If you are keen to get inside the minds of your customers, you need to do qualitative market research. This research can provide valuable insights into your products, your target market your customers’ opinions, and what motivates your customers to buy your products. But what is qualitative market research?
It is a method of research that depends on focus groups and face-to-face interviews besides other research methods. This research makes use of open-ended questions and comprises a small but validated sample size, usually around six to 10 respondents.
Importance of Market Research
If you are looking to launch a marketing campaign, develop a new product, improve branding, perform a SWOT analysis, prepare a marketing plan, research is crucial and essential. In a digitally connected world, research is also important for formulating an online marketing strategy, right from designing the website and email newsletters to social networking and SEO.
Brands, retailers, service providers, and marketers use market research as a means to develop their products and services and also ensure that they meet the needs of their target audience. For example, if a restaurant wants to introduce a new menu, one of the best ways to get feedback is by inviting local people to sample dishes and provide feedback on the dishes, the service, and the pricing.
Market research is designed to provide feedback that could help you boost your chances of success. It is prudent to remember that the marketplace is highly competitive, and businesses look just at how much revenue any marketing endeavor generates. That is the reason data-driven marketing has become the norm rather than resorting to guesswork.
That is where qualitative market research comes in. It makes use of qualitative and reliable data to gain insights into what your target audience thinks, why they think like that, and finding out their opinions so that you come to know what motivates them.
As a brand, if you are looking for in-depth feedback, the best way is to have group discussions and face-to-face interviews. Taking a small but validated sample of the target market will enable you to get the data and information you are seeking.
Undertaking Qualitative Market Research
It is prudent to remember that getting clear-cut results from qualitative market research is challenging. You need to plan your approach as some people may provide positive feedback out of politeness while there will be others who will be verbose and want to dominate discussions.
Hence, the key lies in carefully selecting the right people to interview as well as to moderate discussions. Managers should not be allowed to be in-charge of sessions as they will be biased. Instead, a third-party moderator, who is objective, should be used for interviews and group discussions. Such a person will ensure that the session is unstructured and answers are not superficial. This can be analyzed further to get useful insights.
The Bottom Line
Positioning qualitative market research in a favorable light can be done with the right sample groups. This method of research is not that expensive and can be used to glean valuable insights about customers, how they view and perceive your services or products, figure out which marketing messages reap the right results, and whether there is a demand for your product or services. Through elaborate opinions, qualitative market research provides a better and in-depth understanding of your target audience and their behavioral patterns. You understand the “why” and then the “what”.