Market Researchers Resources The 2018 Guide to Qualitative Research Methods


What is Qualitative research?

Qualitative research is used to investigate the why and how of human behavior; to explore the attitudes, feelings and behaviors of a targeted group of people on a particular topic.   Small, focused samples are the norm in qualitative research, and methods include individual interviews and focus groups (in person, over the phone or online); and ethnographic market research, where researchers engage with the respondent wherever a client’s product or service is used or sold (in-home, in-store, on-line, on-site, etc.)

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What is Ethnographic Market Research?

Ethnographic market research is the study of human behavior in context. It’s a window into the world of consumers who interact with your products or services in the environments where this usage behavior naturally occurs. So, this type of research can take place in homes, at stores, in cars, on beaches, at theme parks…anywhere. In these studies, DRA’s highly experienced researchers immerse themselves in the consumers’ environments, and through observation and discussion explore the consumers’ rituals, routines, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, and the values that shape behavior. So for example, rather than simply asking someone to self-report their purchase behaviors, DRA’s skilled qualitative research consultants will visit a consumer’s home and observe what’s in the pantry/closet/vanity/garage, accompany the subject on a shopalong interview to observe actual purchase behaviors and question the consumer about the products after the purchase decision has been made. Ethnographic market research helps uncover latent behaviors and attitudes as sometimes people are unaware of what they are doing and why

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