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Marketing Research Glossary - A

24-Hour Recall: See Day-After Recall.

3D Animation: A three-dimensional representation of images. Decision Analyst Uses 3D animation in virtual shopping exercises and in product evaluations. Learn More

80-Column-Dump: A computer-generated frequency count of the number of people giving each answer to the questions in a questionnaire. Also called a Marginal or a Flash Report. Used primarily to double-check the results in cross-tabulations.

A - Marketing Research Glossary

A.C. Nielsen Retail Index: A store audit-based service to measure retail sales of food, household supplies, beauty aids, and related products sold through supermarkets and major retailers.

A Priori Segmentation: Market segmentation based on deductive reasoning from self-evident propositions (i.e., judgment, experience, or intuition). Learn More

AAPOR: The American Association for Public Opinion Research, a professional association of individuals involved in public opinion and survey research.

AAU (Awareness, Attitude and Usage) Study: A quantitative survey to measure consumer awareness, attitudes, and product usage for a product category and/or brand. These same measurements can often be incorporated into tracking studies.

ACASI (Audio Computer-Aided Self-Administered Interviewing): Self-administered survey in which the respondent listens to the questions over headphones. Responses are usually registered using a computer-based questionnaire.

Acceptance: A decision by individuals to participate in a survey.

Acceptance Rate: The percentage of the population that agrees to participate in a survey or study.

Access Panel: See Consumer Panel.

Accompanied Shopping: The interviewer accompanies a respondent (with his or her agreement) as that person goes shopping. Some times called a Shop Along.

Accuracy: The degree to which a sample statistic estimates or predicts a population parameter.

Achieved Communality: A term used in factor analysis that represents the proportion of variance in an original variable accounted for by all the extracted factors. Each original variable will have an achieved communality value in the factor analysis output.

ACORN: A classification system that groups U.S. households into many different lifestyle segments, broken down by small geographic areas.

Acquiescence Bias: A systematic bias caused by a tendency of some respondents to agree with whatever is presented to them. Such a bias is more likely to occur during telephone or in-person interviews.

Acquisition Review: In GeoAnalytics, an acquisition review is a type of analysis that provides an objective, fact-based perspective to facilitate investment decisions in acquiring a retail store, shopping center, apartment complex, or office building, whether a single location or portfolio. Learn More

Active Buyer: Customer whose latest purchase was made within the last 12 months.

Active Panel Members: Panel members who have registered to join American Consumer Opinion® (Decision Analyst's worldwide online panel with over eight million active members) and who participate in surveys on a regular basis and maintain their memberships in a panel. Learn More

Active Server Pages (ASP): A web technology used to create web pages on demand from data usually held in a database.

Ad Agency Marketing Research Departments: Groups within advertising agencies that conduct or subcontract marketing and advertising research for the ad agency’s clients (sometimes referred to as Planning Departments or Account Planning Departments).

Ad Concept Testing: Survey research to measure reactions of target audience consumers to early-stage versions of different ads. Learn More

Ad Hoc Study: A study designed to address a specific problem or issue. Custom Research tends to have the same meaning.

Ad Positioning Test: Research to identify the best positioning for a brand to use in its advertising.

Ad Statements Test: Survey research to screen and evaluate many different advertising themes or messages. Learn More

Ad Tracking Research: See Advertising Tracking Research.

Address Coding Guide (ACG): List of beginning and ending house numbers, ZIP codes, and other geographic codes for all city delivery service and streets served by the USPS.

ADI (Area of Dominant Influence): The geographic area dominated by the television stations in a given market. The boundaries of these areas are defined by the points where 50% of television households are watching TV stations from the given market. Every county is assigned to an ADI.

Advanced Analytics: The application of advanced mathematical models to determine the solution of business and marketing problems. Learn More

Advertising Awareness, Aided: The percentage of respondents aware of a brand's advertising on an unaided basis (see advertising awareness, unaided) plus aided advertising awareness, which is typically measured by asking, “Which of the following brands, if any, have you seen or heard advertised in the past 30 days?” Learn More

Advertising Awareness, Unaided: The percentage of respondents who spontaneously recall a specific brand when asked, “Have you seen or heard any advertising for peanut butter (i.e., product category) in the past 30 days, or not?” (IF “YES”) “Which brands did you see or hear advertised?” Learn More

Advertising Research: Survey research designed to measure consumer reactions to advertising. Early-stage concept boards to the final finished commercials can be tested. Also known as Copy Testing. Learn More

Advertising Response Model: A mathematical model that predicts the effects of changes in media advertising spending, or changes in media mix and weights, on sales of a service or product. Decision Analyst evolves such models over time based on consistent copy testing, media measurement and tracking, sales tracking, and other modeling inputs.

Advertising Testing: See Advertising Research.

Advertising Tracking Research: Telephone or Internet surveys to measure brand and advertising awareness, advertising message recall, and other variables relating to advertising over time. These surveys are conducted at points in time (“waves” or “dips”) or conducted continuously. Learn More

Affective Component Of Attitudes: An individual’s emotions and feelings that relate to or underlie an attitude.

After-Only With Control Group: True experimental design that involves random assignment of people to experimental (or test) and control groups. This is an after-the-event measurement only (i.e., no premeasurement of the test and control groups).

Aggregate: A summary measure made by compounding two or more separate economic measures (e.g., national income and price index numbers).

Aggregate Model: A multivariate model whose coefficients are produced at an aggregate, market or segment level rather than at an individual respondent level.

Aided Awareness: The proportion of people who are aware of (i.e., have seen or heard of) a product, brand name, company, or trademark with prompting.

Alert: Any means (e.g., telephone, fax, email, mail) of informing a data-collection company of a study’s authorization, starting date, delivery of materials, quota, timing, cost, etc.

Algorithm: A set of instructions for solving complex mathematical problems used in data processing or statistical modeling.

Allocation: The method of distributing sample sizes to the strata in a stratified sample. Two commonly used methods of allocation are: Proportional Allocation, where the sample size of a stratum is proportional to the population size of the stratum; and Optimum Allocation, in which the sample sizes are allocated to the strata in such a manner as to minimize the standard error for overall survey results.

Allowable Sampling Error: The maximum amount of sampling error the researcher is willing to accept.

Alternative Hypothesis: What is believed to be true if the null hypothesis is false. Also known as the Research Hypothesis.

American Consumer Opinion® Online Panel: A worldwide Internet panel of over eight million consumers who agree to participate in online surveys. American Consumer Opinion® Online Panel is owned by Decision Analyst. Learn More

Analysis Of Covariance (ANCOVA): An analysis of variance procedure in which the effects of one or more metric-scaled extraneous variables (covariates) are removed from the dependent variable data before one conducts ANOVA.

Analysis Of Variance (ANOVA): A test for the difference among the means of two or more variables.

Anchor Label: A label used to define the endpoint of an attitudinal scale.

Anchored-Grid Question Type (AG): A question type that accepts one answer per row and each row is anchored on both ends. See example below:

What images or impressions of this new product did you get from the product description? For each scale shown below, you may choose any number from “1” to “5” to express your opinion. Did the product description give you the impression this new product would be...? {Choose One Answer On Each Row Below}

1 2 3 4 5
Low In Quality
1 2 3 4 5
High In Quality
Not Convenient
1 2 3 4 5
Very Convenient
Only Able To Be
Used At Home
1 2 3 4 5
Very Portable
Not Useful
1 2 3 4 5
Very Useful
Not For People Like Me
1 2 3 4 5
For People Like Me
1 2 3 4 5

Announcement Email (Selection Email): An email sent to online panel members to alert them that they have been selected for a survey, or to notify panel members that home-use test products are being mailed to their home address.

Anonymity: Concealing respondents’ identities from researchers, clients, and third parties.

Answer Card: Cards containing rating scales or precoded answers that are shown to respondents during an interview. Also called Show Cards or Prompts.

Answer Stub: The label for a row of data on a cross-tabulation table (See Stub also) or other data presented in tabular form.

Anthropomorphization: A research technique in which participants are asked to describe a product, service, or brand in terms of human personality traits. See also Personalization Technique.

Applet: A small Java program that can be embedded in an HTML page. An applet provides functionality or performance beyond the capabilities of the browser. Applets can be used to display videos, for example.

Application Service Provider (ASP): A company that provides software operated remotely over the Internet using a web browser, without the need to install any software on a local computer.

Applied Creativity Process®: Applied Creativity Process® is a creativity training system developed by the Innovation team to facilitate internal innovation sessions for clients, Decision Analyst’s unique approach to creative problem solving. Learn More

Applied Research: Research aimed at solving specific, real-world problems, as opposed to “theoretical” research.

Appropriate Time Order Of Occurrence: Change in an independent variable occurred before an observed change in the dependent variable.

Area Probability Samples: Samples in which ever member of a geographic area being sampled has a known non-zero probability of being selected.

Area Samples: Samples that are defined by geographic areas.

Arithmetic Mean: Same as the Average. A measure of central tendency, like the median and the mode. It is calculated by summing a series of values, and dividing the sum by the number of values.

Artificiality: The degrees to which experimental conditions do not reflect real-life, real-world conditions. A high degree of artificiality might reduce external validity (i.e., difficult to project the experimental results to the population as a whole.)

ASCII (American Standard Code of Information Interchange): Character encoding for the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers and databases.

ASP: See Application Service Provider or Active Server Pages.

ASP Mail: Email program designed and programmed by Decision Analyst to send surveys to panel members.

Assessment Sheet (Data Entry): A study control log where data-entry personnel sign out batches of paper questionnaires, enter them, and then sign in the completed batch.

Asset Optimization: Also known as Strategic Market Plan. Asset optimization determines the optimum locations for productive and profitable stores in a selected market or geographic area. Learn More

Association Technique: A projective technique used primarily in qualitative research. Respondents are presented with some stimuli (words, pictures, sounds, colors, etc.) and asked to describe what comes to mind.

At-Home Testing: A test product is provided for participants to use at home. Reactions to the product are determined in a follow-up Internet survey, telephone survey, mail survey, personal interview, or in a focus group session. Also, referred to as Home Usage Test (HUT) or In-home Usage Testing (IHUT). Learn More

Atomistic Test: A test that focuses participants' attention on individual elements of a product or concept (in contrast to a holistic test that looks at a product or concept as a whole).

Attempt: When someone tries to contact a potential research participant, whether or not anyone is actually reached. This term is used primarily in door-to-door, in-person research; mall-intercept research; and in telephone surveys.

Attitude: An individual’s learned predisposition to think or behave in a somewhat consistent manner. There are two main components of attitude: a Cognitive component (knowledge and assumptions) and an Affective component (feelings and emotions).

Attitude & Usage Surveys: Another name for AAU (Awareness, Attitude, and Usage) or ATU (Awareness, Trial, and Usage) studies.

Attitude Research: Survey research to measure how people feel about certain products, brands, ideas or companies.

Attitude Scaling: The development of words, terms, statements, or visuals to measure individuals’ attitudes.

Attitudinal Scaling: Survey questions in which respondents rate a brand, product or service on a pre-determined scale, such as “very happy,” “somewhat happy,” and “not happy.”

Attitudinal Statements: A type of survey question in which respondents are asked to rate how they feel about the statement.

Attribute: A word or phrase that describes a product, service, brand, or person. For example, gender is a human attribute, while durability is a product attribute.

ATU (Awareness, Trial, and Usage) Study: A quantitative survey to measure consumer awareness, trial, and product usage for a product category and/or brand. These same measurements can often be incorporated into tracking studies.

Audit: Also called Store Audit or Retail Audit. The measurement of a product’s sales in a store for a time period by counting beginning inventory, adding new shipments, and subtracting ending inventory.

Augment (Also called a Sample Augment or Boost): To increase the number of interviews needed for a particular segment or subgroup—more than what a random sample of the total population would yield.

Autocorrelation: The interdependence among the pairs of observations, usually in a time series, which are separated by a constant interval. Excessive autocorrelation can cause problems when estimating time-series models.

Automatic Interaction Detection: An algorithm that identifies interactions among several predictor variables and is most often used to identify segments of consumers.

Average: Same meaning as Arithmetic Mean or Mean. A measure of central tendency, like the median and the mode. It is calculated by summing a series of values, and dividing the sum by the number of values.

Awareness: The proportion of people who are aware of (i.e., have seen or heard of) a product, brand name, company, or trademark. Generally subdivided into Unaided Awareness; and Total Awareness (including Aided Awareness).

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