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Chapter 5

Ch. 5: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Pluralistic Research

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Ryerson University
MKT 500
Helene Moore

Wk. 5 – Ch. 5. – Quantitative, Qualitative, and Pluralistic Research Lecture on October 2, 2012 Quantitative, qualitative, and pluralistic research:  Quantitative research: involves the use of structured questions in which the response options have been predetermined and a large number of respondents are involved  Qualitative research: collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing and listening to what people do and say. This information can be quantified but only after a translation process has taken place o Observation techniques (least common in Canada) o Social media techniques (rapidly growing) o Focus groups (most common in Canada)  Pluralistic research: combines both. It is common to start with exploratory, qualitative techniques here Qualitative techniques described in detail: Observation techniques:  Direct vs. indirect o Direct: observing to see how many shoppers squeeze tomatoes for freshness o Indirect: observe types of hidden behaviour, like past behaviour. Archives and physical traces are used  Disguised vs. undisguised o Disguised: the subject is unaware that they are being observed o Undisguised: the subject is aware  Structured vs. unstructured o Structured: the researcher identifies beforehand which behaviours are to be observed and recorded, all other behaviors are “ignored” o Unstructured: no restriction on what the observer will record  Human vs. mechanical o Human: real person observes a situation; can be costly and prone to error o Mechanical: some form of device  Must be over a short time interval  Observations are necessary when faulty recall occurs Social media research  Essentially free  Tom Webster, author of BrandSavant, discusses the “six degrees of social media monitoring” o Monitoring brand mentions o In-depth monitoring of sentiment o Tracking conversations about the competition o In-depth analysis of direct consumer need; can be done by segmenting conversations into coded categories o Considering indirect consumer needs and entails listening to consumers’ experience with the product o Examine underlying psychological and social meaning behind consumer interaction with specific social media Focus groups  Focus groups: small groups of people brought together and guided by a moderator though an unstructured, spontaneous discussion for the purpose of gaining information relevant to the research problem  How focus groups work: o Traditional focus groups: 6-12 persons, with one-way mirror, for about 2 hours, at focus group facility o Non-traditional focus groups: may be online, may be 25-50, may last 4-5 hours, can be held anywhere like a park o Focus group participants are interviews by moderators, often referred to as Qualitative Research Consultants  Must prepare a focus group report: qualitative statements must be translated into categories, degree of consensus must be analyzed, and demographic and buyer beh
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