Qualitative research


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Qualitative research

  1. 1. The Power of Qualitative Research
  2. 2. Introduction Qualitative research is regularly used widely by companies to provide insight into customers’ true needs and wants. These insights go far beyond standard quantitative work like surveys. Here’s why…2 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  3. 3. Qualitative ResearchQualitative research is one of the two majorapproaches to research; the other isquantitative research, which relies on surveysand statistics. Qualitative work providesmore:•  Involves an in-depth understanding of human behavior.•  Categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organizing and reporting results.•  The need is for smaller but focused samples rather than large random samples. 3 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  4. 4. Qualitative Research •  Investigates the why, how, what, where, and when of decision making. Quantitative research cannot address “why” and “how,” yet “why” and “how” provide the actionable results and the reasons behind people’s actions. •  Ethnographic methods are the most powerful of the qualitative techniques. 4 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  5. 5. Famous Results…Mini Cooper Fridge pack Miller Lite Huggies Pull-Ups5 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  6. 6. A ComparisonYou want to know how yourcustomers use voicemail so you canrefine your marketing strategy.You arethinking of creating an automatedvoicemail system to deliver messagesto customers. To find out aboutvoicemail use, you hire both aquantitative researcher and aqualitative researcher.6 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  7. 7. A ComparisonThe quantitative team pulls together a 10-question surveyabout voicemail use and sends it out to 1000 customers. Theteam comes back in two weeks and shares these results:•  85% of customers use voicemail at different times; some listen during the morning commute, some around lunchtime, and some throughout the day.•  90% of customers listen to voicemail in different places; some in their car, some only at work, and some anywhere.•  Over half of customers sometimes don’t listen to their voicemail at all. 7 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  8. 8. A ComparisonA qualitative researcher has been asked the same question:How do customers use voicemail?•  The researcher recruits 15 participants in three regions of the country to participate. Each respondent is “shadowed” for an entire day, and for the week following the shadow sends a text message and snapshot of where they are at that moment to the researcher every time they answer voicemail.•  After completing the fieldwork and analyzing the resulting 200-pages of transcripts, 50 hours of video, and 1,000 photographs, the qualitative team comes back with these results… 8 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  9. 9. A Comparison•  Customers nationwide go through a very detailed decision-making tree when interacting with their voicemail, though there are some regional differences.•  Many customers don’t like to listen to their voicemail simply because it’s too much of a pain. Instead, they just look at the call log to see who they missed, then call back directly. There are business exceptions to this.•  Customers who listen to voicemail while commuting avoid talking to some people by instead leaving a return voicemail in the early morning hours.•  Customers who need to listen to voicemail for business purposes prefer to listen to it either throughout the day, or in one chunk. The deciding factor is needed responsiveness (i.e. sales people feel that they need to get back to customers more quickly while cubicle jockeys feel they can wait a few hours). 9 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  10. 10. A Comparison•  The main conclusion from the qualitative team was that using voicemail for marketing wouldn’t be useful since customers might not listen to the message. In fact, they would probably be irritated at you for doing such a thing.•  However, during the study it was noticed that text messaging was something that customers responded to immediately because it was easy and perceived to be non-confrontational. And all text messages were read.•  In the end, the results from the qualitative team moved the marketing strategy away from voicemail and towards text messaging. In addition, voicemail was redesigned to better meet the needs of customers.•  Overall, the extra time investment and cost of the qualitative work helped avoid a costly mistake and also provided “double-duty” by addressing other important customer needs. 10 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  11. 11. Customer Contact HoursThe qualitative researcher studied 15 customers around the country intimately. This“deep-dive” approach produced twice as much data, all of which was actionable. 160 140 120 Customer Contact 100 80 Hours 60 40 20 0 Quantitative: 1000 Qualitative: 15 customers customers 11 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  12. 12. Benefits of Qualitative Work…All qualitative research is not created equal. Ethnography is the most intensive oftechniques but provides the most valuable information. Group discussions (orfocus groups) are quick and easy, but provide much more limited information: Ethnography On-site Group Interviews DiscussionsLevel of Insight In-depth Generalizable OverallArea of Innovation and New & Modified Evaluation ofApplication Planning Designs/Services Existing ProductsTime & Cost High Medium Low 12 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  13. 13. Benefits of Qualitative Work…•  Avoid costly mistakes by addressing real needs and wants before you take action.•  Know what the people you serve want before they do.•  Improve speed to market for products and services.•  Realize greater innovation potential. 13 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  14. 14. Working with YouEveryone does “ethnography” these days. Sothe reasonable question is, how does thisapproach differ? •  More than the interview. •  Uncovering the unexpected. •  Not just interesting information, but actionable findings. •  Research and analysis grounded in 30 years of experience. •  Research grounded in actual social science training. 14 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  15. 15. Working with YouPeople Path will work with you to select the best method and deliverable basedupon your research question, time constraints, and budget. 15 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  16. 16. People Path Provides… •  Ethnographies •  Needs assessments •  Customer modeling •  Personas & profiles •  Cultural profiles •  Semiotic analysis •  Cross-cultural comparisons •  Neighborhood characterizations •  Outreach & development plans •  Life-stage overviews •  Shopping behavior and trigger analysis16 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  17. 17. Some Methods…•  Participant observation•  Contextual inquiry•  Individual interviews•  In-home activity mapping•  Environment/neighborhood activity mapping•  Ethnographic videography•  Material culture analysis•  Usability Studies: in-context•  Design research•  Online journaling•  Photo journaling•  Behavioral patterning 17 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
  18. 18. Christina Keibler, MS, MA Anthropologist & Principal 720-474-3488 christina@people-path.com Gavin Johnston, MA, MA Anthropologist & Principal 720-474-3489 gavin@people-path.com www.people-path.com18 The Power of Qualitative Research christina@people-path.com
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