Qualitative Market Research
Do you ever wonder how new products get onto the shelves of supermarkets, shops and so on, or how TV adverts are made, or why TV programmes are made?
Most new ideas don’t appear until they have been thoroughly tested – it’s not cost effective for companies to make something on the off-chance that people will buy it; they need to check before they commit to spending a lot of money on a new idea. To do this, they need to ask people who use similar products, or might be in the market for new ones.
This is where you come in. All of us are consumers of something every day and it’s a good bet that at some time someone will be researching what you buy, what you watch, where you shop. So that could be the chance to make your opinions heard and at the same time, be rewarded for giving up your time.
Have a look at the types of market research that we do to get an idea of the variety of topics and the types of companies that undertake research.
What is a market research focus group
It’s a group of (usually eight) people) who all have at least one thing in common – they all drink the same brand of coffee, read the same newspaper and so on. The group is led by a researcher (known as a moderator) who doesn’t work for the end client but is neutral. They will get the group talking about particular topics and from what is said, will write a report for their client. The report wouldn’t say: “Mrs Bloggs said” but “people think that…, people feel that….”. The group isn’t an exam and there are no right or wrong answers. People all have different opinions and these are respected. People who have been to groups tell us that they are stimulating, very enjoyable and can be a lot of fun, as well as offering a chance to have your opinions heard and acted upon. And eventually you could see the product you’ve been discussing appear on the supermarket shelves, or the advert you’ve been talking about, appearing on TV.
Focus groups may take place face to face, although they can also take place online using online meeting tools and activities.
What the advantages of focus groups for customer research?
Your opinions are very important because you are the users of the products or services and so are (edit) uniquely placed to comment on them.
Companies want the chance to discuss their products and services in depth and this type of qualitative research gives them valuable insights into their products/services, their customers and their market.
Companies want to increase their chances of success with the products/services so gathering customer opinion is very valuable to them. The sorts of things that they can learn from people like you:
- What customers or potential customers think and feel about your product / service
- How customers choose between different products or suppliers
- What motivates customers’ choices
- How branding, design and packaging influence customers
- What sort of marketing messages are the most positive
- What sort of marketing messages do customers or potential customers dislike
- How making a decision is influenced by price
- Whether there is demand for the companies proposed new product or service
Paid market research – what can you get out of it?
The obvious benefit is the opportunity to say something to companies about their products and services; to influence decisions on whether something actually gets made. Having your opinions heard and respected.
You can also get paid for your opinion. People who take part in paid focus groups are compensated for giving up their time. Typically groups last between one and half to two hours, and people receive anything from £30 – £50.
Interested in taking part in market research focus groups?
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