Wondering what a simulated test market (STM) is? Our qualitative research company has the answers to common questions surrounding this methodology!
An STM is another form of qualitative market research. For many qualitative research projects, the goal is to explore an idea with specific types of people. More specifically, the goal of a simulated test market project is to better understand potential customers and the reasoning behind their decision making.
The results can power strategies to improve marketing, positioning, sales, and more.
In this post, we will answer the following questions:
What is an STM in market research?
How is an STM conducted?
What does an STM report look like?
A simulated test market (STM) is a form of qualitative market research to help organizations understand potential customers and the reasoning behind their decision making. Learn more about STM studies from our qualitative research company.
What is a Simulated Test Market (STM)?
A simulated test market, or STM for short, is a specific type of qualitative research that attempts to mimic a real-life purchase experience. It involves recruiting participants for one-on-one interviews with a market research professional. The interviews may take place at a specific store, location, or at a market research facility.
During the interview, researchers may observe or discuss purchasing habits. The goal of an STM project is to better understand customer decision making, levels of product awareness in the market, forecast sales, and gather data that may impact the market.
The results from a simulated test market help retail or online stores deliver key insight and data to help fuel future marketing strategies. This takes the guesswork out of understanding why those who are an ideal customer or part of your target demographic are choosing a competing brand.
Learn more about the process of surveying non-customers.
How is a Simulated Test Market (STM) conducted?
An STM study is similar to other types of qualitative research projects like in-depth interviews and focus groups. A qualitative research firm, like Drive Research, will provide a suggested approach to the study based on the sponsoring organization’s objectives, goals, specifications, and needs.
The approach for a simulated test market project typically includes:
Suggested number of participants
Ideal mix of participants
Length of the interview
Incentive which is given to participants who complete the interview
This may also include recruiting methods, ideal times/days for the interviews, and more.
Once the STM project is fully recruited, interviews are conducted by trained research interviewers.
Prior to the interview, the qualitative research company will develop an STM interview guide. An interview guide for a simulated test market study includes a list of questions and follow-up questions to be posed to each participant.
Recruiting for qualitative market research can be tricky. Here are 5 tips to recruit for your next qualitative market research project.
What Does a Simulated Test Market (STM) Report Look Like?
After all of the interviews are complete, the market research company will summarize findings from the STM project into a comprehensive yet easy to read research report.
An STM report typically includes the background and methodology of the study, key findings, recommendations, next steps, and supplementary materials (i.e., summarized interviews, interview profiles, interview schedules, a final copy of the interview document, etc.).
Our qualitative research company will customize your simulated test market report to include as much or as little of these deliverables needed.
Drive Research is a qualitative and quantitative research company located in New York. Our team has the knowledge and tools to recruit, conduct, and analyze a simulated test market study, should it be the right fit for your organization.
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