Marketing Research

Qualitative Research
• Tiffany’s is researching possible positioning
options for their new ad campaign
• Starbucks seeks to understand its brand
• Winthrop seeks to understand why students love
the university
• Face book seeks to understand how it can
improve user engagement even further
Common theme
• What is the common theme that runs through
these research questions:
• You have no clue about the “trait”
• Qualitative inquiry to find out the ‘trait’
Information Collection :
Qualitative and Observational Methods
• Qualitative methods
Individual In-depth Interviews
• Non-directive interviews
• Semi-structured or focused individual interviews
• Laddering:
Tiffany’s ad campaign
Tiffany’s ad campaign
Laddering – Another example
Laddering – another example
Focus Group Discussions
• Discussion of 8 to 12 subjects moderated by a
discussion leader
• Used in the exploratory phase of the market research
• Intended to provoke spontaneity
• Group interaction
• Chain reaction, devil’s advocate, false termination
Focus Groups
• Hershey’s has plans to introduce a soya milk
chocolate bar.
(Design and structure a focus group agenda for the
Effective focus groups
• Plan the agenda
• Recruitment
• Moderator
• Results
Problems with focus groups
Peer pressure
Desirability in the group / anxious to belong
Shy participants
Controlling participants
Undue influence
Sensitized participants- spontaneity is
Projective Techniques
• Used when respondent will not or cannot
respond meaningfully
• Comment upon rather unstructured or
ambiguous object, activity.
• Objective:
• Respondent projects own opinion on
something else: task, third person, object
Projective Techniques
• Word Association
– Immediate response word to the stimulus word
(stimulus word is mixed with neutral words)
– Conclusions based on
– Used to find out brand associations (refer to our inclass example)
Projective Techniques
• Completion tests
• Dialogue balloons
• Picture Interpretation techniques
Projective techniques
• Third person technique
• Role playing
– Respondents attitudes surface during the role-play
Limitations of Qualitative Methods
• Potential susceptibility of the results to get
misused or misinterpreted
• Small samples – limited generalizability
• Moderator or interviewer's role – can heavily
influence the outcomes
• Volume and complexity of analysis
Projective Technique – Sentence Completion
• “I love Mauritius because______”