While surveys and focus groups offer researchers comparatively simple ways to gather data, observational research often provides different and, under the right conditions, more useful data. Observational research consists of monitoring ongoing behaviors in appropriate environments.
For marketing research, this can include observations in buying environments such as retail outlets, in the home, or in public, depending on whether the research concerns buying or use behaviors. The observation may be conducted passively, without the knowledge of consumers, or actively, with their knowledge. Observational research, by nature, provides qualitative, rather than quantitative data. Observational techniques avoid the self-selection bias that often skews the data gathered by techniques such as surveys.
In any group presented with a survey, the people that choose to participate often fail to represent the group adequately. Observation often captures both those that willingly participate in non-observation research approaches and those who do not normally participate. Observational techniques also can provide a depth of information lacking in other techniques, through questions prompted by the observation itself.
If, for example, a researcher observes a customer pick out a name-brand detergent and then opt for a less expensive brand, the researcher can ask if the decision was financial or about the intended use. Even when it employs technology such as cameras and recording devices, observational research represents a larger financial investment than other research methods. A true ethnographic study requires the participation of someone with advanced anthropological training over a period lasting from days to weeks.
Your email address will not be published. Observation can help round out research by offering a real-world aspect to a hypothesis. It offers a better description of consumer behavior and is less hypothetical than other methods. Observation allows you to see how consumers act together and separately. Do purchasing decisions change in a group setting? Do consumers act differently when by themselves? Observation allows you to create and observe actual situations.
Instead of using data to try and predict what will happen when consumers pass a large product display, observation validates with actual results. Observation can improve the quality of an initial behavioral analysis based on demographics, therefore increasing the validity of research.
This technique is ideal for situations in which nonverbal communication is important for a complete consumer profile. Observation provides a more reliable measurement of actual consumer behavior, rather than self-report metrics. Observation research can include a high degree of researcher bias.
Observational marketing research is a qualitative method of collecting and analyzing information obtained through directly or indirectly watching and observing others in natural or planned environments.
There are three main methods of conducting observational research based on how involved or visible the researcher is in the particular environment. In a participant observation the researcher is an active member of the group being observed.
Observational research is particularly prevalent in the social sciences and in marketing. It is a social research technique that involves the direct observation of phenomena in their natural setting. Observational Method. This module describes the observational method of descriptive research and discusses its uses. Learning Objectives: Define observational research. List reasons researchers use the observational method; List and describe the three basics types .
Marketing Research; Observation Method; Observation Method. Under most circumstances, observational data are more expensive to obtain than other survey data. The observer has to wait doing nothing, between events to be observed. The unproductive time is an increased cost. Observational Research. Observational research consists of monitoring ongoing behaviors in appropriate environments. For marketing research, this can include observations in buying environments such as retail outlets, in the home, or in public, depending on whether the research concerns buying or use behaviors.