Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Marketing metric: Attitudes

One fun way to measure attitudes is by using a Semantic Differential Scale (at least, I think it's fun). This scale is used by marketers to measure things like attitudes toward a brand. If you're interested in finding out what patrons' image of your library is, this could be the scale for you.

It works like this: Subjects make judgements about your library based on a series of 7-point scales (Note: Some scales have more or fewer points). On either end of the scales, there are polar-opposite adjectives, such as "Fast"/"Slow", "Modern"/"Old-Fashioned," and so on (example). Patrons indicate how strongly they relate to these concepts by marking the point on the scale that most closely matches their attitudes. You could also ask patrons to evaluate your library and a competitor of interest to see how attitudes vary.

You would score the scale by assigning scores (7,6,5,4... or +3...0...-3) then take the mean or median to compare results with a competitor, if you'd like. (There are other statistical tests you can perform also, but I would recommend getting a book on the topic for details).

I terrific and concise article, Considerations When Constructing a Semantic Differential Scale by Jayne Al-Hindawe delves into more detail, including how to pick appropriate adjectives, how many pairs of adjectives to present, etc.

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