Interest and reaction time analysis of credit card offers: STUDY SPECIFICS

Interest and reaction time analysis of credit card offers: STUDY SPECIFICS

CO-BRANDED CREDIT CARD

The objective of the study was to identify a sports-oriented co-branded card for a British bank. The co-branding was done in conjunction with the bank’s Formula One marketing group. The study sought to identify the features of the card that would generate the most promising combination and would thus lead to the highest customer acquisition. It was vital to identify the features that generated high consumer interest, but would not be unduly expensive to offer.

A variety of methods was available to achieve the objective. One method, creation of a limited set of cards, initially appeared to be quite attractive because it used the bank’s previous experience with the category. Upon further reflection it appeared that there were so many alternative designs, benefits and methods of communication that the originally simple, restricted set of alternatives would then have to grow to several hundred options.

The alternative and ultimately accepted approach was to do a large-scale conjoint measurement test. Conjoint measurement refers to a class of research procedures whose aim is to identify the features that drive customer interest. Unlike methods that require the respondent to rate interest in individual components and then attempt to put these together, conjoint measurement works in reverse. Conjoint measurement creates an experimental design or systematic variation of these features, which then define the architecture or design of a set credit card offer, not unlike those that would be sent to the customer. The customer responds to these offers, rating them on a scale of interest (eg 1 = definitely not interested in the offer to 9 = definitely interested in the offer). Conjoint measurement methods do not require the customer to explain the rating, but merely to rate the combinations, using whatever decision rule the customer would like. Those who use conjoint analysis a great deal often say that it better approximates the complex stimulus that the consumer would obtain in the mail from a direct marketing campaign.

The particular version of conjoint measurement used here allows the researcher to investigate a large number of concept elements. For this particular study the research investigated 229 different elements. Most conjoint studies work with a limited number of elements, and thus reduce the scope of the study to what can be accommodated in the research. The IdeaMapĀ® method presented here confronts the problem in a different fashion. Since the product development and positioning issues are far more complex with many more alternatives, it is best to work with the many different alternatives rather than arbitrarily reduce the number to a tractable few. Often researchers give reasons why they work with a few concept elements rather than with many, but that is in hindsight. This large number of elements is necessary because no one really knows what will work, and therefore the more elements that are tested the higher the probability that the research will uncover persuasive elements.

The conjoint measurement approach has been presented previously in detail so the method need only be summarised here. The method follows the steps described below.

 

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