Mammoth Memory

Market Research Qualitative – Is the process of collecting and analysing people's feelings and opinions in detail

(Pronounced kwol-i-tey-tiv)

The easiest way to remember qualitative is to realise that the word quality is nearly the word qualitative. 


And to spell either quantitative or qualitative, drop the y in both.


The easiest way to remember quantitative is to realise that the word quantity is nearly the word quantitative. 

And because we already know what market research is, qualitative market research is:

Collecting quality information that is detailed, such as people's feelings and opinions.

This qualitative market research might have been found by carrying out primary or secondary market research. 

Qualitative research is carried out using focus groups, interviews and in-depth questionnaires and can be used in business to develop a full picture of consumer thought on a product, service, or brand.

Some of the characteristics of qualitative market research include:

  • Small sample size – Qualitative research typically involves taking time to gather in-depth information from a relatively small sample of people who have been highly targeted based on their demographic make-up.
  • Open ended questions – Questions asked to those being interviewed are kept open-ended with unlimited possible answers. This helps to obtain the true feelings of the interviewee.
  • Interpretive analysis – It is up to those conducting the research to draw their own conclusions based on information they’ve gathered. It may not be clearly evident as in the case of quantitative research data.


An example of where qualitative market research may be used is if a movie studio is developing a movie and would like to gauge the proposed target demographic’s response to the ideas. Say the movie is a coming-of-age teen comedy, it is likely that a focus group would be assembled made up of 8-10 teenagers from different backgrounds, both males and females. Ideas or footage could be presented to them and then questions asked to prompt discussion which would then be recorded for future reference and review. It’s important to know your target audience’s thoughts and take action on their opinions, as it’s their interest in the product that success rests upon.

The toy company Lego realised from quantitative market research that their product mostly sold to boys. They then conducted qualitative primary market research interviewing 3000 girls and their parents to understand their playing habits and opinions. Lego launched a product group called Friends primarily targeted at girls in 2012. They introduced miniature Lego dolls in suburban life settings of an imaginary city. The launch of Lego Friends has been one of Lego’s biggest successes.

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