Personal interview is a most common way to study the public opinion on any issue. Personal contact of the interviewer and the respondent allows to obtain answers to complicated questions of the questionnaire, to use visual aids (pictures, photos, packing, logotypes).
The types of personal interview depending on the purpose and targets are as follows:
1. Interview at the respondent’s place of residence,
2. Interview at the respondent’s working place,
3. street interview,
4. point of sales interview.
In a personal telephone interview one quickly obtains the necessary information contacting a lot of respondents in a short period of time. The telephone survey is convenient for collection of information from individual persons (city residents, consumers of certain goods etc.) as well as from legal entities (directors, managers of organizations etc.). Telephone numbers base (for legal entities) or a random numbers list generated by special software (for individual persons) is used for a telephone survey. As a rule a telephone interview is recorded allowing the manager as well as the client to control the quality and progress of work.
CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing)
It is a telephone personal interview carried out using a computer system. This method allows to conduct telephone interviews controlled by a centralized computer system. CATI offers a quick result for a broad sampling of population, high quality of data collection, quick processing of great quantities of telephone numbers, complex transfers and automatic control of quotas, it excludes operator’s mistakes and gives an opportunity to have audio recording of all interviews.
Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing is a technology using computer during personal interview (desktop or laptop). The interviewer uses the computer to put down the respondents’ answers or the respondent answers the questions of a questionnaire on its own using a computer. This technology avoids the influence of the interviewer (if the respondent answers the questions on its own), it allows complex transfers and automatic control of quotas, it excludes operator’s mistakes and gives an opportunity to obtain high quality and reliable data.
The hall-test purpose is individual testing of the product, its packing, accompanying promotion materials. As a rule the hall-test is conducted in a specially prepared room in crowded areas. This method affords an opportunity to obtain quickly the opinion of the target audience as regards the advantages and drawbacks of the tested product, its advantages in comparison with competitors’ products, properties that need improvement.
The home-test purpose is testing of the products in realistic environment. Most often it takes place in the places of the product use, for example, at the respondent’s home.
CAWI - Computer Assisted Web Interview (computer system of on-line interviewing).
CAWI tests enable its user to conduct virtually all traditional tests at optimal expenses and to use new and non-standard methods. CAWI is a technique applying a computer connected to Internet during personal interview. The interviewer uses the computer to put down the respondents’ answers or the respondent answers the questions of a questionnaire on its own using a computer. This technology avoids the influence of the interviewer (if the respondent answers the questions on its own), it allows complex transfers and automatic control of quotas, it excludes operator’s mistakes and gives an opportunity to obtain high quality and reliable data. The data is directly uploaded to the shared server and processed.
On-line tests contemplate the use of a computer when looking for a respondent as well as when the interview is conducted. On-line panel is the aggregate of prospective respondents and a tool of marketing research. An electronic letter is sent to the presumably suitable respondent meeting the predetermined criteria inviting him(her) to participate in the research. Invitation of various respondents for participation in on-line panel, the quality control system and a very low cost allow to consider on-line tests to be prospective development area.
The purpose of these types of research is analysis of the range, prices, distribution and merchandising materials in retail shops.
The store checking method comprises research of retail and small-scale wholesale shops aimed at the study of the range of goods and price characteristic features of the goods and brands; monitoring of availability and price for various brands in the retail and small-scale wholesale network; study of commercial offers as regards advertising and business mass media.
Methods of collection of primary data: personal interview, observation, questionnaire survey in the points of sale, telephone inquiry. This methodology renders possible obtaining of reliable data if the traders refuse to furnish the information of their activity. Store-check is used as a part of the complex analysis of the state and prospects of development of a certain sector of consumer goods market (together with qualitative methods, expert polls, consumer inquiry).
Retail audit is monitoring of changes of various goods characteristics (price, range of goods, representation in sales points, sales volume) taking into consideration the changing market environment and the competitors’ activity. Retail audit allows to research retail over time: range of products of various groups of goods in retail, placement of goods in salesrooms, variety of packing, price level of competing brands etc.
The purpose of mystery shopping is assessment of quality of the service using the opportunity to see and assess the performance of the servicing personnel from the point of view of a real consumer. The method solves the following tasks:
research and quality control of the service the clients have when interacting with trade and service companies,
control of performance of the service personnel,
meeting servicing and retail standards, merchandising standards,
audit of advertising and promotional events etc.
Types of Mystery Shopping
Mystery Shopping: visits to sales points, purchase of goods in shops, return of the goods and other complicated scenarios
Mystery Calling: calls to sales points in order to have a consultation as regards the goods/service, calls to sales points in order to conduct price monitoring
Mystery Viewer: supervision of the personnel work, observation of the shop and point of sales atmosphere
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 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).
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.
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.
Secondary Information Collection Methods
It is a group of methods aimed at secondary information sources, that is study, collection and systematization of secondary information: statistic data, documents, mass media and web site publications.
Desk research is processing of the existing secondary information. The secondary information is the data that has been collected before for the purposes distinct from the actual problem. The information sources are mass media including specialized ones, web sites (data portals, competing companies’ sites etc.), business reference books, data of the State Committee of Statistics, results of marketing and sociological researches conducted earlier, the company inner documentation.
The advantages of desktop research consists in low cost of works, quick collection of materials, diversity and independence of information sources which enable to have a comprehensive preliminary analysis of the problem.
The main disadvantage of desk research is dissimilarity of the materials which do not in every case serve the purposes of the certain research due to their general character, obsolescence, difference in methods of data collection.
Desk research may achieve the following tasks: analysis of the enterprise potential, analysis of competitors, analysis of micro and macro environment of the company. It allows to define the main prospects of the market development, assess its capacity and define at the initial phase the line of further research.