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This page provides a selection of the latest market research abstracts of articles from leading market research journals, selected by Asia Market Research dot Com editors. Abstracts and quality ratings are provided by Anbar Management Intelligence and Emerald Intelligence + Full Text which provide full text articles. Full articles can also be obtained using the Emerald service. You should also be able to find the journals in any large library or resource center.

A systematic procedure for targeting market research
Robert P. Hamlin
European Journal of Marketing; 34: 9/10 2000; pp. 1038-1052,
ISSN: 0309-0566

Discusses the targeting and reporting of commercial marketing research. The treatment of this critical stage of the research process is severely underrepresented in the academic marketing literature and in marketing research texts. Six prerequisites for effective targeting and reporting are identified. An extended model of the research process, incorporating the tasks that are essential for targeting and reporting is developed. The model and the six prerequisites are then used as the basis for the development of an operational procedure that allows a targeted set of research hypotheses to be developed from a decision problem, together with a formal record of the logical links between them. The importance of these written links for effective decision support, and the use of these links in the research reporting process, is also discussed.

Keywords: Market research, Hypotheses
Article Type: Theoretical with application in practice
Content Indicators: Research Implication- ***, Practice Implication- ***, Originality- ***, Readability- **

Change and circumstance in Kyrgyz markets
Leo Paul Dana
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 03: 2 2000; pp. 62-73
ISSN: 1352-2752

Many market research methods normally used in the West encounter a variety of problems if relocated to environments that are culturally very different. This article is about the Kyrgyz Republic, where assumptions of mainstream marketing simply do not apply. In order to engage in successful marketing in the Kyrgyz Republic, one must distinguish between three sectors of the economy: the formal firm-type sector; the state-controlled planned sector; and the bazaar, where the traditional focus is not on the transaction but on personal relationships. The author defines and describes each of these, and reports on ethnographic research conducted in the Kyrgyz Republic. The article concludes with a discussion of qualitative methodology and its relevance.

Keywords: Market research, Qualitative techniques, Entrepreneurialism, Small firms, Economic conditions
Article Type: Theoretical with application in practice
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- *, Originality- **, Readability- **

Effects of repeat consumption on pleasantness, preference and intake
Marion M. Hetherington, Ali Bell, Barbara J. Rolls
British Food Journal; 102: 7 2000; pp. 507-521
ISSN: 0007-070X

The pleasantness of a food declines with consumption and this phenomenon has been demonstrated reliably in the short-term. To investigate long-term effects of repeat consumption on pleasantness, preference and intake, 21 volunteers consumed either a salty snack (french fries) or sweet snack (chocolate) every day for 15 days. Four dependent variables were measured: pleasantness ratings, ranked preference, frequency of consumption and ad libitum intake. Daily pleasantness of taste ratings decreased across the exposure period only for chocolate. Ranked preference for chocolate declined during the sweet snack condition and increased during the salty snack condition. Preference for french fries remained the same during the salty snack condition and increased during the sweet snack condition. Frequency of consuming chocolate outside the laboratory decreased during the sweet snack exposure. No such pattern was found for french fries in either condition. Ad libitum intake in the laboratory remained the same over time for both foods. Short-term sensory-specific satiety within the eating episode was consistent over time. Therefore, long-term monotony effects were found only for pleasantness, preference and frequency of eating chocolate following repeated exposure, but these changes had no impact on ad libitum intake. Systematic, repeat exposure to a single food provides a useful paradigm for investigating the development of monotony.

Keywords: Market research, Taste, Food
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- *, Originality- *, Readability- *

Exploring consumer product construct systems with the repertory grid technique
David Marsden, Dale Littler
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 03: 3 2000; pp. 127-144
ISSN: 1352-2752

Examines some of the applications of repertory grid technique and theory to qualitative market research. In particular, it shows how together they can be used to explore five basic components of the network of subjective meanings that consumers attach to their consumption experiences, what are termed here consumers' product construct systems (PCSs): consumption domains: how do consumers categorise different products and services?; decision rules: what search strategies and evaluative criteria are employed for each category?; values: what core beliefs underpin different decision rules?; construct complexity: how discriminating are consumer's decision rules and values?; and construct commonalities: what are the similarities and differences in consumers' PCSs and how are they mediated by their demographic backgrounds?

Keywords: Market research, Qualitative techniques, Repertory grid, Consumer behaviour
Article Type: Theoretical with worked example
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- *, Originality- **, Readability- *

Implementing international qualitative research: techniques and obstacles
Alan S. Zimmerman, Michael Szenberg
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 03: 3 2000; pp. 158-164
ISSN: 1352-2752

While it is well accepted that good research is essential to developing the most effective international marketing strategies, until recently many warned that using qualitative techniques was fraught with pitfalls. However, no study had been completed which describes the use of various qualitative techniques in specific markets. This preliminary study, based on interviews with 39 experienced market research managers, shows that most qualitative techniques are used in nearly every one of the 17 countries included. International researchers interviewed are well aware of the cultural problems they may face in completing international qualitative research. These cluster around relations with the in-country research firm, reactions of respondents and interpretation of data. In this study, they offer specific strategies they use to overcome these problems: patience and sensitivity in developing working relationships with the local firm and meeting the needs of respondents and first-hand in-country experience.

Keywords: International marketing, Market research, Qualitative techniques, Implementation, National cultures, Marketing strategy
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- *, Originality- *, Readability- **

Reduced fat products - Consumer perceptions and preferences
Jennifer Hamilton, Barbara Knox, Desmond Hill, Heather Parr
British Food Journal; 102: 7 2000; pp. 494-506
ISSN: 0007-070X

Dietary guidelines consistently advocate the reduction of fat in the diet and the food industry has responded by introducing a vast range of reduced fat foods on to the market. However, reduced fat diets are difficult for people to maintain. Nutrition education is at a critical crossroads, such that consumers have received the message to reduce fat in the diet, but are unable or unwilling to comply with this information so that overall health status can be improved. Better understanding of the factors that influence fat intake will help to explain why dietary change is so difficult to sustain. Sensory studies and focus group discussions were conducted with consumers to assess their perceptions, acceptance and preferences for reduced fat products. The results implied that consumers associate reduced fat foods with inferior sensory properties and perceive them with a degree of scepticism and mistrust.

Keywords: Diet, Health, Taste, Sensory studies, Focus groups, Market research
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- *

Survey research in the UK beer industry
Claudio Vignali, Demetris Vrontis
British Food Journal; 102: 5/6 2000; pp. 371-380
ISSN: 0007-070X

This research into the UK beer/brewing industry uses a quantitative-based survey and seeks to investigate and analyse the national beer market for a major brewer.

Keywords: Beer, Market research, Questionnaires, Surveys
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- **

Children's drinks - what children really think
Rosemary Duff
Nutrition & Food Science; 99: 3 1999; pp. 136-139
ISSN: 0034-6659

This paper discusses the findings of a market research programme carried out by SMRC ChildWise on behalf of Tetra Pak UK Ltd, examining use of and attitudes to soft drinks among children and mothers. This is a product field of increasing interest to children as they grow, and their appreciation develops from being totally product-focused, to include packaging and then brand considerations. The research examined behaviour across the key drinking occasions that make up the child's day, looking in detail at drinks consumed at school. It is at school that a child's freedom of choice develops, and awareness of peer group influences becomes increasingly important. Children are highly receptive to new brands and flavours, but also demand professional packaging and promotional input for brands to be credible. Younger children appreciate having their own individual carton with a straw but, for older boys, a can is preferred, whilst girls like the practicalities of resealable bottles.

Keywords: Children, Market research, Soft drinks, United Kingdom
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- ***

E-mail survey response rates: targeting increases response
Anita Jackson, Ray DeCormier
Marketing Intelligence & Planning; 17: 3 1999; pp. 135-140
ISSN: 0309-0590

E-mail is the most used of the electronic media. It is a cheap and quick means of communicating with clients and customers. It is also a means of collecting information on customers. This study analyses the response rates of a targeted and non-targeted group to a financial questionnaire. The targeted group provided more complete and useful data than the non-targeted group. The conclusions indicate strategies for using e-mail to gather customer information.

Keywords: Communications, Customer surveys, Electronic mail, Marketing strategy, Market research, Target marketing
Article Type: Wholly Theoretical
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

Entering the PRC market: a case-based conceptual framework for small business
Ricky C.M. Chan, Philip C. Wright
Management Research News; 22: 1 1999; pp. 1-10
ISSN: 0140-9174

Explores how easy (or otherwise) it is for small businesses to take advantage of the huge markets opening up in the People's Republic of China. Profiles a Hong Kong-based office furniture manufacturer and distributor (Logic Office Supplies) as an example of successful market penetration. Outlines the research methodology used - field research conducted in 1992 and 1993, which looked at the historical development of the market, the industry size and profile, the growth of private enterprise, government relations, the legal environment and an analysis of the competition. Explains why the company chose to follow a four-pronged entry strategy and how they implemented that strategy. Infers that the company's success was largely due to a careful choice of partners. Points out that sales increased from HK$40 million in 1989 to HK$400 million in 1994. Applies this successful approach to drawing up a conceptual framework for smaller businesses wishing to expand into China. Talks about stage of entry, mode of entry, and whether to opt for permanent representation or joint ventures. Provides a model showing five stages in the process of expanding into China. Concludes that it is not easy to expand into China and that the best route for small businesses to follow is to sell through trading houses and distributorships.

Keywords: China, Market research, Small-to-medium-sized enterprises
Article Type: Case study
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- **

Kentucky Fried Chicken
Leo Paul Dana
British Food Journal; 101: 5/6 1999; pp. 493-496
ISSN: 0007-070X
Kentucky Fried Chicken has made a very successful entry into China. This case is about the KFC outlet at the Dong Fong Hotel, in Shanghai. The hotel was recently closed for renovations.

Keywords: China, Fast food, Product quality, Customer satisfaction, Market research, National cultures
Article Type: Case study
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

Market-oriented methodologies to optimise consumer acceptability of Cheddar-type cheeses J.C. Bogue, C.M. Delahunty, M.K. Henry, J.M. Murray
British Food Journal; 101: 4 1999; pp. 301-317
ISSN: 1463-5771

The formulation and marketing of new food products are very complex and there are many interacting influences on consumer acceptance, e.g. the person, the food product and the environment. Market analysis and sensory analysis were used to determine consumer preferences for Cheddar-type cheeses. Consumers' attitudes, perceptions and purchase behaviour were investigated by means of a structured questionnaire. Eight Cheddar-type cheeses were objectively assessed by a trained panel using descriptive sensory profiling, and, in parallel, were hedonically rated by 100 "naļve" consumers. Preference mapping was used to illustrate the subjective sensory data before the "naļve" consumers were segmented into homogeneous groups using hierarchical cluster analysis. Five focus groups, representing different socio-economic categories, investigated in-depth influences on preferences and purchase behaviour. Cheddar-type cheese was the most frequently purchased and preferred cheese, and taste was the most important attribute influencing the purchase decision. Consumers preferred a premium cheese described as "creamy" and "mouthcoating" and least liked a reduced-fat cheese described as "rancid" and "rubbery". The focus groups helped explain issues that arose in both the questionnaire and sensory analysis. This study showed that a combination of market and sensory analysis gave a more valuable explanation of consumer acceptance of Cheddar-type cheese than either method could on its own. However, relationships were determined by observation rather than mathematically and therefore this integration must be further developed in order to build a predictive model for this product.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Dairy industry, Market research, New product development, Taste
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

Meeting the information needs of marketing in the twenty-first century
Nigel Culkin, David Smith, Jonathon Fletcher
Marketing Intelligence & Planning; 17: 1 1999; pp. 6-12
ISSN: 0263-4503

Addresses the question of whether - now that we exist in the much heralded "information era" - the information needs of those engaged in marketing are being satisfied. With interest in the Internet, as a burgeoning global communications medium, we now understand how things might be in the future concerning the sheer volume of information available to the marketing decision maker. However, a question remains as to whether this information is collected and presented in a form - at a level of specificity and depth - that makes for better marketing decision making. In this paper, the authors argue that there are 12 issues that need addressing in order to ensure that the information needs of marketers are being satisfied.

Keywords: Information management, Intuition, Marketing research, Market intelligence, Market research, Problem solving
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- ***, Originality- ***, Readability- ***

New media in marketing redefine competitive advantage: a comparison of small and large firms
Gary S. Lynn, Alan C. Maltz, Peter M. Jurkat, Michael D. Hammer
Journal of Services Marketing; 13: 1 1999; pp. 9-20
ISSN: 0887-6045

Large firms have traditionally commanded a competitive advantage in the marketplace over small firms by being able to use their financial strength to perform large-scale market research studies, to design and implement wide reaching advertising campaigns, and to establish computer and information systems to communicate with their staff and suppliers. This empirical study of 192 large and small companies indicates that small firms are using new media technologies to level the competitive playing field. Cost-effective new media technologies are making it easier for small firms to enjoy some of the benefits that previously were only available to large companies. Contributes to the scholarship because little relevant research currently exists on the marketing uses of new media technologies for small firms and their potential for altering the competitive advantages long enjoyed by larger firms.

Keywords: Competitive advantage, Market research, Marketing communications, Media, New technology, Small firms
Article Type: Theoretical with application in practice
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- ***, Originality- **, Readability- **

"Saying is one thing; doing is another": the role of observation in marketing research
Jonathan Boote, Ann Mathews
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 02: 1 1999; pp. 15-21
ISSN: 1352-2752

In comparison to other techniques of data collection, observation rarely appears as a research methodology in the marketing literature: this may be because the technique is regarded as time-consuming or as delivering data which lack the depth and qualitative richness of other research methodologies. In this article, the authors attempt to demonstrate that this is not the case. Far from providing superficial, "thin" information, the case forming the basis of this study demonstrates that observation delivers data which cannot be obtained using any other method. Considers the use of observation as an exploratory, qualitative, research technique and discusses when its use is appropriate. The main focus of the paper is a study carried out for Whitbread plc to highlight micro issues for consideration in the siting of different restaurant concepts.

Keywords: Location, Market research, Marketing research, Methodology, Research, Restaurants
Article Type: Case study
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- **

Using focus groups as a consumer research tool
K. Denise Threlfall
Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science; 05: 4 1999; pp. 102-105
ISSN: 1355-2538

Focus groups are an effective strategy in consumer research if conducted properly. Too often the meaning and origin of focus groups have been distorted by marketing and consumer researchers and the validity of retrieved data is questioned. By looking at the definition and evolution of focus groups, definitive advantages and disadvantages of the method emerge. Focus groups provide the collective insight of group dynamics while preserving individual preferences. If focus groups are contrived using true qualitative characteristics, this method may yield the strongest data for use by consumer and marketing researchers in truly identifying with customers today.

Keywords: Marketing research, Consumer marketing, Qualitative techniques, Focus groups, Market research
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- *, Originality- *, Readability- *

Using qualitative research to establish SME support needs
John Sparrow
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal 02: 2 1999; pp. 121-134
ISSN: 1352-2752

SMEs are both users of marketing research and subjects of market research. There is clear evidence that the decision processes in such firms often render the products/services designed for medium and large firms inappropriate. One of the major suppliers of services to the small firms sector is the business support infrastructure. This includes agencies associated with business start-up/expansion and their management consultancy services concerning marketing, finance, insurance and risk management etc. This paper considers the value of using in-depth qualitative research to establish the unique features of business support required by small firms. In addition to a review of recent studies that have adopted ethnographic, repertory grid and cognitive mapping qualitative approaches in this context, the paper presents the results from a specific study where the repertory grid procedure was used to establish the risk management practices of high technology small firms. Conclusions are drawn concerning the strengths and limitations of qualitative market research in designing SME training/development support.

Keywords: Market research, Qualitative techniques, Risk management, Small to medium-sized enterprises, United Kingdom
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- *, Originality- *, Readability- *

A lifestyle analysis of New Zealand customers
Sarah Todd, Rob Lawson, Fiona Faris
Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing & Logistics; 10: 3 1998; pp. 30-47
ISSN: 0945-7517

Presents the results of a survey of consumer lifestyles in New Zealand, undertaken in 1995-96, and compares the findings with those of a previous study undertaken in 1989. Describes the research methodology - questionnaire construction, data collection (3773 questionnaires analysed), sample representation, and data analysis (k-means non-hierarchical clustering techniques on SPSS for Windows). Identifies seven segments of the population and their relative sizes. Categorizes these segments as: active family values people; conservative quiet lifers; educated liberals; accepting mid-lifers; success-driven extroverts; pragmatic strugglers; and social strivers. Records changes that have been observed since 1989, specifically in attitudes towards the self, opinions about the family, social standards, and New Zealand as a country in which to live. Points out that groups have had to be renamed as their emphasis has shifted and that numbers have swelled some groups while shrinking others - particularly noticeable is the disappearance of active family values people (and their replacement with pragmatic strugglers) and the emerging accepting mid-lifers group. Provides an insight into New Zealand's consumer lifestyles and indicates how change affects values and lifestyles.

Keywords: Lifestyles, Market research, New Zealand
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators, Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- *, Originality- ***, Readability- ***

A note on research into the marketing of discreet services
Peter Jones, John Pratten, Clare Brindley
Management Research News; 21: 7/8 1998; pp. 65-69
ISSN: 0140-9174

Identifies discreet activities in marketing - defined as a service in which customers keep their interests and participation secret or hidden; such as Manchester's gay village, betting shops, telephone chat lines, massage parlours, dating agencies and blood sports (to name a few). Cites some of the problems market researchers may encounter in gaining access to any of these establishments and suggests the best method of obtaining access is to develop an open relationship of trust with the staff and customers of the discreet service organization. Provides an example with the case of Sh!, a female only sex shop in London. Proposes alternative means of gaining access to the above-named establishments - posing as a customer or undertaking some professional work (such as accountancy) for the organization. Raises ethical questions about such a covert approach.

Keywords: Information, Market research, Services marketing
Article Type: Journalistic
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- *, Originality- **, Readability- **

A single consumer or different types of consumer: an analysis of social types according to their consumer habits
Vidal Diaz de Rada
British Food Journal; 100: 7 1998; pp. 326-336, ISSN: 0007-070X

Based on the responses to a questionnaire about consumer behaviour carried out in Navarra. The aim of the present study is to classify the consumers in Navarra into homogeneous groups for the purpose of discovering the emergence of a "new consumer", characterized by certain "impulsive" behaviour such as buying items that are not needed, purchasing products which will not be used, etc.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Market research
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- ***, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

Academics, practitioners and qualitative market research
Miriam Catterall
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 01: 2 1998; pp. 69-76
ISSN: 1352-2752

During the 1980s, market research practitioners and academic marketing researchers witnessed a growing interest in qualitative research. A review of the practitioner and academic literature on qualitative market(ing) research reveals the commonalities and the differences in the ways each group represents, thinks about and practices qualitative research. Areas where both groups might benefit from sharing ideas and information and from closer links generally are discussed.

Keywords: Focus groups, Marketing concept, Market research, Market research companies
Article Type: Literature review
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- **

Case study: Doing a market assessment for an unfamiliar product
John G. Dawes
Journal of Marketing Practice: Applied Marketing Science; 04: 8 1998; pp. 221-230
ISSN: 1355-2538

Describes a real-life market assessment study where the market and product were quite unfamiliar to the researcher. It shows the task to be an iterative, circuitous procedure under such circumstances. Describes several methods used to successfully overcome problems in obtaining information. It makes some contrasts between textbook recommendations and what was found in practice. A model of the process is created, based on observations made in the paper. Summarises by making four major points which may assist others undertaking such projects. These relate to (1) identifying secondary data sources, (2) tracking down industry experts for interview, (3) some methods that were used to overcome prospective respondents' reluctance to be interviewed, and (4) how the research should seek to confirm information provided by other sources but also look for inconsistencies which can be a basis for further inquiry.

Keywords: Case studies, Market research, Marketing research, Questionnaires, Target marketing
Article Type: Case study
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- ***, Originality- **, Readability- **

Concept testing an unfamiliar fish
Sheena Leek, Sarah Maddock, Gordon Foxall
Qualitative Market Research: an International Journal; 01: 2 1998; pp. 77-87
ISSN: 1352-2752

This paper examines the problems of launching new products onto the market, particularly healthy foods and fish products. Research was undertaken to investigate whether consumers would be prepared to purchase a new concept, i.e. polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) fed fish, premium price PUFA fish and different species of PUFA fish, specifically salmon, eel and sturgeon. The factors influencing the respondents' decisions were investigated. The methodology utilised a questionnaire containing both qualitative and quantitative questions and several group discussions. It was found that the majority of the sample found the concept of PUFA fish acceptable and plausible and were prepared to pay a premium price, but the number of people prepared to purchase specific PUFA species was lower. Although health was given as a main reason for purchase other factors such as image, physical appearance of the whole animal, sensory properties, the type of product and the price also had to be satisfied for a clear purchase intention to be indicated.

Keywords: Food industry, Healthy foods, Market research, Questionnaires, Product launch, Consumer attitudes
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- *, Practice Implication- **, Originality- *, Readability- **

Do consumers' star signs influence what they buy?
V.-W. Mitchell, Elizabeth Tate
Marketing Intelligence & Planning; 16: 4 1998; pp. 249-259
ISSN: 0263-4503

Original and provocative findings that date of birth could have an effect on consumption prompted replication of this exploratory work. Date of birth potentially combines the measurement advantages of demographics with the psychological insights of psychographics when interpreted through an astrological framework. Using a different general household survey data set, consumption was again found to vary by date of birth within the alcohol, leisure and cigarette markets. Implications for segmentation and promotion are discussed.

Keywords: Market research, Segmentation, United Kingdom
Article Type: Survey
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- ***, Readability- **

Evolving structures and consumer response: dynamic transformations of The Fugitive and Mission Impossible
Alf. H. Walle
Management Decision; 36: 6 1998; pp. 399-406
ISSN: 0025-1747

Structural analysis is designed to deal with patterns which exist in the human mind and, thereby, impact the ways in which people act and respond to circumstances. As such, structural analysis has value in situations involving consumer choice and preference. Historically, structural analysis, in both literary criticism and consumer research, has tended to be static in nature. Marketing managers, however, are interested in cultural dynamics and what influences consumer preferences and buying patterns as they evolve through time. Here a structural interpretation which is linked to a socio/economic deterministic model, will be used to analyze two popular television series (The Fugitive and Mission Impossible) which were originally aired in the 1960s and were remade into blockbuster feature films in the 1990s. This example will explore the value of a dynamic structural model within marketing management.

Keywords: Consumer behaviour, Market research, Marketing management, Modelling
Article Type: Theoretical with worked e×ample
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- *, Originality- ***, Readability- ***

From 1086 and 1984: direct marketing into the millennium
Martin Evans
Marketing Intelligence & Planning; 16: 1 1998; pp. 56-67
ISSN: 0263-4503

Direct marketing has developed rapidly over the last 15 years owing to technological change and developments in markets and marketing. In 1086 William the Conqueror created the Domesday Book as a record of what each individual owned. The concept developed by George Orwell in his 1984 novel was one of more sinister surveillance by "Big Brother". Although marketing might not be seen in either light, it is certainly being manifested in at least a parallel manner. Personalised data are increasingly being integrated via data-fusion to form the next phase of database provision - biographic information. This paper provides a perspective on these developments and raises a variety of marketing and social responsibility issues that are likely to become salient as we move into a new millennium.

Keywords: Biodata, Data structuring, Market research, Market segmentation
Article Type: Comparative/evaluators
Content Indicators: Research Implication- **, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

On-line focus groups: conceptual issues and a research tool
Mitzi M. Montoya-Weiss, Anne P. Massey, Danial L. Clapper
European Journal of Marketing; 32: 7/8 1998; pp. 713-723
ISSN: 0309-0566

Explores the potential effects of computer technology on the traditional structure and functioning of focus groups. On-line focus groups are purported to be cost-effective, enable the inclusion of dispersed participants, and result in broad and honest responses on the part of participants as a result of system anonymity. However, many of these claims have not been carefully examined. It is essential that the unique qualities of on-line environments form the theoretical grounding for on-line research efforts. Drawing on insights from research in the computer-mediated communication field, we propose some conditions in which on-line focus groups may broaden current applications and provide a useful complement to traditional face-to-face approaches. Considering these insights, we developed an Internet tool, called Internet Focus Group or IntFG - to enable future empirical exploration of on-line focus groups. The main motivation for the development of the IntFG tool is that it is a necessary element of a systematic research program in this area.

Keywords: Communications technology, Computer technology, Focus groups, Interaction, Internet, Market research
Article Type: Technical
Content Indicators: Research Implication- ***, Practice Implication- **, Originality- **, Readability- **

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