Market Research using Scholarly Methods
“Whether one does, sells, and/or buys consumer research, it stands to reason one should be able to critically evaluate and distinguish that which is acceptable from that which is junk.”
– Jacob Jacoby (April,1978), ‘Consumer Research: How valid and useful are all our consumer behavior research findings? A State of the Art Review’, Journal of Marketing, p.87
What are Scholarly Methods?
Scholarly methods are means of understanding the world that are verified by peers through alternate means for their trustworthiness & replicability. A research instrument, a sample or analysis does not automatically become valid & reliable.
In a classic study conducted by Elizabeth F. Loftus and John C. Palmer in 1974 people were instructed to watch a film of a traffic accident and then asked about what they saw. It was found that the people who were asked, “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” gave higher estimates of speed than those who were asked, “How fast were the cars going when they hit each other?”
Let us assume that we are interested in finding out how frequently do students eat out. Depending on where do we carry out interviews of students our estimates about eating out frequency will vary. If students are interviewed at grocery shops the estimates are likely to be less than if interviews are conducted at restaurants.
Let us assume that temperature of Srinagar is 20 degree Celsius while on the same day Nagpur reported 40 degree Celsius. One can be tempted to conclude that Nagpur is twice as hot as Srinangar. But if we convert the Celsius values into Fahrenheit, corresponding values for Srinagar & Nagpur shall be 68 & 104. Now can we still say Nagpur is twice as hot as Srinagar?
Next time you hire a market research agency do ask: What do most experienced researchers do there? Business development or research designing & analysis.