Longitudinal Data in Marketing Research: Purposes & Uses

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Using Geography & Consumer Data for Marketing Research

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:03 The Long View
  • 1:00 Marketing Uses
  • 2:15 Longitudinal Study Challenges
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

When you take a one-time survey, that's point-in-time data (a snapshot). Longitudinal studies gather data over time and can offer a different perspective. In this lesson, we'll examine why researchers use longitudinal studies.

The Long View

When you take a picture of someone, you capture a moment in time. If you come back and take a picture of them a year later, there will likely be noticeable changes. The same thing can occur when asking someone's opinion on a product or service. Today it can be one thing, tomorrow it might be entirely different.

A longitudinal study collects data from the same subjects over a period of time. An initial baseline gathering of data is done to give the researchers a starting point for comparison. Then the same subjects are surveyed at least one more time. The time period spanned can be weeks, months or even years; this allows for some flexibility or a shift in focus if necessary. Data is compared across the different collection points to gauge changes over time and to study what caused the changes. The results can be very valuable in documenting changes in attitudes, perception, and behavior.

Marketing Uses

A tracking study, a mechanism used to measure the changing view of consumers over a period of time, is a type of longitudinal study used in marketing. Tracking studies can be used for:

  • Measuring brand awareness
  • Tracking customer satisfaction
  • Measuring consumer opinions on a new product
  • Analyzing the impact of an advertising campaign

Setting up a tracking study involves deciding exactly what consumer information you need and finding an appropriately sized group. The group would fill out a detailed questionnaire in the beginning and would be asked the same questions again at a later point.

To help ensure the best results, the time frame for usage responses should match the purchase cycle of the products. For example, for something like snack foods, you'd need to survey people right after purchase. For washing machines, you could wait a little longer because the size of the purchase makes the details more memorable.

If your goal was to measure the effectiveness of a marketing campaign and the views of the group changed in a positive direction, your campaign would be considered a success. If not, or if there was no significant effect, your marketing campaign might have been a dud. You can take what you've learned and make changes to enhance future efforts.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support