Measuring How We Influence One Another
Other people in our social networks can shape our buying decisions in profound ways. Consider research with matched pairs to uncover a deeper layer beyond gap analysis.
Almost all marketing research focuses on the decision-maker. We want to survey or interview people who are consequential in deciding to buy. We measure their ideas, attitudes, preferences, behaviors, decision criteria, and so on. Usually that makes sense.
But it ignores deeper influences that shape who we are and what we do. There is a renewed focus among market researchers on System 1 thinking—the more automatic and intuitive ways in which people react and make decisions. Along with this trend, Versta Research has explored and measured undercurrents of social influence as well.
We designed research to explore what happens when couples make big purchase decisions, for instance. It meant recruiting and interviewing hundreds of married couples, then administering a survey to each spouse separately. Each spouse answered identical questions.
A multivariate dyadic analysis of paired data uncovered not just their unique perspectives, but the invisible and reciprocal influences of each on the other. One person may be the decision-maker, but beyond what they think and can report in a survey, their spouse’s attitudes have a measurable and consequential effect on the decisions they make.
The research helped our client understand that building a relationship with the decision-maker involved a delicate dance with the spouse who was less involved.
This type of research goes far beyond the “gap analysis” that Versta Research and other firms may offer when looking at men vs. women, parents vs. children, doctors vs. patients, and so on. When decisions are bound up in tight social relationships like couples, we can take your analysis and insights to a much deeper level.
Read more about our approach to complex research designs or contact us if you already have a project in mind.