The translation of ad hoc, which is Latin, is “to this.”
It is used to describe a specific response created for a very particular purpose. For instance, ad hoc committees or commissions are created for very specialized tasks. As such, ad hoc may imply a certain degree of improvisation.
In marketing terms, ad hoc is known as one of the two main types of marketing research and the opposite of continuous research. As the name suggests, ad hoc marketing research addresses very specific issues. Data is collected within a certain period or for a certain point in time, depending on the purpose of the research. Researchers may try to determine details of how a certain product is used or ascertain corporate image.
Ad hoc research may also be used to feel for consumer reactions when developing an advertising campaign. Some customer satisfaction surveys can also fall under ad hoc research. These aim to determine what improvements can be made to the product or service provided.
On the other hand, studies are made with more continuity under continuous research. The same group of people is used for sampling. A larger number of people may be recruited, depending on the purpose of the research. Consumer panels, for instance, can be made of a large number of households, with the purpose of learning about consumers’ buying attitudes and habits. Similar panels may also be created in order to determine television viewership. Ad tracking, which aims to determine the effectiveness of an advertisement, can also fall under continuous research.