Market research has made great advances in recent years thanks to new technologies. Projects that previously required large resources, field staff and printed material are now executed with online panels and virtual questionnaires. Quantitative methodology is the main beneficiary of these advances since many processes can be automated. However, its qualitative counterpart still faces great challenges when it comes to implementing chain solutions in all its areas.
Qualitative studies have as their guiding axis the analysis of subjects by other subjects. Human treatment is essential in this type of project; therefore the human analyst has not yet been displaced in this area. There is still a long time before artificial intelligences can analyze the vast human language. Namely, people express our ideas and emotions through codes that range from facial expressions, clothing, and vocabulary.
Below we list some requirements that qualitative analysts must meet.
- Experience. Researchers who apply qualitative methodology need years of experience to be able to moderate and interview people. It may be believed that sticking to a topic guide is enough to carry out a good data collection phase, but this almost never works in reality. The skills necessary to conduct in-depth interviews or an ethnography are developed over a long period of time in the field.
- Empathy. People who specialize in projects with personal contact with consumers must have a well-developed sense of empathy. We don’t mean by being cordial or friendly. The ability to be able to perceive and define the emotions of others with certainty is something that borders on the innate and the learned. Being attentive to all the simultaneous messages that a person shares with us is essential to obtain the best results.
- Multifunctionality. Although we live in a world in which we are all required to be able to solve multiple issues at the same time, qualitative analysts have almost always been experts in this type of work. It is not an open secret that in a typical work session a moderator is usually attentive to his respondents, his agency partners, and the clients at the same time.
- Flexibility and improvisation. The way to react to a stimulus is a wide universe. Therefore, even if field activities are planned, qualitative analysts face great uncertainty. Even in a meeting with carefully chosen respondents, there are often scenarios where the researcher’s expertise is crucial to achieving the best results. That includes identifying what people have already answered even though they haven’t tacitly said it to avoid being redundant.
- Specialization. Not all respondents are engaged in the same. The same can be said of qualitative analysts. There will be studies that address people who are dedicated to a very particular profession or field. In these cases, it is necessary for the researcher to be familiar with the terminology and processes inherent to the requested segment. Otherwise, there is a risk that the people who participate in our study become self-conscious because they do not feel comfortable with a third party who ignores their particularities.
Meeting the requirements listed above, among others, is often one of the reasons why the qualitative methodology turns out to be more expensive than the quantitative one. Despite the fact that today there are already technological solutions to verify the technical requirements of participation or carry out recruitment, the qualitative analysis carried out by people is still valid and for this reason companies are looking for providers of this type of experts who guarantee the best results for their purposes. At Acertiva we have moderators and qualitative researchers prepared to meet your Market Research needs in Latin America.