrake
Alan Wilson pp. 439–440 [Download PDF]
This book review examines The Business of Influence by Philip Sheldrake, in which Sheldrake attempts to answer four key questions relating to how changes in technology, the internet and social media have transformed the manner in which people are influenced. The book is seen to stimulate thinking on the impact of social media on marketing activities but the book also gets bogged down in the mechanics and components of the influence scorecard framework and the role of the Chief Influence Officer.
Published 22 May 2012

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 151–158 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces this issue of the International Journal of Market Research, looking at the challenges facing market research in emerging economies, which needs its own approach instead of using methods deployed in developing countries. Also summarised are the journal's papers, which include pieces on at the rights of children in market research, re-thinking the NPD process and the use of loyalty card data.
Published 20 March 2012

Viewpoint: New visions: capturing digital data and market research
Mariann Hardey pp. 159–161 [Download PDF]
Mariann Hardey looks at the creation of visual representations of complex data. Examples of postcode data use to map consumer types in residential areas are described to demonstrate the how powerful such visualisations can be.
Published 20 March 2012

Make or break: a simple non-compensatory customer satisfaction model
Keith Chrzan and Michael Kemery pp. 163–176 [Download PDF]
We propose a model that allows analysts to capture and quantify realistic non-linear, non-compensatory effects in customer satisfaction modelling. For too long, academic and applied marketing researchers have relied upon restrictive linear, compensatory statistical models to inform their understanding of how performance on product and service attributes impacts overall satisfaction, loyalty, etc. An extended case study and a summary of 22 further empirical studies illustrate the utility and robustness of the proposed Make or Break model of customer satisfaction.
Published 20 March 2012

Researching children: are we getting it right? A discussion of ethics
Agnes Nairn and Barbie Clarke pp. 177–198 [Download PDF]
As the role of children in society becomes more prominent, their participation in research seems set to increase. In this paper we review whether we are getting the ethics of children’s research right. We show that, since the late 1980s, children have been treated universally as a special case and that they have been accorded their own special set of human rights (UNCRC), which primarily grants them rights to protection and participation. We go on to argue (with practical examples) that the core MRS research principles of well-being, voluntary informed consent and privacy/confidentiality must be applied to children with particular caution and care. We note that, as research with children grows and as new techniques are developed, we are presented with fresh challenges for keeping children safe and maintaining their trust. We end by presenting the results of a survey that sought children’s views on being research participants in a quite sensitive piece of research. We found that children are highly appreciative of being consulted about their lives in general and being asked about their feelings. However we also found that some children can be uncomfortable with some of the issues raised and can feel compelled to answer the questions. We conclude that, while we have good industry codes, ethics evolves with shifting social, political and cultural patterns, and we need to keep challenging ourselves to maintain best practice.
Published 20 March 2012

Developing a visceral market learning capability for new product development
Deborah L. Roberts and Roger Palmer pp. 199–220 [Download PDF]
As customer needs become more sophisticated, often requiring new elements of psychological satisfaction, this poses the question of how innovation practices can be developed from the rational and mechanistic to take more account of the psychological, social and cultural needs of customers that are captured within successful products. This paper discusses the concept of visceralisation – the ‘gut feel’ and instinct associated with the tacit dimensions of managerial intuition – and develops a model of a visceral market learning capability. This concept draws on related ideas of design thinking and design attitude to improve innovation outcomes. While visceralisation has been discussed from both the consumer and research perspective, little progress has been made in applying the concept for market research and new product innovation purposes. The research methodology utilises an interactive, collaborative approach involving practitioners to assist in the development of the model and an understanding of the visceralisation process. This is further informed by two case studies that support this emerging concept. This paper helps to characterise the concept of visceralisation, and the market and organisational learning mechanisms needed to develop visceral insight, and provides suggestions for market researchers and managers involved in new product development. While further development is required, the paper provides a framework, process and guidelines for the application of this technique in different contexts.
Published 20 March 2012

Using supermarket loyalty card data to analyse the impact of promotions
Melanie Felgate, Andrew Fearne, Salvatore DiFalco and Marian Garcia Martinez pp. 221–240 [Download PDF]
The aim of this paper is to show how supermarket loyalty card data from a panel of over 1.4 million shoppers can be used to analyse the effect of price promotions in a way which can bring significant advantages to retailers and manufacturers when making promotional decisions. The paper demonstrates the significant advantages that loyalty card data can bring to enhance our understanding of promotions, compared to traditional scanner and panel datasets. Regression analysis is used to compare the effects of different promotional mechanics upon different tiers of product across the fresh beef category in Tesco, using both scanner data and loyalty card data. The results show that using loyalty card data, which enables us to moderate for specific shopper characteristics, produces more statistically significant results and provides a more detailed picture of how promotions influence sales.
Published 20 March 2012

The impact of two-stage highly interesting questions on completion rates and data quality in online marketing research
Jared M. Hansen and Scott M. Smith pp. 241–260 [Download PDF]
Increasing both survey completion rates and data quality remains an important topic for fields as diverse as sociology, marketing, medicine and history. Thousands of studies have made response quality their central topic of examination, but their focus has largely been to measure response bias through the comparison of early–late wave responses. In this study, an innovative online field experiment tests a two-staged highly interesting question to produce an 8% better survey completion rate and to change sample representativeness by 12% over a usual one-stage highly interesting question appearing at the beginning of the questionnaire. In addition to these substantive findings, a distributional and probability analysis is developed that further refines methods for identifying the extent of non-response bias.
Published 20 March 2012

How respondents use verbal and numeric rating scales: a case for rescaling
Michael Bendixen and Yuliya Yurova pp. 261–282 [Download PDF]
The dominant practice among researchers is to treat verbal rating scales as interval in nature because of the vast array of analytical techniques that this opens up when it comes to analysis. This practice prevails despite warnings to the contrary that go back over half a century. A similar assumption seems safer when it comes to numeric rating scales. This paper revisits the issue to caution researchers to use only methods appropriate to the level of the data unless the proper rescaling is employed. The change in chi-square technique is developed to supplement rescaling using correspondence analysis, to uncover how scales are used by respondents. These techniques are applied to a sample that uses a verbal scale and three samples that use numeric rating scales. In all cases, the assumption of interval behaviour of the data proves to be a poor one. Rescaling is found to preserve the association among the variables. Strong evidence that rescaling changes the distribution of the variables leading to changes in the meaning of basic descriptive statistics is provided. Further research in this area and in the field of cross-cultural research is suggested.
Published 20 March 2012

Real-time Experience Tracking gets closer to the truth
Fiona Blades pp. 283–285 [Download PDF]
In this summary from the 2011 Research Forum conference, Fiona Blades examines the benefits of real-time experience tracking, in which participants provide feedback in the moment of experiencing a brand. This approach helps build up the picture of the quantity of experiences people have and what the immediate responses are, as well as any changes in approach to the brand. Problems come through not knowing whether participants have been exposed to touchpoints that they didn't recognise, which can be addressed with different applications of technology and the formulation of research questions.
Published 20 March 2012

Social: the new space for market research innovation
Mark Earls pp. 285–287 [Download PDF]
Mark Earls' presentation from 2011's Research Forum conference is summarised, covering the holes in what is known about human behaviour and the challenges for market research. These surround the learnings that much of behaviour is driven by the social context it is made in and so in turn, market research needs to move on from interrogating a sample of individuals, who do not take into account the real world circumstance of peer influence.
Published 20 March 2012

Scientific realism: what 'neuromarketing' can and can't tell us about consumers
Graham Page pp. 287–290 [Download PDF]
This article is a summary of the presentation given by Graham Page at the 2011 Research Forum. Having recognised that some decision making is unconscious, some researchers have taken the other extreme and assumed there is no thinking involved in purchase decisions. However, it is important to recognise that there are links between people's stated preferences and their behaviour and Page describes methods used by Millward Brown to analyse these connections and add further understanding to marketing issues.
Published 20 March 2012

Book Review: Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do, by Kaiser Fung
Richard Asquith pp. 291–292 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at Kaiser Fung's attempt to relate statistics with the real world. Without any formula, Richard Asquith suggests it is suitable both for the general public and statisticians looking for real world applications for statistics. While the book is readable and covers some interesting topics, it can also feel over-long and repetitive.
Published 20 March 2012

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–10 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for the first IJMR of 2012, Peter Mouncey introduces the new Young Research Writer Award and the MRS Silver Medal winner before briefing readers on the talks given at the IJMR Research Methods forum, which was centred on the theme of "Does research reflect reality?" Papers included in this issue of the journal cover brand choice modelling; a more traditional view on 'gamification'; creating customer segments across countries; and how to detect respondents wishing to deceive researchers.
Published 19 January 2012

Viewpoint: The future of market research
Ian Lewis pp. 11–13 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Ian Lewis explains the 2011 Cambiar Future of Research Study, which addressed certain questions on the future of market research: is the industry facing transformation? what will 2020 look like? how is the profession doing today? what are the barriers and enablers for becoming a thought partner? And what are the implications? He concludes with what the changes mean specifically for academics and educators.
Published 19 January 2012

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2011 Winning Entry: Switched on - a methodological innovation to overcome the research challenge of memory and measurement within media habits
Sara Sheridan pp. 15–20 [Download PDF]
The winning entry to the first IJMR Young Research Writer award. The challenge addressed by the author is the measurement of audiences in a digital world where 'media can be consumed across a range of platforms, places and times'. The Switched On methodology is applied to measure these audiences and is based on three tenets: memory is flawed, selective or 'too keen to please'; media ethnography is imperfect; and BARB is no longer the solus answer to measurement. Then this is carried out by recording a 360-degree view of an individual's unaffected media routine, this recording is reviewed to develop hypotheses surrounding media habits, and then this is explored via depth discussions. Examples for implementation and challenges for the methodology are included.
Published 19 January 2012

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2011 Finalist: Ownership and change - a case study of action research in Kenya
Rosie McLeod pp. 21–27 [Download PDF]
A runner-up finalist entry to the first IJMR Young Research Writer award. In this, the author demonstrates how research can be used to facilitate learning, insight and programme management in an emerging economy through the case study of a Kenyan charity: Sponsored Arts for Education (SAFE). The author's role was to bring a systematic research process that would promote the team's learning, deliver local insight that could become the starting point for their plays and programme building, and a formal means to monitor and evaluate their impact.
Published 19 January 2012

IJMR Young Research Writer award 2011 Finalist: Auto-ethnography - how respondent researchers helped bring ethnography in from the cold
Charlie Richards pp. 28–34 [Download PDF]
A runner-up finalist entry to the first IJMR Young Research Writer award. In this, the author argues the case for applying an innovative ethnographic-based methodology to answer the question 'How do we understand how people have come to be doing what they are doing?' The biography of respondents is highlighted as being essential for research - pasts must be considered as well the present. Ethnography is asserted as a discipline suited to generating these types of insights, which leads to getting respondents to conduct their own research, deep in their own world.
Published 19 January 2012

Survey methods in an age of austerity: driving value in survey design
Joel Williams pp. 35–47 [Download PDF]
This paper outlines new evidence on what happens when questions from major social surveys are asked of online survey panellists. The paper shows how difficult it is to control for 'panellist bias' and produce unbiased population estimates but also that, for some statistics, panel data can provide a surprisingly close match to the gold standard surveys of government.
Published 19 January 2012

The growing efficacy of telephone political canvassing at the 2005 and 2010 British general elections
Charles Pattie and Ron Johnston pp. 49–70 [Download PDF]
Partly in response to declining local party memberships, and partly as a feature of the growing modernisation and centralisation of constituency campaigns, Britain's major political parties have in recent elections turned to telephone canvassing methods to contact voters. This is despite a body of research on the efficacy of different methods of contacting citizens, which suggests that telephone contacts are much less effective in mobilising voters than face-to-face methods of canvassing. But there are grounds for believing that telephone canvassing now has a more substantial impact than previously suspected, implying that it may yet have an important role in modern campaigning. The paper therefore looks at the impact of telephone canvassing on party support during the 2005 and 2010 British general elections.
Published 19 January 2012

An improved, practical model of consumer choice
Len Marchant, Phil Prescott and Nic Jackson pp. 71–92 [Download PDF]
This paper describes a framework for understanding and researching brand choice. The underlying model starts from the assumption that purchasers faced with alternative brands will select what in their judgement suits them best. It develops the theory and the mathematics as simply as possible, and goes on to describe the marketing implications. It explains how to build a working model of the market using Monte Carlo techniques, and how this can be used to test the validity of the basic assumptions and to explore possible marketing strategies. It demonstrates, using real data from an actual study, how to interpret the market model in terms of purchasers' images of the brands. The paper will be of interest to both qualitative and quantitative researchers.
Published 19 January 2012

Using card-based games to enhance the value of semi-structured interviews
Jennifer Rowley, Rosalind Jones, Magda Vassiliou and Sonya Hanna pp. 93–110 [Download PDF]
This article reports on the use of the card-based game method in semi-structured interviews in three separate research projects. The essence of the method is simple: cards are created with words or images to represent the concepts or terms that are central to the topics in a semi-structured interview; the cards then act as visual cues to facilitate focus and prompt reflection. Of greater interest is the application of the approach in specific contexts, and the benefits that accrue from its application. This research demonstrates that the card game method can be used to provide qualitative validation of theoretical models, and can be applied variously to elicit and explore definitions, priorities, processes, challenges, issues, difficulties, views on the future and critical success factors. The card game method and other innovative techniques that involve the interviewee in activities have the potential to enhance the value of semi-structured interviews.
Published 19 January 2012

International segmentation: towards a third path between global and national
Bertrand Belvaux and Nathalie Guibert pp. 111–127 [Download PDF]
This paper aims to advance segmentation methodology in international settings. We suggest two techniques that, inserted in current international segmentation methodology, can help researchers find and validate possible transnational segments using various consumption dimensions. In order to facilitate the choice of an appropriate path, we suggest comparing the international segmentation to the country-based segmentation by using the eta-squared test. Then, if needed, in order to bring out the underlying logics of product consumption in various countries, we suggest comparing the correlations between consumer motivations and product attributes (based on Means–End Chains theory) among the target countries. We provide evidence of the effectiveness of these techniques in the case of an international study of the wine market in China, Chile and France, and conclude with a research agenda.
Published 19 January 2012

Adjusting self-reported attitudinal data for mischievous respondents
Michael R. Hyman and Jeremy J. Sierra pp. 129–145 [Download PDF]
For various reasons, survey participants may submit phoney attitudinal self-reports meant to bypass researcher scepticism. After suggesting reasons for this new category of problematic survey participant – the mischievous respondent (MR) – and reviewing related response bias, faking, inattentive respondent and outlier literatures, an initial algorithm for removing such respondents from polychotomous attitudinal data sets is posited. Applied to four data sets, this algorithm marginally reduced EFA cross loadings and improved CFA model fit. Although purging subtly suspicious cases is not standard practice, the extant literature indicates that such algorithms can reduce artifactual statistical findings substantially.
Published 19 January 2012

Book Review: Sensory Marketing: Research on the Sensuality of Products, by Aradhna Krishna (ed.)
Iliana Katsaridou pp. 147–149 [Download PDF]
In this book review, Illiana Katsaridou looks at "Sensory Marketing", a presentation of evidence on the importance, interpretations, effects, implications and limitations of sensory marketing. The book is split into sections, each addressing one of the five human senses plus a review of the future implications of sensory marketing. The authors affirm that the aim of the books is not to provide exhaustive research on the senses but to inspire the generation of a course for study. Overall, Katsaridou considers the most intriguing aspect of the book resides in the presentation of insights on the various functions of the senses, which even though they may be self-evident, may even so be overlooked.
Published 19 January 2012

Book Review: Understanding Children as Consumers, by David Marshall (ed.)
Kathy Hamilton pp. 149–150 [Download PDF]
Kathy Hamilton reviews "Understanding children as consumers" which takes as its starting point the active role that children play within consumer culture, focusing primarily on children between 8 and 12 years old. David Marshall has edited a collection derived from a mixed set of disciplines including marketing, consumer research, developmental, applied and social psychology, modern history and organisation studies. It is split into four sections covering children as consumers, encountering marketing, kids' stuff and looking forward. Hamilton concludes that there is a range of interesting and relevant material presented. However, given the overall aim of the book, there would have been potential for more of the chapters to emphasise children's experiences in the marketplace from their perspective, to gain a greater understanding of children's agency within the consumption arena.
Published 19 January 2012


Volume 53 (2011)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 727–734 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces volume 52, issue 6 of the International Journal of Market Research covering the topics of research into the UK riots, social media and ethics and customers' perceptions of product and service providers.
Published 10 November 2011

Viewpoint: A marginalised future for market research?
Adam Phillips pp. 735–736 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Adam Phillips raises some serious concerns about the future potential marginalisation of market research in the technology-facilitated communications world of today, citing the history of Operational Research as an example of what could be a future scenario.
Published 10 November 2011

Welcoming people with mental health problems into mainstream market research
Ruth Stevenson pp. 737–748 [Download PDF]
As an agency-trained researcher, the two years I spent as Head of Research at a mental health charity opened my eyes to the fact that mental health problems are 'invisible' and widespread, and that people with mental health problems regularly face exclusion. During this time I conducted many research projects among people with mental health problems, usually about mental health-related issues and services, through which I responded to feedback and constantly amended my approach to ensure that I was providing a high-quality and inclusive research environment. My attention was also drawn to the fact that many people with mental health problems are also consumers of mainstream products and services, and therefore form a notable proportion of the population of participants involved with mainstream research projects. In this article I will discuss 'best practice' ways in which mental health problems should be considered when conducting mainstream qualitative research projects, and focus groups in particular.
Published 10 November 2011

Generation C: content, creation, connections and choice
Mariann Hardey pp. 749–770 [Download PDF]
This paper reports the findings from an in-depth, exploratory research project designed to understand how consumers create, use and behave in response to content on consumer review websites. Based on data from members of a consumer review site, it seeks to capture the experiences and behaviours of consumers, and to convey their voice as users of social media and other digital sources. Consumers, who are part of Generation C, constitute a significant proportion of the membership on consumer review websites. In this paper, the nature of this generational category is discussed and situated within their use of social media. Reflecting calls in this journal for an innovative and open research agenda, the methodology is designed to reveal new forms of informational behaviour among this group of consumers, who are at the forefront of social media adoption. The research reveals that activities within consumer review sites are embedded in broader social media behaviours, and that this influences the creation and use of consumer-generated and marketing content. The identification of such new forms of consumer activity forms the basis for further research and the incorporation of Generation C into successful marketing strategies.
Published 10 November 2011

Customer experience: are we measuring the right things?
Stan Maklan and Phil Klaus pp. 771–792 [Download PDF]
Marketing theory and practice evolved dramatically through a series of transformations from products to services and, recently, customer experiences. Each stage has its own perspective on marketing's purpose, the nature of customer value, and measurements that calibrate performance and guide managerial decisions. The latter is of particular interest to market researchers. Measurement (research) typically lags behind changes in marketing theory due to institutional factors and the time it takes for new practices to diffuse. The authors posit that firms still measure customer experience against criteria more suited to evaluating product and service marketing. Research practice seems rooted in 1990s notions of service quality, itself an outgrowth of total quality management (TQM) originating in manufacturing during the 1980s. The authors argue that market researchers will serve their organisations and customers better if they take an active role in updating the customer experience measurement commensurate with advances in the conceptualisation of that which firms offer customers.
Published 10 November 2011

Service quality perceptions of solely loyal customers
Swetlana Bogomolova pp. 793–810 [Download PDF]
Having more solely loyal customers (those who only use one supplier) is an aspiration for most service providers. Yet, it is unclear whether, or in what way, solely loyal customers differ from customers whose loyalty is divided between more than one service provider. One loyalty indicator is a consumer's evaluation of the quality of service they receive. Using seven sets of cross-sectional data, this research reveals that solely loyal customers give, on average, approximately 10% more positive service quality evaluations than customers of the same provider who also use other providers. The implication of this finding for market researchers and practitioners is that service quality scores could be moderated by the distribution of solely loyal and multiple-provider users in a given sample. Therefore, every service quality survey should measure how many providers a customer uses and control for the proportion of solely loyal customers when tracking change using cross-sectional samples.
Published 10 November 2011

The determinants of the sports team sponsor’s brand equity: a cross-country comparison in Asia
Michael Chih-Hung Wang, Julian Ming-Sung Cheng, Bernardinus M. Purwanto and Kuntari Erimurti pp. 811–829 [Download PDF]
This research attempts to investigate the determinants of a sports team sponsor's brand equity and whether the proposed structural relationships vary across countries. Field data are collected from sports team fans in two Asian economies/countries, i.e. Taiwan and Indonesia. According to the findings, in general, team identification and perceived congruence between the sponsor and the sponsored sports team affect the sponsor's credibility, which in turn has an impact on the sponsor's brand equity. 'Country' moderates the above structural relationships. However, the effects of team identification and perceived congruence on the sponsor's credibility do not receive supportive evidence in Taiwan and Indonesia respectively.
Published 10 November 2011

Market share predictions: a new model with rating-based conjoint analysis
Hervé Guyon and Jean-François Petiot pp. 831–857 [Download PDF]
Conjoint Analysis (CA) is a technique heavily used by industry in support of product development, pricing and positioning, and market share predictions. This generic term CA encompasses a variety of experimental protocols and estimation models (e.g. rating-based or choice-based), as well as several probabilistic models for predicting market share. As for the rating conjoint, existing probabilistic models from the literature cannot be considered as reliable because they suffer from the Independence of Irrelevant Alternatives (IIA) property, in addition to depending on an arbitrary rating scale selected by the experimenter. In this article, after a brief overview of CA and of models used for market share predictions, we propose a new model for market share predictions, RFC-BOLSE, which avoids the IIA problem, yields convergent results for different rating scales, and outputs predictions that match regression reliability. The model is described in details and simulations and a case study on truck tyres will illustrate the reliability of RFC-BOLSE.
Published 10 November 2011

Book Review: Refocusing Focus Groups: A Practical Guide, by Robert J. Morais
Chris Barnham pp. 859–860 [Download PDF]
Chris Barnham reviews "Refocusing focus groups: a practical guide" by Robert J. Morais, which is written in the context of an American qualitative research culture. The book is designed as a 'fast read on qualitative research techniques' and as 'a supplement to heavier course texts', divided into six sections covering preparation for a focus group, writing the discussion guide and the handling of the group and the client. From a British perspective, it appears that American client influence has extended to them doing the analysis themselves. Barnham concludes that the book is a very effective guide to the business of running groups and it is certainly practical in its orientation.
Published 10 November 2011

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 569–578 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces volume 52, issue 5 of the International Journal of Market Research with a discussion on the production of the UK population census, including process, content and uses.
Published 15 September 2011

Viewpoint: Publishing Replications in Marketing
Mark Uncles pp. 579–582 [Download PDF]
It is widely accepted that replication is central to normal scientific investigation, through which robustness of results are demonstrated and norms described. An oft-expressed criticism is that replicated results are not managerially useful because marketing managers are trying to break the mould rather than abide by norms. The importance of replication is stressed by Mark Uncles in this article.
Published 15 September 2011

Viewpoint: Response to Tim Bock: 'Improving the display of correspondence analysis using moon plots'
Martin Collins pp. 583–586 [Download PDF]
This article summarises and responds to Tim Bock's recent paper on correspondence analysis (IJMR 53,3). Martin Collins suggests that the original paper did not justify the use of CA and offers reasoning for its purpose here.
Published 15 September 2011

Viewpoint: Reply to Collins
Tim Bock pp. 587–591 [Download PDF]
In response to Martin Collins' piece in IJMR 53,5, which in turn was a response to Tim Bock's own paper in IJMR 53,3, Bock tries to answer Collins' concerns regarding the use of correspondence analysis.
Published 15 September 2011

Household vehicle consumption forecasts in the United States, 2000 to 2005
Qiushi Feng, Zhenglian Wang, Danan Gu and Yi Zeng pp. 593–618 [Download PDF]
Forecasts of household vehicle consumption are important for automobile market analyses. This paper employs the ProFamy extended cohort-component new method to project household vehicle consumption from 2000 to 2025 across four regions of the United States (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West). The results show that the total number of household vehicles in 2025 will reach 235 million, representing a 31% increase over the 25 years. About a half of the increase is due to the consumption of cars, while the household consumption of vans will increase at a faster rate than that of cars and trucks. Household vehicle consumption will grow more in white non-Hispanic and Hispanic households in comparison with black non-Hispanic and Asian and other non-Hispanic households. Owners of household vehicles in the United States will be ageing quickly. Among households of different sizes, the largest increase in household vehicles will come from two-person households. Across the four regions, the largest increase in household vehicle consumption will be in the South, followed by the West, Midwest and Northeast.
Published 15 September 2011

Beyond the 2011 Census in the United Kingdom: with an international perspective
Keith Dugmore, Peter Furness, Barry Leventhal and Corrine Moy pp. 619–650 [Download PDF]
The recent census in the UK, taken in March 2011, may also have been our last – since the Office for National Statistics has announced that it intends to explore alternative more cost-effective options for ‘census taking’ in the future. In this paper, we consider what the options may be, based on approaches and experiences from other countries, and assess their implications for users. We start by reminding ourselves about the value of the census and the strengths and weaknesses of the current approach. We then identify the principal methods being followed in other countries, together with their advantages and disadvantages. This leads us to review methodological work in the UK, building up to the current ‘Beyond 2011’ ONS project. We focus on administrative records as a possible way of removing the need for a full population survey. Finally, we assess the options and discuss the implications for users in market research.
Published 15 September 2011

Using semiotics in consumer research to understand everyday phenomena
Madeleine Ogilvie and Katherine Mizerski pp. 651–668 [Download PDF]
This paper introduces a new method of studying consumer phenomena by combining two different semiotic philosophies. Using cosmetics as the vehicle to demonstrate the technique, this study explores the semiotics of visible face make-up in Australian Caucasian women. It aims to understand why women wear make-up and how they experience the signs of make-up and appearance in everyday life. The study comprises two phases. The initial phase adopts a communication model extended from Saussurean semiotics, while the second employs a triadic semiotic philosophy as proposed by Charles Sanders Peirce. Results indicate that, by combining the two semiotic perspectives within one study, the researcher is able to gain greater insights about the consumption behaviours of individuals from a communication as well as an experiential perspective. For marketers, this greater understanding of how the consumer interacts and experiences brands and products allows for more strategic and focused communication with their target market. In addition, this approach provides useful information about symbolic consumption, so trends and new directions in cultural paradigms can also be predicted. An example of this is shown in Figure 2.
Published 15 September 2011

Estimating nonresponse bias and mode effects in a mixed-mode survey
Peter Lugtig, Gerty J.L.M. Lensvelt-Mulders, Remco Frerichs and Assyn Greven pp. 669–686 [Download PDF]
In mixed-mode surveys, it is difficult to separate sample selection differences from mode-effects that can occur when respondents respond in different interview settings. This paper provides a framework for separating mode effects from selection effects by matching very similar respondents from different survey modes using propensity score matching. The answer patterns of the matched respondents are subsequently compared. We show that matching can explain differences in non-response and coverage in two Internet samples. When we repeat this procedure for a telephone and Internet sample however, differences persist between the samples after matching. This indicates the occurrence of mode effects in telephone and Internet surveys. Mode effects can be problematic; hence we conclude with a discussion of designs that can be used to explicitly study mode effects.
Published 15 September 2011

Visiting item non-responses in internet survey data collection
Gerald Albaum, James Wiley, Catherine Roster and Scott M. Smith pp. 687–703 [Download PDF]
A widely used technique in internet surveys is ‘forced answering’, which requires respondents to enter an ‘appropriate’ response before they are allowed to proceed to the next survey question. Forced answering virtually eliminates sources of respondent error due to item non-response. However, using forced answering might cause respondents to opt out entirely or break off early in the survey, which would increase non-response error. It has been suggested that one way around this is to provide a ‘prefer not to answer’ (PNA) option if forced answering is used, which would allow respondents to continue without providing a response to each question. This study examines effects on item non-response rates of using forced answering and ‘prefer not to answer’ in internet surveys. Findings reveal that use of PNA is not a perfect substitute for leaving questions blank, which brings into question the equivalency of response options that allow internet survey respondents to bypass answering questions and quality versus quantity tradeoffs associated with internet survey design choices.
Published 15 September 2011

Multilingual elite-interviews and software-based analysis: problems and solutions based on CAQDAS
Rudolf R. Sinkovics and Elfriede Penz pp. 705–724 [Download PDF]
Qualitative international research is increasingly popular in marketing, management and business practice. Cultural dimensions, most importantly language, play a central role in this research context. The importance of language in the context of questionnaire design and international data gathering has long been stressed in various sources (Pike 1966; Brislin 1970; Piekkari & Welch 2004). However, the practice of qualitative data collection and analysis has not been addressed sufficiently, although new and innovative software-based tools are available to help these efforts. This paper deals with methodological and practical issues in analysing qualitative interviews with corporate elites. We illustrate conceptual challenges in setting up qualitative projects that build on interviewing corporate elites and address practical implementation issues in terms of multilingual coding, node creation and theory building by means of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS). To this end a specific empirical example will be used.
Published 15 September 2011

Book Review: The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research, by Ray Poynter
Alan Wilson pp. 725–726 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson reviews Ray Poynter's book, summarising it as a reference book that brings together many of the strands of online qualitative and quantitative research, as well as presenting an explanation of the opportunities presented for marketing researchers by social media.
Published 15 September 2011

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 443–450 [Download PDF]
In his editorial for the International Journal of Market Research, Peter Mouncey discusses the trend for measuring "happiness" and introduces the full issue, covering research methodology, the role of replication studies and experimental research utilising mobile technologies.
Published 20 July 2011

Viewpoint: Lessons from academia
Patten Smith pp. 451–453 [Download PDF]
Having previously argued that academics and agencies have different forms of expertise in the field of market research, Patten Smith presents the lessons learnt from two sessions conducted by academics: a seminar on survey non-response and attrition, organised by the ESRC Survey Resources Network (SRN), and a two-day course on questionnaire design by Jon Krosnick.
Published 20 July 2011

The paradox of accountability: moving away can bring you closer - a case study of community policing in London
John May pp. 455–462 [Download PDF]
Public service accountability is a large and complex topic. One important aspect of the accountability of a public service provider is that they should be aware of what matters to the recipients of their service. This paper uses the Metropolitan Police as a case study to explore some of the implications of this aspect of accountability. It concludes that sometimes having fewer data points leads to more comprehensive insight than having more.
Published 20 July 2011

Snap judgement polling: street interviews enabled by new technology
Katherine Anderson, Malcolm Wright and Meagan Wheeler pp. 463–478 [Download PDF]
We took a promising new method of political polling – snap judgements of political candidates’ facial appearance – from the lab to the real world with internet-enabled mobile phones. Using iPhones and online multimedia-rich surveys, we collected over 6000 snap judgements of political candidates’ faces, providing proof of concept for a new method of candidate pre-testing and political polling. Consistent with prior research, we find that snap judgements by small samples (178) of politically naive respondents can accurately predict election outcomes. Further, we advance this method of research by testing design elements and providing practical details about the use of mobile technology to aid data collection.
Published 20 July 2011

Capturing affective experiences using the SMS Experience Sampling (SMS-ES) method
Lynda Andrews, Rebekah Russell Bennett and Judy Drennan pp. 479–506 [Download PDF]
This paper reports the feasibility and methodological considerations of using the Short Message System Experience Sampling (SMS-ES) method, which is an experience sampling research method developed to assist researchers to collect repeat measures of consumers’ affective experiences. The method combines SMS with web-based technology in a simple yet effective way. It is described using a practical implementation study that collected consumers’ emotions in response to using mobile phones in everyday situations. The method is further evaluated in terms of the quality of data collected in the study, as well as against the methodological considerations for experience sampling studies. These two evaluations suggest that the SMS-ES method is both a valid and reliable approach for collecting consumers’ affective experiences. Moreover, the method can be applied across a range of for-profit and not-for-profit contexts where researchers want to capture repeated measures of consumers’ affective experiences occurring over a period of time. The benefits of the method are discussed, to assist researchers who wish to apply the SMS-ES method in their own research designs.
Published 20 July 2011

The accuracy of self-reported probabilities of giving recommendations
Jenni Romaniuk, Cathy Nguyen and Robert East pp. 507–521 [Download PDF]
This paper shows that respondents are better at predicting when they won’t give a recommendation than when they will. The main reason for inaccuracy was an over-reliance on past circumstances (past receiving or giving of recommendations) in making future predictions of their own behaviour. Therefore, self-report probabilities are best used as measures of the potential or desire to give a recommendation, rather than predictions of future behaviour. The translation of this potential to behaviour will depend largely on the external environment, which is outside the respondent’s control. To improve the accuracy of aggregate-level predictions of how many people will give recommendations, we suggest reducing the number of those with a high self-reported probability to around 30% of survey estimates.
Published 20 July 2011

Can search engine advertising help access rare samples?
Daniel Nunan and Simon Knox pp. 523–540 [Download PDF]
In the last decade, there has been an explosion in the use of online survey tools. Online data collection tools have lowered the cost of data collection and removed barriers to entry for carrying out research. While a number of questions have been raised about the general reliability of internet survey research, one specific use of the web for survey work has been in reaching niche populations that are difficult to access using traditional survey tools – so-called ‘rare samples’. In this paper, we present an approach to accessing such hard-to-reach populations using search engine pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. We carried out a study that makes uses of PPC advertising on search engines as an alternative means of developing a sample for a hard-to-reach group of health consumers. Based on a sample of 466 consumer responses, we discuss the effectiveness of this technique for reaching such rare populations.
Published 20 July 2011

Conceptualisation and modelling of the process behind brand association transfer
Jean Boisvert pp. 541–556 [Download PDF]
Although the concept of affect transfer has been addressed by many in the literature, the process underlying the transfer of brand associations from parent brands to their extensions is still unclear despite important theoretical and managerial implications. This paper proposes to conceptualise and model the empirical process underlying such transfer. The findings reveal that the capability of a parent brand to transfer specific brand associations to a line extension depends on an optimisation process where strong transfer occurs only when repeated measures of the same associations are not statistically distinct. Conversely, the transfer is limited when the statistical difference is either positive or negative in repeated measures. When the difference is positive, the extension appears to already ‘own’ the association in comparison to the parent brand and when negative the association is not compatible with the extension. The methodological and managerial implications of brand association transfer are discussed.
Published 20 July 2011

Online Research: Now & Next 2011 (Warc), Kings Fund, London, 1 March 2011
Jon Puleston and Niels Schillewaert pp. 557–562 [Download PDF]
This article consists of two summaries based on presentations from the Warc conference, Online Research: Now & Next 2011, both concerned with improving engagement in the research process. The first, from Jon Puleston, discusses ways to engage more effectively with respondents in online research. The agenda proposed by Puleston includes the application of methods used in qualitative research, and computer games - usually termed 'gamification'. The second, by Niels Schillewaert, discusses ways to engage more effectively with all the key stakeholders in market research, around an ENgagement and ACTivation (ENACT) framework. They provide further perspectives on this key theme of 'engagement' following on from the Conference Notes published in IJMR Vol. 53 Issue 1, based on presentations from the ASC conference held last September.
Published 20 July 2011

Book Review: A Concise Guide to Market Research: The Process, Data and Methods using IBM SPSS Statistics, by Erik Mooi and Marko Sarstedt
Tobias Schütz pp. 563–564 [Download PDF]
This book review covers "A concise guide to market research: the process, data and methods using IBM SPSS statistics", which is aimed at undergraduate and graduate students in business, as well as practitioners who are looking for a straightforward introduction to market research and methods of quantitative data analysis. It is a practical guide and to capture the full value of the text, the reader should use SPSS and reconstruct the examples while working with the book. Overall, it is considered to fulfil its title, providing a good and comprehensive overview that is easy to understand.
Published 20 July 2011

Book Review: Persuasive Advertising: Evidence-Based Principles, by J. Scott Armstrong
Peter Mouncey pp. 564–568 [Download PDF]
This book review covers "Persuasive advertising: evidence-based principles" by J. Scott Armstrong. It provides insights into why advertising can fail to meet the expectations of those commissioning or executing campaigns, and provides a detailed principles-based framework to help marketers live their dreams. This book consists of a total of 3000 research sources as the foundation for the analysis and is judged to be a valuable reference.
Published 20 July 2011

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 293–301 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey introduces issue 3 of the International Journal of Market Research, volume 53. He covers feedback from the Quality conference, with a focus on ethics and social media, as well as other topics such as questionnaire design and best practice in procurement of research.
Published 20 May 2011

Viewpoint: Is neuroscience facilitating a new era of the hidden persuader
Ian Addie pp. 303–305 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint, Ian Addie critiques the field of neuromarketing, considering whether it has become an industry buzz word, shrouded in mystery and misconception, and with considerable vagary around the subject in terms of the various techniques being adopted.
Published 20 May 2011

Improving the display of correspondence analysis using moon plots
Tim Bock pp. 307–326 [Download PDF]
Standard correspondence analysis plots are readily misinterpreted by research users. This paper presents a new plot, called the moon plot, which is less susceptible to misinterpretation. Row points are plotted in the traditional way. Column points are plotted equidistant from the origin, with their directions from the origin as in traditional correspondence analysis plots, and the information traditionally communicated by the distance of the points to the origin instead communicated by the size of the fonts of the labels.
Published 20 May 2011

The NPS and the ACSI: a critique and an alternative metric
Robert East, Jenni Romaniuk and Wendy Lomax pp. 327–346 [Download PDF]
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) and the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) are metrics used to predict sales, profit and share price change. We identify problems with the design of both the NPS and the ACSI. In particular, we find that the NPS does not measure negative word of mouth effectively, and we argue that the ACSI is similarly insensitive to dissatisfaction. This is because ex-customers and never-customers are not sampled in these metrics, and these are the people who express most of the negative sentiments about brands/companies. We propose a method of measuring the effect of word of mouth using the volume and mean impact on purchase probability of both the positive and the negative word of mouth expressed by users of the category.
Published 20 May 2011

Producing work-ready graduates: the role of the entrepreneurial university
Nigel Culkin and Sofie Mallick pp. 347–368 [Download PDF]
UK universities are having to come to terms with the double whammy of a 2010 Spending Review that will see budgets reduced from £7.1 billion to £4.2 billion by 2014, and the Browne Review of higher education funding and student finance, which argues that those who benefit (i.e. students) should make a far greater contribution to the cost than is currently required. Against this backdrop the authors seek to contribute to the graduate skills debate. They will demonstrate that delivering employment-ready graduates ignores the demands of a radically altered world of work in the face of the government’s response to the latest economic crisis. While its primary focus is on the supply side (graduates) the authors are cognisant of the market research industry, which itself is facing external pressures to shift from a milieu of data gathering to a future of intelligent insight providers. We then go on to present the development of a new type of university, which has actively sought to reduce its dependency on traditional funding sources. Finally, we present a model of a research facility at one university that has successfully engaged with the local and regional business community to the benefit of its student workforce. In doing so, it has helped to develop over 70 graduate researchers, with entrepreneurial mindsets, who have all gone on to secure enterprising futures.
Published 20 May 2011

Individual differences in motivation to participate in online panels: the effect on reponse rate and reponse quality perceptions
Elisabeth Brüggen, Martin Wetzels, Ko de Ruyter and Niels Schillewaert pp. 369–390 [Download PDF]
The majority of online research is now conducted via discontinuous online access panels, which promise high response rates, sampling control, access to populations that are hard to reach, and detailed information about respondents. To sustain a critical mass of respondents, overcome panel attrition and recruit new panel members, marketers must understand how they can predict and explain what motivates people to participate repeatedly in online surveys. Using the newly developed survey participation inventory (SPI) measure, we identify three clusters of participants, characterised as voicing assistants, reward seekers and intrinsics. Our results suggest that most online surveys are filled out by intrinsically motivated respondents that show higher participation rates, response effort and performance; incentives do not offer an important response motive.
Published 20 May 2011

A survey of the challenges and pifalls of cluster analysis application in market segmentation
Michael N. Tuma, Reinhold Decker and Sören W. Scholz pp. 391–414 [Download PDF]
Market segmentation is a widely accepted concept in marketing research and planning. Although cluster analysis has been extensively applied to segment markets in the last 50 years, the ways in which the results were obtained have often been reported to be less than satisfactory by both practitioners (Yankelovich & Meer 2006) and academics (Dolnicar 2003). In order to provide guidance to those undertaking market segmentation, this study discusses the critical issues involved when using cluster analysis to segment markets, makes suggestions for best practices and potential improvements, and presents an empirical survey that seeks to provide an up-to-date assessment of cluster analysis application in market segmentation within a six-stage framework. Analyses of more than 200 journal articles published since 2000, in which cluster analysis was empirically used in a marketing research setting, indicate that many critical issues are still ignored rather than addressed adequately.
Published 20 May 2011

Devil or angel? How the virtual testing environment can affect product evaluations
Ling Peng, Yongfu He and Xiang Wan pp. 415–437 [Download PDF]
While new product evaluation testing plays a pivotal role in the NPD process, there is little empirical evidence on the influence of the virtual testing environment on the evaluation results and the data quality. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by using a split-sample online concept testing-like study to compare the testing results in traditional and virtual environments for five heterogeneous innovations. The findings indicate that both traditional and virtual testing environments yield identical mean scores, while the latter provides higher-quality data given the same sampling design. Early concept or product tests, therefore, may be carried out in a more realistic testing environment using virtual techniques, which could substantially enhance the quality of testing data.
Published 20 May 2011

Book Review: The Aging Consumer: Perspective from Psychology and Economics, by Aimee Drolet, Norbert Schwarz and Carolyn Yoon
Robert J. Angell pp. 439–440 [Download PDF]
Although media attention towards the ageing population structure shared by many developed countries has been rising, the exposure this has yielded in the marketing literature appears to be significantly less in relative terms. This review covers the book edited by Drolet, Schwarz and Yoon (2010), which redresses any shortfall with a comprehensive review of the material about the ageing consumer.
Published 20 May 2011

Book Review: How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don't Know, by Byron Sharp
Alan Wilson pp. 441–442 [Download PDF]
This book by Byron Sharp builds upon previous seminal marketing science/research work undertaken by Andrew Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhart. It attempts to challenge the reader to recognise the fundamental errors in contemporary marketing thought, using empirical data collected over the years by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute. Overall the reviewer feels that the book encourages the reader to take stock and reassess current marketing practices as well as the marketing research that is undertaken to support these practices.
Published 20 May 2011

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 135–142 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey introduces issue 53, volume 2 of IJMR and presents the Research Methods Forum and the challenges they hope to cover as well as the papers in the edition.
Published 3 March 2011

Viewpoint: Why behavioural economics should only make market research stronger
Nick Southgate pp. 143–146 [Download PDF]
Nick Southgate's Viewpoint discusses the importance of behavioural economics (BE) to market research and how it can affect the field.
Published 3 March 2011

Gender effects in advertising
Michael F. Cramphorn pp. 147–172 [Download PDF]
Less than 15% of ads are directed specifically to women and less than 5% are intended just for men. The remaining 80% are apparently targeted to everyone. This presumes very little difference in overall response between genders, which is strange, given that fundamental gender differences do exist. For example, women typically respond more positively to ads than men. Why should this be so? Is it intrinsic, is it cultural, or are there types of ads that work better with women than men, and vice versa? What leads to such differences? This paper reviews gender differences stemming from in-utero hormonal flows that shape the embryonic brain. How do such differences affect overall gender response to advertising? The findings show that advertising directed to just men or just women is more effective – yet paradoxically, it is seldom utilised, as most advertising appears to be targeted to both genders. In addition, although there is a wide range of effective styles of advertising and of content types that are demonstrably effective, many are comparatively neglected. Thus, there are opportunities for much more creativity and variety in the way advertising messages are communicated. The paper seeks to provide some clear pointers on how to go about this.
Published 3 March 2011

Behavioural economics and qualitative research - a marriage made in heaven?
Wendy Gordon pp. 173–188 [Download PDF]
Behavioural economics draws on many different academic disciplines from cognitive psychology and social theory through to the newer disciplines of (social) neuroscience, evolutionary anthropology and genetics. Marketing and communications practitioners are now embracing it because it puts human behaviour centre stage rather than attitudes, beliefs and opinions. Contemporary qualitative research also draws on many of the same disciplines, and also others such as semiotics, linguistics and epidemiology. However, it has always been more comfortable describing motivations, attitudes, beliefs and opinions rather than behaviour itself. Many of the principles described in behavioural economics (BE) challenge the very nature of qualitative thinking and practice. This paper examines the relationship between the two models of thinking and how each can benefit from a greater understanding of the other.
Published 3 March 2011

Associative networks: a new approach to market segmentation
Céline Brandt, Charles Pahud de Mortanges, Christian Bluemelhuber and Allard C.R. van Riel pp. 189–210 [Download PDF]
This paper aims to expand the domain of brand image perception measurement by providing a method for eliciting brand associative networks and comparing it with traditional brand image measurement methods. This paper then argues that these networks may differ from one individual to another, depending on the cultural background and/or the experience with the brand. Accordingly, the authors introduce a methodology of clustering consumers with similar perceptions into distinct segments, which can be targeted differently. Using picture analysis and metaphor-based elicitation techniques, Lipton’s Ice Tea brand associations are extracted and utilised as an input for the creation of 160 individual associative networks.These networks are first aggregated to measure the brand reputation and subsequently clustered into six segments. This paper provides clear arguments for using associative networks as the preferred method to capture the complete brand image. The paper discusses implications of perceptual segmentation for image management, brand positioning, perceptual competition analysis and brand communication.
Published 3 March 2011

Latent class analysis for marketing scale development
Francesca Bassi pp. 211–232 [Download PDF]
Measurement scales are a crucial instrument in marketing research for measuring unobservable variables such as attitudes, opinions and beliefs. In using, evaluating or developing multi-item scales, a number of guidelines and procedures are recommended, to ensure that the measure applied is psychometrically robust. These procedures have been outlined in the psychometric literature since the late 1970s and are composed of steps that refer to construct and domain definition, scale validity, reliability, dimensionality and generalisability. Various statistical instruments are used in the scale-developing process, almost always referring to metric variables (interval or ratio scales). Instead, items forming scales are rarely measured metrically; items are frequently ordinal and, in some rare cases, nominal. In this paper, it is shown how the implementation of latent class analysis may improve the process of measurement scale development, since it explicitly considers that items generate ordinal or even nominal variables. Specifically, applying appropriate latent class models allows us to assess scale validity and reliability more soundly than traditionally used methods.
Published 3 March 2011

Quick, simple and reliable: forced binary survey questions
Sara Dolnicar, Bettina Grün and Friedrich Leisch pp. 233–254 [Download PDF]
Consumers are increasingly saturated by market research, which leads to decreasing response rates and an increased danger of response bias. Market researchers thus face the challenge of recruiting respondents, increasing response rates and reducing respondent fatigue by making questionnaires as short and pleasant as possible. One way of achieving this is to replace traditionally used ordinal multi-category answer formats (such as Likert-type scales) with forced binary scales. This proposition is attractive only if it indeed shortens the survey time while not compromising the quality of managerial insights from the data. This study investigates these conditions. Results from a repeat-measurement design indicate that managerial interpretations do not differ substantially between the two answer formats, responses are equally reliable, and that the binary format is quicker and perceived as less complex.
Published 3 March 2011

Developing a trichotomy model to measure socially responsible behaviour in China
Jun Yan and Qiuling She pp. 255–276 [Download PDF]
Since the Chinese government advocated a Harmonious Society, socially responsible consumption has increased and companies are responding to the trend. However, our understanding of the attitude and behaviour of 1.3 billion Chinese consumers on socially responsible consumption is almost blank. The primary objective of the present study is to develop a scale to measure socially responsible consumer behaviour (SRCB) in China’s Taoist context. The secondary objective is to identify whether Chinese consumers share the same ecological and social concerns with their western counterparts as previous research suggests. This paper starts with a new definition of SRCB based on a literature review, then identifies the dimensions of SRCB in China on the basis of in-depth interviews and previous findings. Finally, a nine-factor, 34-item scale is developed through a widely used scale-building process. Differences with findings from the US and France are discussed and marketing implications are elaborated.
Published 3 March 2011

'Fit for Purpose', IJMR Research Methods Forum, Royal Society, London, 2 November 2010
Reg Baker, Mike Hall, Jeannie Arthur and Emma Morioka pp. 277–288 [Download PDF]
This article consists of the Conference Notes from four presentations made at the third Research Methods Forum. The first, by Reg Baker, describes the empirical findings from research conducted in the US on the reliability of online panels. Baker's summary includes a useful list of references to sources of more detailed information on this topic. Second, Mike Hall and Jeannie Arthur describe the methodology used in creating and managing online communities, and how these methodologies impact on the traditional role of market researchers. The third summary, by Julian Dobinson, describes how, by integrating data from different sources, BSkyB has built a comprehensive picture of its customers. Finally, Richard Ellwood spells out what ‘Fit for Purpose' means from a clientside researcher's perspective.
Published 3 March 2011

Book Review: Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer, by Léon Zurawicki
Marie-Odile Richard and Michel Laroche pp. 289–290 [Download PDF]
A book review of Neuromarketing: exploring the brain of the consumer by Léon Zurawicki. The book provides a wide panorama of neuromarketing and documents how neuroscience adds to understanding consumer behaviour. It concentrates on biometric and neurological research methods like functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and facial coding and explores real-life neuroscience studies aimed at learning about consumers’ preferences and improving product or advertising strategies.
Published 3 March 2011

Book Review: Consumer.ology: The Market Research Myth, the Truth about Consumer Behaviour and the Psychology of Shopping, by Robert Graves
Jon Chandler pp. 291–293 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at Consumer.ology by Robert Graves and intends to provide a critique of 'market research', and to offer alternatives. Graves considers misplaced faith in market research is the root cause of many commercial failures and provides a summary of some of the most important issues that confront market research, however these are not new insights. 'Solutions' to the market research that Graves condemns are in fact market research solutions and as such, while the book provides a useful checklist of the issues in MR, it is unbalanced in its approach.
Published 3 March 2011

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–12 [Download PDF]
Peter Mouncey introduces volume 53, issue 1 of the International Journal of Market Research with a focus on two recent conferences: the 2010 IJMR Research Methods Forum and The Polls in 2010: The Lessons Learned.
Published 27 January 2011

Viewpoint: To spin straw into gold? New lessons from consumer-generated content
Mariann Hardey pp. 13–15 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint article considers the lessons market research can learn from user-generated content. Taking notice of consumers is nothing new in market research; what is new is the social applications and 'infoglut' of consumer information. Market research analytics need to take a more nuanced approach to using new social media applications.
Published 27 January 2011

Qualitative data analysis software: will it ever become mainstream?
Jesús Cambra-Fierro and Alan Wilson pp. 17–24 [Download PDF]
In marketing research, the significant value of qualitative data is widely recognised. Yet, despite considerable technological advances in both analysis software and the marketing research industry, computer-aided qualitative data analysis has yet to find full acceptance. This paper reports on the context of this approach to data analysis in Spain and aims to analyse attitudes towards using specialised software for qualitative data analysis in both academic and practitioner contexts. It finds that use is low in both spheres and software providers may need to reflect on the added value of their offerings for both academics and practitioners.
Published 27 January 2011

What is an opinion anyway? Finding out what people really think
Nick Sparrow pp. 25–39 [Download PDF]
Traditional polls assume that opinions on any political or social issue can be collected simply by asking straightforward questions and recording the answers. Wrong. Many people have not carefully sifted the available information or formed a firm opinion prior to interview. Nevertheless a traditional poll counts all responses as having equal validity, however and whenever they are formed. Qualitative research, although allowing more open discussion, nevertheless exerts the same pressure on respondents to have a view. Group dynamics and the discussion guide and leader also combine to steer the group towards consensus. If only people were made to pay attention to the facts and substantive issues, as in a deliberative poll, then we would know what 'informed' public opinion would think. Trouble is, as the government has found, the answers obtained could be said to be critically dependent on the information the researchers choose to provide to respondents. This paper investigates the potential for large-scale e-Delphi polling methods, simply giving large representative samples of voters simple questions on broad topic areas to consider. Via an iterative process, the job of researcher is then to observe what views people hold and give those views back to respondents to rate and comment on. The method allows people to think about the broad subject area, express a view in their own time, if they have one, and/or respond to the views of others. We can observe which thoughts are popular and which have an infectious capability. Critically, the job of the researcher is not to ask – but to listen.
Published 27 January 2011

Using online surveys in Vietnam: An exploratory study
Phuong H. Vu and Jonas Hoffman pp. 41–62 [Download PDF]
Although online surveys have become an important quantitative research method throughout the world, thanks to their relative low cost and high speed, their application in marketing research in emerging countries is still limited due to infrastructure and sociocultural barriers. This exploratory study assesses the potential for the deployment and use in the South-East Asian emerging country of Vietnam. Results suggest that the potential use of online surveys for marketing research in Vietnam is at the moment limited to companies, and to young and high-income social classes. All things being equal, the conditions necessary for online surveys to be successfully used in a country such as Vietnam are still five to seven years in the future. The paper discusses the difficulties in applying this survey method, and gives recommendations on how to adapt the online surveys method for use in present-day Vietnam.
Published 27 January 2011

It's not kids' play! Reflecting on the child-orientated research experience
Stacey Baxter pp. 63–74 [Download PDF]
Marketers are interested in the knowledge, opinions, attitudes and behaviours of today's young consumers. This paper explores the nature of child-orientated survey research by means of an unstructured observational study. A total of 376 children between the ages of 7 and 12 participated in a study that examined consumer knowledge and behaviour. Participant's behaviour was observed during the questionnaire administration process with four primary issues being noted: group management, peer interaction, the ability to maintain interest and the desire to be 'correct'. When using a self-completed questionnaire, it is suggested that the administration group size should be limited to eight children, questionnaire length should be limited to approximately 100 items or 10 to 15 minutes' completion time, and questionnaires should be collected immediately after completion.
Published 27 January 2011

Improving response rates in web surveys with default setting: the effects of default on web survey participation and permission
Liyin Jin pp. 75–94 [Download PDF]
Researchers are increasingly using internet instruments such as email and online surveys as data-collection methods. However, web survey response rates are fairly low, which threatens the efficiency of web surveys. To use web surveys to gather data effectively, it is thus critical to improve the response rate of participants without compromising the low-cost advantage of this approach. The goal of this study is to explore the effects of default settings on consumers' web survey participation with a series of online field experiments. The findings are as follows. First, default settings affect respondents' choice of online survey participation. Compared with the 'no default' condition, nearly 25% more respondents chose to take a longer survey when 'taking longer survey' was set as the default option. Second, survey length influences respondents' willingness to participate in a future survey. Respondents who took longer surveys were more likely to accept an invitation to participate in a future survey. Third, default settings and survey length create a significant interaction effect that drives participation. Default effects are stronger when respondents have participated in a short survey instead of a long one. Finally, in the context of a web-based survey, default settings change both consumer participation and email invitations permission rates due to the 'trade-off aversion' principle.
Published 27 January 2011

In search of the sources of brand personality
Natalia Maehle and Magne Supphellen pp. 95–114 [Download PDF]
Since Aaker's (1997) seminal article, in which a general measurement scale of brand personality was developed and tested, research on brand personality has burgeoned. However, there are still important gaps in the literature. The primary focus of previous studies has been either on understanding the effects of brand personality or on measurement issues. There is little research on how brand personalities are formed, a fundamental issue for marketers. To fill this gap, we identify in two studies the potential sources of brand personality, and assess their relevance for forming different brand personality dimensions. The pattern of results across studies provides a general framework for selecting the most relevant sources for each of five dimensions of the Aaker's brand personality concept: sincerity, competence, sophistication, excitement and ruggedness.
Published 27 January 2011

Association for Survey Computing (ASC): 'Pizzazz in Reserch: Renewing the Rules of Engagement', Imperial College, London, 30 September 2011
Mike Cooke, Alex Johnson, Guy Rolfe and Ken Parker pp. 115–125 [Download PDF]
The theme of this conference covered the issues facing researchers today in engaging with respondents and clients, and how technologies can help provide new solutions. Four presentations from the conference are summarised below, covering different perspectives on the overall theme. The first, by Mike Cooke, and based on his opening Keynote presentation, focuses on engaging potential respondents in online quantitative research, and how researchers need to respond to this challenge. The second summary, by Alex Johnson and Guy Rolfe, describes how Kantar has developed a holistic approach to online research methodologies, setting out why researchers need to harness the expertise of specialists outside the research market sector in developing methods to engage consumers, especially through the burgeoning mobile channels. Third, Ken Parker argues the case for online qualitative research, and how methodologies compare with traditional offline methods. Finally, Tim Macer describes developments in presentation technologies that can be used instead of PowerPoint to engage clients.
Published 27 January 2011

Book Review: The DNA of Customer Experience: How Emotions Drive Value, by Colin Shaw
Peter Mouncey pp. 127–129 [Download PDF]
This book review looks at the third book by Colin Shaw, founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy (an international consultancy focusing on customer experience), on how to build better experiences for customers. It looks at the importance of emotion as part of the customer experience and asks why some companies see understanding the emotional side of the customer experience as an opportunity for differentiation, whilst others don't and what the financial value is from focusing on emotion as the driver for building a brand.
Published 27 January 2011

Book Review: The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
Bobby Duffy pp. 130–132 [Download PDF]
This book review of 'The Spirit Level' is based on the idea that inequality is not only bad for those at the bottom but for whole countries, states or societies. The authors present a host of evidence, mainly from a 23-country international study and across all US states, to show that the greater the level of inequality in any particular country/state, the worse the outcomes are across issues from health, crime, the environment, feelings of community for all social or income grades. However, the book has some significant flaws, including evidence that is sometimes weak, causation sometimes assumed and conflicting evidence is not addressed.
Published 27 January 2011


Volume 52 (2010)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 703–710 [Download PDF]
Discusses a recent ASC/MRS meeting on whether or not technology is "killing" the survey, Coca-Cola's recent decision to introduce pay-for-performance in market research procurement, the announcement that global giants such as Vodafone, PepsiCo and SAP are responding to the growing dependence of marketing on technology by fusing their marketing and IT functions under a Chief Marketing Technology Officer. The editorial also provides a synopsis of papers contained in this issue of IJMR.
Published 31 October 2010

Viewpoint: The case for public service market research
Ed Mayo pp. 711–713 [Download PDF]
This paper argues for MR becoming more of a "force for social progress", along the lines of public service broadcasting. It recommends collaborations such as those already being undertaken by researchers and public health agencies such as the Center for Disease Control in the US and the National Health Service in the UK. But this is still best practice, not common practice. Information can be a public good and not just a private gain, the paper concludes.
Published 31 October 2010

The use of the concept test study in writing a series of bestselling academic books
Chua Yan Piaw pp. 715–729 [Download PDF]
Market research is important in helping publishers to understand the needs of the book market, while the concept test is important in helping authors to understand the needs of readers. This author conducted a concept test study before writing a series of research reference books. The study was carried out to identify the content, the prices and the physical aspects of the books. Based on the results of the study, this author wrote a research book series consisting of 58 chapters. The books were published by McGraw-Hill Education between 2006 and 2008. The book series has been widely used by researchers, educators and students in local higher educational institutions and is one of McGraw-Hill’s bestselling series (McGraw-Hill 2008). This paper presents the study, and shows how the results of market research could be used as the basis for writing a successful book.
Published 31 October 2010

Exploring market barriers
Saahier Parker, Belinda Don and Kyle McLoughlin pp. 731–756 [Download PDF]
This paper shows how the market barriers that brands face can be measured in combination with attitudinal equity to produce a close estimation of market share and a means to determine the relative success individual brands are having in dealing with business challenges in a common market. Through analysis of a Synovate database holding results of several hundred surveys employing a market barrier question and attitudinal equity questions, this paper explores the impact of market barriers across countries and across product type categories. Particular reference is made to the retail, automotive and fmcg category for comparative purposes.
Published 31 October 2010

Qualis? The qualitative understanding of essence
Chis Barnham pp. 757–773 [Download PDF]
This paper challenges the commonly held view that qualitative research emerged from modern psychology, and argues that it has much older origins in western thought. By identifying its philosophical roots and, in particular, how the word ‘qualis?’ sheds light on the underlying assumptions of qualitative research, this paper argues that we can find its theoretical heartland in the exploration and understanding of essences. This paper goes on to argue that brands can be understood in a specifically qualitative way for the very reason that they are examples of such essences. This explains why, despite frequently voiced concerns regarding the validity of qualitative research, it remains an effective methodology in marketing contexts.
Published 31 October 2010

Machines that learn how to code open-ended survey data
Andrea Esuli and Fabrizio Sebastiani pp. 775–800 [Download PDF]
We describe an industrial-strength software system for automatically coding open-ended survey responses. The system is based on a learning metaphor, whereby automated verbatim coders are automatically generated by a generalpurpose process that learns, from a user-provided sample of manually coded verbatims, the characteristics that new, uncoded verbatims should have in order to be attributed the codes in the codeframe. In this paper we discuss the basic workings of this software and present the results of experiments we have run on several datasets of real respondent data, in which we have compared the accuracy of the software against the accuracy of human coders.
Published 31 October 2010

The concept of engagement: a systematic analysis of the ongoing marketing debate
Rossella C. Gambetti and Guendalina Graffigna pp. 801–826 [Download PDF]
Consumer engagement is emerging as a central concern in brand management strategies. Nonetheless, the concept is new in market research and has been dealt with so far in widely differing and sometimes contradictory ways in both the academic and professional literature, so understanding the true nature of engagement is now both timely and necessary. The basic aim of this study is to outline and explore the different perspectives in the current debate on engagement by conducting an exploratory and systematic content analysis (using purpose-designed T-lab software) of the concept of engagement in the marketing and communication literature, both academic and professional. The results of the analysis raise urgent managerial and methodological issues relating to the concept and practice of engagement, and point to future research directions aimed at a broader and deeper understanding of the concept.
Published 31 October 2010

Using partial profile choice experiments to handle large numbers of attributes
Keith Chrzan pp. 827–840 [Download PDF]
Introduced by Chrzan & Elrod (1994) as a method for discrete choice experiments to handle large numbers of attributes, partial profile conjoint experiments (PPCE) were subsequently shown to have several benefits. As predicted, PPCE simplifies the respondent task enough to allow experiments with large numbers of attributes. In fact, PPCE makes the respondent task so easy that it results in a substantial net reduction in estimation error relative to full profile discrete choice experiments. Further, PPCE produces choice models with utilities similar to those of full profile discrete choice experiments (after adjusting for differences in scale parameters) and with equal or greater predictive validity. The current empirical study replicates these earlier findings while uncovering another benefit for PPCE: the robustness of its utility estimation in the presence of dominating attributes.
Published 31 October 2010

Book Review: Conducting Research with Children and Adolescents: design, Methods and Empirical Cases, by Julie Tinson
Agnes Nairn pp. 841–842 [Download PDF]
Review of Conducting research with children and adolescents: design, methods and empirical cases, by Julie Tinson. The book is aimed at students conducting research with children and adolescents for a final-year undergraduate or master's dissertation in business, social sciences, education or health. It is described as a valuable addition to any university library and its checklist approach will be extremely helpful to dissertation students conducting research with children and adolescents.
Published 31 October 2010

Book Review: Cult of Analytics: Driving Online Marketing Strategies Using Web Analytics, by Steve Jackson
Hilary Catherine Murphy pp. 842–844 [Download PDF]
Review of Cult of analytics, driving online marketing strategies using web analytics, by Steve Jackson. The book discusses a framework, REAN (reach, engage, activate and nurture), that the author has developed over the years to instil a 'web analytics culture' within an organisation. To Jackson, there 'is a fundamental lack of analytics culture and the natural forces that stand in the way of change for the better need to be addressed'.
Published 31 October 2010

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 553–560 [Download PDF]
This editorial pays tribute to Andrew Ehrenberg and Lord Andrew McIntosh, both market researchers who died shortly before the issue went to press. It also offers synopses of the papers in the latest IJMR issue.
Published 30 September 2010

Viewpoint: A productive future for research
Nick Coates and Simon Lidington pp. 561–563 [Download PDF]
A short paper on what the authors see as a "substansive shift in emphasis" among market researchers - driven by the digital revolution and the growing popularity of neuroscience-based techniques - away from reducing real-life findings to a neat, "containable summary" and towards these real-life emotional responses, with all their "messiness". Market researchers are seen as "connectors as well as deep divers", and "flow-makers as well as chaos-containers".
Published 30 September 2010

Effect of a promised donation to charity on survey response
Philip Gendall and Benjamin Healey pp. 565–577 [Download PDF]
The promise of a donation to charity has had mixed effects as a response incentive in postal surveys. In the study reported here, the promise of $2 or $5 donated to charity increased postal survey response by a small, non-significant amount, but a $1 donation was ineffective. Nevertheless, it appears that promising a donation to charity may sometimes be effective, particularly among women, where the expected increase in response could be four or five percentage points, and in surveys with a social rather than a commercial focus. If a promised donation to charity is used as a survey incentive, it is better to specify the charity to which the donation will be made, or to limit the choice to two or three options, rather than give respondents the option of nominating the charity of their choice.
Published 30 September 2010

Applications of simulated annealing in market research
Trevor Sharot pp. 579–592 [Download PDF]
Simulated annealing (SA) is a statistical optimisation method with a wide variety of applications. The best known of these is the travelling salesman problem in operations research: a salesman has to visit a number of clients in different towns in a single trip – in which order should he make the calls to minimise the total distance travelled? With more than a small number of towns, the number of permutations is too large to permit an exhaustive search, so some method is required to find the optimum without excessive computation.
Published 30 September 2010

Eye-tracking information processing in choice-based conjoint analysis
Martin Meißner and Reinhold Decker pp. 593–612 [Download PDF]
Choice models are a common tool in market research for quantifying the influence of product attributes on consumer decisions. Process tracing techniques, on the other hand, try to answer the question of how people process information and make decisions in choice tasks. This paper suggests a combination of both approaches for in-depth investigations of consumer decision processes in preference measurement by means of choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis. We discuss different process tracing techniques and propose an attribute-specific strategy measure for the analysis of CBC results. In our empirical study we eye-track respondents evaluating CBC choice tasks for single-cup coffee brewers. On the basis of several hypotheses we illustrate the benefits of simultaneously recording eye-tracking information for market research.
Published 30 September 2010

An examination of regional differences in China by socio-cultural factors
Hyeon Jeong Cho, Byoungho Jin and Hira Cho pp. 613–633 [Download PDF]
Regional differences exist in every country in the world. Unlike most developed countries, though, income disparity across regions and cultural diversity within China are critical. Considering the strategic importance of the Chinese market and the increasing competition within the country, an understanding of the regional differences within China will help to establish more refined branding strategies. The purpose of this study was to explore regional differences within China in consumption behaviors and in selected socio-cultural factors. Findings with 747 responses obtained from Beijing (north), Shanghai (east), and Guangzhou (south) revealed that Beijing consumers showed the least social pressure, the most exposure to global mass media, and both self-oriented and other-oriented values, compared to Guangzhou and Shanghai consumers. Cultural openness was found to be the most significant factor to differentiate the cities. The ownership of foreign brand jeans was higher for consumers in Guangzhou than for consumers in the other cities.
Published 30 September 2010

The double jeopardy loyalty effect using discrete choice models
José Maria Labeaga-Azcona, Nora Lado-Cousté and Mercedes Martos-Partal pp. 635–654 [Download PDF]
This paper analyses the double jeopardy loyalty effect on a utility framework using a discrete choice approach instead of the Dirichlet model. We specify brand choice, allowing differences in the brand-loyalty measures across brands in two product categories. The discrete-choice model formulations are the multinomial logit model and the latent class multinomial logit model. The models are estimated on ACNielsen household scanner panel data. We find that market share leaders enjoy higher purchasing loyalty than lower market share brands. Further research should explore these findings across product categories.
Published 30 September 2010

Personal aspirations and the consumption of luxury goods
Yann Truong pp. 655–673 [Download PDF]
Past research has rarely included both intrinsic and extrinsic aspirations antecedents in predicting luxury consumption, and most studies have assumed that conspicuous antecedents are predominant in consumers’ motivations. The objective of this study is to build and test a model of the effects of extrinsic and intrinsic personal aspirations on consumer decision making in the luxury goods market. The findings of the study, conducted in France, show that extrinsic aspirations are more strongly related to conspicuous consumption than to quality search and self-directed pleasure, suggesting that extrinsically motivated consumers buy luxury brands mainly, but not wholly, as part of conspicuous consumption behaviour. However, intrinsic aspirations are much more strongly related to self-directed pleasure and quality search than are extrinsically aspirations, suggesting that these consumers are more focused on their own pleasure of ownership than on the display of conspicuous consumption. The findings suggest that practitioners should take into consideration both types of consumer motivation in the design of their marketing campaigns, in order to increase audience reach and improve brand loyalty in the long run. It is also recommended that market researchers adapt current segmentation and brand measurement tools to include intrinsic motivations.
Published 30 September 2010

Lessons from the polls: retrospective views on the performance of the opinion polls conducted in the run-up to the 2010 UK General Election
Adam Phillips; John Curtice and Nick Sparrow; Paul Whiteley, Harold Clarke, David Sanders and Marianne Stewart; Nick Moon pp. 675–696 [Download PDF]
This article is a composite postscript following on from the papers published in recent editions of IJMR in response to the Call for Papers ‘Researching Voting Intentions’. None of these perspectives has been subjected to peer review. First, as an introduction, Adam Phillips recalls the 1992 election and his decision as the then Chairman of the MRS to commission an investigation into the failure of the polls to predict a Conservative victory. Phillips’ recollections underline the importance for the whole market research sector of ensuring that any discrepancies between the predicted and actual result are put under the microscope. The key recommendations from that investigation, quoted by Phillips, make interesting reading in the light of the other contributions. And, as John Curtice and Nick Sparrow describe in their analysis of the polls’ performance, a follow-up to their paper published in IJMR 52, 3, there is still a further need to investigate the weighting, and sampling, methods used by the polling companies in the light of the general failure to predict the collapse of the Lib Dem vote. Paul Whiteley, Harold Clarke, David Sanders and Marianne Stewart shed some light on this, using data from the British Election Survey, which show how the good intentions of younger voters to exercise their franchise didn’t translate into actual behaviour, and how this disproportionately affected the Lib Dems on the night. Finally, Nick Moon reminds us how the opinion polling methodological landscape has changed since 1992 – with new entrants to the market and the use of the internet – and how this has, and has not, impacted on the results in 2010. Overall, these contributions are part of an ongoing story, but if the current coalition government lasts its full term, it will be five years before the pollsters are once again put to the ultimate test. By then, the landscape will no doubt have changed again, but the key statistical principles that underpin sound research methodology will, it is hoped, remain
Published 30 September 2010

Book Review: The Satisfied Customer, by Claes Fornell
Justin Gutmann pp. 697–699 [Download PDF]
A book review of The Satisfied Customer, by Claes Fornell. The book focusses on customer satisfaction measurement; these data, it is argued, offer considerable insight for advertisers concerned with financial metrics such as profitability and shareholder value.
Published 30 September 2010

Book Review: The Paradox of Choice, Why More is Less, by Barry Schwartz
Michael Marck pp. 699–701 [Download PDF]
A review of The paradox of choice, why more is less, by Barry Schwartz. The book provides a review of how consumers’ purchase decisions are impacted by the quantities of choices.
Published 30 September 2010

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 419–425 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey looks ahead to the IJMR Research Methods Forum 2010, discusses the comparison between voting intentions and results from the UK General Election and also introduces the topics covered for IJMR issue 52,4.
Published 15 July 2010

Viewpoint: Existentialism - a school of thought based on a conception of the absurdity of the universe
Malcolm McDonald pp. 427–430 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Malcolm McDonald discusses the problems and difficulties inherent in market segmentation and how this affects the market research discipline.
Published 15 July 2010

Viewpoint: Incorporating demographics into discrete choice analysis: a brief comment
Juan de Dios Ortúzar pp. 431–432 [Download PDF]
Juan de Dios Ortzar comments on the article by Robert E. Carter from IJMR 52(3).
Published 15 July 2010

Do growing brands win younger consumers?
Katherine Anderson and Byron Sharp pp. 433–441 [Download PDF]
Are young consumers easier to attract? We shed some light on the presumption that younger consumers are less loyal to brands and more willing than older consumers to try new brands. Analysis of 230 brands from 12 categories revealed a tendency for new and growing brands to skew towards younger consumers. This suggests that younger consumers are slightly easier for brands to attract. The most plausible explanation is that younger consumers are more likely to be new buyers of the category. We therefore caution that our results do not support a marketing strategy strongly targeting younger consumers. If a brand grows, then it is likely to attract a slightly disproportionate number of younger consumers. However, it does not follow that, if it seeks largely to attract younger consumers, it will grow.
Published 15 July 2010

The effects of product-harm crisis on brand performance
Baolong Ma, Lin Zhang, Fei Li and Gao Wang pp. 443–458 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this paper is to offer a better understanding of the effects of product-harm crisis on a brand’s performance and market structure. This research is based on panel data on milk powder sales during the Nestlé product-harm crisis in China. The NBD-Dirichlet model is used to evaluate the performance of Nestlé and other leading milk powder brands before, during and after the crisis. Our data show that product-harm crises disturb the market structure and change customer behaviour. While a product-harm crisis had a negative effect on Nestlé’s brand performance, it created opportunities for other brands. Overall, our analysis shows that the NBD-Dirichlet model is a valid tool for monitoring the performance changes of both crisis brand and other non-crisis brands during a product-harm crisis. The managerial implications are also discussed.
Published 15 July 2010

Product usage and firm-generated word of mouth: some results from FMCG product trials
Alain Samson pp. 459–482 [Download PDF]
Theory and past research suggests that greater levels of consumer involvement and product usage lead to higher levels of word of mouth (WOM). This paper presents some tests of hypotheses related to product usage and WOM, based on secondary consumer panel data from five fmcg product trials. The main findings are that brand usage range within a product category has a pervasive effect on pre-trial intentions to recommend the trialled product, as well as the actual number of WOM conversations generated by the trial and their effectiveness (the rate of attitudinal conversion based on interest generated). Frequency of product use only significantly affects the number of WOM conversations. Second, compared to non-users, being a loyal user of the trialled product (having used the brand more frequently than other brands) has a negative effect on WOM effectiveness, while non-loyal users’ WOM is more effective compared to that of loyal users. The study thereby provides more evidence that loyal users are not necessarily the best targets of WOM marketing campaigns, and suggests that research on the interaction between involvement or product usage and loyalty in relation to firm-generated WOM may be an interesting area of further research.
Published 15 July 2010

Quantification of transcripts from depth interviews, open ended responses and focus groups: Challenges, accomplishments, new applications and perspectives for market research
Marcus Schmidt pp. 483–509 [Download PDF]
Statistical software programs have enriched the analysis of text from depth interviews, open-ended responses and focus group transcripts. This paper addresses some of the most important problems involved in quantification of text, and suggests practical solutions. It presents new ways of employing multivariate analysis and data mining for the analysis of marketing-related textual information. Rule-based webs and multiple correspondence analysis may improve the researcher’s insight into a problem and reveal patterns of association inaccessible to traditional qualitative research methods like grounded theory. It is shown that even a relatively simple word count of a focus group uncovers gender-specific differences in the use of words. The paper argues that such dissimilarities can be used for a more efficient targeting of promotional campaigns.
Published 15 July 2010

Statistical alchemy - the misuse of factor scores in linear regression
Cataldo Zuccaro pp. 511–531 [Download PDF]
Linear regression and factor analysis are probably the most employed statistical techniques in market research. During the last several decades these two techniques have been employed jointly by market researchers in modelling a wide spectrum of behavioural and psychological phenomena. More specifically, market researchers have employed factor scores as predictor (independent) variables to model the ‘variability’ of a variety of constructs (latent variables). Many of these studies can be classified as ‘modified psychometric investigations’ of the link between ‘supposedly latent structures’ and a wide variety of manifest and latent dependent (criterion) variables. Unfortunately, this standard market research practice is inappropriate and can lead to faulty analyses and recommendations; in addition, it is still employed today by academicians and professional market researchers. The objective of this paper is to demonstrate, on both mathematical and ontological grounds, the inappropriateness of the exercise and to recommend more robust practices in attempting to model the relationships between a set of latent variables measured through factor structures.
Published 15 July 2010

The heterogeneous best-worst choice method in market research
Susana Tavares, Margarida Cardoso and José G. Dias pp. 533–546 [Download PDF]
Although there are several methods to assess the relative importance of the attributes in decision making, the mainstream approach has been the direct method (DM). However, this method, which rates attributes directly, has been criticised, mainly because it does not take into account heterogeneity in the responses. This paper presents the heterogeneous best-worst choice (HBW) method as an alternative to the DM. We illustrate this approach with an application in educational marketing, focusing on the most relevant attributes influencing undergraduate students choosing a business school. The results show that the HBW allows for more heterogeneity in the response patterns, which are similar to those estimated by the DM.
Published 15 July 2010

Book Review: Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II
Beverly Wagner pp. 547–549 [Download PDF]
In her book review, Beverly Wagner reads the book co-authored by James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II, who previously worked together on "The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre and Every Business a Stage". Their latest "how-to" book is targeted at CEOs and product and brand managers, providing examples and strategies to differentiate companies in a cluttered and mass commoditised marketplace.
Published 15 July 2010

Book Review: From Prime Time to My Time: Audience Measurement in the Digital Age, by Andrew Green
Alan Wilson pp. 549–550 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson reviews Andrew Green's book on the craft of media research. It covers the many changes in media platforms, content and business models and what the implications have been in marketing. Included are chapters relating to print media, out of home (poster), radio, television, internet and mobile.
Published 15 July 2010

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 275–282 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey recognises that the UK General Election will have taken place and introduces the completion of coverage on research into voting intentions. He also introduces the topics covered for IJMR issue 52,3 2010.
Published 1 May 2010

Viewpoint: Opinion Polls - less of a problem for research, more of a teaching aid
Nick Moon pp. 283–284 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Nick Moon reviews the use of polls to predict the outcomes of UK General Elections and how the media convey the results.
Published 1 May 2010

The ESRC Survey Resources Network: Opportunities for the advancement of survey methods
Peter Lynn and Bob Erens pp. 285–294 [Download PDF]
This article describes a new initiative, the Survey Resources Network (SRN). The SRN is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), initially for a period of three years, which began in November 2008, but with an expectation that funding will be renewed. The SRN provides training opportunities and practical resources for survey researchers as well as promoting best practice in survey design and implementation. To support these roles, the SRN coordinates methodological research funded by the ESRC, and provides strategic oversight of survey methodological developments. This article outlines the activities of the SRN and ways in which market researchers might benefit from, and contribute to, them.
Published 1 May 2010

Research with children and schools: a researcher's recipe for successful access
Katja Jezkova Isaksen and Stuart Roper pp. 293–308 [Download PDF]
Despite the growing literature surrounding child research, little has been written about how to access samples of children – specifically within schools. For this reason, this paper aims to highlight potential barriers to access and provide practical guidance for child researchers wishing to work with schools. The guidance given is drawn from the experience of a doctoral researcher in a UK university, examining ‘the social and psychological impact of branding on adolescents’. Over the course of three years, over 60 schools were contacted, 13 accessed and data collected from over 1000 teenagers (13–15 year olds). The data collected were of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, and the sample size required ranged from four to 500 participants. Through a series of anecdotes and examples, this paper aims to equip (specifically novice) researchers with the essential knowledge needed to maximise their chances of access. This knowledge includes practical advice surrounding who to contact, how best to contact them, what to expect from them and, importantly, what can go wrong when working with schools as institutions.
Published 1 May 2010

"Spiral of silence" in election campaigns in post-communist society: (A case of Belarus)
Oleg Manaev, Natalie Manayeva and Dzmitry Yuran pp. 309–328 [Download PDF]
This article analyses the ‘spiral of silence’ as a mechanism of political communication in post-Communist Belarus in the cases of the presidential elections in 2001 and the general election in 2008, using methods of public opinion polls and content analysis of Belarusian state-run press. The authors argue that the phenomenon of the ‘spiral of silence’ – a classic problem in political communication – has some important peculiarities in the case of authoritarian post-Communist societies. On the one hand, authorities use mass media as an instrument of political control, mainly control of public opinion, especially during important political campaigns (elections and referenda). On the other hand, post-Communist society has an ‘additional precondition’ for the effectiveness of this mechanism: contrary to democratic societies (in both developed and developing countries), people in this society have much less cultural and psychological heritage of resistance to pressure from the majority due to the dominance of the principles of collectivism and unity.
Published 1 May 2010

Agenda development for marketing research: the user's voice
Deborah Roberts and Richard Adams pp. 329–352 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this paper is to articulate a research agenda for marketing, addressing the interests of the practitioner community, as well as academic researchers. That is, one that we believe the marketing research community is in a strong position to champion and influence. The agenda is developed from an innovative consultative initiative that brought together academics and marketing practitioners, including members of the Market Research Society (MRS), over an extensive period. Drawing on consultations with managers and professionals in marketing practice, we scoped out and developed an understanding of the challenges confronting contemporary marketing practitioners, presented in the paper as eight research themes. This paper highlights the challenges facing contemporary managers in marketing, and shows where research attention is needed, along with where future investigation would best serve the concerns of practice as well as theory. Additionally, it provides some reflections on the implications of our process and outcomes for research in marketing and of our chosen mode of user involvement for relationships between the worlds of academe and practice.
Published 1 May 2010

How far can you rely on a concept test: the generalizability of testing over occasions
Ling Peng and Adam Finn pp. 353–372 [Download PDF]
In practice, product managers have to assume consumer evaluations of concepts generalise from the time (and research environment) of concept testing to the time (and market environment) of market introduction. However, little is known about the temporal stability or generalisability of the results of concept testing over occasions. Rarely have concept-testing studies incorporated testing of the same concepts on the same respondents on more than one occasion. This research investigates the importance of occasions as a source of error variance in estimates of the generalisability of concept test scores for both minor and major innovations within the context of Generalisability theory. The study collected concept evaluations of ten innovations from members of an online panel on three occasions, approximately a month apart. The results show that the three-way interaction among subjects, concepts and occasions is a substantial contributor to variation in concept testing of both major and minor innovations, with the contribution for major innovations even more substantial than for minor innovations. Moreover, failure to recognize occasions as an explicit source of variance in the generalisability analyses will lead managers to overestimate the generalisability of their decision studies. However, the impact of neglecting occasions varies by purpose of measurement and associated object of measurement. This research provides insight about how well concept testing can generalise over occasions. Concept test evaluations provided on an initial exposure are more favourable than will be received on any later occasions, and apparent differences in consumer evaluations of a particular concept in an initial test do not provide a generalisable basis for identifying which consumers will respond most favourably to it on a later occasion. For concept testing to be used for targeting or segmentation, more occasions will need to be sampled.
Published 1 May 2010

Dimensions of relationship marketing in business-to-business financial services
Edwin Theron and Nic S. Terblanche pp. 373–392 [Download PDF]
Relationship marketing (RM) is frequently employed by firms to improve their dealings with customers. Despite the absence of a universally acceptable definition of RM, it has gained considerable interest and application in business-to-business (B2B) industries since the 1990s. The purpose of this paper is to report on the dimensions that were identified by RM managers of a major B2B financial services provider as important in establishing and managing long-term marketing relationships. The Analytic Hierarchical Process (AHP) method was used to identify the most important dimensions. An initial pool of 23 dimensions of RM was identified in the marketing literature, and this pool of dimensions was reduced to 10 after the empirical study. The study found that particular dimensions are more important than others when relationships are established, and that trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication are the most important dimensions. Further dimensions identified as important in the B2B financial services industry are competence, relationship benefits, bonding, customisation, attractiveness of alternatives and shared values. The findings are valuable for the continual management of marketing relationships with customers.
Published 1 May 2010

Incorporating demographics into discrete choice analyses
Robert E. Carter pp. 393–406 [Download PDF]
Discrete choice experiments are analysed using multinomial logit models. One key trait of these models is that independent variables are usually based on alternative related characteristics, such as the price of different options or the commute time for different travel alternatives. Respondent level characteristics, or demographics, are not typically included as independent variables or moderating constructs since these parameters do not vary across options in a choice set and, as such, do not impact the corresponding choice probabilities. To address this weakness, the objective of the current paper is to share a practical and usable approach to incorporate demographic variables as moderating constructs in discrete choice experiments and multinomial logit models. This approach requires the computation of a new variable representing the interaction between the focal demographic variable and an alternative related characteristic. For illustrative purposes, this procedure is applied to hypothetical transportation data.
Published 1 May 2010

Book Review: Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking will Transform your Life, Work and World, by Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta
Alan Wilson pp. 406–408 [Download PDF]
Alan Bell reviews the book by Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta, which is about online social networks such as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, and the manner in which they are changing lives and organisations. Structured into three parts, it looks at the impact of these sites on personal identities, status and the impact of on the exercise of power in social relations, organisations, markets and political institutions. The themes of identity, status and power run through the wide-ranging anecdotes and case studies that make up a large part of this book.
Published 1 May 2010

Issue 2 +

The UK general election
Peter Mouncey pp. 143–150 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey looks ahead to the UK General Election and the findings of the opinion polls. He also introduces the topics covered for IJMR issue 52,2 2010.
Published 1 April 2010

Viewpoint: Getting back in the frame
Trevor Sharot pp. 151–153 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Trevor Sharot discusses the history of surveying for market research and the difficulties that are posed modern-day.
Published 1 April 2010

Ethics in practice: using compliance techniques to boost telephone response rates
David H.B. Bednall, Stewart Adam and Katrine Plocinski pp. 155–168 [Download PDF]
Survey researchers face declining response rates, due to lower contactability and more selective cooperation by potential respondents. Commercial market research companies are under even greater pressure than academic researchers as most commercial surveys do not have high social status. Several persuasion techniques to enhance cooperation have been used in academic surveys, though some of them might be considered unethical. Given the commercial pressures of time and cost, this study investigated the extent to which market research companies favoured these persuasion techniques. A survey of fieldwork managers in companies operating in Australia was conducted, along with qualitative research. It was found that some techniques were unacceptable as they threatened long-term relationships with the public, some were impractical and others were useful, but not for all surveys.
Published 1 April 2010

The past matters: eliminating the pro-Labour bias in British opinion polls
John Curtice and Nick Sparrow pp. 169–189 [Download PDF]
Opinion polls in Britain display a persistent tendency to overestimate Labour’s share of the vote in the ballot box. This appears to arise from failure to secure a politically representative sample and to estimate accurately who will actually vote. We argue that, despite some potential pitfalls, polls based on fresh cross-section samples have to engage in weighting by recalled past vote choice and recalled past turnout in order to overcome these problems.
Published 1 April 2010

Researching behavioural differences among ethnic minority groups: the case for inferring ethnicity on the basis of people's names
Richard Webber pp. 191–215 [Download PDF]
This paper reviews the growing use of personal and family names as a basis for inferring ethnicity, for researching behavioural differences among ethnic groups, and as a basis for market segmentation. It argues that, in the UK, ethnicity is used in market research to a lesser degree than is warranted by the extent of behavioural differences between ethnic groups. The reasons for this are held to include the impact of the inclusion of an ethnicity question on response, the difficulty in generating sufficient numbers of records to support the analysis of categories, most of which represent small proportions of the total population, the propensity of some consumers to belong to multiple categories and difficulties in establishing the relative size of different ethnic segments in base populations. The paper then contrasts the way in which commercial and public-sector organisations currently use ethnicity data, concluding that ethnicity is more often researched to assist compliance with diversity legislation than to deliver genuine insights of the sort that result in improved customer service. Then follows an explanation of the methodology whereby consumers can be classified on the basis of their personal and family names. The UK’s British National Party and a research project resulting in reductions in the inappropriate use of accident and emergency services are used as case studies. The paper then considers how effectively a classification based on names overcomes the problems previously cited as constraining the successful use of ethnicity as a survey demographic. The paper concludes by suggesting the vertical markets in which name-based classification offers organisations the best opportunity for improving their reputation among minority ethnic groups as a result of a better understanding of their particular needs.
Published 1 April 2010

Media placement versus advertising execution
Edward C. Malthouse and Bobby J. Calder pp. 217–230 [Download PDF]
We make three contributions towards understanding how engagement with the surrounding editorial context affects reactions to ads. First, while previous studies have shown that respondent-level engagement affects ads, we argue that vehicle-level engagement is more relevant to placement decisions, and show that magazine-level engagement affects actions taken from seeing an ad. Second, we compare the relative importance of engagement to the execution factors size, position and colour, and show that engagement is of comparable importance. Third, evaluations are done with more realistic procedures than previous studies and with real ads.
Published 1 April 2010

Consumer-generated versus marketer-generated websites in consumer decision making
Fred Bronner and Robert de Hoog pp. 231–248 [Download PDF]
Internet users are encouraged to rate and review all kinds of services and products. These kinds of reviews are described as eWOM (electronic word-of-mouth). Our central question is ‘Are consumers using these reviews, and what is the role of eWOM as compared with commercial-marketer-generated information and advertising on the internet?’ The vacation decision process was used as the domain of investigation, but these results are also compared with four other domains. The conclusion is that the roles of both types of site are complementary. Furthermore, it was found that, overall, positive and neutral/mixed contributions to consumer-generated websites are far more frequent than negative ones. Based on these findings, the implications for marketing and advertising strategies are sketched out: additional to existing strategies, market research has to monitor the eWOM about brands and, by using this information, companies should flexibly adapt their advertising to the discussion points raised at the consumer-generated sites.
Published 1 April 2010

Research into questionnaire design: a summary of the literature
Petra Lietz pp. 249–272 [Download PDF]
Some consider responding to survey questions as a sophisticated cognitive process whereby respondents go through, often iterative, steps to process the information provided to them by questions and response options. Others focus more on the interplay between questions and answers as a complex communication process between researchers and respondents, their assumptions, expectations and perceptions. In this article, cognitive and communication research is reviewed that has tested the impact of different question and answer alternatives on the responses obtained. This leads to evidence-based recommendations for market researchers, who frequently have to make decisions regarding various aspects of questionnaire design such as question length and order, question wording, as well as the optimal number of response options and the desirability or otherwise of a ‘don’t know’ option or a middle alternative.
Published 1 April 2010

IJMR Research Methods Forum: 'Start listening, stop asking' -- Will listening make us better communicators?
Paul Edwards pp. 273–275 [Download PDF]
Paul Edwards presents conference notes from the IJMR Research Methods Forum, discussing the use of 'listening' techniques for communications research and how it can be applied to the areas of creative development, pre-testing and evaluation. The issues of listening to a web audience are addressed.
Published 1 April 2010

IJMR Research Methods Forum: 'Start listening, stop asking' - Researchers snoopers and spies - the legal and ethical challenges facing observational research
Adam Phillips pp. 275–281 [Download PDF]
Adam Phillips presents conference notes from the IJMR Research Methods Forum, looking at the issue of ethics of observational research. He covers a brief history of the discipline and the introduction of privacy laws; then outlines the principles ESOMAR are formulating for researchers to work by.
Published 1 April 2010

Book Review: Buy.ology: truth and lies about why we buy, by Martin Lindstrom
Nigel Bradley pp. 279–281 [Download PDF]
Nigel Bradley reviews the book by Martin Lindstrom, covering research into brain activity when faced with brands.
Published 1 April 2010

Book Review: Qualitative research: good decision making through understanding people, cultures and markets, by Sheila Keegan
Nikki Bell pp. 282–283 [Download PDF]
Nikki Bell reviews the book by Sheila Keegan, which aims to highlight core skills, the latest developments in thinking and practice, and how these can be applied by organisations to shape strategy and delivery.
Published 1 April 2010

Issue 1 +

IJMR Research Methods Forum: 'Start listening, stop asking'
Peter Mouncey pp. 1–7 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey summarises the key messages from the Research Methods Forum, held at the Royal Society in London. He also introduces the topics covered for IJMR issue 52,1 2010.
Published 1 January 2010

Learn to love procurement
Louise Cretton pp. 9–10 [Download PDF]
In her editorial, Louise Cretton argues in favour of procurement in the area of market research, which at present is in its infancy. Procurement professionals are focused on two main targets: managing cost/value to the business and establishing an appropriate roster of agencies to meet business information needs. Cretton expects that procurement will only grow in influence and encourages agencies to learn to be more effective in commercial engagement.
Published 1 January 2010

Perspectives on data mining
Niall M. Adams pp. 11–20 [Download PDF]
As a data analysis technology, data mining has matured to the extent that there are now a number of sophisticated commercial software packages available. The purpose of this article is to explore what data mining has become, its relationship to statistics and its relevance in market research.
Published 1 January 2010

Do Institutions really influence political participation? Contextual influences on turnout and participation in the world's democracies
Paul Whiteley, Marianne Stewart, David Sanders and Harold Clarke pp. 21–42 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the influence of institutions and other contextual variables in a set of individual-level models of political participation, using a multi-level modelling strategy. It uses data from Citizenship Survey of the International Social Survey Programme conducted in 2004, to model relationships in many of the world’s democracies. It examines the effects of variables that have been shown to be important in aggregate-level models of turnout, such as the effective number of parties, the distortions in representation associated with the electoral system, and the size of districts. It compares the institutional measures with other contextual variables that arise from rival models of individual-level political participation. The institutional variables have a modest impact on individual level turnout, but their impact is much less important in relation to other types of participation. For the latter, non-institutional contextual variables arising from models of political participation appear to be more important.
Published 1 January 2010

Consumer-based brand equity conceptualisation and measurement: a literature review
George Christodoulides and Leslie de Chernatony pp. 43–66 [Download PDF]
Although there is a large body of research on brand equity, little in terms of a literature review has been published on this since Feldwick’s (1996) paper. To address this gap, this paper brings together the scattered literature on consumerbased brand equity’s conceptualisation and measurement. Measures of consumerbased brand equity are classified as either direct or indirect. Indirect measures assess consumer-based brand equity through its demonstrable dimensions and are superior from a diagnostic level. The paper concludes with directions for future research and managerial pointers for setting up a brand equity measurement system.
Published 1 January 2010

The importance of social motives for watching and interacting with digital television
Steven Bellman, Anika Schweda and Duane Varan pp. 67–87 [Download PDF]
Contrary to a key assumption of the TV industry, interaction with digital interactive TV (iTV) programmes and ads is driven as much by social motivations as it is by information seeking. This insight was revealed by a survey of a representative sample of 867 digital TV households in the UK, which has one of the largest and most experienced digital iTV audiences in the world. This new survey used a comprehensive but efficient set of motivation items, so that no important motivations were left out, which may explain why social motivations emerged as important in this study, whereas they have not been in studies of traditional TV watching. Suggestions are made for how marketers and programme producers can make iTV content that appeals to viewers who are motivated by social needs.
Published 1 January 2010

Whose design is it anyway? Priming designer and shifting preferences
Gorm Gabrielsen, Tore Kristensen and Judith Lynne Zaichkowsky pp. 89–110 [Download PDF]
A series of studies is presented which investigates preference among similar but different designs within a product category. The variables of price, brand name and ‘priming designer’ are shown to shift preferences. Without brand names, consumers prefer a well-designed object. When supplied with information about brand names and designer, they may shift their preferences to designs they believe are ‘designer’ brands, even when the actual design is not.
Published 1 January 2010

Purchasing behaviour in an online supermarket: the applicability of E-S-QUAL
Frederic Marimon, Richard Vidgen, Stuart Barnes and Eduard Cristóbal pp. 111–129 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to assess the applicability of the four dimensions of online service quality, as proposed in the E-S-QUAL scale, to the setting of an online supermarket; and, second, to propose and test a model that links these e-quality dimensions with loyalty and purchasing behaviour in the setting of an online supermarket. An online questionnaire was used to survey 131 customers of an online Spanish supermarket using the E-S-QUAL scale. The data were analysed by exploratory factor analysis to test the applicability of the E-S-QUAL scale to the setting of an online supermarket and generate an extended model (including constructs for ‘perceived value’, ‘loyalty’ and ‘actual purchases’). The model was then checked by structural equation modelling (SEM). The four dimensions proposed by the E-S-QUAL scale were confirmed in the setting of an online Spanish supermarket. The influence of these various quality dimensions on perceived value, loyalty and actual purchases are delineated here. The study reassures online vendors that E-S-QUAL is an appropriate instrument by which to measure online service quality. The study also provides empirical evidence that high levels of e-service quality have a positive influence on purchasing behaviour. The study is the first to provide definitive empirical evidence of the commonly presumed linkage between the quality dimensions proposed in the E-S-QUAL scale and the constructs of loyalty and actual – not self-reported – purchase behaviour.
Published 1 January 2010

IJMR Research Methods Forum: 'Start listening, stop asking': Co-creating the future - Get real: from the viewing facility to the real world
Roy Langmaid pp. 131–138 [Download PDF]
These notes describe the nature of listening and some assumptions that lead us to hear what we want to hear rather than the intentions of the speaker. They go on to focus on the idea of co-creation and stress the importance of the creative component in that term. It is this element that transforms co-creation into something unique, original and compelling. The notes conclude with a summary of some basic principles in designing and facilitating co-creation.
Published 1 January 2010

Book Review: Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World, by Don Tapscott
Alan Wilson pp. 139–140 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson reviews the book by Don Tapscott, author and co-author of Wikinomics, Paradigm Shift and the Digital Economy.
Published 1 January 2010

Book Review: Wonder Woman: Marketing Secrets for the Trillion-Dollar Company, by Iain Ellwood with Sheila Shekar
Eleanor Shaw pp. 140–142 [Download PDF]
Eleanor Shaw reviews the book by Iain Ellwood with Sheila Shakar on the influence of women as consumers.
Published 1 January 2010


Volume 51 (2009)

Issue 6 +

Editorial: Engaging practitioners and academics
Peter Mouncey pp. 711–717 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey discusses the challenges in engaging practitioners and academics to write papers for journals and introduces the topics for IJMR issue 51,6 2009.
Published 1 November 2009

Viewpoint: Survey research - two types of knowledge
Patten Smith pp. 719–721 [Download PDF]
In this issue's Viewpoint, Patten Smith argues that there is a major divide in the kinds of knowledge held by survey experts in research agencies and in academia, and that this works to the detriment of survey research. He suggests that those who work in agencies and claim survey expertise are strong on practice and weak in theory, while academic survey experts show the opposite qualities. He puts forward ways in which the two groups could learn from each other but does not believe the market is providing any motivation for change.
Published 1 November 2009

How to improve brand tracking research: A frozen pizza case study
Keith Chrzan and Douglas Malcolm pp. 723–733 [Download PDF]
The practice of brand tracking research has changed little in the past 30 years. Methodological advances in choice modelling, not typically applied to brand tracking, represent a potentially valuable enhancement of brand tracking practice. A case study of frozen pizza brand choice illustrates the possibilities, with particular attention paid to the MNL and lexicographic models.
Published 1 November 2009

Election forecasting: Development of the Constant Sum Scale to be used in telephone surveys
Mathew Packaral, Phil Harris and Chris Rudd pp. 735–750 [Download PDF]
The Constant Sum Scale has been successfully tested to forecast election results in face-to-face surveys. As political polls are carried out using telephone surveys, there was a need to test the scale for use in telephone surveys. In this study the Constant Sum Scale was tested for implementation in a telephone survey. The study was carried out during an election that used the single transferable voting system, and the Constant Sum Scale was utilised to forecast the election outcome. The validation against the election results showed that the Constant Sum Scale was successful in ranking the candidates in the order they prevailed in the final electoral result. Respondents' understanding, based on the judgements given by interviewers, was at a satisfactory level. The overall results suggest that the Constant Sum Scale can be implemented effectively in telephone surveys and is recommended for telephone polling of voters.
Published 1 November 2009

The bi cultural value system: Undertaking research amongst ethnic audiences
Yasmin Kaur Sekhon and Isabelle Szmigin pp. 751–771 [Download PDF]
Marketing to ethnic communities is fraught with problems of understanding the cultural contexts and value systems of others. Within Britain, this is in many ways exacerbated by the prevalence of a multicultural society that spans generations. Second-generation ethnic consumers live in the world of their parents and their community, but often work and socialise in a very different cultural and social context. Inevitably these influences impact upon decision making. In this study we seek to unravel some of the factors that impact upon ethnic decision making, with a particular focus on one group: second-generation Punjabi Indians. We examine research that has sought to identify factors that impact upon their consumption behaviour, in particular acculturation, identity and ethnicity. We then present research findings that reveal some of the key issues that need to be considered in developing a research approach to understanding ethnic communities.
Published 1 November 2009

On the retail service quality expectations of Chinese shoppers
Juan (Gloria) Meng, John H. Summey, Neil C. Herndon and Kenneth K Kwong pp. 773–796 [Download PDF]
The development of effective retailing strategies that are sensitive to cross-cultural differences would seem to be of considerable importance to their success in the global marketplace. Building on two existing models, SERVQUAL and RSQS, this study developed scales to examine service quality in Hong Kong's supermarkets. Based on intensive field study, we revised the existing service quality instruments and developed a new set of instruments to measure service quality in Hong Kong's markets. A new underlying structure emerged, suggesting that in Hong Kong, Chinese consumers perceived service quality in the regular supermarkets based on their purchasing process instead of from the tangible and non-tangible aspects found in previous studies. In the enhanced supermarkets, however, consumers perceived service quality differently than did the consumers in the regular type of store, suggesting a different model would be appropriate. Overall study results indicated that the measurement and underlying structure of service quality perception was not only industry and culture specific, but also specific to the form of retail structures that may enter the cultural mélange of the Chinese marketplace.
Published 1 November 2009

Effects of different types of perceived similarity and subjective knowledge in evaluations of brand extensions
Leif E. Hem and Nina M. Iversen pp. 797–818 [Download PDF]
The most successful brand extensions are considered to be those having high perceived similarity between the parent brand and the extensions, and being well known in the marketplace. However, previous research has mainly examined the effects of overall measures of perceived similarity between a parent brand and an extension. Correspondingly, little is known about the effects of different areas of consumer knowledge. This study investigates the effects of three types of perceived similarity (usage, associations, competence) and three areas of consumer knowledge (original brand, original category, extension category) on evaluations of brand extensions. The results indicate that some types of perceived similarity and knowledge are more important than others. These findings imply that brand managers need to identify and measure the relevant types of perceived similarity and knowledge that will affect evaluations of brand extensions in order to design effective communication strategies for extensions.
Published 1 November 2009

A framework for designing new products and services
Rubén Huertas García and Carolina Consolación Segura pp. 819–840 [Download PDF]
Customer satisfaction is an important objective in all areas of business and services. A key issue in today's design activities is to achieve customer satisfaction in an economical way by finding the attributes that are most valuable to customers. In this paper we propose a formal and efficient methodology to design a new service, which is an improvement on a platform service. We propose a methodology to link two tools - the statistical design of experiments (SDE), for data collection, and quality function deployment (QFD), for the development of conceptual alternatives. The focus is only on functional dimensions, but it can be used in symbolic and aesthetic dimensions. The study uses a recent survey on the development of an operations management course curriculum to illustrate the conjoint methodology.
Published 1 November 2009

Book Review: Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational
Agnes Nairn pp. 841–842 [Download PDF]
Agnes Nairn reviews the book, "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely, 2009.
Published 1 November 2009

Book Review: David Birks and Tim Macer – Marketing Research: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management
Alan Wilson pp. 843–843 [Download PDF]
Alan Wilson reviews "Marketing Research: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management" by David Birks and Tim Macer
Published 1 November 2009

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 571–573 [Download PDF]
The Editorial of IJMR issue 51,5 2009.
Published 1 September 2009

Viewpoint - Manipulator or messenger?
Nick Tanner pp. 577–578 [Download PDF]
Nick Tanner addresses the issue of market research being used for promotional and public relations' purposes, rather than purely finding the truth. He argues that the research industry's stock response to such criticism - blaming journalists and the media - is insufficient on its own and it should do more to defend and safeguard its reputation.
Published 1 September 2009

Taking up an event: brand image transfer during the FIFA World Cup
Peter Neijens, Edith Smit and Marjolein Moorman pp. 579–591 [Download PDF]
A real-life study (N = 1299) into brand images during and after the 2006 FIFA World Cup football tournament showed that the event was a good platform for the creation of brand images through ‘take-up’ advertising in which the brand was associated with the event. Exposure level and involvement with the event had a positive effect on image transfer from event to brand. A measurement of brand images three months post-tournament showed that the positive effects had endured.
Published 1 September 2009

Essence: the structure and dynamics of the brand
Chris Barnham pp. 593–610 [Download PDF]
The concept of ‘brand essence’ is relatively well established in marketing circles. It has come to the fore as a way for marketers to better understand their brands and also as a benchmark to evaluate brand activities. In some quarters, however, the concept has encountered more resistance. It is seen by many in the creative community as something that oversimplifies the marketing process and limits the power of the brand. The main argument of this paper is that brand essence has been fundamentally misunderstood. This has resulted in a number of negative consequences for the branding process. However, this paper will also show how the concept still has much to offer marketing professionals. A new, and more relevant, interpretation of brand essence is put forward in this paper, which recognises the intrinsically relational and dynamic aspects of the concept. As such, it creates a new platform upon which we can build our understanding of brands.
Published 1 September 2009

Using mobile phones for survey research: a comparison with fixed phones
Paula Vicente, Elizabeth Reis and Maria Santos pp. 613–634 [Download PDF]
The increase in mobile phone penetration is stimulating a trend towards the use of mobile phones to supplement or even replace traditional telephone surveys. Despite this trend, few studies have systematically compared differences between the two modes. This paper describes a study in which both mobile and fixed phones were used to collect data on a national survey on internet and cultural practices. Findings revealed significant differences between mobile phone respondents and fixed phone respondents in terms of demographic characteristics and responses to some of the substantive items of the survey. In terms of data quality the mobile phone survey proved to be different from the fixed phone survey in two indicators: completion times and percentage of respondents with item omissions. The mobile phone survey was more difficult to implement than the fixed phone survey since much more screening was required to identify working phone numbers; in addition it yielded a lower response rate than the fixed phone survey.
Published 1 September 2009

Digital versus traditional newspapers: influences on perceived substitutability
Carlos Flavián and Raquel Gurrea pp. 635–657 [Download PDF]
In the newspaper industry there is a growing interest in the analysis of the duality of channels that distribute the latest news. In this study we identify the main motivations that lead readers to read the press. We also analyse the influence of motivations on the degree of perceived substitutability between digital and traditional newspapers. First, a qualitative study was carried out in order to learn about this particular context of analysis in greater detail. Specifically, we held a focus group and a series of in-depth interviews. These analyses allowed us to identify the four main motivations to read the press: (1) to search for specific information, (2) to get updated news, (3) for leisure reasons, and (4) as a habit. Subsequently, a survey was applied to a representative sample of users and several hypotheses were tested with a binary logistic regression analysis. The results confirm that the motivation to search for updated news influences negatively the perceived degree of substitutability between channels (readers prefer the digital channel when searching for updated news). We also found that reading as entertainment or as habit led readers to consider both channels more ‘substitutable’. These findings suggest that both channels can survive alongside one another, avoiding cannibalistic effects, and that the newspaper industry should recognise the difference of the digital channel by paying more attention to its peculiarities.
Published 1 September 2009

Relationship strength in service industries: a measurement model
Guicheng Shi, Yi-zheng Shi, Allan K. K. Chan and Yonggui Wang pp. 659–686 [Download PDF]
Although one of the key objectives of relationship marketing is to build a strong relationship with customers, the construct of relationship strength is recent and there is little research into its measurement and validation. Based on an intensive literature review, relationship strength is conceptualised and a tridimensional measurement model is proposed that comprises affective strength, cognitive strength and conative strength. Then, a measurement scale of relationship strength in the context of selling services is developed and validated. The empirical results indicate that the measurement scale has acceptable levels of reliability, unidimensionality, convergent validity, discriminant validity and nomological validity.
Published 1 September 2009

Effects of incentives and the Big Five personality dimensions on internet panellists’ ratings
Andrea J. Larson and Daniel A. Sachau pp. 687–706 [Download PDF]
A total of 586 members of an online market research panel completed the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) Big Five personality inventory and were then offered one of three incentives (lower than normal, normal and higher than normal) to evaluate a new consumer product. Consistent with predictions based on equity theory, participants who were offered lower than normal incentives rated the product less favourably than those who were offered normal incentives. Contrary to predictions, participants offered higher than normal incentives did not rate the product more favourably than those who were offered the normal incentive. Respondents scoring high on Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness and Extraversion rated the product more favourably than those who scored low on these dimensions. Implications for market research are discussed.
Published 1 September 2009

Book Review: The Drunkard’s Walk – How Randomness Rules Our Lives
Peter Mouncey pp. 707–708 [Download PDF]
A book review of The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, Leonard Mlodinow, Allen Lane, 2008
Published 1 September 2009

Book Review: Consumer Kids – How Big Business is Grooming Our Children for Profit
Kathy Hamilton pp. 709–710 [Download PDF]
A book review of Consumer Kids: How Big Business is Grooming Our Children for Profit, Ed Mayo and Agnes Nairn, Constable, 2009
Published 1 September 2009

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 431–436 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 51, No. 4, by Peter Mouncey.
Published 1 June 2009

Viewpoint - more seers, fewer craftsmen
Anthony Tasgal pp. 437–438 [Download PDF]
Anthony Tasgal argues that the industry needs to take more notice of the changes taking place in the wider world, and restructure accordingly. Unless this is addressed, the industry will fail to attract those most likely to provide the visionary perspective necessary for the continued health and relevance of market research in the future
Published 1 June 2009

FORUM - How to use Facebook in your market research
Jordi Casteleyn, André Mottart and Kris Rutten pp. 439–447 [Download PDF]
Although social networking sites such as Facebook are increasingly being regarded as an interesting source of information, there are no specific techniques that adequately address the specific nature of social media. Social networking sites display intentions of consumers and therefore techniques specifically designed to deal with this aspect have to be introduced. This paper focuses on Facebook groups, but the techniques described can be used to analyse any social networking site.
Published 1 June 2009

Brand loyalty in the UK sportswear market
John Dawes pp. 449–447 [Download PDF]
This study investigates brand loyalty and other brand performance metrics in the UK sportswear market. It utilises consumer purchase data kindly provided by Taylor Nelson Sofres. The study finds that empirical regularities discovered by Andrew Ehrenberg and colleagues apply to sportswear brands – including iconic brands such as Nike and Adidas. The main findings are that: (1) sportswear brands enjoy polygamous loyalty from their buyers; (2) the market exhibits the classic double jeopardy pattern whereby smaller brands have slightly lower loyalty; (3) consumers switch between sports brands approximately in line with their market share; and (4) a brand’s performance with respect to any demographic based consumer sub-group is approximately the same as it is in the population generally – that is, sportswear brands tend not to have markedly different appeal to particular demographic segments. Therefore, even iconic brands and self expressive, emblematic product categories show predictable patterns in brand performance. These well-documented empirical patterns should be used by research providers and brand managers to contextualise brand performance.
Published 1 June 2009

Smells like me - personality and perfume choice
Wim Janssens and Patrick De Pelsmacker pp. 465–480 [Download PDF]
Based on a database with actual purchases and a survey with 348 subjects, the link between personality and perfume choice is studied, using the ‘Big Five’ personality structure for the actual self as well as the ideal-self personality. Results of correspondence analyses and discriminant analyses show that only a weak relationship exists between perfume choice and the actual self, and that there appears to be no support for a relationship between the ideal self and perfume choice.
Published 1 June 2009

A maximum difference scaling application for customer satisfaction researchers
Michael S. Garver pp. 481–500 [Download PDF]
This paper puts forth maximum difference scaling as a valid research method to determine attribute importance for customer satisfaction research, which in turn can drive valid and meaningful need-based segments of the marketplace. In addition, this paper empirically demonstrates the value of bringing need-based segmentation into the centre of customer satisfaction analysis. The results suggest that implementing maximum difference scaling to determine attribute importance scores for the overall market, as well as to create valid need-based segments, will result in significantly different improvement priorities as compared to more traditional customer satisfaction approaches.
Published 1 June 2009

The determinants of store brand market share - a temporal and cross-sectional analysis
Natalia Rubio and María Jesús Yagüe pp. 501–519 [Download PDF]
This research proposes a fixed effects panel data model to study store brand market share. The analysis is performed on the Spanish consumer products market for almost all Nielsen categories, with information about store brands from 1996 to 2000. The results of this research show both determinant variables of the evolution of store brand market share at temporal level (retail stock turnover for a category, manufacturer and retailer concentration, price differential and economic risk, among others) and determinant variables of crosssectional differences in store brand market share (price elasticity of demand and manufacturer brand differentiation, and so on). They reveal the importance of considering time in the analysis of the effect of price differential and economic risk on the store brand market share. Important implications for manufacturers and retailers in the management of their brands are stated.
Published 1 June 2009

Unravelling concealed cognitive structures - generalised linear modelling of hierarchical value maps
Ting-Jui Chou and Veronica Wong pp. 521–542 [Download PDF]
Graphical presentations of behavioural or semantic networks depicting human phenomena, such as consumer decision-making, have been valued greatly as data distillation tools by both practitioners and academics. However, concerns about the validity of subjective interpretation limit the analytical utility of these traditional approaches, including the analysis of hierarchical value maps (HVMs) derived from means–end chain studies. The authors present an approach for transforming qualitative HVM data into generalised linear models to aid quantitative inferences without compromising the richness of qualitative insights.
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - Making technology decisions in combining attitudinal and behavioural data
Tim Macer pp. 543–546 [Download PDF]
In this paper, Tim Macer provides his perspective on applying market research within an ever evolving context of other data sources. The summary covers presentations from ‘Data Matters’, which was a one-day event in February, organised by Research Conferences in association with the MRS.
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - Customer Base Management for dynamic markets
James Wilkinson pp. 547–550 [Download PDF]
In this paper, James Wilkinson provides his perspective on applying market research within an ever evolving context of other data sources. The summary covers presentations from ‘Data Matters’, which was a one-day event in February, organised by Research Conferences in association with the MRS.
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - Social media and market research: we are becoming a listening economy and, while the future of market research is bright, it will be different
Mike Cooke pp. 550–553 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises presentations given at the WARC Online Research Conference, 4-5 March 2009
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - It’s about learning
Joel Rubinson pp. 553–556 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises presentations given at the WARC Online Research Conference, 4-5 March 2009.
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - History has a lot to teach us about the future of market research
Adam Phillips pp. 556–558 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises presentations given at the WARC Online Research Conference, 4-5 March 2009
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - The social media revolution
Tom Smith pp. 559–561 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises presentations given at the WARC Online Research Conference, 4-5 March 2010
Published 1 June 2009

Conference notes - The social context of online market research: an introduction to the sociability of social media
Mariann Hardey pp. 562–564 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises presentations given at the WARC Online Research Conference, 4-5 March 2009.
Published 1 June 2009

Book Reviews – Creating Market Insight
Peter Mouncey pp. 565–567 [Download PDF]
A book review of Creating Market Insight by Brian Smith and Paul Raspin (2008), Wiley
Published 1 June 2009

Book Reviews – Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (revised edition)
John A. Hallward pp. 567–569 [Download PDF]
A book review of Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success (revised edition), by Dan Hill (2008),Kogan Page.
Published 1 June 2009

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 283–288 [Download PDF]

Published 1 May 2009

Viewpoint - Semiotics: a winning formula?
Chris Arning pp. 289–291 [Download PDF]
The article discusses semiotics and argues that it is widely misunderstood by researchers, because it lacks a convincing means of assuring quality and guarantees of consistent performance. Industry standards need to be created for semiotics. In the short term this could be done by creating a benchmarking system: a ‘semiotic value index, or SVI for short: ‘Semiotic’ because it attempts to measure units of symbolic investment; ‘value’ because it would quantify this figure; ‘index’ both because this has resonances of a reference system and gives the means to compare and contrast brands and track them over time. Successful examples of this approach in other areas are reviewed. A process for achieving SVI is proposed: a committee of practitioners to decide criteria and how to gather them, next a step-by-step formulaic calculation. The Interbrand model of brand valuation shows how this could work in practice.
Published 1 May 2009

Response to Viewpoint - ‘The faddish breakouts of ethnography’
Humphrey Taylor pp. 291–291 [Download PDF]
The market research industry is full of `fads’, ideas that have disappeared because they did not work very well. Somebody should write a history of such fads over the past 30 years.
Published 1 May 2009

Fads in market research: a reality or just a distortion of remembered history due to telescoping and salience effects? - A reply to Humphrey Taylor
Clive Boddy pp. 292–295 [Download PDF]
This article responds to Humphrey Taylor’s suggestion (89298) that a history of market research fads should be written. The author has reviewed journal titles over the past 24 years and found that there were fewer fads than expected. Main themes have been: improving data collection methods, improving market research in practice, international research. `Faddish’ themes have been mainly ethnography and semiotics.
Published 1 May 2009

FORUM - Word of mouse - An assessment of electronic word-of-mouth research
Michael Breazeale pp. 297–318 [Download PDF]
Word-of-mouth (WOM) communication has received a great deal of attention from marketing academics and practitioners alike. Widespread use of the internet for shopping, information gathering and entertainment purposes has changed not only the ways that WOM can be studied and manipulated but also the very nature of the phenomenon. Published research into electronic WOM (eWOM) first appeared in the top-level marketing journals only about ten years ago. Since that time, there has been a great deal of research but no synthesis of the knowledge that would allow one to draw conclusions regarding the evolving nature of WOM and to extend the theory applied to this topic. This paper will address that gap, applying the paradigm funnel technique and will suggest some future research directions.
Published 1 May 2009

The Gear model of advertising - Modelling human response to advertising stimuli
Michael F. Cramphorn and Denny Meyer pp. 319–339 [Download PDF]
One of the goals when add+impact® (a+i)®was founded in 1991 was to develop a database that could be used to add to the general understanding of how people respond to advertising. Recent applications were the Integrative model and a comparison of response tendencies to advertising between men and women. However, a crucial aspect of the advertising process – how to account for the nature and contribution of creativity to the ‘watchability’ of advertising – has not been satisfactorily explained. This paper presents a breakthrough in understanding how people respond to advertising, and shows that it is possible to predict, with a very great degree of confidence, how well a given ad will achieve the ultimate objective of all advertising: to increase the ‘purchase intent’ towards the advertised brand, immediately after exposure and before there has been time for other intervening events to dilute or otherwise alter that immediate effect. It also enables a clear understanding of how that response came to be.
Published 1 May 2009

Training the next generation of market researchers
Mike Cooke and Phyllis Macfarlane pp. 341–361 [Download PDF]
GfK NOP is seeking to develop excellence through the use of Web 2.0 tools on its graduate training programme. Our approach has been to build excellence by adopting a new organisational form known as the ‘community of practice’ approach. This approach is emerging in companies that seek excellence as it promises to galvanise knowledge sharing, learning and change. It has led them into a world where the avatar has been conducting interviews in Second Life and they have been using social networks for research purposes. It is believed this approach will produce market researchers who are more attuned to client requirements of the future, and could possibly retain more talent within the industry, as it allows new entrants to see how they can contribute to the development of methods, techniques and products, and creates a better sense of belonging to the industry.
Published 1 May 2009

A critical comparison of offline focus groups, online focus groups and e-Delphi
Elisabeth Brüggen and Pieter Willems pp. 363–381 [Download PDF]
The boom in online marketing research represents one of the fastest-growing segments of the research industry. Although the design and quality of online surveys has received widespread attention, little empirical research compares the effectiveness of online and offline qualitative research techniques. Therefore, this research compares offline focus groups, online focus groups and e-Delphi with respect to depth, breadth, efficiency, group dynamics, non-verbal impressions and attitudes of respondents. Results show that offline focus group results have the highest depth and breadth, and are most efficient, leading to high-quality outcomes. However, e-Delphi discussions provide very elaborate and relatively deep outcomes that give a good impression of respondents’ feelings and attitudes. Results from online focus groups remain rather superficial, but experts value the spontaneous reactions and interactiveness, and consider online focus groups very efficient.
Published 1 May 2009

Seeing jazz - doing research
Michael K. Mills pp. 383–402 [Download PDF]
This paper uses the metaphor of jazz music-making to contribute to the growing literature concerning the need for a more holistic approach to research, and to suggest directions for research implementation. It suggests researchers can work towards an ‘effortless mastery’ of their craft, and posits potential new forms of evaluation criteria useful in evaluating research (and researcher) quality.
Published 1 May 2009

Exploring the price efficiency within automotive markets - An application of data envelopment analysis
Pingjun Jiang pp. 403–426 [Download PDF]
Using a non-parametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach, this paper compares the price of each car model in a segment of the personal car market with the best possible price in view of the technology available given its particular combination of characteristics. In this approach, a car model is defined as price efficient if it offers customers the highest value per dollar spent for that set of characteristics. Likewise, a car model is inefficient if there is some other car model with a lower price having equivalent or higher quality, whereby a measure of the price efficiency is determined by the price reduction needed to make a car model efficient. The data set covers 141 different year 2002 car models. The vehicles that are listed by as consumers’ most wanted are compared with those at the top of our efficiency list. It is found that the majority of cars at the top of the list are also listed as most wanted by Evidently, consumers who usually make decisions based on price and quality information will naturally employ a heuristic such as ‘buy car models at the top of price efficiency list’ if this list is made available to them.
Published 1 May 2009

Book Reviews – Bad Science
Ben Goldacre pp. 427–428 [Download PDF]
A book review of Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, (2008), Fourth Estate.
Published 1 May 2009

Book Reviews – Doing Conversation, Discourse and Document Analysis
Tim Rapley pp. 428–429 [Download PDF]
A book review about Doing Conversation, Discourse and Document Analysis by Tim Rapley, (2007), Sage Publications.
Published 1 May 2009

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 141–146 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 51, No. 2 (2009).
Published 1 March 2009

Viewpoint - Visual puffery in advertising
Marc Fetscherin and Mark Toncar pp. 147–148 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint piece discusses "puffery", what the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines as a ‘term frequently used to denote the exaggerations reasonably to be expected of a seller as to the degree of quality of his product, the truth or falsity of which cannot be precisely determined’. The authors discuss their own use of semiotic analysis to investigate
Published 1 March 2009

The positive power of the reviewing process
Agnes Nairn pp. 149–151 [Download PDF]
Agnes Nairn shares some thoughts on the peer reviewing process of journal articles, including the role of the reviewer and review procedure.
Published 1 March 2009

Forum - Research 2.0: engage or give up the ghost?
Martin Oxley and Brendan Light pp. 153–161 [Download PDF]
For decades the research industry has spoken about the issue of response rates. Although it is not the most exciting of subjects, it is very important. Now with the advent of internet technologies we are in a world where the rules have changed. This article outlines our arguments for why the adoption of more engaging research tools will help the research industry address these new challenges.
Published 1 March 2009

The truth is out there! How external validity can lead to better marketing decisions
Greg Rogers and Didier Soopramanien pp. 163–180 [Download PDF]
Marketing managers typically have to use and integrate many pieces of data and marketing intelligence when taking decisions such as whether to launch a product and, if so, at what price. Conjoint experiments and analysis remain popular marketing research tools with business practitioners to test and measure how the market will react to different actions. There is a growing body of work that focuses on, first, how to construct the experiments so that they better represent real market conditions and, second, the use of sophisticated model specifications that provide information on consumers’ responses. The market researcher typically uses internal validation for model validity – a comparison of model prediction and within-sample holdout data. We contend in this paper that customers and users of market research information need to adopt a different and wider meaning of validity, referred to as external validity, to facilitate improved decision making. In this research, a case study is used as an example to demonstrate how marketing managers can use the information from a choice-based conjoint derived choice model differently depending on the manner in which the model validation is carried out.
Published 1 March 2009

Rethinking data analysis - part two: some alternatives to frequentist approaches
Ray Kent pp. 181–202 [Download PDF]
In ‘Rethinking data analysis – part one: the limitations of frequentist approaches’ (Kent 2009) it was argued that standard, frequentist statistics were developed for purposes entirely other than for the analysis of survey data; when applied in this context, the assumptions being made and the limitations of the statistical procedures are commonly ignored. This paper examines ways of approaching the analysis of data sets that can be seen as viable alternatives. It reviews Bayesian statistics, configurational and fuzzy set analysis, association rules in data mining, neural network analysis, chaos theory and the theory of the tipping point. Each of these approaches has its own limitations and not one of them can or should be seen as a total replacement for frequentist approaches. Rather, they are alternatives that should be considered when frequentist approaches are not appropriate or when they do not seem to be adequate to the task of finding patterns in a data set.
Published 1 March 2009

The influences of brand usage on response to advertising awareness measures
Jenni Romaniuk and Samuel Wight pp. 203–218 [Download PDF]
While there are many measures of advertising awareness, there are few guidelines about which of these a researcher should select. We examine how using the brand influences consumer responses to three measures commonly used in advertising tracking instruments. We find that for both top-of-mind and total unprompted advertising awareness measures, brand users are about 2.5 times more likely to recall advertising exposure than non-users; however, this ratio was lower for brand-prompted advertising awareness, with brand users only about 1.7 times more likely than non-users. This, we find, is because non-users respond more to brand-prompted advertising awareness measures. This result influences the scores for small brands, which get 80% of their responses from non-users only when they are prompted with the brand name. Our conclusion is therefore that scores from different advertising awareness measures are not directly comparable, unless split into separate brand user/non-user groups. Further, practitioners interested in the results for small-share or new brands should use brand-prompted measures, otherwise they risk underestimating the advertising reach and effectiveness of these brands.
Published 1 March 2009

Online audio group discussions: a comparison with face-to-face methods
Colin C. Cheng, Dennis Krumwiede and Chwen Sheu pp. 219–241 [Download PDF]
The performance of online focus groups has been extensively documented, but the extant research primarily emphasised the online typing method. In contrast, other potential methods have received little attention, especially online audio. Using a range of objective and subjective measures, this study compares the effectiveness of online audio and face-to-face (FTF) methods. The statistical results indicate that more information, better quality of answers, greater group interaction, greater satisfaction and more openness were generated in online audio than in FTF discussions. Meanwhile, the same level of equality of participation is found when using online audio discussions. Additionally, national culture could have moderating effects on performance of a specific communication method. Overall, we conclude that the online audio method could be a valid alternative to focus group research.
Published 1 March 2009

Estimating store brand shelf space: a new framework using neural networks and partial least squares
Monica Gomez and Shintaro Okazaki pp. 243–266 [Download PDF]
Despite abundant research that examines the effects of store brands on retail decision making, little attention has been paid to the predictive model of store brand shelf space. This paper intends to fill this research gap by proposing and testing a theoretical model of store brand shelf space. From the literature review, 11 independent variables were identified (i.e. store format, reputation, brand assortment, depth of assortment, in-store promotions, leading national brands’ rivalry, retailers’ rivalry, manufacturers’ concentration, store brand market share, advertising, and innovation) and analysed as potential predictors of the dependent variable (i.e. store brand shelf space). Data were collected for 29 product categories in 55 retail stores. In designing the statistical treatment, a three-phase procedure was adopted: (1) interdependence analysis via principal component analysis; (2) dependence analysis via neural network simulation; and (3) structural equation modelling via partial least squares. The findings corroborate our proposed model, in that all hypothesised relationships and directions are supported. On this basis, we draw theoretical as well as managerial implications. In closing, we acknowledge the limitations of this study and suggest future research directions.
Published 1 March 2009

Conference notes - Prospects for mixed-mode data collection in cross-national surveys
Gillian Eva and Roger Jowell pp. 267–269 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises the presentation by Gillian Eva and Roger Jowell on "Prospects for mixed-mode data collection in cross-national surveys" given at the IJMR Research Methods Forum: ‘Methods Matter: Interviewing and Beyond’, 25 November 2008, Royal Society, London.
Published 1 March 2009

Conference notes - Connecting the dots: joined-up insight finally becomes possible
Martin Hayward pp. 269–271 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises the presentation by Martin Hayward on "Connecting the dots: joined-up insight finally becomes possible" given at the IJMR Research Methods Forum: ‘Methods Matter: Interviewing and Beyond’, 25 November 2008, Royal Society, London.
Published 1 March 2009

Conference notes - Media research: can technology replace interviews?
Richard Windle pp. 271–273 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises the presentation by Richard Windle on "Media research: can technology replace interviews?" given at the IJMR Research Methods Forum: ‘Methods Matter: Interviewing and Beyond’, 25 November 2008, Royal Society, London.
Published 1 March 2009

Conference notes - Webnography: its evolution and implications for market research
Anjali Puri pp. 273–275 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises the presentation by Anjali Puri on "Webnography: its evolution and implications for market research" given at the IJMR Research Methods Forum: ‘Methods Matter: Interviewing and Beyond’, 25 November 2008, Royal Society, London.
Published 1 March 2009

Conference notes - Research ethics in the virtual world
Agnes Nairn pp. 276–278 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises the presentation by Agnes Nairn on "Research ethics in the virtual world" given at the IJMR Research Methods Forum: ‘Methods Matter: Interviewing and Beyond’, 25 November 2008, Royal Society, London.
Published 1 March 2009

Book Review: What are your staff trying to tell you?
Peter Goudge pp. 279–280 [Download PDF]
A book review by Peter Goudge (PG & Associates, Research Consultants) of What Are Your Staff Trying To Tell You? by Peter Hutton (Lulu Press, 2008).
Published 1 March 2009

Book Review: Meatball Sundae
Mike Cooke pp. 280–281 [Download PDF]
A book review by Mike Cooke (GfK NOP) of Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin (Piatkus Books, 2008).
Published 1 March 2009

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–6 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 51, No. 1 (2009).
Published 1 January 2009

The faddish breakouts of ethnography
Clive Boddy pp. 7–9 [Download PDF]
Ethnographic research has been described as a fad that promised to look beneath the rationalisations of consumers, but did not in fact deliver the cut-through promised by agencies. This perhaps provides a clue to the emergence and relative disappearance of ethnography over the past 20 years, and to its recent re-emergence. To the generalist market researcher, ethnography appears to come and go in terms of its popularity and appeal. To avoid being disappointed about what an ethnographic approach can bring to an understanding of consumers, clients should reportedly involve a qualified anthropologist at the commissioning stage of a project to make sure that such an expensive and time-consuming exercise is really warranted. Similarly, clients should engage research companies with a long history of undertaking ethnographic studies and with expertise in the area.
Published 1 January 2009

‘Connected research’ - How market research can get the most out of semantic web waves
Niels Schillewaert, Tom De Ruyck and Annelies Verhaeghe pp. 11–27 [Download PDF]
The new internet evolutions (Web 2.0 and beyond) have not yet been truly embedded in the market research process. We introduce the term ‘connected research’ as an embedded form of market research that uses online tools to tap into social interactions between consumers and allows a more equal relationship between researchers and participants in terms of communication as well as content and input. This paper provides an overview of an enhanced toolbox for market research from which practitioners can choose those instruments that provide an enhanced solution for a specific research problem.
Published 1 January 2009

A hybrid online and offline approach to market measurement studies
Mike Cooke, Nick Watkins and Corrine Moy pp. 29–48 [Download PDF]
This paper presents a case study of how GfK NOP is moving one of the UK’s major market measurement studies online. In this case study we share our learning and illustrate, with empirical data, the limits and possibilities that panel-based research offers in this most demanding arena for online research. Our conclusion is that, in this instance, it is inappropriate to replace the traditional face-to-face methodology with a wholly online solution, but that, instead, a multi-modal approach that combines face-to-face with online interviewing is the way forward.
Published 1 January 2009

Rethinking data analysis - part one: the limitations of frequentist approaches
Ray Kent pp. 51–69 [Download PDF]
The analysis of data from market research has, until fairly recently, been reliant upon statistical techniques that were developed during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries for uses entirely other than the analysis of survey and other types of observational, non-experimental data. Such techniques rely on reviewing and relating the frequency distributions of variables that have been concocted and measured by researchers. This paper argues that key features of such ‘frequentist’ statistics are also limitations that need to be recognised by academics, market research practitioners and the managers to whom they report findings. By focusing on variable distributions across cases, they overlook patterns of within-case configuration; they seek out only symmetrical, linear patterns by reviewing the ‘net effects’ of individual variables; they rely on a very circumscribed view of statistical inference from samples to populations; they are not good at demonstrating causal connections between variables or at handling system complexity. A follow-up paper, ‘Rethinking data analysis – part two: some alternatives to frequentist approaches’, examines ways of approaching data sets that can be seen as viable alternatives.
Published 1 January 2009

Quantifying the extent of temporal decay in service quality ratings
Svetlana Bogomolova, Jenni Romaniuk and Anne Sharp pp. 71–91 [Download PDF]
This paper seeks to synthesise the disparate research to date that has been done on the temporal decay of service quality and satisfaction responses. We aim to verify if this measurement artefact exists and, if so, to see if its magnitude can be quantified and generalised across a range of conditions. Using the existing published results from various ad hoc studies to date that have looked at the issue, we quantify the reported decays in service quality and satisfaction scores. In addition, we extend the research into two new crosssectional studies in the catering and financial planning industries.
Published 1 January 2009

The conceptualisation and measurement of consumer value in services
Raquel Sánchez-Fernández, M. Ángeles Iniesta-Bonillo and Morris B Holbrook pp. 93–113 [Download PDF]
Consumer value has been widely recognised as a key factor in organisational management, marketing strategy and consumer behaviour. However, because of the scattered and non-conclusive pattern of research on this concept, no single conceptualisation or measurement has won universal acceptance. The present paper develops an approach to understanding and measuring consumer value in a service context. The psychometric properties of the resulting indices support the multidimensional structure of the value concept. Hence, through both theoretical and managerial implications, this study suggests directions for further empirical research on this important topic.
Published 1 January 2009

Using statistical design experiment methodologies to identify customers’ needs
Ruben Huertas-Garcia and Carolina Consolación-Segura pp. 115–136 [Download PDF]
Customer satisfaction has become one of the main objectives in all areas of business, especially the tourist trade. One of the most difficult problems is to know how to obtain this satisfaction, which involves identifying customers’ needs and desires, and transferring them to our product or service specifications. In order to ascertain the consumer voice, we can ask consumers directly, or try to deduce their requirements by indirect methods. Statistical design of experiments (SDE) is considered to be a powerful tool for evaluating the revealed importance that not only shows the weight of the most relevant aspects but also that of their interactions. The aim of this paper is to show SDE’s application in designing a tourist route. It also makes suggestions and offers directions for future applications, focusing in particular on marketing services.
Published 1 January 2009

Book Review: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
Daniel Wain pp. 137–139 [Download PDF]
A book review of Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, by Garr Reynolds (New Riders, 2008).
Published 1 January 2009

Book Review: A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Qualitative Research
Judith Wardle pp. 139–140 [Download PDF]
A book review of A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book About Qualitative Research, by David Silverman (Sage Publications, 2007).
Published 1 January 2009


Volume 50 (2008)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 711–716 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 6 (2008).
Published 1 November 2008

Viewpoint - MR confidential: anonymity in market research
John Griffiths pp. 717–718 [Download PDF]
Anonymity of respondents, and their individual opinions, is usually considered sacrosanct within much of the research conducted by the market research industry. In this Viewpoint piece, John Griffiths argues that it is high time this view is reconsidered, as anonymity is rapidly becoming something of a fiction in today’s world of databases. He advocates the development of new methodologies that dispense with this principle.
Published 1 November 2008

Forum - Creating customer insight
David Cowan pp. 719–729 [Download PDF]
Market research has often been accused of failing to identify either significant stepchanges in markets or new innovatory products. The possible reasons for this perspective, and the industry’s perceived lack of strategic-level impact on client businesses, have frequently been debated, often without real evidence to identify the causes and demonstrate that solutions are possible. This Forum article, based on the winning entry to the 2005 MRS/AURA Insight Effectiveness Award, argues that all stakeholders in the research process need to think more strategically when defining the real issue, and take a holistic
Published 1 November 2008

Consumer savvy and intergenerational effects
Clive Nancarrow, Julie Tinson and Ian Brace pp. 731–755 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the concept of consumer savvy, distinguishing consumer savvy from marketing savvy, and examine three ways of measuring consumer savvy in adults and children. The measurement of human intelligence has a 100-year history, so the modest intention at this early stage of exploration is to provide a first view of the conceptual and research issues relating to consumer savvy. The paper also presents early exploratory research on certain aspects of consumer savvy. These include intergenerational effects based on the relationship between the ‘know how’ of a mother and her child. Implications for researchers (academics and practitioners) are also examined.
Published 1 November 2008

Collective forms of resistance: the transformative power of moderate communities
Daniele Dalli and Matteo Corciolani pp. 757–775 [Download PDF]
This paper deals with collective consumer resistance – that is, organised forms of reaction against the market. In detail, it describes BookCrossing (BC) as an alternative mode of book exchange. This is a moderate form of resistance: BC members do not pursue radical, extremist or extreme forms of reaction. Moreover, they act in an alternative way (gift-giving) compared to the traditional market exchange system. They criticise the market system and their activity presents some interesting ‘transformative’ properties. Not so paradoxically, these forms of moderate resistance in some way support the market in order to meet new needs: solidarity, democracy, consumers’ emancipation. Many contemporary communities (e.g. Wayn, Wikipedia, Couchsurfing) seem to possess traits in common with BookCrossing. It is certain that they are not aimed at market subversion: they are aimed at using the market in a different way, in order to compensate for some of its drawbacks. Taken together, these communities collect millions of people around the world, and their role in the emancipation of the consumer society is growing rapidly.
Published 1 November 2008

Turning the amplification up to 11
Geoff Wicken and Richard Asquith pp. 777–795 [Download PDF]
Most of us would accept that word-of-mouth communication has huge potential, but the challenge for brand and media planners is to harness its growing power and influence in such a way that it delivers real commercial impact. This paper aims to demonstrate how the influence of word-of-mouth ‘Champions’ can extend the potential of media communication channels. It considers not only the people that can be reached with a marketing campaign but also the extension into the people that they can then reach, and seeks to establish a framework that can be used to inform media planning decisions.
Published 1 November 2008

Decisions, decisions, decisions: multiple pathways to choice
Wei Shao, Ashley Lye and Sharyn Rundle-Thiele pp. 797–816 [Download PDF]
This paper details an alternate methodology that permits the consumer decision process to be observed without the constraint of model phases or ‘sets’. A new custom-developed computerised process tracing methodology is utilised, identifying the decision wave boundaries in a durable product purchase scenario. The electronic process tracing methodology reveals multiple pathways to consumer choice for a durable purchase decision. Consumers choose an airconditioning alternative using up to ten decision waves, 40% of which may be outside our current decision models. This research suggests that most consumers do not construct a choice set to make a purchase decision, and this may have an impact on product positioning and differentiation decisions, as well as identifying the importance of being the ‘last alternative standing’. This research found three common pathways to consumer choice. Marketing tactics must address the informational requirements of each pathway for their product to become a candidate for selection.
Published 1 November 2008

Brand trust as a second-order factor: an alternative measurement model
Fuan Li, Nan Zhou, Rajiv Kashyap and Zhilian Yang pp. 817–839 [Download PDF]
Brand trust is conceptualised as a multidimensional construct of higher-level abstraction relative to its various dimensions. In previous research, brand trust has been treated exclusively as a first-order factor. This practice can lead to serious problems in scale development and model specification. We propose and test a reflective–formative model of brand trust. In this model, brand trust is specified as a second-order factor that is determined by first-order factors of competence and benevolence. A series of empirical studies were conducted to develop a multidimensional scale and test this alternative model. The results of confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation modelling lend support to our conceptualisation and the proposed measurement model.
Published 1 November 2008

Book Review: Doing Anthropology In Consumer Research
Simon Haslam pp. 841–842 [Download PDF]
A book review of Doing Anthropology In Consumer Research, by Patricia L. Sutherland and Rita M. Denny, Left Coast Press, 2007.
Published 1 November 2008

Book Review: Get To The Top On Google
Jim Hamill and Alan Stevenson pp. 843–844 [Download PDF]
A book review of Get To The Top On Google, by David Viney, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2008.
Published 1 November 2008

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 563–568 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 4 (2008), a special issue on Web 2.0.
Published 1 September 2008

Guest editorial - The new world of Web 2.0 research
Mike Cooke pp. 569–572 [Download PDF]
Guest editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 4 (2008), a special issue on Web 2.0, by Mike Cooke of GfK NOP.
Published 1 September 2008

Viewpoint - Web 2.0 and the ‘naming of parts’
Nick Buckley pp. 573–574 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Nick Buckley of GfK NOP discusses the 'naming of parts' in relation to Web 2.0. Some commentators argue that market research has traditionally been based on a 'top down' approach; that is, the provision of a closed set of options, which limited what respondents could tell researchers. Web 2.0, on the other hand, is often seen as a ‘folksonomy’, where users exercise greater freedom to label, group and tag things, resulting in new ways of carrying out research. When reporting findings to clients, however, researchers will need to order these results to make the most of the insights that have been generated: the challenge is thus to convert rich content back to simpler properties and variables, but without losing the insights or creativity inherent in Web 2.0.
Published 1 September 2008

Forum - How does Web 2.0 stretch traditional influencing patterns?
Derek Eccleston and Luca Griseri pp. 575–590 [Download PDF]
This paper examines how online and Web 2.0 applications affect commercial influencing behaviour (by which we mean word of mouth or click, in relation to three core influencing behaviours: collecting information, and discussing and recommending products and/or services). Using Malcolm Gladwell’s popular theories as a roadmap, our research shows that, while Web 2.0 clearly offers great potential to marketers, influencing patterns remain more prevalent within traditional (non-internet) environments.
Published 1 September 2008

Forum - Participation cycles and emergent cultures in an online community
Tom Ewing pp. 575–590 [Download PDF]
This paper is a case study of a successful web community, I Love Music, from its inception in 2000 through to 2005, when the author stopped running it. While I Love Music and the extended community it generated (referred to as ILX throughout) were not designed for research purposes, they have a lot to teach researchers. This paper focuses on two areas: a generalised model of the development of unique cultures within online communities (using ILX as an example), and the specific techniques moderators on ILX used to stimulate discussion. The paper is written in the context of a recent surge in interest among researchers in the possibilities offered by web communities. Specifically, the case study of ILX offers lessons for open-ended communities – those designed to enjoy an indefinite life span rather than set up for the duration of a specific project. Examples of open-ended communities might include those built to engage customers and fans of specific brands, as well as more general ‘research panels’ designed to provide agencies or businesses with insight streams. ‘Insight’ here is meant in its broadest sense as an item of actionable information about consumers. The specific types of insights long-term communities generate might include new ideas or concepts, new behavioural information or new hypotheses about consumer behaviour.
Published 1 September 2008

Researching a confessional society
David Beer pp. 619–629 [Download PDF]
It would seem that Web 2.0 is increasingly being seen as providing researchers with a range of new possibilities and opportunities. This paper takes a critical look at the use of Web 2.0 as a research tool or archival data source. Drawing upon Zygmunt Bauman’s recent work on what he describes as a ‘confessional society’, where people actively engage in revealing things about themselves, the paper develops a notion of what it is that we might find in Web 2.0 and how this might be used in conducting various forms of social and market research. The paper opens with a set of reflections on what Web 2.0 is and on how useful this concept is for our shared interests. It then focuses upon Bauman’s work to understand the content of Web 2.0 and the type of data we can get from it. Finally, it reflects upon the nature of this user-generated content to conclude by highlighting the issues that will face a shift towards researching a confessional society through Web 2.0 applications.
Published 1 September 2008

Squatting at the digital campfire - researching the open source software community
John Cromie and Michael Ewing pp. 631–653 [Download PDF]
This paper describes an internet-mediated netnography of the open source software (OSS) community. A brief history of OSS is presented, along with a discussion of the defining characteristics of the phenomenon. A theoretical rationale for the method is then offered and several unique features detailed. The evolution of the methodology in practice is described and salient lessons highlighted. In addition to gathering a large volume of rich data as intended, early phases of the implementation of this method produced a number of unanticipated but significant findings. The paper concludes by summarising the key methodological considerations for conducting a phenomenology of a true online community.
Published 1 September 2008

Join the research - participant-led open-ended questions
Annelies Verhaeghe, Tom De Ruyck and Niels Schillewaert pp. 655–678 [Download PDF]
Recent internet developments permit reliance on the shared intelligence of groups for market research. We illustrate two applications in which users create content from their responses to open-ended questions. Both the ‘user-created brainstorm’ and ‘user-coded open end’ procedure prove useful for market research. We discuss the outcomes and show that the social and collaborative aspects of the applications positively influence user evaluations.
Published 1 September 2008

Online research communities - a user guide
Pete Comley pp. 679–694 [Download PDF]
This paper brings together experiences and learnings about online research communities from some of the world’s key practitioners. It provides a users’ guide on how to run them and the issues that are encountered with them. It aims to be a blueprint for the market research world and, it is hoped, may form the basis for future industry guidelines in this area.
Published 1 September 2008

ASC Conference - Orion: identifying inattentive or fraudulent respondents
Mike Cooke and Sean Regan pp. 695–698 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises a presentation given by Mike Cooke and Sean Regan (both of GfK NOP) on online data quality. This is one of the most important issue facing the online research industry, and this paper describes the building of a new software product, called Orion, which can be used to identify ‘inattentive or fraudulent respondents’. The Orion program allows for the checking, in real time, of which respondents are likely to be either falsifying their data or answering questions in a less than attentive manner. It is now part of an array of quality tools that include checks for duplicate respondents, out-of-area respondents and the quality of the respondent experience.
Published 1 September 2008

ASC Conference - You’re the boss! Time to place the respondent at the forefront of our survey design
A.J. Johnson, Jane Mills and Yehuda Dayan pp. 698–701 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises a conferene presentation by A.J. Johnson, Jane Mills and Yehuda Dayan (all of Ipsos MORI) on reversing declining response rates. It is based on an experiment that aimed to understand the effects that enhancing online surveys has on observed behaviour, measuring response and drop-out rates, average time of survey completion, responses to different question types, and so on. Among their findings were that design factors have only a small effect on consumer perceptions of surveys, while user-friendly and easy-to-understand surveys are highly associated with the respondent’s likelihood to participate in future surveys.
Published 1 September 2008

ASC Conference - Multiple panel members: saints or sinners?
Pete Cape pp. 702–704 [Download PDF]
This paper summarises a conferene presentation by Pete Cape, Survey Sampling International, on multiple panel membership. He argues that multiple panel members do give different data compared to single panel members – data that cannot be corrected for by simple demographic or even psychographic weighting; equally, given that they are in the majority, it is unsurprising that the answers they give are actually closer to the population than those of single panel members. The implication must be that to allow only hose people who are content to be on one panel to be panellists would be fundamentally flawed, unless the panel company was fully able to meet the demand for surveys at the individual level.
Published 1 September 2008

Book Review: We-think: The Power of Mass Creativity
Mike Cooke pp. 705–707 [Download PDF]
A book review of We-think: The Power of Mass Creativity, by Charles Leadbeater, Profile Books, 2008.
Published 1 September 2008

Book Review: We Are Smarter Than Me
Nick Buckley pp. 707–709 [Download PDF]
A book review of We Are Smarter Than Me, by Barry Libert and John Spector, Wharton School Publishing, 2008.
Published 1 September 2008

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 423–428 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 3 (2008).
Published 1 June 2008

Viewpoint: UK alcohol policy and market research: media debates and methodological differences
Chris Hackley pp. 429–431 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint article, Chris Hackley describes some of the important consequences and issues for the industry when the media are faced with market research commissioned from different perspectiveson a high-profile topic – alcoholic drink marketing and consumption behaviour in the UK. He discusses the conflicting role of research in informing the debate on the subject, and argues that engaging with young people – and the media – using research is a complicated problem. Diageo's recent advertising campaign marks one recent attempt by a advertiser to try and help in tackling the problem, but much more work still needs to be done.
Published 1 June 2008

Viewpoint: Response to ‘Fifty years using the wrong model of advertising’
Spike Cramphorn pp. 431–436 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint piece by Spike Cramphorn comments on some of the points within the Heath & Feldwick paper published in IJMR 50, 1, entitled ‘Fifty years using the wrong model of advertising’. He discusses some of the flaws of the historical methodology, but also shows the importance of establishing Outcome-Oriented-Objectives when testing advertising.
Published 1 June 2008

Forum: Building better causal models to measure the relationship between attitudes and customer loyalty
Jose Antonio Martínez and Laura Martínez Caro pp. 437–447 [Download PDF]
Perceived quality, satisfaction and brand/corporate image/reputation are probably the most widely used variables to investigate customer attitudes in market research. Several models have been proposed to analyse the relationships between these variables and customer loyalty. All these models have a similar focus: to study the causal mechanism that relates customers’ evaluations with their future expected behaviour. In this paper, we propose that all these models are not useful for applied market research because they are not proper representations of causal processes and do not provide relevant information about the effects of managerial actions. Two main reasons are the basis for our postulation: (1) in cross-sectional designs, attitudinal variables should not be unidirectionally linked; (2) attitudes can not be manipulated by companies. Finally, we offer guidelines for building more useful models to satisfy the requirements of practitioners investigating the effect of management policies.
Published 1 June 2008

Tackling health inequalities using geodemographics: a social marketing approach
Marc Farr, Jessica Wardlaw and Catherine Jones pp. 449–467 [Download PDF]
Market research is generally considered the realm of the private commercial sector. This paper presents an innovative use of market research methods in the public sector, in particular the use of geodemographics, to tackle health inequalities. The term ‘social marketing’ has been around for over 30 years, since Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman’s seminal paper of 1971, in which the concept was first presented. Social marketing is distinguished from commercial marketing by aiming to achieve a ‘social good’ through a ‘behavioural change’. This paper explores the use of social marketing (commercial marketing techniques used in a societal context) to tackle ‘diseases of comfort’ and their resultant health inequalities. In this paper, we first discuss the conceptual underpinnings of social marketing, in order to elicit what truly defines it and makes it a worthwhile approach to achieving societal behavioural change. This paper presents a successful social marketing framework that is being used in practice in the UK to tackle commonplace public health issues. Discussion such as this is essential to develop a feedback loop that ensures that lessons are learnt and best practice is always adopted.
Published 1 June 2008

A new tool for pre-testing direct mail
Margaret Faulkner and Rachel Kennedy pp. 469–490 [Download PDF]
This paper outlines a new pre-testing tool designed to identify which piece of direct mail will generate the best in-market response. The development process is described (interviews with fundraisers and donors as well as six pilot studies). The paper also details an in-market test of the tool in a fundraising setting. Importantly, the tool was tested on direct mail from split-run tests where response was measured in terms of real donations. Test A identified the winner, which was consistent with the in-market winner, and Test B showed no difference in results, consistent with in-market performance. These initial results show promise for the tool as a practical resource for market researchers and their clients.
Published 1 June 2008

Optimising the language of email survey invitations
Howard R. Moskowitz and Birgi Martin pp. 491–510 [Download PDF]
Respondent cooperation has always been an important topic for the market research industry. One consequence is that over time a number of initiatives have addressed the issue. This paper differs from the previous ones in that it deals with the issue of optimising the invitation to participate as if it were a consumer product or service. Using experimental design, the paper shows how to identify different phrases that generate high vs low respondent intentions to participate. Three segments, or mindsets, of respondents emerged in the population. A validation step with a completely different panel showed the possibility of increasing the proportion of respondents participating through the use of betterworded, more motivating invitations.
Published 1 June 2008

Measuring customer loyalty to product variants
Jaywant Singh, Andrew Ehrenberg and Gerald Goodhardt pp. 513–532 [Download PDF]
This paper measures patterns of loyalty for variants of a product, such as different pack sizes or flavour. Unlike brands, product variants are functionally highly differentiated. The study undertakes large-scale analysis of panel data and the results shows that product variants can attract markedly different loyalty levels. However, these different loyalty levels are closely related to big differences in the variants’ market shares – higher loyalty predictably goes with higher sales. Some variants were found to be very popular, and some are bought by only a fraction of the market. However, neither large nor small variants seem generally to attract a special or unusually loyal customer base. The functional differentiation embodied in product variants therefore affects consumers’ preferences but not the persistence of these preferences, i.e. loyalty. The study also illustrates a methodological basis for the analysis of consumer panel data. The mathematical model used here provides benchmarks for the variants’ loyalty measures. The study has practical implications in analysing market performance of variants, customer switching behaviour, and understanding the relationship between product differentiation and consumer choice.
Published 1 June 2008

Using Support Vector Semiparametric Regression to estimate the effects of pricing on brand substitution
María Pilar Martinez-Ruiz, Alejandro Mollá-Descals, Miguel Ángel Gómez-Borja and José Luis Rojo-Álvarez pp. 533–557 [Download PDF]
This paper analyses the sales impact of temporary retail price discount on consumer goods product categories with different perishability rates, and provides some empirical findings regarding how the deal discounts of competing brands affect the sales substitution effects among them. We focus on the cross-price effects by considering both the asymmetric cross-price effect and the neighborhood crossprice effect. To test these effects we use Support Vector Machine-Semiparametric Regression (SVM-SR) and we highlight the benefits of this methodology on the study of promotional effects with aggregate scanner data. The empirical findings confirm the existence of cross-promotional effects of different magnitude, depending on the considered category. In addition, other significant promotional effects are evidenced, such as saturation levels - especially in the lower-priced brands of the categories - and a higher weekend sales acceleration effect in the storable category. Our conclusions are of key relevance for retail managers, since developing a superior knowledge on sales substitution effects within the categories carried is critical for designing and developing better pricing, promotional, and category management schemes.
Published 1 June 2008

Book Review: ESOMAR market research handbook, fifth edition
Alan Wilson pp. 559–560 [Download PDF]
A book review of the ESOMAR market research handbook, fifth edition, edited by Mario van Hamersveld and Cees de Bont, Wiley, 2007.
Published 1 June 2008

Book Review: The telephone interviewer’s handbook: how to conduct standardised conversations
Eamonn Santry pp. 560–562 [Download PDF]
A book review of The telephone interviewer’s handbook: how to conduct standardised conversations, by Patricia A. Gwartney, Jossey-Bass 2007.
Published 1 June 2008

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 299–304 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 3 (2008).
Published 1 April 2008

Viewpoint – ‘Wither the survey?’
Mike Savage and Roger Burrows pp. 305–307 [Download PDF]
It is commonplace to argue that the proliferation of new kinds of data and information has created huge social changes that we still do not really understand. One interesting example is the worry of social scientists that their preferred data sources and modes of analysis are being challenged by the rise of new digital data sources. In this situation, where data on whole populations are routinely gathered as a by-product of institutional transactions, the sample survey seems a poor instrument. This situation is not entirely new: survey-based market researchers also saw the threat from the development of customer databases as early as the mid-1980s, yet predictions of the end of survey-based research proved unfounded because specific databases provided information only on actual customers, and the data also lacked profile and contextual information. However, the potential to link data sets to provide complete maps of the population, through the postcoding of data, and methods derived from social network analysis might have more profound implications.
Published 1 April 2008

Forum – Asking the age question in mail and online surveys
Benjamin Healey and Philip Gendall pp. 309–317 [Download PDF]
Three versions of a question for establishing the age of respondents were tested in two surveys. All three questions had very low non-response rates; however, asking ‘How old are you?’ in a mail survey and ‘What age range are you in?’, together with a drop-down response menu, in an online survey produced significantly higher proportions of incorrectly reported ages. Thus, the best advice for survey researchers is to ask respondents for either their date of birth or the year in which they were born, and to avoid drop-down response menus in online surveys because these can lead to unintended misreporting of answers.
Published 1 April 2008

Who shall live and who shall die? A case study of public engagement in health care planning
John May pp. 319–338 [Download PDF]
Rationing of National Health Service expenditure is inevitable, difficult, controversial, and it is unusual for the public to have a direct say in setting healthcare spending priorities at the local level. This paper presents a case study of public involvement in the allocation of some £60 million by a Primary Care Trust in North West London. Market research based techniques were used to demonstrate that the public are indeed capable of making these rationing decisions, given the right support. The results of a collective decision making process are reported, as are the effects on healthcare spending in this locality.
Published 1 April 2008

Community-based participatory research: a case study from South Africa
Mélani Prinsloo pp. 339–354 [Download PDF]
Marketing research, often in the form of surveys, is one of the critical tools marketing managers use to guide decision making. Although this occurs in all environments, developing markets present problems in the paucity of information available and a desperate shortage of skilled information gatherers. This leaves those needing information with two alternatives: to import and utilise developed-world researchers and interviewers to gather, input and process information,
Published 1 April 2008

Negative brand beliefs and brand usage
Jenni Romaniuk and Maxwell Winchester pp. 355–375 [Download PDF]
This research focuses on consumer brand usage segments and the responses they give to negative attributes in brand image studies. Analysis was conducted across three markets and four approaches for measuring brand beliefs with respondents who were current users, past users or had never tried a brand. The major finding of this study was that past users of a brand consistently have the highest tendency to elicit negative beliefs about brands. Further, those who have never used a brand typically have a lower propensity than current brand users to elicit negative brand beliefs. These results suggest that negative beliefs about a brand are developed as a result of purchase behaviour, rather than as mechanisms to reject a brand prior to purchase. These findings have implications for the role of negative beliefs in consideration of set formation and the trial of a new brand. They also provide insight into the patterns that may be expected when measuring and interpreting negative brand beliefs across different usage groups.
Published 1 April 2008

The myth of China as a single market – the influence of personal value differences on buying decisions
Xin-An Zhang, Nicholas Grigoriou and Li Ly pp. 377–402 [Download PDF]
China is a large heterogeneous market with diversified consumer behaviour in different regions. This study aims to examine personal value differences between consumers in China’s inland and coastal regions, and further examine their influence on retail buying decisions. Data are collected from coastal cities (Shanghai and Guangzhou) and inland cities (Chengdu and Harbin) using the matched sampling method. Statistical analyses reveal that China’s coastal consumers are more individualist in their value priorities than inland consumers, while inland consumers are more collectivist than coastal consumers. As a consequence of these value differences, we find that functional product attributes are more important to coastal consumers than to inland consumers, while social attributes appeal more to inland consumers than to coastal consumers. This study adds to the body of knowledge of marketing in China by contrasting coastal–inland consumer buying decisions as influenced by within-country values variation, and has implications for both academics and practitioners.
Published 1 April 2008

Retrospective two-stage cluster sampling for mortality in Iraq
Seppo Laaksonen pp. 403–417 [Download PDF]
Two-stage sampling has commonly been used in surveys of households and individuals. The standard strategy is first to stratify the frame population, then determine a reasonable number of primary sampling units (PSUs) within each stratum, to choose some of these with probability proportional to size (first stage) and, finally, to draw sampled units randomly within each cluster (second stage). Good determination of PSUs is the key point in this strategy. It is advantageous if the areas are fairly small. For each stage, the selection should be based on probability principles so that correct inclusion probabilities can be calculated for each individual of the target population. This requirement is not easy to satisfy well in standard surveys in developed countries. It is expected that the problems met will be more complex in the developing world, and even harder in countries experiencing conflict. A really challenging example is the Iraq Mortality Survey (IMS), which was conducted in the summer of 2006. This survey is exceptional also in the sense that the main study variables are deaths due to both violent and non-violent causes. Such variables are not used in surveys in developed countries since reasonably good data are available from records of death registers or lists. Such records have not been considered as reliable in Iraq, hence survey methodology was attempted. The results on estimated deaths due to violence were surprisingly high. This aroused lively debate around the world. The paper comments on this debate, while trying to reconstruct country-level estimates using the initial micro data received from the IMS team. A survey methodologist such as this author cannot be happy with these data, hence many doubts are expressed here about the published estimates.
Published 1 April 2008

Book Review – The emotionally intelligent team: understanding and developing the behaviors of success
Justin Gutmann pp. 419–421 [Download PDF]
A book review of The emotionally intelligent team: understanding and developing the behaviors of success, by Marcia Hughes and James Bradford Terrell, Jossey-Bass, 2007.
Published 1 April 2008

Book Review – Measuring attitudes crossnationally: lessons from the European Social Survey
Adam Phillips pp. 421–422 [Download PDF]
A book review of Measuring attitudes crossnationally: lessons from the European Social Survey, edited by Roger Jowell, Caroline Roberts, Rory Fitzgerald and Caroline Eva, Sage Publications, 2007.
Published 1 April 2008

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 159–164 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 2, by Peter Mouncey.
Published 1 February 2008

Viewpoint – After 50 years of IJMR, the state of marketing
Malcolm McDonald pp. 165–168 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint, from Malcolm McDonald, looks at the current state of marketing, and the relationship between the academic community and marketing practitioners. It argues that academics must avoid talking about increasingly narrow issues in an increasing impenetrable language to an increasingly restricted audience, and that marketing as a whole is long overdue for a reality check, which should encourage a movement towards a more realistic and relevant pursuit of marketing excellence.
Published 1 February 2008

Forum – Culture, communications and business: the power of advanced semiotics
Katja Maggio-Muller and Malcolm Evans pp. 169–180 [Download PDF]
Commercially applied semiotics is well established as a powerful methodology for research and for developing brand communications. Current applications include: deep dives into cultural connotations and category codes that enrich understanding and revitalise communication of key consumer benefits; optimisation of concepts and test advertising (with an enhanced appeal to consumers, via semiotic intervention, which has been proved quantitatively); mapping, development and fine tuning of internal culture and communications in line with innovation in external brand communication; and deploying the semiotics of metaphor and storytelling to create new emotional spaces for brands. A fusion agency-side of marketing and semiotic perspectives, the former supported by experienced marketers with client-side experience, ensures accessibility and supports actionability of findings. The key client benefits of semiotics identified within P&G include foresight in identifying patterns of change in culture and brand communication, the ability to create disruptive innovation by identifying new discourses and breaking the current normative codes, and insight based on the language and cultural environment consumers are unable to tell researchers about directly because these operate on a largely subconscious level. The methodology continues to evolve with the key current developments being around clarity and transparency of process, the ability to engage flexibly with new media and new challenges faced by brands (e.g. sustainability, changing expectations around CSR), and development of a semiotics-inspired perspective within the client organisation.
Published 1 February 2008

A new measure of brand attitudinal equity based on the Zipf distribution
Jan Hofmeyr, Victoria Goodall, Martin Bongers and Paul Holtzman pp. 181–202 [Download PDF]
In this paper the authors present a parsimonious measure of attitudinal equity for all brands in a survey at respondent level. Their purpose is to provide marketing researchers with a survey-based measure of brand strength that is attitudinally pure and can therefore be used with confidence for modelling purposes. The authors validate the measure against typical ‘within survey’ metrics, but also against individual behaviour as established in diary and scanner panels. In both cases, they show that the measure correlates strongly with the way that each person in the survey distributes her/his share of wallet across brands in a category. The measure outperforms other attitudinal indicators of brand strength both in terms of ‘within survey’ validation and in terms of ex-survey panel data.
Published 1 February 2008

Instantiation: reframing brand communication
Chris Barnham pp. 203–200 [Download PDF]
This paper discusses how brands, and their values, become established in the mind of the consumer. The AIDA model of brand communication is now widely rejected within the marketing community. It is accepted that the consumer does not ‘process’ brand experience at a rational and conscious level, and a new consensus has emerged that focuses on the need to find deeper, and more ‘psychological’, reasons for brand motivation. The brand is now construed as also sending emotional, and therefore more complex, messages to the consumer, and we have recognised, as a result, that the business of brand experience is more subtle than the rationality of AIDA once suggested. The fundamental structures of the AIDA model remain, however, firmly in place, albeit with new terminology. This paper, in contrast, argues that the entire framework of brand communication needs to be revised. We need a new model to understand how consumers experience brands.
Published 1 February 2008

New trends in innovation and customer relationship management: a challenge for market researchers
Stan Maklan, Simon Knox and Lynette Ryals pp. 221–240 [Download PDF]
For decades, one of the key roles of market research has been to help companies forecast customer acceptance of innovation and of changes to the marketing mix (the 4Ps). However, traditional market research is in danger of being left behind by new practices in sales, marketing and R&D. Reflecting an increasingly participative approach to customer relationships, these disciplines are moving towards customer involvement and co-creation of value rather than innovation mainly generated by head office and only then tested among customers. Co-creation involves working participatively with customers to enhance the value they get when buying and using goods and services. It enables firms to understand and respond to deeper and more valuable customer needs, and reduces the inherent risks of innovation. Nor is this increasing trend towards co-creation limited to new product introduction. As companies invest in customer relationship management (CRM) programmes, they need to design new forms of relationship with those directly affected: their customers. As customers use internet-related technologies to manage their relationships with suppliers, cocreation will become a more important component of innovation and growth strategies. In this context, traditional market research approaches begin to look outdated. The authors illustrate, with a case study of a dotcom company, how action research can provide tools and methods by which market researchers can assist and improve the co-creation process. The implications for market researchers and research practices are identified.
Published 1 February 2008

Mixed mode: the only ‘fitness’ regime?
Bill Blyth pp. 241–266 [Download PDF]
Increasing cost differentials between modes of data collection and countries are requiring users and practitioners to consider more cost-effective survey designs. Using a ‘fitness for purpose’ framework, the argument is made that the tools exist to enable objective evaluation of alternative designs using a variety of methods within a common framework that can be shared by all survey users. The paper argues that coverage will be one of the largest sources of potential bias in any survey using data-collection methods other than face-to-face or mail. The calibration of coverage is therefore a pre-requisite in any discussion of alternative survey designs.
Published 1 February 2008

Web 2.0, social networks and the future of market research
Mike Cooke and Nick Buckley pp. 267–292 [Download PDF]
Market Research is often accused of failing to provide the insights sought by our clients, and in an increasingly complex society we are challenged to embrace a different model of thinking with different principles at its centre. We believe that a Web 2.0 research platform and a social network approach offers marketing research new tools to meet the challenges of the future. The paper identifies a number of trends that may well provide fertile ground for marketing researchers to develop new approaches. The open source movement will not only affect the way that we think but the very methodologies that we use. The emergence of Web 2.0 offers us an array of collaborative tools with which to develop new research approaches to explore the rapidly changing social and media environment. At the same, the rapid growth of online social networks has fuelled the already rich research literature on the importance of studying humankind in ‘tribes’ or ‘groups’. We argue that the combination of social computing tools and an understanding of social networks will allow us to build new types of research communities, in which respondents interact not only with the researchers but with the clients and most fertilely with each other.
Published 1 February 2008

Book Review – Richard Layard – Happiness: lessons from a new science
Agnes Nairn pp. 293–295 [Download PDF]
A book review of Happiness: lessons from a new science, by Richard Layard, Penguin Books, 2005.
Published 1 February 2008

Book Review – Les Binet and Peter Field – Marketing in the era of accountability
Ian Grant and Keith Crosier pp. 296–297 [Download PDF]
A book review of Marketing in the era of accountability by Les Binet and Peter Field, World Advertising Research Center, 2007.
Published 1 February 2008

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–6 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 50, No. 1 (2008).
Published 1 January 2008

Commentary - How did the MRS Journal start?
John Downham pp. 7–10 [Download PDF]
In this specially commissioned article, former MRS Chairman John Downham describes the reasons that led to the founding of the MRS journal, initially called Commentary. While the journal's content, style, size, pagination, publication frequency and branding have all changed, the journal is still the mains vehicle for academics and practitioners to reach a wide audience with their papers.
Published 1 January 2008

Viewpoint - Facebook: the future of networking with customers
Ray Poynter pp. 11–12 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint article, Ray Poynter looks at the increasing importance of social networking websites. He argues that portals such Facebook could pose a challenge to traditional market research, a fact demonstrated in its simplest form by the opportunities they provide for finding out quick answers to simple questions at low cost. More radically, such sites could result in entirely new ways of working, by allowing researchers to refine the scope of their problem through interaction with actual customers before designing their brief. The flourishing of user groups around any and every topic, such as the one that successfully lobbied for the reintroduction of Cabury's Wispa chocolate bar, also shows that the way brands communicate with consumers is changing, and brand owners may have to give up some control to customers if they are to flourish in the new digital environment.
Published 1 January 2008

Forum - Food for thought: shouldn’t we actually target food advertising more towards kids and not less?
Juliet Strachan and Vincent Pavie-Latour pp. 13–27 [Download PDF]
For far too long the debate about food marketing to children and young people has focused on whether such marketing should be allowed in our society, instead of what the balance of that marketing should be. Children and young people are vital, valid, valued members of our society, and marketing is a part of societal life. We therefore have a responsibility to teach children and young people how to consume marketing and how to discriminate between its messages. If society falsely incubates and insulates kids today from marketing messages - especially in such crucially important areas as food and nutrition - then they will be ill-equipped to make sense of the mêlée of marketing communications later in life.
Published 1 January 2008

Fifty years using the wrong model of advertising
Robert Heath and Paul Feldwick pp. 29–59 [Download PDF]
This paper investigates the dominance of the information processing model in TV advertising. Despite theoretical and empirical evidence that supports the importance of factors such as emotional content and creativity, the authors show that a rational information-based persuasion model, which pre-dates the development of formal marketing, persists in its domination of almost all TV advertising development and evaluation. It is postulated that this persistence derives from a sociological desire to maintain a positivist worldview of simplistic, well-ordered value systems operated by rational and predictable consumers. The authors suggest that both advertisers and researchers need to adopt a Critical Realism perspective in order to move beyond the philosophical straitjacket of this information processing model, and they summarise the implications that this has for current research practice.
Published 1 January 2008

Do data characteristics change according to the number of scale points used? An experiment using 5-point, 7-point and 10-point scales
John Dawes pp. 61–104 [Download PDF]
This study examines how using Likert-type scales with either 5-point, 7-point or 10-point format affects the resultant data in terms of mean scores, and measures of dispersion and shape. Three groups of respondents were administered a series of eight questions (group n's = 300, 250, 185). Respondents were randomly selected members of the general public. A different scale format was administered to each group. The 5- and 7-point scales were rescaled to a comparable mean score out of ten. The study found that the 5- and 7-point scales produced the same mean score as each other, once they were rescaled. However, the 10-point format tended to produce slightly lower relative means than either the 5- or 7-point scales (after the latter were rescaled). The overall mean score of the eight questions was 0.3 scale points lower for the 10-point format compared to the rescaled 5- and 7-point formats. This difference was statistically significant at p = 0.04. In terms of the other data characteristics, there was very little difference among the scale formats in terms of variation about the mean, skewness or kurtosis. This study is 'good news' for research departments or agencies who ponder whether changing scale format will destroy the comparability of historical data. 5- and 7-point scales can easily be rescaled with the resultant data being quite comparable. In the case of comparing 5- or 7-point data to 10-point data, a straightforward rescaling and arithmetic adjustment easily facilitates the comparison. The study suggests that indicators of customer sentiment - such as satisfaction surveys - may be partially dependent on the choice of scale format. A 5- or 7-point scale is likely to produce slightly higher mean scores relative to the highest possible attainable score, compared to that produced from a 10-point scale.
Published 1 January 2008

Web surveys versus other survey modes: a meta-analysis comparing response rates
Katja Lozar Manfreda, Michael Bosnjak, Jernej Berzelak, Iris Haas and Vasja Vehovar pp. 79–104 [Download PDF]
One question that arises when discussing the usefulness of web-based surveys is whether they gain the same response rates compared to other modes of collecting survey data. A common perception exists that, in general, web survey response rates are considerably lower. However, such unsystematic anecdotal evidence could be misleading and does not provide any useful quantitative estimate. Metaanalytic procedures synthesising controlled experimental mode comparisons could give accurate answers but, to the best of the authors' knowledge, such research syntheses have so far not been conducted. To overcome this gap, the authors have conducted a meta-analysis of 45 published and unpublished experimental comparisons between web and other survey modes. On average, web surveys yield an 11% lower response rate compared to other modes (the 95% confidence interval is confined by 15% and 6% to the disadvantage of the web mode). This response rate difference to the disadvantage of the web mode is systematically influenced by the sample recruitment base (a smaller difference for panel members as compared to one-time respondents), the solicitation mode chosen for web surveys (a greater difference for postal mail solicitation compared to email) and the number of contacts (the more contacts, the larger the difference in response rates between modes). No significant influence on response rate differences can be revealed for the type of mode web surveys are compared to, the type of target population, the type of sponsorship, whether or not incentives were offered, and the year the studies were conducted. Practical implications are discussed.
Published 1 January 2008

Improved scale development in marketing: an empirical illustration
Nic S. Terblanche and Christo Boshoff pp. 105–119 [Download PDF]
Far too often marketing instruments are used in research without sufficient evidence of their reliability and validity. As a result conclusions are drawn, recommendations offered and managerial decisions made, based on empirical results that are often contradicted by follow-up studies, or are simply false. Correct measurement using valid and reliable scales is not just a 'nice to have' in marketing research - it is crucial. This study highlights the limitations of more conventional methods of scale development, and empirically illustrates how marketing researchers can improve the construct validity of their measuring scales by using contemporary techniques such as structural equation modelling.
Published 1 January 2008

Marketing research in Japan: from its emergence to the present
Kazuo Kobayashi and Nicolaos E Synodinos pp. 121–153 [Download PDF]
The development of modern Japanese marketing research is described from its inception following the Second World War to the early years of the new millennium. Four earlier periods that coincide with broader socio-economic factors are delineated and important research-related developments are noted. Special emphasis is placed on recent years, with an overview of the research environment in terms of external influences and Japan's domestic setting. In addition, industry statistics are used to create a quantitative summary that covers major characteristics and trends in Japanese marketing research.
Published 1 January 2008

Book Review: The 50-plus market
Peter Mouncey pp. 155–156 [Download PDF]
A book review of The 50-plus market by Dick Stroud. Kogan Page, 2007.
Published 1 January 2008

Book Review: Super crunchers. How anything can be predicted
Mike Cooke pp. 157–158 [Download PDF]
A book review of Super crunchers: how anything can be predicted by Ian Ayres. John Murray, 2007.
Published 1 January 2008


Volume 49 (2007)

Issue 6 +

The ethical dilemmas and challenges of ethnographic research in electronic communities
Neil Hair and Moira Clark [Download PDF]
The purpose of this paper is to raise the awareness of a range of ethical dilemmas and challenges facing researchers who adopt ethnographic approaches in electronic community research. The paper considers what it means to conduct ethical research in electronic communities, drawing from the two main philosophical approaches: deontology (using codes of conduct) and teleontology (the greatest good for the greatest number). Finally the paper illustrates the problems researchers face with interpreting ethical codes and common ethical canons such as privacy and consent, and makes a number of practical recommendations.
Published 1 November 2007

Peter Mouncey pp. 681–686 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 6 (2007).
Published 1 November 2007

Introduction to IJMR special issue on Ethnography
Caroline Hayter Whitehill pp. 687–689 [Download PDF]
Introduction to the Ethnography special issue of IJMR (Vol. 49, No. 6), by guest editor Caroline Taylor Whitehill of Acacia Avenue.
Published 1 November 2007

Viewpoint - Ethnography and market research
Philly Desai pp. 691–692 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Philly Desai, of qualitative research company Turnstone, provides a brief introduction to the current condition of ethnographic research. He argues that ethnography provides some of the most interesting and innovative approaches and results in market research, but fails to achieve the same recognition afforded to other forms of MR (such as focus groups) because of the lack of a common language and approach, meaning that buyers are ultimately unsure of what they're getting.
Published 1 November 2007

Forum - Going underground: how ethnography helped the Tube tunnel to the heart of its brand
Ian Pring pp. 693–705 [Download PDF]
This paper describes an ethnographic study of customers' experiences of travelling on the London Underground. The research was applied to help identify why there was an apparent perception gap between the more positive results from passenger satisfaction surveys and the negative results, and low levels of advocacy, measured in brand image surveys. The crucial insight from the research was that brand associations are almost wholly independent of the actual journey experience: the journeys themselves were mainly satisfactory, but negative associations persisted. Alongside rational complaints about the Tube - such as reliability and the ageing infrastructure - there sat a more emotional and deep-rooted set of feelings that focused on the experience of being underground. The implications of this research are now embedded into London Underground's long-term strategy in a wide range of areas.
Published 1 November 2007

Forum - Ethnography within consumer research: a critical case study of Consumer Film Festivals
Lorne McMillan and Brenda Ng pp. 707–714 [Download PDF]
This paper describes an ethnographic research study conducted for Microsoft's Gaming Division across seven countries, among teens and young adults who play PC and console video games. Both the research methodology and the project deliverables relied on the heavy use of video film; not only were in-home interviews were filmed in each country, and respondents were given video cameras and asked to make their own short films to express their feelings about particular topics relevant to PC and video gaming. When all of this was done, respondents were invited to a central location and participated in a 'Consumer Film Festival' - essentially, a focus group where their films were shown among their peers and used as the basis for group discussion.
Published 1 November 2007

Say what you mean, mean what you say - an ethnographic approach to male and female conversations
Robin Croft, Clive Boddy and Corinne Pentucci pp. 715–734 [Download PDF]
The fact that people use language in quite different ways and to mean different things has been discussed over the past 500 years or more, across several disciplines, including philosophy, psychology, sociology and linguistics. More recently it has been suggested that there are clear differences in the way men and women use language: the same words can have quite distinct meanings according to the gender of the speaker and the listener. If so, this could have serious implications for market research: we know what people say, but what exactly do they mean? Our exploratory study used ethnographic techniques to examine the different ways in which men and women conversed, and the conversational strategies they employed. We suggest that there are clear differences, although we find that age and social class may also have a bearing on how we use language socially.
Published 1 November 2007

Participant photography in visual ethnography
Jan Brace-Govan pp. 735–750 [Download PDF]
Ethnography is experiencing a resurgence of interest, and visual ethnography offers marketers opportunities to gather appealing and pertinent data. With the increasingly widespread use of digital photography, having participants take photographs as part of the data-gathering process offers an interesting way for respondents to become involved in the generation of research data. However, including participants requires the researcher to be clear on several aspects of research design. Using a project on household consumption, two linked practical issues in visual ethnography are examined. The first issue addressed is the role of participants in gathering visual data and the discussion offers several practical pointers. The experience of this project also challenges the suggestion in the marketing literature that photographs offer participants distance from phenomena and instead takes up Barthes' theorisation of 'intimacy'. The other closely linked issue is how to analyse and integrate data generated from a visual ethnography. A suggested process for this offers a resolution to the participant involvement and closes the paper.
Published 1 November 2007

Understanding retail experiences - the case for ethnography
Michael J. Healy, Michael B. Beverland, Harmen Oppewal and Sean Sands pp. 751–778 [Download PDF]
Retailers develop branded experiences in order to enhance consumers' perceptions of the brand and bring the brand to life. Consumers are effectively immersed in a branded world and experience the brand on a cognitive, emotional and visceral level. Yet, to date, our understanding of retail experience has been limited to studies on the effect of one or two variables (such as music and light) on perceptions of the store. Few researchers have focused on how consumers experience the store on a holistic level. As a result, our understanding of retail experiences is limited to reports on short-term personal visits of stores from consultants, or quantitative assessments of certain design or experiential variables conducted in experimental situations, usually with student subjects. This paper makes a case for more ethnographic research examining how consumers experience themed retail spaces to achieve greater understanding of the whole retail experience. The paper proposes a 'toolkit' for marketing researchers that will assist with the collection of dynamic data from the experiential retail environment, including the contextual shifts of the consumer (from home, to store, and post-consumption). In addition, it identifies a number of suggested strategies for conducting, analysing and interpreting retail ethnography based on practitioner insights and the authors' own experience in the field.
Published 1 November 2007

Book Reivew - Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour
Agnes Nairn pp. 801–802 [Download PDF]
A book review of Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox. Hodder & Stoughton, 2005.
Published 1 November 2007

Book Review: Ethnography for marketers: a guide to consumer immersion
Alan Wilson pp. 802–803 [Download PDF]
A book review of Ethnography for marketers: a guide to consumer immersion by Hy Mariampolski. Sage Publications, London 2006
Published 1 November 2007

Issue 5 +

Simple rating scale formats: exploring extreme response
Gerald Albaum, Catherine Roster, Julie H. Yu and Robert D. Rogers [Download PDF]
The usual simple rating scale purports to measure direction (important/unimportant, effective/ineffective, etc.) and intensity (very, somewhat) of attitude or opinion in a single assessment. Thus, direction and intensity components may be confounded in simple rating scales, which can increase opportunities for form-related biases such as central tendency error. This study examines response tendencies in simple rating scales using the traditional approach and an alternative two-stage approach, both designed to assess the performance of a major charitable organisation in the United States. Using a measure of the proportion of extreme responses at both the individual scale and respondent levels, results suggest that simple rating scales as generally used (i.e. one-stage) tend to underestimate extreme viewpoints held by people and may be subject to a central tendency form-related error.
Published 1 September 2007

Peter Mouncey pp. 539–544 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 5 (2007).
Published 1 September 2007

Viewpoint - Measuring the right things
Les Binet and Peter Field pp. 545–546 [Download PDF]
Addressing the hot topic of accountability, Les Binet and Peter Field argue in their Viewpoint for a change of emphasis in the metrics traditionally used for measuring the impact of marketing. Their views are based on a detailed analysis they've conducted of entries to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) annual Effectiveness Awards, and provide some interesting messages, and challenges, for market research.
Published 1 September 2007

Viewpoint - Correspondence regarding ‘The choice between a five-point and a ten-point scale in the framework of customer satisfaction research’, by Pedro S. Coelho and Susana P. Esteves
James Rothman, Pedro S. Coelho and Susana P. Esteves pp. 546–550 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint article comprises an exchange of correspondence between James Rothman, a former editor of IJMR, and Pedro S. Coelho and Susana P. Esteves, New University of Lisbon, in response to their paper published in Volume 49, Issue 3, on five-and ten-point scales.
Published 1 September 2007

Forum - Small business market research: Examining the human factor
Robert P. Hamlin pp. 551–571 [Download PDF]
This Forum article, by Robert P. Hamlin, of the University of Otago, New Zealand, questions if market researchers take sufficient notice of the mindset of those who commission, or consume, their services? He argues that in an industry where technical and methodological issues take centre stage, the need to understand the 'decision-maker' psychology and the importance of developing effective relationships are often missing from, or only briefly discussed in, core textbooks and other literature. As such, he offers some advice on how researchers might address the challenges posed by the 'committed decision maker'.
Published 1 September 2007

Online access panels and tracking research: the conditioning issue
Clive Nancarrow and Trixie Cartwright pp. 573–594 [Download PDF]
In this article, Clive Nancarrow, Bristol Business School and Trixie Cartwright, TNS Global Interactive review and assess past evidence on panel respondent conditioning, and examine conditioning issues relating to the use of online access panels for tracking studies. They present a pan-European study that tracks brand awareness, image and advertising recall using the same respondents to establish whether or not conditioning is a significant factor. The implications for panel management rules to eliminate any unwelcome conditioning effects are discussed and suggestions for further research are offered.
Published 1 September 2007

Using the repertory grid to access the underlying realities in key account relationships
Beth Rogers and Lynette Ryals pp. 595–612 [Download PDF]
This paper examines a variety of examples of repertory grid research to assess how and why the technique is used. In particular, the authors focus on the strengths and weaknesses of using the repertory grid to explore the nature of close business-to-business relationships. Compared with the more frequently used technique of qualitative depth interviews, differences were found which suggest that further research is needed to identify what really drives supplier-buyer interdependence. The research indicates the value of the repertory grid in exploring topics that are not well defined and to identify the way that business decision-makers are making sense of their work environment.
Published 1 September 2007

Development of a research tool for the elicitation of consumer response
Tracy X.P. Zou and W. B. Lee pp. 613–631 [Download PDF]
A new consumer research tool is proposed for eliciting consumer responses from unstructured data, such as narratives. The grounded theory approach is adopted to guide the process of data collection and analysis. Classical grounded theory methodology relies heavily on the ability of researchers to notice patterns in the data and to cope with theory, which is termed 'theoretical sensitivity'. This study attempts to suggest an alternative method that makes use of the sense-making abilities of consumers in shaping and detecting patterns. A practical consumer research project is conducted to explore the patterns of foreign language learning behaviour among tertiary students. Participants experience a sense-making process during which they assign codes to short pieces of narrative, categorise the codes to themes and give names to the categories. This real project helps to demonstrate that the proposed tool could provide an understanding of the behaviours of participants as well as of some of their underlying values. The research process is interactive and dynamic, with participants playing very active roles. This differentiates the study from ordinary focus group research.
Published 1 September 2007

Assessing mobile-based online surveys: methodological considerations and pilot study in an advertising context
Shintaro Okazaki pp. 651–675 [Download PDF]
This paper attempts to measure the value of an integrated business idea to enhance the hard work of an entire business returning to growth. Following implementation of ‘Try Something New Today’ it is estimated that sales grew by 3.7%, an increase from the previous year’s two percent, representing value in excess of £200 million (approx $400 million in 2008) revenue.
Published 1 September 2007

Book Review: The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy
Winston Fletcher pp. 677–678 [Download PDF]
A review of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today's Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy by Andrew Keen. Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2007.
Published 1 September 2007

Book Review: The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand
Russ Lidstone pp. 678–680 [Download PDF]
A review of The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand by Chris Anderson. Random House, 2006.
Published 1 September 2007

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 413–417 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 4 (2007).
Published 1 July 2007

Introduction to IJMR special issue on Data Integration
Barry Leventhal pp. 419–421 [Download PDF]
Introduction to the Data Integration special issue of IJMR (Vol. 49, No. 4), by guest editor Barry Leventhal, of Teradata.
Published 1 July 2007

Viewpoint - Welcome to the future
Samantha Smith pp. 423–424 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Samantha Smith, Head of Future Media Research at the BBC, provides an overview of how media measurement may look in 2030, but only if some bold decisions are taken long before then.
Published 1 July 2007

Forum - Total recall: Transforming the possibilities of customer intelligence in an age of intelligent commerce
Sean Kelly pp. 425–433 [Download PDF]
In the ever-changing contemporary marketing and media environments, traditional conceptions of 'the customer' no longer apply, and similarly long-relied upon marketing techniques and product measures have also been forced to give way to a number of new tools and methodologies. The diversity of lifestyles, demographics and ethnic backgrounds in society at large make any communications strategy based on a single, universal message a risky one; rather, what is required in this new landscape is the combination of information-based intelligence and the capacity to work in real time.
Published 1 July 2007

Data integration methodologies in market research: an overview
Ken Baker pp. 435–447 [Download PDF]
Fuelled by ever-increasing computing power, data integration techniques involving the combining of information from two or more data sources have become more widely accepted over the past 15 years or so. This paper attempts to outline the strengths and weaknesses of a selection of such techniques.
Published 1 July 2007

The design and precision of data-fusion studies
Trevor Sharot pp. 449–470 [Download PDF]
Fusion is the linking of two survey datasets by pairing up similar respondents and joining their data records, in order to be able to cross-analyse outputs from one survey with those from the other. Invariably, the two surveys are pre-existing rather than being designed specifically for the fusion, and their samples of respondents differ both in design and size. Depending on the particular method of fusion used, the size of the fused dataset may be the same as one of the surveys or different to both. An unresolved issue is: what is the effective sample size of the fused dataset – that is, the size of a hypothetical single-source sample that would deliver equal variances and standard errors to the fusion? This paper addresses this question and provides three main findings. First, it is shown that the assumption of conditional independence, crucial for good fusion, also facilitates analysis and comparison of effective sample sizes and variances. Second, across the range of fusion methods and outputs examined, the effective sample size is shown to be a weighted geometric mean of the two source sample sizes and therefore lies between them; and for designers of fusion the simple (unweighted) geometric mean may be taken as a representative figure. Third, while limited validation of the geometric mean result has been performed so far, the generality of the conditions under which it was derived implies that it should have wide validity across different fusion methodologies. Knowledge of the effective sample size in turn provides several benefits: it is a tool for designers of fusion to deliver outputs of required precision, and a tool for users to compute the standard error of outputs; this in turn permits calculation of confidence intervals and significance tests.
Published 1 July 2007

Market research data integration - coming to intersections from two directions
Peter Walsh pp. 471–487 [Download PDF]
The fundamental objective of data integration in the market research context is to accurately estimate intersections between variables from different surveys. Standard techniques map data in one direction – from one survey on to another.
Published 1 July 2007

The polarisation method for merging data files and analysing loyalty to product attributes, prices and brands in revealed preference
Wade Jarvis, Cam Rungie and Larry Lockshin pp. 489–513 [Download PDF]
The method known as revealed preference data is becoming increasingly available for detailed business and academic analysis; however, it is not widely used in describing consumer purchasing beyond the typical statistics reported by the large panel data providers. These statistics are usually related to the brand only and not to other important non-brand attributes. This paper shows how the customer, product and transaction files in one category (wine) are integrated so that a loyalty model can be applied to several product attributes, including prices and brands. The parameters of the model give a simple indication of the level of switching or loyalty that is taking place for any particular attribute and any particular attribute level. The results show that in this category, namely wine, attributes other than the proprietary brand name are driving loyalty. The results also show which specific attribute levels (within an attribute) have higher and lower loyalty. These results are important for marketing practitioners and the paper proposes a rethink in how brands are managed and communicated to consumers in order to optimise performance. When present, variations in attribute-level loyalty require different marketing strategies. For example, high loyalty implies greater deal resistance and more importance on communicating the attribute level, while low loyalty requires constant, small marketing and promotional tactics to maintain market share. As well as a detailed description of the technique, the various marketing implications posited above are drawn out in this paper.
Published 1 July 2007

Teenagers' response to self- and other-directed anti-smoking messages: a cross-cultural study
Chip Miller, Bram Foubert, James Reardon and Irena Vida pp. 515–533 [Download PDF]
While the de-marketing of smoking among teenagers has received wide attention in the literature, few have examined the issue of whether messages should be uniform across cultures. Globally, the vast majority of anti-smoking messages are based on fear appeals portraying negative effects on the (potential) smoker him/herself. This research suggests that such a global strategy may be suboptimal. Specifically, while ads portraying the negative consequences to oneself of smoking to oneself may work for teens from individualist cultures, they are less effective in collectivist cultures. In contrast, messages orientated towards the adverse effects on other people are more effective in collectivist environments. Given the astronomical amounts spent on anti-tobacco advertising, this finding offers significant advantages for creating effective anti-smoking messages.
Published 1 July 2007

Book Review: British Social Attitudes, the 22nd report: Two Terms of New Labour – the public's reaction
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 535–536 [Download PDF]
A review of British Social Attitudes, the 22nd report: Two Terms of New Labour – the public’s reaction, edited by Alison Park, John Curtice, Katarina Thomson, Catherine Bromley, Miranda Phillips and Mark Johnson. Sage Publications, 2005.
Published 1 July 2007

Book Review: Guerrilla Marketing Research: Marketing Research Techniques that can help any business make more money
Nigel Bradley pp. 537–538 [Download PDF]
A review of Guerrilla Marketing Research: Marketing Research Techniques that can help any business make more money by Robert J Kaden. Kogan Page, 2006.
Published 1 July 2007

Issue 3 +

Book Review: Advertising Works 14
Peter M. Chisnall [Download PDF]
A review of Advertising Works 14, edited by Les Binet (ed.), World Advertising Research Center, 2006.
Published 1 May 2007

Peter Mouncey pp. 279–283 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 3 (2007).
Published 1 May 2007

Viewpoint - Polling, politics and the press
Deborah Mattinson pp. 285–286 [Download PDF]
The Viewpoint in this issue discusses the media agenda when commissioning and reporting the results of political opinion research. It argues the case for giving a higher priority to methodological rigour and identifies why research practitioners must fight to protect their integrity.
Published 1 May 2007

Forum - The strength of British market research is British market researchers: a reply to Piercy
Clive Boddy and Robin Croft pp. 287–298 [Download PDF]
In his Viewpoint in IJMR 48, 3, Nigel Piercy argued that market researchers are obsessed with technique and methodology, rather than providing leadership in management learning. This Forum article challenges this perspective by arguing that the international success of the UK market research industry is due to its pragmatism, commercial orientation and the fact that, unlike in some other countries, it is unhindered by a rigid adherence to any particular scientific paradigm. The
Published 1 May 2007

Valuing the visceral: the increasing importance of the rapid-affective response in assessing consumer behaviour
Susan Bell, Suzanne Burdon, Jane Gregory and Josephine Watts pp. 299–311 [Download PDF]
Since the 1960s, the focus in market and social research has been on the search for deep motivations that underpin attitudes and behaviour, and, ultimately, decision making. This paper proposes an alternative focus based on the imperatives of societal change and the emergence of an instant-response culture comprising a society of individuals who expect to make decisions quickly. This impulsive, visceral approach to decision making is increasingly pervasive, and it is important for researchers to better understand this behaviour and to give it sufficient weight in their work. The paper describes the potential for an appropriate research model, which is an adaptation of psychological models on the way the mind works, and assesses its usefulness to our industry.
Published 1 May 2007

The choice between a five-point and a ten-point scale in the framework of customer satisfaction measurement
Pedro S. Coelho and Susana P. Esteves pp. 313–339 [Download PDF]
In marketing research, and particularly in the context of customer satisfaction measurement, we often try to measure attitudes and human perceptions. This raises a number of questions regarding appropriate scales to use, such as the number of response alternatives. Obviously, there is a trade-off between the desired response discrimination level and the effort that is demanded of the respondent to situate his or her answer in one of the scale categories. If this effort is too high it can reduce the quality of responses and increase the non-response rate. In the context of customer satisfaction measurement we compare a fivepoint and a ten-point numerical scale. The analysis includes the evaluation of non-response rates, response distribution, the ability to model customer satisfaction, as well as convergent, discriminant and nomological validity of constructs used in the ECSI (European Customer Satisfaction Index) model. Globally, results tend to favour the choice of the ten-point scale, which contradicts some conventional wisdom. Moreover, we conclude that in this context there are no effects of socio-demographic characteristics (namely educational level) on the ability of respondents to use each scale.
Published 1 May 2007

Predicting purchase decisions with different conjoint analysis methods: a Monte Carlo simulation
Klaus Backhaus, Thomas Hillig and Robert Wilken pp. 341–364 [Download PDF]
To forecast purchase decisions, different conjoint-based approaches have been discussed. Nevertheless, there is no clear evidence on which variant performs best. This study uses a Monte Carlo simulation to systematically compare different choice-based models and different models of a modified traditional conjoint variant, namely limit conjoint analysis (LCA), which allows for integrating choice decisions. All models compared, except the aggregate logit model, are rather robust. However, the hierarchical Bayes approaches perform best with both choice-based and limit data. The limit models are more efficient than those based on choice data. Thus, to predict purchase decision in practice, the limit hierarchical Bayes model should be considered first.
Published 1 May 2007

Experimental shopping analysis of consumer stimulation and motivational states in shopping experiences
Gianluigi Guido, Mauro Capestro and Alessandro M. Peluso pp. 365–386 [Download PDF]
The present research investigates the roles of both the individual reaction to environmental stimuli and personality characteristics in consumers’ pursuit of hedonic and/or utilitarian shopping values. The individual reaction to environmental stimuli is operationalised by two closely related measures: the optimal stimulation level (OSL), concerning the level of external stimulation with which an individual feels comfortable, and the arousability, concerning the rate with which the internal stimulation (i.e. the arousal) level of an individual changes in response to a sudden increase (or decrease) in the environmental stimulation. Results from an experimental study showed, first, that these two constructs (OSL and arousability) are positively correlated with those personality traits (i.e. Agreeableness and Openness to Experience, according to the Big Five-Factor mode (see Digman 1990)) mostly associated with the hedonic shopping value. Second, drawing on Reversal Theory (see Apter 1989), results showed that paratelic individuals (i.e. those who are interested in the shopping activity itself) have higher OSL and arousability than telic individuals (those who are interested in shopping outcomes, such as the purchase of specific products). These motivational states, in turn, are differently related to the two shopping values (i.e. hedonic vs utilitarian). Theoretical and practical implications for marketing are discussed.
Published 1 May 2007

The web of insights: the art and practice of webnography
Anjali Puri pp. 387–408 [Download PDF]
The focus of online research has hitherto been largely on using the internet as a tool to reach potential respondents efficiently. However, the internet is more than a tool. It is a ‘space’, like many other social spaces, where people meet, talk, express their views, live their lives. The potential of the web as the object of study has remained underexploited in market research. It is this dimension of the web – as a rich source of data on people’s lives, interactions and opinions – that offers tremendous possibilities in the years to come. ‘Webnography’ or ‘webethnography’ is an attempt to look for insights arising from natural contexts on the internet – the natural ‘conversations’ among consumers, or what we refer to as consumer generated media. This includes forums like blogs, newsgroups, social networking services, message boards, consumer review forums etc. There are several advantages that this type of web-research offers: access to spontaneous consumer talk that is more natural and more ‘real’; ‘heartfelt’ data that is more vivid and textured; real time trends as they happen and access to leading edge, involved consumers. This paper illustrates the promise of this method through examples, and shares some tips and best practices for undertaking webnography.
Published 1 May 2007

Book Review: An introduction to market and social research
Nigel Bradley pp. 409–411 [Download PDF]
A review of An introduction to market and social research, Karen Adams and Ian Brace, Kogan Page, 2006.
Published 1 May 2007

Issue 2 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 149–152 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 2 (2007).
Published 1 March 2007

Viewpoint: Public Information – now’s the time to make it freely available
Keith Dugmore pp. 153–154 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Keith Dugmore argues that there should be greater freedom of access to data collected by the government. A diverse mix of organisations, from the Office for National Statistics to Ordnance Survey, hold vast amounts of information collected at the expense of the public, yet their varying usage policies can create difficulties and boundaries for commercial companies. Removing these limitations could fuel economic activity, as it has in the US.
Published 1 March 2007

Forum: Measuring the value of insight – it can and must be done
Steve Wills and Sally Webb pp. 155–165 [Download PDF]
This paper discusses whether researchers really want to become the pro-active, consultant level professionals that they so often claim, or if they are actually happier in a reactive role, applying their professional skills to meet the demands of others. If it is indeed the former, then they will have to acquire much greater commercial acumen.
Published 1 March 2007

The live or digital interviewer - a comparison between CASI, CAPI and CATI with respect to differences in response behaviour
Fred Bronner and Ton Kuijlen pp. 167–190 [Download PDF]
One of the core activities of market research is the collection of data by interviewing. Three developments have strongly influenced this activity: decreasing response rates, higher interviewing costs, and the growing awareness that the respondent needs to be treated like a ‘real’ customer. These developments have led to new ways of sampling (from ad hoc to access panels) and to using other methods of collecting data (from CATI/CAPI to CASI). The effects of the different methods or modes of collecting data are the focus of this paper. In this study the effects of the sampling procedure are explicitly distinguished from the effects of the modes of data collection. In particular, this split between sampling and modality effect provides new insights into the field of data collection. Research conducted by TNS NIPO and two universities shows that when using CASI, without an interviewer, socially unacceptable behaviour is more easily admitted. At the same time, using CASI, the respondent will be less sensitive to evaluation apprehension and show less socially desirable behaviour. CASI also leads to less extreme answers, more deliberation and more unaided recall of brand names, for example. Overall, the presence or absence of an interviewer appears to influence the interviewees. Therefore one has to be careful when data are collected through different modes.
Published 1 March 2007

Researching mere exposure effects to advertising - theoretical foundations and methodological implications
Anthony Grimes and Philip Kitchen pp. 191–219 [Download PDF]
This paper concerns a potentially under-researched area of great relevance to the discipline of market research – namely, low-attention processing of marketing communications. Given the accelerating complexity of media and consumer environments, mere exposure effects to advertising stimuli now play an increasingly important role in forming and influencing consumer decision making. As such, the development of methodologies to study these effects represents a major contemporary challenge for market research. It is argued, however, that for marketers to understand and enhance mere exposure effects, market research should focus not only upon their nature and extent but also upon the automatic processes by which they occur. This paper reviews contemporary understanding in this field, before discussing methodological implications for the development of market research.
Published 1 March 2007

The usefulness of the Basic Question - procedure for determining nonresponse bias in substantive variables: a test of four telephone questionnaires
Henk van Goor and Annemiek van Goor pp. 221–236 [Download PDF]
The Basic Question Procedure (BQP) is a method for determining non-response bias. The BQP involves asking one basic question – that is, the question relating to the central substantive variable of the study – of those persons who refuse to
Published 1 March 2007

How face influences consumption - a comparative study of American and Chinese consumers
Julie Juan Li and Chenting Su pp. 237–256 [Download PDF]
East Asia is fast becoming the world’s largest brand-name luxury goods market. This study develops the concept of face and face consumption to explain why Asian consumers possess strong appetites for luxury products despite their relatively low income. This paper distinguishes the concept of face from a closely related construct, prestige, and examines the influence of face on consumer behaviours in the United States and China. Due to the heavy influence of face, Asian consumers believe they must purchase luxury products to enhance, maintain or save face. Accordingly, face consumption has three unique characteristics: conformity, distinctiveness and other-orientation. The results of a cross-cultural survey support the existence of these three subdimensions and show that Chinese consumers are more likely to be influenced by their reference
Published 1 March 2007

Learning from giants - exploring, classifying and analysing existing knowledge on market research
Agnes Nairn, Pierre Berthon and Arthur Money pp. 257–274 [Download PDF]
The paper presented here is an abridged and adapted version of an article by Pierre Berthon, Agnes Nairn and Arthur Money which appeared in Marketing Education Review, 13, 2 (Summer) 2003. The objective of the paper in the IJMR now is to encourage practitioners and academics alike to build their own research on the foundations which have already been build by previous thinkers. We hope to demonstrate that a good literature review goes well beyond a cursory acknowledgement of other authors who have worked in the area and we present the ‘paradigm funnel’ as a tool which can be used to this end. We demonstrate how it can be used to go beyond simply listing a series of past studies to move towards the production of a structured analysis of a total body of research which can generate enlightened research thinking. In this paper the paradigm funnel is used to structure a historic body of research on Market Segmentation. Since the publication of the original paper the paradigm funnel has also been used to analyse Brand Management literature in an award winning thesis by Heding and Knudtzen (2006). These authors have added the notion of ‘paradigmatic turbulence’ to the original funnel and have applied it to a 20-year period of literature.
Published 1 March 2007

Book Review: The Mobile Revolution: the making of mobile services worldwide
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 275–276 [Download PDF]
A review of The Mobile Revolution: the making of mobile services worldwide by Dan Steinbock, Kogan Page, 2005.
Published 1 March 2007

Book Review: Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems
Mike Imms pp. 276–278 [Download PDF]
A review of Social Theory and Philosophy for Information Systems by John Mingers and Leslie P. Willcocks (eds), Wiley, 2004.
Published 1 March 2007

Issue 1 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 1–5 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 49, No. 1 (2007).
Published 1 January 2007

Viewpoint - The commercial-academic divide: never the twain shall meet?
Sheila Keegan pp. 9–11 [Download PDF]
Sheila Keegan examines the much-discussed divide between MR practitioners and academics, and argues that while each group sees the work of the other as exerting a limited influence on their own field, they should in fact look to combine their efforts in order to improve both the theory behind and practical application of market research.
Published 1 January 2007

Viewpoint - Response to ‘Client-driven change: the impact of changes in client needs on the research industry’ (IJMR, 48, 4)
Bernice Hardie pp. 11–12 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Bernice Hardie responds to the article 'Client-driven change: the impact of changes in client needs on the research industry' (IJMR, 48, 4) by Simon Chadwick. While agreeing with Chadwick's conclusions that agencies may need to change their structures to meet the demands of the new research landscape, the article argues that most agencies already possess staff with the skills that will be required to do so, and merely need to free them up from other activities, rather than bringing in external consultants as Chadwick suggests.
Published 1 January 2007

Viewpoint - Response to ‘Client-driven change: the impact of changes in client needs on the research industry’ (IJMR, 48, 4)
Rowland Lloyd pp. 12–13 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, Rowland Lloyd responds to the article 'Client-driven change: the impact of changes in client needs on the research industry' (IJMR, 48, 4) by Simon Chadwick, where it was argued that professional and trade bodies need to be educated about the changes taking place in the MR industry, and should reassess their codes of standards and issues such as respondent confidentiality. By contrast, this article asserts that European market researchers are bound on the latter front by strict regulation, while with regard to the former, many professional bodies, such as the MRSB, are already responding to the broad changes taking place in the industry.
Published 1 January 2007

Forum - Media proliferation and the demand for new forms of research
Adele Gritten pp. 15–23 [Download PDF]
In this Forum article, Adele Gritten addresses the challenges facing the media industry as a result of the concurrent trends of media and brand proliferation, market saturation and technological development, and the resultant changes these have produced on consumer behaviour. The paper assesses the current state of the media industry and the new ways in which consumers use media, as well as providing recommendations to marketers and researchers, and making some predictions about the future of media research.
Published 1 January 2007

Energy: igniting brands to drive enterprise value
John Gerzema, Ed Lebar, Michael Sussman and Jason Gaikowski pp. 25–45 [Download PDF]
BrandAsset® Valuator research has demonstrated that consumer perceptions of ‘Energy’ offer new insight into shifts in market value – adding to the case that brand building is best viewed as a strategic corporate investment. This unified metric links marketing performance with financial performance to prepare financial managers and brand managers to make more informed decisions on how to fund and guide marketing efforts to most effectively generate sales, equity and value. Further, the Energy metric can serve as an organising principle for the creative forces found throughout an entire organisation: motivating business units to work collaboratively to bring innovation forward for the benefit of the customer, the brand and the bottom line.
Published 1 January 2007

Roots marketing: the marketing research opportunity
Clive Nancarrow, Julie Tinson and Richard Webber pp. 47–69 [Download PDF]
Given the past and current migration of many populations, a significant and growing global marketing opportunity exists for products where the national identity or country of origin can be used as positive sub-branding. Two important questions for marketing researchers are discussed: first, how to ‘reach’ these consumers psychologically and, second, how to ‘physically’ reach them. To appreciate how to reach them psychologically the emotional significance and key dimensions of national, cultural or regional origins are examined using both the literature and a qualitative research study. As regards how ‘physically’ to reach and make contact both in marketing research and marketing terms with such a geographically dispersed target market, the authors examine marketing research and database research questions to establish a person’s perceived roots, and report on an innovation in the use of personal and family names as indicators of origins or affiliations. Focusing on Scottish migrants and their descendants as a case study, the paper reports on a programme of research in which the strength of the link between Scottish identity and the consumption of Scottish goods is determined. The findings indicate a significant marketing opportunity given the above average level of purchasing of Scottish products by migrants and their descendants, particularly as such people represent ambassadors for goods from their country of origin. The implications for other migrant groups across the world are noted.
Published 1 January 2007

Segmenting food markets - the role of ethnocentrism and lifestyle in understanding purchasing intentions
Bahtisen Kavak and Lale Gumusluoglu pp. 71–94 [Download PDF]
Previous research on ethnocentrism and lifestyle has focused on attitudinal segmentation. However, consumer attitudes may not always be consistent with the actual purchasing decision. Since behavioural intentions are more proximal predictors of behaviours than attitudes, segmenting markets using purchasing intentions might be more appropriate. The purpose of this study is to use purchasing intention to examine whether lifestyle and ethnocentrism can be useful indicators in segmenting foreign and domestic food markets. Data were collected from 1856 households in Turkey. Ethnocentrism, lifestyle (with its dimensions of fashion consciousness, cost consciousness, health consciousness, and craftsmanship) and demographics proved to be valid instruments in segmenting domestic and foreign food markets. The findings have implications both for foreign marketers who operate in or plan to enter the emerging Turkish food industry, and for domestic operators.
Published 1 January 2007

The implicit and explicit role of ad memory in ad persuasion: rethinking the hidden persuaders
Alastair Goode pp. 95–116 [Download PDF]
In 1957 Vance Packard wrote The Hidden Persuaders arguing how ads could persuade at a sub-conscious level. However, since Freud first popularised the concept of the ‘sub-conscious’, psychologists have been advancing the understanding into what the systems underlying sub-conscious processing are and the extent to which it affects behaviour. Cognitive psychologists have focused much of their effort on exploring the differences between ‘explicit’ memory (the conscious recollection of events) as opposed to ‘implicit’ memory (a ‘subconscious’ memory that affects behaviour without the necessity of awareness of prior exposure). Using current knowledge about implicit memory, this paper provides a testable psychological mechanism by which advertising can persuade sub-consciously. A case study is presented that illustrates how ads work at a ‘subconscious’ level and how this understanding led to insight into why creative ads often fail in conventional qualitative research.
Published 1 January 2007

Conjoint respondents as adaptive decision makers
Jon Martin Denstadli and Rune Lines pp. 117–132 [Download PDF]
One implicit assumption in conjoint measurement is that respondents solve the conjoint tasks by using some form of weighted additive rule for preference judgements. The weighted additive rule is assumed to be associated with a high level of accuracy, but at the same time to be among the most cognitively demanding processes for arriving at preference judgements. Research from other domains, including consumer behaviour, indicates that people often use highly simplified rules to arrive at preference judgements. This suggests that the weighted additive assumption might be unrealistic. In this paper we report on an empirical study that was designed to investigate the decision rules used by respondents in making judgements in full profile conjoint analysis. Results from self-reports based on a set of judgement rule descriptions show that only 40% of the subjects reported using a weighted additive rule. A set of hypotheses derived from an adaptive decision-making perspective is also developed and tested.
Published 1 January 2007

Book Review: International marketing research
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 133–135 [Download PDF]
A review of International marketing research. C. Samuel Craig and Susan P. Douglas. John Wiley, 3rd edition, 2005.
Published 1 January 2007

Book Review: Uncertain judgements: eliciting experts’ probabilities
Tony Proctor pp. 135–137 [Download PDF]
A review of Uncertain judgements: eliciting experts’ probabilities. Anthony O’Hagan, Caitlin Buck, Alireza Daneshkhah, Richard Eiser, Paul Garthwaite, David Jenkinson, Jeremy Oakley and Tim Rakow. Wiley, 2006.
Published 1 January 2007


Volume 48 (2006)

Issue 6 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 639–643 [Download PDF]
Editorial of IJMR Vol. 48, No. 6 (2006).
Published 1 November 2006

Viewpoint - The importance of blogging
Mike Cooke pp. 645–646 [Download PDF]
Mike Cooke expresses his opinion on blogging, arguing that this rapidly growing phenomenon (in which he includes social networking and content-sharing websites) is having a massive influence on consumers and, consequently, how research should be conducted. He says that researchers need to adopt a culture of engagement to keep up.
Published 1 November 2006

Forum - Understanding the buzz that matters: negative vs positive word of mouth
Alain Samson pp. 647–657 [Download PDF]
Alain Samson discusses the differing impact and variables of negative and positive word of mouth, how to research them and how to measure their effects. He also discusses how WOM can be forecasted, and be utilised in PR.
Published 1 November 2006

Developing reliable online polls
Nick Sparrow pp. 659–680 [Download PDF]
Based on their success at predicting the outcome of elections, opinion polls are used by the media, government and the political parties to measure public attitudes to a very wide range of other issues, helping to shape policy proposals and inform debate. Despite their importance within the political process, the media, political parties and pressure groups nevertheless want feedback from opinion polls quickly and cheaply. Large-scale random probability surveys may provide the
Published 1 November 2006

Comparing methods of brand image measurement
Carl Driesener and Jenni Romaniuk pp. 681–698 [Download PDF]
This study compared rating, ranking and ‘pick-any’ measures of brand image associations. The pick-any technique is a free response measure, where respondents are given an attribute as a cue and asked which brands they associate with it. It is a free response in that respondents can link any, all or no brands with each attribute. It only captures the association, however, with no indication of relative strength. The study confirmed past findings that the three measures are highly correlated at brand level (average correlation of 0.90). Further analysis at individual level found that individuals utilised the three measures in a consistent manner, suggesting that the measures are virtually interchangeable. The main
Published 1 November 2006

Integrating marketing intelligence sources - Reconsidering the role of the salesforce
Ken Le Meunier-FitzHugh and Nigel Piercy pp. 699–716 [Download PDF]
Research has identified that after 40 years of discussion the use of the salesforce as a source of market information is relatively widespread in business-to-business organisations, but that the majority of organisations do not gather, store or
Published 1 November 2006

An empirical test of six stated importance measures
Keith Chrzan and Natalia Golovashkina pp. 717–740 [Download PDF]
This paper reports on a web-based commercial customer satisfaction study consisting of 1284 respondents, which measured stated attribute importance using six different methods (importance ratings, constant sum, Q-sort, maximum difference scaling, unbounded ratings and magnitude estimation). Statistical analyses were used to evaluate these six methods in terms of (a) the time they take to administer, (b) their ability to provide discriminating measures and (c) their predictive validity. Clear winners and losers emerge from these analyses, and applied marketing researchers can use these findings to the benefit of the marketers they support.
Published 1 November 2006

Can cross-national/cultural studies presume etic equivalency in respondents’ use of extreme categories of Likert rating scales?
Catherine Roster, Gerald Albaum and Robert Rogers pp. 741–759 [Download PDF]
The purpose of this study was to determine differences in extreme response to rating scales between cultures/nations in a measure of corporate reputation. Separate surveys examined differences in respondent use of extreme categories for five-category Likert rating scales in a broad study of corporate reputation conducted in the United States, China, the Philippines and Ireland. Results showed that the U.S. and the Philippines samples were more likely to use extreme scale end points than the China or Ireland samples, and that neither age nor gender affected reliance upon extreme category responses within samples. Furthermore, we find that cultural tendencies towards reliance on extreme responses can exert a somewhat systematic effect on composite scale scores. This research highlights the importance of assessing etic equivalency of research instruments in cross-cultural/national research studies before conducting subsample comparisons or combining results, as culturally dictated response styles to attitudinal rating scales may threaten subsample response equivalency.
Published 1 November 2006

Book Review: Media monoliths
Mike Imms pp. 761–762 [Download PDF]
A review of Media Monoliths. Mark Tungate, Kogan Page, 2005.
Published 1 November 2006

Book Review: Mail and internet surveys: the tailored design method
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 762–763 [Download PDF]
A review of Mail and Internet Surveys: the tailored design method. Don A. Dillman, Wiley, 2006
Published 1 November 2006

Issue 5 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 505–509 [Download PDF]
In his Editorial piece, Peter Mouncey outlines the papers presented in this edition of IJMR, and also outlines some topics which are currently lacking in research, and which may provide fertile ground for future submissions to the journal.
Published 1 September 2006

Viewpoint - Writing stuff - why bother?
Gill Ereaut pp. 511–512 [Download PDF]
In this Viewpoint piece, IJMR Executive Editorial Board member Gill Ereaut addresses some of the benefits to market research practitioners of writing pieces concerning their work for publication in journals. She argues that publishing work can not only help to build up reputations and fuel practical insight, but can also encourage a greater degree of professionalism in the industry by enhancing the common stock of knowledge.
Published 1 September 2006

Viewpoint - Response to ‘The trouble with marketing research is marketing researchers’ by Nigel F. Piercy
Rosie Campbell pp. 512–513 [Download PDF]
In this response to Nigel Piercy's previously published critique of the market research industry, Rosie Campbell's Viewpoint seeks to balance the argument about contemporary market research and market researchers. In particular, she argues that the industry has transformed itself in the last 30 years, and has a creativity and dynamism which may be lacking in some academic approaches to undertaking research.
Published 1 September 2006

Looking for the emotional unconscious in advertising
David Penn pp. 515–524 [Download PDF]
This paper proposes a new model of advertising research based on the new understanding of the mind provided by brain science. It hypothesises that much advertising nowadays works implicitly – either below, or at very low levels of, awareness – but that so-called affective (emotional) advertising does not work exclusively through implicit processes. It suggests that both recall and recognition may be effective means of measurement for emotional advertising, and argues that attempts to prejudge advertising as either rational or emotional are highly problematic.
Published 1 September 2006

The prevalence and usefulness of market research: an empirical investigation into ‘background’ versus ‘decision’ research
Raguragavan Ganeshasundaram and Nadine Henley pp. 525–550 [Download PDF]
Using information effectively has become a critical determinant for gaining competitive advantage and enhancing business performance. The type and extent to which market research information is used can play a significant role in a firm's level of performance. Surprisingly, little empirical research has been conducted on the usefulness of market research. This paper examines the prevalence of type ('background' and 'decision' research) and perceived usefulness of market research commissioned for enhancing business performance. Information relating to 6036 research projects collected from 68 organisations was reviewed, and a sample of 1550 market research projects was selected for the study. The data were collected by personal interviews and a mail questionnaire relating to 1550 projects on four dimensions of 'usefulness' (overall usefulness, actionable, value and market understanding) and on respondents' level of 'involvement' on those projects. 'Background research' predominates over 'decision research' as a research activity, but was regarded as less useful by managers over the first three dimensions of usefulness. This result was not compromised by the extent of manager involvement. The result was more marked when the dimensionality of the ratings was studied using a factor analysis. The study has produced evidence that if the current emphasis on 'background research' were to shift to 'decision research' then market research would be deemed more useful by managers.
Published 1 September 2006

Application of projective techniques in an e-business research context: a response to ‘Projective techniques in market research - valueless subjectivity or insightful reality?’
Elaine Ramsey, Patrick Ibbotson and Patrick McCole pp. 551–573 [Download PDF]
This paper is a response to Boddy's (2005) paper, published in the International Journal of Market Research, 47, 3, which called for more evidence on projective techniques applied to a research problem. Specifically this paper will present research-based analysis and understanding of an investigation of ownermanagers' perceptions of government support for e-business developments within knowledge-intensive business services in Ireland and New Zealand. It introduces the reader to the quasi-quantitative mapping technique (content analysis and a modified matrix) as a means of analysing data to help overcome issues of measurement and interpretability of the qualitative information gleaned from projective instruments. It also discusses the value derived from the methodology. The paper concludes that projective techniques are reliable, valid, trustworthy, significant and appropriate research instruments that have provided insightful reality, not valueless subjectivity relative to the research problem.
Published 1 September 2006

The relationship between corporate websites and brand equity: a conceptual framework and research agenda
Evmorfia Argyriou, Philip J. Kitchen and T.C Melewar pp. 575–599 [Download PDF]
The internet has been credited as an important advertising and direct marketing channel, which has the potential to revolutionise the branding of products and services. Yet, several studies have been forecasting the end of traditional brand management in today’s e-markets. At the same time, there is ongoing discussion about the move towards corporate branding and brand equity. Brand equity is a long-established construct, which refers to the tangible and intangible value of brands and emphasises the strategic goals of branding, such as the creation of brand knowledge in consumers’ minds from the firm’s investment in various marketing and corporate communication programmes. With most of the world’s greatest brands now being corporate names and investing in their own corporate websites as an alternative way to reach consumers, brand equity becomes relevant in any website development and evaluation process. This paper develops a series of propositions to demonstrate how corporate brand entities may manage their brand equity at their corporate website interface. Building on existing conceptual and empirical data we present a theoretical framework and research agenda of such a relationship.
Published 1 September 2006

Influences of customer differences of loyalty, perceived risk and category experience on customer satisfaction ratings
Mark S. Johnson, Ellen Garbarino and Eugene Sivadas pp. 601–622 [Download PDF]
A persistent problem in customer satisfaction measurement is a tendency towards high or skewed measures of satisfaction. Consequently, there has been research interest in what makes customers either lenient or critical in their ratings. In this study, we investigate whether differences in loyalty, risk perceptions and category experience define customer groups that are relatively critical or lenient in their satisfaction ratings. Satisfaction ratings include overall satisfaction, satisfaction with attributes, and satisfaction relative to competing organisations. Results indicate that non-loyal customers who perceive low risk in the offerings of the organisation may be lenient in their satisfaction scores. The most critical customers are low-loyalty customers with high category experience and high perceptions of risk.
Published 1 September 2006

Utilising surveys for finding improvement areas for customer satisfaction along the supply chain
Ipek Deveci Kocakoç and Ali Sen pp. 623–636 [Download PDF]
In today's competitive environment, companies that want to survive need to improve their products and services. If customer satisfaction measurements are used as a source of improvement effort, the results will be more satisfactory and realistic. Satisfaction of the end customer is strongly related to satisfaction of the whole customer chain. If a company's wholesalers are not satisfied, it is likely that the end customers will be dissatisfied. This study represents how customer surveys can be useful for determining improvement areas for customer chains. A new evaluation method for deciding improvement areas using survey results is also proposed. The proposed method and preparation, measurement and evaluation process of a customer chain satisfaction project, which is conducted for the customer chain of a company manufacturing automotive spare parts, is presented.
Published 1 September 2006

Book Review: Paul Szwarc – Researching customer satisfaction and loyalty
Nigel Bradley pp. 637–638 [Download PDF]
In this review of Paul Szwarc's 'Researching customer satisfaction and loyalty', Nigel Bradley argues that the style and content of the work will allow client company managers, students and new arrivals to the field of marketing research to gain a deeper understanding of the industry, as well providing a useful resource for further references.
Published 1 September 2006

Issue 4 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 383–386 [Download PDF]
In his editorial, Peter Mouncey provides an introduction to the papers featured in this issue of IJMR, and briefly discusses the possible future roles of market research for clients, and the regulatory issues which currently face projects in the public sector. Finally, the editorial also features a tribute to Susan Baker, discussing some of her previous work as well as her final paper, which is published in this edition of IJMR.
Published 1 July 2006

Viewpoint - The splintered society
Winston Fletcher pp. 387–388 [Download PDF]
The impact of fragmentation is a universal feature of the modern world, limited not only to the media, as some market researchers appear to believe, nor even to the range of goods and services available to consumers. Rather, this Viewpoint piece argues, we are living in an increasingly 'splintered' and heterogeneous society. This poses a real challenge to market research, as customers are increasingly varying their decisions and choices, and are thus making all brands and products 'minority brands'. As a result, in the future, minority marketing may become a crucial advertising tool as mass marketing becomes increasingly out-of-date.
Published 1 July 2006

Viewpoint - Response to ‘Commercialisation of childhood? The ethics of research with primary school children’ by Agnes Nairn
Barbie Clarke pp. 388–390 [Download PDF]
In this response to a previous Viewpoint by Agnes Nairn, Barbie Clarke agrees that, as recent heavy criticism suggests, marketers looking to promote goods to children should consider their approach very carefully. While using SMS and websites may be effective ways of reaching a target audience, for example, it is argued that parental consent should always be sought when a child is involved in a market research survey, of whatever form. Neither should children be used to 'spy' on their friends as a way of gaining an insight into their activity. Children have rights and voices of their own, and these need to be respected by the industry.
Published 1 July 2006

Client-driven change - the impact of changes in client needs on the research industry
Simon Chadwick pp. 391–414 [Download PDF]
Historically, changes in the market research industry have been driven by the needs and wants of clients. During the 1990s, a huge number of mergers and acquisitions led to vast changes on the supply-side, but more recently the dual developments of 'disruptive technology' and a client focus on consumer insight as the basis for decision-making have posed a great challenge to the industry. As consultancy and data-gathering roles have become more divided, research companies have been faced with the need to change their structures, and increasingly emphasise their consultancy skills and business acumen as well as their ability to provide clients with high quality data from a wide range of platforms. It is argued that the industry must change if it is to meet these challenges, and that education will be a key tool in ensuring it successfully achieves this aim.
Published 1 July 2006

Escaping the channel silo - researching the new consumer
Hester Stuart-Menteth, Dr Hugh Wilson and Susan Baker pp. 415–437 [Download PDF]
It has been widely argued that the new consumer is active, knowledgeable, demanding, channel-hopping and, above all, experience-seeking. Yet market research often continues to survey consumers as if they were purely passive recipients of the messages, products and services we provide. Furthermore, research frequently treats marketing channels entirely separately. The exploratory survey of Lexus customers we report here demonstrates a more integrated approach, developing a measure of customer experience that is applied uniformly across multiple channels. Results show that the experience quality of interactive channels is particularly strongly associated with customer relationship quality, and suggest that consistency between channels is also important in the customer relationship. The implication for market researchers is the need to monitor the multi-channel customer experience holistically if vital insights are not to fall between the cracks of the client’s channel silos.
Published 1 July 2006

Are we listening and learning? Understanding the nature of hemispherical lateralisation and its application to marketing
Anthony Grimes pp. 439–458 [Download PDF]
With the advent of increasingly advanced and available brain-scanning technology and the reported emergence of ‘neuromarketing’, this paper seeks to critically examine the basis on which marketing research has sought to apply a specific area of neuropsychological understanding: the hemispheric lateralisation of brain function. To this end, the author provides a review of scientific research in this area and critically evaluates the application of this work to marketing. The paper highlights future research directions in this specific field, and also serves as a timely and important reference point for the application of other neuroscientific concepts in the marketing arena.
Published 1 July 2006

Predictive segmentation in action - using CHAID to segment loyalty card holders
Laura Galguera, David Luna and M. Paz Méndez pp. 459–479 [Download PDF]
This paper illustrates the use of a post hoc predictive segmentation procedure to segment the loyalty card market. The specific procedure used is CHAID, an algorithm that has been gaining in acceptance because it fits the needs of marketing researchers regarding segmentation: it provides non-binary classification trees; the resulting categories/segments are mutually exclusive; it permits prediction of whether certain segments are more likely to engage in the target behaviour, and it is relatively easy to use and interpret. We conducted two parallel studies in two different countries. In both studies, we first modelled the data using logistic regression and then used the significant variables in that model for the CHAID analysis. The results show that CHAID is a reliable segmentation procedure.
Published 1 July 2006

What the Audit Commission really thinks of consultation
John May pp. 481–495 [Download PDF]
The Audit Commission is the most important regulator of local councils. As such, this body has considerable power to promote or discourage the use of public consultation in local government. This paper uses Audit Commission data to analyse and interpret the weight that the Commission gives to consultation when it assesses local councils’ overall performance. The findings may make uncomfortable reading for social and market researchers in the local government sector, and for consultation and participation practitioners.
Published 1 July 2006

Book Review: Strategic management: creating value in turbulent times by Peter Fitzroy and James Hulbert
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 499–501 [Download PDF]
Market research departments are often perceived by CEO's as poor sources of information compared with other departments such as finance and human resources. The book under review seeks to provide an insight into how market researchers can build and maintain corporate value, and argues that the best way this can be achieved is to reach an understanding of broad social and economic changes, changes within specific industries, and changes in consumer behaviour. Three strategic planning areas through which to establish a competitive advantage are also identified: where and how to compete, and opportunities for growth. Firmly establishing a company's mission is also crucial.
Published 1 July 2006

Book Review: Statistical analysis of management data by Hubert Gatignon
Tony Proctor pp. 502–503 [Download PDF]
This book seeks to provide researchers with an introduction to multivariate techniques, and also provides some examples of how they can be applied in a number of fields. As well as providing a guide to the major methods used (as identified through a survey of management research literature), the book also seeks to equip readers with the practical skills necessary to utilise each technique, and a reading list to relevant articles.
Published 1 July 2006

Issue 3 +

Peter Mouncey pp. 249–252 [Download PDF]
The editorial introduces the papers to be found in this volume of the journal, covering topics as varied as the impact of advertising, public sector research methods, informational democracy and the use of the internet as a research tool. It also contains a call for papers on ethnography, and a brief assessment of the importance 'blogging' and 'word-of-mouth', and the possibilities these tools provide for market reseaarchers.
Published 1 May 2006

Viewpoint - The trouble with marketing research is marketing researchers
Nigel Piercy pp. 253–254 [Download PDF]
Market research and researchers are faced with a number of different challenges and opportunities. Across all business sectors, the winners are those companies that know the most. Whilst market researchers can provide broad and accurate statistical information, they often place too much emphasis on technique and methodology. What is required is a new creativity and strategies that help decision-makers identify and exploit new business opportunities, and understand and react to change.
Published 1 May 2006

How to use advertising to build brands: in search of the philosopher’s stone
Spike Cramphorn pp. 255–275 [Download PDF]
In the past, it was presumed that behaviour was conscious, sequential and rational. The hierarchy-of-effects (HOE) models of advertising, like AIDA, reflect this ‘old world’ thinking, where ‘emotional’ responses were somehow inferior. However, in recent years we have learnt a lot about how the brain and how advertising works, mostly because of the advances made in the area of neuroscience. It is like starting afresh. So, with this new knowledge, are we any closer to the modern day philosopher’s stone – finding a sure way to understand and manage the relationship between advertising and brand purchase? In light of this new learning, we have tested these popular models using the add+impact® database of thousands of ads from all over the world, to see which model actually fits the response that people make when presented with an advertisement. The implication of this analysis and learning provides new insights for advertising’s strategic planners, and transforms the advertising research practices and help marketers to develop more effective advertising to better build successful brands.
Published 1 May 2006

Do survey respondents and non-respondents differ? Ecological analyses of the 2005 British Election Study
Ron Johnston and Richard Harris pp. 277–302 [Download PDF]
Little is known about the characteristics of respondents and non-respondents to electoral surveys, which is an issue of growing concern as survey response rates fall. Using a procedure that allows all of the addresses sampled in the 2005 British Election Study to be located within the small areas defined for data dissemination with the 2001 census, as well as relevant electoral areas, this study reports on ecological analyses of where those who responded and those who declined to be interviewed lived. It finds that although certain types of area were underrepresented in the sampling procedure and others were over-represented, there were only slight differences in the geographies of survey respondents and refusers: people living in low-density areas were slightly more likely to respond; those living in high-density areas with high proportions of their populations suffering from socio-economic disadvantage and with high levels of population mobility were slightly more likely to refuse to participate in the survey.
Published 1 May 2006

Ladders, stars and triangles: old and new theory for the practice of public participation
John May pp. 305–319 [Download PDF]
The practice of public participation has remarkably little theory it can call its own. This paper considers the best-known theory – the Ladder of Participation – and updates it to reflect changes in thinking since the original ladder was published. The paper then introduces a new theory, based on the perspective of the participants rather than the practitioners and applies the theory to the notorious problem of the ‘usual suspects’.
Published 1 May 2006

Internet adoption as a two-stage transition: converting internet non-users to internet users and to online buyers
Subroto Roy and Sanjoy Ghose pp. 321–349 [Download PDF]
Identifying the Internet Non-User (INU), Internet User (IU) and Online Buyer (OB) is important for marketers to enable appropriate target marketing, distribution, advertising and customer service. Such identification is also critical to public policy makers desirous of reducing the digital divide. Despite the criticality of identifying the INU, IU and OB, research in marketing on the internet has not focused on the associated problem of identifying the determinants of the three categories. This research offers a conceptual model, based on innovation diffusion theory, for identifying the individuals in each of the three categories on the basis of innovativeness, internet use and online trust. Demographic variables and availability of home computer are other factors used to theoretically predict membership of INU, IU and OB. Implications for practice, public policy and research are drawn.
Published 1 May 2006

Measuring the impact of informational democracy on consumer power: a new application for an old tool
Jose M. Barrutia and Jon Charterina pp. 351–373 [Download PDF]
Some authors are announcing the dawn of informational era marketing, where the consumer acquires real negotiating power based on access to information that is complete, up to the minute and unbiased. This theoretical affirmation, however, has not yet been put to the test. Some creative thinking by researchers
Published 1 May 2006

Book Review: Ian Brace: Questionnaire design
Nigel Bradley pp. 377–378 [Download PDF]
Questionnaire writing and design is not only a skill, but also a key element of successful market research. The book under discussion provides information on topics including planning, writing and piloting a questionnaire, ethical issues and the media which can be used to collect relevant data. As well as acting as a guide for all areas of the process, the review also suggests it can provide even the most experienced researcher with some new and valuable insights.
Published 1 May 2006

Book Review: Mary-Lou Galician (ed): Handbook of product placement in the mass media: new strategies in marketing theory, practice, trends and ethics
Peter M. Chisnall pp. 378–381 [Download PDF]
The use of product placement appears to has become increasingly accepted over the last decade, but it remains a controversial topic amongst consumer groups and, in the case of America, even regulatory bodies. This book comprises a number of essays and case studies that seek to assess the importance and impact of product placement in the USA. Despite this limitation on its focus, the review argues that it may provide valuable lessons and an impetus for new research elsewhere.
Published 1 May 2006

Issue 2 +

Viewpoint – Commercialisation of childhood? The ethics of research with primary school children
Agnes Nairn pp. 113–114 [Download PDF]
This Viewpoint, from Dr Agnes Nairn of the University of Bath, raises her concerns about the ethics of conducting market research on commercial products among children. In particular, Nairn discusses some of the techniques being used by researchers, and the consequences she believes that they may have for relationships between children, their families and friends.
Published 1 March 2006

Viewpoint – Response to Don Schultz’s Viewpoint ‘We can do better’
Jorge Garcia-Gonzalez pp. 115–116 [Download PDF]
This piece is a response to Don Schultz's Viewpoint, 'We can do better' (IJMR 47,5), which criticised the research industry for focusing on tactical issues and offered a new solution as to how the industry could become more strategic. Jorge Garcia-Gonzalez's reply argues that Schultz's solution is not new, but nonetheless is a useful contribution to an ongoing debate.
Published 1 March 2006

Using investment-based techniques to prove the ‘bottom line’ value of research and give CEOs what they want
Vicki Tanner pp. 117–138 [Download PDF]
CEOs and market researchers talk a different language. CEOs talk in terms of results – the bottom line, the share price, key financial ratios. Research or consumer insight managers typically use terms such as share of voice and brand awareness. When it comes to CEO communications, market researchers could be compared to package tourists in a foreign country. Many believe that if they speak loudly and slowly enough their CEO will eventually understand them. This difference in style is one of the key reasons why consumer insight/market research is treated as a cost rather than an investment. However, when CEOs are presented with the ‘bottom line’ value of research, they are not only willing to accept the results; they typically increase budgets – in some cases by as much as 500%. This paper outlines how to close the existing gap including: linking research and corporate objectives; proving the potential return on the investment (ROI); communicating your success in ‘bottom line’ terms and initial implementation steps that market research/consumer insight managers can take to ensure that their clients maximise the ROI on key activities and research gains the profile with senior management it needs to close this gap. Practical case studies are used to highlight the approach so that researchers can begin to implement it swiftly. Finally, this paper aims to advance practically the long-standing dialogue in the market research industry about how researchers can close the gap between executive decision making and market research management.
Published 1 March 2006

Attitude formation onlin - how the consumer’s need for cognition affects the relationship between attitude towards the website and attitude towards the brand
Maria Sicilia, Salvador Ruiz and Nina Reynolds pp. 139–154 [Download PDF]
This paper applies traditional models of attitude formation, based on the elaboration likelihood model, to the internet. Specifically, the dual mediation hypothesis and the affect transfer hypothesis are tested on an interactive website. The paper also considers whether the consumer’s inherent need to think about things (need for cognition) impacts on which model applies. Findings suggest that the traditional model dominant offline (dual mediation hypothesis) is not dominant online, unless the consumer has an intrinsic tendency to think. The implications of the findings on transferring offline models to the interactive environment online, and on website design, are discussed.
Published 1 March 2006

Context effects and context maps for positioning
Minhi Hahn, Hyunmo Kang, Yong J. Hyun and Eugene Won pp. 155–178 [Download PDF]
Context effects refer to changes in consumer preference and choice responses when a new alternative is added to a choice set. This paper proposes a general scheme for classifying various context effects using newly defined share-ratio measures (SRM) and share-change measures (SCM). With these measures, we can also draw context maps and preference-substitutability maps that visualise the nature of context effects and positions of competing brands. These maps allow marketers to make positioning decisions that take advantage of positive context effects.
Published 1 March 2006

Evaluating advertising effects on brand perceptions: incorporating prior knowledge
Jenni Romaniuk and Emma Nicholls pp. 178–192 [Download PDF]
One of the key objectives of advertising is to influence the perceptions customers hold about a brand in their memory. Therefore, when assessing the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, researchers often look at changes in responses to brand-attribute linkage questions. Drawing on two cases in the fast-food and financial services markets, we show how using known patterns in perceptual data to create expected values can more clearly isolate the effect of advertising on brand perceptions. This technique removes the overall shifts in brand usage or the relevance of the attribute to the category, which when trying to isolate the effects of advertising a specific message are essentially ‘noise’. Removal of this ‘noise’ reduces the number of changes that need attention and highlights advertisingrelated changes.
Published 1 March 2006

Competitive market analysis from a demand approach: An application of the Rotterdam demand model
Emilio Ruzo, José M. Barreiro and Fernando Losada pp. 193–236 [Download PDF]
The design of successful marketing strategies requires knowledge of the competitive market structure as well as the competitive patterns that exist in the market. Only with this prior knowledge can we take the right decisions: by knowing which of our competitors would be most affected and which would have a greater influence on our results. In this paper, a demand model is presented as a useful means of performing competitive market analysis using store-level data. Using this model, we aim to demonstrate an easily manageable tool that can be used to conduct competitive market structure analysis and to analyse the competitive patterns that exist in that market structure.
Published 1 March 2006

Issue 1 +

Viewpoint – Checks and balances
David V.L. Smith pp. 5–6 [Download PDF]
This opinion piece discusses the emergence of a new form of market research, in which researchers go beyond the provision of data alone to offer judgements and interpretations. Whilst the MR industry has many different established codes and procedures governing the mechanics and ethics of research, concern is expressed that little exists to ensure the reliable interpretation of research findings. The author argues for a review of existing guidelines and the creation of a MR industry 'Charter' to help ensure the growing trend towards interpreting data is adequately covered.
Published 1 January 2006

Out with the new, in with the old
Wendy Gordon pp. 7–26 [Download PDF]
This paper is born out of frustration at outdated models of thinking that are alive and well today instead of being dead and buried (and a source of amusement). The marketing community obstinately clings to false beliefs about how people and brands coexist in everyday life, in the face of irrefutable scientific proof to the contrary. Like those who insisted that the world was flat when it had been proven to be round, or those who, even today, refuse to believe in the evidence of evolution, many people who are responsible for the growth and success of organisations, brands, products and services are unwilling, or unable, to change their views about how ‘we’ (the institution, organisation, company or brand) influence ‘you’ (the consumer, customer or target group) to think or act. Between 15 and 25 years ago (1980–1990), radical new thinking emerged about how advertising ‘works’ that is still applicable today. At the time this thinking was provocative and challenging, yet it failed to take root. Why? The first objective of this paper is to revisit the key hypotheses presented in three very different papers written during this decade and to analyse why these theories failed to flourish. The second objective is to demonstrate through current hard science that the thinking in each case was sound and can now be scientifically proven and, furthermore, that this knowledge is neither heretical nor to be feared. Instead it can lead to innovative and successful marketing solutions that align the interests of organisations (company, brand, product, service) with those of human beings (consumers, customers).
Published 1 January 2006

Use of Monte Carlo simulation for the public sector: an evidence-based approach to scenario planning
Roberto Foa and Melanie Howard pp. 27–48 [Download PDF]
This paper describes a statistical methodology that can be deployed in order to conduct evidence-based scenario planning. Scenario-planning techniques have
Published 1 January 2006

The century of Bayes
Joseph Retzer pp. 49–60 [Download PDF]
While many in marketing research have probably heard something about ‘Bayesian analysis’, chances are they are not quite sure what it is or what, if anything, would make them want to use it. This paper answers the following three questions about Bayesian analysis. First, what is Bayesian analysis? After gaining an intuitive feel for Bayesian analysis, the reader will see that Bayesian analysis is surprisingly straightforward and instinctive. Secondly, why should one use Bayesian analysis? This section focuses on a few of the most compelling reasons for using Bayesian analysis. Thirdly, why now? Given that Bayes theorem has been around since the mid- 18th century, and if it in fact does underlie analyses offering numerous advantages, why has Bayesian analysis become popular only in the past ten years? Finally, the article briefly reviews selected applications of Bayesian analyses that have already become, or are expected to become, popular in marketing research.
Published 1 January 2006

Measuring consumer reactions to sponsoring partnerships based upon emotional and attitudinal responses
Sverre Riis Christensen pp. 61–80 [Download PDF]
Consumers’ reactions to being exposed to sponsorships have primarily been measured and documented by applying cognitive information-processing models to the phenomenon. In this paper it is argued that such effects are probably better modelled by applying models of peripheral information processing to the measurements, and it is suggested that effects can be measured on the attitudestowards-the-sponsor and emotion-towards-the-sponsor levels. This type of modelling is known as ELAM modelling; however, the types of independent variable involved are new to research into sponsorship effects. Two batteries of statements – attitude words and feeling words – were developed and a study carried out with 470 respondents, randomly selected from the Danish population. The data were analysed, and provide expressions of positive and negative attitude reaction and emotional reaction that show marked differences in consumer reactions towards sponsored objects of different natures as well as towards potential sponsoring organisations. For instance, the charitable institutions measured in the study elicit larger negative emotional responses than positive responses, corresponding to a negative Net Emotional Response Score (NERS). Among the potential sponsoring companies, only one – a tobacco manufacturer – shows this profile in NERS. The variation in NERS between charitable institutions and sports institutions is quite dramatic and has a high face validity. When studying attitude responses (Net Attitude Response Score, or NARS), the differences between sponsored institutions are much smaller, although the charitable institutions still show a structurally different profile from the cultural and sports institutions. The differences between companies in NARS are quite small and probably significant in only a few instances. The NERS and NARS data are used to illustrate a ‘goodness-of-fit’ measurement that companies – or organisations looking for sponsors – can use to determine whether a potential arrangement has the ability to provide the desired effects on reactions. This goodness of fit is applied both to the net scores and to the full evaluations on the attitude and emotion batteries, and it seems as if the latter approach will be richer in explanatory power for a potential sponsor.
Published 1 January 2006

Audience experiences of media context and embedded advertising: a comparison of eight media
Fred Bronner and Peter Neijens pp. 81–100 [Download PDF]
To make more effective and efficient media planning decisions, we need insight into media context variables that influence the effects of the advertisements embedded in these media. The research involved in achieving this insight has to fulfil three essential requirements: (i) inclusion of several media types (television, radio, print, etc.); (ii) inclusion of a variety of media context variables; and (iii) a real-life context instead of an experimental situation with forced exposure. We developed an instrument – the Media Experience Monitor – that meets these requirements and used it to gather data from a representative sample of the Dutch population for eight media. The instrument was used in the second part of the study to examine the interaction between experiences of advertising and the carrying media for all eight media included in our study. The results show that the strength of the interaction differs: the strongest relationships were found for print media, and the weakest for television and cinema. Recommendations are also given for applying the Media Experience Monitor in media planning practice.
Published 1 January 2006


Volume 47 (2005)

Issue 6 +

Viewpoint – We can do better
Prof Don E Schultz pp. 573–574 [Download PDF]
Too much market research focuses on tactical studies. It is argued that MR should be ‘levered up’ to focus on strategy and financial business decisions. There has been wide agreement that this should and could be done, but ‘the problem is so big’ that it will take a long time. What seems to be lacking is not the diagnosis but the will to do something as an industry to solve this problem.
Published 1 November 2005

Viewpoint – In pursuit of lost causes
Michael Brown pp. 574–575 [Download PDF]
Argues that to commence a debate on ‘a more detailed, rigorous and pan-national approach to guaranteeing data quality’ would be a waste of breath, for four reasons. These boil down to the overwhelming pressure for what is now a major, global industry to supply what the commissioning client wants – which is ‘insight’ rather than data. The client seldom has the knowledge or the inclination to ask the right questions to test data quality. In this context, ethical standards are hard to maintain, however much one may wish to.
Published 1 November 2005

Knowledgeable uncertainty: paradox or paradigm?
Roger Palmer pp. 577–595 [Download PDF]
Changes in the business, firm and managerial environment are increasing the pressures on managers to make more and better decisions, yet such managers have less time and possibly less information available to assist them. This introduces the requirement for greater insight and understanding of customers as competition increases and the use of marketing techniques becomes more ubiquitous and professional. The nature of change and the implications for managers are discussed.
Published 1 November 2005

Global socio-economic levels: development of a global non-occupational classification system
Andrea Dinning, Martin van Staveren and Geoff Wicken pp. 597–614 [Download PDF]
Over many years, and in most parts of the world, socio-economic classification schemes have been deployed in order to segment populations into discrete groups that define the status of the individuals within them. These are mostly set up on a national basis. However, global advertisers today are finding that there are more and more multi-country planning tasks that require the identification of similar groups of people in different markets all over the world. Regional systems have been proposed in the past, but these have not found high levels of acceptance, being difficult to administer alongside national systems in studies where both are required.
Published 1 November 2005

Comparing data from online and face-to-face surveys
Bobby Duffy, George Terhanian, John Bremer and Kate Smith pp. 615–639 [Download PDF]
This paper explores some of the issues surrounding the use of internet-based methodologies, in particular the extent to which data from an online survey can be matched to data from a face-to-face survey. Some hypotheses about what causes differences in data from online panel surveys and nationally representative face-to-face surveys are discussed. These include: interviewer effect and social desirability bias in face-to-face methodologies; the mode effects of online and face-to-face survey methodologies, including how response scales are used; and differences in the profile of online panellists – both demographic and attitudinal.
Published 1 November 2005

‘Hidden’ opportunities and benefits in using web-based business-to-business surveys
Wolfgang Teller, Christoph Teller and David Grant pp. 641–666 [Download PDF]
The use of surveys continues to be an important technique in business-to-business (B2B) market research, and internet or web-based surveys are fast becoming desirable alternatives to traditional survey methods. Web-based surveys have several technological and methodological advantages to help improve both internal survey and external validity. This paper presents the results of a webbased survey conducted in a typical B2B research setting to evaluate the ‘hidden’ opportunities and benefits of web-based surveys. We demonstrate that using a web-based approach has considerable potential for examining ex post the quality of collected data and for retrieving findings to improve future surveys.
Published 1 November 2005

Identifying the influence of product design and usage situation on consumer choice
María Jesús Yagüe Guillén and Jaime Romero de la Fuente pp. 667–686 [Download PDF]
This paper analyses consumer perceptions with regard to the suitability of products to anticipated usage contexts, as well as their influence on purchase behaviour. Both elements are linked to managerial decisions through product design.
Published 1 November 2005

Issue 5 +

Viewpoint - Maintaining research standards
Adam Phillips pp. 465–466 [Download PDF]
Adam Phillips appeals for increased transparency by the industry in the way that it polices itself, in order to protect its self-regulatory status. This is an increasingly important issue for an industry whose credibility and survival depend on maintaining the trust of key stakeholders: firstly, the general public as potential respondents; secondly, our clients who use the findings from research projects; and finally the legislators and regulators who are under increasing pressure to protect the rights and privacy of its citizens.
Published 1 September 2005

Measuring the hidden power of emotive advertising
Robert Heath and Pam Hyder pp. 467–486 [Download PDF]
This paper is about advertising that works on our emotions without necessarily achieving high levels of attention or recall. We compare the most popular recallbased metric - claimed ad awareness - against an approach that deduces effectiveness from recognition, and find claimed ad awareness seriously underestimates the effectiveness of the advertising tested.
Published 1 September 2005

‘It’s as vital as the air that they
Fidelma Price, Chrissie Wells and Julie Hindmarch pp. 487–500 [Download PDF]
With a relatively stagnant market, regulated to the point of no advertisements, SMA baby milk was hoping to increase its awareness of the sector. Through developing a segmentation approach to understanding the market, it used both qualitative and quantitative techniques. As a result it gained a better approach in relation to sales of the product and who it was targeting with a 1% increase in market share.
Published 1 September 2005

Cluster sampling: a false economy?
Andrew Zelin and Roger Stubbs pp. 501–522 [Download PDF]
For convenience and to save on fieldwork costs, many random samples involve an element of clustering. This paper seeks to explain how clustering of a sample can have a detrimental effect on its statistical reliability, reducing effective sample size, and how precision can be improved more effectively by increasing the number of clusters rather than increasing the number of respondents per cluster. There is increased pressure among agencies to release results as quickly and inexpensively as possible. In response to this, this paper takes both a methodological and practical ROI-based approach to illustrate that reducing the number of clusters in order to get costs as low as possible for a given sample size may often turn out to be a false economy.
Published 1 September 2005

The mind versus market share guide
Colin Baker, Julie Tinson and Clive Nancarrow pp. 523–540 [Download PDF]
The possibility of using a simple, single measure of brand potential across different markets that is both conceptually meaningful and of value to management is presented. Building on the Dick and Basu grid, the value of establishing whether a brand exhibits brand equity surplus, deficit or balance is described. The insights that can be gleaned from a single source study with the comparison of share of mind (attitude) with market share (behaviour) and the accompanying diagnostic analysis are explored. The approach has supporting validations across North America and Europe. The value to marketers in terms of brand diagnosis, prognosis and recommended ‘treatment’ is described using two case studies.
Published 1 September 2005

An empirical comparison of methods
Christina Sichtmann, Markus Voeth, Robert Wilken and Klaus Backhaus pp. 541–560 [Download PDF]
In the literature, several methods to measure willingness to pay (WTP) have been proposed. However, there is still little knowledge about their reliability. We empirically test the appropriateness of two methods – open-ended contingent valuation (CV) and limit conjoint analysis (LCA) – for measuring willingness to pay, by examining their hypothetical bias. Significant differences of the WTP values were found between the two methods. Comparing the respective hypothetical biases, LCA performs better than CV, yielding non-significant differences in different purchase situations. Nevertheless, our results may depend on the product category analysed. As a consequence, further studies are needed to determine which factors influence the appropriateness of methods for measuring WTP.
Published 1 September 2005

Issue 4 +

Experimental methods in market research: from information to insight
Lynette Ryals and Dr Hugh Wilson pp. 345–364 [Download PDF]
Experimental methods have a relatively low penetration into market research practice, despite their many inherent strengths. We review the strengths and weaknesses of four major experimental and quasi-experimental designs for market research applications. We then describe three case studies of the use of experimental logic in field-based research studies. Two examine the impact of customer profitability measurement on customer management strategies; the third studies the effect on customer satisfaction and other variables of introducing desk-based account managers into a field sales organisation. We argue for increased take-up of such experimental and quasi-experimental methods if the market research community is to tackle the twin challenges of multiple sources of data and the need to evaluate what happens within the firm as well as within its resellers and retailers and customers.
Published 1 July 2005

The effect of covering letter personalisation in mail surveys
Philip Gendall pp. 365–380 [Download PDF]
It is generally assumed that personalising mail survey covering letters increases the response to mail surveys. However, most of the studies that support this assumption were conducted in the 1970s, when personalisation was novel and relatively difficult to achieve. This paper reviews the evidence for the effect of personalisation on mail survey response and reports the results of a study of personalisation in a mail survey of the general public. The study found little or no effect of personalisation on response rate, response speed, item non-response, or social desirability bias. This suggests that personalisation may no longer be effective in mail surveys. Nevertheless, with the survey-processing technology now available it is often more difficult not to personalise survey correspondence than to personalise it. Thus, unless there is a good reason to avoid personalisation, survey researchers should use it. At worst, it will have no effect, but it might have a positive effect.
Published 1 July 2005

The influence of media on advertising effectiveness a comparison of internet, posters and radio
Einar Breivik and Herbjørn Nysveen pp. 381–404 [Download PDF]
This study compares the effectiveness of internet advertisements (pop-ups), print advertisements (posters) and radio advertisements for an airline ticket and for a weekend stay at a hotel. The advertisement copies were developed specifically for this study by a professional agency. Advertisements were developed to utilise specific medium characteristics, and the control of advertisement content was attained through the brief. Furthermore, the relative quality of the advertisements was used as a covariate in the analysis of media effects. The test situation reflected a high elaboration condition in that the respondents were asked to assess presented ads on various outcome variables. The results indicate that both advertising media and the relative quality of the advertisements presented in the various media influence the effectiveness of the advertisements. Internet and posters were found to be more effective advertising media than radio.
Published 1 July 2005

Can we learn together?: co-creating with consumers
Deborah Roberts, Susan Baker and David Walker pp. 405–426 [Download PDF]
The ability to innovate is a fundamental marketing activity, yet it remains a precarious one for many marketers. Market learning is frequently viewed as a precursor to successful innovation, but the traditional methods of market learning are increasingly coming under scrutiny. Advances that have been made in data collection and analysis techniques are being eroded by the effect of fragmenting markets, shortening product life cycles and the emergence of the marketing-literate consumer. An emerging theme in the marketing literature is the need to include and embrace the consumer as a co-developer in the process. This paper examines a novel approach to actively engaging the consumer in the innovation process within fmcg markets. It reports on a ‘consumers as innovators’, or ‘co-developers’, workshop, which explores consumers’ perceptions of the innovation process and advocates the need for new methods of market learning. Finally, the authors conclude by reflecting on the implications of this co-development approach for the innovation process, marketers and the role of service agencies.
Published 1 July 2005

Impact of personal orientation on luxury-brand purchase value: an international investigation
Shu-pei Tsai pp. 427–452 [Download PDF]
As marketing-related literature shows, luxury-brand marketing to the segment of personally oriented consumers has not been investigated to a full extent, rendering it difficult to base marketing strategies on empirically verified principles to improve purchase value for this segment of consumers. The current study, incorporating relevant theoretical frameworks and empirical findings, establishes a model specifying the antecedents and consequence of personal orientation towards luxury-brand consumption. The model, tested by data collected across the regions of Asia Pacific, Western Europe and North America, illustrates that personal orientation in the international market may significantly impact on repurchase behaviour elicited for luxuries. It is recommended that international marketing efforts for luxuries, while revolving around enhancing the impression management function, should also be geared to meeting the needs of self-directed pleasure, self-gift giving, congruity with internal self and quality assurance for building and strengthening brand loyalty.
Published 1 July 2005

Viewpoint - Quality control
Ben Page pp. 453–454 [Download PDF]
Argues that quality standard schemes such as IQCS and MRQSA, widely seen as final rubber stamps of quality, often conceal weaknesses in research practice which, if known to clients, would cast serious doubt on the results and on research in general. Areas of especial concern are sampling (response rates and representativeness), meeting of quotas, correcting for biases, and fieldwork procedures and back-checking. Clients are not given the information to check these things for themselves, and should be asking much tougher questions of their suppliers rather than relying on the quality labels. The research industry has a duty to take these issues more seriously and to educate clients to ask the right questions.
Published 1 July 2005

Issue 3 +

Projective techniques in market research: valueless subjectivity or insightful reality? A look at the evidence for the usefulness, reliability and validity of projective techniques in market research.
Clive Boddy pp. 239–254 [Download PDF]
Projective techniques are often used in market research to help uncover findings in areas where those researched are thought to be reluctant or unable to expose their thoughts and feelings via more straightforward questioning techniques. However, how the findings from projective techniques are analysed and how valid and reliable they are is hardly touched on at all in the market research literature. This paper aims to open this subject up for further discussion and recommends further research into the reliability and validity of projective techniques.
Published 1 April 2005

An examination of the stability of operationalisations of multi-item marketing scales.
Khurram J. Sharif, Samuel Sarpong Jr and Stavros P. Kalafatis pp. 255–266 [Download PDF]
Since the publication of Churchill’s (1979) paper in which he proposed a ‘paradigm’ for the construction of multi-item scales, scholars have developed a considerable number of such scales designed to measure a wide variety of marketing phenomena. Despite adherence to the principles set in Churchill’s paper and expanded by subsequent authors, experience indicates that the use, or ‘borrowing’, of existing scales has not been without problems. In this paper we report the findings of an investigation into the impact that the adoption of different scales has on the structural relationship of latent variables. The results lead to the conclusion that the underlying principles or content validity of scales should be examined before being employed in subsequent studies. This practice should be followed even in the case of the most carefully developed and tested multi-item scales.
Published 1 April 2005

Determining the design of child-specific adoption advertisements: a conjoint analysis.
Anna Barkensjo and Roger Bennett pp. 267–294 [Download PDF]
This empirical study sought to establish the views of a sample of 319 members of the British public concerning the practice of child-specific advertising. It also examined the sample members’ relative levels of interest in child-specific advertisements that featured youngsters of specific ages, ethnicities and possessing various forms of disability (physical, psychological or behavioural). Interviews were conducted with individuals of the type targeted by an inner- London local government social services department in venues currently displaying the department’s child-specific advertisements. The respondents were generally supportive of child-specific advertising, although older people and individuals of African or African-Caribbean heritage tended to be less enthusiastic about the practice than the rest of the sample. It emerged that behavioural problems were regarded as a more unattractive impairment than either a physical disability or a psychological difficulty. Single people, the less well educated, females, white and mixed-race respondents, and persons with highly altruistic dispositions exhibited significantly different preference structures vis-à-vis alternative combinations of attributes (age, ethnicity and form of impairment) associated with children requiring adoption. The findings should assist managers of local government adoption units to draft child-specific advertisements in manners that maximise the probability of their securing substantial numbers of serious enquiries from particular target audiences.
Published 1 April 2005

The role of geodemographic segmentation in retail location strategy
Óscar González-Benito and Javier Gonzalez-Benito pp. 295–316 [Download PDF]
This paper studies the role of geodemographic segmentation as an analytic tool in retail location strategy. The most relevant factors that should determine retail location selection are revised, and the potential contribution of geodemographic segmentation to the assessment of such factors is examined. The empirical application provides evidence on the differences between store networks of leading Spanish supermarket chains in relation to the geodemographic profile of their market areas. This result confirms the potential of geodemographic segmentation for the spatial delimitation of retail chains’ target markets.
Published 1 April 2005

Organisational citizenship behaviour from the service customer’s perspective: a scale development and validation.
Sergio Román and Estela Fernández-Sabiote pp. 317–336 [Download PDF]
Although an important avenue for customer value creation is the interaction between the service frontline employees and their customers, little attention has been paid to the consequences of frontline employees’ organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) for customer relationship outcomes. One possible reason for this is that there is no scale available to measure OCB from the customer’s perspective. Two separate data sets were collected in order to develop and validate a scale to measure OCB from the customer’s perspective. The results indicate that this scale can be useful for managerial activities and academic research.
Published 1 April 2005

Issue 2 +

Analysing customer satisfaction data: a comparison of regression and artificial neural networks
Anne Martensen and Lars Gronholdt pp. 121–130 [Download PDF]
The use of artificial neural networks (ANN) as an alternative approach to multiple regression has gained popularity in different fields, and some studies have demonstrated the superiority of ANN over multiple regression. The literature points to several limitations in multiple regression that are overcome by ANN. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of ANN in customer satisfaction analysis and compares ANN and regression, based on data from a Danish customer satisfaction survey. Based on the results of this study, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the application of ANN in customer satisfaction analysis is useful in identifying existing patterns in the data, and synergies between the drivers of satisfaction. The advantages of using ANN are highlighted and the managerial implications of ANN to identify the key drivers and set priorities for improvements are demonstrated.
Published 1 March 2005

Online focus groups: an in-depth comparison of computer-mediated and conventional focus group discussions
Fraser J.M. Reid and Donna J. Reid pp. 131–162 [Download PDF]
This study compares face-to-face (FTF) focus groups with focus groups conducted via computer-mediated communication (CMC), using a range of outcome, process and subjective measures. Sixteen groups of three undergraduates participated in focus group discussions under FTF and CMC conditions on two different topics. Topics, communication condition and order of discussion were counterbalanced over groups. Among the results, it was found that, after controlling for the greater number of contributions made by participants in FTF discussions, more ideas and answers were generated in CMC than in FTF discussions; 21, 20 and seven participants preferred the CMC, FTF and ‘either’ discussion setting, respectively. The results suggest that CMC may be a viable alternative to FTF focus groups for certain purposes. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.
Published 1 March 2005

Comparing response distributions of offline and online
Pascale Meulemeester and Niels Schillewaert pp. 163–178 [Download PDF]
This study reports the findings of a comparison between traditional and online data collection methods. Respondents were recruited in four different ways, namely from an online opt-in panel, via website pop-ups, by postal mail and by telephone. The response patterns from different data collection methods relating to a variety of subjects (e.g. internet use, technology adoption, attitudes, interests and opinions, demographics) are compared. The results indicate that all sampling methods generate different results (also between postal and telephone research) when not controlling for socio-demographics from the national population. Once controlling for such factors, online and offline data collection methods generate similar results in terms of socio-demographics, attitudes, interests and opinions. Although some differences remain they can not be attributed to one or the other recruitment method. Correcting post hoc via reselection reduces the differences considerably in terms of technology adoption, while clear differences remain in terms of internet usage behaviour. Post hoc reselection showed to be more effective than reweighing for technological topics.
Published 1 March 2005

Sales promotions effects on consumer-based brand equity
Elena Delgado-Ballester and Mariola Palazón-Vidal pp. 179–204 [Download PDF]
Research has traditionally posited that sales promotions erode brand equity. However, in current management practices, one may observe that companies design promotional programmes to differentiate and modernise their brand image and build brand awareness. This divergence between practice in the industry and the general academic view must inevitably lead to a rethink about the goals assigned to sales promotions. Consequently, the research question that concerns this study is whether sales promotions can contribute to building brand equity. Adopting a consumer-based brand knowledge perspective of brand equity, this study shows that monetary and non-monetary promotions are useful to create brand equity because of their positive effect on brand knowledge structures. The findings derived from a sample of 167 buyers suggest that non-monetary promotions are more appropriate as a brand-building activity and that the product type exerts a moderator effect on the relationship between sales promotions and brand knowledge.
Published 1 March 2005

Cases as configurations: using combinatorial and fuzzy logic to analyse marketing data
Raymond A. Kent pp. 205–228 [Download PDF]
Traditional variable-centred analyses of marketing data are not well suited to the discovery of logical relationships between combinations of factors. This paper suggests that we may need to rethink what we mean by a ‘case’ and to view cases as configurations of characteristics rather than units of analysis. The processes of using combinatorial logic and fuzzy logic are explained. A new piece of software is introduced and applied to a dataset so that traditional analysis and fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis results can be compared.
Published 1 March 2005

Issue 1 +

The influence of children on purchases: the development of measures for gender role orientation and shopping savvy
Clive Nancarrow and Julie Tinson pp. 5–27 [Download PDF]
The changing composition of the family, changes in gender role orientation and individual differences in marketing or shopping ‘savvy’ seem likely to affect the degree of influence of different family members in various stages of a purchase. This paper describes the key planning and exploratory stages of a collaborative academic-practitioner project designed to identify the determinants of a child’s relative influence within a family in relation to purchase decisions. Specifically, the paper describes the planning and exploratory stages involved in construct definitions, choice of measures (ready-made or purpose-built) and their screening and development in consultation with a sample of adults and children and a team of practitioners, academics and teachers.
Published 1 January 2005

The business world will never be the same: the contribution of research to corporate governance post-Enron
Allan Hyde and Brian Gosschalk pp. 29–44 [Download PDF]
Our paper considers, in the light of such corporate failures as Enron, the reputation of large businesses and those who run and advise them. Drawing on the results of surveys conducted across many territories, and among diverse stakeholder groups, our paper illustrates that an already sceptical public has become even less trusting of ‘big business.’ Meanwhile, the systems previously relied upon to help guide and monitor corporate performance were clearly in need of re-engineering. It is our assertion that stakeholders require far greater reassurance over the twin pillars on which corporate health rests: a company’s financial performance and its corporate governance procedures. We consider here both pillars and the role of primary research in helping to inform those charged with understanding and improving them. In the post-Enron environment, we believe, stakeholders require even greater reassurance over a company’s financial performance and corporate governance procedures and, while information on company performance needs to be accurately collected and verified, those charged with this task (primarily directors and auditors) must themselves be deserving of public trust. Following this, all pertinent information must be clearly and widely communicated and, above all, a sense of openness and transparency generated. Research has been an essential tool for auditors, regulators and others seeking insight on these issues. Looking ahead, we foresee this trend continuing, as the ‘softer’ measures provided by research came to play an increasingly important role in evaluating the corporate health of companies.
Published 1 January 2005

Response effects in a survey about consumer behaviour
Vidal Diaz de Rada pp. 45–64 [Download PDF]
In this paper we examine the reasons why the non-use of mail surveys is so prevalent in research in Spain when so many researchers have stressed the low economic costs of this information-gathering method. The two main reasons held by some experts is the low rate of response attained by the mail survey and the poor quality of the results obtained. Here we are concerned with how to obtain quality responses from mail surveys. We establish the hypothesis that ‘the information gathered from mail surveys can achieve a high-quality response rate – indeed, a quality which varies little from that obtained from face-to-face or telephone surveys’.
Published 1 January 2005

The effect of introductions on telephone survey participation rates
Zane Kearns, Susan Benson and Mike Brennan pp. 65–74 [Download PDF]
This paper reports the findings from an investigation into the effects of telephone survey introductions on survey participation rates. Four introduction elements were tested: an incentive (prize draw for a weekend holiday); an assurance that the survey was not a sales pitch; an assurance of confidentiality; and a short versus longer description of the survey topic. Overall, only the incentive significantly increased the participation rate. In combination, the best result, and the only one to achieve a significantly higher participation rate than the control (64% compared to 54%), was the use of the incentive coupled with a ‘no-sales’ assurance. The use of the incentive did not appear to encourage people to lie about their eligibility as a respondent. Replication studies are urged, to test these and other previously reported techniques for increasing participation rates in telephone surveys.
Published 1 January 2005

Commercial and philanthropic sponsorship: direct and interaction effects on company performance
Juan L. Nicolau-Gonzalbez, Francisco J. Mas-Ruiz and Aurora Calderon-Martinez pp. 75–99 [Download PDF]
The objective of this study is to analyse the direct and interaction effects of both commercial and philanthropic sponsorship on company performance. The methodology is based on the event study technique to estimate the excess returns generated on shares trading on the stock market, using a sample of announcements of both commercial and philanthropic sponsorship. In addition, a regression analysis is carried out to examine the influence of the link between the event and the firm’s activity as well as the interaction between the type of sponsorship (commercial versus philanthropic) and this link on abnormal returns. The empirical application has shown that only commercial sponsorship events generate abnormal returns, the key determining factors being the size of the company and the link between the event and the company’s activity.
Published 1 January 2005


Volume 46 (2004)

Issue 4 +

Insight as a strategic asset - the opportunity and the stark reality
Pauline Williams and Steve Wills pp. 393–410 [Download PDF]
The market research industry is facing a major and exciting opportunity. If it doesn't respond imaginatively and constructively, market research risks being relegated to a bit-part role in the 'big picture' that is now represented by Customer Insight. This is one of our key conclusions following the completion of the second client-side project on Best Practice in the Management and Communication of Customer Insight. After reading this paper, if there are just three messages we need everyone in our industry to go away with, they are these:
Published 1 October 2004

Recruitment for online access panels
Anja Goritz pp. 411–425 [Download PDF]
This paper describes a German study which compared eight ways of recruiting members for an online access panel. Two thousand respondents, divided into four groups of 500, were invited to sign up with the panel via email, fax, flier or letter. Half of each sample’s invitations offered a cash lottery, into which new panellists would be entered, whereas the other half of the invitations did not offer a lottery. Overall, email was the most successful means of solicitation, followed by flier and fax, which were equally efficient. Very few panellists were recruited via letter. The lottery was effective only with fliers. The composition of the recruited samples differed according to solicitation method. Fax-recruited individuals were older than those recruited by flier and email. Panellists recruited via email had been using the internet longer than flier- and fax-recruited panellists and they used the internet more often than those recruited via fax. After their recruitment, panellists were followed up in the first two studies run in the panel. The probability of their taking part in these studies and of completing these questionnaires was independent of the method by which they had been recruited.
Published 1 October 2004

Exploring phenomenological research
Alexandra J. Kenyon pp. 427–441 [Download PDF]
This paper explores the characteristics and attractiveness of two focus group techniques. It positions the discussion within the context of how pre-testing different qualitative techniques enables the researcher to discover the most appropriate research technique to stimulate a hypothesis concerning experiential intertextuality. The paper considers the value of using focus group methodology that is considered to be an excellent method to encourage free-flowing discussion. Past research has suggested focus groups are particularly appropriate when gathering data about how young people interpret media. Two focus group methods were chosen for the pre-test: semi-structured questioning and nondirective questioning. After conducting the pre-test three significant areas stood out; this led to the conclusion that non-directive questioning was the more appropriate technique to use. The three significant areas were: first, questioning style changed interviewees’ answering style; second, the focal point differed between the group, the researcher and the research topic; and third, the structure of silences was different. Furthermore, non-directive questioning shifted interviewees’ responses away from the television advertisement specifically, and more towards social and experiential references. The secondary objective examined in this paper outlines the logistics used to determine a process suitable for the sample selection of homogeneous groups. The research process was tested and clear guidelines are shown with reference to choosing participants for the focus groups and gaining acceptance from the head teacher, parents/guardians and the interviewees.
Published 1 October 2004

Geographic price discrimination as a retail strategy
Javier Gonzalez-Benito and Oscar Gonzalez-Benito pp. 443–464 [Download PDF]
This study provides a theoretical and empirical analysis of the relevance of geodemographic segmentation as a support tool in the definition of an optimal geographic price discrimination strategy on the part of retail firms. A theoretical model is established in which decisions on price across the geographical markets depend on operative, competitive and market factors. The role of the geodemographic profile becomes directly apparent through its relationship with operative and market factors, and indirectly through competitive factors. On the empirical plane, significant relations are confirmed between the different geodemographic dimensions and the policies of geographic discrimination in prices observed in some retail chains representing food distribution in Spain. Assuming that the discrimination observed responds to a process of optimisation of business performance, it is concluded that geodemographic segmentation is capable of capturing the particular circumstances of the markets that favour a price policy adapted to each store.
Published 1 October 2004

Ad and brand recognition in radio spots
Iris Vermeir, Patrick De Pelsmacker and Maggie Geuens pp. 465–477 [Download PDF]
Spot length, brand penetration and media consistency are important explanatory factors of ad and brand recognition in 1482 Belgian radio spots. Frequency of exposure and campaign weight are important for ad recognition, but not for brand attribution. Allocating the budget in complementary media and radio channels – that is, focusing on reach rather than frequency of exposure – enhances ad and brand recognition. These conclusions hold to the same extent in samples of younger and older consumers.
Published 1 October 2004

A review and critique of research using SERVQUAL
Lisa J. Morrison Coulthard pp. 479–497 [Download PDF]
The impact of SERVQUAL (Parasuraman et al. 1988) on the measurement of service quality is documented. Research highlighting conceptual, methodological and interpretative problems is critically reviewed in the light of recent advancements in service quality measurement and, specifically, research on the cognitive psychology of survey responding. Directions for future research are also discussed.
Published 1 October 2004

Issue 3 +

An investigation of country-of-origin effect using correspondence analysis: a cross-national context
Ming-huei Hsieh pp. 267–295 [Download PDF]
Although there are numerous studies related to country-of-origin (COO) effects, empirical findings are dispersed because of the limited coverage of the origins, brands and countries used for investigation. This paper uses an existing data set that consists of a survey conducted across 20 nations to evaluate 11 automobile origins with 53 brands. This data set facilitates the verification of COO effects previously addressed in the literature from a holistic viewpoint. It also provides insight into the circumstances under which, and the extent to which, the COO effects could differ. The results derived from correspondence analysis (CA) suggest there are brand and national variations in the magnitude of COO effects. At brand level, COO effects appear to be more influential on the purchase behaviour of consumers who have a positive attitude towards the brand being investigated or perceive it to be of high quality. At the national level, COO effects seem to be more significant among nations where the availability of international automobile brands is lower. Furthermore, the findings not only support the notion that consumers tend to have a stronger preference for products that originate from their own countries, but also concur with the proposition that consumers also tend to have a stronger preference for products from countries in the same geographic region.
Published 1 July 2004

Information overload in conjoint experiments
Jon M. Denstadli and Rune Lines pp. 297–310 [Download PDF]
This paper explores the relationship between individual level variables, stimulus variables and the experience of information overload in conjoint experiments. Drawing on theories of contingent information processing, it develops a set of hypotheses linking product class involvement and product class knowledge to the level of information overload experienced by individuals when performing a conjoint task. It also investigates the effects on overload of the total amount of information. The paper also explores to what extent the amount of information to be processed prompts respondents to change their information-processing strategy in order to avoid the unpleasant effects of information overload.
Published 1 July 2004

Respondent non-cooperation in surveys and diaries: an analysis of item non-response and panel attrition
Rex S. Toh, Michael Y. Hu and Eunkyu Lee pp. 311–326 [Download PDF]
This paper analyses the impact of questionnaire design and length of participation on item non-response and panel attrition. Based upon the results of previous studies, the authors propose a framework that involves the mediating variables of participation fatigue and level of difficulty. From this framework, they develop a set of hypotheses on item non-response and panel attrition, which then are tested using a large database collected by AT&T. The results show that difficult questions in surveys and diaries lead to higher rates of item nonresponse. The study also finds that participation fatigue causes increased item non-response and, eventually, panel attrition. Thus, high initial rates of item nonresponse are warning signs for high subsequent attrition. However, those who stay on the diary panel do not necessarily show increasing rates of item nonresponse over time, because the effect of increasing participation fatigue is counterbalanced by the impact of decreasing difficulty, caused by answering the same questions repeatedly. In contrast, it was also found that because the diary panel increasingly comprises people who are relatively attrition-resistant, the rate of attrition decreases over time.
Published 1 July 2004

The impact of material incentives on response quantity, response quality, sample composition, survey outcome and cost in online access panels
Anja Goritz pp. 327–345 [Download PDF]
Two incentive experiments were conducted in different online access panels. Experiment 1 was carried out in a commercial market research panel. It examined whether three different types of promised incentives (redeemable bonus points, money lottery, and gift lottery), four different amounts of bonus points or raffled money, and two different denominations of raffled money influenced response quantity, sample composition, response quality, and survey outcome. Type of incentive and number of bonus points mildly influenced dropout and sample composition. Moreover, response was higher with bonus points than with the two types of lotteries. Response quality and survey outcome were not affected. Experiment 2 was conducted in a non-profit panel, which holds one half selfselected and one half non-self-selected participants. Incentives were two different amounts of raffled money in two different denominations. Response, dropout, response quality, survey outcome, and sample composition were not affected. Based on a cost-benefit analysis, recommendations for employing incentives in online access panels are given.
Published 1 July 2004

Comparison of the quality of qualitative data obtained through telephone, postal and email surveys
Natalie St-Laurent, Anne Mathieu and Francois Coderre pp. 349–357 [Download PDF]
Many claims have been made about the advantages of conducting surveys on the web. However, some concerns have been raised about the quality of the information gathered through this medium. The purpose of this research was to compare the quality of qualitative information obtained using three data collection methods, in the context of the development of a scale for the measurement of corporate image. First, a study was carried out to generate a list of items that could be used to describe all elements of the corporate image of three firms as perceived by consumers. Different lists of items were obtained from telephone, postal and web-based surveys. Next, a qualitative study was conducted to assess the predictive validity of the lists of items obtained from each data-collection method. The results showed that the quality of qualitative data obtained through a web-based survey was comparable to that of information obtained through telephone and postal surveys, for two of the three target firms.
Published 1 July 2004

A comparison of response characteristics from web and telephone surveys
Darin Klein, Catherine A. Roster, Gerald Albaum and Robert Rogers pp. 359–373 [Download PDF]
Increasingly, web surveys are being used to supplement telephone survey data and some predict internet methods will one day replace telephone interviews as the primary method for surveying general populations. Despite these trends, few studies have systematically compared response differences between the two methods. This article describes a study in which both telephone and web surveys were used to collect data on the corporate reputation of an international firm. Findings reveal significant differences in sample characteristics, response effects and overall costs. In addition to demographic differences, the web garnered a lower response rate, more item omissions, and produced more negative or neutral evaluations than did the telephone survey. Factor structure for the corporate reputation construct was simpler in the web-based data. Predictability of behavioural measures was essentially equivalent between the two modes; however, cost-per-contact was significantly lower in the web survey.
Published 1 July 2004

Conducting survey research among organisational populations in developing countries: can the drop and collect technique make a difference?
Jurgen Kai-Uwe Brock and Kevin I. N. Ibeh pp. 375–383 [Download PDF]
This paper draws upon relevant empirical evidence to suggest the greater effectiveness of the drop and collect survey (DCS) method in enhancing response rates among sub-Saharan African (SSA) organisations. It proposes these improved response rates to be more likely among smaller organisations, and in situations where direct, face-to-face contact can be achieved with key informants, by appropriately trained/experienced field staff. The implications of these findings for improving the overall flow and validity of research information in SSA and beyond are discussed.
Published 1 July 2004

Issue 2 +

Social grading and the Census
Corrine Moy and Erhard Meier pp. 141–170 [Download PDF]
Cluster analysis has been successfully used in market segmentation for several decades. However, alongside evidence for the value of the technique, a number of studies have highlighted the importance of testing the reliability and validity of cluster solutions. Yet, in a time-poor technologically sophisticated age when alluring output falls effortlessly from user-friendly statistical packages, managers may fail to appreciate the rigorous testing required to ensure robust solutions. The authors designed an experiment to investigate whether managers could distinguish between cluster analysis outputs derived from real and random data. Given information on only cluster centroids and demographic profilers, random data devoid of meaningful structure were perceived as equally useful for purposes of market segmentation as real data. If these findings generalise, then managers could be formulating segmentation strategy based on appealing statistics that are at best untested and at worst completely misleading. As cluster analysis is incorporated into the analytics suites of popular CRM systems, marketing managers are becoming increasingly distanced from the raw data. Yet, the consequences of inappropriate use of cluster analysis, and in particular inadequate validation, can be dramatic.
Published 1 April 2004

Blinded by science: the managerial consequences of inadequately validated cluster analysis solutions
Paul Bottomley and Agnes Nairn pp. 171–187 [Download PDF]
Cluster analysis has been successfully used in market segmentation for several decades. However, alongside evidence for the value of the technique, a number of studies have highlighted the importance of testing the reliability and validity of cluster solutions. Yet, in a time-poor technologically sophisticated age when alluring output falls effortlessly from user-friendly statistical packages, managers may fail to appreciate the rigorous testing required to ensure robust solutions. The authors designed an experiment to investigate whether managers could distinguish between cluster analysis outputs derived from real and random data. Given information on only cluster centroids and demographic profilers, random data devoid of meaningful structure were perceived as equally useful for purposes of market segmentation as real data. If these findings generalise, then managers could be formulating segmentation strategy based on appealing statistics that are at best untested and at worst completely misleading. As cluster analysis is incorporated into the analytics suites of popular CRM systems, marketing managers are becoming increasingly distanced from the raw data. Yet, the consequences of inappropriate use of cluster analysis, and in particular inadequate validation, can be dramatic.
Published 1 April 2004

A new approach for exploring multivariate data: self-organising maps
Timothy Bock pp. 189–203 [Download PDF]
This paper introduces a form of neural network known as the self-organising map (SOM), which has been used extensively outside of marketing. The SOM clusters data in a manner similar to cluster analysis, but has the additional benefit of ordering the clusters, enabling the visualisation of large numbers of clusters. The technique is particularly well suited to the analysis of large datasets.
Published 1 April 2004

A conceptual and measurement comparison of self-congruity and brand personality
James G Helgeson and Magne Supphellen pp. 205–233 [Download PDF]
The symbolic effect of brands has often been studied via two constructs: selfcongruity and brand personality. Though both constructs have received much examination in the past, few, if any, comparisons of the concepts and their measures have been reported. The present study is an effort to fill this void by comparing these constructs conceptually and empirically. Based on a study of Swedish female consumers, it was found that self-congruity and brand personality are empirically discriminant and have positive, independent effects on retail brand attitudes. Thus, the two constructs appear to be complementary to one another. Socially desirable responding (SDR) was evaluated for its effect on measures of self-congruity and brand personality. It was found that SDR tends to moderate the effects of both self-congruity and brand personality on brand attitudes. Importantly, SDR showed signs of having a negative, biasing, effect on the relationship between self-congruity and brand attitudes. As respondents moved from lower to higher levels of SDR, there was less impact of self congruity on attitudes. Conversely, SDR had a positive, non-biasing, effect on the relationship between brand personality and brand attitudes. As respondents moved from lower to higher levels of SDR, there was more impact of brand personality on brand attitudes. The implications for marketing theory and for measurement of symbolic brand effects are discussed.
Published 1 April 2004

Implementing neural networks for decision support in direct marketing
Man Leung Wong and Geng Cui pp. 235–254 [Download PDF]
Innovative methods of artificial intelligence such as artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been increasingly adopted to predict consumer responses to direct marketing. However, appropriate learning algorithms, evaluation criteria, and validation procedures are necessary for effective implementation of neural networks to provide decision support to managers. This study compares the performance of Bayesian neural networks with that of logistic regression and the backpropagation method in modelling consumer responses. The results of a tenfold stratified cross-validation suggest that although the three methods perform equally well under the error rate, Bayesian neural networks generate higher statistics for the Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AUROC) and cumulative lifts. The findings suggest that researchers should adopt effective learning algorithms, relevant evaluation criteria and appropriate validation procedures for neural networks to model consumer responses and solve marketing problems facing today’s businesses.
Published 1 April 2004

Issue 1 +

Can online polls produce accurate findings?
Peter Kellner pp. 3–22 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the relationship between traditional polling methods and recently developed internet polling methods. The validity of exercises to compare the two methods is discussed, the conclusion being that it is better to test polling figures against real world events with measurable outcomes. The challenges facing online polling companies in constructing valid samples and analysing responses are also examined.
Published 1 January 2004

Measuring the attitudes of the general public via internet polls: an evaluation
Nick Sparrow and John Curtice pp. 23–44 [Download PDF]
Internet polls based on volunteer panels have quickly captured a significant slice of the UK polling market, based in large part on success at predicting the outcome of recent elections. However, opinion research is most usually conducted on a wide range of issues that cannot be measured against an election outcome and are only loosely linked to voting behaviour. This paper compares the results obtained from a representative sample of people interviewed by telephone with the internet accessible population, those willing to join an internet panel and those who actually respond online. Across a range of subjects similar results are obtained, but on others differences emerge that suggest online panels cannot reliably replicate results obtained by more traditional research methods.
Published 1 January 2004

Comment on Sparrow and Curtice and Kellner
John O'Brien pp. 45–48 [Download PDF]
This paper looks at the arguments of Keller and Sparrow and Curtice and comments on the internet polling debate.
Published 1 January 2004

Public attitudes to dependency and the welfare state
Emese Mayhew and Jonathan Bradshaw pp. 49–64 [Download PDF]
This paper argues that for over 20 years there has been a disjunction between the dominant political discourse in the UK about the welfare state and public attitudes to the welfare state. Conservative politicians in the 1980s and 1990s sought (on the whole unsuccessfully) to reduce the size and scope of public social provision. New Labour’s politics has been dominated either by a fear of the electoral consequences of expanding public spending and taxation or by a repulsion from dependency. In contrast, majority public opinion has favoured improvements in services even if it means increases in taxes.
Published 1 January 2004

Assessment of survey data quality: a pragmatic approach focused on interviewer tasks
Jack Billet, Ann Carton and Geert Loosveldt pp. 65–82 [Download PDF]
Within the community of survey researchers there has been an increasing awareness that the total survey error approach has only partially realised its objective of setting up a model to estimate the total of all error components. Insufficient attention has been paid to non-sampling error. In the total quality management (TQM) approach the focus is on the production process. This is a comprehensive attempt to motivate everyone involved in the production of survey data to make permanent improvements to all components of the process. The TQM approach is suitable for organisations producing statistical data. This paper investigates the possibilities of integrating the major components of both approaches of data quality within the context of face-to-face interviews. The conceptual framework of a pragmatic approach is built on the concepts derived from evaluation research, such as process and product evaluation, and on the major tasks of the interviewer. The assessment of data quality should cover the process and output aspects of both the sample obtained and the registered responses. Within each stage of this assessment, a series of procedures has been identified. This is a very useful strategy that can be applied by organisations that attach great importance to the quality of their data. It is important to note that the proposed procedures for data quality assessment by themselves reduce errors.
Published 1 January 2004

How much can we predict?
Ben Page pp. 83–98 [Download PDF]
This paper argues that in considering survey results, researchers need to be more sensitive to the impact of place and demography on responses. By looking at what one might expect for a given type of area, or a given type of respondent, we can reach more intelligent conclusions about our results.
Published 1 January 2004

Investigator-based interviews
Babara Maughan pp. 99–102 [Download PDF]
This paper examines a method of interviewing that combines elements of qualitative research with disciplined data recording and discusses its suitability for the more sensitive subject areas of social research.
Published 1 January 2004

Election survey freedom in the Philippines
Mahar Mangahas pp. 103–108 [Download PDF]
This is a narrative of the recent triumph of freedom of expression over official attempts to ban publication and broadcast of exit polls and pre-election surveys, thanks to wise and timely actions by the Philippine Supreme Court, which demonstrated, in the words of a key Justice, ‘that the Court could meet head-on new paradigms of free expression brought about by the advances of science and technology’ (Panganiban 2001).
Published 1 January 2004

Methodological developments in the academic sector
Angela Dale pp. 109–114 [Download PDF]
Angela Dale, of the Economic and Social Research Council, outlines the methodological developments in the academic sector, with specific exploration of the themes of the Research Methods Programme, that can have relevance to researchers in the non-academic research community.
Published 1 January 2004


Volume 45 (2003)

Issue 4 +

The marketer researcher's manifesto
Peter Mouncey and Susan Baker pp. 415–433 [Download PDF]
This paper advances the debate concerning the future of market research by presenting nine new rules to guide thought and action in a period of transition. These become the market researcher's manifesto for change. First, they describe the new marketplace emerging as we shift from a production-driven to a consumption-led economy. In response, marketers have shifted their focus of activity from completing transactions to building relationships. This context then provides the background for discussion about the role of the market researcher.
Published 1 October 2003

Cognitive evaluation: prompts used to measure sponsorship awareness
David Bednall, Martin Hirons, John A. Tripodi and Max Sutherland pp. 435–455 [Download PDF]
Marketing managers have the same accountability for their spending on sponsorship as they do for their general advertising spend. Since the direct impact on customer loyalty and profit is so hard to measure, surrogate measures like recall are often used. Key issues with recall measures are the nature and type of prompting given. This paper reports the results of an experiment on three different ways of measuring sponsorship recall based on brand, category and event prompts. Differences between the prompts are shown with some facilitating and another inhibiting recall. The results are discussed within the framework of spreading activation theory which has the potential to explain and predict recall.
Published 1 October 2003

Response order effects - how do people read?
Bobby Duffy pp. 457–466 [Download PDF]
This paper outlines the results from an experiment examining response order effects with visually presented lists. In particular it examines the implications of the practical response adopted by most market research agencies - to use normal and reversed show cards. The conclusion is that for most questions the effect is likely to be present, but relatively small, and dependent on the extent of context effects. That is, it appears more important to ensure that the most likely responses are not grouped at either end of the show list. The study also identified that a quarter of respondents do not actually read the lists they are presented with in interviews from top to bottom, and significant minorities 'jump around' lists looking for eye-catching words or phrases. This clearly has implications for interpreting 'primacy' effects and for the design and physical appearance of lists.
Published 1 October 2003

Combining revealed and stated preferences to forecast customer behaviour: three case studies
Peter C. Verhoef and Philip Hans Franses pp. 467–474 [Download PDF]
Many companies collect stated preference data (SP), such as intentions and satisfaction, as well as revealed preference data (RP), such as actual purchasing behaviour. It seems relevant to examine the predictive usefulness of this information for future revealed preferences, that is, customer behaviour. In this paper we address this issue by considering three case studies. Our results indicate that adding SP data to RP data for predicting future customer behaviour does not result in better forecasts.
Published 1 October 2003

The effect of incentives in web surveys: application and ethical considerations
Nesrin Cobanoglu and Cihan Cobanoglu pp. 475–488 [Download PDF]
Although researchers use internet-based surveys more often than ever in their research, there is little research on the effect of incentives on response rate, speed and cost. This study attempts to fill in some of the blanks by comparing the different incentives offered to respondents of web-based surveys. The results indicate that offering a luggage-tag to each respondent and including them in a draw for a bigger value prize (a personal digital assistant) yields the highest response rate. In terms of response speed, there are no significant differences among each incentive group. The most expensive group in terms of costs was the combination of luggage tag and prize draw.
Published 1 October 2003

Improving email response in a permission marketing context
Hege Brandal and Ray Kent pp. 489–503 [Download PDF]
Obtaining a reasonable level of response from email surveys and direct marketing via email is usually seen as notoriously difficult. This paper argues that 'response' is a complex concept and reports the results of an email survey in Norway into the effects on a range of response characteristics of email use patterns, perceptions about technology, campaign elements and seeking different levels of permission from potential responders. The results challenge many of the assumptions about email response characteristics.
Published 1 October 2003

Determinants of internet advertising effectiveness: an empirical study
George Baltas pp. 505–513 [Download PDF]
This paper considers the structure of advertising effectiveness on the internet. It investigates empirically the importance of creative and media factors for banner effectiveness. Econometric modelling of actual data on banner ads demonstrates that creative factors such as banner size, animation, message length and logos, as well as media factors such as campaign length, number of host web sites, use of off-line media, and campaign cost, may influence the direct response of the target audience as measured by click-through rates. The results lead to important practical implications for internet advertising.
Published 1 October 2003

Issue 3 +

The rise of the stupid network effect
Mark Oldridge pp. 291–310 [Download PDF]
This paper advocates a change in how the research industry understands the consumer. The prevailing empiricist approach to the management sciences should be abandoned and consumer markets would be better regarded as complex adaptive systems. The paper concludes by providing suggestions for developing future thinking on this topic. This paper was joint winner of the Best New Thinking award at the 2003 Market Research Society conference.
Published 1 July 2003

Advertising to the herd
Mark Earls pp. 311–336 [Download PDF]
The dominant view of the consumer as an individual should be replaced with the more accurate model of the consumer as acting as part of the herd. Evidence for this is gathered from a variety of scientific fields. The paper concludes that moving to the herd model will allow researchers to provide more accurate and useful insights into consumer behaviour. This paper was joint winner of the Best New Thinking award at the 2003 Market Research Society Conference.
Published 1 July 2003

Exploitation to engagement
Victoria Brooks pp. 337–354 [Download PDF]
This paper uses a case study of an advertising campaign for a basketball brand to argue that applying a holistic involvement model to all participants in the marketing process produces the best results when targeting niche markets. This paper was winner of the Best Presentation award at the 2003 Market Research Society conference.
Published 1 July 2003

Oh no, the consultants are coming
Angela Lovejoy and Sid Simmons pp. 355–372 [Download PDF]
Management consultants are perceived by some to be increasingly keen to conduct market research on behalf of their clients. As a result, many people suspect that consultants are deliberately trying to steal business from the research community. This paper argues the contrary case. It describes how and why clients use consultants to conduct research and also describes why consultants do not see research as an important revenue stream. The approach described provides a new template for the research industry that will enable good researchers to provide significantly more value to clients and so fill the current gap that exists between researchers and management consultants.
Published 1 July 2003

Benefit segmentation
Rizal Ahmad pp. 373–388 [Download PDF]
The UK currently has about 20 million people who are 50 years old or over. This number is expected to grow to 25 million by 2021. Older people offer new market opportunities, and companies that choose to ignore them will do so at their own peril. Literature indicates that marketers' existing understanding of older consumers revolves around their personal characteristics, in terms of socioeconomic, demographical and psychographical data. Marketers tend to use personal characteristics as independent variables for segmenting older consumers. For simplicity, marketers also tend to treat older consumers in a similar way to which they treat the rest of the consumer market and differentiate older consumers only in terms of their chronological age. In this article, the author discusses the potential application of benefit segmentation technique for segmenting and targeting older consumers in the UK.
Published 1 July 2003

The use of combined conjoint approaches to improve market share predictions
Beverley Henry, Gustavo Gurrieri and Allan Bowditch pp. 389–404 [Download PDF]
Within the pharmaceutical prescription sector, just like many other markets, maintaining competitive advantage has become increasingly difficult. In the healthcare arena, the period of time that a new chemical entity has on the market before a key competitor emerges has been significantly reduced. If a company has already developed an important market franchise in a given sector or disease area, it is essential that that company understands the potential threats it is likely to face in the future from new product entries and also to appreciate what, if anything, could be done to protect or enhance the product franchise in the light of market developments.
Published 1 July 2003

Issue 2 +

The science of the brands: alchemy, advertising and accountancy
Anthony Tasgal pp. 133–166 [Download PDF]
This paper explores whether there are any guiding reasons for the loss of heart that seems to have afflicted Marketing and its various sub-disciplines over the last few years. Just witness the outpouring of dismal negativity that is unleashed on podia and in books with greater and greater frequency. Marketing practitioners bemoan the failure rates of new products, or the glacial speed of developing new products to market; agencies lament that they are not producing cutting-edge ideas for their clients, who are in turn putting their best ideas to the sword of research; Creatives, most usually at the sharp end of this sword, turn to their Planners to get them out of this Research and Destroy Culture. Planners then pass the buck to the Market Researchers accusing them of bringing nothing new to creative development or brand measurement since whenever. What lies beneath this malaise, it is believed, is a rearguard belief in the science of management and marketing which is deeply flawed in two ways as discussed in the paper.
Published 1 April 2003

Coolhunting with Aristotle
Nick Southgate pp. 167–190 [Download PDF]
This pervasive influence of Coolhunting is the motivation behind this paper. Being touched by the Coolhunt raised legitimate questions. Client and researcher wanted to know if they should be Coolhunting, or at least doing something similar. The critics (and the public they spoke for) wanted to know if they should acquiesce in the role of quarry in the hunt. What follows is an analysis of how the Coolhunt works. It looks to both question and interrogate Coolhunting's explicit and implicit assumptions. Key amongst these assumptions is the belief that cool is in some sense beyond analysis. Cool is ineluctably recondite. It may be described but any attempt to develop prescriptive criteria must necessarily be jejune and insipid. Central to this paper's argument is the contrary claim that cool is open to analysis.
Published 1 April 2003

The Kohonen self-organising map as an alternative to cluster analysis: an application to direct marketing
Paul Phillips, Luiz Moutinho, Fiona Davies, Brian Curry and Martin Evans pp. 191–212 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the potential of the Kohonen self-organising map (SOM) in a marketing context. It deals specifically with consumer attitudes towards direct marketing. The SOM belongs to the general class of neural network (NN) models, but differs from the now orthodox way in which NNs are implemented. The major difference is that network learning is 'unsupervised', in which case the SOM is related to clustering methods. The result of an SOM is a two-dimensional grid of related 'prototypes' rather than non-overlapping clusters. The method involves iterative adjustment of the prototypes in such a way as to capture and preserve the properties of the data. We show how the resulting maps offer useful new perspectives.
Published 1 April 2003

Is a central tendency error inherent in the use of semantic differential scales in different cultures?
Michael Swenson, Julie H. Yu and Gerald Albaum pp. 213–228 [Download PDF]
This paper examines the effect of alternative scale formats on reporting the nature and extent of attitudes toward grocery supermarkets on bipolar semantic differential measurement scales. A traditional one-stage format and an alternative two-stage format were tested in two studies conducted in different countries. In general, the two-stage format generated the greatest percentage of extreme-position (i.e. greatest amount) responses across scales, indicating that the more usual traditional one-stage format is subject to a central tendency form-related error. A test of predictive ability showed that the two-stage format was a better predictor of shopping behaviour in one country, whereas the results for the other country were mixed, although for the most part the two-stage format did a better job of prediction. Consequently, a question can be raised about the etic attributes of this measurement scale.
Published 1 April 2003

Genetic Algorithms for product design: how well do they really work?
Winfried Steiner and Harald Hruschka pp. 229–240 [Download PDF]
Recently, Balakrishnan and Jacob (1996) have proposed the use of Genetic Algorithms (GA) to solve the problem of identifying an optimal single new product using conjoint data. Here we extend and evaluate the GA approach with regard to the more general problem of product line design. We consider profit contribution as a firm's economic criterion to evaluate product design decisions and illustrate how the genetic operators work to find the product line with maximum profit contribution. In a Monte Carlo simulation, we assess the performance of the GA methodology in comparison to Green and Krieger's (1985) greedy heuristic.
Published 1 April 2003

Something approaching science?
Paul Bottomley and Agnes Nairn pp. 241–262 [Download PDF]
The customer relationship management (CRM) industry is set to be worth $76.3 billion by 2005 but over 50% of projects will fail to meet benefit objectives. While CRM nirvana is the attainment of profitable one-to-one relationships, current activity is concentrated on segmentation. As technology has moved segmentation from simple classification towards more complex predictive modelling, the use of CRM analytic suites comprising statistical techniques such as decision trees, neural networks and cluster analysis is increasing. It is suggested that the subjective nature of cluster analysis may be overlooked when the technique is integrated with other 'tools' into a data-mining package and, consequently, that inadequately tested cluster analysis solutions may be contributing to CRM dissatisfaction. This paper reports the findings of a study which subjected a data set designed for segmentation purposes to a series of rigorous validity and reliability tests and went as far as to randomise the data to ascertain whether current methods could detect 'false' data. The study shows, alarmingly, that under certain conditions random data can 'pass' standard tests and highlights just how meticulously and thoroughly cluster analysis solutions must be tested before they can be safely used in formulating marketing strategy. Practical, theoretical and technical advice is offered for managers working with CRM analytics suites and avenues suggested for future research into improved CRM performance through effective management of the IT/marketing interface.
Published 1 April 2003

Issue 1 +

Developments in outputs from the 2001 Census
Barry Leventhal pp. 3–20 [Download PDF]
The 2001 Census is starting to provide market researchers with updated information on the size and structure of the UK population. The objective of this paper is to identify the most important methodological changes and developments in the 2001 package that will be relevant when using results from this unique source. Section 2 of the paper gives an overview of the Census operation and goes on to discuss the top-line results and why they have led to revision of the mid-year estimates series from 1982 to 2000. Section 3 highlights a number of innovations in Census outputs and discusses their implications for users of the data.
Published 1 January 2003

Evaluative and descriptive response patterns to negative image attributes
Jennifer Romaniuk and Maxwell K. Winchester pp. 21–34 [Download PDF]
While investigations into brand image have been plentiful, the study of negative brand image attributes has been rare. Replicated multi-brand studies are rare in any academic publication, but extremely rare in the consideration of the study of negative image attributes. Expanding on Barwise and Ehrenberg (1985), we examine the relationship between negative brand image attributes and usage replicated over different brands and attributes, in business and consumer markets, using different questioning techniques both in repertoire and subscription markets. In this paper, we report on 18 attributes for 35 brands in six separate studies. Previous research has offered conflicting evidence about the patterns one may observe between negative image attributes and brand usage. We identified the presence of three different patterns. While three different patterns were evident, the most negative image attributes studied across brands displayed a descriptive pattern. That is, users and non-users were equally likely to associate the brand with a negative image attribute. Of those that did not, a small number displayed an evaluative pattern, where users of a brand were more likely than non-users. In only one instance were non-users more likely to mention a negative image attribute than users of the brand (referred to as a reverse evaluative pattern). The implications of the study indicate that responses to negative brand image attributes are not driven by brand usage or non-usage, and that negative image attributes do not behave in an opposite pattern to positive image attributes. It is suggested that there are other factors which may drive responses to negative image attributes, such as consumer expertise level, which need further research. The findings of this study also lead us to question attitudinal models that suggest consumers evaluate brands both on positive and negative attributes in making purchase decisions. We request that further research be conducted to further understanding of the drivers of response to negative brand image attributes.
Published 1 January 2003

Development and validation of a brand trust scale
Maria Jesus Yague-Guillen, Jose Luis Munuera-Aleman and Elena Delgado-Ballester pp. 35–54 [Download PDF]
To enrich the limited and recent work in existence on relational phenomena in the consumer-brand domain, the authors focus on the concept of brand trust. The non-existence of a wider accepted measure of this concept is surprising given that: (1) trust is viewed as the cornerstone and one of the most desired qualities in a relationship; and (2) it is the most important attribute a brand can own. In this context, this research reports the results of a multi-step study to develop and validate a multi-dimensional brand trust scale drawn from the conceptualisation of trust in other academic fields. Multi-step psychometric tests demonstrate that the new brand trust scale is reliable and valid. Both theoretical and managerial implications are presented.
Published 1 January 2003

A comparison of approaches to Importance-Performance Analysis
Donald R. Bacon pp. 55–72 [Download PDF]
Several different approaches have been used to undertake Importance-Performance Analysis (IPA), aka quadrant analysis or gap analysis. This study compares methods across 15 datasets and finds that the traditional 2x2 grid approach can be misleading. Using indirect (e.g. multiple regression) methods for determining importances may also be misleading. The most valid method of performing IPA is identified, and a method for confirming its validity is provided.
Published 1 January 2003

Information processing: a critical literature review and future research directions
Graham Spickett-Jones and Philip J. Kitchen pp. 73–98 [Download PDF]
This conceptual paper concerns information processing, and focuses on the methods and mechanisms used by marketers and academics in attempting to explore mental processes, particularly regarding perception and cognitive mapping in relation to marketing communications. The paper reviews the extensive literature in this domain, deriving information and models from a wide variety of disciplines including: cognitive information processing, attitudes and attitudinal change, elaboration and receiver involvement, sub-routines and sub-processors, semiotics, cognitive science and psycholinguistics. We conclude by suggesting that each of these disciplines has a role to play in terms of future research direction, and that the field of information processing still provides a rich and fertile basis for significant developments to take place.
Published 1 January 2003

David takes on Goliath: an analysis of survey evidence in a trademark dispute
Philip Gendall and Janet Hoek pp. 99–122 [Download PDF]
Anheuser Busch, the brewers of Budweiser, sued a Czech brewer alleging that its beer brand, Budejovicky Budvar, created confusion in the marketplace and breached New Zealand consumer protection legislation that prohibits misleading and deceptive conduct. The case brought against Budejovicky Budvar included a survey of beer consumers and this was central to the action. This paper explores the robustness of the survey by evaluating its methodology in terms of the four errors that affect survey research: coverage error, measurement error, sampling error and non-response error. In each area, the survey adduced contained serious flaws that undermined its validity. Ironically, these flaws were largely avoidable. An alternative survey design that draws on past cases and empirical generalisations in question wording is proposed. While untested in court, this design takes greater cognisance of issues regarding forensic research that have been raised internationally. More attention to these issues should reduce the vulnerability of surveys to criticism and help ensure that the relevant public's voice is better represented in actions that allege consumer confusion.
Published 1 January 2003


Volume 44 (2002)

Issue 4 +

Pharmaceuticals: the new brand arena
Mike Owen and Jon Chandler pp. 385–404 [Download PDF]
This paper looks at the rapidly advancing recognition of the importance of brands within the international pharmaceutical arena. It explores what ramifications recent developments in our understanding of mind, culture and brands have for the whole business of brand development. The paper looks at how and in what ways qualitative research has to be built into this process, in particular exploring the issues of how qualitative research is structured and analysed.
Published 1 October 2002

Needs-based segmentation: principles and practice
Kathryn Greengrove pp. 405–421 [Download PDF]
While the principles of needs or benefit-based market segmentation have been long established, its potential value as a route to a stronger market understanding and ultimately competitive advantage has been largely untapped in pharmaceutical marketing research, with internal process rather than market focus driving market understanding. Many of the tensions around the use of geodemographics for market segmentation in the consumer work are mirrored in the