Perceptual Mapping Definition, Sample & Overview

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Definition: Perceptual Mapping

Perceptual Map is a diagrammatic or graphical mapping technique where perceptions of customers or potential customers are recorded on a plane with varying criteria. Also known as P-Map, typically the parameters that can be displayed on a perceptual map are brands, products, product lines, companies, competitors etc. The positions of various variables are relative on the perceptual map. Perceptual Mapping is the marketing technique of plotting P-Maps and using them for positioning analysis.

Perceptual map mainly positions various companies with competitors on a 2D map visualizing their actual market position in terms of major marketing factors. Examples of axis factors can be quality of product or service, time of response, cost/price etc.

How is Perceptual Map recorded and prepared?

Users and customers are interviewed on various aspects of the parameters that are to be mapped on to the perceptual map. The qualitative feedback received from the end customers are mapped on to a scale and these are then placed on the perceptual map using a relative positing scale. A typical P-map has 2 factors but in actual market, there can be multiple factors on which customers rate the companies or brands. These multiple factors can be analysed using statistical software and using multifactor analysis. After the analysis these multiple factors can be combined to make 2 factors which can be used for P-Map.

Sample Perceptual map

The map above shows an example of Perceptual Map. Suppose a perceptual map is to be created on the studying the perception of various car brands on fuel efficiency and cost. Users are interviewed on various questions for cars A, B, C, D, E and F. 

Hence, this concludes the definition of Perceptual Mapping along with its overview.

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