As of 2009, the United States accounts for half of the world’s advertising expenditures, followed by Japan, which accounts for 10 percent. Content analysis was used to compare the information content in American and Japanese magazine advertising. Six categories of magazines (general, women’s, men’s, professional, sports, and entertainment) were chosen from each country. Advertisements from these magazines were selected for analysis, resulting in a total of 1,440 advertisements: 832 from American magazines and 608 from Japanese magazines. Three judges independently noted whether each advertisement was informative or uninformative, which criteria for information content were satisfied by the advertisement, the size of the ad, and the product category being advertised. Japanese magazine advertising was found to be consistently more informative than U.S. magazine advertising. For example, more than 85 percent of the Japanese ads analyzed satisfied at least one criterion for information content and thus were perceived to be informative, compared to only 75 percent of the American ads. Likewise, Japanese ads had an average of 1.7 information cues per ad, compared to 1.3 cues per ad for the American ads. This information is useful for multinational companies and advertising agencies including Young & Rubicam, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide, McCann Erickson Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. BBDO Worldwide, and others with global operations conducting cross-cultural advertising campaigns
A Comparative Evaluation of Observation Methods
A comparative evaluation of the observation methods is given in Table 6.4. different observation methods are evaluated in terms of the degree of structure, degree of disguise, ability to observe in a natural setting. observation bias, measurement and analysis bias, and additional general factors. Structure relates to the specification of what is to be observed and how the measurements are to be recorded. As can be seen from Table 6.4, personal observation is low, trace analysis is medium, and audit and content analysis are high on the degree of structure. Mechanical observation can vary widely from low to high depending upon on the methods used. Methods such as optical scanners are very structured in thai the characteristics to be measured. for example, characteristics of items purchased scanned in supermarket checkouts, are precisely defined. Thus, these methods are high in the degree of structure. In contrast, mechanical methods such as use of hidden cameras to observe children at play with toys tend to be unstructured
Observation bias is low in the case of mechanical observation because a human observer is not involved. It is also low for audits. Although the auditors are humans, the observation usually takes place on objects and the characteristics to be observed are well defined, leading to low observation bias. Observation bias is medium for trace analysis and content analysis. In both these methods, human observers are involved, and the characteristics to be observed are not that well defined. However, the observers typically do not interact with human respondents during the observation process, thus lessening the degree of bias. It is high for personal observation due to the use of human observers who interact with the phenomenon being observed.
Data analysis bias is low for audits and content analysis because the variables are precisely defined, the data are quantitative, and statistical analysis is conducted. Trace analysis has a medium degree of bias because the definition of variables is not very precise. Mechanical observation methods can have a low (e.g., scanner data) to medium (e.g., bidden camera) degree of analysis bias depending on the method. Unlike personal observation, the bias in mechanical observation is limited to the medium level due to improved measurement and classification, because the phenomenon to be observed can be recorded continuously using mechanical devices
In addition, personal observation is the most flexible. Human observers can observe a wide variety of phenomena in a wide variety of settings. Some mechanical observation methods such as use of psycho galvanometers can be very intrusive, leading to artificiality and bias. Audits using human auditors tend to be expensive. Content analysis is well suited for and limited to the observation of communications. As mentioned earlier, trace analysis is a method of last resort. The application of these criteria will lead to the identification of an appropriate method, if observation is at all suitable in the given situation
How Do You Like Your Beef?
When people shop for meat at the grocery store, they tend to stick with what they know. This is what was found when marketing research was conducted for the National Cattle men’s Beef Association (NCBA). The research wasperformedto help theNCBA figureout why the sales of certain cuts of beef had beendroppingby20 percentover a period of 4 years.The research used mechanical observation and customer interviews. The researchers stationed themselves at the meat cases of stores in order to record the buying behavior of consumers.The consumers were video taped while shopping for beef.These observations showed that many consumers were not purchasing certain cuts of beef even when they looked good and were less
PortiCo Documents with Documentaries
PortiCo Research specializes in observing individuals, questioning them in depth. recording them on videos. and selling these tapes for tens of thousands of dollars to its major clients, such as Honda, Delta, Lipton, and Procter & Gamble. They have fine-tuned the method of collecting ethnographic data and have made it into a very profitable business
PortiCo’s specialty is total immersion in the lives of consumers in an effort to document how they make purchasing decisions. Research teams of anthropologists, social psychologists, and ethnographers (professionals who comparatively study people) go into the subjects’ homes with video graphers. The teams tape the subjects in their homes and also go shopping with them to watch what they buy and ask questions on the reasons for their purchases. After filming, employees of PortiCo transcribe the findings of the videos and analyze them for their clients. The analysis is based on the research problem that the client has set out to solve or get more information about. For example, PortiCo did a large study for Lipton to find out people’s attitudes toward tea. With the results of the study, Lipton would find out whether or not to invest more in advertising, develop new flavors, or market more iced tea instead of hot tea. The findings showed that Americans don’t drink very much hot tea, especially because of the presence of caffeinated coffee in the marketplace ..If and when they do drink hot tea. it is normally flavored. herbal tea. Most of Lipton’S hot tea is not in special flavors. However, they’ have recently begun to bring herbal teas to market. The study did find, however, that American consumers like iced tea, As a result of the findings, Lipton has done a lot of creative developments in the area of iced tea. They pushed the marketing of Brisk Iced Tea in the can, which is now the number one selling brand of ready-to-drink iced tea. Also, Lipton has created a Cold Brew Blend tea bag in both family size, to make a whole pitcher, and single-glass size, for one serving. This tea bag allows iced tea to be brewed with cold water instead of having to use boiling water. Therefore. consumers can enjoy their tea faster with much less hassle. These marketing efforts, guided by the findings of PortiCo Research, have resulted in increased sales and market share for Lipton
Selection of Survey Methods
No questionnaire administration method is superior in all situations. Table 6.6 presents a comparative evaluation of the major modes of collecting quantitative data in the context of international marketing research. In this table. the survey methods are discussed only under the broad headings of telephone. personal. mail. and electronic (e-rnail, Internet) interviews. The use of CATI. CAPI. and mail panels depends heavily on the state of technological development in the country. Likewise. the use of mall-intercept interviewing is contingent upon the dominance of shopping malls in the retailing environment. The same is true for e-mail .” and Internet surveys. which rely on access to computers and the Internet. The major methods of interviewing should be carefully evaluated on the criteria given in Table 6.6. as shown.
Another very important consideration in selecting the methods of administering questionnaires is to ensure equivalence and comparability across countries. Different methods may have different reliability in different countries. In collecting data from different countries. it is desirable to use survey methods with equivalent levels of reliability. rather than the same method. as illustrated in the following example.
Using Dominant Survey Methods to Gain Dominant Market Share
With worldwide sales accounting for about SO percent of its total, Reebok is marketed in more than 170 countries as of 2009. Currently. Reebok is seeking to expand in Europe and would like to institute strong marketing programs to sell street sneakers to the European masses. A survey of consumer preferences for sneakers is to be undertaken in three countries: Sweden, France, and Switzerland. Comparability of results can best be achieved by using the dominant mode of interviewing in each country: telephone interviews in Sweden. central location/street interviews in France, and in-home personal interviews in Switzerland.
Ethics in Marketing Research
The use of survey research as a guise for selling (called sligging in the trade language) or fundraising ifmggillg) is unethical. Another ethical issue that is salient in survey and observation research is respondents’ anonymity. Researchers have an obligation to not disclose respondents’ names to outside parties. including the client. This is all the more critical if the respondents were promised anonymity in order to obtain their participation. The client is not entitled to the names of respondents. Only when respondents are notified in advance and their consent is obtained prior to administering the survey can their names be disclosed to the client. Even in such situations, the researcher should have the assurance that the client will not use respondents’ names in sales efforts or misuse them in other ways. The following example highlights the battle being waged by the marketing research industry in the ethical arena
The Signal Is Busy for Telephone Research
The Council for Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR) recently identified the “major threats to research vitality:’ At the top of the list was telephone research due to concern over proposed legislation. About half of the states have introduced bills to regulate unsolicited telephone calls and the remaining are considering similar legislation. A California law, designed to limit eavesdropping, makes it illegal to listen in on an extension. and this might limit supervisory monitoring of telephone interviewers
All of these barriers have raised the cost of telephone research and make it difficult for researchers to obtain representative samples. Recent statistics released by CMOR confirm that the industry still faces an increasing trend in the number of people refusing to participate in surveys each year. The study surveyed 3,700 U.S. consumers. and nearly 45 percent stated they had refused to participate in a survey during the last year. CMOR’s definition of a survey refusal does not include cases where consumers avoid phone calls by means of caller 10 or answering machines. Such factors would actually push the true refusal rate much higher. Consumers’ concern about privacy is the number one reason survey refusal rate is so high. In addition, the widespread use of the Internet and publicized awareness of fraudulent use has made consumers more hesitant about participating in interviews. The study also reveals that only 30 percent of respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that researchers can be trusted to protect consumers’ right to privacy. CMOR is fighting back and has hired the Washington law firm of Covington and Burling to lobby Congress and coordinate state-level lobbying. Another action under consideration is a “seal of approval” from the CMOR to raise the public’s perceptions of responsible research firms. The battle to save telephone research must be waged; all it takes is a phone call
Researchers should not place respondents in stressful situations. Disclaimers such as “there are no right or wrong answers; we are only interested in your opinion” can relieve much of the stress inherent in a survey
Often the behavior of people is observed without their knowledge because informing the respondents may alter their behavior.s2 However, this can violate respondents’ privacy. One guideline is that people should not be observed for research in situations where they would not expect to be observed by the public. However, observing people in public places like a mall or a grocery store is appropriate if certain procedures are followed. Notices should be posted in these areas stating that they are under observation for marketing research purposes. After the data have been collected, the researcher should obtain the necessary permission from the respondents. If any of the respondents refuse to grant permission, the observation records pertaining to them should be destroyed. These guidelines should also be applied when using cookies on the
Microsoft: Small Businesses Represent a Big Market
about 50 percent of all V.S. sales and contributed 50 percent of private GOP. They also employed more than 50 percent of the V.s. workforce. Microsoft Corporation is impressed with these statistics because they indicate that small businesses may represent a big market for its products. It wonders whether the needs of small businesses are different from those of large businesses. Steve Ballmer, the CEO, would like to develop specialized products for the small businesses. Some of these products could include a Web site just for small businesses; the Microsoft Small Business Council (which provides information to help small businesses use technology); the Microsoft Small Business Technology Partnership Board (an educational resource); the BackOffice Small Business Server; and a Small Business Edition of Microsoft Works
The Marketing ResearchDecision
I. If a survey is to be conducted to detennine small businesses’ preferences for software products, which survey method would you recommend and why?
2. Discuss the role of the type of research you recommend in enabling Steve Ballmer to determine small businesses’ preferences for software products.
The Marketing Management Decision
I. Steve Ballmer is wondering what Microsoft should do to effectively meet the needs of small businesses.What is your recommendation?
2. Discuss how the marketing management decision action that you recommend to Steve Ballmer is influenced by the type of survey that-you suggested earlier and by the findings of that survey.