Marketing Research Tools
This paper will help demonstrate the differences between different marketing research tools. Three means of data collection for market research are quantitative, qualitative, and pluralistic (Burns & Bush, 2006).
Qualitative research allows probing questions on small groups, yet obtains more feedback (McDaniel & Gates, 2007). The moderator or interviewer generally has special skills to deliver the content using exploratory research. By contrast, larger groups use quantitative research methods. The feedback is more limited because of the larger data size. Feedback is more statistical compared to qualitative data that is subjective and interpretive (McDaniel & Gates, 2007). Quantitative research generally relies on computers and databases to distribute the data for analysis later.
Qualitative research methods for primary research generally take more time to collect because the methods are not as intense and less structured (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007). Because the groups contributing are smaller, each can contribute data in more detail than larger groups. E-Mail surveys can deliver efficient responses because everything is captured through the media of the Internet. Cost are reduced because there is not regular mail postage involved. The recipient can also reply at his or her own leisure. Online panel and online focus groups also contribute to primary research without the restrictions to geography. Participants can be selected from around the world for responses to surveys (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007).
Qualitative research can use exploratory, orientation, or clinical methods (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007). One example would be using sales force personnel to estimate sales they expect to close during a given period. The sales group could also survey customers directly to inquire what the buying intentions are for the future period (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007). Observation methods are another format of qualitative research. The technique can follow four observation formats.
1. Direct versus indirect
a. Archives – information from secondary sources
b. Physical traces – tangible objects that can be studied
2. Disguised versus undisguised
a. Subject is unaware they are being observed
b. The subject is aware they are monitored
3. Structured versus unstructured
a. The researcher monitors specific behaviors or responses
b. Researcher gathers whatever information is observed
4. Human versus mechanical
a. The researcher is a person
b. A machine or computer to tabulate the observations replaces the researcher. This may be cost related or ease of use.
(Burns & Bush, 2006)
Exploratory methods allow researchers to review issues in more detail. New products, services, and solutions are some of the outputs from exploratory research. Questionnaires that require pretesting before distribution require exploratory research (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007).
Orientation allows the researcher to become familiar with new environments....