Qualitative research has broadened - and continues to broaden - in scope as its applications and methods of delivery evolve to encompass different market trends and technologies. But is it now coming full circle?
Behavioural Economics has become accepted as fact by some people in the market and social research world. I am not one of those people.
I have three problems with it - to be fair I should say 'problems with applied behavioural economics':
The resurgence of face to face focus groups in Australia has been hidden away from the eyes of many people who presumed that advances in communication and technology would have replaced the need to host focus groups in person. In fact, face to face focus groups have been booming in our corner of the world because of technology.
This came clearly to mind for me when I was at The City Group Rooms in Sydney recently doing what I always do which is to hang anxiously around the waiting rooms for my respondents to arrive. Unable to alter the habits of a working life-time, I was also watching what was happening around me. All seven rooms at the city venue were fully booked with many double shifts, so there were people everywhere. Seriously, this place never seems to stop.
We have just been doing some ‘consumer testing’ with people who have managed funds. As ever, when you use a technique like this you learn more and more about how to do it well. This time it occurred to me that people react to information in almost the same way that they interact with people.
We use a hybrid method where we first collect data, and then conduct a qualitative interview so we are able to measure reactions but also gain qualitative insight.