When conducting marketing research there are important variables to be aware of during the experimental study to accurately measure your results. To determine whether or not there is causality between two events or objects we use independent, dependent, and extraneous variables. An independent variable is what a researcher manipulates to gather data. This variable is also known as the manipulated variable because it is controlled and changed accordingly. The dependent variable is what the researcher is measuring and what is conceived after the manipulations of the experiment. The dependent variable is not manipulated, but relatively is the insight gathered from the study. Finally, there are extraneous variables that may affect the dependent variable due to outside or environmental influences like the location, participant, or experimenter themselves.
These variables are implemented in unique ways with each type of experiment or experimental design. A pre-and-post test with control is considered the experimental design that offers the strongest results. In this design, the researcher is looking to measure if a manipulation will result in a change in the dependent variable. The pre-and-post test with control requires one variable to be manipulated for two sample groups to gather two measures of the dependent variable. Randomization is used to determine which group receives what form of manipulation. For example, if an experiment is trying to determine if an advertisement makes a difference in the impression of a product, randomization designates one group to be exposed to an advertisement and then the product, while the other group does not see the advertisement only the product. The independent variable in this situation would be exposed to the advertisement while the dependent variable would be the participant’s impression of the product. Experimental designs and testing allows for companies to test current, new, or conceptual ideas for their products or services. This could save a company millions of dollars by simply listening to consumer suggestions and ideas of a product to determine whether or not the company is in the direction they want to be in with their current design.