Lead Time

Lead Time – Period that elapse between two specific moments in time. For example: the time that elapses between a prototype’s being developed and its manufacture and distribution to the retail trade.

Letter of Intent – It is usually a time-consuming operation for a marketing research agency to draw up a research proposal for a potential client. A detailed proposal often entails a lot of preparatory work and, if not accepted by the client, a charge would have to be made. This charge would, normally, be included in the costs for the whole research project. In order to avoid this problem, research proposals are sometimes reduced to a free one or two page summary giving a brief outline of the proposed research project and the costs involved. See also: Research Proposal

Principal – The party or client that instructs or gives the order to the marketing research agency to proceed with a proposal for a study and/or to have the completed proposal (amended or otherwise) carried out. Generally, the principal is the party, person or company that pays for study. Occasionally, some other party pays, in which case the principal function as intermediary. See also: Marketing Research Agency

Project – A program of activities. A marketing and opinion research project involves in all tasks, phases and activities that are specific research assignment, regardless of the magnitude or duration of the project. The construction of questionnaires, fieldwork, assimilation and reporting are all part of a project.

Project Director – Syn: Project Manager The person employed by the research agency who is responsible for, and supervises, a research project. In principle, all contacts between the principal and the research agency are conducted through project director. See also: Project

Recruitment – The search for a persons who meet the various specific selection criteria of a research project. These people are then requested to participate in a group discussion. For this they receive some slight remuneration. Only those not already registered with a research agency may quality fr recruitment. See also: Selection criteria/Group discussion

Research Proposal – A document in which a research agency explains to its principal he manner in which the problem posed may be solved by the way of research. This proposal usually consists of the following parts: introduction, problem proposition, problem analysis, research design, sampling, costs, planning, and other elements (for example,materials required). He supportive motivation for the determination of the research design must be concluded in the proposal ( in what aspects is this particular design superior to others?).In the event that the principal accepts the proposal, it will function, more or less, as a binding contract. There are no cost involved for the preparation of a proposal, unless the principal decides to have the research projects executed by a research agency other than the one that has prepared the proposal or unless the proposal involves unusually great expense (as, for example, when a preliminary study must be carried out first).

Value Added Tax – Often abbreviated V.A.T. A direct form of taxation that, at each product or service transfer phase or invoicing, is charged to the purchaser or recipient. In the EEC system a V.A.T.-registered company can also receive V.A.T rebates. The final buyer or consumer is not so fortunate; for them it is simply a sales tax. Market research organizations in Europe apply their local rate (mostly around 19%) of V.A.T. International research work is free of Value Added Tax.

Aided Awareness – The familiarity with a product or (usually) brand in a sample population. The subject questioned is presented with a list of a number of products or brand names. (This is the aide-factor.) He answers a (standard) question: what products (or brands) on this list do you recall having seen, heard of or heard about on a previous occasion? (or, perhaps, purchased, tried, eaten on a previous occasion). The measurement of aided awareness is meaningful only insofar as a degree of familiarity that is found can be compared to that for competitive products/brands and/or earlier and/or future measurements (has the brand become better known?) Aided awareness is sometimes used as an indicator in (long term) advertising campaigns. It is difficult, however, to distinguish the effects of a campaign from other effects. In addition to the phenomenon of aided awareness there is also that of spontaneous awareness. It is much less common, however, and does not usually affect research result significantly. See also: Spontaneous Awareness/Brand Awareness

Ambiguous – In marketing research, a term (and concept) used in conjunction with “material,” “questions,” “design,” “stimuli,” “interpretations,” “answers.” For example, a question may be considered ambiguous when it can be understood or interpreted in several ways as a result of its vagueness or indefinite quality. As a rule, to be ambiguous is not the intention of the interviewer. See also: Thematic apperception test

Ambiguous Question – Question in an interview or inquiry that may be interpreted in more than one way. The meaning or significance of the answer is likewise unclear. Ambiguous questions are, therefore, not of any practical use.

Buying Intentions – The seriousness with which a subject considers the possibility of making a purchase. Such intentions are usually measured on a five-point scale on which the subject questioned indicates the degree of probability of making a purchase within a specified period of time. See also: Five-point scale

Consistency – Coherence or agreement, to be noted in interpreting answers on a questionnaire. Consistent answers are those that all point in the same direction. The answers are given in a consequent manner.

Direct Question – A question from a questionnaire or interview in which it may be assumed that the subject questioned is familiar with the objective or purpose of the question. The question has no hidden meanings and is, therefore, not ambiguous. The opposite holds true for the indirect question. An example of the direct question. An example of direct question: how many radios do you own? An indirect question: what, according to you, do most people in this country think about advantages of nuclear energy? When such a question is asked in a direct manner (for example, what is your opinion concerning….?), less straightforward answers are often obtained. See also: Projective Technique/Ambiguous question

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