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Exploratory Research and Qualitative Analysis

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Presentation on theme: "Exploratory Research and Qualitative Analysis"— Presentation transcript:

1 Exploratory Research and Qualitative Analysis
1. To understand the differences between qualitative research and quantitative research 2. To explain the purposes of exploratory research 3. To identify the four general categories of exploratory research 4. To explain the advantages and disadvantages of experience surveys, case study methods, focus group interviews, projective techniques, depth interviews, and other exploratory research techniques 5. To understand how technology is changing the nature of exploratory research 6. To understand when exploratory techniques are appropriate and to understand their limitations

2 Exploratory Research:
Initial research conducted to clarify and define the nature of a problem

3 Why Conduct Exploratory Research?
Researchers conduct exploratory research for three interrelated purposes: 1. Diagnosing a situation 2. Screening alternatives 3. Discovering new ideas

4 Why Conduct Exploratory Research? (cont’d)
Diagnosing a situation Exploratory research helps diagnose the dimensions of problems so that successive research projects will be on target; it helps set priorities for research Screening alternatives When several opportunities, such as new product ideas, arise at once, but budgets don’t allow trying all possible options, exploratory research may be used to determine the best alternatives Concept testing: Any exploratory research procedure that tests some sort of stimulus as a proxy for an idea about a new, revised, or repositioned product, service, or strategy

5 Why Conduct Exploratory Research? (cont’d)
Discovering new ideas Marketers often conduct exploratory research to generate ideas for new products, advertising copy, and so on Uncovering consumer needs is a great potential source of product ideas One goal of exploratory research is to first determine what problems consumers have with a product category

6 Categories of Exploratory Research
A manager may choose from four general categories of exploratory research methods: 1. Experience surveys 2. Secondary data analysis 3. Case studies 4. Pilot studies

7 Experience Surveys Experience Survey
An exploratory research technique in which individuals who are knowledgeable about a particular research problem are questioned

8 Secondary Data Analysis
Data collected for a purpose other than the project at hand Economical Quick source for background information

9 Case Studies Case Study Method
The exploratory research technique that intensively investigates one or a few situations similar to the problem situation

10 Pilot Studies Pilot Study
A collective term for any small-scale exploratory research project that uses sampling but does not apply rigorous standards Major categories of pilot studies include: 1. Focus group interviews 2. Projective techniques 3. Depth interviews

11 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Focus Group Interview An unstructured, free-flowing interview with a small group of people Group composition The ideal size of the focus group is six to ten relatively similar people Environmental conditions The group session may take place at the research agency, the advertising agency, a hotel, or one of the subjects’ homes

12 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Focus Group Interview (cont’d) The moderator The person who leads a focus group discussion Planning focus group online Discussion guide: A document prepared by the focus group moderator that contains remarks about the nature of the group and outlines the topics or questions to be addressed Focus groups as diagnostic tools Managers who are puzzled about the meaning of survey research results may use focus groups to better understand what consumer surveys indicate; the focus group supplies diagnostic help after quantitative research has been conducted

13 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Focus Group Interview (cont’d) Videoconferencing Streaming media Multimedia content, such as audio or video, that can be accessed on the Internet without being downloaded first Interactive media Online focus groups A focus group whose members use Internet technology to carry on their discussion

14 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Focus Group Interview (cont’d) Shortcomings Focus groups require sensitive and effective moderators; without a good moderator, self-appointed participants may dominate a session, giving somewhat misleading results Some unique sampling problems arise with focus groups

15 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Projective Techniques Projective technique An indirect means of questioning that enables a respondent to project beliefs and feelings onto a third party, an inanimate object, or a task situation Word association test A projective technique in which the subject is presented with a list of words, one at a time, and asked to respond with the first word that comes to mind Sentence completion method A projective technique in which respondents are required to complete a number of partial sentences with the first word or phrase that comes to mind

16 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Projective Techniques (cont’d) Third-person technique A projective technique in which the respondent is asked why a third person does what he or she does or what he or she thinks about a product. The respondent is expected to transfer his or her attitudes to the third person Role-playing technique A projective technique that requires the subject to act out someone else’s behaviour in a particular setting Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) A projective technique that presents a series of pictures to research subjects and asks them to provide a description of or a story about the pictures

17 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Projective Techniques (cont’d) Cartoon tests Picture frustration: A version of the TAT that uses a cartoon drawing for which the respondent suggests dialogue the characters might engage in

18 Pilot Studies (cont’d)
Depth Interviews A relatively unstructured, extensive interview in which the interviewer asks many questions and probes for in-depth answers

19 Some Issues in Using Exploratory Research
Exploratory research cannot take the place of conclusive, quantitative research Firms often use what should be exploratory studies as final, conclusive research projects, which can lead to incorrect decisions Exploratory research techniques provide qualitative information and interpretation of the findings typically is judgmental

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