There are some usage and attitude question in almost every piece of market research undertaken, but often a study is devoted solely to these types of questions. Such studies are known as U&A (Usage and Attitude) studies.
There are many circumstances when it might be appropriate to consider a U&A study in particular, such studies are useful when it is necessary to:
• Take stock of the market;
• Form a database on past or present;
• Detect changes in usage behavior identifying marketing opportunities by discovering “gaps” in what is offered or by seeing the chance to reposition a product
• Predict future trends and behavior by using the present as a benchmark
Experience often dictates current behavior and will affect future behavior. It is rare that the decision to undertake a U&A study is made suddenly. Organizations usually decide to conduct such studies when they need more information on the market either because they know little about it (it may be a market they are considering entering); or because they have hunches’ about people’s usage products. Finally, they may know a great deal, but need to update that knowledge to track changing attitudes and usage.
U&A studies are often a means of evaluating a market, but often a variety of analytical techniques may be employed in addition to the U&A study depending on the developmental stage of a product or service.
• The “pilot program” (locator) to test brand positioning (this is form of preliminary research)
• Conception to elicit the motivational behavior behind particular purchase occasions
• This technique involves segmenting the sample into user groups, which are then examined separately.
These are among some of the modeling techniques which can be used to provide “added value” to a U&A study and are more often conducted in FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) markets.
It may also be useful to categories customers according to their behavior or attitudes and then to profile the identified groups by socio-economic factors such as class, age and sex. In this way, products and services can targeted more successfully.
Prior to any large scale quantitative study, particularly in a relatively unknown market, it is strongly recommended that a qualitative phase of research be initially conducted. The main purpose being to understand the vocabulary and language used by customers as well as understanding their motivations and attitudes towards given services. The findings of the qualitative research provide invaluable input to the quantitative stage in terms of the line and tone of questioning, and of course the overall structure and content of the quantitative phase.
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Compiled by AMR Group (Marketing Research in Vietnam-Nghien Cuu Thi Truong Viet Nam) on 2014
Source: buying market research – Keynote publications
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