Qualitative market research is best as an exploratory and developmental market research method.
Qualitative market research is a powerful market research tool. We've conducted focus groups, depth interviews, one-on-one interviews and related qualitative market research projects for consumer products, business to business-B2B- clients. We're a marketing research firm that knows qualitative research. We know when and where to use qualitative research for marketing decision-making. As with all marketing research, the design of qualitative research, if it is to have value, must be primarily driven by marketing strategy decision-making issues.
Qualitative research is a group of marketing research methods that play an important market research role in conducting customer value analysis, customer satisfaction research, market segmentation research, branding and naming research, brand equity research, and new product research.
Qualitative market research -- What?
Qualitative market research means "quality." Conversely, and importantly, it does not mean "quantity." Qualitative research methods are designed to talk to a relatively few people in the target audience of interest. The purpose of qualitative research is to plumb the depths and range of buyer attitudes and beliefs, not to measure incidence, project, or forecast quantity.
Qualitative market research -- Methods
We conduct qualitative market research using the following methods:
- focus group discussion studies
- depth interviews triads (one interviewer - two respondents, and dyads (one interviewer - one respondent)
- observational techniques combined with interviewing
- ethnography and photo-ethnography where customers or prospects record actual behaviors, reflect with diary entries, and participate in follow-up interviews.
- point-of-decision observation and interviews, such as store exit interviews.
Qualitative market research -- When?
We suggest that qualitative marketing studies are best suited when these situations exist:
- You're in new territory and little is known.
When considering products or new markets, qualitative research can deliver an early landscape profile of consumer or business buyer attitudes and behavior.
- Customer perceptions or attitudes may be hidden from easy view.When the product category may represent unspoken meaning to buyers, qualitative market research may provide needed tools.
- Generate ideas for products, advertising, or brand positioning.The nuances of buyer attitudes and beliefs can often provide stimulus for fresh new ideas, and feed a formal idea generation process.
- Screening ideas and concepts.Qualitative market research can be a useful first step, prior to quantitative research, to screen new advertising, product, or positioning concepts. This allows time for refining concepts prior to quantitative market research.