Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 1 March 2002



Tiu Wright, L. (2002), "Editorial", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 5 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/qmr.2002.21605aaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited


We know that Internet advertising has increased, with £157m expenditure on new media for the latter half of 1999 and the year 2000 in the UK alone (Financial Times insert "Creative business"). However, weekly news stories in the traditional mass media appear to relay more about the problems of companies in their efforts at putting out advertising and direct marketing online than relaying what would work. It is, therefore, refreshing to continue to have papers in this journal that not only show specific types of research, but which also advocate the potential possibilities in the further applications of the methodologies pursued. While the first and second papers in this issue look at different aspects of researchers' interests, they both have the underlying theme of exploring online connectivity and responses in the direct marketing communications between providers and their users.

Ashok Ranchhod, Cãlin Gurãu and Jonathan Lace discuss the importance of putting out and managing the processes for the right kinds of messages to the different groups in the public domain e.g. consumer protection groups, users, business partners, government agencies, etc., for biotechnology companies. Lack of understanding and misinformation can so easily jeopardise priorities and investments within the biotechnology industry, perceived as a high-risk sector. So the authors propose an integrated communications model for biotechnology firms that would allow for improved presentations and management of public relations messages as well as other forms of direct marketing efforts online.

Ursula Wrobel, in the second paper, is concerned with analysing the different types of visual and verbal codes and the strategies that could be used to increase effectively the communications with users that are online. Her study takes into account a German Web site and she examines the potential in the use of hypertext amongst other techniques to invoke humour and trust building between a pharmacy and its customers. There is sensitivity in discussing what she calls taboo topics for the use of pharmaceutical products, so her analysis is aimed at context-sensitive direct marketing communications. This is an interesting paper about how to improve local marketing for sensitive subjects given the priorities for economies of scale in the global marketing by pharmaceutical firms.

The third paper, by Pauline Maclaran and Miriam Catterall, shows applications of a software program, NUD*IST, and the benefits for qualitative research practitioners. This is a paper that clarifies the need to make theory explicit and how to expose the underlying thinking behind the analysis to be traced. The functions of the NUD*IST program are discussed. The paper deals with some of the misconceptions and mysteries surrounding the use of technology and encourages the use of software programs by qualitative research practitioners to add quality and reliability in analysis.

Christine Vallaster and Oliver Koll, in the fourth paper, use a case study and have also suggested a software program to help qualitative researchers to analyse text, that of Atlas/ti for MS Windows and NT. Their paper focuses on the limitations of managerial research in providing ample methods to study interpersonal processes within the contextual situations in decision making. Communicative exchanges are central to making others conscious of prospects and situations surrounding them. The authors propose an innovative research method that takes into account the cognitive and affective variables within a stated framework to enhance group dynamics in decision making.

This issue also includes a research spotlight and this is turned on a fifth paper that advocates a methodology for increasing the reliability and validity of qualitative responses, issues close to the heart of qualitative researchers.

This paper by Barry Langford, Gerald Schoenfeld and George Izzo advocates the technique of nominal grouping session (NGS) in preference to the use of focus groups. Their results, based upon prior quantitative and updated qualitative research, show the potential of NGS to provide all accurate and detailed answers. There are 66 items in their questionnaire and the ranking procedure of NGS is taken in comparison with the focus group technique. This is a paper that is explicit about methodology and content and which has an important message not only for those who want to adopt the NGS method, but also for those who want to carry on using focus groups.

The special sections at the end of each issue in this journal are maintained by a dedicated team of special editors, see inside front cover. Readers are welcome to make contributions to these special sections by contacting the following: Miriam Catterall (m.catterall@queens-belfast.ac.uk); Clive Nancarrow (cpnancar@aol.com); and Rehan ul-Haq (r.ul-haq@bham.acuk).

Len Tiu Wrightlwright@dmu.ac.uk

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