Qualitative Market Research

THE PLANNING PRACTICE is a full-service qualitative research consultancy. We handle every aspect of your project from planning and recruiting through the presentation of recommendations that impact your business. Over the years, we have completed hundreds of projects in nearly every consumer and business-to-business category. (See a list of our recent clients here.)

Appropriate and cost-effective designs.

We use the full range of research designs, including written, audio, and video diaries; in-context/ ethnographic observations; creative-consumer groups; “dial” groups; peer groups; depth interviews; dyads and triads; quali-quant panels, consumer-generated video exercises, online bulletin board groups and real-time videoconferencing interviews.

We combine these designs to achieve the most appropriate and cost-effective approach. (Download our free white paper here.)┬áIn ethnography, for example, systematic observation of behavior in homes, offices, cars, and stores, reveals how product and services are really used, how customer interact with a product or a retail environment, and other aspects of behavior that quantitative research can’t access.

Practical application of social science.

We believe that qualitative research should be open-ended and dynamic, harness consumer creativity, penetrate rationalized or superficial responses, and lead to rich ideas for marketing and creative. Nearly every one of our brand and ad planning engagements involves some kind of qualitative research.

We use skillful moderating to overcome the natural self-consciousness that inhibits spontaneous reactions and comments. And we use the latest and most innovative projective techniques, metaphor, and storytelling to illuminate consumers’ deeper reality.

Post-research consultation.

We pride ourselves on the intelligence and actionability of our recommendations. Our projects often include post-interview client workshops to help apply research findings. As social scientists, we are conversant in group dynamics, consumer psychology, and popular culture. As marketers, we understand why they matter to your business.

Our affiliate staff allows us to conduct interviews with C-level and other executives, varied ethnic groups (African-American, Hispanic, Asian), in technical fields (medicine, IT, engineering), and in countries around the world.