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A qualitative study allows to understand in depth the issue being investigated: motivations and brakes for a product or service, attitudes, perceptions, lifestyles, behaviours, projections… In qualitative studies to extrapolate the results to the entire universe of study is not the objective. Thus, unlike quantitative research, qualitative samples are small and not representative in a statistical sense.

In qualitative studies the starting point is the spontaneous and free speech on a given topic and participants are asked to make spontaneous associations for certain concepts or products. Their reactions to the display of certain stimuli are also observed.

The focus groups and in-depth interviews are the most used qualitative methodologies.

Methodologies in Qualitative Market Research


Focus Groups
Online Groups
Projective Groups
Creative Groups (long sessions)
Mini groups
In-depth interviews (individual and double)
Semistructured interviews
Interviews to experts and public opinion leaders


Concept and New Products Test
Pre and Post Comunication Test
Advertising Test
Packaging Test
Product Test
Motivational Research
Ground and Image Studies
Prospective Diagnostic Studies
Sociological Studies
Mystery Shopper

Qualitative types of Market Research


Qualitative Research is appropriate in response to complex objectives that require in-depth understanding of phenomena which involve a large number of factors that influence and relate to each other.

A qualitative approach is particularly appropriate in situations where creative or prospective objectives are considered. It is also useful when studying motivational aspects as it allows knowing in detail the deeper motivations and brakes (not only the rational ones but also the emotional ones).

In this sense, the qualitative Research supports the use of projective techniques (personifications, Chinese portraits ...), through which you can access the subconscious aspects that don’t manifest themselves openly.

Qualitative methodology is sometimes used as a first exploratory phase when one tries to analyze a territory previously unknown or little studied. In these cases the qualitative study is complemented by a subsequent quantitative research.

Qualitative studies are conducted by psychologists and sociologists trained to access the most unconscious part of individuals. These professionals consider both the explicit discourse as other indicators that, in a latent form, provide information about the real motivations and emotional aspects.

- Projective techniques (personifications, Chinese portraits, imaginary planets...)
- Technical creative techniques
- Observational techniques (participants and non-participants): psychological portraits, tracking of communications...
- Collage, comic strips
- Role playing


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