Do a Market Study 2/5: The Qualitative Study

Once you have completed your sector analysis and validated the attractiveness of your sector, the next step in your market research is to conduct a qualitative demand study.

Qualitative study: definition

The phrase may sound barbaric to those of you who have never done marketing, but rest assured the qualitative study is not very complicated.

Qualitative study simply means the opposite of quantitative study . That is to say that the idea here is to meet a small number of people to gather detailed information rather than bombarding a questionnaire to hundreds of people to make statistics.

Objectives of the qualitative study

The objectives of this qualitative survey are to study your consumers in order to understand:

  • the triggers of the purchase decision: purchase of desire or solution to a problem
  • service expectations: price, quality, features, ancillary services, etc.
  • the personality of the typical consumer: age, sex, hobbies, work, etc.

Armed with this information, it will then be very easy for you to refine your commercial positioning in order to make it unique and attractive to your customers, and to set up a marketing plan that will hit the mark.

How to carry out a qualitative survey?

The qualitative survey is carried out in 4 stages. The first step is to decide on the hypotheses and the method to use. Secondly, you must establish a list of questions that will serve as a guideline for the interviews. Then you have to contact potential customers and carry out the interviews. Finally, you have to analyze the responses, identify trends, and decide whether or not to take the next step.

You may find after the survey that your products or services do not interest the respondents. If this is the case, it is rather positive: you have just avoided entering the market with a commercial offer that does not meet the expectations of your consumers. You must then either change your offer, or change the target consumers, and carry out a new study.

Decide on assumptions and method

To define the hypotheses, you have to imagine the typical consumer and his expectations.

Let’s take an example. Say I want to open a restaurant selling burritos in an office district. My ideal consumer probably looks something like this:

  1. an active and rather young person
  2. working less than 10 min walk from the restaurant
  3. love to eat spicy food and Mexican food
  4. not necessarily having eaten burritos
  5. who is tired of always eating the same thing for lunch
  6. who has between 30 and 60 minutes for lunch
  7. who usually takes a sandwich or a main course and a drink, and occasionally a dessert
  8. who has an average budget of 8 € for lunch
  9. who takes his lunch to go and eats at the office or in a park
  10. who does not want to queue more than 5 minutes before taking their order

Once the assumptions have been made, we must identify those that could jeopardize the business.