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Qualitative Market Research

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Qualitative Market Research

Qualitative market research looks at issues in-depth and seeks to understand the how and why behind decisions, as opposed to the 'who' and 'how many'. This type of research covers a broad range of methodologies, and can be completed online, on the telephone, via focus groups, through observation or accompanied shops and in one to one depth interviews.

The format of qualitaitve research is generally a discussion, with the potential for the use of projective techniques to really get under the skin of the topic in question and understand the emotional drivers behind certain decisions or opinions. Discussions are normally far less structured then in quantitative research and are more likely to utilise a topic guide rather than a questionnaire. The art of qualitative researching is to keep respondents on-topic and guide the conversation, whilst still allowing the discussion to flow naturally to ensure all the relevant points are covered - including those which were not anticipated at the outset. Qualitative questions are generally open-ended, to allow respondents to discuss in detail their thoughts and feelings on a particular topic, product or service.

Qualitative market research interviews tend to be longer than quantitative, and fewer interviews are completed. Often, the two types of research are combined to give a feeling for how many people buy a product, why they bought it, and the journey they went through on the way to the point of purchase.

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