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Chapter Four

The Nature of Qualitative Research

Research yielding findings that are not subject to
quantification or quantitative analysis. Its research
conclusions are not based on precisely measurable statistics
but on more subjective observations and analysis.

Research that uses mathematical analysis. Typically
research analysis is done using measurable and numeric

Key Terms & Definitions
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research

Key Terms & Definitions
General Limitations of Qualitative Research
1. Attitudinal, perception, and belief differences revealed
during qualitative research might not be easily
measureable. Quantitative research will more precisely
measure these differences.

2. Qualitative research is often not statistically

representative of the general population. Although
qualitative results might give you a good idea about the
population, they do not allow you to precisely gauge the
populations responses based on the limited sample typical
of qualitative research.

3. Anyone can purport to be an expert.

Key Terms & Definitions
Qualitative Research Methods

Factors to Consider:
How the research results will be used
Product/service tangibility
Research goals and objectives
Participant availability and willingness
Desired analysis sophistication
Whether quantitative research follows

Key Terms & Definitions
The Importance of Focus Groups
Focus Group Defined:
A group of eight to 12 participants
who are led by a moderator in an
in-depth discussion on one
particular topic or concept.

Key Terms & Definitions
The Importance of Focus Groups
Good for idea generation, brainstorming, and understanding
customer vocabulary

Can be helpful in gaining insight to motives, attitudes, perceptions

Can reveal needs / likes and dislikes / prejudices driven by emotions

Group dynamics: the moderator must manage this factor deftly

Key Terms & Definitions
Focus Groups Steps

Key Terms & Definitions
Conducting a Focus Group
1a. Decide on the key focus group objectives

1b. Use secondary research to hone questions

1c. Select focus group facility and participants

1d. Begin recruiting after deciding on participant incentives

2a. Select a moderator

2b. Develop a moderator guide to chart flow of focus group

3. Conduct the focus group--generally about two hours

4a. Review the video tape and analyze the results

4b. Prepare a written report

Key Terms & Definitions
Conducting a Focus Group
The Participants:
Selection process:
Potential opinion leaders are best
Participants must be screened for relevance to the topic

The Facility:
A focus group facility--A research facility consisting of a conference
room or living room setting and a separate observation room with a
one-way mirror or live audiovisual feed.
The Moderator:
A person hired by the client to lead the focus group; this person should
have a background in psychology or sociology or, at least, marketing.
Create moderator's guide to include:
Timetable for each topic, clear goals/questions to be answered
Strategy for keeping group on task/focused
Managing the group dynamics is critical

Key Terms & Definitions
The Moderator Builds Rapport
Tools, Tips and Techniques
Smile make a connection with individuals.

Get physical clear acknowledgement such as a handshake or dialog.

Turn on the charm make an extra effort to respond warmly.

Offer empathy if there are problems or concerns, address these issues.

Be real make actions sincere without lies.

Mind the details include logistics such as mentioning where food, drink,
and bathrooms; make sure everyone is comfortable.

Come to complete closure make comments final and say firm

Key Terms & Definitions
What Makes a Good Moderator
Key Factors

Genuine interest in people

Acceptance and appreciation for the differences in


Good listening skills

Good observation skills

Interest in a wide range of topics and the ability to

immerse themselves in the topic

Key Terms & Definitions
What Makes a Good Moderator
Key Factors

Good oral and written communication skills

Objectivity; remaining open to the ideas and feelings of


Sound knowledge of the basic principles, foundations,

and applications of research, marketing, and advertising

Flexibility: the ability to think on your feet

Good attention to detail and organizational ability

Key Terms & Definitions
Planning Global Focus Groups

Research begins in home country.

Copies of U.S. tapes should be sent to foreign
moderators to allow for conversion and
U.S. Moderator should schedule conference
calls, to discuss research
Research should be modified to take into
consideration cultural bias, local privacy laws, and
the market they want to appeal to.

Key Terms & Definitions
Major Global Markets

Japan Scheduling concerns related to

professionals long work days.
Germany Highly restrictive privacy laws.
France Frequent transportation strikes
England Mixed educational levels
Scandinavia Best technology infrastructure and
fluent English-speaking professionals in Europe

Key Terms & Definitions
Disadvantages to Focus Groups

Focus groups can make managers believe they truly

understand a situation even if it is only a small slice.
Focus groups appeal to the desire for quick, simple
answers to problems.
Some focus groups create an impersonal atmosphere
that discourages honesty.
Some respondents may also be a problem if they are to
introverted or coping with a dominant personality in the
Much of the success relies on a moderator to control
and soothe the situation.

Key Terms & Definitions
New Trends in Focus Group Methods

Video Transmissions

Focus Group Panels

Prosumers Marketing Professionals

Used as Respondents

Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods

Interviews (IDIs):

One-on-one interviews that probe and elicit detailed

answers to questions, often using non-directive
techniques to uncover hidden motivations.

Key Terms & Definitions
Advantages of IDIs
Group pressure is eliminated
Respondent feels important and truly wanted
Respondent attains a heightened state of awareness
Encourages the revelation of new information
Respondents can be questioned at length to reveal
feelings and motivations
Individual interviews allow greater flexibility to the direction
of questioning
The interviewer becomes more sensitive to nonverbal
A singular viewpoint can be obtained without influence
from others
Interviews can be conducted anywhere
Key Terms & Definitions
Disadvantages of IDIs

Costs in terms of time and money

Less client involvement
Do not cover much material in one day
Do not allow for a group discussion and resolution
Some respondent reactions cannot be generated
from a one-on-one session

Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods
Hermeneutic Research:
Research that focuses on
interpretation through conversations

The Delphi Method:

It involves a number of rounds of data collection. In the
classical Delphi procedure, the first round is unstructured,
in order to allow individual experts relative freedom to
identify and elaborate the pertinent issues from their point
of view. These issues are then consolidated by the
researcher into a structured questionnaire.

Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods

Techniques that tap into respondents deepest

feelings by having them project those feelings
Tests: into an unstructured situation.

Word Association Test Cartoon Tests and Photo Sorts
Analogy Customer Drawings
Personification Storytelling
Sentence and Story Completion Test Third Person Technique
Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods

Word Projective test in which the interviewer says a

Association word and the respondent must mention the first
Tests: thing that comes to mind.

Avoids defense mechanisms Most respondents use antonyms
Delays in response identify emotional or synonyms
reactions Emotional delays can skew
Provides brand and product name ideas
suggestions Idea generating only
Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods

Storytelling: A projective test in which respondents complete

sentences or stories in their own words.


1. Best Buy is
2. The people who shop at Best Buy are
3. Best Buy should really
4. I dont understand why Best Buy doesnt
5. The last time I was at Best Buy.

Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods
A projective test in which a respondent sorts photos of
Photo Sorts:
different types of people, identifying those people who she
or he feels would use the specified product or service.


Key Terms & Definitions
Other Qualitative Methods
A projective test in which the respondent fills in the
Cartoon Tests:
dialogue of one of two characters in a cartoon.


Key Terms & Definitions
Key Terms & Definitions

Qualitative Research Projective Test

Quantitative Research Word Association Test
Focus Group Analogies
Group Dynamics Personification
Focus Group Facility Sentence and Story Completion Tests
Focus Group Moderator Cartoon Test
Discussion Guide Photo Sorts
Instant Analysis Consumer Drawings
Individual Depth Interviews Storytelling
Hermeneutic Research Third Person Technique
Delphi Technique

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