Qualitative Research Methods


It is a market study method conducted as a group discussion. Due to the group study the method allows to understand which products and services are preferred in various circumstances by representatives of the target audience as well as why they make such a choice. The Focus-group method allows to consider a certain situation (consumption) taking into consideration subject-related reasons (motives, habits, prejudices etc.) and get the consumption/purchase model within a certain category.


Depth Interview

Depth interview is an unstructured conversation with a respondent in order to define his (her) personal conscious and subconscious motives, beliefs, feelings and attitude to the researched theme. Unlike focus-groups the depth interview allows to study deeply the personality of each respondent, to reconstruct a detailed system of personal life and consumer values, to assess the influence of the environment and ethnographic features of the consumer on the decision tree as regards the purchase etc.

Depending on the purpose of the research apart from a classic interview (face-to-face interview with a respondent in a specially equipped room) it is also possible to use the following method variations: depth interview in home, dyads (two respondents) and triads (three respondents).


Expert Interview

In case it is necessary to study the opinion of B2B clients or obtain information from competitors/partners/independent market experts expert interviews are conducted with representatives of the targeted audience in a place convenient for the respondent. Depending on the purposes and objectives of the research a corresponding legend may be used to recruit respondents.


Interview under Observation during Purchase

This method combines a depth interview and observation of the consumer’s behavior in the sales point conducted at the same time. It enables to have the most comprehensive conception of the product perception, of its category and the sales point from the consumer’s point of view, to make conclusions as regards further strategy of development, to predict the result and efficiency of some marketing decision.



Observation is a method of an object-oriented study of behavior of the researched object/group. Observation is applied in the cases when an analyst’s interference may upset interaction of a human with the environment/product/studied category.


Experiment (testing)

Method aimed at creation of a certain situation in order to verify the hypotheses of cause-and-effect relations. In this case the researcher surveys the change of the situation and people’s reaction and records the results.



The method that gives an opportunity to collect information as regards everyday buyer’s behavior. The main principle consists in the natural way of information collection: the closer the research situation is to everyday environment the better the collected materials reproduce the real circumstances. The natural way of information collection consist of three equal elements: 1. Studied persons (everyday circumstances representation); 2. methods (which do not interfere in the usual people’s activity); 3. researcher (who uses “natural” approach as the basis of the research focus). The impartiality of research is especially important because the researcher serves as the tool of data collection and interpretation. Ethnographic research assists in finding new approaches to positioning and development of the product, to get a more profound notion of an everyday life of consumers.

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