Market Research Glossary

Expand your knowledge around market research terminology and become a true expert with the help of the Appinio Glossary.

Absolute Frequency

Indicates the number of mentions (observations) of a characteristic or characteristic expression

Acceptance Test/Testing

Test of a new product, concept or advertising medium with a focus on the criterion of acceptance by the target group

Ad Hoc Study

One-time collection of data for a specific research purpose

Agile Market Research

An approach that values numerous small experiments over a few large bets, rapid iterations over big-bang campaigns and responding to change over following a plan


An artifact is a research result that cannot be interpreted due to data collection errors

B2B Survey

Business-to-business survey; survey of corporate customers or suppliers of a company

B2C Survey

Business-to-customer survey; survey of private customers of a company

B2E Survey

Business-to-employee survey; survey of employees
Read more

Baseline Survey

Sample size after filtering: sample size with regard to a single item


Comparative value for performance assessment: Companies compare their own results with those of comparable companies/products/brands

Brand Awareness

Share or percentage of people within a target group who know a brand. A distinction is made between three types of brand awareness: Top-of-Mind Awareness (brand first mentioned by the consumer), Unaided Recall (unaided brand awareness) and Aided Recall (aided brand awareness)
Read more


Computer-Assisted Personal Interview = Survey in which the interviewer records the answers of the respondent directly via a corresponding computer programme.


Computer-Assisted Self Interview = Survey in which the respondent enters his/her answers himself/herself via a corresponding computer programme, possibly also online in the internet


Computer-assisted interviewing by telephone

Claim (tagline)

Communication of the inner claim of the brand/provider or the benefit of the brand/product.

Closed-Ended Question

Questions with a fixed answer format

Cluster Analysis

Multivariate analysis method in which individual persons or objects examined with a similar property structure are combined into groups


Grouping answers to open questions into categories


The virtual community of users of online offerings


A fully completed survey that has been screened for bias, insufficient responses and bots

Completion Rate

The rate at which surveys are completed as compared to the number of surveys started by respondents

Concept Test

Empirical testing of new marketing strategies, advertising media or products at a relatively early stage of development

Read more

Conjoint Analysis

Multivariate analysis methods to determine customer preferences

Read more

Consumer Insights

Valuable information on the preferences, opinions, habits and emotions of your most valuable customers

Read more

Control Group

Survey participants split into two groups–an experimental group and a control group that is neutral

Control Question

Used to check whether the respondent has answered another question truthfully

Cost Per Complete

The price you pay per completed survey

Customer Survey

The main purpose is to measure customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and their causes

Data Analysis

Systematic evaluation of surveys. Special statistical programmes such as SPSS, SAS or Statistika are usually used for data analysis of quantitative studies

Data Cleaning

Removing unqualified, biased or incomplete responses from a survey. This process improves data quality and protects against survey bias

Decision Tree

Algorithm from the field of machine learning which clusters participants with the same response behavior in a variable of interest in homogeneous groups based on binary decisions

Descriptive Statistics

Also descriptive statistics. By means of graphs, cross-tabulations and statistical measures (e.g. mean and dispersion), descriptive statistics present the relevant information contained in the sample data. Descriptive statistics should be distinguished from inferential statistics

Device ID

An individually assigned ID given to a Respondent’s device to differentiate them from other respondents. This ID, along with demographic information respondents give on their first survey, are collected and used for targeting and filtering purposes in the future

Diary Method

Method for analysing, for example, media use, shopping or consumer behaviour. The test person enters his or her behaviour relevant to the study (e.g. all media contacts) in a structured diary for a specified period of time

Dichotomous Question/Item

Question with only two possible answers (e.g. yes/no question)

DIY Market Research

Market research conducted using a self-service platform, as opposed to partnering with a market research agency or research consultant. Most DIY market research is conducted in-house to avoid the speed and cost limitations of working with outside entities


When a respondent begins a survey and doesn’t complete it. These are also called Starts. Drop-offs are not counted as completes and, therefore, clients won’t be charged for them

Dropout Rate

In online market research, the dropout rate provides information on how many participants called up an online questionnaire but did not complete it. Questionnaire design and appropriate incentives can help to reduce the dropout rate. The opposite is the completion rate


It can refer to a high degree of focus and interest in stimuli. In market research, engagement refers to how users interact with your survey. Does their time spent on each question indicate they are confused or don’t understand how to choose an answer? If so, your completion rate could be impacted.

Evaluation Objectivity

Extent to which the same behaviour/responses of a test person are always evaluated in the same way

Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is designed to determine the likely success of a project, product or service. There are many factors that go into a feasibility study, including existing competitors, production limitations, timing, estimated pricing and more. Brands or researchers may conduct feasibility studies to determine the market interest in a new product or service

Field Work/Field Period

The survey period within the framework of a study (interview, observation)


Fielding refers to the distribution of the survey questionnaire


Respondents are directed to a specific point in the questionnaire based on their answer to a filter question

Gabor Granger (Pricing Test)

A method to determine the optimal price of a product or service by using a price-demand function

Read more


A visual representation that shows "hot" and "cold" sections of a market based on business activity.


A reasoned assumption regarding a certain question, which is tested through empirical investigations

Image Analysis

The assessment of a company's or product's image by respondents based on indicators that reflect the image

Read more

Implementation Objectivity

The independence of test results from the person conducting the test and the spatial conditions

Implicit Data

Information that is not provided directly by respondents, but is gathered from available data

Implicit Research Methods

Research methods concerned with the study of attitudes and behaviors based on implicit (unconscious, intuitive) knowledge

Read more

Impulse Purchase

A primarily stimulus-driven, emotional purchase of a brand/product when rational control is undermined

In-Home-Test (IHUT)

Usability testing conducted at subjects' homes or workplaces rather than in a usability lab.

Read more

In-House Market Research

Market research conducted within a company


A measure of the frequency of occurrence of a characteristic in a population related to a point in time or time span

Inferential Statistics

Inductive statistics used to test which conclusions can be drawn from the sample to the population, or groups can be analyzed with regard to differences

Institute for Field Research

Market research institutes that specialize purely in conducting surveys

Institute for Market Research

Any type of data collection and analysis conducted by an independent institute

Read more

Internal Consistency

Measure of how the items in a scale are related to each other. Internal consistency is a roundabout way to measure the accuracy of an instrument when no retest or parallel test is available to determine reliability. 

Interpretation Objectivity

Extent to which the same test scores are interpreted in the same way

Interrater Reliability

Can only be determined if there are multiple observers/raters. Indicates the agreement between observations/raters with respect to the same test subject

Interval Scale

Characteristics whose differences and distances can be compared and interpreted. However, the characteristic values do not have an absolute zero point, which means that meaningful ratio statements are not possible. For example, temperature in degrees Celsius: The claim that 10°C is twice as warm as 5°C is not valid


An item refers to a single statement or question within a questionnaire. A battery of items is a set of statements or questions about the same subject with the same answer format, e.g. a series of questions that measure a customer's attitude towards a particular product


Classification of features according to their impact on customer satisfaction

Read more

Key Visual

Visual brand element in the sense of a key image. In a broader sense, key visuals also include brand names, imagery and product (packaging)

Level of Significance

The higher the level of significance, the lower the probability that a measured result is based only on randomness. Increasing the level of significance, e.g. from 95% to 99%, lowers this probability of error (cf. error of the 1st kind), but at the same time increases the probability of committing an error of the 2nd kind

Likert-Type Scale

Specific form of rating scale for measuring attitudes in which the numerical anchoring of the respective scale levels is supported by a verbal anchoring

Read more

Longitudinal Research

Researchers performing a longitudinal study will run the same survey many times over short or long periods, in an effort to observe how the opinions, behaviors or habits of the same population change over time

Longitudinal Study

Survey of the same questions across multiple measurement time points. The aim of the longitudinal study is to observe developments (trends). Extrapolation of the longitudinal section into the future results in a forecast.

Margin of Error

Margin of error, also called the confidence interval, is a statistical measurement of difference between survey results and the population value, expressed as a percentage.

Read more

Market Research

Market research is an essential marketing tool and involves the targeted, systematic procurement and analysis of information and data, carried out according to scientific criteria, as the basis for procurement and sales policy decisions.

Read more


Trade–off Analysis based on a list of items / features / messages to calculate importance scores

Read more


The mean represents the central value of a characteristic distribution. Depending on the scale level, these are mode, median, or arithmetic or trimmed mean


The median (central value) denotes the middle of a characteristic distribution. Half of all values lie above, the other half below the median. The median is suitable for ordinal scales and metric scales, especially when outliers are present.

Multi-Country Study

These studies involve launching the quantitative research project in two or more countries. It allows for analyzing data across markets, uncovering patterns, attitudes, similarities, differences and new opportunities.

Multiple Participation

Repeated participation of individual respondents in the same survey, leading to biased results.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Key figure that correlates with a company's success, calculated by the difference between promoters and detractors of the company in question.

Read more

Nominal Scale

Equal-ranking answers, no gradation possible between different characteristics.

Read more

Non-Probability Sampling

Sampling method that excludes some of the population in the sample, making it difficult to determine characteristics of the population.


Quality criterion of a study, independent of framework conditions and distorting third-party factors.

Offline Recruiting

Recruiting method using classic offline methods such as face-to-face, telephone, or postal.

Omnibus Survey

Standardized survey in which several different clients share the basic costs.

Read more

Online Access Panel (OAP)

Address pool of potential participants in online surveys.

Online Market Research

Cost-effective method of market research with high accessibility, but with potential for self-selection bias.

Read more

Online Panel

Online panels collect responses either via a fully opt-in structure, including a signup page, or start with some form of digital outreach to potential respondents who have agreed to take surveys in advance. Panelists are then recruited to participate in specific surveys, for example via email invitation to the page of the panel provider. Appinio avoids the pitfalls of traditional online panels by asking users to take surveys while they are using apps or games in real-time, increasing data quality and reducing biased responses.

Read more

Online Survey

Survey conducted via the Internet using programmed online questionnaires that can be processed by local browsers. The respondent goes to the website where the questionnaire is stored and can fill in the questions online. Advantages and disadvantages of online surveys: The main advantages of online surveys are, in particular, the possibility of convenient, program-controlled filter guidance, the possibility of randomizing the order of questions or answer categories, and automated error correction. Specific target groups that are difficult to recruit offline can often be reached better online than by telephone.

Read more

Open-Ended Question

Questions that do not have a set response format. Respondents' answers are recorded as full text and later combined into categories and quantified if necessary (coding). Open-ended questions prevent answers from being "put in the mouth" of the respondent and loosen up the interview. Most standardized surveys also include some open-ended questions.

Opinion Research/Polling

Also demoscopy. Neighboring discipline to market research. Opinion research examines the attitudes and moods of the population with regard to economic, political, cultural and other issues. There are overlaps with market research if the opinions collected are relevant to corporate decisions. A special form of opinion research is election research.

Order Effect

Order effects can occur when several answer options are listed and when test material (e.g., products, advertisements) is presented and can lead to a distortion of the results. As a rule, the first (cf. primacy effect) and last (cf. recency effect) answers or templates stick best in the memory. Therefore, with a large amount of stimuli, a memory aid should always be present. One means of reducing sequence effects in standardized surveys is randomization.

Ordinal Scale

Also rank scale: Sortable characteristics i.e. different answers can be put in a meaningful order without there having to be equal distances between these answers (e.g. school grades, school-leaving qualifications).

Read more


An outlier is an extreme measurement that can lead to misinterpretation in data analysis (e.g., the mean).

Panel Effect

The sum of all behavioral changes resulting from increased or repeated participation in surveys.

Panel Maintenance

Quality assurance instrument for panel surveys.

Panel Mortality

The dropping out of panel participants due to refusal, disinterest, death, relocation, or other reasons.


A collection of potential respondents who have agreed to take a survey in advance of the survey’s fielding process.

Read more

Parallel Test Reliability

The same persons are presented with two tests/questionnaires that are very similar to each other.


Piping allows researchers to personalize surveys by ‘piping’ an answer from a previous question into a later question.

Point of Sale (POS)

Point of sale describes the place where a product or service is sold or purchased.


The population is the total group of respondents who you attempted to survey.

POS Research

POS research (point of sale research) is concerned with researching specific customer behavior at the POS by combining quantitative and qualitative methods.

Post Test

Measurement of the effect of an advertising medium, marketing or advertising strategy during or after actual use for the purpose of monitoring success.

Pre Test

Empirical testing of advertising media, marketing strategies, products, etc. before they are used or introduced.

Read more

Primary Data

Primary data refers to the data collected by researchers directly from respondents using surveys, interviews or direct observation.

Primary Research

Primary research refers to the methodology of using only data collected directly from respondents.

Probability Sampling

Probability sampling refers to a randomized method of respondent selection.


Probability is the chance of a particular event occurring.

Product Test

Product tests are part of the proven repertoire of methods such as the conjoint analysis used in market research. 


Psychographics seek to explain why people do what they do. They are often culled from qualitative studies and aim to understand attitudes, habits, and challenges.

Read more

Public Opinion Research

Public opinion refers to the opinions of a majority of people in a certain population. Polling the public opinion requires taking as broad of a study as possible and asking direct, quantifiable questions about specific issues.

Qualification Rate

The qualification rate is the estimated percentage of people you expect to qualify for your survey based on your targeting criteria, screening questions and other filters.

Qualitative Research

Qualitative survey questions aim to gather data that is not easily quantified such as attitudes, habits, and challenges. They are often used in an interview-style setting to observe behavioral cues that may help direct the questions.

Read more

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is about collecting information that can be expressed numerically. Quantitative research is usually conducted through surveys or web analytics, often including large volumes of people to ensure trends are statistically representative.

Read more


A questionnaire is the list of questions you plan to ask your respondents. There are many different types of survey questions one can ask, depending on the survey goals.

Read more


Quotas are limits you can set for the number of responses your survey collects from a particular group. They can be set across the entire survey or on a given question or segment.


Randomized presentation of items or answer specifications, for example within online or telephone surveys. In particular, it is intended to counteract approval or rejection tendencies in item batteries and response bias due to sequence effects in selection lists.

Ratio Scale

Values correspond to interval scaled values, but here there is an absolute zero point (e.g. length, price, age). The scale level of the measured values must be taken into account in the selection of statistical tests and in calculations of characteristic values.

Recurrent Survey

Is a repeat survey on the same topic at short intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually). A wave survey is an overall survey consisting of several time-limited sub-surveys. Each of these time-limited sub-surveys is called a (survey) wave. There are two forms of sample design:in the form of a recontact. In a re-contact, the exact same sample is interviewed again and the participants are invited again for a second interview.


Classic quality criterion of a study (in addition to objectivity and validity). Measure of the formal accuracy or reliability of a measurement. For example, a measurement with high reliability produces the same result when repeated (under otherwise identical conditions)


Is always given if each element of the population (i.e. all potential respondents) has a clearly defined and non-zero probability of being included in the sample ("random selection"). Only representative samples provide a true reflection of the population and allow the result to be generalized to the population.


Term originating in research for persons who undergo scientific tests. The term is sometimes also used for respondents or participants in market research surveys.

Response Rate

Proportion of respondents within the addressed group as opposed to the proportion of non-respondents

Retest Reliability

Reliability when a measurement is repeated

Sample Size

Number of completes your survey receives

Read more

Scale Level

Different scale levels in a survey


Fixed response format of a standardized survey

Screening Survey

Short questionnaire to understand the number of participants available in a certain target group

Secondary Research

Summary or synthesis of existing research towards a new research goal


Separating larger audiences into smaller segments based on similar tastes, interests, perceptions and other secondary factors

Semantic Differential

Form of rating scale in which two opposite adjectives are placed at the two ends of a scale

Read more

Share of Wallet

Survey method used in performance management to understand the amount of business a company gets from specific customers

Shopper Insights

Holistic research into the experience, perception and decision-making behavior of customers (shoppers) in the real purchase situation at the POS (point-of-sale).

Read more


Statistical significance of a study result. A result is significant if, with a certain probability, it is not based on randomness.

Social Desirability

Respondents are more likely to express opinions and attitudes that they assume are in line with the social norms and values of society - and thus also those of the interviewer.


The part of a questionnaire in which the respondent's sociodemographic data are collected, e.g., age, gender, income, household size.

Split-Half Reliability

A form of parallel test reliability in which a test/questionnaire is split in half and the two halves are then correlated.


A questionnaire delivered either in person or online that a researcher administers in service of a research study.

Read more


Examines whether response differences are significant or due to randomness based on the measured means of two groups (e.g., women and men); cf. statistical error.

Tachistoscope Test

An instrument used to present pictorial templates of objects (e.g., products, advertisements, logos, packaging) in arbitrarily short time segments and for arbitrarily short time intervals.

Target Group

Group of consumers that a company or supplier considers as potential buyers for its brand/product (determined via market segmentation).

Read more


Refers to the criteria you select to screen potential survey respondents. Once targeting is selected, a population is created and your survey is delivered.

Test Market

A relatively self-contained submarket in which a new product is tested in real life.

Test Studio

Premises set up for special tests or surveys, usually in central locations in a city or region. Test studios usually also handle the recruitment of respondents.

Tracking Study (Tracker)

Uses the same questionnaire, delivered over time, to track brand awareness, monitor customer satisfaction, study consumer interest in new products or services, analyze the effectiveness of advertising creative and more.

Read more


Determines which product portfolio, marketing mix or product variants appeal to the highest number of customers.

Read more

Usability Test

Tests the appeal, aesthetics and usability of online offerings or corresponding prototypes. The objective is to design a product that is optimized for different user groups and that supports all users as effectively as possible in their actions.


Classic quality criterion of a survey (in addition to objectivity and reliability). Validity indicates how accurately a survey measures what it is supposed to measure. Important forms of validity are internal and external validity.

Van Westendorp (Pricing test)

Conducted to determine consumer price preferences. What is the maximum amount of money a consumer would pay for a particular product? And how much higher can the price be to still buy the product?

Read more


Measure used in statistical data analysis to structurally align the net sample with the population under study.

Become a market research rockstar

Everything at one glance in the Appinio ABC for Market Research.


Like what you're seeing? Try it for yourself

  • See our platform in action

  • Experience real-time results

  • Explore reports & templates

Get started for free
You can call this via showToast(message, { variant: 'normal' | 'error' }) function