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Chapter 8 Qualitative and Observational Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 8 Qualitative and Observational Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 8 Qualitative and Observational Research

2 Need for Qualitative Research To understand consumers’ minds To account for difference in attitudes in international context To know more about things that cannot be easily measured It is a less structured method and more intense than questionnaire-based interviews

3 Types of Qualitative Research Individual interviews a) Non-directive interviews: Respondents given freedom to respond within the bounds of the topics of interest to the interviewer. b) Semi-structured interviews: The interviewer attempts to cover a specific list of topics or sub-areas. The timing, exact wording and the time allotted to each question is left to the interviewers discretion.

4 Advantages and Disadvantages of Qualitative Research Techniques Advantages of Interviews - Flexibility to probe respondent - Telephone interviews are cost effective Disadvantages of Interviews - Results depend on skills of interviewer - Recording all responses may not be possible

5 Types of Qualitative Research (contd.) Focus groups: A focus group discussion is the process of obtaining possible ideas or solutions to a marketing problems from a group of respondents by discussing it. Focus groups are of various kinds:

6 Types of Qualitative Research (contd.) a) Exploratory focus groups: Used to generate hypotheses for testing or concepts for future research b) Experiencing focus groups: Allows the researcher to experience the emotional framework in which the product is being used c) Clinical focus groups: Used to gain insights into the true motivations and feelings in the consumer’s mind that are subconscious in nature

7 Types of Qualitative Research (contd.) Although each country is unique in its cultural characteristics, there are some common differences that should be addressed: Time frame: It takes different lengths of time to complete projects in different countries Structure: Most focus groups panels consist of 4 to 6 people as against 8 to 10 in the US and interviews can last up to 4 hours. Recruiting and rescreening: The processes of screening and recruiting must be monitored very carefully. Approach: Foreign moderators are not as structured and as authoritative as U.S. moderators.

8 Focus Groups are used to... F Generate and test ideas for new products, product concepts, and product positioning F Generate hypotheses that can be studied in later research F Collect information that can be used for designing questionnaires F Check if marketing strategies are transferable across countries

9 Focus Group Moderator: Critical Skills F Establish a quick rapport so that the group gets to the topic of interest in as short time as possible F Demonstrate genuine interest in the views of the group members F Avoid use of technical jargon and sophisticated terminology that will turn off the participants F Be flexible in implementing the interview agenda so that the group does not lose its spontaneity. F Introduce and maintain a smooth flow in the discussion. F Exert control over the group so that no one individual or subgroup dominates the discussion

10 Advantages and Disadvantages of Focus Groups Advantages - People are more candid in a group - Very useful if there are 5 to 9 participants Disadvantages of Focus Groups - Some members of the panel may be very aggressive - Social status of respondents important in some cultures

11 Types of Qualitative Research (contd) Projective techniques: The presentation of an ambiguous, unstructured object, activity or person that a respondent is asked to interpret and explain.There are different categories of projective techniques. Word association techniques: Asks respondents to give the first word or phrase that comes to mind after the researcher presents a word or phrase. Example: “What comes to your mind when you think of …..”

12 Types of Qualitative Research (contd) Completion tests: Involves giving respondents an incomplete and ambiguous sentence, which is to be completed with a phrase. Picture Interpretation technique: Respondents are shown an ambiguous picture and are asked to describe it.

13 Types of Qualitative Research (contd) -Third Person techniques: Involves asking respondents how friends, neighbors or the average man would think or react to a situation. -Role playing:Respondents assume the role or behavior of another person and in the process may project their own attitudes into the role that they are playing. Protocol: In this method respondents are asked to think aloud while a decision is being made or a problem is being solved. Hence it serves as a record of the respondent’s thought process. These methods are designed to specifically prevent the researcher from imposing his/her views on the respondents.

14 Advantages and Disadvantages of Projective Techniques Advantages - Does not impose a cultural referent on respondent Disadvantages - Interpretation very subjective - Difficult to establish rules for coding and analyzing

15 Advantages and Disadvantages of Protocols Advantages - Provide insight into the effectiveness of ad campaigns - Insight into different uses for a single product - Help researchers understand customer terminology Disadvantages - Very unstructured - Onus of interpretation on researcher - May get only partial information

16 Types of Observational Methods Direct observation: An observer disguises as a shopper and watches shoppers approach a product category. Contrived observation: Involves studying the behavior of people placed in a contrived observation situation. Content Analysis: It is used to analyze written material into meaningful units using carefully applied rules. Physical trace measures: Involves recording the natural “residue” of behavior Humanistic inquiry: Involves immersing the researcher in the system that is being studied rather than the traditional method where the researcher is a dispassionate observer. Behavior recording devices: Have been developed to overcome deficiencies to human observers.

17 Advantages of Observational Methods In face-to-face interviews, the interviewer has the flexibility to probe the respondent and direct the interview in a manner that helps the study. Advantages in technology have made telephone interviews both economical and informative Focus group sessions are very useful if the number of participants is restricted and all are allowed to freely express opinions. Protocols are useful in providing information regarding effectiveness of advertising and promotional campaigns. They let the researcher know exactly what the customers think of a marketing strategy.

18 Disadvantages of Observational Methods - People react differently if they know they are being observed - Cannot measure motives, attitudes or intentions - Very subjective - Language differences make interpretation difficult

19 Frequency and Ease of Use Cultural Influences: Researchers should make sure that they understand the product usage, other acceptable substitutes to the product, and cultural differences before they launch the data collection process. Biases in qualitative and observational research - Research design and approach - Communication - Interpretation of results


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