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Qualitative Research with Kids – It’s Not Just Child’s Play

The world of marketing has grown up.

As has become evident over the past few years, manufacturers of products ranging from candy bars to computers and cars, and businesses from quick service restaurants to four-star resorts have recognized the dollar power of the youth market…kids, tweens and teens. Whether they are spending their own money on chips and soda or swaying parents’ decisions on where to vacation, their impact on the corporate bottom line continues to grow.

Today’s generation of kids has been “marketed to” since they’ve been able to crawl, and are recognized by marketers as smart, savvy, and influential consumers. Coinciding with the growth in the youth market has been the boom in qualitative market research conducted among this segment. Due to the costs associated with new product launches and other marketing initiatives (as well as corporate belt-tightening), companies realize the need to properly research and develop their offerings, and understand the handsome dividends such efforts can pay.

So, how has Qualitative Research with Kids grown?

Just as kids marketing has moved beyond the days of simply running ads on Saturday morning TV, youth qualitative research has moved beyond just conducting a few mini-groups or best-friend interviews. While these are obviously still valuable research tools, a variety of other options have proven their worth in offering marketers deeper, richer learning about the youth market. For your next youth research project, consider the full array of options available, including:

  • Online Focus Groups: Kids, tweens and teens in particular live in a world of e-mail, text messaging, and IM. Real time, online focus groups are an ideal option for this target.
  • On-site/Observational Research: Immerse yourself in their world by going to the places where they spend their time. Visit their homes and have them invite their friends over for a “peer party.” Go shopping with them. There’s life beyond the mall…watch, spend time with and talk to them at skating parks, the beach, sporting events, and in school.
  • Homework: Enhance your learning by putting them to work prior to or as the focus of your research. Collages, video or photo journals, shopping assignments, communicating via e-mail or websites. They can be your eyes and ears into their world. Idea generation: Let kids’ imaginations take you places adults forgot about…Doyle Research pioneered idea generation with kids. Read about our kideation process on our website, www.doyleresearch.com.

Regardless of the method you choose for researching kids and tweens, it takes skilled practitioners to execute it and extract the key learning. Doyle Research has been playing in the youth qualitative research sandbox for 19 years!

“I have used Doyle Research on numerous occasions, and have found the team to be knowledgeable, creative in recommending solutions for qualitative that works, able to turn on a dime when we needed it. We’ve had solid results and some highly insightful analysis that opened business partner eyes to some things they didn’t know but needed to.”

Consumer Insights | DeVry University

Qualitative Online Research