Understanding Consumer Decision Making: The Means-End Approach to Marketing and Advertising Strategy

By Thomas J. Reynolds; Jerry C. Olson | Go to book overview

5
Consumer Understanding and Advertising Strategy:
Analysis and Strategic Translation of Laddering
Data
Charles E. Gengler
Baruch College
Thomas J. Reynolds
Richmont Partners

Two major obstacles exist to the proliferation of laddering as a management tool. First, the sheer magnitude of tedious work an analyst must perform to complete an analysis adds excessive costs to any study. Second, many who are familiar with the technique still have difficulty bridging from data to strategy to executional design and implications. This chapter addresses both of those issues by describing a newly available software support tool to make the data analysis a more reasonable task and by discussing the issue of strategy development and implementation. An example within the product category of dog food data is used.

An important issue for both industry and academic consumer researchers is the development of an understanding of how consumers derive personally relevant meaning about products. This meaning is the basis consumers use to shape their decision criteria among competitive products and services. In this chapter, discussed is the process by which pragmatic analysis of qualitative data on consumer meaning can be achieved and how this analysis can be used to enhance creative copy development. All too often, the results of qualitative research could have been written before the research was performed, either because the final results are merely the a priori opinion of the researcher involved or because the results are so obvious that the research need never have been performed. The intent here is to suggest a methodological process that will alleviate both of these problems when gathering information on consumer meaning.

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