20 Market Research Terms You Need to Know | CX Company Upstate NY

So many terms. If you work in market research long enough you'll come across hundreds of terms and industry acronyms. We won't cover all of them in this blog post today, but we'll cover 20 of the major or more common ones. As a customer experience (CX) company in Upstate, NY we use these terms on a daily basis with our clients.

20 Market Research Terms You Need to Know | CX Company Upstate NY

We'll help you decipher the market research code on several terms.

1. VoC

VoC stands for Voice of Customer (VoC). VoC is a type of market research that focuses on customer needs, wants, and drivers to loyalty. VoC is one of the most powerful and insightful approaches in our industry. It creates a well-aligned strategy to ensure your business strategy matches customer desires.

2. CX

CX is the abbreviation for Customer Experience (CX). CX is often misconstrued by other market research firms. The differentiator between CX and regular market research is CX inherits 2 key characteristics: (1) it's continuous, not ad hoc, meaning it's ongoing and (2) it surveys several points of the customer journey, not just 1 point such as a sale, customer support call, etc. CX encompasses surveys for all touchpoints of a customer journey.

3. CI

CI is the acronym for competitive intelligence (CI). CI is used to better understand competitors in your vertical. CI may include monitoring of competitor websites, a full competitive assessment, or mystery shopping. CI like BI (business intelligence) is a common term used in manufacturing.

4. LOI

LOI is short for Length of Interview (LOI). LOI notes exactly how long a survey or phone interview will take. A common LOI for online surveys is 3 to 5 minutes, whereas phone surveys typically take 5 to 10 minutes. LOI can reduce or increase the cost of your market research project and it is a key metric to understand.

5. IR

IR means incidence rate (IR) in market research. IR is defined as the percentage of the general population that qualifies for your market research study. Most surveys have screener questions. For example, you may want to survey males aged 25 to 49. The IR for this study may be 20% to 30% meaning 20% to 30% of the population fits that gender and age target.


This acronym stands for In-Home Usage Test (IHUT). IHUTs are excellent ways for retail companies to get their products tested in the homes of consumers. Participants can be recruited, sent a product, and then asked to rate it using an online survey. Another option is to send a moderator or interview in-home to ask questions live as the participant uses the product.

7. IDI

IDI is short for In-Depth Interview (IDI). IDIs or executive interviews are different from a normal phone survey in that they last much longer and dive deeper into the mindset of the interviewee. Participants are often rewarded for their time with an honorarium. These can be done by phone or in-person.

8. FGD

This term means Focus Group Discussion (FGD). An FGD is a group discussion made up of 4 to 12 participants in a conference room with a moderator present. The moderator guides the group and asks questions for the client. Many times the groups are recorded or the client watches the groups through a 1-way mirror.

9. CPI

When you hear the term CPI, it stands for Cost Per Interview (CPI). Market research companies charge clients based on the difficulty of the recruit. The CPI will tell you if you can budget for 10 interviews, 25 interviews, or 50 interviews.

10. GP

The term GP is short for General Population (GP). GP is a term used in market research to define all potential survey participants or a 100% IR. When you conduct a GP survey, you do not screen out or disqualify respondents for any reason.

11. I&A

This term means Image & Awareness (I&A). An I&A survey is used to understand brand awareness, perceptions, and associations in the market. This survey obtains feedback from customers and non-customers through a random sample in a client's geography of focus.

12. B2C

B2C means business-to-consumer (B2C). This type of market research is among consumers. Some examples include a retail store surveying a population within 10 miles of its location or a bank or credit union surveying non-business checking account customers.

13. B2B

Whereas B2C is consumer research, B2B stands for business-to-business (B2B) market research. If you are a business that sells to other businesses (and not consumers) you would be considered B2B. This may include a VoC study a manufacturer sends to distributors or an advertising agency doing a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey with organizations that have used them recently.

14. CATI

This 4-letter acronym stands for Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI). Market research firms use CATI in call centers to make phone surveys more efficient. The phone interview is administered by the interviewer with the assistance of a computer with a programmed survey.

15. CPH

CPH is a market research acronym that stands for Completes Per Hour (CPH). CPH is a key metric that call centers use to understand productivity of a phone survey project. It helps estimate the total number of hours needed to complete a project.

16. DMA

DMA is short for Designated Market Area (DMA). DMAs are used often in market research because they define a target market area for a study. DMAs are often driven by television markets which is typically a combination of counties. The benefit of using the DMA for market research is it will be representative of a population that can be targeted through future advertising by a marketing firm.

17. HOH

This one is a simple one, and possibly one you've heard of. HOH stands for Head of Household (HOH). This term is used in market research to identify the decision-maker in a home. When it comes to market research, surveys should be addressed to someone with sole or shared decision-making responsibility.

18. PAPI

No, not David Ortiz but rather Pen and Paper Interviewing (PAPI) or Pencil and Paper Interviewing. A bit dated since the institution of tablets and phones to collect data during intercepts but still an acronym nonetheless.

19. UX

UX stands for User Experience (UX). UX is used to understand how people use websites. What does their path look like? What are the points of frustration? These and other objectives are uncovered through a UX market research study.

20. VoE

VoE is a newer term used in the industry which pairs with VoC. VoE stands for Voice of Employee (VoE) market research. Instead of customers being your focus, with these surveys, your employees are your focus. This is another term for employee surveys.

Contact Us

Drive Research is a customer experience (CX) market research company in Upstate, NY. We specialize in a number of market research services including online surveys our focus groups. Learn how this process works from kickoff through reporting and analysis by contacting us at 315-303-2040 or emailing our team at [email protected].

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