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Glossary of Market Research Terms – A
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At-Home Testing:

The respondent is encouraged to bring the product to his place of residence and test it while using it for certain duration of time. After this period, information about the product is collected through telephone surveys, written surveys, one-on-one interviews or group discussions scheduled between many respondents. This is also called product placement study.

A Priori Segmentation:

For some market research studies the segments of the market used are not chosen based on empirical statistics. In priory segmentation the segments chosen are based on assumptions, traditions, premonitions and intuitions.

A.C. Nielsen Retail Index:

AC Nielsen Retail Index is the market intelligence for providing accurate, decision oriented reporting. It covers a broad assortment of retail channels from various sources like supermarkets, hypermarkets, drug stores and pharmacies, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, small independent grocers, kiosks, open markets, military commissaries, liquor stores, dollar stores, pet stores and warehouse-clubs. AC Nielsen Retail Index is the industry standard for quality information on product movement, market share, distribution, promotional effectiveness, pricing and other market-sensitive information in more than eighty countries across six continents. It provides information network involving global reach, which is highly respected in the industry.


When a measurement is able to match the actual value of a quantity being measured, it is called the accuracy value of that particular measurement.


ACORN is a geo-demographic tool, which helps the businesses in comprehending their target market. The variables stressed with ACORN are population location and other lifestyle based variables. The buying behaviours, decision taking and judgements are different for people living under different demographics. For example, the individuals residing in rural areas show purchase behaviours different from those residing in busy urban areas. The information collected by ACORN gives insights to marketers and manufacturers to devise location specific marketing strategies. It helps advertisers in designing campaigns suitable to specific geographic locations, also to decide which store outlets to use to open the campaign, and where to test the products.   

Action Devices:

Action devices are small contrivances created in order to generate respondents’ involvement. These are mainly used with marketing material and are in the form of small tokens or stamps. Many publishing houses utilize such action devices so that the reader actually goes through the entire promotional material. Sometimes such participation also leads to entries into sweepstakes or prize draws. Action devices are also known as involvement devices.

Active Buyer:

Active buyers of a company are the customers who have made a purchase over the past year.

Ad Blocker:

Ad blockers are tools in the Internet browsers that can prevent opening of windows displaying online advertisements. These can however prevent opening of some useful pop-up windows also.

Ad Concept Testing:

Ad Concept Testing is evaluation of an advertising concept with a target market segment. The results of this test determine the most suitable pricing, brand concepts, appeals and product strategy concepts for a certain new product or even for re-positioning of an existent product. The methodology of gathering information is through questionnaires, surveys and interviews.

Ad Hoc Surveys:

These are surveys developed for a target audience, which has no prior contact with the examining authorities.

Ad Positioning Statement Tests:

When the audience response is measured for the reason of evaluation of the positioning statement for a certain ad concept testing, it is called ad positioning statement tests. This measurement is very critical because this reading gives a wider perspective of the brand vision in totality.

Ad Recall:

Ad recall is the response that is measured immediately after the target audience is exposed to the advertisement. This value is in terms of time and gives an idea about the respondents’ recollection or recall of an advertisement. Generally some attributes of an advertisement are more readily recalled than the others. This response gives an idea about the how to make an advertisement more memorable so that it is recalled at the point and time of purchase. Often just a small feature is enough to make an ad memorable. Ad recall usually decreases with time.

Ad Tracking Research:

Throughout the life span or the run time of an ad, constant checking of its performance is tested. This is called ad tracking research. This gives an idea about the actual business being brought in by the ad.

Adaptive Conjoint Analysis (ACA):

Conjoint analysis is a statistical method used in market research, which is used to find out the value attached by consumers to different attributes present in any product or service. The main aim of the conjoint analysis is to determine what combination of a certain number of features is most influential on respondents for decision making about choosing a product or service.   Adaptive Conjoint Analysis (ACA) is a technique developed by Sawtooth Software, which enhances the conjoint analysis. The software measures the respondents’ answers to the initial interview questions. Inferences are drawn by the software based upon these responses by adaptation focussed on the subject matter most valued by the respondent. This method considerably reduces the effect of burdening the respondents with unnecessary information, which can reduce their attention span.

Advertising Research Foundation (ARF):

Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) is a leading association of the advertising industry, which generates, aggregates, synthesizes and shares the knowledge required by the decision makes in the field. The organization was founded in 1936 by the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. ARF is dedicated to improving the practice of advertising, marketing and media research in pursuit of more effective marketing and advertising communications.

Affective Component of Attitudes:

Advertising effectiveness is based mostly upon the emotional responses generated by an ad. Affective Component of Attitudes is the emotional response attached to an attitude. Generally emotional responses in the form of feelings are attached with people, objects and events and are a measure of affective component of attitudes.

Affiliate Marketing:

Affiliate marketing is a form of online advertising that is based upon revenue sharing between websites. The affiliate websites display an online ad of another website and are compensated when the Internet traffic is driven to the other website upon clicking of the ad. The payment could be based on pay-per-click or for the time the ad is displayed, depending upon the mutual understanding between the companies. 

Affinity Marketing:

Affinity marketing is the marketing strategy that is based on targeting the consumers after studying their set buying patterns or trends and buying behaviours.

After-Only with Control Group:

This is a technique of measurement employed in experiments concerning behavioural patterns. In this experimental design the groups of respondents labelled as the control is not measured for reactions before the experiment. During the course of the experiment the control group is not subject to the experimental variable. At the conclusion of the experiment all the groups are measured and the control group’s measurement is deducted from the other group’s measurement.

Allowable Sampling Error:

The acceptable amount of error generally due to human or environmental influence is called as the allowable sampling error.

Alternative Hypothesis:

Alternative hypothesis is a statement representing the inference that a statistical hypothesis test is set to establish. After the test result is out the null hypothesis is either rejected or accepted in favour of the alternative hypothesis. The test does not reach an acceptance or rejection of the alternative hypothesis.


Anthropomorphic test is the test where the respondents are asked to assign human attributes to lifeless objects or animals or factors of nature.

Application Service Provider (ASP):

Application Service Provider (ASP) is an online organization that provides products, services and applications on their servers. People can make online purchases and get access to these products, services and applications for their personal and business usages. Generally different versions are available for individual and professional usages.

Applied Research:

Applied Research can be best described as a field of related research, which mostly deals with the current topics or requirements at hand. These researches are done using the tools and technology of pure research but are mostly topical and provide solutions pertaining to the challenges in sight.

Area Samples:

A sample used from a specific geographical or ethnographic target area.

Asynchronous Qualitative Research:

Asynchronous Qualitative Research is a methodology of qualitative research wherein the respondents and researchers are not required to interact with each other during most of the course of the study.

Asynchronous Research:

Asynchronous Research is the research technique when the respondents are allowed to give their responses on their own time without addressing direct questions or other events towards them. It is a technique, which is highly non-intrusive in nature and does not bind the respondents with restrictions of time, space or fixed methodologies.


Attempt is when an effort is made to contact a potential respondent for any study. it does not imply to an actual contact with a research respondent or even an agreement of participation from the same.

Attitude, Awareness & Usage (AAU) Study:

Attitude, Awareness and Usage (AAU) Study is a kind of tracking study in which objective of the study is to record the changes in consumer attitudes, awareness and usage levels of a certain product or service, which has been in the market for some time.


Audit is the critical review of the marketing plan after a while of its implementation. Generally before implementation the marketing plan is thoroughly researched and reviewed. But even then after implementation there is certain course correction required at times, the knowledge for which is attained through regular audits.


Awareness is generally associated with some brands and names. This is significant because of the recollection or association that the people form with the product, brand name, company name, new concepts launched or trademarks of a certain organization.

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