That’s some mighty fine fine print you got there…

Fine Print

Okay, so what exactly is “market research”?

To understand market research, it’s important to know that companies are self-conscious entities that want to know their products and services will be loved by consumers before releasing them into the marketplace. Companies want to be confident in what they’re selling! Market research creates the opportunity for consumers to give their input on products before they hit the stores. Consumers are given a taste of the “batter” before the cake is baked and ready.

Why so serious?

Over the phone and through email, we send “respondents” (consumers who participate in market research) a lot of “fine print” about their privacy, previous marketing research experience, and the “firm commitment” to participate.

What’s all that about, anyway?

Let’s begin with privacy. In the course of a market research study, respondents give out a lot of personal information they normally wouldn’t disclose except with close friends or family. We greatly appreciate respondents sharing their views and opinions, and we want them to feel comfortable doing so. Personal privacy is more important than ever in the digital age, and we want you to know your information is held in the strictest confidence.

So why do we ask about your previous market research experience? The best research comes from studies that capture the opinions of consumers in the most organic and genuine way possible. Researchers typically avoid scheduling a respondent for multiple studies on the same topic. When respondents get to see the early development of a product, or “the cake before it’s baked,” their views and opinions about it can change drastically. Remember the episode of Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood where we see how Crayons are made? Since then, you’ve never looked at an “Outrageous Orange” or “Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown” the same way, have you? For this reason, researchers also avoid respondents who have in-depth knowledge of the product or industry being studied. Now before we get into your “firm commitment” to participate, let’s understand why you’re sometimes picked for studies and sometimes not.
What does it mean when I “fit into a segment that is not currently being studied”?Each market research study focuses on a particular segment of the population. Women ages 21-30 shop for clothes differently than men 35-50. Teenagers in Los Angeles shop online at different rates than teens in Omaha. Millennials look for different things than Baby boomers when buying groceries. (Actually, Millennials buy almost everything differently. But we digress.) To gain a better understanding of different kinds of people, we look at specific segments at a time. Which brings us to our next topic…Your “firm commitment.” Or, “another phone call? I won’t cancel, I promise!”You know that happy feeling you get when you’re finally invited to participate in a study? Imagine how the researcher who picks you feels; like finding a diamond in the rough. They schedule someone who fits the in right segment, has the right consumer habits, is energetic and articulate, and THEY ARE FREE THE DAY OF THE STUDY! With all those pieces needing to fit in place, it’s an extremely hard task to find a replacement for you. We really want to make sure you come to the study, and we want to know as soon as possible if you do have to cancel. Of course, we know life is unpredictable, so we completely understand when you do have to cancel. Sometimes the reverse happens, and a researcher sees an issue and has to cancel on the respondent. No hard feelings either way – we’re all in this together!

Why can’t I know the client and more about the research?Companies spend big bucks designing products, brands, or new services, and they want their ideas kept out of the hands of competitors! Keeping the client anonymous and their motives for the research somewhat secretive is a way of preventing intellectual theft. Employees work hard on designing the latest and greatest, and they want to be the first one to introduce it to consumers. If Apple leaked information about their new iPhone well before it was out on the market, their competitors could design similar products and beat them to the punch. Companies avoid disclosing more about their new goods than necessary. Of course, you (the respondent) and the client are partners in the research, so a certain level of trust is required.

We can’t do it without you!

At Orman Guidance Research, we know we need you more than you need us. We respect your time, opinions, and privacy, and want you to feel as comfortable as possible when you participate in our studies. Let us know how we’re doing, what you like about us, and suggest ways we could improve. We encourage you to read the Respondent Bill of Rights.

Questions, concerns, or comments? Give us a call! (952) 831-4911.