Staying in touch

Date of publication: June 15, 1990

Author: Jay Faberman

Abstract:

There are many ways of staying in touch with the consumer. As a researcher, I would have to bring up both quantitative and qualitative research. Clearly, quantitative has a major role in understanding the consumer in a lot of detail. At the same time, there is an equally important role for qualitative research in understanding the consumer and staying in touch with the consumer. I am here today to talk about using qualitative research to stay in touch as an integral part of this process. Often times, it seems to me, there is a clear division between qualitative and quantitative research in terms of the role of each in information gathering and in the overall usefulness of each. A number of years ago, I remember some junior marketing executive using some qualitative research as a support point in his marketing plan. When the research director saw this, he threatened to ban the use of all qualitative research. Of course, this did not come about. Over time, from my personal experience, it seems to me, that both marketing and marketing research are more understanding of how to use each approach and the extent to which one approach complements or supplements the other. Of course, I do not know how TRUE this is in other companies. The end point is how do we, as marketers, make or build better products. Marketing research plays a critical role in this process. However, a one-way mirror or a questionnaire should not stand between marketing and the consumer.

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