There are three different marketing contact methods most commonly used by companies to gather very important information. They are the mail questionnaire, telephone interview, and personal interview. Each of these forms of communication has their very own benefits, however, some people have their own preferences, and I will share that at the end of this essay. The first method of contact is the mail questionnaire; the chief advantages to this version of research allows the respondent the flexibility of answering the form on their own time. For example, I have two small children: a two and five year old.
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I do not have the time to sit on the phone or in person to answer questions in regards to a particular company, product, or place. Another benefit to this form of questionnaire is that it allows a person to answer the questions honestly without the pressures of an interviewer, either on the other line or sitting across from you. Plus, when you submit your questionnaire, you will not have to worry about your responses being tweaked by the organization because your answers are in writing. Next, the first advantage for companies using this method of contact is the fact that these organizations can send out mass mailers to target markets to gather data which could be extremely beneficial to that company. Another advantage for companies is that mail questionnaires are relatively inexpensive to use (Kolter & Keller, 2008).
The second contact method that marketing researchers use is the telephone interview. The chief advantage of this form of communication allows organizations the ability of the trust of the person on the other line, it would behoove the interviewer to call the respondent by their name and listen to their answers. Doing so will enable the interviewer the opportunity to scroll down the list of his/her questions and skip over questions that have already been previously answered. The goal is to not be redundant and upset the person on the other line.
Next, another chief advantage to this form of contact is that if you asked a question to a respondent and they did not understand the question you will have the ability to rephrase it and even give examples to get the point across. Personally, I have asked a phone interviewer to contact me at a certain time; I did this for two reasons: first, as I mentioned earlier, I have children and I want to make sure they are in bed, so I can devote my full attention to the questions. Second, I did this to see if they would respect my wishes of contacting me when I asked. Finally, telephone interviews tend to have much higher and successful rates of response (Kolter & Armstrong, 2005).
Finally, the third form of researching is the personal interview. The personal interview allows the interviewer the ability to meet the respondents face to face and ask questions, present products and services, and talk about the benefits of what they are trying to communicate in hypothetical situations. These types of interviews can take place anywhere, such as home, work, shopping malls, sporting events, etc. For example, in Las Vegas, there are interviewers literally at every street corner attempting to stop you to ask questions and give a quick presentation.
The catch is that if you buy or answer their questions you could get free tickets to a show. Therefore, personal interviewers are trained to observe body language and the reactions of the respondents; once they gather this info they can steer the interview in a direction they see fit and go for the close (Kolter & Armstrong, 2005). Personally, my preferred choice of being contacted is via mail. Like I mentioned earlier, I do not have time to chat on the phone or meet face to face with anyone. Therefore, I like the ability to answer questions on my time and put it down on paper. I prefer this because then my answers will not be skewed to fit the company objective, it is in my own words and I do not have to worry about being misquoted.
Kolter, P., & K. Keller (2008). Marketing management (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Kolter, P., & G. Armstrong (2005) Principles of marketing (11th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.