Some ad copy-testing lessons for content copy-testing

Copywriters of ads have long been wary of how well ad copy-testing works–and not just because, like the rest of us, they are sensitive to criticism of their work. Should the writers of informational digital-content copy also be wary of copy-testing? Do the problems with ad copy-testing apply to content copy-testing? Even top researchers (e.g., Arthur Kover, Journal of Advertising Research,...
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Market segmentation for the Web

Market segmentation traditionally assumes that people can be segmented into groups that can be separately marketed to, based on their different product needs. But suppose, as often happens on the Web, the customer arrives in your midst—on your site—before or she has any inkling of his or her different product needs. And suppose what happens next—to that customer on your site—will strongly...
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Avoiding multicollinearity through conjoint analysis

The premier research companies have helped to make conjoint analysis and its sequel, discrete choice analysis, into popular survey-design research methods. These methods ask respondents to evaluate a series of products or, in special applications where the attributes center on positioning rather than product features, a set of brands. Each product is generally presented as a bundle of listed attributes,...
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Reading on integrating experimental and observational research design

Because people stumble into the career of market research from so many other fields, many books on research and survey design need to be written at a basic level. The books listed below, though, are different. Many leap to a level of mental gymnastics that some of us haven’t experienced since college. But the exercise can be good for you! Even if you initially only understand 10% of it,...
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Merging Surveys and the Experimental Method

Designing market research to learn what we want from participants is already hard enough. Why do we have compound the challenge by introducing “advanced methods” or “analytics”? Finish writing one report on a survey with the feeling “we still don’t really know which actions to take,” and you’ll sense the answer. Survey research does a terrific job...
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Market Research Groups on LinkedIn

Members of LinkedIn have created a slew of “Groups” (moderated bulletin boards).  Unfortunately, the marketing and market-research groups with the largest memberships seem to attract the most entries from those just trying to win business rather than to raise substantive issues or share ideas.  So far, I’ve found three LinkedIn groups to be potentially useful: Consumer Insights,...
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