Market Research Terms

Below is a list of frequently used market research terms.

Census A survey carried out among the entire population.
Closed Questions Questions to which there are a limited number of responses for respondents to choose from.
Confidence level The chance that a true value will fall within a certain range.
Correlation Measures the strength of the relationship between two variables.
Cross Tabs A simple table which displays the responses to one question relative to another.
Depth Interview A qualitative technique where respondents are interviewed individually about a topic in detail in order to gather insights into consumer behaviour.    Fewer respondents are interviewed than for a quantitative study, and interviews often last much longer, (usually around 45 minutes).
Focus Group A group of people brought together to discuss attitudes or behaviors towards various marketing issues such as ads or products.
Moderator/Facilitator The person who runs a focus group, without influencing the group discussion.
Mystery Shopping The collection of information from retail outlets, showrooms telephone call centres etc, by people trained to experience and observe the customer experience, while posing as every day consumers.
Nominal Data Numbers that are assigned to objects for the purpose of labelling them only but do not have any intrinsic numerical value.
Open Questions Questions which asks respondents to answer in their own words, and respondents comments are recorded verbatim.
Ordinal Data Numbers that represent rank order but do not imply equal distance between the numbers.
Panels A permanant representative sample of a target market maintained by a market research agency in order to collect information on more than one occasion.
Population The total number of people in a defined group of interest (ie target market).
Qualitative Research A method that involves interviewing a small number of respondents in depth, to understand their attitudes, perceptions, or behaviours regarding a certain issue.
Quantitative Research Surveying a large number of respondents using a very structured questionnaire, to understand your issue.
Questionnaire  A structured data-collection tool consisting of a number of questions, to be completed by respondents either, by telephone, face to face or online.
Respondent An individual from whom information is gathered, or  who’s opinion is sort.
Response Bias When a respondent consciously or unconsciously answers a question in a way that misrepresents the truth, leaving you with inaccurate data to analyse.
Sample A small part of the population taken to be representative of the population as a whole.
Sampling Error When the sample drawn is not representative of the population
Secondary Research Market research data and information collected for one purpose that is also useful for other purposes as well.
Skip Logic A series of instructions in a questionnaire to direct respondents to the question they should receive based on a previous response.  For example if you ask repondents if they like a product, you may want to to direct those respondents who like the product to a question asking them why they like the product, while directing those who do not like the product to a question asking them why they dislike the product.
Survey A systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of information from individuals for the purpose of understanding a business problem.