Sunday, July 6, 2008

The mystery of qualitative research

I recently got in touch with a long lost, very dear friend of mine. We met at uni many years ago and he now works in IT. He’s extra-clever: one of those people that ‘gets’ things. And he’s just a really, really nice guy. Top that!

But I digress.

What’s extraordinary – why I’m blogging about this – is that when I told him that I was a market researcher, mostly undertaking qualitative market research projects, I saw not just a hint, but a great wave of confusion cross his face.

So I paused.

“And what exactly is it that you do?” he asked.

“You know, find out what people think about things: products, services, brands…you know. And try to work out how to talk to and with them in a meaningful way…”

Didn’t cut it. He didn’t know. And if someone that smart and quick to get stuff didn’t get it, it’s got to be my fumbling explanation.

So over the next week or so, I’m going to try to explain just what it is I (ie as a qualitative market researcher) do. I’m going to try to make it easy to understand for someone new to, or not in, our industry.

: o


traceyleigh said...

Hi Katie! It's Tracey from obp here :-)

So glad that you are going to do this and I shall show my daughter, Molly who will follow these entries with great interest. She is in Year 10 now and off to do her 11/12 years at college next year and planning her path at university. She has hopped around a little with what she wants to do: started with forensic science then she wanted to do criminology and now she has a very strong interest in psychology with a particular interest in qualitative research! I said to her today after she came home from her orientation at college all excited that this is what you did and she said well tell her I'll be knocking on her door in six years or so to ask for a job!! lol.


traceyleigh said...

Ohhh and.... what sorts of subjects would you suggest she complete for her pre-tertiary studies at college? Obviously, psychology, sociology would be good ones but would you suggest she does a business studies course in Year 11 or 12??? Any advice you could give her would be really me if you prefer :-)