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Lesson 8 Market research question strategies
Objective Describe how to create effective questions for audience analysis.

Market Research Question Strategies

Successful data gathering requires that you ask the correct questions. While no set of questions exists that will be correct for every audience, you are more likely to find the information you need if you plan your questions carefully.

Structure of a question

The structure of a question determines the range of responses you will receive. Variety is important: if you ask only one kind of question, you will almost certainly narrow your range of responses. The table below shows a sampling of the kinds of questions that will help you determine sign and metaphor needs:

  1. Basic information of respondents. Allows questioner to identify trends and the needs of specific user groups.
  2. Structured questions, Yes/No questions. Elicit data that will be of a consistent type among all respondents.
  3. Unstructured questions: Allow respondents to share types of information you may not have anticipated.
  4. Detailed questions: Focused questions that allow for open-end responses. These questions elicit multiple details that respondents may not have given otherwise.
  5. Feeling questions: Give insight on how people's feelings about specific signs and metaphors may influence how they interact with a website.

Audience Analysis Questions

Special questioning concerns

Some of the issues you have learned about as concerns of sign and metaphor design can be specifically addressed through audience questioning. You may want to look at cultural concerns, context-specific responses, and work-language and specialized language.

Analysis of competitors

In strategizing sign and metaphor approaches, it is crucial to examine what your competitors are doing. This is referred to as market intelligence and is part of the responsibility of the Internet Business Strategist. On the Web is it is very easy to examine your competitors' collateral, or promotional materials, so it is possible to stay well informed of the sign and metaphor approaches of key competitors. Without this knowledge, it will be difficult to establish a truly distinct online identity that sets you apart from the competition.
In addition, you may observe effective ways that a competitor has segmented a market. You may be able to improve upon innovative ideas they have tried but failed at. A competitor may have just implemented your killer app, in which case you may choose not to spend excessively on development, only to appear to be an imitator. You may find that a strong competitor does a poor job online. That has implications for marketing dollars spent on web vs. other advertising media. You can also learn from sites that have comparable business models, but which are not direct competitors. For example, if you are designing a portal for herbal health products, you might examine portals geared towards exercise equipment and accessories.
In the next lesson, how to further analyze your audience and apply the results to your design choices will be discussed.
Click the link below to verify that you understand the different types of questions for audience analysis.
Audience Analysis Question Categories