Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking, Second Edition, Chapter 120, pp.880-886
Marketing research is the process of systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data pertaining to the company’s market, customers, and competitors, with a view to improving marketing decisions. Multimedia technologies and the Internet have created opportunities previously unimagined in marketing research practice. Electronic or online marketing research takes one of two forms: research about the Internet and research on the Internet. Generally, marketing research activities cover the provision of relevant information to identify or solve marketing problems in the areas of market segmentation (e.g., selecting target markets or segments) as well as product (e.g., preference measurement for concept testing or new product development), pricing (e.g., identifying price thresholds), promotion (e.g., media and copy decisions), and distribution (e.g., location of retail outlets) decisions (Malhotra & Birks, 2005). This article aims to: • Review the impact of applying multimedia technologies to classic marketing research problems. • Present the different types of marketing research activities about the Internet as the most prominent application area of multimedia technologies. • Discuss the use of multimedia in online surveys in comparison to the traditional paper-and-pencil approach. The main contribution of the article is a discussion of advantages and challenges provided by innovative multimedia and network technologies for marketing researchers. Moreover, we present cues for improving the quality of surveys. The remainder of the article is structured as follows: First, we present examples of the application of multimedia technologies to illustrate the impact of multimedia on classic marketing research tasks. Subsequently, Web log mining, Web usage mining, and Web content mining are introduced as common marketing research fields directly concerned with research about the Internet. Then, benefits and challenges of online surveys are reviewed. Thereafter, we discuss response errors and ethical questions as crucial issues for the quality of data gained by online surveys. Finally, we draw conclusions and provide a spot on future developments.
Marketing Research; Web Mining; Online Surveys; Coverage Error; Sampling Error; Measurement Error; Non-response Error; Virtual Concept Testing