Experiments in Market Research

  • Torsten BornemannEmail author
  • Stefan Hattula
Living reference work entry


The question of how a certain activity (e.g., the intensity of communication activities during the launch of a new product) influences important outcomes (e.g., sales, preferences) is one of the key questions in applied (as well as academic) research in marketing. While such questions may be answered based on observed values of activities and the respective outcomes using survey and/or archival data, it is often not possible to claim that the particular activity has actually caused the observed changes in the outcomes. To demonstrate cause-effect relationships, experiments take a different route. Instead of observing activities, experimentation involves the systematic variation of an independent variable (factor) and the observation of the outcome only. The goal of this chapter is to discuss the parameters relevant to the proper execution of experimental studies. Among others, this involves decisions regarding the number of factors to be manipulated, the measurement of the outcome variable, the environment in which to conduct the experiment, and the recruitment of participants.


Experimental design Laboratory experiment Data collection Cause-effect relationship Manipulation Experimental units 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MarketingGoethe University FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany

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