Some types of research do not involve numbers or analysis of past performance but, rather, finding out people's opinions, feelings, likes and dislikes, and the motivations behind their buying behavior - in other words, the psychology underlying buying decisions. Research into these areas is known as qualitative research, and it is done in very different ways from quantitative research. Qualitative research becomes increasingly important as we try to predict further into the future, as the further we try to project, the less reliable are historic results and the more important people's opinions become.
There are problems associated with qualitative research; one is the fact that people often find it very difficult to explain their behavior or their motivations. Another problem is that many people are reluctant to tell a researcher what makes them do what they do. Sometimes interviewees will try to guess the answers the interviewer is looking for and answer and on other occasions respondents may give answers that they believe are true but are simple versions of the true reasons.
[...] At this stage any extreme views will be discarded, and an overall impression of a possible agreement will be established The initial agreement is distributed to each panel member for further thought. The agreement will be amended at this stage as a result of the comments received The new agreement is sent back to each member for further comments. This process will be repeated as many times as necessary. Use of surveys The methods discussed above rely on 'expert' opinions and those of people in the trade. [...]
[...] A narrow choice Using prompt cards Prompt cards may be used to remind respondents of particular brands or goods, and the prompts listed on the card may each have an allocated number HMV 2. Virgin 2. Our Price 3. Woolworth 3. WH Smith The respondents can answer by giving a number, making it quicker for them and also allowing ease of analysis. Piloting your questionnaire If time and cost constraints allow, you should pilot your questionnaire by trying it out on some test respondents. [...]
[...] Three types of field experiments are commonly used: In-home placement tests, where a sample group is selected to act as the test unit, given the products to use in their homes and asked to report back their thoughts, experiences and opinions by way of a questionnaire Store tests, where a variety of retail stores are selected to stock the new item and customer reactions in terms of changes in sales patterns are noted over a period - this method is typically used for testing new in- store promotional methods such as packaging and point-of sale techniques Test marketing, which involves selecting a specific geographical area and launching a product there with full promotional support. [...]
[...] Virgin or HMV) Offers the best customer service?' can distort your results, as an unrepresentative number of people are likely to respond 'Virgin' or 'HMV'. Similarly, a question such as 'Would you agree that the service in this store is good?' may lead the respondent to agree and is therefore not a valid question. Try to avoid personal questions that may reveal the respondent in what they would consider to be a poor light. Respondents may give the answer that makes them look best, rather than the truth. [...]
[...] We classify interviews in two ways, in terms of where they happen and how the questioning is structured. Types of personal interview Street surveys are sometimes referred to as 'clipboard surveys'. People are approached in the street, often in busy town centers, and are asked to complete the survey immediately. People are often in a hurry to get somewhere or do something, so persuading people to stop can be problematic. Consequently it is important that such surveys are brief and do not require too much concentration from the respondent. [...]
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