Tuesday, April 28, 2009

When qualitative research is better

I got several phone calls from the same market research company and finally agreed to take the survey for a technology company. They were interested in finding out how companies decide how to purchase technology products, so they asked about 20 screening questions to find out whether I have any role in purchasing and choosing technology, and wanted to follow up with an internet survey about how I choose technology. The screener questions alone took 7 minutes. Who knows how long the internet survey would take, so I turned it down.

Now my role in choosing technology at work is that I use my personal laptop at work and I bought a $150 printer at the beginning of the year and that's it. Clearly not what they have in mind. If they asked me to explain my role, I could explain the printer buying decision in 3 minutes, they could pay someone to code all the responses, and that would be all. They would get better information, and probably get better response rates.

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