Marketing: Consumer surveys - datasets

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Quick links

This page has links to just get you started. Read more about them if this is the first time you've used this type of data.

Introduction - a video

Here's a video intro, which takes 5 minutes to watch.  The 'What are they?!' box below has much the same introductory content if you prefer text.  The video also has a short demo of GfK MRI University Reporter.

What are they?! (A text intro)

Consumer survey datasets are huge surveys of consumers conducted by several major market research companies, which are not aimed at any one client.  Basically, 'one-size-tries-to-fit-all' market research ...  Here's some basic information about them:

  • Conducted twice a year, spring and fall
  • 20,000 to 30,000 respondents usually
  • Focus on consumer products and consumer behavior

Methodology:

  • Respondents keep diaries or logs for ~10 days about everything that they do, eat, read/watch, buy, etc.  This means all household members ... (Yes, they do get paid.)
  • A fieldworker comes to the household and asks even more questions of the family, especially about demographics and lifestyle
  • The survey results are then projected onto the Annual Population Estimate Surveys from the Census Bureau

Types of variables collected:

  • Demographics, lots of 'em!
  • Product usage and preference
  • Brand usage and preference
  • Media usage and preference
  • Psychographics, i.e. lifestyle preferences

Who uses/buys these datasets?

  • Advertising agencies
  • Big consumer product companies
  • Major media companies

About MRI-Simmons' Insight (NCS)

MRI-Simmons' National Consumer Study

This is usually the larger and more detailed survey.  The MRI-Simmons Insights software allows you to set up and create crosstabs as you please ... crosstab software is a very flexible and powerful software, but can require some time to learn.  

  MRI-Simmons Limitations:

  • 10 simultaneous users only.  If you're refused access, please try again later.
  • Academic libraries may only buy MRI-Simmons data that are at least two years old (depending on time of year, it can be three years old).

   Advantages:

  • Two modules:  Crosstab and Brand Catalyst.
      –  Crosstab is a powerful, sophisticated software which allows you to create your own crosstabs.
      –  Brand Catalyst is an easier module that pulls out significant variables for lifestyle, media and brand preference.
  • More psychographic, 'lifestyle'-type questions and variables.  Has data from VALS, Equifax's Customer Segmentation (formerly IXI's Cohorts.com), Experian Mosaic, and other segmentation systems (see the proprietary data section within the Codebook; data availability varies by year).