Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Perceptual Mapping in market research

Multidimensional scaling (MDS) is a set of related statistical techniques often used in information visualization for exploring similarities or dissimilarities in data. The term perceptual mapping refers to a collection of techniques which can be used to generate graphical representations of perceived product relationships. Although they generally also contain relevant product attributes, lending interpretability to the map, it is not necessarily a requirement. It is an invaluable tool to reduce a large data set with numerous attributes into an easily interpreted 2-dimensional plot. One hazard is some loss of data inherent in this type of analysis. A 2-dimensional plot may not fully, or accurately, depict the relationships among products or between products and attributes.
After spending a substantial amount of time introspecting, the Facebook window which has reserved a permanent place on my Taskbar, opened up the usage of perceptual mapping in social media. As social media emerges as the new medium of marketing, it also provides the largest repository of consumer responses. Take an example of Walmart. The Facebook page of Walmart has a response base of 8,777,644 people of whom 37,827 are monthly active users. A simple post by the retail giant leads to thousands of responses every day. How they might use perceptual mapping would become clear if we concentrate on the posts they put up, “Sandra Webster's commitment to fighting hunger in America makes her an Everyday Hero in our minds. Who is the person who makes a difference in your community?” The questions may be based on several attributes and the responses would become a set of numerous variants. Using certain simple algorithms, the string series can be grouped into clusters of similar responses. This information can be used to compare the preferences of different groups of people. The result can be used in assortment planning, store layout , advertisement strategies etc.
Drifting a little from social media, the movie which is being known as a marketing success, ‘Zindagi Milegi Na Dobara’ is the best example of a perfect output of perceptual mapping. The movie targets the urban youth with elan. Analysis of responses to different variables can lead to a perceptual map of behavioral patterns of youth, their habits, aspirations , goals etc. Movies with the correct combination of such attributes can prove to be a strategic success .
This tool can also be used for positioning of brands in a market. Once the appropriate segment of the market has been identified, the challenge is to position the product so that it meets the needs and wants of the target customers.
The market perceptual map will provide the range of “positions” that a product can take in a market based on two dimensions that are important to customers.
The fundamental purpose of Permap is to uncover hidden structure that might be residing
in a complex data set. Compared to other data mining and data analysis techniques MDS is
growing increasingly popular because its mathematical basis is easier to understand and its
results are easier to interpret.

Name : Sayantani Chatterjee
Roll : 13103
Marketing Group 6

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