Consumer research (Riset Konsumen) developed as an extension of the marketing research field to enable marketers to predict how consumers will react in the market and understand their reasons for the decision to buy. The results of market research and consumer research used to improve managerial decision making.

The researchers first period consumers little thought to influence mood (mood), emotions, or situations of consumer satisfaction. They believe that marketing is only applied economics, and the consumers are rational decision makers, which objectively assess the goods and services available to them and choose only the benefit (satisfaction) the highest with the lowest price.
In 1939, a psychoanalyst from Vienna named Ernest Ditcher started using the technique to reveal the psychoanalyst Freud the hidden motivations of consumers themselves. In the late 1950s, research methodology called motivation research is essentially qualitative approach, widely used by the consumer research. Consumer researchers currently use two kinds of different research methodologies to study consumer behavior research is a quantitative and qualitative research.

Quantitative research is descriptive and used to understand the influence of various input promotion to consumers, allowing marketers to “predict” consumer behavior. This research approach is known as positivism and researchers known as a positivist. Research method used consisted of an experiment, survey techniques, and observation. The results are descriptive, empirical, and if taken at random (by using a probability sample) can be generalized to the larger population.

Qualitative research
Qualitative research methods consisted of in-depth interviews, focus groups, analysis of metaphor, research collage, and projection techniques. This technique is done through analysis of a highly trained interviewers, and tend to be subjective. The results can not be generalized to the broader population because the number of sample slightly. This technique is usually used to obtain new ideas for promotional campaigns.

COMBINING RESULTS qualitative and quantitative research
Some marketers use a combination of quantitative and qualitative research to help assist strategic marketing decisions because of the limited results of qualitative research. Qualitative research is used to find new ideas and to develop a campaign strategy, while the quantitative research results are used to predict consumer reactions to various campaign inputs.
The idea comes from qualitative studies are sometimes tested empirically and the basis for the design of quantitative studies. Result of a merger enables marketers to design marketing strategies more meaningful and more efficient that aims to make a profit or nonprofit. They also provide a stronger basis for public policy decisions.

The main steps in the consumer research process includes:

  1. Determining the research objectives
  2. Collect and evaluate secondary data
  3. Designing a primary research study
  4. Collecting primary data
  5. Analyzing data
  6. Preparing the research report

The first step in the process of consumer research is to determine the precise objectives of the study. It is important for marketing managers and researchers to agree on the initial purpose and objectives of the study to ensure that appropriate research design. Objectives carefully considered to help find the type and quality of information needed.

Secondary data information is any data that was originally produced for specific purposes other than research purposes now. This information includes the results of research based on research conducted outside organizations, the data generated in the previous study, and even customer information collected by the sales or the company’s credit.

Approach for each different type of research from the point of data collection methods, sample design, and the kinds of data collection tools used, so that each research approach is discussed separately.

Quantitative research design
The design of quantitative research studies including data collection methods, sample design, and manufacturing data collection tools (eg questionnaires).

  • Data Collection Method
There are three basic ways to collect data:

  1. Observation Research, a consumer research method is important, to gain a deep understanding of the relationship between people and products to their attention during the process of buying and using the product. Observational studies are also widely used to understand the process of purchasing and consumption.
  2. Experimentation, a controlled experiment to ensure that any differences in outcome variables not free (dependent variable) caused by the different treatment of variables under study and not by external factors.
  3. The survey, can be done through several ways including: (a) Survey of individual interviews, (b) the survey by phone, (c) survey in the mail.
  • Data Collection Instrument
Data collection instruments included a questionnaire, a list of questions of personal views, attitudes and scale for qualitative data, guide the discussion. Data collection instruments are usually tested first and the “debugged” to ensure the validity and reliability of research. The study said to have validity if it really appropriate to collect data and required to answer the question or stated goals in the first stage in the research process. The study said if the question has the same reliability, which is expressed to a similar sample, producing the same conclusion.

Qualitative research design
In choosing the appropriate format for research qualitative study, it must consider the purpose of study and type of data required. Research methods used may differ in composition, but all have roots from the psychoanalytic and clinical aspects of psychology, and emphasizes the type of open questions and answers free.

  • Data Collection Method
Choice of data collection techniques for qualitative study included in-depth interviews, focus groups, the projection technique, and metaphor analysis.

  • Determination of Sample
An integrated component in the research design is the determination of the sample plan. The number of samples depends on the size of the budget and desired level of confidence of market participants from research results. The more samples, the more likely the answer will reflect the overall population being studied. If all the research results can be projected to the entire population, then the probability sample should be chosen. However, if it is considered adequate (representative), then the non-probability sample can be selected.

Qualitative studies usually require the social science experts who are trained to collect data. Quantitative studies usually require field staff employed and trained directly by the researchers in conducting interviews in the field. All the questionnaire was completed on a regular basis to review the progress of research studies to ensure that the recorded answers clear, complete, and legible.

In qualitative research, moderators or executing tests typically analyze all the answers received. In quantitative research, the researchers watched the analysis. All the answers to open converted into code and measurable (numeric score), then tabulated and analyzed using a program that connects the data by a variety of selected variables and to group data by selected demographic.

In both qualitative and quantitative research, research report also contains a brief conclusion about the research results. The contents of the report contains a full description of the methodology used, for quantitative research also includes various tables and graphs to support his research results.

In designing a research study, the researchers adjust the research process with the special needs of the research.

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