Advertising and marketing practitioners leverage big data to track and influence consumer behaviors, analyze messages and perfect customer engagement through digital platforms. Often these data do not capture the complexity of market contexts or address questions about how or why specific behaviors occur. This Journal of Advertising article, available online in advance of the June print edition, “provides a pathway for unpacking insights from deep data in ways that inform marketing strategy,” the authors write. It calls for the “use of qualitative research to organize chaos, capture lived experiences and investigate diffusion of social practices.” Moreover, the researchers “demonstrate how to use qualitative methods through a practitioner-oriented, systematic sensemaking process.” Among the takeaways:
- “The proposed systematic sensemaking approach draws on qualitative methods to derive deep insights into lived market experiences, including consumption journeys, market-oriented collectives and practice diffusion and adaptation.
- “Qualitative research provides in-depth explanations that can reduce uncertainty in emergent and evolving advertising contexts and help develop new marketing strategies and theories.”
Qualitative research can be used “to organize chaos, capture lived experiences and investigate diffusion of social practices.”
In a recent JAR-hosted webinar, the authors expanded on their work. Here are a few snapshots:
- People often think qualitative research is about things that are exotic, but it actually can be used to find important nuances in the mundane—preparing dinner, for example, what do people talk about, where do they sit, what are their cultural references. It shows us how to capture the experience of more than one phenomenon.
- How does the practice of ritual fit into the marketplace? Maybe there are several things to say about how people are compatible. This helps marketers to tell their stories and reach their audience by understanding the consumption journey better.
- Designing these studies can be vague and ambiguous. Think through how you’ll analyze your data ahead of time, otherwise it will take you that much longer at the back end trying to code.
Read the full article, The Stories You Tell: Crafting Managerially Relevant Articles Based on Qualitative Research.
Watch the webinar here.