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Designing and Implementing an Effective Tobacco Counter-Marketing Campaign

forced-choice questions, the results can’t be projected to the audience as a whole, because participants aren’t chosen in a way that produces a representative sample.

Here’s a closer look at the different research methods and tools, along with a discussion of how to conduct the research and use the results to inform your project.

Qualitative Research

Use qualitative research to:

Learn what drives the audience’s behav- iors and understand what is needed to influence their awareness, knowledge, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors

Determine whether your materials communicate the intended messages effectively and persuasively

Understand why your program is or isn’t working as expected

Gain insights into findings on the effec- tiveness of the program’s implementation

The most common tools used in qualitative market research are focus groups and individ- ual in-depth interviews. Many innovative methods may also be appropriate:

Friendship pairs, in which best friends (commonly teens or preteens) are recruited to discuss sensitive subjects

In-home observations, in which you gain permission to spend one or two hours in someone’s home to learn about their habits and practices

  • To profile a target audience for com- munication planning, such as mea- suring which proportion of the audience thinks or behaves in certain ways

  • To measure how well your program is doing (See Chapter 5: Evaluating the Success of Your Counter-Marketing Program for a more complete discussion of surveys and program evaluation.)

Quantitative research should be conducted by using the following methods:

  • Select a large group of people.

  • Use a structured questionnaire contain- ing predominantly closed-ended or forced-choice questions.

Quantitative research results can be analyzed by using statistical techniques that can provide estimates of behavior or beliefs of interest for the target population. These results can be representative of the population from which respondents were drawn if they were randomly selected. In some cases, oversampling of specific population groups is necessary to provide data on those groups. In addition, the results can help in segmenting broad target populations (e.g., high school students) into more specific groups with similar characteristics.

Quasi-quantitative market research tools (e.g., central location intercept interviews and theater-style pretests) are usually used to pretest messages and materials. Although these tools are used for measurement and typically involve questionnaires with mostly

Chapter 3: Gaining and Using Target Audience Insights


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