The cosmetics company L’Orial

There are several methods for conducting market surveys, but they all stem from the same purpose: finding useful information. Most surveys ask quantitative questions to allow easy statistical calculations. For example, one question might read, “On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like spending on makeup. ” The survey participant answers with a one through a ten. Asking questions quantitatively also makes it very simple for users to take the surveys and doesn’t leave much room to make up answers Surveys can be given in any form. The most popular mediums are via telephone, mail, web sites, and in person.

In selecting the best method for a certain research, a number of factors need to be taken into consideration. Among the most important factors are how best to communicate with respondents (collect the best information), length and complexity of survey instrument, sample size, timing, and budget. For this particular research we would like to choose a combination of mail and telephone interviews in order to obtain a large number of responses. In the traditional mail interview, questionnaires are mailed to presented potential respondents.

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Within the envelope we shall include a cover letter, questionnaire, return envelope. The respondents complete and return the questionnaires. However, two issues need to be taken into account regarding this method. Firstly, a broad range of suitable respondents needs to be identified before data collection can begin. Finding targeted group of people to take the survey can sometimes present a challenge. Possible ways are to find prospects, visit web sites, newsgroups, forums, or contact non-competing companies that share the prospective target market.

For example, we can contact with fashion magazines, such as “Cosmo Girl”, “Shout” which is targeted at young girl. Also, as a long-established cosmetics manufacturer, L’Orial could use their customer databases to contact their existing customers. Another consideration is response rate. Depending on the length of the questionnaire, the type and motivation of the respondent, the type of questions and subject matter, the time of day or place, and whether respondents were informed to expect the survey or offered an incentive can all influence the response rate obtained.

Proper questionnaire design and question wording can help increase response rate. As an incentive, L’Ori?? al could use the method of sending gift to children in the household or offer discount to the adult user in buying their product once returned the questionnaires. Though mail interviews have wide distribution and low cost and there are no interviewer bias influence the results. Their drawbacks have to be considered. As accurate lists are not always available, response is not necessarily representative of the target population.

However, these problems can be found in any kind of surveys. The major drawback to mail surveys is their very low rate of return, or response rate. Even with incentives such as money, and second mailings, most end up with about a 5% to 15% response rate. This means you do not know the opinions of 85% to 95% of the people you wish to study. Different research techniques such as incentives and telephone reminders can boost the response rate to as much as 50%, but all these methods add to the price of the study, defeating the purpose of selecting this technique in the first place.

Unlike mail surveys, response rates with telephone surveys are much better than mail, usually 50% and higher, which makes them the ideal choice for most research applications. Therefore, in combination of the both methods, we could possibly gain a large amount of responses at a less expensive cost. If properly designed and implemented, surveys can be an efficient and accurate means of determining information about a given population. characteristics and behaviour. Results can be provided relatively quickly, and depending on the sample size and methodology chosen, they are relatively inexpensive.

However, surveys also have a number of disadvantages, which must be considered by the researcher in determining the appropriate data collection technique. Since in any survey, the respondent knows that s/he is being studied, the information provided may not be valid insofar as the respondent may wish to impress (e. g. by attributing him/herself a higher income or education level) or please (e. g. researcher by providing the kind of response s/he believes the researcher is looking for) the researcher. This is known as response error or bias.

The willingness or ability to reply can also pose a problem. Perhaps the information is considered sensitive or intrusive (e. g. information about income of the household) leading to a high rate of refusal. Or perhaps the question is so specific that the respondent is unable to answer, even though willing (e. g. “How many times during the past month have you thought about changing a new look? “) If the people who refuse are indeed in some way different from those who do not, this is knows as a non-response error or bias.

Careful wording of the questions can help overcome some of these problems. The interviewer can influence the response elicited through comments made or by stressing certain words in the question itself. In interview surveys, the interviewer can also introduce bias through facial expressions, body language or even the clothing that is worn. This is knows as interviewer error or bias. Survey technique can be a very useful tool in helping L’Ori?? al to gain an insight into the “tween” market regarding their characteristics and behaviour through the use of questionnaires.

For the purpose of getting a large amount of responses at a lower cost, we chose mail and telephone interviews as our main methods. Once surveys are properly designed and implemented, they can provide valuable primary information to the company. However, the process of designing and implementing surveys can be problematic which consequently affect the validity of the end result. This is to say, market decisions can not be relied on a single method, but have to combine with other techniques to gain a larger and a more comprehensive picture.

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