Prof. Dr. Reinhold Decker
Applying Consumer and Market Research Methods to Support the Introduction of New Services of Libraries and Other Central Institutions

The need of introducing new products and services into the market in shorter and shorter cycles forces most business companies to systematically conduct new product development and introduction. Marketing science has reacted to this trend by offering a broad palette of qualitative and quantitative methods. The choice of the tool(s) to be used depends on the particular phase of the innovation process, and the spectrum ranges from creativity techniques (e.g. morphology) in the phase of idea generation, through multivariate methods (e.g. conjoint analysis) for concretizing and evaluating present ideas, up to forecast models (e.g. test market simulators) for decision support in the introduction phase. In addition, perceptual mapping can provide insights of how new and existing products and services are perceived by the respective target groups.

The lecture examines available methods with respect to their applicability in the context of introducing new library and other central services. Special emphasis is put on the concretization and evaluation of new ideas by means of conjoint analysis. First applications of this method in librarianship have already provided promising results. The methodological considerations are illustrated with appropriate examples.

Bielefeld University Library - last update: 12/18/2003