What Is Qualitative Market Research?


Many companies are faced with the necessity of the market research due to lack of information in their early days, entering a new market or planning a new product. Such approach is justified, because it helps to avoid unwanted strategic errors, to adjust the plan of the company, to determine which areas require attention and which of them are irrelevant. The research of consumer preferences, demands and constant monitoring of the situation is also an important component of the development strategy of the company, which does not wish to find itself behind the competitors or to share target market segments with them.

There are different views and approaches to conducting market research. Before making a decision about their necessity, it is needed to determine, which ones are most appropriate to the company's strategies and products. There is quantitative and qualitative market research. We will dedicate this article to the last of two.

Qualitative market research helps to identify the motives that influence consumer's decision of making purchases and their expectations of a certain product. Unlike quantitative research, which is based on getting a certain amount of the respondents' opinions and allows to make conclusions on the basis of the statistical data, qualitative research is non-standardized and allows to hypothesize about the behavior and reactions of customers, the impact of certain factors on their decisions. In other words, the first is based on digits and the second is based on the words.

Here are the tasks, which are solved by qualitative market research:

- Determination of requirements and reasons of purchasing certain goods;

- The research of promotions, products and PR-campaigns perception;

- Evaluation of customer or business service.

Qualitative market research provides an opportunity not only to analyze the motivation and the perceived reaction of buyers, but also due to the use of special techniques, it reveals the unconscious components of behavior and decision-making in certain conditions.

The main methods of qualitative market research are in-depth interviews, focus groups and expert interviews.

In-depth interview is an informal personal conversation, which is held by the specialist psychologist by the script prepared in advance. The purpose of such interview is to determine the reactions of the respondent, his attitude towards various issues. Psychologist pushes the interviewee to discuss the topics of interest and analyzes his actions. Usually one respondent is involved in the survey, but also the participation of two or three people is allowed. In order to study and analyze the non-verbal reactions, the video recording of interviews is conducted .

Focus group is a qualitative market research based on the collective interview on a specific topic. The group consists of 8-12 specially selected respondents, who discuss a particular question. Video recording is also held while research work is conducted. Depending on the course of the conversation, a list of disputed questions can be corrected or supplemented. Focus group is a popular type of research, because of its flexibility and efficiency, as well as opportunities to understand the causes of behavior and motives of customers.

Expert interview is a survey, members of which are the experts in a particular field. It allows to generalize theoretical knowledge and practical experience of professionals in the research question. Reliability and relevance of the received information in this case is very high, and expert survey can be applied in the circumstances, where the quantitative survey is not possible or is ineffective. The subsequent analysis and processing of the collected data is very important in this type of research.

Regardless of what kind of market research you do want to hold, the cooperation with Exаminаre will make your work more comfortable and productive. We will provide you with comprehensive support and assistance in conducting surveys. Also we can make all the work ourselves for you. If you are interested in qualitative market research, then contact Examinare - Scandinavian leader for online surveys and research.

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