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Current Issue

Vol. 58 No. 2, 2016

Peter Mouncey pp. 159–170 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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 [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

MRS Events

June 2016

AGM & annual pub quiz02.06.16 | The French Quarter Room, Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

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Finding the Story in the Data - Identifying the Insight 08.06.16 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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Advanced Thinking in Quant Masterclass09.06.16 | MRS, London EC1V 0JR

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MRS News

A great start for MRS Northern Ireland

20.05.16 Read more

Jane Frost and Eric Salama join Wire board

19.05.16 Read more

MRS joins 12 associations to launch marketing effectiveness programme

19.05.16 Read more


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