Marketing Research: Chapter 6– Qualitative Research Techniques

Quantitative research
research involving the administration of a set of structured questions with predetermined response options to a large number of respondents
Qualitative Research
collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing what people do and say
Pluralistic research
the combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods with the aim of gaining the advantages of both
Observation methods
techniques in which the researcher relies on his or her powers of observation to obtain information
Direct observation
observing behavior as it happens
Indirect observation
observing the effects or results of the behavior rather than the behavior itself
secondary sources that can be applied to the present problem
Scanner data
an archive of the purchasing behaviors of consumers
Physical traces
tangible evidence of some past event
Covert observation
the subject is unaware that he or she is being observed, “mystery shoppers”
Overt observation
require the subject’s knowledge; include lab settings, recordings of sales calls
Structured observation
the researcher identifies beforehand which behaviors are to be observed and recorded
Unstructured observation
no restriction on what the observer notes
In situ observation
the researcher observes the behavior exactly as it happens
Invented observation
the researcher creates the situation
Focus groups
small groups of people brought together and guided by a moderator through an unstructured, spontaneous discussion for the purpose of gaining information relevant to the research problem
Traditional focus groups
6-12 persons who interact in a dedicated room, with a one-way mirror for client viewing, for about two hours
Contemporary focus groups
online and the client can observe the online activity from any remote location
guide focus group participants; responsible for creating an atmosphere that is conducive to openness, yet they must make certain the participants do not stray too far from the central focus of the study
Focus group report
summarizes the information provided by the focus group participants relative to the research questionnaire
Online focus group
a form of contemporary focus group in which respondents communicate via an Internet forum, which clients can observe
In-depth interview
a set of probing questions posed one on one to a subject by a trained interviewer to gain an idea of what the subject thinks about something or why he or she behaves in a certain way
a technique used in in-depth interviews in an attempt to discover how product attributes are associated with desired consumer values
Protocol analysis
placing a person in a decision-making situation and asking him or her to verbalize everything he or she considers when making a decision
Projective techniques
situations in which participants are placed in simulated activities in hopes that they will divulge things about themselves that they might not reveal under direct questioning
Word-association test
reading words to a respondent who then answers with the first word that comes to his or her mind
Sentence-completion test
respondents are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete them in their own words
Picture test
“thematic apperception test”; a picture is provided to participants, who are instructed to describe their reactions by writing a short story about the picture
Balloon test
a line drawing with an empty “balloon” above the head of one of the actors is provided to subjects who are instructed to write in the balloon what the actor is saying or thinking
Role playing
participants are asked to pretend they are a “third person,” such as a friend or neighbor, and to describe how they would act fin a certain situation or to a specific statement
Ethnographic research
an approach borrowed from anthropology; defined as a detailed, descriptive study of a group and its behavior, characteristics, culture, and so on
Physiological measurement
studying an individual’s involuntary responses to marketing stimuli via the use of equipment that monitors eye dilation, respiration, voice pitch, brain waves, or some other body processes
a device that attaches to a person’s head and determines interest and attention by measuring the amount of dilation in the pupil of the eye
Eye tracking
a technique for measuring where the eyes are looking
a device that determines excitement levels by measuring the electrical activity in the respondent’s skin
viewing brain activity; may aid marketing researchers to better understand consumers’ unconscious activity when they are being tested
Four general ways of making observations
1. direct versus indirect
2. overt versus covert
3. structured versus unstructured
4. in situ versus invented
Appropriate conditions for the use of observation
1. short time interval
2. public behavior
3. faulty recall
Advantages of focus groups
1. they generate fresh ideas
2. they allow clients to observe their participants
3. they may be directed at understanding a wide variety of issues
4. they allow fairly easy access to special respondent groups
Disadvantages of focus groups
1. They do not constitute representative samples
2. success is greatly dependent on the ability of the moderator
3. it is sometimes difficult to interpret the results of focus groups
Four main objectives of focus groups
1. generate ideas
2. understand consumer vocabulary
3. reveal consumer needs, motives, perceptions, and attitudes about products or services
4. to understand findings form quantitative studies

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