3. Qualitative Research Exploratory Research • When a researcher has a limited amount of experience with or knowledge about research issue, exploratory research is a useful preliminary step. • It is an initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem. Purpose of exploratory research 1. Diagnosing a situation: help set priorities for research, help orient management by gathering info. on an unfamiliar topic 2. Screening alternatives: use to determine the best alternatives such as the concept testing 3. Discovering new ideas: new products or advertising copy Categories of exploratory research • • • • Experience surveys Secondary data analysis Case studies Pilot studies Categories of exploratory research Experience surveys • An exploratory research technique in which individuals who are knowledgeable about a particular research problem are questioned. – Example: A firm that is ready to launch a new product may discuss the general nature of the product with some of its key retailers and wholesalers or even with the member of the company’s sales force. Categories of exploratory research Secondary data analysis • Searching through secondary data materials to get the quick source of background info. such as the literature or reviews of similar research reports. Categories of exploratory research Case studies • The exploratory research technique that intensively investigates one or a few situations similar to the problem situation. – Example: a bank in Thailand may intensively investigate the marketing activities of an innovative bank in Hong Kong. Categories of exploratory research Pilot studies • A collective term for any small scale exploratory research project that uses sampling but does not apply rigorous standards. – Example: the chairperson of a major car rental company occasionally gets in line with airport customers waiting for cars or work behind the counter to get customer reactions. QUALITATIVE RESEARCH Nature of Qualitative Research • Qualitative research: research whose findings are not subject to quantification or quantitative analysis. • Quantitative research: research that uses mathematical analysis Qualitative Research vs. Quantitative Research Qualitative Research Quantitative Research Types of questions Probing Limited probing Sample size Small Large Amount of info. from each respondent Substantial Varies Requirements for administration Interviewer with special skills Interviewer with fewer special skills Type of analysis Subjective, interpretive Statistical, summation Hardware Tape recorders, projection devices, VDO recorders, pictures, discussion guides Questionnaires, computers, printouts Degree of replicability Low High Researcher training Psychology, sociology, social psychology, consumer behavior, marketing, marketing research Statistics, decision models, decision support systems, computer programming, marketing, marketing research Type of research Exploratory Descriptive or causal Growing Role of Focus Groups • Focus group interview: an unstructured, freeflowing interview with a small group of people. Focus Group Interview • It is the flexible format of interviewing that encourages discussion of a brand, advertisement, or new-product concept. • The group meets at central location at a designated time, it consists of a moderator/interviewer and 610 participants. • The moderator introduces the topic and encourages group members to discuss the subject among themselves. Focus Group Interview • Focus group allow people to discuss their true feelings, anxieties, and frustrations, as well as the depth of their convictions, in their own words. • Advantages of focus group interview: numerous topics can be discussed and many insights can be gained, particularly with regard to the variations in consumer behavior in different situations. Conducting focus groups Step 1: Prepare for the group: select a focus group facility and recruit the participants Step 4: Prepare the focus group report Step 2: Select a moderator and create a discussion guide Step 3: Conduct the group Conducting focus groups • Focus group facility: research facility consisting of a conference room or living room setting and a separate observation room with a one-way mirror or live audiovisual feed. Conducting focus groups • Participants: they are recruited from a variety of sources. Researchers normally establish criteria for the group participants. – Example: if Quaker Oats is researching a new cereal, it might request as participants mothers who have children between 7 and 12 years old and who have served cold cereal, perhaps of a specific brand, in the past 3 weeks. Conducting focus groups • Moderator: person hired by the client to lead the focus group; this person should have a background in psychology or sociology or at least, marketing. • Moderator needs 2 sets of skills: 1. Must be able to conduct a group properly 2. Must have good business skills in order to effectively interact with the client Conducting focus groups • Discussion guide: written outline of topics to be covered during a focus group discussion. • The guide is usually generated by the moderator based on the research objectives and client information needs. Online Focus Group • Focus group conducted via the Internet. Other Qualitative Methodologies Depth interviews • One-on-one interviews that probe and elicit detailed answers to questions, often using nondirective techniques to uncover hidden motivations. Other Qualitative Methodologies Projective tests/ techniques • Technique for tapping respondents’ deepest feeling by having them project those feelings into an unstructured situation. Other Qualitative Methodologies Projective tests/ techniques: – Word association test: projective test in which the interviewer says a word and the respondent must mention the first thing that comes to mind. – Sentence and story completion tests: projective test in which the respondents complete sentences/stories in their own words. – Cartoon test: projective test in which the respondent fills in the dialogue of 1-2 characters in a cartoon.