At its core, consumer insights research is fun. Fast paced, creative, and exciting, working in this field means constant interaction and engagement with people, concepts, and ideas. The work is dynamic and intellectually challenging, celebrating innovative approaches that lead to unique explanations of and solutions for important problems. Whether you are working on a media product or a strategic communication campaign, successfully reaching your audience and meeting your objectives requires good research.
The Consumer Insights Handbook flips the typical model presented in mass communication research textbooks to emphasize that data should be used to understand people as thoughtful, deliberative audiences. As such, research should be done with the goal of better understanding target audiences in a meaningful way. With this orientation in mind, these insight-driven research projects allow media practitioners and strategic communication professionals to tap into audiences’ wants, needs, and desires through messaging and products designed to resonate.
Guided by the author’s own experience in the field as well as guidance from current practitioners on the client, boutique, and agency sides, this book offers an accessible, thorough, and compelling perspective on how to plan for and complete consumer insights research projects from the initial RFP to the final presentation of findings. Each chapter includes a guide for how to conduct in-class research, quotes and recommendations from experts in the field, and case studies and real-world examples.
Danielle Sarver Coombs is professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State University. She is the co-author of Female Fans of the NFL and author of Last Man Standing: Media, Framing, and the 2012 Republican Primary. Coombs has also co-edited three anthologies—Debates for the Digital Age, We Are What We Sell, and American History through American Sports (2012)—and has published research on sport fans and fandom in journals, including the Howard Journal of Communications, Liminalities, the Journal of Sport & Social Issues, Sport in Society, International Journal of Sport Communication, and Public Relations Research.
Table of Contents
PART I: PREPARATION
Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview
Chapter 2: Working with Clients
Chapter 3: Secondary Research and Analysis
Chapter 4: Applied Research Ethics
PART II: QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
Chapter 5: Qualitative Research Design and Considerations
Chapter 6: Qualitative Data Collection
Chapter 7: Using Creative Exercises for Deeper Insights
Chapter 8: Qualitative Data Analysis and Reporting
PART III: QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH
Chapter 9: Quantitative Research Design and Best Practices
Chapter 10: Quantitative Data Collection
Chapter 11: Quantitative Data Analysis and Reporting
PART IV: REPORTING FINDINGS
Chapter 12: Writing Your Report
Chapter 13: Developing (and Designing) Your Deliverable
Chapter 14: The Client Presentation
Danielle Coombs has done a wonderful job writing about research techniques that students can actually use, both as student researchers and eventual professionals. Students will enjoy reading this book.
The Consumer Insights Handbook is a much needed textbook for our discipline. Before now, we have never had a book dedicated solely to teaching our aspiring advertising and public relations practitioners the importance of research from an industry standpoint. Danielle Coombs has provided an accessible text for our students that's comprehensive, yet easy to read. Every research methods and insights course in our field should be using this book.