Intercontinental Marketing Investigations, Inc.
Qualitative Research encompasses a variety of different research techniques, and usually involves smaller sample sizes than quantitative investigations. Qualitative research is used at several levels:
Steps in the Research Process
Secondary or desk research involves acquisition of existing and published information on a given subject, which is gathered by database search, library search, contact with the government, trade associations, private industry, special interest groups, and any other relevant sources. Typically this information is fairly general, and not always current. However, it often provides a good foundation for approaching the market and developing primary research strategies in a more informed fashion than would otherwise be possible.
With broad based experience in consumer, commercial, industrial, and socioeconomic markets, IMI Inc. has worked extensively in the following industries: automotive, beverage, children's products, chemicals, clothing, computer, energy, entertainment, financial services, foods, health care, health/beauty/hygiene, law/legal issues, manufacturing, medical hardware, pharmaceutical, publications, real estate, restaurant/fast food/supermarket, politics, retail/chain/franchise merchandising, sports, telecommunications, zoological and others.
Our extensive knowledge and experience in these areas often enables us to avoid the need to do research, or to limit the amount of required research, by working with our clients to apply both common sense and existing marketing expertise in developing future marketing and communications strategies.
Social research involves government and private interest group sponsorship to explore the dynamics of various aspects of a perceptions, attitudes/values and behavior which relate to man's interaction with man, rather than directly with products or services. However, the latter may be involved in understanding the social dynamics of a given community.
Examples of social research in clude Community Redevelopment Programs, Public and Political Opinion Polls, Ballot Proposition Pre-testing, Community Outreach Planning Studies, Tourism and others.
Political studies are completed for government agencies, candidates running for office, and private special interest groups at all levels - federal, state, city and community. They generally involve representative samples of registered voters, and are completed within a very tight time frame, usually by telephone or Internet. They can be both qualitative quantitative in nature.
Individual in-depth interviews or focus groups are used to isolate the range of possible viewpoints which might exist in the voter population, determine the language used to discuss them, and understand the "hot buttons" or motivating factors which drive opinions and behavior. They also permit exploration of alternative or modified communications about the poltical candidates and issues to determine potential impact.
Quantitative work then tests they hypotheses formed in the prevous stage of research, to determine reliably the extent to which specific communications or concepts will be accepted or rejected, as well as the reason for their appeal or lack of same.
Examples of studies include predicting and understanding voter trends for candidates and ballot propositions (polling), public service and paid political announcement/proporition testing in the various media and establishing the hierarchy of relevant values in the voting population which may be involved in current issues.
Our history with entertainment research dates back to the early 1960's with early development of techniques involving in-theater testing of movies, television shows and commercials, as well as laboratory testing of printed material using eye cameras and tachistoscopes, and eventually on-air studies.
In more recent years, we have focused heavily on the studies relating to Infomercials, applying qualitative techniques to aid in their development and quantitative techniques to tracking their penetration and effectiveness.
With the onset of the Internet age, we became involved with Web Site development and testing in both the entertainment and commercial product areas.
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