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seeks to gain in-depth knowledge about perceptions, motivations, and behaviors. It can answer the questions “wh ,” “when,” and “how”—questions that are critical to develop- ing effective media campaigns. Common methods of qualitative research include focus groups and individual in-depth interviews.

Quantitative research seeks to provide esti- mates of knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors in a population of interest. It can answer the questions “How many?” “How much?” and “How often?” Common methods of quantitative research include surveys using random sampling and convenience sampling. Because each approach provides a different kind of information, it’s often best to use both.

Qualitative research methods should be used for the following purposes:

To develop materials and to determine reactions to concepts or draft materials

To explore a topic or idea

To gain insights into a target audience’s lifestyle, culture, motivations, behaviors, and preferences

To understand the reasons behind the results from quantitative research

Qualitative research should be conducted by using the following methods:

Select a small group of people on the basis of certain common characteristics.

Convene a discussion through focus groups or in-depth interviews or


Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights

observe individuals’ behaviors in their homes, schools, malls, supermarkets, or other settings.

  • Keep the discussion somewhat unstructured, so participants are free to give any response, rather than choosing from a list of possible responses.

Use a discussion or interview guide to make sure you ask questions relevant to your research purpose, but be prepared to revise the sequence of questions on the basis of partici- pants’ responses, rather than having to stick to a set order. (See Step 5 in the section on Designing and Conducting Focus Groups or Individual In-Depth Interviews, later in this chapter, for discussion of how to develop a

moderator’s guide.)

Qualitative research results aren’t quantifiable and can’t be subjected to statistical analysis or projected to the population from which respondents were drawn. The participants don’t constitute a representative sample, the samples are relatively small, and not all

participants are asked precisely the same questions. Even though you can collect very valuable information from qualitative research, and even if you conduct a great deal of it, you won’t get findings that you can project to the target audience as a whole. For that, you need quantitative research.

Quantitative research methods should be used for the following purposes:

  • To determine “how man ,” “how much,”

and “how often”

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