Why research customers? Because knowing their views will strengthen your decisions.

We’ve long explained that when you know what motivates your customers, you can market more effectively to them.  And we use this same approach when reviewing what research tools will work most effectively for you.

Sometimes, the tools we research are major tools – online focus groups or face-to-face focus groups, for example.  And sometimes they are smaller tools – the type of questions that most effectively get the answers you need.

One type of question – the matrix question – is commonly used when several statements or products or services are measured on the same scale.  For visual economy and for ease in answering, the statement and scale questions are shown as one question, as in the example below.

This read-from-top-to-bottom format has had some ask if people may be more likely to answer the first listed statement and then less likely to answer statements lower on the list.

We tested whether this hypothesis was valid.  We found:

  1. No relationship between the statement order and whether people answered the statement.
  2. Other factors – participants’ awareness of the product, their use of the product, or the importance or relevance of the product to them – determine whether they answer the statements in a matrix question list.
  3. Hence, there is research method value in using matrix questions, as these enable more effective answers.

Full details are in this month’s Quirk’s Marketing Research Review (USA) – which you can see, in full, at  https://www.quirks.com/articles/is-there-a-list-order-bias-in-online-survey-matrix-questions     .

While this may be a little more a researcher’s interest, we thought it may also be of interest to you as it evidences the thought and care we put into every element of the research projects we undertake – to your benefit.

So, if you’d like to talk further about accurate customer research measures to help strengthen your decisions, please call or email Philip Derham.  His contact details are below.