Portland Marketing Analytics (PortMA) | Portland, Maine

Field Data Helps Read Between the Lines of Survey Results

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BetweenLinesTraditional market research utilizes familiar methods like web surveys and focus groups to obtain information, and these studies usually have a formal plan outlined in their original proposals.

Experiential marketing research takes on a different approach where not only survey data is collected, but data from the field such as event attendance, interactions with brand ambassadors, samples distributed, etc.  While exit and post-event survey results provide robust metrics to analyze consumer behavior, the field data can reveal other trends that the survey data may not uncover by itself.

I’m in the midst of working on a long-term experiential program in the spirits industry where samples are distributed at different venues such as bars, liquor stores, and special events.  We’re monitoring how the sampling varies by venue type, and most recently I discovered the program is projected to exceed initial sampling targets by a wide margin due to a spike in sampling at special events.

On the surface it sounds great that sampling is above target since that should have a positive effect on future purchase and recommend intent, but it may put the program over budget.  I asked the client if this was a budgetary concern and I was informed that it isn’t because brand ambassadors who have good relationships with their accounts tend to receive additional bottles for sampling, which helps drive purchase intent higher; thus, increasing sales at those venues.

This is the kind of story that we like to unfold as we monitor programs like this because if we see a rise in purchase intent coincide with a rise in sampling at certain venues, we can back up that data with a plausible, positive explanation.

Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/southpaw2305/3450674095/

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