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Top ten most popular FAQs

What difference does qualitative and quantitative analysis make?

Simple speaking, qualitative analysis is used to explain what is in the mind of a consumer. It highlights the emotions, opinions, goals and motives of respondents. Qualitative research is usually performed at a sample size which is relatively smaller than quantitative research and is thus only partly representative of a population. It is not possible to apply this form of research to the population as a whole, but it is used to get general indications and generate hypothesis for quantitative research. Methods for qualitative analysis include in-depth interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs).

Quantitative research is performed with a greater sample size, which provides quantifiable outcomes, unlike qualitative study. These findings can be estimated statistically for a broader population segment. There are various survey channels such as telephone, mail, and Internet etc. used mostly for a quantitative study.

What is Quantitative research?

The quantitative analysis is concerned with the estimation of quantitative parameters. This is conducted to decode variables which respondents are able to quantify. Typical quantitative research includes but is not limited to:

  • Size of markets: estimating market sizes by asking questions regarding buying habits, rates and potential purchase intentions
  • Brand health measurement: This study includes measurement of brand awareness, preference, usage and advocacy. Most of the times, this is done on a continuous basis to track the effectiveness of sales and marketing campaigns over the long run.
  • Market segmentation: Clustering customers and prospects in the entire market universe as per shared attitudes, behaviours, needs. Sample size is generally large for this study to achieve a reasonable level of accuracy.
  • Customer satisfaction surveys: primarily to assess the level of consumer loyalty and satisfaction overtime or the various aspects of the goods and services of a company.

• Research on advertising effectiveness: This is done to assess the influence of a particular marketing campaign on the target segment. The purpose is to survey a similar customer segment before and after a particular ad campaign to uncover the influence of the advertisement on their perception.

What are the different stages of a typical market research project?

The five basic phases of a typical market research project

  1. Kick-off meeting

This is an ideal opportunity for Maction Consulting research team to meet the client’s immediate project team to ensure everyone is on the same page in terms of research priorities and both the parties have clarity on the research objective. This meeting also offers an opportunity to clarify any issues, progress evaluation metric and what is feasible to execute.

  1. Project structure and setup

Our project team at Maction Consulting will write a project questionnaire incorporating inputs from the kick-off meeting. Mode of the interview has a great impact on how questionnaire needs to be drafted. Be it FGD, IDI, Online Surveys and CATI all of them require a different structure of questions. We generally keep clients in the loop while developing questionnaires to make sure that all research criteria are fulfilled. Once the questionnaire is approved, it is translated into multiple languages keeping in mind the respondents and written into a CATI system in case the interview is telephonic.

  1. Fieldwork and data collection

Depending on the initial study goals and targets decided upon, fieldwork can take several forms. Typically there is a pilot stage of telephone interviews and online surveys, where about 10 percent of the total number of interviews are performed in local language and then analyzed by the research team. This is to ensure that all questions are answered and that the consistency of the data is sufficient after the fieldwork stage for review. Following this assessment, the remaining number of interviews would be performed over a normal 2-4 week span, depending on the number of interviews to be completed and the audience in question.

  1. Immersion of data and analytics

At this point, the data is collected and collated into a programme such as SPSS, making the output easier to digest and interpret. To create a clear narrative and overview of the research results, the experienced research team at Maction Consulting immerse themselves with the context and findings. Topline findings are initially identified, highlighting key trends in the results. Detailed analysis of the content is then carried out using emerging and established structures to present the results keeping in mind the original objectives.

  1. Presentation of findings and final delivery

A final presentation is given, usually in-person or through video conferencing, to the immediate client team. The aim of this presentation is to deliver the main results from the study, address any questions and discuss strategic advice and next steps for the client.

What is the ideal length of a questionnaire?

A questionnaire should be as short as possible, thus ensuring that the researcher is in a position to collect accurate and reliable responses to all questions, and the respondent has asked.

The duration of the questionnaire or the interview duration is usually determined by the average time it takes for a respondent to complete the whole questionnaire when it is performed in a similar way to that in which it is eventually submitted.

There is no practical limit on the length of a questionnaire, nor any absolute maximum number of questions that it can contain. The mental stress a questionnaire puts on a respondent can differ depending not just on the particular respondent but also on how the questionnaire itself was constructed, what kinds of questions it includes, how and when it is administered, and many other factors.

Generally, the length of the interview should be limited to:

  • 10 to 15 minutes online self-administered surveys
  • 20 to 30 minutes for semi-structured telephone interviews

30 to 60 minutes for detailed, organized phone interviews or in-person interviews

How is an online focus group discussion conducted?

An online focus group is a data collection method where the researcher hosts a discussion via online platforms between a number of respondents.

For what kind of focus groups are used?

Focus groups are an important research tool for collecting in-depth, qualitative knowledge that is applicable to research objectives. Focus groups are particularly useful in capturing emotional drivers and in knowing the ‘why’ behind an audience’s choices and attitudes, as opposed to quantitative testing, which lets us identify what (needs) and how (behaviour).

They often provide advertisers with a way to experience their target audiences first hand, offering an opportunity to observe participants behind a two-way mirror or watch video clips.

What is Telephonic Interviews/ CATI?

As the name suggests, telephone interviews are a method of market research conducted over the phone. This may also be called CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews). CATI is an advanced version of telephonic interview where calls are made globally using VoIP features, and computer software is used to read questions and record responses.

What proportion of online surveys are carried out on a smartphone?

The ability to perform a survey online via smartphone is relatively convenient for survey takers than PC or other channels. So it should come as no surprise that a respondent will prefer to give responses using a mobile app or browser. Unfortunately, some online surveys aren’t fully optimized for the mobile environment, resulting in frustrating user experience. Thus poor response rate.

What is Ethnography?

Market research ethnography is a qualitative data collection approach which comes from anthropology. The approach includes researchers who specifically observe participants in their natural environment using a product or service, such as at home or in a shop.

This direct observation offers a detailed description and image that is more comprehensive than a typical focus group setup. Maction Consulting has staff moderators who are specialized in conducting research on ethnographic markets.

What is laddering in market research?

Laddering exercises use systematic interviewing to help respondents organize their own thoughts and emotions and analyze them. People are usually very good at telling you what happened, or what they enjoyed about something, but are sometimes much less able to tell you why and might not even know on a conscious level what are their underlying motives and reactions. Laddering aims to draw out all kinds of specifics by posing a set of questions designed to delve deeper into these underlying motives and emotional responses than traditional interrogations would accomplish.

What's a decent Score for NPS?

This is a question which our clients ask us often. If you’ve just polled several of your customers to calculate NPS, you need to know what this number actually means. The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100, which measures clients’ willingness to recommend the products or services of a business to others. It is used as a proxy for calculating the overall satisfaction of the consumer with the product or service of a corporation and the loyalty of the customer to the company.

The objective may be to look at your competitors’ scores and other scores in your field. For a large range of industries, we have calculated NPS scores, and there are some sectors which perform significantly better and others far worse.

What is a path to purchase research?

Research on the path to purchase (or customer journey) includes recognizing and assessing the end-to-end experience a customer has when buying a product or service, as well as the current experience with the provider.

Although conventional consumer journey mapping is an extremely useful exercise, there are two key limitations:

  1. It is limited to focusing on current customers and/or internal viewpoints, rather than addressing the needs of prospective buyers.
  2. It begins at the time of purchase, thereby removing the purchasing causes and the research carried out before the suppliers formally approach.

Path to purchase research reacts to these two limitations by offering a complete view of the entire procurement process from the viewpoint of both current customers and prospects.

What is concept testing?

Concept testing is an early stage of product development, during which the feasibility of the underlying product/service model being created is tested. The method taken to calculate this attraction depends very much on the quality of the product and the developments it provides.

It is important to ensure that the idea being examined is clearly articulated, and should be portrayed as similar as possible to the manner in which it will be encountered. Sometimes this includes making product mock-ups and simulating experiences with the product.

Why should I get market research commissioned?

It depends on your current decision-making process. What do you generally make business decisions –is it based on your past experience, factual evidence you have come across, or you simply follow your intuition?

For regular business activities, managers generally make decisions based on intuition and experience. We all do it this way, and there is no harm in it. Maybe the decision isn’t worth spending money to get precision in inputs. It might also be possible that information is needed immediately, and there is no time for systematic study. However, you need accurate and reliable data when decisions require significant financial resources, and when the costs of failure are high. You need to commission a detailed market research study.

What is Qualitative research?

Qualitative research is more difficult to describe, but the focus is on ‘comprehension’ rather than simple calculation. For example, quantitative analysis may inform you that Campaign X has a better recall than Campaign B. However, quantitative research alone does not help determine how Campaign A is better or why it is more effective than Campaign B. This is where qualitative research is required.

Qualitative analysis includes the client being empathized. It helps to define the meanings of goods, labels and other marketing devices that the consumer connects to. Another emphasis is motivation: for example – What needs do consumers need to fulfil? And why does one commodity over another fulfil certain requirements? Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research is performed on smaller sample size.

Examples of qualitative research methods may include but not limited to:

  • Focused Group Discussion (FGD)
  • In-depth interviews (IDI)
  • Market research online communities (MROCs)

• Observations and action research

Which method of data collection should I choose?

Here is a description of the various methods of data collection, and a brief review of their advantages and drawbacks.

  1. Face to face interview

For the following reasons, personal interviews are still customary for gathering primary information:

  1. Detailed explanations: The respondents have more time to consider their responses in a face to face interview, and the interviewer may obtain a better understanding of the validity of a response.
  2. Depth of information: It is easier to keep the respondents interested in a face to face interviews for a longer period of time.
  • More precision: Respondents can ask for detailed information in a face to face interview and in real-time products could be tested.
  1. Product handling: Product to be tested can be delivered through courier for testing, but it is always better to get it delivered by the research team and make sure it is used appropriately.

There are various drawbacks too:

  1. Arranging meetings: It is often hard to schedule a face to face interviews. If the interviews are country-wide, they involve a national field force. The subject can be complicated and require a personal briefing, which is costly to arrange when interviewees are geographically dispersed.
  2. Control: Face to face interviews are more difficult to track and manage than with telephone interviews. For most of the time, face-to-face interviews need to have a supervisor in attendance, and check-backs need to be scheduled, by visit or fax. The interviewer, however, works in solitude for the most part and the quality of the work has a strong reliance on the individual’s conscience.
  • Costs: The cost of face to face interviews is substantially higher relative to telephonic and online surveys.
  1. Timing: Because of the travel time between respondents, face to face interviews are time-consuming. The field force’s prior commitments and the complications caused by posting and returning questionnaires usually ensure that it takes at least two weeks to plan face to face interviewing project.
  2. Telephonic Interviews

The biggest advantage is the time and money it saves

Benefits  – Fastest input at a cheaper cost

Telephonic interviews are so quick that in ideal situations, five to six 20-minutes interviews with business managers can be done in a day. In contrast, just 1 to 2 face to face interviews can be done in the same period.


Often visuals are hard to explain over the phone, and if respondents need to weigh a variety of pre-determined factors to assess their opinions, it is sometimes difficult for respondents to weigh more than five or six factors. The lack of personal contact prevents the interviewer from assessing respondents and gaining an extra feeling for what lies behind the answer.


  1. Online surveys

Tech development in recent years has made online surveys a primary form of data collection for many customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction surveys, as well as product and service reviews surveys. It is also popular in business setups. There are several different reasons for conducting online surveys including cost savings, time savings and increased levels of data quality by automated routing.

Most online surveys are done by invitation, which is usually sent via initiation via e-mail. Maction Consulting has access to more than 100 million respondents globally. Hence, you don’t need to worry about arranging mail ids or other contact details of your respondents. You can use ours.

What is a focus group discussion?

Focus group discussion (FGD) is a research technique that is used to gather data through interaction between groups. The group includes a small number of carefully selected individuals who discuss a given subject. Focus groups are used to define and analyze people’s thoughts and actions and to shed light on why, what, and how questions are posed.

What are the advantages do focus groups bring?

A focus group is a type of qualitative research normally involving 6-8 respondents. They are invited to take part in a conversation to clarify their perceptions and attitudes towards specific goods or services. Focus groups last from 1-2 hours and are a valuable method of collecting rich, informative knowledge inside an organization to guide future plans and decision-making.

Possible advantages – The customer can hear firsthand respondents; group outputs are informative and comprehensive, group ideas are created

What does an In-depth interview mean?

An in-depth interview is a piecemeal interview. It gives the interviewer and the interviewee the opportunity to discuss additional points and change course, if necessary.

What is a standard response rate to a survey?

Survey response rates refer to the proportion of individuals invited to fill a survey who have completed the same. The response rate is not the same as an Incident Rate (the proportion of a population that meets the appropriate targeting requirements and may participate) or the Strike Rate (the number of interviews conducted, e.g. per hour, within a specified time).

Response rates vary significantly across different surveys and can range from under 1 in 20 (low response) to 1 in 2 (high response) depending on a variety of factors.

What is cognitive mapping?

Cognitive mapping is a methodology that has been used for many years in fields such as psychology and sociology to investigate the study participants’ ‘real’ views. As human beings, we build structures and behaviors that help us predict our world, and this is no different in the business sector as we establish these structures for various products and services that we might be utilizing or obtaining.

What is employee NPS (eNPS)?

The Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS) is a metric used to assess employee motivation and company loyalty. The eNPS is in direct accordance with an employee’s short-term intentions. It is a score that is also calculated as part of a broader study that looks at the satisfaction of employees.

What is a customer's journey map?

A customer journey map gives specifics of all the individual touchpoints and experiences customers have with a particular company. Although all customer journey maps are specific to a company and its various customer classes, the development process for these maps is essentially the same.

What are customer experience metrics?

Metrics help companies measure and monitor essential attributes as they evolve over time. It’s important to choose the right type of metric to accurately calculate the attribute that you want for your company.

Each metric has its advantages and situations where use is more suitable than others. In robust frameworks and models, it is often found that using several metrics in combination with each other is often more beneficial than using a single metric.

How brand awareness is measured?

Brand awareness defines the degree to which a label/logo can be recognized and recalled by consumers, prospects and the general public. It is the first step towards engaging potential or existing customers, and is often the most critical.

If they are familiar with your brand, you can ask current customers how they heard about you or ask a random selection of people. Google Analytics monitors the number of people in their address bar who typed your URL. Monitoring this over time will provide you with an indicator of brand perception shifts.

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