Currys PC World

Mackman Research worked with award-winning video company iSite TV to conduct face to face street poll surveys and a focus group on behalf of high street electronics retailer Currys PC World.

The Research Project

  • The research was commissioned by iSite to evaluate commercials they had created on behalf of high street electronics retailer, Currys PC World, and investigate what drives customers' decision making when purchasing electronic devices.
  • Mackman Research recruited focus group candidates and designed the focus group format and face to face surveys in collaboration with iSite. These were aimed at a target of 50 participants for the surveys and 10 participants for the focus group. They included a range of ages and genders.
  • Participants were recruited by personal invitation, social media, and the Mackman Research website.

Research Outcomes

  • A total of 46 respondents completed a face to face street poll survey, and 10 respondents took part in the focus group.
  • The overall findings gave a clear direction of consumer preferences for iSite TV to consider when producing television adverts for Currys PC World. This enabled Currys PC World to adjust their format and incorporate consumer feedback into their advertising regarding both audio and visual elements of television commercials.

The Client

iSite are nationally renowned rich media company based in Colchester, offering a full suite of services including video, photography, CG & syndication. Their services incorporate every aspect of the creative process, from pre-production to filming, talent management, animation, VFX and styling. The iSite portfolio is replete with leading brands such as Sony, Whirlpool, and Cambridge Audio. Their head office in Stanway, Colchester, enables iSite to work with London-based clients as well as those in East Anglia.

Brand Facts

  • iSite are a rich media company based in Colchester, offering a full suite of services including video, photography, CG & syndication.
  • iSite have worked with well-known household names such as Wickes, Samsung and Playmobil.
  • The company's strapline is 'Bringing your products to life', encapsulating the technical and creative talents of their employees from a multitude of skill sets.

Research Aims

Currys PC World and iSite TV wanted to ensure that their television advertising appealed to consumers located within a specific region within the UK. In particular iSite TV wished to partner with a research agency in order to gather valuable consumer data. Representing Currys PC World, iSite TV were keen to benefit from our expertise and wanted a methodology that would be both quick and robust.

The overall aim of the project was to test a number of advertising formats to establish which style was preferred by consumers. The formats varied with differing images and audio and each proposition needed to be tested. The questions identified by iSite that needed answering in particular were:

  • Do consumers respond more favourably to a celebrity or non-celebrity voiceover?
  • Is the movement of products in an advert a perceptible difference in consumers' views?
  • What influences consumers to buy a product after viewing an advert?

In addition, iSite wanted to gauge whether diverse age groups responded in different ways to adverts. The findings from this research would then form an important part of informing and developing iSite's approach to advertising in the electronic marketplace.

The Research Challenge

This project had really tight timescales. From research and methodology design through to the delivery of results, the whole research process took just two weeks. This was a particular challenge as recruitment for focus groups usually takes time. Luckily we had a great response to our in-house recruitment, and we were able to screen and confirm our group members within just a few days.

The Research Design & Methodology

Our mixed methodology gathered data using two distinct approaches: face-to-face street polls, and a focus group. This dual method would provide real time responses to audio and visual material. This quantitative method would then be further supported by a qualitative focus group that would allow for discussion and for answers to be more considered rather than reactive.

Our street polls were conducted in a number of locations across our region. Members of the public interviewed by a researcher for the face to face surveys included 46 participants, covering three age groups:

  • 13 respondents in the 'Student' group aged between 18 to 25 years old
  • 13 respondents in the 'Early Adopters' group aged between 26 to 54 years old
  • 20 respondents in the 'Mature' group aged over 55 years old

The questionnaire was designed to understand:

  • Recent purchases of electronic devices and what influenced respondents to buy from certain retailers
  • What engaged respondents the most about the advertisement clips they were shown
  • Whether the advertisements would influence their purchase behaviour
  • What respondents considered to be effective advertising
  • The respondents' view of the electronics retailer in general and their interaction with the brand

Participants were recruited through social media, the Mackman website and 'street' invitations. Respondents were able to schedule their own ten-minute appointments at a time that suited them via our online portal. Alternatively they could contact a Mackman researcher to schedule one for them. The surveys lasted between ten to fifteen minutes depending on how much information the respondent had to comment.

We then recruited 10 participants for the focus group, all of whom were household decision-makers with a mix of genders and the following attitudes/life stages:

  • Students (18-25yrs)
  • Early Adopters
  • Mature 'Hold-My-Hand'

The questions during the focus group began by contextualising the participants' usual interaction with electronics brands and their recent purchase history in that area.

Research Findings

The focus group and face to face surveys took place on February 4th. There was a positive response to the call for participants, which led to 46 respondents for the face to face surveys and the maximum capacity of 10 for the focus group.

The focus group in particular saw a lot of interest, with places in the two-hour session in Colchester filling up very quickly. The key findings (as represented within a comprehensive report) gave insight into how iSite can improve their television advertising on behalf of the electronics retailer and incorporate elements into their advertising that consumers specifically found engaging. Of particular importance was the presence of 'drill-down' data provided by the focus group. This mixed method gave Currys PC World further insight into the motivations and emotional preferences of each consumer age group.

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