QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE CONSUMER RESEARCH METHODS
Consumer research is often needed to ensure that the companies produce what customers want and not what the companies think. Consumer research is the part of market research where the preferences, perceptions, habits, motivations, and buying behavior of the targeted customer are identified. It may identify through direct observation, mail surveys, telephone or face-to-face interviews, and from published sources. Consumer research is the activities performed to gathering the information about consumers’ needs and preferences, especially in relation to a particular product or service. It is based on consumer habits and uses, attitudes, retention, and new product acceptance which help the marketer to understand the consumer and to improve marketing strategies.
General consumer research survey measures the frequency of product use, situation use, experiential use, and use satisfaction. New product market acceptance analysis measures include product specification, elimination of unacceptable features and levels, evaluation of feature level acceptability, and feature importance and validation with full profile choice sets. General measures of a consumer retention survey include trust, loyalty, and retention measures.
Consumer research analysis helps marketing research professionals determine the wants and needs of their consumers. Once these desires are known, companies can develop marketing strategies to meet the consumer’s wants and needs. Companies that meet the needs of their consumers can usually expect greater sales and profits.
Consumer research is an important part of any company. Large corporations know how valuable information is gained and how that can be utilized so it allocates large budgets to consumer research. Even a small corporation location business could benefit tremendously by asking feedback of its customers. Consumer research helps companies improve their products and generate new ideas based on consumer demand.
QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE CONSUMER RESEARCH METHODS- EXPLAINED
Research professionals usually conduct consumer research analysis on both the qualitative and quantitative level.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
Qualitative research methods are used when we don’t know what to expect, to define the problem or develop an approach to the problem. It’s also used to go deeper into issues of interest and explore nuances related to the problem at hand. Common data collection methods used in qualitative research is focus groups, triads, dyads, in-depth interviews, uninterrupted observation, bulletin boards, and ethnographic participation/observation. Qualitative consumer research analysis helps provide basic information on new products, but the data cannot be used to predict future buying behavior.
- Consists of depth interviews, focus groups, metaphor analysis, and projective techniques.
- Administered by highly trained interviewer-analysts.
- Findings tend to be subjective.
- Findings not usually general.
- Small sample sizes.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS
In contrast, Quantitative level consumer research analysis consist methods, such as surveys (online, phone, paper), audits, points of purchase (purchase transactions), and click- streams, involve much larger sample sizes and consequently are more reliable in predicting buying behavior among the general population. Quantitative research is conclusive in its purpose as it tries to quantify the problem and understand how prevalent it is by looking for projectable results to a larger population.
- Descriptive in nature.
- Enables marketers to “predict” consumer behavior.
- Research methods include experiments, survey techniques, and observation.
- Findings are descriptive, empirical and general.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE CONSUMER RESEARCH METHODS
|Primary purpose is to describe ongoing process
|Primary purpose is to determine cause and effect relationship
|More in-depth information on a few cases
|Less in-depth but more breadth of information across a large number of cases
|Methods include focus groups, in- depth interviews, and reviews of documents for types of themes
|Surveys, structured interviews & observations, and reviews of records or documents for numeric information
|Primarily inductive process used to formulate theory or hypotheses
|Primarily deductive process used to test pre-specified concepts, constructs, and hypotheses that make up a theory
|More subjective: describes a problem or condition from the point of view of those experiencing it
|More objective: provides observed effects (interpreted by researchers) of a program on a problem or condition
|Unstructured or semi-structured response options
|Fixed response options
|Type of test
|No statistical tests
|Statistical tests are used for analysis
|Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on skill and rigor of the researcher
|Can be valid and reliable: largely depends on the measurement device or instrument used
|Time expenditure lighter on the planning end and heavier during the analysis phase
|Time expenditure heavier on the planning phase and lighter on the analysis phase
|Literature review may be done as study progresses or afterwards
|Literature review must be done early
|Multiple realities: focus is complex and broad
|One reality: focus is concise and narrow
|Types of Interpretively