During class we learned about the importance of market research, and how there is Qualitative and Quantitative market research. Qualitative refers to trying to understand why people feel a certain way, or think a certain way. Where as Quantitative refers to seeing how many people feel a certain way or think a certain way. The article How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did really shows the use of quantitative research in the real world and how beneficial it can be. Basically it tells how the store Target gave each customer a “Guest ID” associated with their credit card number and first/last name. They then kept track of what each person bought to find patterns in their buys. They wanted to target pregnant women to make them loyal customers during and after pregnancy. They noticed specific patterns and used those patterns to send special coupons to target those women. They got so good that they could tell when a woman was pregnant even before they knew it, and even predict their due date with a small error margin. Their research and techniques paid off since they they were also able to take a significant portion of that market share, and went from $22 billion in 2002 (Before the program) to $67 billion in 2010 (after the program).
During market research the questions we ask are very important, since the wrong question can give us the wrong answer. During a study by Loftus and Palmer in regards to how trustworthy eye witness testimony is, it was found that the questions ask influence a lot our perception of the reality. The video Loftus and Palmer core study explains the basics of the study. It shows how the study was conducted in two parts. The first part took 45 University students and were seperated in 5 groups. Each group was shown the same clip of cars colliding, but then each group was asked a series of questions, all the same except for one. The questions were similar except for one verb changed. The question was “About how fast were the cars going when they [insert verb here] each other. The verbs were Hit, Smashed, Collided, Contacted, and Bumped. Each group gave different average speed. Those who were asked the questions with the verb “Smashed” gave an average speed of 40.8 MPH, those asked the question with the verb “Collided” gave an average of 39.3 MPH, “Bumped” 38.1 MPH, “Hit” 34 MPH, and “Contacted” 31 MPH. This showed how one simple word changed the results of each group. Those who were asked the question with the word “Contacted” saw the car crash much softer than those who were asked with the word “Smashed”. The second Test was very similar, except that after asking the different questions, the participants were sent home and asked back a week later. They were then asked if they saw broken glass in the accident. Although there was no broken glass, 16 participants from the “Smashed” condition said they did see broken glass vs 7 from the “Hit” condition. This proved even more how one simple word can really alter our perception of the reality. If we tie this back to marketing research it’s easy to see how if depending on the question we might get different answers, so really understanding what it is that we want to know is very important so we can ask the right questions.
In class we touched on how having a Facebook page for your business is important, but so is having your own website. I believe we only came up with one or two reasons why having a website is important, but we came up with multiple reasons why having a Facebook page was important. The article 5 Benefits of Having a Website for Your Small Business gives some pretty good reasons why having a website is important. My favorite is number four: You Build Authority. The article is back from 2011 and it touches and how at that time it was becoming important to have a website because people were more and more using the internet to do research before buying anything in the “real world”. This could not be any more right in today’s world. The fourth point (You build authority) is very true, especially in today’s age. It says how in the old days you just needed to send mail and be in the yellow pages, but today people check on your website to see how trustworthy you are. They want to know that you are stable enough to have a website, and that if they need to get a hold of you in case something goes wrong with the product they can get in contact with you. The website also let’s them feel like you’ll be there tomorrow and the next day. Where as not having any web presence makes them doubt if you’ll last. In my personal experience this is very true. I base alot of my decisions on what I find about a business on the internet. I sell some products on eBay and before making any purchases from a supplier I check their website and get a feel for them. If they don’t have a website or the website is too old I feel uneasy about buying from them. Sometime’s I’ll even check them on the BBB website, and typically they’ll have a link to their site there, so I’ll use that link to get to their site since I feel more secure that that’s actually the right website. So, having that internet presence I believe is very important to give your business that confident look and authority the business needs.