How to integrate qualitative market research into a global communication programme?

Date of publication: June 15, 1993


It's our intention to outline in this paper some thoughts on the role research can, and should take in the development of a succesful brand strategy. In particular, we wish to expand on the central theme of the seminar, the primary objective is to demonstrate that qualitative research is a critical stage required in the decision making process in any marketing problem a company is facing. These can go from trivial issues (eg- type of gadget for promotions) to fundamental decisions (eg: implementation a price decrease strategy). More specially, and as the title of the paper suggests, we will be focussing our attention on the concrete contribution qualitative research can provide in the creation, development and managment of a suitable integrated communication support plan for a brand. Based on different inputs such as overall company policy, legislation, profitability objectives, and previous market research findings, the marketing manager develops a number of working hypotheses that could eventually influence marketing decisions. Thruogh qualitative research these working hypotheses are or can be tested and verified before any final decision is taken. As many marketing decisions have an impact on various elements of the company's structure (sales force, senior management, the trade and in some cases the A+SP agency) it is vital that these elements also are involved in the qualitative research. As such, qualitative research becomes a consensus builder that guarantees the commitment and adherence of all these elements to any decision taken by the marketing staff.

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