Qualitative research (qual) reveals what people think and feel, and explores issues by understanding how people’s attitudes and motivations influence their behaviour. It relies on implicit models of analysis of the participants’ verbal and non-verbal communication, their actions and reactions to interpret why people feel the way they do.
The distinguishing characteristic of qual is that it is primarily concerned with “how” and “why”; while it serves to explore and investigate, qual does not attempt to measure.
Group discussions and depth interviews, the two commonly used modes of qual are moderated by trained qual researchers. The researchers make use of open-ended interviewing techniques to explore participants’ feelings and bring forth emotions into the open in a way that they feel comfortable with.
As shown in Exhibit 4.0, which depicts a focus group in progress, the setting is controlled and the proceedings are recorded. Note also the use of the one way mirror to unobtrusively observe the group discussion.
Related topics in this section highlight the difference between qual and quant research, discuss the use of user-generated content, and clarify what type of marketing problem each of these methods is best suited to resolve.
The section also covers other aspects of qual including group discussions, interviews, observation, online qual, the design and preparation of a qual study, projective and enabling techniques, body language, and guidelines for moderating groups.
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Marketing has changed. More so in practical terms, and marketing education is lagging.
The fundamental change lies in the application of analytics and research. Every aspect of the marketing mix can be sensed, tracked and measured.
That does not mean that marketers need to become expert statisticians. We don't need to learn to develop marketing mix models or create perceptual maps. But we should be able to understand and interpret them.
MarketingMind helps. But the real challenge lies in developing expertise in the interpretation and the application of market intelligence.
The Destiny market simulator was developed in response to this challenge. Traversing business years within days, it imparts a concentrated dose of analytics-based strategic marketing experiences.
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While in a classroom setting you are pitted against others, as an independent learner, you get to play against the computer. Either way you learn to implement effective marketing strategies, develop an understanding of what drives store choice and brand choice, and become proficient in the use of market knowledge and financial data for day-to-day business decisions.