Researching the Market
Market research enables organizations to gather, analyze and interpret data about a particular market and the products, brands or services within that market (Keegan, 2009). MM Company has to research both the domestic and international market in order to make decisions on which market it will penetrate and what strategies to use to ensure it is successful. Qualitative research refers to the study things within their natural surroundings, trying to decipher, or to interpret, observable fact in terms of the meanings individuals associate them (Guba & Lincoln, 2000).
Method of qualitative research includes observation, interviews, written materials such as books and journals and use of questionnaires. The researcher is the primary tool of collecting the data. Observation involves the researcher blending in the routine of the area where data is being collected and observe and record what they see in relation to the research being conducted. The researcher has ability to collect first hand information. Interviews can be done in a structured and unstructured manner. The researcher listens to the interviewee responses and records them. The researcher has ability to get the information based on what the interviewee experienced.
The advantages of qualitative research include its ability to capture information directly from the source, flexibility, inability to make an assumption on the outcome of the research and enabling the researcher get in depth data from the respondents. The researcher has ability to get first hand information through their association with the researcher as the methods allow the interviewer to interact with the interviewees in an informal manner. It is also flexible as the interviewer can decide how to steer the research dependent on the responses of the respondent. This is especially common where the interview is unstructured. The respondent is also encouraged to give all information they can give in regard to the subject being researched. Where written materials are used to collect data, the researcher can get as much information as possible related to the issue being researched. The results of the research cannot be predetermined through the assumptions as they are fully dependent on the data collected compared to quantitative analysis. One of the disadvantages of the qualitative method is the inability to make generalizations as it is likely that the respondents’ responses will be according to individual perception and experience. The method is also highly dependent on the skills of the researcher and can be compromised where the researcher does not possess such skills. The subjective nature of the research method also makes making comparisons difficult due to the disparities in the answers given. It has a relative lack of formal theoretical and operational guidelines which limit the respectability afforded its methods and creates a question on the validity of the research method (Boxill, Chambers & Wint, 1997). The qualitative method can be used to define the target market by getting information on the preferences and tastes of those in it. This will enable them to capture the trends in mobile phone technologies in the area.
Quantitative research, on the other hand, refers to one where there is a hypothesis to be proved and data collected is numerical and statistically analyzed. A defined population is chosen as a sample, and specific variables tested. These are used to test whether the hypothesis is correct or not. Quantitative research is objective and the only information needed is collected against structured and validated data collection methods (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). The information is predictable and expected to act in a certain way. The categories of quantitative research include quasi-experimental, correlation, casual comparative and descriptive design. The advantage of using quantitative research includes its objectivity, which reduces bias from the data collected, use of a systematic and structured method of data collection, the hypothesis allows for speculation on the outcome of the results, and a specific sample is used for data collection. The objectivity of the research method ensures that data is not influenced by personal aspects such as the skills of the researcher and hence is considered more valid. It also uses a systematic data collection method that ensures only the data needed is collected from the respondent. The hypothesis, which is formulated in the early stages of the research, guides the researcher in determining whether the study is going as planned. This makes it easier for the researcher to detect any errors in the research process. The use of a specific sample as a representative of the whole population and predetermined variables also enable the researcher to choose the scope of the study. However, quantitative research method also has its own drawbacks. The first one is that it does not consider the personal experiences of the respondents due to its rigidity. It is also not in-depth as it limits the variables to be considered during the research. The method also allows for generalization of the data collected for the entire population if the hypothesis is found to be true. This can case issues on the trueness of the study if the sample chose was not a true representation of the entire population. Quantitative research will be useful in defining the target market by collecting data on their needs and products that will best suite them. This can be done through conducting market surveys and giving questionnaires to the prospective customers in the new markets. Since a large sample has to be researched, the quantitative method is the most appropriate method.
Boxill, I., Chambers, C.M. & Wint, E. (1997). Introduction to Social Research: With Applications to the Caribbean. Kingston, Jamaica: Canoe Press, University of West Indies.
Guba, E. & Lincoln, Y. (2000). Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions, and Emerging Confluences in Denzin, N and Lincoln, Y (ed.): Handbook of Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publication Inc.
Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Keegan, S. (2009). Qualitative Research: Good Decision Making through Understanding People, Cultures and Markets. Philadelphia, P.A: Kogan Page Limited.
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