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1) Qualitative research is an unstructured, exploratory research methodology based on small

samples that provides insights and understanding of the problem setting.
2) Quantitative research seeks to quantify the data and, typically, applies some form of statistical
3) he findings of qualitative research should be regarded as conclusive and used to make
generali!ations to the population of interest.
") Qualitative research procedures are classified as either descriptive or causal.
#) $ro%ective techniques are different from focus groups and depth intervie& techniques in that
pro%ective techniques attempt to disguise the purpose of the research.
') he main purpose of focus groups is to gain insights by listening to a group of people from the
appropriate target market talk about issues of interest to the researcher.
() )n indirect qualitative pro%ective technique is best to use &hen conducting research to
determine &hat milk drinkers prefer to eat &ith their milk.
*) ) focus group generally includes 1+ to 1' members.
,) ) focus group should be homogeneous in terms of demographic and socioeconomic
1+) ypical information obtained from the screening questionnaire includes product familiarity
and kno&ledge, usage behavior, attitudes to&ard and participation in focus groups, and standard
demographic characteristics.
11) -se of a moderator.s outline reduces some of the validity problems inherent in focus groups,
such as those caused by different moderators not covering the same content areas in comparable
12) he number of focus groups that should be conducted on a single sub%ect depends upon /1)
the nature of the issue, /2) the number of distinct market segments, /3) the number of ne& ideas
generated by each successive group, and /") time and cost.
13) 0esources permitting, one should conduct additional focus groups until the participants can
anticipate &hat &ill be said.
1") elesession groups are focus group sessions by 1nternet using chat rooms.
1#) 2ynergism, sno&balling, simulation, and security are some of the advantages of focus
1') 3ne advantage of focus groups is synergism &hich results because the participants. feelings
are similar to those of other group members4 they feel comfortable and therefore &illing to
express their ideas and feelings.
1() 3ne advantage of focus groups is serendipity because ideas are more likely to arise out of the
blue in a group than in an individual intervie&.
1*) 5ocus groups can be misused and abused by considering the results as conclusive.
1,) he quality of focus group results depends heavily on the skills of the moderator.
2+) ) disadvantage of focus groups is that the unstructured nature of the responses makes coding,
analysis, and interpretation difficult.
21) 5ocus groups can be used to address substantive issues such as deciding on alternative
courses of action.
22) -nlike traditional focus groups, online focus group participation is by invitation only.
23) $articipants in online focus groups receive a time, a -06, a room name, and a pass&ord via
2") he cost of online focus groups is much less than for traditional focus groups. 5irms are able
to keep costs bet&een one7fifth and one7half the cost of traditional focus groups.
2#) 3nly audio and visual stimuli can be tested via online focus groups.
2') 3nline focus group participants don.t have the potential to be distracted by external stimuli.
2() 3nline focus groups are appropriate for every research situation.
2*) here are fe&er people in an online focus group than in a traditional focus group /able #.3
in the text).
2,) 8uring depth intervie&s, probing is of critical importance in obtaining meaningful responses
and uncovering hidden issues.
3+) 6addering requires intervie&ers to be trained in specific probing techniques in order to
develop a meaningful 9mental map9 of the consumer.s vie& to&ard a target product.
31) 2ymbolic analysis attempts to analy!e the symbolic meaning of ob%ects by comparing them
&ith their opposites.
32) 8epth intervie&s uncover less depth of insights than focus groups.
33) 1n role playing, the researcher assumes that the respondents &ill pro%ect their o&n feelings
into the role.
3") $ro%ective techniques generally require personal intervie&s &ith highly trained intervie&ers.
his is an advantage of pro%ective techniques.
3#) 8ata determination is one of the three general steps that should be follo&ed &hen analy!ing
qualitative data.
3') Qualitative research may reveal the differences bet&een the foreign and domestic markets.
3() o minimi!e negative effects that may arise from disguising the purpose of the qualitative
research, the respondents should be informed up front that the true purpose of the research is
being disguised so as not to bias the responses.
3*) 5ocus groups, depth intervie&s, and pro%ective techniques can be implemented over the
3,) :aby boomers are a large consumer target for many products and 9sho& and tell9 focus
groups are being used by consumer researchers. ;hich of the follo&ing statements is not true
about 9sho& and tell9 focus groups<
)) 0espondents. attitudes are uncovered by analy!ing their responses to scenarios that are
deliberately unstructured, vague, and ambiguous.
:) hey provide the needed insight into the core values boomers hold close to their hearts.
=) $articipants bring in three or four items that represent their ideal environment.
8) >roup discussion is centered on the items brought in for 9sho& and tell.9
"+) ;henever a ne& marketing research problem is being addressed, ???????? research must be
preceded by appropriate ???????? research.
)) qualitative4 quantitative
:) observational4 experimental
=) quantitative4 qualitative
8) experimental4 observational
"1) )ccording to able #.1 in the text, &hich of the follo&ing does not apply to qualitative
)) a small number of nonrepresentative cases
:) non7statistical data analysis
=) unstructured form of data collection
8) outcome is used to recommend a final course of action
"2) here are several reasons to use qualitative research. ;hich of the follo&ing is not a reason
to use qualitative research<
)) 1t is not al&ays possible, or desirable, to use fully structured or formal methods to obtain
information from respondents.
:) $eople may be un&illing or unable to ans&er certain questions.
=) $eople are un&illing to give truthful ans&ers to questions that invade their privacy, embarrass
them, or have a negative impact on their ego or status.
8) none of the above
"3) he ???????? is one type of qualitative research in &hich the purposes of the pro%ect are
disclosed to the respondent or are obvious, given the nature of the intervie&.
)) indirect approach
:) direct approach
=) focus group approach
8) descriptive approach
"") )n intervie& conducted by a trained moderator among a small group of respondents in an
unstructured and natural manner is a/n) ????????.
)) depth intervie&
:) pro%ective technique
=) association technique
8) focus group
"#) 5ocus groups are a/n) ???????? research procedure and pro%ective techniques are a/n)
???????? research procedure.
)) experimental4 direct
:) indirect4 direct
=) direct4 experimental
8) direct4 indirect
"') ???????? are the most important qualitative research procedure.
)) 5ocus groups
:) 8epth intervie&s
=) $ro%ective techniques
8) )ssociation techniques
"() ;hich of the follo&ing is not one of the key qualifications of focus group moderators<
)) %oviality
:) kindness &ith firmness
=) flexibility
8) sensitivity
"*) he procedure for planning and conducting focus groups is described in 5igure #.3 in the
text. $lanning begins &ith ????????.
)) specifying the ob%ectives of qualitative research
:) &riting a screening questionnaire
=) developing a moderator.s guide
8) determining ob%ectives of the marketing research pro%ect and defining the problem
",) =onstructing a detailed moderator.s outline for use during the focus group intervie&s
involves extensive discussions among the ????????, ????????, and ????????.
)) researcher4 moderator4 and respondents.
:) researcher4 client4 moderator.
=) researcher4 client4 respondent.
8) client4 respondent4 moderator.
#+) he 0eal 0esearch @all of )tlanta focus group example in the text used focus groups to
uncover ????????.
)) information on the mall visit experience
:) information on mall brand identity versus other malls
=) information on the brand value of the mall
8) all of the above
#1) 1t is recommended that at least ???????? focus groups be conducted.
)) t&o
:) three
=) four
8) five
#2) ) focus group intervie& conducted by t&o moderators &here one moderator is responsible
for the smooth flo& of the session, and the other ensures that specific issues are discussed is
called a ????????.
)) t&o7&ay focus group
:) dueling7moderator group
=) dual7moderator group
8) respondent7moderator group
#3) 5ocus groups can use several variations of the standard procedure. ;hich of the follo&ing is
not one of the variations mentioned in your text<
)) respondent7moderator group
:) client7participant group
=) tag7team moderator group
8) mini7group
#") ) focus group intervie& conducted by t&o moderators &here the moderators deliberately
take opposite positions on the issues to be discussed is called a ????????.
)) dueling7moderator group
:) t&o7&ay focus group
=) dual7moderator group
8) respondent7moderator group
##) 3ne of the findings of the @all of )tlanta focus group research mentioned in the text &as
that respondents &ho go to the mall for entertainment try to hold costs to under A3+, except for
special occasions. he client revie&ed this information and decided to design a mall experience
package that &ould cost A2,.,# he client has fallen victim to &hich disadvantage of focus
)) misuse
:) misrepresentation
=) messy
8) :oth ) and : are correct.
#') ;hich of the follo&ing is a methodological application of focus groups<
)) obtaining impressions of ne& product concepts
:) generating alternative courses of action
=) :oth : and 8 are correct.
8) generating hypotheses that can be tested quantitatively
#() 5ocus groups can be used to address substantive issues such as ????????.
)) defining a problem more precisely
:) generating ne& ideas about older products
=) developing an approach to a problem
8) interpreting previously obtained quantitative results
#*) ;hich statement is not true about online focus groups<
)) he group interaction lasts for about an hour.
:) he general practice is for moderators to pose their questions in all capital letters and the
respondents to respond using upper and lo&er case.
=) he &hole process is much faster than the traditional method.
8) o enter the online focus group, participants must supply the room name, user name, and
pass&ord to the moderator via email.
#,) ;hich of the follo&ing statements is not an advantage of online focus groups<
)) he researcher can reach segments that are usually hard to survey.
:) 0esearchers can re7contact group participants at a later date.
=) he cost of the online focus group is much less.
8) 3nly people that have and kno& ho& to use a computer can participate.
'+) ;hich of the follo&ing statements is not a disadvantage of online focus groups<
)) @oderators may also be able to carry on side conversations &ith individual respondents,
probing deeper into interesting areas.
:) 1t can be difficult to verify that a respondent is a member of a target group.
=) 3nly audio and visual stimuli can be tested.
8) 3nly people that have and kno& ho& to use a computer can participate.
'1) ;hich of the situations mentioned belo& is not suitable for online focus groups<
)) highly emotional issues
:) companies that use the 1nternet to sell products or services and &ant to either gain market
share or gather intelligence
=) corporations that &ant to gather feedback on &orkplace issues like do&nsi!ing, %ob changes,
and diversity
8) none of the above
'2) ) ???????? is an unstructured, direct, personal intervie& in &hich a single respondent is
probed by a highly skilled intervie&er to uncover underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, and
feelings on a topic.
)) focus group
:) qualitative intervie&
=) pro%ective intervie&
8) depth intervie&
'3) 8epth intervie&s are like focus group in all of the follo&ing &ays except????????.
)) both are unstructured intervie&s
:) both are direct &ays of obtaining information
=) both are qualitative research methods
8) both are one7on7one intervie&s
'") 9;hy do you say that<9, 9hat.s interesting, can you tell me more<9 or, 9;ould you like to
add anything else<9 are examples of ????????.
)) focusing
:) pro%ecting
=) probing
8) none of the above
'#) ???????? is a technique for conducting depth intervie&s in &hich a line of questioning
proceeds from product characteristics to user characteristics.
)) Bidden issue questioning
:) 2ymbolic analysis
=) 6addering
8) Cone of the above
'') 1n a study the researcher &as investigating attitudes to&ard airlines among male middle
managers. Dach airline attribute, such as &ide7body aircrafts, &as probed /&hy do you like to
travel in &ide7body aircrafts<) to determine &hy it &as important /1 can get more &ork done) and
then that reason &as probed /1 accomplish more), and so on /1 feel good about myself). he
depth intervie& techniques used in the study is called ????????.
)) hidden issue questioning
:) symbolic analysis
=) laddering
8) none of the above
'() 1n a study the researcher &as investigating attitudes to&ard airlines among male middle
managers. Questions asked included, 9;hat &ould it be like if you could no longer use
airplanes<9 0esponses like, 9;ithout planes, 1 &ould have to rely on e7mail, letters, and
telephone calls9 &ere received. his suggests that &hat airlines sell to the managers is face7to7
face communication. he depth intervie& techniques used in the study is called ????????.
)) hidden issue questioning
:) symbolic analysis
=) laddering
8) none of the above
'*) ???????? is a type of depth intervie& that attempts to locate personal sore spots related to
deeply felt personal concerns.
)) Bidden issue questioning
:) 2ymbolic analysis
=) 6addering
8) Cone of the above
',) ???????? is a technique for conducting depth intervie&s in &hich the symbolic meaning of
ob%ects is analy!ed by comparing them &ith their opposites.
)) Bidden issue questioning
:) 2ymbolic analysis
=) 6addering
8) Cone of the above
(+) 1n a depth intervie&, the intervie&er should ????????.
)) avoid appearing superior and put the respondent at ease
:) be detached and ob%ective, yet personable
=) probe the respondent
8) all of the above
(1) 1n a depth intervie&, the intervie&er should ????????.
)) not accept brief 9yes9 or 9no9 ans&ers
:) not probe the respondent
=) ask questions in an informative manner
8) ) and = are both correct
(2) 8epth intervie&s suffer from many of the disadvantages of focus groups and often to a
greater extent. ;hich of the follo&ing disadvantages is not shared &ith focus groups<
)) 2killed intervie&ers capable of conducting depth intervie&s are expensive and difficult to
:) he lack of structure makes the results susceptible to the intervie&er.s influence.
=) he data obtained are difficult to analy!e and interpret.
8) )ll of the above are shared &ith focus groups.
(3) )/n) ???????? is an unstructured, indirect form of questioning that encourages respondents
to pro%ect their underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings regarding the issues of
)) pro%ective technique
:) focus group
=) association technique
8) depth intervie&
(") 1n ????????, an individual is presented &ith a stimulus and asked to respond &ith the first
thing that comes to mind.
)) completion techniques
:) focus groups
=) association techniques
8) depth intervie&s
(#) ;ord association is the best kno&n of the ???????? techniques.
)) expressive
:) association
=) completion
8) construction
(') ;ith ???????? respondents are presented &ith a list of &ords, one at a time. )fter each
&ord, they are asked to give the first &ord that comes to mind.
)) &ord association
:) sentence completion
=) story completion
8) none of the above
(() 1n &ord association, responses are analy!ed by calculating ????????.
)) the frequency &ith &hich any &ord is given as a response
:) the amount of time that elapses before a response is given
=) the number of respondents &ho do not respond at all to a test &ord &ithin a reasonable period
of time 8) all of the above
(*) ???????? is a pro%ective technique that requires the respondent to complete an incomplete
stimulus situation.
)) )ssociation technique
:) Dxpressive technique
=) =onstruction technique
8) =ompletion technique
(,) ???????? is a pro%ective technique in &hich respondents are presented &ith a number of
incomplete sentences and asked to complete them.
)) ;ord association
:) 2entence completion
=) 2tory completion
8) Dxpression completion
*+) ???????? is a pro%ective technique in &hich the respondents are provided &ith part of a story
and required to give the conclusion in their o&n &ords.
)) ;ord association
:) 2entence completion
=) 2tory completion
8) Dxpression completion
*1) ???????? require the respondent to construct a response in the form of a story, dialogue, or
)) )ssociation techniques
:) Dxpressive techniques
=) =onstruction techniques
8) 1mpression techniques
*2) 1n ????????, cartoon characters are sho&n in a specific situation related to the problem. he
respondents are asked to indicate &hat one cartoon character might say in response to the
comments of another character.
)) picture response techniques
:) cartoon tests
=) third7person techniques
8) role playing
*3) he t&o main expressive techniques are ???????? and ????????.
)) role playing4 &ord association
:) role playing4 third7person technique
=) &ord association4 sentence completion
8) third7person technique4 &ord association
*") ???????? is a pro%ective technique in &hich the respondent is presented &ith a verbal or
visual situation and asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person to the situation.
)) 0ole playing
:) 2entence completion
=) =artoon test
8) hird7person technique
*#) 1n ________, respondents are asked to play the role or assume the behavior of someone else.
)) role playing
:) sentence completion
=) cartoon test
8) third7party technique
*') $ro%ective techniques are used less frequently than unstructured direct methods /focus groups
and depth intervie&s). ) possible exception may be ????????, &hich is used commonly to test
brand names and occasionally to measure attitudes about particular products, brands, packages,
or advertisements.
)) story completion
:) &ord association
=) sentence completion
8) cartoon tests
*() ;hich of the follo&ing guidelines does not enhance the usefulness of pro%ective techniques<
)) $ro%ective techniques should be used because the required information cannot be accurately
obtained by direct methods.
:) $ro%ective techniques should be used for exploratory research to gain initial insights and
=) >iven their complexity, pro%ective techniques should not be used naively.
8) none of the above
**) ???????? is one of the three general steps that should be follo&ed &hen analy!ing
qualitative data. 1n this step, the researcher chooses &hich aspects of the data are emphasi!ed,
minimi!ed, or set aside for the pro%ect at hand.
)) 8ata display
:) 8ata reduction
=) 8ata determination
8) =onclusion dra&ing and verification
*,) ???????? is one of the three general steps that should be follo&ed &hen analy!ing
qualitative data. 1n this step, the researcher develops a visual interpretation of the data &ith the
use of such tools as a diagram, chart or matrix.
)) 8ata display
:) 8ata reduction
=) 8ata determination
8) =onclusion dra&ing and verification
,+) ???????? is one of the three general steps that should be follo&ed &hen analy!ing
qualitative data. 1n this step, the researcher considers the meaning of analy!ed data and assesses
its implications for the research question at hand.
)) 8ata display
:) 8ata reduction
=) 8ata determination
8) =onclusion dra&ing and verification
,1) ;hen conducting international marketing research, focus group moderators should not only
be trained in focus group methodology but should also be familiar &ith the ???????? of the
)) language
:) culture
=) patterns of social interaction
8) all of the above
,2) ;hich of the follo&ing is not an ethical issue of concern to the researcher<
)) disguising the purpose of the research and the use of deceptive procedures
:) videotaping and recording the proceedings
=) comfort level of the respondents
8) none of the above
,3) he 2+++, 2++" and 2++* presidential elections &ere cited in your text for negative attacks
by both the 0epublican and 8emocratic parties. he negative attacks &ere based on qualitative
marketing research used to help design the messages. ;hich ethical concern is this use of
marketing research related to<
)) disguising the purpose of the research and the use of deceptive procedures
:) using qualitative research for questionable purposes
=) comfort level of the respondents
8) none of the above
,") 8iscuss the five themes qualitative research has uncovered about baby boomers. ;hy is this
type of research important<
,#) =ompare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research
,') Eou are deciding &hich approach &ould be best to use to determine &hat milk drinkers
consider the best food to accompany a glass of milk. ;hich qualitative technique &ould you
choose and &hy<
,() 8iscuss the characteristics of focus groups /able #.2 in the text). 6ist at least four /")
characteristics and explain &hy it is important to consider each characteristic.
,*) ;hy is the online focus group process faster to analy!e than the traditional method<
,,) 8iscuss the advantages of online focus groups.
1++) 8iscuss the disadvantages of online focus groups.
1+1) 6ist at least five /#) applications of depth intervie&s. >ive a specific example of each.
1+2) 8iscuss the ma%or advantage of pro%ective techniques over the unstructured direct
techniques /focus groups and depth intervie&s).
1+3) :ecause the researcher is often not familiar &ith the foreign product market to be examined,
qualitative research is crucial in international marketing research. 8iscuss the issues a company
should consider before using pro%ective techniques in international marketing research.
1+") 1dentify and discuss the ethical issues related to the respondents and the general public that
may be of concern in qualitative research.
Answer 99
Advantages and disadvantages of focus groups
Focus groups ofer several advantages over other data collection techniques. These
may be summarised by the 10 Ss:8
1 Synergy. Putting a group of people together ill produce a ider range of information!
insight and ideas than ill individual responses secured privately.
2 Snowballing. " bandagon efect often operates in a group discussion in that one
person#s comment triggers a chain reaction from the other respondents. This
process facilitates a very creative process here ne ideas can be developed! $usti%ed
and critically e&amined.
3 Stimulation. 'sually after a brief introductory period! the respondents ant to
e&press their ideas and e&pose their feelings as the general level of e&citement over
the topic increases in the group.
4 Security. (ecause the respondents# feelings may be similar to those of other group
members! they feel comfortable and are therefore illing to )open up# and reveal
thoughts here they may have been reluctant if they ere on their on.
5 Spontaneity. (ecause respondents are not required to anser speci%c questions!
their responses can be spontaneous and unconventional and should therefore
provide an accurate idea of their vies.
6 Serendipity. *deas are more li+ely to arise une&pectedly in a group than in an
intervie. There may be issues that the moderator had not thought of. The
dynamics of the group can allo these issues to develop and be discussed. ,roup
members! to great efect! may clearly and forcibly as+ questions that the moderator
may be reluctant to as+.
7 Specialisation. (ecause a number of respondents are involved simultaneously! the
use of a highly trained! but e&pensive! intervieer is $usti%ed.
8 Scientifc scrutiny. The group discussion allos close scrutiny of the data collection
process in that observers can itness the session and it can be recorded for
later analysis. -any individuals can be involved in the validation and interpretation
of the collected data.
9 Structure. The group discussion allos for .e&ibility in the topics covered and the
depth ith hich they are treated. The structure can match the logical structure
of issues from the respondents# perspective as ell as the language and e&pressions
they are comfortable ith.
10 Speed. (ecause a number of individuals are being intervieed at the same time!
data collection and analysis proceed relatively quic+ly.
Answer 100
The disadvantages of focus groups may be summarised by the %ve Ms:
1 Misjudgement. Focus group results can be more easily mis$udged than the results of
other data collection techniques. "s discussed in /hapter 0! as a qualitative technique!
focus groups can evolve through a line of questioning and probing. The
speci%c direction of questioning and the ultimate interpretation of %ndings can be
susceptible to bias.
2 Moderation. "s ell as being great fun to moderate! focus groups can be di1cult
to moderate. -uch depends upon the )chemistry# of the group in terms of ho
group members get on ith each other and dra ideas and e&planations from each
other. 2ven moderators ith many years of e&perience can get into di1culty ith
particular group members ho disrupt the discussion. The quality of the results
depends upon ho ell the discussion is managed and ultimately on the s+ills of
the moderator.
3 Messiness. The unstructured nature of the responses ma+es coding! analysis and
interpretation di1cult in comparison ith the structure of quantitative techniques.
Focus group data tend to be messy and need either strong theoretical
support or the discipline of a grounded theory approach to ensure that decisionma+ers
can rely upon the analyses and interpretations.
4 Misrepresentation. Focus group results concentrate on distinct target groups!
describing them and contrasting them to other groups or types of respondent.
Trying to generalise to much ider groups! in the same manner as ith a quantitative
survey based on a representative sample! can be very misleading.
5 Meeting. There are many problems in getting potential respondents to agree to ta+e
part in a focus group discussion. 2ven hen they have agreed to participate! there
are problems in getting focus group respondents together at the same time.
3unning focus groups on the *nternet has helped to resolve these problems to
some e&tent! but for some target groups even this does not ofer a solution. "n
e&ample is in conducting business research ith managers as respondents. ,iven
the amount of travel and tight schedules that many managers have! getting them
together at the same time is very di1cult.4ith many managers reluctant to reveal
their company#s behaviour and plans in front of other managers! one can see that
the focus group may be very di1cult to administer in getting managers to meet up
and discuss issues.
When studies are carried out on a large scale the questionnaires tend to be highly
structured. Most, if not all, of the questions will have a closed-end response format. Thus,
whilst the large scale survey is the most appropriate approach where the need if for
numerical data. For example, if we were considering launching a new range of flavoured
mil and wanted to estimate demand in order that we could decide on production schedules
then a large scale consumer survey might be the best approach. !f on the other hand, our
problem were one of finding out why so many people did not drin mil then it would be
difficult to design a questionnaire, of reasonable length, which anticipated all possible
responses. !n such circumstances, it would probably be better to conduct a smaller number
of in-depth interviews.
!n essence, large scale surveys are useful where the questions are of the "how many#, $how
often% and $when% type but they are blunt instruments for answering questions of the $why%
Qualitative research: !n situations where the researcher is primarily interested
in why people thing and&or behave in a particular way rather than in being able to quantify
things, then qualitative research methods are liely to be employed. 'ualitative methods
have at least four distinguishing characteristics(
)mall numbers of respondents. The idea is to devote a considerable amount of time
on each interview to get to the heart of a matter.
*nstructured question formats. That is, the questions are not completely
predetermined and the interviewer is free to probe for all details and underlying
!ndirect measurement of respondents" feelings and beliefs. +espondents provide
descriptive information about their thought and feelings. These are not easily
pro,ected to the population.
-irect observation. The interviewer not only records answers but observes how
questions affect interviewees. .esitant answers, agitation, smiling, sweating,
calmness, boredom etc. are all observable and all tell us something about the
individuals state of mind.
Three commonly employed qualitative mareting research methods are pro,ective
techniques, focus groups and depth interviews.
Figure 11.5 Qualitative research methods
Focus groups: /ach focus group generally involves six to eight people who meet with a
moderator for a discussion. The discussion is focused, by the moderator on a particular
topic. Typically, a group session will last one to two hours. The discussion is free ranging
with the moderator intervening only periodically to stimulate the discussion in a particular
direction. The moderator uses a discussion guide rather than a questionnaire. This guide is
simply an agenda of the topics which the group should cover. Thus, the focus of the
discussion, at any point in time, is subtly controlled by the researcher 0hence the
term moderator1. 2articipants in the groups are chosen on the basis that they belong to the
target maret.
3ny number of focus groups may be held in connection with a particular mareting problem
but the results are not strictly pro,ectable to the population since the selection of participants
is in no way probabilistic.
Depth interviews: -epth interviews are lie lengthy psychoanalytic sessions between a
single respondent and a highly silled interviewer. The idea is to get to the deep, hidden
underlying attitudes and feelings the respondent has towards a product, service, company
or problems which a product is trying to solve.
-epth interviews are of most value where a study deals with 041 a confidential, emotionally
charged or embarrassing matter5 061 a behaviour for which socially acceptable norms exist
and the need to conform in group discussions influences responses5 071 a complex
behavioural or decision-maing process that requires a detailed idiosyncratic, step-by-step
description5 and 081 when group interviews are difficult to schedule for the target population.
Projective techniques: 9n occasion, the interests of the research are best served by
obtaining information on respondents" beliefs and feelings indirectly. 2ro,ective techniques
presume that respondents cannot or will not communicate their feelings and beliefs directly.
!nstead, respondents are encouraged to respond indirectly by pro,ecting their own feelings
and beliefs into the situation as they interpret the behaviour of others. The most common
pro,ective techniques are(-
Thematic apperception
+espondents are presented with a series of pictures or cartoons
in which consumers and products are featured. 2articipants are
ased to study the situation depicted and to comment on what is
happening or what might happen next. !n this way, respondents
are encouraged to pro,ect their own feelings and beliefs onto the
situation portrayed in the pictures or cartoons. The
term thematic apperception test is used because
themes (thematic) are elicited based on the perceptual-
interpretive 0apperception1 use of pictures and cartoons.
Word association
+espondents are presented with a series of words, one at a time,
and ased to indicate what word comes immediately to mind. The
respondent"s response and time to respond are recorded. /lapsed
time and associations are the ey measures. Word association is
commonly used in the testing of brand names.
)entence completion
)entence completion tests are similar to word association.
+espondents are ased to conclude a number of incomplete
sentences with the first word or phrase that comes to mind.
+esponses are then analysed for content and meaning.
)cenario&story completion
+espondents are ased to complete the end of a story or supply
the motive for why one or more actors in a story behaved as they
Third person&role playing
+espondents are presented with a visual or verbal situation in
which they are ased to relate the feelings and beliefs of a third
person - for example, a friend, neighbour, another farmer or
$typical% person - to the situation, rather than to directly express
their own feeling&beliefs about the situation. !n this way the
individual reveals his&her own inner most feelings, attitudes and
3s was said earlier, qualitative research methods are, best employed where the tas is to
address $why% questions. .owever, the results of qualitative research are rarely pro,ectable
to the population at large. Moreover, they must be carried out by interviewers trained in
psychology and&or sociology.
Observation: Methods of data collection involving directly or indirect, human or mechanical
measurement of behaviour, are termed observational methods. These can be particularly
useful in situations where the respondent is either unable or unwilling to report past
behaviour, or in cross-cultural research where it is possible that imperfect translation of the
questions can occur. 9bservation methods are also called naturalistic inquiries because, in
their purest form, such studies demand a natural setting. This is because behaviour taes
its meaning as much from their context as they do from themselves
. /xamples of
observation methods include pantry and dustbin audits, and physiological measurements.