August 20, 2012 J. Nolfo Market Research
When I first started blogging in October 2011, I had an idea of my first several weeks of postings. Since that time, I have written on things based on something I have seen, read, or experienced. This week’s post is a great example. A few days ago, I was reviewing my Twitter roll while I was out at a meeting and saw this gem from focus group moderator Shaili Bhatt. I almost hate to admit that I almost missed it. In my blog last week, I talked about how quantitative and qualitative research methods do not need to be mutually exclusive. However, the methods both have reasons for picking one over the other.
As a researcher or someone looking at needing research, understanding what is needed for the particular project is key. The point made in the tweet is nearly perfect. You want to use qualitative research to understand the “why’s” and not the “how many’s”. And this is not just for your customers, but also for potential customers and lost customers.
The “why’s” are just as important as the “how many’s”, maybe even more so based on the stage of the product’s life cycle. Qualitative research can help you understand:
- -Why customer buy your products
- -Why potential customers buy your competition over your services
- -Why customers see features as important
- -Why your target market might like one advertising program over another
There are other types of questions you can answer in qualitative studies like focus groups and in-depth interviews, but all the questions should be subjective in nature versus objective.
These are just a few examples of how qualitative research should be used and why you would consider using it over quantitative methodologies.
How could you use qualitative research in your business?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.