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The Words of Market Research

Get through market research vocabulary. Understand the jargon and get things done!


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Term Main definition
CLT (Central Located Test)

This is a type of Qualitative Research where participants gathered in a centralised location in order to test products which are different than testing it at home. Data will be collected and analysed. The Central Located Test is usually located in the city center of a town.

Closed ended

Closed ended question is a question where the respondent can only choose between a certain number of answers or predefined list. It is limited in terms of choices. The respondent chooses to select what best reflects his thoughts.

Also see: Open ended


A computer program to have a conversation with a participant. The chatbot replies automatically to the participant depending on the answer given. It is also a perfect example of how a machine can replace a human.


Charting stands for the action of realizing graphics and charts to illustrate some data for analysis purposes and forecasting in a dedicated market. Charting is usually used to build reports for clients after the research has been completed to help with decision making. It can be used to compare prices, market shares.

Also see: Automated Dashboard


Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing is a quantitative method where the respondent will receive a phone call and answers will be collected by the interviewer over the phone and entered into PC memory.. CATI projects are run from a professionally equipped CATI studio, where there will be equipped interviewers. They will call the respondents selected for the study and administer standardized questionnaires to them. The computer system will supervise those interviews.

See also: CAWI

Card Sorting

Card sorting methodology requires a group of expert participants helping to structure some information and group different topics together in a logical way. Card sorting is very often used to develop a website or app to create the perfect flow. (ex: for a fashion e-commerce website, shall we sort products by size, brand, type, price, color...?)
In a typical project, 15 users will be needed and 30 users will be required in a larger project.


Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) a quantitative research technique, where a PC (usually a laptop) or a device (smartphone, tablet) makes part of the interview scene, with specialized software assisting with the interview. It can be used with the help of an interviewer in malls, theatres or other locations. With CAPI, an interviewer reads out the questions that he sees on his screen and then pushes in the answer - which is stored in computer memory.

Business-to-consumer (BtoC)

B to C or B2C survey (Business to Consumer) is a survey that aims to target general population consumers (different from B to B survey), most likely to use and purchase everyday products or services. B to C survey focuses on the product. B to C refers to a market, in which the company sells directly the product to a physical person. This type of survey is mainly targeting consumers through online surveys.

Also See: Business-to-Business (BtoB)

Business-to-Business (BtoB)

B to B or B2B (Business to Business) refers to a project targeting business entities, professional with a high level of management or expertise, existing customers, lost customers, new customers, companies as a main target profile. Competitive analysis is extremely important to build B2B strategies for the success of your company and see where you are at in comparison with your competitors.

Also see: Business-to-consumer (BtoC)

Business objectives

Business objectives gather the different goals of doing the market research project: brand awareness, consumer attitude, price sensitivity... To define clear business objectives upfront will help to design the study and choose the best methodology to answer those business questions. It is an important step before carrying out a market research project. 


A Research brief is a document given by the client with the problematic of the research along with its objectives. It gathers all the elements to start the research project. It is a very straight forward process. A research brief is the starting point for selecting research tools, methodology and reports. A usual research brief is cut in several parts: marketing background/context of the study, an outline of the problem faced by the client, the description of the subject of study, the presentation of main objectives, the definition of the sample target, a timetable and most importantly an available budget to carry out this project.


Brand Price Trade Off is a quantitative technique used in market research to measure the price elasticity of mass consumer goods. BPTO is an experimental study, in which respondents make a series of choices from a set of products in the same category (from competition, for instance). During the research project, the prices of the products are changed dynamically, depending on the respondent's choice - trading off the price against their valuation of the presented brands. Analysis of this experimental project allows for anticipating several scenarios and level of interested at different price levels. BTPO helps in decision making regarding pricing strategies.

See also: Price tests, Tests


A booster sample is an extra set of interviews focusing on a particular segment of the population (age group, gender, user of a certain brand, ect). Booster is an over-representation of a certain type of respondents, which is most of the time the case with simple random sampling - and very low in terms of numbers to be used as a base for reliable statistical analysis.

Also see: Research Sample, Representative Sample (random), Simple sample selection.


Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that stores data. It is supposed to be impossible to hack it. That makes it quite interesting and trendy. Recent popular cryptocurrencies have been created with blockchain technology and market research also started to use this promising technology (to protect personal data, to incentivize people with cryptocurrency...).

See also AI

Synonyms - Distributed ledger
Big Data

Big data refers to statistic exploitation of a large amount of data to realize forecast or predictive market analysis. It is a massive amount of data for companies to deal with. It's an opportunity for companies to become more agile. Today, we are talking about cloud computing and terabytes of data.


Bias in the research industry is a form of error that affects the results of a research study. The most frequent is the interviewer bias and the way of asking questions that can lead and influence respondents to specific answers. Other well known bias are sampling bias and/or access panel recruitment bias.

Benchmarking is a marking technique or a quality control. Benchmarking evaluates or verifies something by comparison with a standard or the competition. This will allow to identify key gaps in the market and potentials of growth. Again, benchmarking is a powerful tool for decision making and analyze what works best.


Automated Dashboard

It is an automated tool that displays and analyses Key Performance Indicators. It is mainly used during presentations after research has been carried out or to monitor and track data insights at the moment. These outputs will help a company in looking at what is currently going on and what measures can be taken. A dashboard can also show in real-time the company's figure for a better decision making process.

Also see: Charting

Audit Marketing

A critical survey of a part or the whole marketing strategy of a company leading to an internal diagnostic. Directors and CEOs can use this essential audit report to review the statements of the company and take important decisions. Managers can look for areas where improvement is needed to raise the revenue of the company.


Automated Program Interface (API) is an interface used to receive API calls and connect different databases in a second and including different panels to integrate different sources of respondents for a better reach. This API technology makes sampling and inviations of respondents much faster. Thanks to the API, we can reach a large database of respondents in a few seconds.


The animatic is used at the very beginning of the process of realizing a TV ad, for instance. Animatics are used in the early stages of advertising copy tests. It cuts down the costs of the full process, it is possible to test consumer reactions to the idea behind the communication, identifying generated associations, measuring persuasion, or main weaknesses to eliminate. Then, it is possible to improve the add.

See also: Story board


When the machine meets the human. All technologies, techniques used and put together to build machines who are able to be intelligent, similar to humans, and how humans think. In today's life, AI is used in many aspects: technology, blockchain, computer systems, tools...

See also Blockchain

Ad testing

Test advertisements to optimize performances and look for room for improvement if needed. Ads are also tested to collect feedback on potential consumers so that the scenario of the ad can be improved or modified to make it more efficient. Ad testing is usually run on a representative sample of your market.

Ad Hoc surveys

Ad hoc, opposite to tracking study is a one-off project, made for a single client to answer a specific question or a problem. Most qualitative research is done 'ad hoc'. It is made for completing a task or resolving a problem. As this project is run in a short period of time, a few teams from different departments can collaborate together.

See also Quantitative Research

Access Panel

An access panel is a group of respondents, recruited by a market research company, and who is willing to take part in surveys against some incentive for their efforts. These surveys can be done online / on mobile, face to face, over the phone or at a facility. Incentives can be cash, reward, vouchers, gifts...

A/B Testing

Testing of several variants of an item to see what the consumers like the most. It is used to test packaging, TV ads and collect feedback and reactions. It helps in having a look at different versions of a product and analyze consumer's reactions.


A guaranty that every result/questions/data/answers are collected using the same tools and research methods within a project. This can apply for a multi-lingual project where the same questionnaire is used through different languages. Standardization concerns not only the research tools, but also the behavior of the researcher / interviewer.


Respondents who try to answer the survey as fast as possible to get the incentive. Those kinds of respondents will also be stopped as some quality detectors will spot them. Speeding is one of many quality checks put in place.

Also see: Straightlining

Self completion questionnaire

The respondent answers himself the questions without assistance. Those questions are arranged in a certain order, worded in line with research methodology and presented to the interviewee in paper form or on a PC / mobile screen. By definition, nowadays all surveys conducted in a digital way ( mobile / online) are self-administrated, hence a strong need to build engaging mobile friendy surveys and good screeners.

Also see: Demographics


A participant in a market research project. It represents the source of information and data will be collected according to the answers he provides. The respondents are the core of the project. Without respondents, there won't be any project at all.

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