The paper "What Makes the Consumers Behave" is an outstanding example of a research paper on marketing. According to Matsuno (1997), consumer’ s attitudes and behaviors (such as before or during the buying process, or even what drives them to repurchase a particular item), is influenced by both internal and external factors. External factors include culture, packaging, purchase context and situation, pricing, etc. Internal factors include personality, personal values, etc. But external or internal, investigating these factors aims at answering the question, ‘ why’ ? In other words, Kellogg’ s wants to find out what makes the consumers behave and respond to their cereal and snack products- or ads on these products- the way they do. There are essentially two types of research that Kellogg could adopt here: Qualitative and Quantitative.
Quantitative Research aims to generate numerical data, i.e. data that is convertible into numbers (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). In other words, this research would do if Kellogg’ s was to investigate, for instance, which of its products sell best, or which regions are the best markets for specific products, etc. Qualitative Research, on the other hand, aims to investigate the ‘ why’ .
In other words, it aims to explore and gain insight into the behaviors, attitudes, concerns, value systems, aspirations, motivations, etc of a people (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). These are non-numerical data. Kellogg’ s research, so as to gain insight into these factors (i. e. attitude and behaviors), will involve in-depth interviews. From the definition above, we can infer that this process will require qualitative research. Another distinguishing factor between the two research styles has to do with the nature of their findings, or the data they generate. Numerical data can be said to be ‘ definite’ .
In other words, 5 is just that. It does not imply 4 or 6. And in cases where the numbers are not as ‘ whole’ , they can be rounded off to the closest ‘ whole’ . Data generated through qualitative research is not as definite. Although marketers have always conducted surveys and studies on consumer behavior, they have equally resigned to the fact that they can never get any definite answers. There is hardly anything definite about values or even attitudes. By the very nature of data needed here, quantitative research cannot apply. Data Collection There are several data collection methods that can be used in this research.
However, depending on the key focus of this research, i.e. consumer attitudes and behaviors, the most important methods would be focus groups and interviews (Gill, et al. 2008). In this case, picking a focus group is the first step. These two (focus group and interview) are basically similar. However, the focus group combines both interview and participation and is directed at a specific group. The aim is to understand the group dynamics of a particular person.
The assumption here is that there is a link that ties members of a group.