General Online Research 2011

March 14-16, 2011, Heinrich-Heine University of Düsseldorf


Conference Agenda

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Session Overview

B3: Applying Social Communities in Market Research

Time: Wednesday, 16/Mar/2011: 10:30am - 11:30am
Session Chair: Wolfgang Ziniel


Use and Utility of Semantic Web Research in Measurement and Prediction of Customer Behavior

Roland Bischof1, Mareike Ahlers2

1artebis ag, Switzerland; 2Bruhn & Partner, Switzerland

a) Relevance & Research Question

Research findings indicate that online research results appear less vulnerable than F2F research methods to hardly controllable measurement-errors by effects of ‘social expectancy’ and ‘self-presentation in a status hierarchy’. These types of errors may be reduced even more in an purely observational (‘passive’) measurement construct compared to interventional (‘active’) online research approaches conducted using traditional questionnaires.

Literature reports indicate also that the personal relationship of customers to products, services and companies is more predictive of the success of end-customer (B2C) oriented business-models than more traditional market research constructs, e.g., product-awareness and customer-satisfaction.

The main goal of this study is to proof for the supremacy of a new developed, observational and semantic research methodology in terms of efficacy, accuracy and validity over established offline and online approaches used in market research.

b) Methods & Data:

Our paper, describing an observational, software-driven approach in data gathering and semantic analysis of personal-relation and customer-satisfaction measurements, based on combined Web 1.0 and social media content, relies on concrete market-research study data. Its focus however lies on methodological and validation issues.

c) Results

Our results indicate that online research and the use of the personal relationship construct show high external validity in predicting brand- switching, customer loyalty and success of companies providing service in the insurance business area. The correlation with the external validator was considerably higher than the external correlation with the methods compared to.

d) Added Value

End-user reviews and comments published in the web play an increasingly important role in the perception and success of products, services and companies. It therefore becomes a key success factor to benchmark these on their own easily and well-priced from a user perspective, and to determine predictors of future customer behavior.

Results of the presented semantic analysis of end-user reviews and comments indicate a considerable higher efficacy, accuracy and validity of results than was achieved by a big traditional CATI market research with more than 1000 calls, and an online-questionary with more than 2500 participants, respectively.

Bischof-Use and Utility of Semantic Web Research-181.pdf

Co-Creation with Lead Users on the Digital Research Platform www.dieNEONauten.de

Nicolas Loose

NEONauten Consulting, Germany

Relevance & Research Question:

www.dieNEONauten.de is an example of digital research 2.0, a new kind of online research. The publishing house Gruner + Jahr and the qualitative research boutique STURM und DRANG have created this online platform in order to conduct innovative studies with lead users. The research methods make full use of the technical and social dynamics of the web 2.0. During the best practice presentation we will give a short overview of the concept behind the NEONauten and show some results from case studies which illustrate the specific advantages of digital, collaborative lead user research.

Methods & Data:

On the basis of a detailed screening process we have selected 250 members from the neon.de community for our lead user community. On the NEONauten-platform we provide them with the opportunity to discuss their real life experiences and ideas concerning consumption and translate them into relevant market insights. The co-creation platform benefits from the high identification of the community members with the brand NEON. The strong intrinsic motivation qualifies the NEON reader as an ideal partner for media based research. For each study we recruit 10-20 lead users who collaborate in one of five different research modules. In these modules the NEONauten never work isolated. Research and concept development follow the principle of open source and use the synergy effects of collaboration to generate relevant consumer impulses.


The results of research and development projects with the NEONauten are an example of the advantages of collaborative lead user research: Based on self-observation, storytelling and photographic documentation the research-oriented projects show the authentic life of the participants. Co-creation projects produce an output with high market relevance which is based on the specific needs of actual lead users.

Added Value:

Open innovation also means that the client is integrated into the process at all times. Clients have the role of observers on the online platform. Trained moderators translate the questions of the clients into tasks for the NEONauten. This allows clients to actively influence the exploration process. A facilitated collaboration between the client and the NEONauten is the result.

Loose-Co-Creation with Lead Users on the Digital Research Platform wwwdieNEONautende-191.pdf

Online Experiments Examining the Influence of Third-Party Product Reviews on Key Constructs in Consumer Behaviour

Wolfgang Ziniel

WU-Vienna, Austria

Third-Party Product Reviews (TPPRs) are neutral (as far as the producers’ interests are concerned) and consumer-orientated product tests that are carried out by experts. The reviews are published in special-interest-magazines like PC-World, Runner’s World, Decanter or Wine Advocate and on the magazines’ web pages respectively. Market observations provide strong evidence that Third-Party Product Reviews (TPPRs) significantly influence the success or failure of the products evaluated (Chen and Xie, 2005). Apart from purely descriptive contributions, however, there have not been any studies so far that examine the impact of such test information on purchase behaviour. This work aims at diminishing this gap in marketing research by studying the relevance of TPPRs for product choice decisions.

A paired comparison choice experiment applying a conjoint design is conducted online and analysed by fitting a Bradley-Terry model in R. The study took place in the context of quality wines. A 2 (brand, high/low reputation) x 4 (TPPR, good, bad, editor’s choice, none) x 2 (price level, € 6 und € 10) between subjects orthogonal design (8 cards) was created and administered among online access panel members (n=500). Each respondent completed 14 randomly assigned paired compariso choice tasks. Additionally subject-specific covariates like perceived credibility, product knowledge or product class involvement were measured applying dichotomous RASCH models.

The results provide strong evidence that - apart from brand and price – TPPR strongly shape choice behaviour. Good TPPR and the editor’s choice attribute showed strong positive worth parameters and thus exert considerable influence on product choice processes while high prices caused negative impacts. Interestingly winery reputation and bad TPPR exerted nearly no influence. This might be a hint that TPPRs are mainly used for a positive confirmation when intending to buy a specific wine. It could also be shown that the covariates chosen significantly moderated the effects.

Firstly this work will help firms to understand the relevance of a test result for choice processes. Secondly it demonstrates how to avoid problems of rating scales in complex and multi-attribute online choice experiments by applying the Bradley-Terry model and dichotomous Rasch models in psychometric marketing research.

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