Market Research. How Does it Work? Part Deux

On my last post, I have provided a study on how a market research works perfectly prior producing mass products in the market. Now, we will see another case how market research has become something common to big players in business.

I am pretty sure anywhere in the world, telecommunication holds a great deal in every single aspect of a living. Telephone as a mean of modern telecommunication has evolved into something that was inconceivable in the early days of its invention.

Evolution_of_Telephone_Kath

From a cable dependent telephone to a wireless one. From a conventional phone call to video call. From a simple text message to a picture message. From your hand to the world with Internet.

As time goes by and as technology evolves, telecommunication company has to evolve to support the even more demanding customers. I think you know where I am taking you with this. Yes, let’s use the highly competitive cell phone carrier industry as a case!

It’s common in a country to have multiple cell phone carriers. In general, no matter where we reside, we’ll have two kind of cellular service: GSM and CDMA. GSM is the biggest player in terms of market share in the industry. Competition in providing the best GSM service is rigid. Every company will try their best to gain the biggest piece of pie chart in the market.

Here we have JoCom, a struggling mobile network operator in a country with 7 other competitors. JoCom was one of the new comers due to the emerging number of cell phone users in the country. Data has shown that the number of cell phone users has reached its peak since the release of cell phone itself. Top 3 place were held by long existent companies. JoCom has been operating for 3 years yet they haven’t seen anything significant with the number of users.

They know they need to do something with their brand and their service in order to gain more share. Releasing more promotion like affordable service did not gain them anything decent. It hit them later that they had to recognize what kind of market they should really aim and what do these people really need of a cellular company. They decided to take the basic approach.

A big market research was conducted in several big cities that was believed to be representing the total inhabitants. A sample number was set with a precise calculation.

Now you must be wondering what sample number has to do with total number of inhabitants. In market research, we have two big methodologies to gain data.

1. Quantitative methodology

2. Qualitative methodology

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As the word itself suggests, you might presume that quantitative has to do with numbers. Yes, you are right. With this approach, you will have to deal with a great deal of numbers. If you love statistics, this is definitely your field! In this technique, mostly it will be done throughout questionnaire. You may find people stop you somewhere or even calling you up to answer some queries, this is actually one of the technique used to collect data.

But as two sides of a coin, this approach can not solve more in-depth query.

This is where a qualitative approach chips in to give out some help.

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Qualitative methodology has been known by many as a method in answering the “why” to every answer. Why is that? No pun intended for this one J

Because unlike in quantitative technique where you are limited to the multiple-choice questions and very little of open-ended questions, in qualitative technique, you will be able to meet the consumers directly and probe as much as you need with only time as your concern.

The limitation of it though lies on the number of number of samples. Since it’s an in-depth research, meaning you will mostly go to one-by-one interview or group discussion, you won’t be able to cover hundreds or even thousands of consumers like you do in quantitative method. In-depth research takes time; the interviewing time and the analyzing time. That’s why in terms of cost, with the same number of samples being used, qualitative research is more pricey than quantitative one.

This post has been quite a long one as I planned to make it as readable to anyone who does not like reading much.

On my next post, I will continue on JoCom and some other hands-on explanation. Make sure you follow and check it out!

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