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International Journal of Market Research (IJMR)

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Current Issue

Vol. 57 No. 2, 2015

Peter Mouncey pp. 167–175 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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

MRS Events

June 2015

Advanced Qualitative Practice02.06.15 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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Presentation Delivery Skills03.06.15 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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Researching Children03.06.15 | By webinar,

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MRS News

Details of opinion poll inquiry announced

22.05.15 Read more

BIS Consultation

20.05.15 Read more

Three new Fellows

20.05.15 Read more


The IJMR is published for MRS by Warc, the global provider of ideas and evidence for marketing people.