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Consumer Studies: Pumping the Lifeblood

By: Valerie Hart
Posted: August 5, 2008, from the August 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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A paper-based questionnaire is still the format most often used for gathering responses, but electronic media offers an option that is becoming increasingly widely used. Internet forms, e-mail and text messaging are options that might be considered. For this aspect of testing, too, there is an element of trust involved—notably that participants record their observations within the prescribed time scale after using the product and, of course, that they record their conclusions accurately.

Analysis of Data/The Final Word

Data analysis is a large topic that justifies an article in its own right. Suffice to say, there are many different types of analysis that could be conducted, and care should be taken to ensure that the most appropriate one is selected, in the light of the context of both the overall test protocol and the specific objectives of the work.

In–home studies of cosmetic and personal care products provide wide ranging data that can be used to better understand consumer preferences—guiding changes in formulation of new or existing products, possibly, and to direct the marketing strategy of the product in the marketplace. However, the quality of the data depends on the quality of the study.

Valerie Hart SCS Dip., is the manager of RSSL’s clinical sciences department, managing a wide range of safety and efficacy research studies for clients in the pharmaceutical, OTC and cosmetics and toiletries industries. She has considerable experience of conducting phase I and phase II clinical trials.