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Chap 5 - Qualitative Research

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Essay title: Chap 5 - Qualitative Research

Chapter 5: Qualitative Research


Qualitative Research- terms used loosely to refer to research whose findings are not

subject to quantification or quantitative analysis.

-Quantitative research could be used to examine: attitudes, feelings, and motivations of

the heavy user

Quantitative Research- used to find statistically significant difference between

Heavy and light users.

Intuitive understanding- when people can only understand people and they do so through


-Most significant to managers is the fact that qualitative research typically is characterized by small samples—(a trait that has been the focal point for criticism of all qualitative techniques)

-Many managers are reluctant to base important strategy decisions on small-sample research because it relies so greatly on the subjectivity and interpretation of the researcher.

-Managers feel comfortable with marketing research based on large samples and high level of statistical significance because the data are generated in rigorous and scientific manner.

Advantages of Qualitative Research

1) Cheaper than quantitative research

2) No better way to understand the in-depth motivations and feelings of consumers

-Popular form of qualitative research, product managers unobtrusively observe

from behind a 1-way mirror, they obtain firsthand experiences with flesh-and-blood consumers

-Marketing personnel observe customer’s reactions to concepts and hear consumers discuss their own and their competitors’ products at length, in their own language.

3) Can improve efficiency of quantitative research.

-More common for marketing researchers to combine qualitative & quantitative

research into a single study or series of studies.

-Final analysis, all marketing research is undertakes to increase the effectiveness

of decision making.

-Qualitative research blends w/ quantitative measures to provide a more thorough

understanding of consumer demand.

-Qualitative techniques involve open-ended questioning and probing.

-Resulting data is rich, human, subtle and often revealing.

Disadvantages of Qualitative Research

1) Marketing successes and failures many times are based on small differences in attitudes or opinion about a marketing mix, and qualitative research does not distinguish those small differences as well as large-scale quantitative research does.

2) Not necessarily representative of the population of interest to the researcher

-Small sample size and free-flowing discussion can lead qualitative research projects down many paths.

-Takes a highly skilled researcher to get the discussion back on track without stifling the group’s interest, enthusiasm and willingness to speak out.


Focus Group- Group of 8-12 participants who are led by a moderator in an in-depth discussion on 1

particular topic or concept.

-Goal of focus group research is to learn and understand what people have to say and why.

-Emphasis is on getting people to talk at length and in detail about the subject at hand

-Intent is to find out how they feel about a product, concept/ idea/ organ.; how it fits into their lives; and their emotional involvement with it.

Group Dynamics: Interaction among people in a group

-essential to the success of focus group research

-One idea behind foucs groups is that a response from person x will stimulate a response from person y, therefore, generating an interplay of responses that will yield more info. Than if the same #

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