Why qualitative research?

+97 votes
asked Jul 8, 2015 in Education by IsmaelLujan2 (270 points)
I am an MBA student. Here in our business school, teachers talk a lot about qualitative research. But I don’t really understand why qualitative research is so important? What can be achieved using qualitative research?

1 Answer

+13 votes
answered Aug 13, 2015 by Mitzi37N9387 (500 points)

Qualitative research is a method of research that helps you develop hypotheses, figure out problems and improve communication with other people. Sales people and marketers use this method to analyze the different behaviors of their customers. If you want to get involved in this field, you have to learn more about the practice so that you ask only the questions that are relevant to your specific goals.

Marketers and business planners develop hypotheses to provide reasons to conduct their important experiments. A hypothesis is a suggested explanation for an event that has not yet been proven true. Qualitative research is extremely useful in testing hypotheses that are subject to personal values and beliefs.

So why qualitative research? Because it can be a powerful means for the two ends that marketers are most interested in:

Analyzing Customer Behavior

Qualitative research is very useful when a business wants to study the various behaviors of its customers. Each customer has a different way of doing things. One type of customers likes to review sales or discounts before making a purchase. Another type of customer likes to leave a review or feedback after making a purchase. Qualitative research helps you understand the individual values, beliefs and practices of each customer you come across. Then, you create a plan to reach out to those targeted clients.

Making Improvements to Products and Services

Qualitative research can be further employed to find newer, better ways of doing business. When you figure out exactly what your customers want, you develop the products and services they desire the most. You get rid of obsolete products that people have lost interest in and promote the ones that are growing in popularity.

Alternatively, you can keep the old idea and make various improvements to it. For instance, a grocery store business can send out a questionnaire to every customer who looks for products on the website. The business manager finds out that many people think the store is too inconvenient, so he decides to open more hours to late-night customers.

Everyone has an idea of what makes good business and what does not. However, just because an idea has worked for one company does not mean it will work for another one. Qualitative research helps you make sure whether or not the idea will work. If you run a business that caters to customers, you need to know about their specific needs. You have to study their behaviors, understand their needs and follow consumer trends in your local area and the rest of the country. This type of research gives people the answers they need to solve many questions in life.

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