Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

Dictionary of terms used in Advertising Principles

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Term Definition
Non-alienable choices

A set of products that differ in various dimensions, such as TV sets with different features. I sometimes refer to these as difficult choices.

Nondirective interviewing

An interviewing technique in which an interviewer asks broad questions to lead the interviewee into a discussion of issues that the interviewee considers important. The interviewer probes for additional details but does not introduce ideas or evaluate what the interviewee says. The following guidelines can aid in conducting such interviews:

Start the interview by explaining what you would like to find out. The initial part of the interview is often the most difficult. If the opening statement (e.g., “Tell me about your objectives”) does not draw a response, try something a little more specific (e.g., What is the target market for product X?). Assure the interviewee that all responses will be anonymous. During the interview:

  1. Don’t evaluate what the interviewee says. If he feels he is being judged, he will be careful about what he says.

  2. Let the interviewee know that you are interested in what he says. To find out more about a particular subject that the interviewee mentions, ask for elaboration— e.g., “that’s interesting, tell me more.” Or, you may use a reflection of the interviewee’s comments—“you seem concerned by …,” often picking up the last few words used by the interviewee. These requests help to provide more information and let the interviewee know that you are interested in what he is saying. Take notes. This shows that you are interested; it will also help you to listen—and to remember.

  3. Don’t interrupt. Let the interviewee carry the conversation once he gets going. He’ll talk about what he thinks is important.

  4. Don’t bring in your own ideas during this interview. You can do that at the next meeting.

  5. Don’t worry about pauses in the conversation. The interviewee might get a bit uncomfortable during pauses. Don’t pressure the interviewee—and don’t be in a hurry to talk if it is likely that the interviewee is thinking.


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