In order to evaluate the needs, satisfaction, expectations, and similar criteria amongst the consumers, different research methods may be used. They are generally divided into quality and quantity researches.
The main facts about quantity researches:
- Quantity research provide the statistic evaluation of the researched phenomenon
- People’s behavior is pre-defined as regular and predictable
- Usually applied to large groups of people that may represent the opinion of the population
- Research data is numerical
- Research results are generalized and can be used to evaluate large groups of people
- Research report provides data that is usually presented in graphic visual form
Quantity researches are most appropriate in the following cases:
- Whenever you would want to research and measure the opinions, thoughts, feelings and behavior of large groups of people
- Whenever you would like to back the essential features of the object, research causal connections and how they function
- Whenever a quality research has already been performed and you would like to make the results even more valuable by backing it up with quantity research data.
Quantity research methods:
- Content analysis
A survey is a relatively fast and convenient way to collect information, that allows to get to obtain the information on attitudes, values and behavioral traits of the surveyed. Given the availability of survey participants in a specific case, we can collect information using various technical means.
Observation is a type of research, when a process, activity, event or other such feature is being closely observed. The researcher fills out the observation report, collects the information he is interested in. You can scientifically observe both numerical repetitions of different processes (i.e. buyers, or the number of offered products), and the situations, processes or actions that require the reflexing of the researcher. One of the main specialized researches, based upon the observation methodology – is the mystery shopper research.
Content analysis is a method of analyzing text, visual, audio or other type of information. Both quantity and quality content analysis may be executed, depending on the aims of the research. Quantity content analysis provides the researcher means to get to know the intensity of picturing and discussing of some types of themes and/or problems in a data source (i.e. newspaper). The quantity content analysis helps the researcher to identify theme categories, which later help him to provide a system researched phenomenon evaluation.
The main facts regarding the quality researches:
- Quality researches help to understand and interpret social life and interactions
- Quality research treats human behavior as dynamic and situation related
- Researches isolated cases, does not lean to representativeness
- Research data is usually either in word format or are presented visually
- Research results are usually partial, hardly generalized
- Research reports provide data interpretations and authentic sayings of the research participants
Quality researches are most appropriate in the following cases:
- The topic of research was not researched earlier, there is no or very little data collected regarding the researched topic
- The research aim is to describe a chosen phenomenon
- There is no information on what phenomenon or reasons might cause some sort of behavior
- The aim is to form theses and hypotheses
Quality research methods:
- In-depth, half-structured interviews
- Content analysis
- Focus groups
In-depth, half-structured interviews
In-depth, half-structured interviews is one of the types of surveys, during which the interviewer is trying to get as much unstructured information from the interviewee regarding the researched problem, as possible. The process and the style of the interview depends on the aims drawn by the researcher, although in all cases, the interviewer and the interviewee communicate with each other.
Content analysis is a method of analyzing text, visual, audio or other type of information. Both quantity and quality content analysis may be executed, depending on the aims of the research. Quality content analysis provides the researcher means to get to know the intensity of picturing and discussing of some types of themes and/or problems in a data source (i.e. newspaper). The quality content analysis helps the researcher to identify theme categories, which later help him to provide a system researched phenomenon evaluation.
Focus groups are one of the most frequently used quality data collection methods. During the implementation of this type of research a discussion regarding a pre-determined topic is being initiated amongst the members of a small group of people participating in the research. Group discussions have a synergetic effect, which empowers the diversity of ideas, opinions and experiences. Group discussion research is useful whenever new information is being searched for (i.e. opinions regarding a new product), in cases when different opinions on the same topic are welcome, whenever people use their own words to describe their own experiences. This data can be used to identify the reasons why focus group members act in the way they act, their motives, attitudes and ways, how they affect each other. This method is used to gather a lot of diverse information that is being lost during a 1 on 1 interview process.