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Market Research Methods


1 May 2018

Marketing research methods vary according to the objective of, and the situation surrounding, the research. However, generally they fall into the following categories:

Quantitative research: This is concerned with the measurement of attitudes, behaviours and perceptions and can provide the scale of these measures as a percentage of the target population.

Qualitative research: This type of research is undertaken to gain insights into attitudes, beliefs, motivations and behaviours of individuals to explore a social or a human problem.  Qualitative research includes methods such as focus groups, in-depth interviews and observational research.

Contextual research: This is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of learning in the subject area.

Clinical trials: These are research studies undertaken to determine the effectiveness of products that prevent, diagnose or treat certain physiological conditions.

Epidemiological research: This research type is concerned with the description of health and welfare in populations through the collection of data related to health, frequency, distribution and determinants of disease in populations. The aim is usually to improve the health of those populations.

Evaluation research: Research conducted to measure the effectiveness or performance of a program, concept or campaign in achieving its objectives.

Literature or Meta review: This is critical examination, interpretation or evaluation of existing literature and research studies to establish current knowledge on a subject. This usually results in a summary or judgement of the existing material.

Applied research: means the research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge’s sake.

Descriptive research: Descriptive research, as the words suggest, works on collecting the data and then detailing and describing it analytically.

Experimental research: This focuses on cause/effect relationships. Variables are manipulated to see how the manipulation affects the outcome.

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