Thursday, July 31, 2008

So, what do qualitative researchers do?

Let’s start with some context and an example.

Some context

People buy things. People sell things. How can people who sell things get more people to buy (more of) the things they’re selling?

An example

Just say we want to sell cupcakes. A good first step is to try to understand a few things about cupcake buyers, or potential cupcake buyers:

  • Why do people buy cupcakes? What need or desire do cupcakes fulfill?
  • When and where (and why then and there) do they buy cupcakes?
  • What is/who is involved in the cupcake decision making process?
  • What’s the best way to communicate with cupcake buyers/potential buyers?

These are the kind of questions that a qualitative researcher would ask. Our objective is to understand attitudes and behaviours around cupcake buying (and eating!).

This information will help us develop appealing cupcakes, based on buyers' needs and desires. It will help us develop relevant and appealing messages about our cupcakes. In effect, it will help us to sell more cupcakes.

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