Tag Archives: market research

How a Sample of 1,000 People Represents the U.S.

How can a survey of a small group of people represent the entire population of the more than 325 million people who live in the United States? While it is not necessarily easy, research uses a process that accounts for the entire population.  This is critical to marketers – in order to uncover information from consumers, we need to ask them, but it has to be the correct group. (For example, don’t ask bald men about shampoo preferences!)

The research basically needs to start with a random sample of a group of people who represent the entire population. The group has to be the right group though, not just convenient people and random strangers to whom we give a survey.  A nationally representative survey must be one in which each person in the United States has the same chance at being selected. Once you have results, how do you know it fits the overall population?

We know the demographic composition of the U.S., thanks to the U.S. Census Bureau. Once we have the sample, the respondents’ demographics can be compared to those of the entire U.S. population. The weighting adjusts for differences – pair the respondent with demographics of the country such as age, gender, education, race, and region.

Of course, there can still be variations and outliers, but the results of the right sample are a strong indicator of the larger population.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by discussing the importance of research in marketing.
  2. Show the Pew video: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/05/12/methods-101-random-sampling/
  3. Using the class members as an example, have students determine the demographic composition of the class.
  4. How else might the class be broken into representative groups?
  5. Select a product and have student teams determine that the demographic makeup of the product’s target market.
  6. How could students find and reach a random sample of the target market?

Source: Pew Research

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Consumer Report’s Annual Car Reliability Rankings

cars

Other than homes (and education), probably the most expensive purchase the average household makes is for a car. Since it is so large a part of our lives, automotive reliability is a key issue for Americans. Cars that are not reliable cost consumers’ time and money, and most notably, affects overall satisfaction and willingness to buy the brand again.

Research company Consumer Reports publishes an annual reliability survey based on data gathered from its subscribers. The report is based on those who have owned or leased more than a half a million vehicles, from years 2000 to 2016, covering more than 300 models of automobiles. This year’s survey includes the ranking of 29 brands, with eight brands listed as “more reliable,” 10 brands ranked as “reliable,” and 11 brands ranked as “less reliable.”

In the top eight more reliable brands were Lexus, Toyota, Buick, Audi, Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, and Infiniti. The next 10 reliable brands included BMW, Honda, Subaru, Acura, Nissan, Mini, Chevrolet, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford. Among the less reliable brands were Volvo, Lincoln, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Jeep, GMC, Tesla, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram

Did your vehicle make the reliable list?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Consumer Reports’ report on car reliability: http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-brands-reliability-how-they-stack-up/
  2. Show the video of car rankings: http://youtu.be/g_RkhbF2CVg
  3. An FAQ on the research methodology can be found at: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2011/10/consumer-reports-car-reliability-faq/index.htm
  4. Discuss how companies can use the report in their marketing.
  5. What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
  6. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  7. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.

Source:  Consumer Reports

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Facebook Top Events of 2015

Facebook

One of the best things about the end of the year is the opportunity it gives us to reflect on the past, while we prepare for the year ahead. In the spirit of reflection, Facebook has released its summary of the world’s top moments and events that generated the most buzz in 2015.

Among the events was the most shared event in Facebook’s history included the U.S. Presidential election, Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, Syrian civil war and refugee crisis, Nepal earthquakes, Greek debt crisis, marriage equality, and more.

Which events did you follow?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of market research. What are sources that can be used? Why is tracking trends important?
  2. Bring up the site and show the video: http://yearinreview.fb.com/
  3. Divide students into teams and have each team examine a different Facebook topic.
  4. What are the trends from that topic?
  5. How can these trends be used to develop new products?
  6. Debrief the exercise by listing the ideas from each team.

Source: Facebook

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