CHAPTER 4

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					                  CHAPTER 8
    OBSERVATION, FOCUS GROUPS, AND OTHER
            QUALITATIVE METHODS



  1.      Establish the need for marketing research
  2.      Define the problem
  3.      Establish research objectives
  4.      Determine research design
  5.      Identify information types and sources
  6.      Determine methods of accessing data
  7.      Design data collection forms
  8.      Determine sample plan and size
  9.      Collect data
  10.     Analyze data
  11.     Prepare and present the final research report




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 1
Three Means of Data Collection

  1. Quantitative Research – involves a structured
     questionnaire and a large sample.

  2. Qualitative Research – involves observing and/or
     asking open-ended questions, usually with a small
     number of informants.

  3. Pluralistic Research – combines the advantages of
     both qualitative research and quantitative research,
     with the former serving as the foundation for the
     latter.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 2
Observation Methods – techniques in which the
researcher relies on his or her powers of observation
rather than communicating with a respondent in order to
obtain information.

  1. Direct vs. Indirect

       a. Direct Observation – observing behavior as it
          occurs.

       b. Indirect Observation – the researcher observes
          the effects or results of the behavior rather than
          the behavior itself.

            i. Archives – secondary sources such as
               historical records that can be applied in the
               present problem. (e.g. records of sales calls,
               warehouse inventory movements, scanner
               data)

            ii. Physical Traces – tangible evidence of some
                event. (e.g. garbology)



MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 3
  2. Disguised vs. Undisguised

       a. Disguised Observation – subjects are unaware
          they are being studied (e.g. secret shopper, one-
          way mirrors, hidden cameras)

       b. Undisguised Observation – subjects are aware
          they are being studied (e.g. laboratory settings)


  3. Structured vs. Unstructured

       a. Structured Observation – the researcher identifies
          beforehand which behaviors are to be observed
          and recorded. All other behaviors are ignored.

       b. Unstructured Observation – places no restriction
          on what the observer would note: all behavior in
          the episode under study is monitored.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 4
  4. Human vs. Mechanical

       a. Human Observation – the observer is a person
          hired by the researcher, or perhaps, the observer
          is the researcher.

       b. Mechanical Observation – substitution of an
          observing device for human observer for
          accuracy, cost, or functional reasons. (e.g. auto
          traffic counts)


Appropriate Conditions for the Use of Observation

  1. Short Time Interval – the event must begin and end
     within a reasonably short time span.

  2. Public Behavior – behavior that occurs in a setting the
     researcher can readily observe.

  3. Faulty Recall – occurs when actions or activities are
     so repetitive or automatic that the respondent cannot
     recall specifics about the behavior under question.


MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 5
Advantages of Observational Data

  1. Subjects are ideally unaware, therefore, they react in
     a natural manner, giving the researcher insight into
     actual, not reported behaviors.

  2. No chance for recall error.

  3. In some cases, it may be the only way to gain an
     accurate picture of the behavior of interest.

  4. Less costly.

  5. Can be used to supplement and complement other
     research techniques.

Limitations of Observational Data

  1. Conclusions are usually considered tentative due to
     small samples and the need for interpretation.

  2. Subjective interpretation.

  3. Motivations, attitudes, and other internal conditions
     cannot be observed.
MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 6
Two Syndromes to Avoid when Doing Qualitative
Research:

  1. Dracula Syndrome – occurs when you suck all of the
     substance out of a few and possibly unrepresentative
     observations.

  2. Frankenstein Syndrome – when you mindlessly
     crunch numbers from a survey.


                         FOCUS GROUPS

  1. A small group of people brought together and guided
     by a moderator through an unstructured, spontaneous
     discussion about some topic.

  2. The goal is to draw out ideas, feelings, and
     experiences about a certain issue that would be
     obscured or stifled by more structured methods of
     data collection.

  3. The moderator serves to focus the discussion on the
     topic and does not let the group move off into
     tangents or irrelevant points.
MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 7
  4. Helps a marketer “get in touch” with target customers.

  5. Objectives:

       a. To generate ideas – the focus group can be used
          as a starting point for new product or service
          ideas, uses, or improvements.

       b. To understand consumer vocabulary –to stay
          abreast of the words and phrases consumers use
          when describing one’s product so as to improve
          product or service communication with them.

       c. To reveal consumer needs, motives, perceptions,
          and attitudes on products or services – to refresh
          the marketing team as to what customers feel or
          think about a product or service.

       d. To understand findings from quantitative studies –
          to better comprehend data gathered from surveys.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 8
Operational Questions About Focus Groups

  1. What should be the size of a focus group?
       The accepted size is 8 to 12 participants.

  2. Who should be in the focus groups?
       Participants who share similar characteristics:
         age, job situations, family composition,
         purchase experiences, leisure pursuits
       Not friends or casual acquaintances

  3. How should focus group participants be recruited and
     selected?
       By telephone
       Incentive is provided for participating
       Overrecruiting is one way to deal with “no
           shows” – call-backs

  4. Where should a focus group meet?
       Large room, in roundtable format
       Comfortable chairs
       Quiet enough to permit audiotaping/ videotaping
        of sessions.


MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 9
Focus Group Moderator – a person who conducts the
entire session and guides the flow of group discussion
across specific topics desired by the client.

  1. Must have excellent observation, interpersonal, and
     communication skills.
  2. Must be prepared, experienced, and armed with a
     detailed list of topics to be discussed.
  3. A good moderator is experienced, enthusiastic,
     prepared, involved, energetic, and open-minded.


Reporting and Use of Focus Group Results

  1. FGD transcripts must be translated before they are
     reported.
  2. Demographic and buyer behavior characteristics of
     FGD participants should be judged against the target
     market profile to assess to what degree the groups
     represent the target market.
  3. A focus group analysis should identify the major
     themes as well as salient areas of disagreement
     among participants.


MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 10
Advantages of FGDs:

  1. Generate fresh ideas
  2. Allow clients to observe the group
  3. Generally versatile
  4. Work well with special respondents


Disadvantages of FGDs:

  1. May not represent the population
  2. Interpretation is subjective
  3. Cost-per-participant is high



How to Run a Successful FGD – p. 247




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 11
          Other Qualitative Research Techniques


Depth Interviews

  1. A set of probing questions posed one-on-one to a
     subject by a trained interviewer so as to gain an idea
     of what the subject thinks about something or why he
     or she behaves in a certain way.

  2. Conducted in the respondent’s home or at a central
     interviewing location—e.g. mall intercept facility

  3. Of primary importance is the compilation of the data
     into a summary report so as to identify common
     themes.

  4. Are especially useful when the researcher wants to
     understand decision making on the individual level,
     how products are used, or the emotional and
     sometimes private aspects of consumers’ lives.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 12
Protocol Analysis

  1. Involves placing a person in a decision making
     situation and asking him or her to verbalize everything
     he or she considers when making the decision.

  2. A special purpose qualitative research technique that
     has been developed to peek into the consumer’s
     decision making process.

  3. A recorder is used. The researcher reviews several
     protocols and looks for commonalities such as
     evaluative criteria used, number of brands
     considered, types and sources of information utilized,
     etc.

  4. Useful in 2 different purchase situations:

       a. Purchases involving a long time frame in which
          several decision factors must be considered.
       b. Where the decision process is very short.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 13
Projective Techniques

  1. Involve situations in which participants are placed in
     simulated activities in the hopes that they will divulge
     things about themselves that they might not reveal
     under direct questioning.

  2. Appropriate in situations in which the researcher is
     convinced that respondents will be hesitant to relate
     their true opinions—e.g. tipping waitresses, smoking,
     alcohol consumption, betting on games

  3. Five common techniques

       a. Word Association Test
            i. Involves reading words to a respondent who
               then answers with the first word that comes to
               his or her mind.
           ii. Used to uncover people’s real feelings about
               products or services, brand names, or ad
               copy.
          iii. Response Latency – the time taken to
               respond.


MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 14
       b. Sentence Completion Test – respondents are
          given incomplete sentences and asked to
          complete them in their own words.

       c. Picture Test
            i. A picture is provided to participants who are
               instructed to describe their reactions by
               writing a short story about the picture.
           ii. Are useful ways to test potential
               advertisements for impact and reactions.

       d. Cartoon or Balloon Test – a line drawing with an
          empty ‘balloon” above the head of one of the
          actors is provided to subjects who are instructed
          to write in the balloon what the actor is saying or
          drinking.

       e. Role Playing Activity – participants are asked to
          pretend they are a “third person,” such as a friend
          or neighbor, and to describe how they would act in
          a certain situation or to a specific statement.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 15
Physiological Measurement

  1. Involves monitoring a respondent’s involuntary
     responses to marketing stimuli via the use of
     electrodes and other equipment.

  2. Pupilometer – a device that attaches to a person’s
     head and determines interest and attention by
     measuring the amount of dilation in the pupil of the
     eye.

  3. Galvanometer – a device that determines excitement
     levels by measuring the electrical activity in the
     respondent’s skin.




MARKETING RESEARCH: Chapter 8, Page 16

				
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