Stimulus response is a measuring technique that traces all the way back to experiments done in the late 1800’s by Ivan Pavlov. Stimulus response is all about testing and measuring the response. The classic example is the stand-up comedian. A comedian doesn’t come on stage and say, “I’m very funny.” A comedian knows how funny they are by how the crowd reacts to their jokes. When a comedian tells a new joke they measure how the crowd responds. The next time the comedian tells that joke they might switch how they deliver the joke. They might change how long they pause before the punchline, etc. All of these variations of the joke are stimuli. Each time the comedian tells the joke they are measuring the crowd reaction in hopes that they might find the way to deliver the joke that yields the largest amount of laughter.
This same type of testing is very common in marketing research. Instead of measuring a joke, businesses are measuring how consumers respond to different marketing stimuli. This type of testing is very useful in communications. The idea here is, “What can we say that will maximize the chance of our desired response?” For example, “What can we say that will maximize the interest in purchasing our product?”
Stimulus response tool
IdeaMap® is an excellent stimulus response tool. In general, IdeaMap® is a useful tool when you are seeking to optimize a product or service – whether it is the feature set of the product/service itself, or the messaging of that product/service – including positioning, features/benefits, price point, etc.
In an IdeaMap® study, respondents are presented a series of concepts and are simply asked to respond to each concept. In the background, the impact of each individual element is being statistically derived.
The Value of IdeaMap®
Once an IdeaMap® is completed, marketers have the assurance that they are starting with the most motivating concept. In addition, by quantitatively optimizing ideas and messaging with their intended target audience(s), marketers know that their campaign will be effective. Creative briefs can become much more focused, more consumer/customer-centric and more persuasive and motivating. (One of our agency clients describes the results of an IdeaMap® study as a “creative briefs on steroids.”)
Examples of projects where IdeaMap® offered insights:
- How should a leading technology manufacturer position their portfolio of services and support to drive hardware purchases?
- What is the optimal feature set and price point combination for an electric pencil sharpener company to offer at 3 price levels – good, better and best?
- How should a quality award agency describe their award and how should it be renamed to make it a more coveted award?
For more information, visit our IdeaMap® page or contact us with any specific questions.
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