Qualitative market research techniques

Qualitative Research

What exactly is qualitative research?

Qualitative market research techniques reveal an in-depth understanding of consumer behaviour and the way they think. Qualitative research can be used in its own right. Or you can build on findings made in quantitative research, discovering even more.

How can qualitative research help my business or organisation?

Properly conducted, qualitative research provides a solid base on which to make informed decisions.

What are the most popular qualitative market research techniques?

Qualitative research typically involves talking to people in greater depth than a quantitative interview. It can be done face-to-face or by phone.

Focus groups

Focus groups are made up of small groups of people. They are invited to talk about an issue, product or service. Some past examples include:

  • Potential tourists to an area to explore reactions to advertising and promotional material for a tourist board
  • Male childcare workers to investigate the barriers for men working in Early Years childcare settings
  • Financial services customers in order to understand their attitudes to a potential new product

Find out more in focus groups.

Depth interviews

During depth interviews, we interview individuals or pairs of people. This method is particularly good in comparing conflicting views. Some examples of our depth interviews include talking to:

  • Council leaders to explore the priority issues in their local area
  • Existing users of an in-home medical testing kit to understand the product’s strengths and weaknesses

Discover more in depth interviews.

What questions do you ask?

Unlike quantitative research there is no fixed set of questions. Typically, we produce a discussion guide which outlines the main areas of interest to be explored in depth.

Does qualitative research have to be done in isolation?

It can be. However, sometimes preliminary qualitative research helps identify topics to be investigated further in quantitative research, such as online surveys.

On the other hand, a qualitative study, such as a focus group, probes the reasons behind some of the opinions revealed in quantitative research.

More than 25 years’ experience of qualitative market research techniques

We have used qualitative research to explore a diverse range of topics with wide-ranging consumer groups. We have successfully completed qualitative research for many groups. These include the elderly, those with learning disabilities and those from lower income backgrounds.

Next steps

To discuss which of our qualitative market research techniques would be best for you, please call us on 0800 6523740, email us at info@pcpmarketresearch.com, or fill in our enquiry form.

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    Dr David Hart (Principal Lecturer & Programme Director) Newcastle Business School, University of Northumbria

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