out there?’ And they don’t know where to start,” said Thomas. Or maybe the company has noticed a significant or persistent decline in sales and it needs to better under- stand the situation before taking ac- tion. Explained Thomas, “In this case, it might be asking questions like, ‘Is this a brand perception problem? Is our brand healthy? Is it a pricing is- sue? Has demand for the product or category changed? Has our product been surpassed by the competition?’ These are all questions that quantita- tive research can answer.”
Six Questions to Ask As with any marketing project, effec- tive research requires strategy. Before deciding to conduct a survey or focus group, calling a research firm, or em- barking on any research project, ask the following six questions:
1. What’s the “big question” to answer? The “big question” is the reason for conducting research. Some of these questions are: • Is there a market for this product we’re considering? • Why are sales declining? • Why are we losing customers? • What products would comple- ment our current offerings? • How do people perceive our brand?
2. How will the information be used? Know who will use the information and how. Is the business willing to change processes, procedures, prod- ucts, or services based on the results? Will it help the marketing and sales departments better understand cus- tomers? Will the results improve communication and help grow the business?
3. What kind of information is needed and how will we get it? Qualitative and quantitative re- search methods serve different pur- poses. Qualitative research is used to explore and understand underlying
reasons, opinions, and motivations for behavior. It doesn’t yield numerical data but is often sufficient to gain in- sight into an issue. Think interviews or focus groups. “If you don’t know what you don’t know, a two-step process that starts with qualitative research may be re- quired,” said Thomas. “Qualitative research is a smart way to get beneath the surface—to dig deeper for the data that’s needed to form a hypothe- sis. Then that hypothesis can be tested and the size and scope of the issue can be determined with quantitative research.”
www.tEDmag.com May 17 • the ELECTRICAL DIS TRIBUTOR 59
LED SOLAR LIGHT GREENTEK ENERGY SYSTEMS
DLC QUALIFIED MANUFACTURER WWW.GREENTEKENERGYSYSTEMS.COM - 770.744.1300
SEEN IN MALLS, SCHOOLS, RAILWAYS, PARKING LOTS, PARKS
WALL PACKS 8FT TUBES THIN PANELS STREET LIGHTS FLOOD LIGHTS 10FT TO 30FT POLE REPLACEMENTS - 6W TO 80W IN POWER
INTRODUCES THE NEW ALL-IN-ONE
HIGH BAYS GREENTEK ALSO MANUFACTURES:
NO EXTERNAL WIRING, PLUG & PLAY, EASY INSTALL REMOTE & OFF-GRID SOLAR LED FIXTURES