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					   Chapter Five

Qualitative Research
                             Chapter Five
                                 Qualitative Research

                      • Define qualitative research;
                      • Explore the popularity of qualitative research;
                      • Understand why qualitative research is not held in high
                          esteem by some practitioners and academicians;
                      • Learn about focus groups and their tremendous popularity;
                      • Gain insight into conducting and analyzing a focus group;
Learning Objectives
                      • Understand the controversy regarding online focus groups;
                      • Understand the growing popularity of Internet focus groups;
                      • Learn about other forms of qualitative research.

                                       Chapter 5
   The Nature of Qualitative Research

   • Research whose findings 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 standards.

                                 Chapter 5
Qualitative Vs. Qualitative Research
 Issue                              Qualitative                        Quantitative

 • Types of questions            Probing                            Limited probing

 • Sample size                   Small                              Large

 • Information per respondent    Substantial                        Varies

 • Administration requirements   Interviewer with special skills    Not as specialized

 • Types of analysis             Subjective & interpretive          statistical & summation

 • Hardware                      Records, projection equip., etc.   Questionnaires / computers

 • Degree of replicability       Low                                High

 • Researcher training           “softer” sciences                  “harder” sciences
                                 Psychology, sociology, marketing   Statistics, decision models
                                 marketing research                  marketing research

 • Type of research              Exploratory                        Descriptive or causal

                                           Chapter 5
Limitations of Qualitative Research

1. Attitudinal, perception, and belief differences revealed during
qualitative research might not be easily measure. 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.

                                 Chapter 5
    Qualitative Research Methods

                     Factors to Consider:
  Focus Groups
                     • Time / budget;
    Interviews       • How the research results will be used;
                     • Product / service tangibility;
   Observation       • Research goals & objectives;
                     • Participant availability and willingness;
 Concept Testing     • Desired analysis sophistication;
                     • Whether quantitative research follows.
Perceptual Mapping

                       Chapter 5
       Growing Role 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.

                                                    Interacting among people in a group. The
                        Group Dynamic
                                                    moderator must manages this factor deftly.

                           Some Key Characteristics:
 • Good for idea generation, brainstorming, and understanding customer vocabulary
 • Can be helpful in gaining insight to motives, attitudes, perceptions
 • Can reveal needs / likes & dislikes / prejudices driven by emotions

                                        Chapter 5
Conducting a Focus Group
 Decide on the key focus group objectives;

 Use secondary research to hone questions;

 Select focus group facility and participants;
 begin recruiting after deciding on participant incentives;   Analyses

 Select a moderator;

 Develop a moderator guide to chart flow of focus group;

 Conduct the focus group - generally about two hours;

 Review the video tape and analyze the results;

 Prepare a written report.

                              Chapter 5
             Conducting a Focus Group
The Participants:
     • Selection process:
          • Potential opinion leaders are best
          • Participants must be screened for relevance to the topic

The Location:
     • 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.        Key
     • Create moderator's guide to include:                                     Issues:
          • Timetable for each topic , clear goals/questions to be answered
          • Strategy for keeping group on task / focused
          • Managing the group dynamics is critical

                                         Chapter 5
The Moderator Builds Rapport

• Meet and greet the participants before the focus group;
• Ask personal questions during thew warm-up;
• Reveal personal information about yourself;
• Ask for the participants assistance during the process;
• Use humor when appropriate;
• Dress a the same level as the respondents;
• Start the focus group session sitting down;
• Have a discussion guide to assist.
           A written outline of topics to be covered
           during a focus group discussion.

                           Chapter 5
     What Makes a Good Moderator
                                      Key Factors

• Is genuinely interested in people's:
          • behavior, emotions, lifestyles, passions, prejudices, and opinions

• Is accepting and appreciative of participant differences;            The Moderator's
                                                                         Role is Key
• Is objective and open minded;

• Has good listening skills;

• Has good observation skills - can pick-up on body language;

• Is interested in a wide array of subjects;

• Prepares for the topic at hand to enhance his or her credibility;

                                         Chapter 5
    What Makes a Good Moderator
                                 Key Factors

• Has good oral, written, and organizational skills;

• Is able to deftly manage conversation flow;
                                                             The Moderator's
• Is good at follow-up questioning and probing;                Role is Key

• Has good attention to detail and is precise;

• Should understand the clients business and industry;

• Should be able to provide strategic leadership to management;

• Should to be personably agreeable and easy to work with.

                                    Chapter 5
Pros and Cons of Focus Groups

• Candor of participants;
• Looks the customer “in the eye”;
• Generates fresh ideas and brainstorming;
• Allows client to observe and comment onsite;
• Can be executed quickly;
• Can enhance other data collection methods;
• Participants provide valuable information useable for the next research phase.

• Expense and time;
• A significant level of expertise is needed;
• Participation issues - “no shows”;
• The interpretation is subjective;
• Often misused as representative the population.

                                  Chapter 5
Online Focus Groups – What Works

   • Low costs & no geographic barriers;
   • It can be executed quickly;
   • It is good for generating fresh ideas / brainstorming;
   • It can enhance other data collection methods;
   • Participants provide valuable information for the next research phase.

   • There is a loss of group, hands-on, dynamic;
   • The interpretation is subjective;
   • Projective techniques less effective;
   • Security - you don’t know who is at the computer;
   • Non-verbal inputs will be generally/often missed;
   • Attention to the topic - participants often drift;
   • Loss of direct client observational involvement;
   • Often misused as representative the population;
   • Exposure to external stimuli stymied;
   • Role and skill of moderator is not often fully realized.

                              Chapter 5
 Other Trends if Focus Group Methods

• Combining online and telephone focus groups;

• Videoconferencing;

• Viewing focus groups online.

                       Chapter 5
                 Other Qualitative Methods

                                 One-on-one interviews that probe and elicit
             Depth               detailed answers to questions, often using non-
           Interviews:           directive techniques to uncover hidden motivations.

                                                    Key Techniques:
                                                               • Laddering approach
                                                               • Hidden issue questioning
Pros and Cons:                                                 • Symbolic analysis approach
       • Group pressure is eliminated;
       • More costly than a focus group;
       • More personalized attention given;
       • Often geared towards getting underlying information;
       • Interviewee becomes more sensitive to nonverbal clues;
       • Respondent can be less forthright as the focus is on them;
       • Interview does not have the group dynamic as an advantage;
       • Can result in not very much ground getting covered;
       • Interview can be conducted anywhere - don’t need a “facility”.

                                            Chapter 5
   Other Qualitative Methods
             Key Projective Techniques

               Technique tapping respondents’ deepest feelings by
Projective     having them project those feelings into and
  Tests:       unstructured situation.

   • Word Association Exercises;
   • Sentence and Story Completion Exercises;
   • Cartoon Tests and Photo Sorts;  Underlying

   • Customer Drawings;
   • Storytelling;                   Information
   • Third Person Technique.

                        Chapter 5
                                     Topical Index
Applied Research & Basic Research     Hypothesis Testing - Steps            Probability Sampling Techniques
Bivariate Analysis                    Internet Issues                       Problem Definition Process
Causal Research Defined               Interval Data                         Questionnaire Design
Casual Research Determination         Least Squares                         Questionnaire Dos and Don'ts
Census Defined                        Longitudinal Surveys                  Questionnaire Flow
Choosing The Research Design          Market Testing                        Ratio Data
Comparing Qualitative/Quantitative    Marketing Decision Support Systems    Reliability Defined
Cross-sectional Surveys               Marketing Research Defined            Research Design
Cross-tabulation                      Marketing Research Process            Research Report
Data Analysis Overview                Measurement Scales Defined            Request for Proposal
Data Mining                           Measures of Association               Scatterplots
Deciding on Survey Method             Measures of Central Tendency          Secondary Research
Depth Interviews                      Measures of Dispersion                Sample Size Determination
Descriptive Research                  Mystery Shopping                      Sampling Defined
Descriptive Statistics                Nominal Data                          Sampling & Non-Sampling Errors
Error in Survey Research              Non-Probability Sampling Defined      Sampling Stages
Ethics in Marketing Research          Non-Probability Sampling Techniques   Scaling Tips
Evaluating / Limitations of Data      Normal Distribution                   Scaling Measurement & Types
Experimentation Overview              Observation Methods                   Statistical Testing of Differences
Experimentation Examples/Notation     Observation Research Defined          Sum of Squares
Exploratory Research                  Open and Closed-ended Questions       Survey Types
Extraneous Variables                  Ordinal Data                          Testing Reliability
Factors Influencing MR Decisions      Over Sampling                         Testing Validity
Finite Multiplier                     Perceptual Mapping                    Thirty Largest MR Firms
Focus Groups                          Presenting the Research Results       Type I and Type II Errors
Global Research Issues                Primary Research Defined              Validity Defined
Hypothesis Testing - Common Types     Probability Sampling Defined          Ways of Looking at the Data

                                               Topical Index

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