JDI Research Newsletter (October)


October 2017

With the economy becoming more and more competitive, having apt knowledge about the concerns and preferences of customers has become an  integral part of business. Market research has been perhaps the most important evolution in the realization that consumers do not exist in a vacuum.  It is just as important to understand the context surrounding  consumers as it is to study their choices and behaviours. But where did the  concept of Market Research come from?

The first instance of market research  came about in the 1920’s when Daniel Starch developed a theory that  advertising had to be seen, read, believed, remembered and acted upon in  order to be considered effective. Starch and his associates would approach people on the street to see if they could remember specific ads in certain publications. They would then compare the number of people interviewed with the circulation of the publication to figure out how effective the ads were in reaching the readers. Goerge Gallup later developed the practice with his rival theory of aided recall. This form of research prompted those interviewed to recall an ad seen without actually showing it to them. This system would later be adapted and used to measure the effectiveness of radio and television advertising.

After the 1940’s consumerism became much more prevalent in American society especially during the post WW2 economic boom. Though quantitative surveys remained the standard, researchers started to develop new practices to go beyond just the numbers. Robert Merton and Paul Lazarsfeld developed the Focus Group technique in the 1930’s but researchers still found discrepancies in consumer feedback.

In the 1940’s Ernest Dichter pioneered Motivational Research which was based on Freudian psychoanalytic concepts. Dichter believed that understanding the personality of a product and how consumers related to it would allow advertisers to understand how best to advertise a product. Clients however found Dichter’s recommendations from his interviews strange and the industry again favoured statistical procedures and hard data.

By the  1960’s quantitative research was preferred by researchers especially with the birth of the technological age. Qualitative research was not forgotten however  and by the 1970’s marketers turned back to focus groups as the preferred method of research. John Howard incorporated psychology, sociology, anthropology, semiotics, economics and management science in his research methods ultimately encouraging a multidisciplinary approach in the industry. The focus of research now being more on the experience of the consumer with a product rather than the process of purchasing a product. Dichter’s theory of hidden symbolism was also refined leading us to largely how research is conducted today.

Modern day market research involves a combination of a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methodologies such as focus groups, interviews, ethnography, customer surveys and analysis of secondary data. Today market researchers have a wider role in helping their clients understand social, technical and even legal aspects of markets.

“Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”

– Harry S Truman

Market Research assists in providing accurate and latest trends related to demand consumer behaviour, sales and growth opportunities etc. It helps better understand a target market and thus help in product design and demand forecasts and through market research a business can better understand it’s competitors and keep ahead of the market. JDI Research as an Independent Market Research Venue is proud to be a part of this vital and interesting industry and pride ourselves on keeping an eye on all the little details, providing a quality service to our clients.

To read up more on the interesting history of Market Research, check out the sources that were used to put this together for you:

Our team at JDI Research and RRS want to thank all clients for the work we have done together so far this year and as we move into the second half of the year we look forward to maintaining and growing these relationships as well as developing new ones.

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JDI Research Newsletter (October)