Fresh Focus for Qualitative

Marketing, September 24, 1998 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Fresh Focus for Qualitative


A healthy obsession with new methods and added value sees qualitative on the up

To judge by newspaper comments, you'd think the country was being run by a new and dangerous form of government called the focus group. Never mind that those newspapers are themselves major users of focus groups, or that groups have been used to guide marketing decisions for years.

Focus or discussion groups are among the stock in trade of the qualitative (qual) research industry, along with in-depth interviews, accompanied shopping trips and the like. Qual's role is to provide insights into why people think and act as they do.

In this year's Marketing survey, qual accounts for [pounds]95.8m, or 16% of total turnover. The figure a year ago was 14%. This is not necessarily a long-term shift in the balance between quant and qual, however. Practitioners such as Bill Pegram of Pegram Walters insist that the balance can shift unpredictably, year to year. His own company conducted [pounds]1.3m-worth more qualitative work in 1997 than in 1996, but total turnover rose by only [pounds]600,000.

Within the total qual figure of [pounds]95.8m, it is likely that 75%-80% is consumer, rather than business-to-business. We can't be sure, however, because some companies were unable to provide a breakdown.

Most of the big companies saw a significant increase in their income from qual work. This is especially true of Research International (RI), which added almost [pounds]3m to pip The Research Business International (TRBI) to the top slot.

RI director Daniel Dumoulin says part of its growth came from the recognition that it needed to expand its staff, particularly at a senior level, to exploit the opportunities available to it. RI was also successful in selling international and global projects.

And, in truth, TRBI didn't have the best year. Its turnover from qual, the major part of its income, increased by [pounds]1m, but that's mainly because its figures this time include those of sister company Maritz Research.

[TABULAR DATA OMITTED]

"The turnover figure for TRBI itself has been pretty flat," admits managing director Laurence Curtis, "but we have put a lot more effort into becoming more profitable. We have been much more critical about our overheads, and about controlling our costs to make sure our budgets are met."

He blames the figures on staff changes over the last couple of years.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Fresh Focus for Qualitative
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?