Market Research Glossary


Posted on 14 August 2020 Catherine Chipeta


Our market research glossary defines some key terms relating to a range of industry concepts. Learn some new consumer research lingo from basic research concepts to more advanced and technical definitions.

๐ŸŽฏ Accessible Population

The accessible population is the group (based on the target population) that the researcher can measure during research. The accessible population is determined by a number of factors, such as budget and time constraints for survey research, or distance and travel for face-to-face interviews.

๐Ÿ“ƒ Ad hoc Report

An ad hoc report is commissioned when initial research does not provide sufficient information about a particular topic or if research uncovers a new problem which requires further analysis.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ฌ Advertising Testing

Advertising testing, or ad testing for short, is research that is specifically designed to test the effectiveness, appeal, and target audience of a businessโ€™ advertisements. Ad testing commonly occurs during the design phase of product development, where several ad concepts are tested.

๐Ÿ‘ Acquiescence Bias

Often referred to as the โ€œfriendliness biasโ€, acquiescence bias occurs when respondents answer questions positively or agreeably because they feel prompted to do so. Questions which are phrased in a way that appears to have a โ€œrightโ€ answer often result in acquiescence bias.

๐Ÿ—บ๏ธ Area Sampling

Area sampling is the process of selecting a geographic location (usually based on a map) and dividing it into sub-areas. Sub-areas are sampled at random, or further divided for sub-sampling.

๐Ÿ’„ Beauty Parade

Beauty parade is a colloquial term for the selection process used by businesses seeking external market research services. Several agencies pitch their proposals before the business decides which agency they think can best fulfil their research needs.

โš–๏ธ Bias

Bias occurs when certain sample data is underrepresented or overrepresented, causing inaccurate survey results. Bias can be a result of several factors, such as survey design, question wording, question format, and data collection technique.

๐Ÿ›’ Conjoint Analysis

Conjoint analysis is a type of quantitative research which is particularly useful for product and pricing research. It determines which product features consumers find most important/appealing and uses this information for product development, assessing price sensitivity, forecasting market shares, and predicting new product potential.

๐Ÿ’ก Concept Testing

Businesses use concept testing to gain consumer insights on new product ideas by asking respondents to provide feedback on a set of concepts. These insights are used to tweak and re-test the concepts, a process which occurs several times before launch.

๐Ÿงน Data Cleaning

Data cleaning occurs after data collection is complete to enhance the quality of results and minimise the effects of bias on survey data.

๐Ÿ“‹ Data Collection

Data collection refers to the methods used to obtain the data being used for research. Quantitative research uses measurable collection methods, such as surveys, and qualitative research commonly uses observation techniques such as focus groups.

๐Ÿงฐ DIY Market Research

When a business undertakes research without the aid of a market research agency or consultant, it is considered โ€˜DIYโ€™ research. DIY research is usually conducted in-house and when there are time/budget constraints.

๐Ÿ“‰ Drop-Offs

A drop-off occurs when a respondent does not complete a survey they have started. Drop-offs do not count towards the total number of survey completes.

๐Ÿ„ Extreme Responding

Often a result of acquiescence bias, extreme responding occurs when respondents only select the most extreme response on either end of a scaling or rating question. Extreme responding can be avoided by using a range of question types, and ensuring question wording is not repetitive.

๐Ÿ”˜ Likert Scale

Also known as a satisfaction scale, a Likert scale is a 5 or 7-point scale question type. Likert scales usually display a sentence or idea and ask respondents to select which attitude they have towards it from a range of extreme opinions and a neutral option.

๐Ÿฆฎ Leading Question

A leading question is written in a way that prompts or encourages a particular answer from a survey respondent. Leading questions are a common contributor to survey bias.

๐Ÿ”ฌ Market Research

Market research is the study of consumers to understand their preferences, wants, needs, buying habits, and behaviours. It helps businesses to make decisions regarding product development, pricing, marketing, and advertising efforts.

โš™๏ธ Market Research Automation

Market research automation is achieved through research automation platforms which automate menial processes, enabling researchers to direct their efforts on more complex and meaningful tasks.

๐Ÿ“ Market Research Brief

A business prepares a market research brief to help market research agencies understand the businessโ€™ research needs. After reading the brief, the agency can propose the most suitable course of action for the research.

Market trends are perceived patterns in consumer preferences which are uncovered through research and often dictate new product development. They change frequently and dramatically over time.

๐Ÿ–ฅ๏ธ Online Panel

Online panels are a faster way for businesses to source respondents for online survey research. Each panel is profiled and screened by the panel provider to match the required target audience.

๐ŸŽ Package Testing

Package testing is performed in studies which focus on new product packaging concepts. It answers questions surrounding consumersโ€™ likes and dislikes towards new packaging concepts, including product claims displayed on the packaging.

๐Ÿš€ Product Launch

A product launch is its debut in the market and is the result of extensive product and pricing research and planning. A product launch covers not just the lead-up to market launch, but also the post-launch period, where continued observation and planning is required.

๐Ÿ”ข Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is performed using measurable sources of data (i.e numbers), which are analysed using statistical analysis. Common data collection methods for quantitative research include interviews, surveys, and case studies/document review.

โœ‹ Quotas

Quotas are put in place to monitor survey requirements and limitations and ensure their adherence. Quotas are often set to control the number of responses a survey can receive.

๐Ÿ“ Research Design

Research design defines how the study will be structured. It covers elements such as samples or groups, measures, treatments or programmes, and methods of assignment, and how they work together to try to address the central research questions.

๐Ÿงช Sample Size

Sample size is the number of respondents being gathered for the survey. Researchers must determine minimum sample size to ensure accurate results.

๐Ÿ“บ Screening Question

Screening questions filter out potential survey respondents to ensure only the desired audience is re-directed to complete the survey. Screening questions often concern demographics and buying behaviour.

โœ‚๏ธ Segmentation

Segmentation is the process of dividing a broad consumer market into targeted groups for the purposes of research. The four main segment types are demographic, behavioural, geographic, and psychographic.

โญ๏ธ Skip Logic

Also referred to as conditional logic, skip logic displays certain questions to respondents, conditionally based on other information, such as answers to previous questions in the survey. In conjoint studies, skip logic is used to determine which attributes respondents are shown.

๐Ÿ™‹ Social Desirability Bias

Social desirability bias occurs when respondents choose answers based on what they think is socially acceptable. When this bias occurs, survey results will show either a higher number of โ€œdesirableโ€ responses or a lower number of โ€œundesirableโ€ responses.

๐Ÿ’จ Speeders

Speeders are respondents who rush through surveys, completing them too quickly to have adequately read through the questions or had time to answer thoughtfully. Most survey platforms have measures in place to detect speeders and eliminate them from survey results to maintain data quality.

๐Ÿ› ๏ธ TURF Analysis

TURF analysis (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) is a statistical technique that ranks combinations of products based on how many people will like these combinations. Businesses usually perform TURF on a set of flavours, SKUs, or product variants.

โ˜๏ธ Word Cloud

A word cloud visually depicts words that respondents use when talking about a product, either through research or interaction on a brandโ€™s social media. The โ€˜cloudโ€™ is shaped with each word shown as text in a differing sizes โ€” the more frequently the word is used, the larger it will appear.