Qualitative Research Exercise

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					                                 Qualitative Research Exercise   1




        Qualitative Research Exercise

          Dhanasekhar Damodaram

Course: RES/320– Foundations of Research -UoP

          Instructor: Michael Arden

             December 14, 2003
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                               Qualitative Research Exercise

       What type of exploratory research would you suggest in the following situations?

       a.      A product manager suggests development of a non-tobacco cigarette

blended from wheat, cocoa and citrus

               Non-tobacco cigarette made of wheat, cocoa and citrus is not a commonly

       available product in the market. So it is important to find out how the market

       would react to such a product. This can be determined by different exploratory

       research methods.

            I. Experience Surveys:

                   As described in the text, this is one scenario where the decision maker

            should spend sometime to explore the possibility of developing a new non-

            tobacco cigarette and identify its reach in the market. The decision maker

            should speak to knowledgeable in the subject, both inside and outside the

            organization to find out their views. It is also good to discuss this idea with the

            organization’s key retailers and wholesalers as they will be able to provide

            valuable input on the market view. This is an inexpensive way of collecting

            information from vast group of people within the reach of the organization.

            II. Focus Group

                   Apart from the external and internal channel close to the decision

            maker, the organization can use the approach of focus group to find out more

            details. It can randomly choose a group of people to get their views about

            using a non-tobacco cigarette. This can be different group of people like

            smokers, non-smokers, Doctors, Social service organizations, teens, middle

            aged and Senior citizens. All these sessions can be arranged in relatively short
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                 period and can be conducted in a shorter time frame with less cost and yet get

                 better value out of it.

             III. Secondary Data Analysis

                         Using all the existing information on the non-tobacco initiatives in the

                 past will be one other alternative to consider. Apart from past market research

                 information, the organization can also look for information of the previous

                 attempts towards developing such a product and the response received in

                 terms of taste, cost, market response, difficulty faced, health related issues

                 etc.

             IV. Pilot Study

                           The organization can also conduct a pilot study in a small scale to

                   understand what will be the customer response to the product by giving non-

                   tobacco samples to selected group of people and find out their feedback.

b. A research project has the purpose of evaluating potential brand names for a new

   insecticide

                 I. Experience Surveys

                         The best place to start with is the internal and external organization

                 individuals who are directly involved in the insecticide business. The project

                 team can ask them to name the new product with a name that doesn’t currently

                 exist in the market. This can be conducted as a ‘naming contest’ as well with a

                 reward for the best chosen names to encourage the participants.

                 II. Word Association Tests

                         Once a list of names is short listed from the experience surveys, the

                 project team can use a word association test with randomly selected people

                 and ask them what product comes to their mind when the short-listed names
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             are specified. This way we can easily identify the most popular name that

             reminds people of an insecticide.

            III. Secondary Data Analysis

                     Apart from experience surveys, secondary data analysis method can be

             used to determine the existing pesticide names that are in use and that are

             already registered before proceeding with the WAT test and further market

             research.

       c.        A manager must determine the best site for a convenience store in an

urban area

             I. Secondary Data Analysis

                     The best way to perform this will be to use secondary data analysis

             technique. By using the information available on the urban area the manger

             can identify the areas that don’t have any convenience store currently. Once

             that is done, the manager can find out the current population in the identified

             areas and also the possible growth in population if available. Once this

             information is collected, it will be helpful to short list the possible sites.

             II. Focus Group Interviews

                     Once the possible sites are short listed the manager can arrange for

             focus group interviews with people selected from the respective sites and find

             out their opinion about the currently available facilities and how they feel if a

             new convenient store is available to them nearby. This way, the manager will

             get an idea where the people in that locality currently shopping and what is the

             reason and what will make them to use the convenient store. Answer to the

             question on whether they will use the convenient store if there is one available

             nearby, can be extended with additional sub-question requesting the users to
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           give reasons if they answer ‘NO’. This way the manager will be able to find

           out what are the possible hindrances in particular location (e.g. attractive week

           end sales in nearby big supermarket etc.).

      d.      An advertiser wishes to identify the symbolism associated with cigar

smoking

           I. Secondary Data Analysis

                  The advertiser can start with secondary data analysis technique to find

           out all the symbolism created and used in the past that is associated with cigar

           smoking. This way he can identify all the possible symbolism available and

           short most appropriate ones.

           II. Thematic Appreciation Test or Cartoon Test

                  Once the symbol is ready, using thematic appreciation test or cartoon

           test, the team can find out what difference people think about the symbol.

           Particularly, using different TAT techniques, the advertiser can ask selected

           people to write what comes in mind when they see the symbol. Based on the

           research outcome, the researcher can choose the most appropriate outcome.
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                                      Reference


Zikmund, W. G. (1999). Essentials of marketing research. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace

       & Company