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Qualitative research


Primary - or field - research can itself be divided into quantitative and qualitative research. The first category refers to finding out the number of consumers who might buy a product and in what quantities. This is clearly important information but what is often even more revealing is why consumers will or will not buy a particular product. Qualitative research is concerned with discovering the motivational factors behind consumer buying habits. For example, quantitative research might establish the size of the potential market for a new luxury ice-cream. But will consumers buy it for its taste and the quality of its ingredients or because it will be promoted as a 'life-style' branded product that will reflect well on the consumers' image of themselves? Only qualitative research can establish the answer to the last question - and it is important because it will help the business in its pricing and promotional decisions for the new product.

Qualitative research

The main technique of qualitative primary research is interviews with individual consumers or groups of them. These in-depth discussions - often undertaken by psychologists! - will attempt to identify the key factors influencing consumer choice. Different pricing levels and alternative advertisements might be discussed with the consumers and their reactions will be noted and analysed. These 'focus' groups of consumers are frequently used to assess a new car model. In one such test, all distinguishing name signs on a new car were removed and consumers were asked for their reaction to the design, shape and performanceof the car. Initial results were very positive - until the consumers were told that it was a Škoda model, a manufacturer with a previously poor reputation. The company knew that consumers would therefore be prepared to purchase the product if they could successfully change the image of the company and its brand name.


Advantages Disadvantages
Often obtainable very cheaply - apart, from the purchase Market Intelligence Reports Identifies the nature of the market, and assists with the planning of primary research     Obtainable .quickly without the need to devise complicated data gathering methods   Allows comparison of data from different-sources May not be updated frequently and may therefore be out date   As it was originally collected, for another purpose, it may not be entirely suitable or presented in the most effective way for the business using it   Data collection methods, and accuracy of these may be unknown     Might not be available for completely, new. product developments


Date: 2015-02-16; view: 1523

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TEACHING READING | Quantitative research techniques
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