Research has been an important element of analysis in recent years; more so when the societies are becoming more and more diverse and complex and we have modern methods of recording and analyzing different sets of data. But, as has been the conventional wisdom over the years, numbers and stats aren’t an end in them and are required to elicit some crucial conclusions that may help the researchers and businesses to come up with a relevant strategy.
In the field of market research, surveying is quite often the name of the game. But the thing about surveys is that they are more reflective of numerical data and often ignore the buying behavior of the customers and their social and cultural context. These are the parameters which separate qualitative research data collection techniques from the quantitative ones and form the basis for modern research work in the field of marketing.
Quantitative data just give a broad idea about the numbers and do not form the core of marketing strategies. This could be explained by a simple example. Just say, for example, if someone wants to know about the amount of fruits and vegetables that are consumed across different cities. How could one come up with numbers that are reflective of the exact market condition? Simple consumptions numbers could hardly help one to derive and fruitful and useful results. What one would be acquainted with is simply gross numbers. To understand the buying patterns of consumers and the demographics of the region, all we need is a detailed qualitative research technique.
Qualitative research data collection is definitely a more suitable way of analyzing market trends. They give useful idea about the attitudes of customers and their buying behavior, and also help in understating the environment in which markets function. As studies in business and economics have evolved over a period of time, they have absorbed a lot of elements from social and psychological studies. These new research techniques help in injecting life to these dead numbers. The overall analysis and subsequent deductions could be of great help to business and new entrepreneurs.
To continue with our previous example of consumption of fruits and vegetables, let us now explain how qualitative methods broadly work. These qualitative methods would involve how these food items are consumed among different economic sections. How the price trends are fluctuating and what are factors that are directly or indirectly responsible for these trends. Similarly they also consider the seasonal influences and other market conditions. Overall, it a very comprehensive and exhaustive technique and involves a lot of factors.
Some of the important techniques for qualitative research data analysis include observational techniques, projective techniques, and in-depth interviews. Each of the methods has its own standard for conducting research and uses various perspectives to derive the conclusions. The in-depth interviews for example undertake verbal communication with the consumers in order to discover underlying attitudes and motivations towards a product.
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