Quantitative Approaches to Consumer Field Research

Payne, Collin R.; Wansink, Brian
September 2011
Journal of Marketing Theory & Practice;Fall2011, Vol. 19 Issue 4, p377
Academic Journal
Why would researchers endure the cost, inconvenience, and imprecision of consumer field research when they could use a lab study instead? Laboratory contexts are less expensive, offer more control, and are convenient. Product failures, however, suggest a lack of consumer information in the contexts in which they behave. Field contexts can provide this compelling and sometimes unexpected consumer information. This paper outlines the nature of quantitative consumer field research. Specifically, this paper discusses four types of quantitative consumer field research based on combinations of control and realism. Within each of these fields, mediation and moderation, whether to test during one occasion or many, questionnaire design, and field data analysis are considered. The paper concludes with a discussion of why managers should consider quantitative consumer field contexts in their research portfolio.


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