A/B Testing

A/B testing is a form of market research that assesses the appeal of candidate options. This technique mimics the way things are judged in the real world.

Accompanied Shopping Trips (ASTs)

Accompanied Shopping Trips are a market research technique where a moderator shadows a consumer on a shopping journey around store(s).

Ad Hoc Research

Ad hoc market research is commissioned in response to issues or initiatives arising within the client organisation, or in response to new external events that compel investigation.

Advertising Testing

Advertising testing is market research conducted usually at the final stage before advertising launch; allowing the brand to gain a sharp, timely read of likely impact.

Advertising Tracking Market Research

Advertising tracking involves measuring the appeal and power of advertising in terms of its effects on awareness, perceptions, consideration and usage.


Anchoring is an effect where an initial reference point can set expectations thereafter e.g. where a store flags up a standard price for product...

At-Home Testing

At-home testing involves placing a product in a respondent’s home and asking them to use it in the manner they normally would.

Attitudinal Segmentation

This is grouping a brand’s target market into segments; these being defined via questions about their attitudes.

Availability Heuristic

The tendency of consumers to only take into account those options that come readily to mind...

Behavioural Economics

Behavioural economics is a method of market research which makes use of methods of experimentation used by psychologists to study the way people make decisions.

Behavioural Segmentation

This is the segmentation of a brand’s audience according to the behaviours they exhibit in relation to a brand’s product or service.

Blind Testing

Blind testing aims to assess a product on the its intrinsic merits by hiding any reference to the wider brand.

Brand Funnel/Brand Funnel Tracking

The brand funnel is a concept that describes stages in customers’ relationship with brands.

Brand Tracking

Brand tracking is way of continuously measuring the health of a brand, both in terms of consumers’ usage of it...

CAPI/CATI Market Research

Computer Aided Personal Interviewing is a tool that, during face-to-face interviews, allows the researcher to...

Co-creation entails researchers working alongside the client brand and its target customers to formulate propositions...

Concept Testing

Concept Testing evaluates the appeal of a proposition/product and the degree to which this fits with the target market’s needs and tastes.

Confidence Level

Understanding confidence levels is essential to good quantitative market research. The term describes the likelihood that results...

Confirmation Bias

This refers to the natural human tendency to only notice, recall and believe information that supports pre-existing understanding...

Conjoint Analysis

Conjoint analysis is used to gauge consumers’ preferences across a range of attributes belonging to a product or proposition.

Customer Panel/Community Research

This involves the creation of a body of customers who agree to be consulted on a periodic basis. The lifespan of the panel can be either,,,

Continuous Market Research/Tracking Studies

This is any market research that involves the measurement of something over time to see how it is evolving.

Customer Closeness Sessions

In an era where the need for customer-centricity trips off every Chief Executive’s tongue, this market research technique enables a brand’s...

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

These are surveys that measure how satisfied customers are with their experience of a particular interaction with a brand.


The bedrock of much market research, demographic information refers to a description of the characteristics of a given population.

Qualitative Depth Interviews

Depth Interviews are unstructured interviews that probe detailed aspects of attitudes, needs, wants and behaviours.

Desk Research

In contrast to new work specifically designed to meet a client’s need, desk research entails the collation and analysis of existing...

Discussion Guides

This is a list of instructions and questions that researchers use to shape the direction of qualitative market research interviews; be they...

Driver Analysis

This technique unpicks the relationship between each one of a set of variables (independent variables) and an overarching...


The world’s leading market research association, the European Society for Opinion and Market Research champions the role...

Ethnographic Research

This is a broad term used to describe market research that aims to observe consumers in their own environments, doing the things...

Exit Surveys

Research interviewers stand on the threshold of a store and conduct a survey – aiming to talk to a representative sample of shoppers.


Framing is a cognitive bias which describes the way that humans react to a choice depending on how it’s presented – in particular...

Group Discussions/Focus Groups

A cornerstone of qualitative market research, focus groups involve convening a small sample (typically 6-8) of target...

Hall Test Market Research

A quantitative market research format which invites respondents to a central location – usually to test a given product/concept.

Halo Effect

The unconscious positive bias a consumer may feel towards a given product/proposition because of wider perceptions of...


Heuristics are mental short cuts or ‘rules of thumb’ that allow people to make quick, ‘good enough’ decisions rather than make...

Immersion Techniques

A form of ethnographic market research where some, usually senior, brand stakeholders plunge into the lives of their customers and...

Implicit Testing

A testing approach which bypasses the distorting effects encountered when respondents give very rational answers to direct...

Intercept Interviews

A qualitative market research method where consumers are stopped whilst interacting with a brand – whether that be...

Market Research Quotas

These are a key tool in quantitative market research as they ensure the composition of a survey sample is in line with that...

Market Research Society (MRS)

With members existing in over 70 nations, the MRS is the world’s leading representative body for this sector. It is committed...


Maxx-Diff is a statistical technique that examines the way consumers decide between 3 or more attributes. It is sometimes...


This is where the market researcher leads a qualitative session, whether in the form of a one-to-one interview, focus group...

Mystery Shopping

The covert testing of a store, during which the researcher conducts a ‘real’ visit and, without revealing their role, audits the customer experience.

Observational Market Research

See ethnographic research for more detail

Online Market Research Surveys

Online market research relies on a survey generation application being used to script the questionnaire. This captures all questions...

Pen Portraits

Concise descriptions of consumers that typically comprise key facts about their nature, plus montages of images that...


Exposing someone to a stimuli or information that unconsciously affects their subsequent responses/actions e.g. showing...

Qualitative Market Research

Consulting small samples of respondents, either singly or in groups, and delving deeply into the attitudes, tastes and needs...

Quantitative Market Research

Large-scale canvassing of opinion that aims to supply statistically robust answers to the research project’s questions.

Random Sampling

This involves choosing a random selection of a sub-set of a total population/consumer group so that this sample is likely...

Regression Analysis

In essence this market research procedure plots the relationship between two variables and identifies the degree...

Sample Size

The success of any quantitative market research is hugely dependent on sample size. Inevitably, timings and budgets will...

Sample Weighting

The practice of adjusting survey results so they give due weight to those whose views are especially key to...

Street Surveys

This type of quantitative market research is, due to the natural randomising effect of the street context, a good way...

Telephone Interview Market Research

Though increasingly replaced by online alternatives, telephone interviews’ naturally more expansive, engaging...

Verbatim Analysis/Text Analytics

Takes verbatim feedback from respondents and turns it into a statistical summation that gives users a clear and quantifiable...

Verbatim Comments

Word-for-word transcriptions of respondent feedback; usually that gained via open-ended questions that seek...

Viewing Rooms

Market research facilities that host focus groups, workshops etc. – rooms usually being purpose-designed to create...


Workshops are collaborative market research sessions, usually involving target consumers and/or client stakeholders, which give scope for...

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