Selecting The Best Market Research Method And Challenging The Status Quo
MaResCon Consulting director Frank Geers and HJ Heinz CE marketing research manager Ronald Laan presented at the April 2013 event, Qualitative360 Europe 2013, held in Berlin, Germany. Their talk was about choosing the best market research method and being an able researcher who refuses to blindly follow trends.
Laan mentioned how research methods evolved from focus groups, individual interviews, and monadic surveys to include more contemporary methodologies based on semiotics, ethnography, communities, and hybrid combinations of the various research methods. Then recently, fairly advanced methodologies such as mobile, non-response, digital, neuroscience, Big Data models, virtual environments, and choice-based methods are found to have been gaining popularity among researchers.
After examining the myriad of consumer insights brought in by appropriate research methods, the product development phase is then simplified to follow a funnel-like progression: ideation, concept qualification, product qualification, market qualification, product launch, and evaluation of the product after the launch.
A case study was presented to argue the Heinz CE and MaResCon Consulting researchers’ claims. The case study involved qualitative pack design testing, which offers an analytical comparison between online and offline research. The researchers also broached the traditional way of performing pack design testing, sharing their invaluable insights along the way.
A good starting point would have been to know whether a consumer’s search behavior differs when he is shopping in a real supermarket or an online one. The researcher can then proceed to understand the factors that make those two environments similar or different.
All in all, picking an appropriate methodology and platform for which to conduct the research adds value to the results of the entire market research campaign. It is also recommended that, whenever possible, a client must make an attempt to test the market research firm’s clout by asking it to challenge the current methodologies being rolled out by the client.