Big Picture Questions

Ask the Research Doctor a question.

Moderators: shawnski, jdenver, rogerwimmer

Forum rules
How do you ask the Research Doctor a question?

Just click on "New Topic" below and then type your question to me. Please put in a Subject and then ask your question in the body.

Your question is submitted annonymously unless you include your name.

Click "Submit" and then check back to find Dr. Wimmer's answer to your question.

If you wish to have a private answer to a question (not posted in the forum), please include your email address. Dr. Wimmer will send your answer directly to you.

Dr. Wimmer maintains an Archive of questions from the forum. Go to and click on "The Research Doctor Archive" link.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:40 pm

Big Picture Questions

Post by rogerwimmer » Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:26 am

Dr. Wimmer: I'm guessing this is what you would call a perceptual survey. I am hoping you'll tell me if that's correct, or what it would be called if I am wrong.

I work at a station with an "experimental" format, meaning that what the station is attempting hasn't been done successfully anywhere else, at least not on a large scale or by most definitions of success. Even so, this particular station does decently. My hunch is that it could do much better if we answered some questions.

1. We have an assumed target audience. But what if the people most likely to listen are not who we are targeting? I want to find the people this format is most likely to attract.

2. I believe the target is more than your typical males or females between certain ages. I want to find the values, tastes, lifestyles, etc. that listeners of this format might all have in common. Would that be somewhere in the psychographic realm? Is that even a word - psychographic?

3. I want to know how digital media plays into all of this.

So, is this information I am seeking something a market perceptual study would tell me? If not, what would? Either way, where should I start shopping for the right partner in making this happen?

Thanks so much for your input. - Anonymous

Anon: The questions you have can be easily answered in a perceptual study, and that is the best approach for you to use in this case.

In reference to finding a company to do the research, you can search for research companies on the website. On the right side of the home page in the "Industry Directory" box, enter research on the company line. The problem is that there are 195 listings, although not all are research companies. If you would me (303.887.7846) and we can discuss a few companies you might want to consider.

Finally, psychographics is a word, and it relates to why people do things. I don't think you'll need to include such questions in your study because there isn't much you can do with the answers to the questions. Psychographics was a popular approach in some consumer research in the 1980s, but the questions aren't used much now because the data don't provide the type of information decision makers need to make decisions.

(Want to comment on this question? Click on the POSTREPLY button under the question.)
Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

Post Reply