Qualitative marketing research involves active dialogue with individuals or small groups. By encouraging respondents to say exactly what they feel, it aims to understand the range of opinions or views they hold on a particular topic, and to uncover why they think or feel as they do.

Qualitative research usually involves interviewing a relatively small number of people (tens rather than hundreds or thousands). It can take the form of individual depth interviews (done either in-person or by telephone), and/or focus groups, where 6-10 carefully selected participants share and discuss their differing experiences or views on a specific subject.

Qualitative surveys usually explore the questions ‘What?’, ‘When?’, ‘How?’, ‘Where?’ – and, most importantly – ‘Why?’. By using a fairly loose structure (based around key topics to be explored), an interviewer is able to ask questions that get under the skin of a particular issue.

The ability of the interviewer is key. They need the experience and skill to recognise significant comments and understand when and how to probe more deeply. They also need to listen for and uncover what is not said.

In the hands of experts, qualitative research can give you valuable information about your brand, product or company. It can also reveal issues needing further investigation – perhaps in a quantitative research phase.

Our experience in qualitative research enables us to design projects that get to the heart of the issues you need to know more about. For an initial discussion, call us on +44 (0) 1235 812456 or send us an email.