Qualitative research delves into consumer’s opinions, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions & experiences on a given subject of interest. A lot of times researchers find themselves in a dilemma about the choice between quantitative and qualitative research or whether to use both for a research objective.
There are 3 ways in which qualitative research can be used and applied:
- A tool to generate ideas:
- By observing and listening to the target participants while they discuss the concept or interact with the products, and the ‘language’ employed by them
- Develop cues for positioning, advertising & communication strategies
- Explain ideas and messages, reactions to visual and verbal stimuli such as products, ads, brand names, packaging etc.
- A precursor to a larger quantitative study:
- To develop hypothesis
- To refine or short list concepts for larger study
- To develop specifications - target respondent groups or sampling quotas for a quantitative study
- To aid questionnaire wording, sequencing, identify various product attributes, benefits etc.
- To help in understanding the results of a quantitative study:
- To expand & illuminate quantitative findings, eg. Gathering more information/opinions around an unexpected finding
- To understand the reasons for certain trends
- To describe factors affecting attitudinal variance, eg. Why one ad concept is more persuasive than other