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Current Issue

Vol. 58 No. 4, 2016

Editorial
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

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