Qualitative Research

Qualitative research can help you…

  • Develop hypotheses for further testing and for qualitative questionnaire development
  • Understand the feelings, values, and perceptions that underlie and influence behavior
  • Identify customer needs
  • Capture the language and imagery customers use to describe and relate to a product, service, brand, etc.
  • Perceptions of marketing/communication messages
  • Information obtained in quantitative study and to better understand the context/meaning of the data
  • Generate ideas for improvements and/or extensions of a product, line, or brand
  • Uncover potential strategic directions for branding or communications programs
  • Understand how people perceive a marketing message or communication piece
  • Develop parameters (i.e., relevant questions, range of responses) for a quantitative study

Situations where qualitative research is often used:

  • New product idea generation and development
  • Investigating current or potential product/service/brand positioning and marketing strategy
  • Strengths and weaknesses of products/brands
  • Understanding dynamics of purchase decision dynamics
  • Studying reactions to advertising and public relations campaigns, other marketing communications, graphic identity/branding, package design, etc.
  • Exploring market segments, such as demographic and customer groups
  • Studying emotions and attitudes on societal and public affairs issues
  • Assessing the usability of websites or other interactive products or services
  • Understanding perceptions of a company, brand, category and product
  • Determining consumer language as a preliminary step to develop a quantitative survey

Do not expect qualitative research to…

  • Count, measure or offer statistical validation
  • Determine the best product concept or price point; or establish the importance of specific customer needs or satisfaction criteria
  • Be a substitute for quantitative research because of time and/or budgetary constraints when quantitative evaluation is critical
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2 thoughts on “Qualitative Research

  1. This is a very good article on Qualitative research.

    Qualitative research seeks out the ‘why’, not the ‘how’ of its topic through the analysis of unstructured information – things like interview transcripts, open ended survey responses, emails, notes, feedback forms, photos and videos. It doesn’t just rely on statistics or numbers, which are the domain of quantitative researchers.

    Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people’s attitudes, behaviours, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. It’s used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis, ethnography, evaluation and semiotics are among the many formal approaches that are used, but qualitative research also involves the analysis of any unstructured material, including customer feedback forms, reports or media clips.

  2. Hello, I need the name of the author for this article, I want to put in the reference segment for my research.

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