Observational Research in Advertising, Marketing, and Branding: Academic and Theoretical Reviews From Industry Perspectives

Observational Research in Advertising, Marketing, and Branding: Academic and Theoretical Reviews From Industry Perspectives

Divya Ayalasomayajula (SportzConsult, India) and Ameya Sawadkar (Symbiosis International University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3150-0.ch011

Abstract

In Indian market research industry, historically qualitative techniques are less prominently used as a measure of marketing decisions as compared to their quantitative counterparts. This is attributed to a multitude of reasons – sample sizes and representation being two of the more prominent ones. However, qualitative research is rapidly gaining popularity and relevance as the consumer turns more evolved and media literate. Thus, observational research has slowly started to gain acceptance as a reliable methodology, however, sparse its adoption may be in the current scenario. There is a little work that collates the advantages of observation and prescribes ways in which new technology can be embedded for better elicitation and actionable insight especially when it concerns the Indian market. This chapter explores the existing academic and theoretical constructs, real life experiences of industry experts and attempts to elucidate the various advantages of the observational approach, the limitations and explore possible ways the entire market research experience can be enhanced.
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Research Design

A few fields like sociology believe that there can be only two methodology streams: qualitative and quantitative. But other fields consider ethnography, netnography, observational research etc. as a different methodology and not a part of qualitative methodology. Hence, the study is essentially an exploratory research that has tried to bring together various factors making up an observational research study. This has resulted in a set of most prominent and best practices in the field of observational study. Also, this has highlighted different perspectives that come up due to the diversity in thought and approach of various people.

Hence, the study has followed a qualitative methodology as it deals will unraveling people’s experience and learning from them.

The study has carried out extensive expert interviews that have undergone textual analysis for spotting any recurring trends, themes or practices. It has also studied secondary data in the form of interviews of people published in various magazines and journals.

Literature review forms a very important part of the study. It has helped understand the history and development of this methodology and also give an overview of how observations have been useful in other fields such as medicine and psychology. This assisted in filling up for the limitations of the study as the scope of this study is observational research in market research in the Indian context.

The study has taken industry experts from 3 major domains; individuals who have at least 6+ years of work experience in the concerned field.

  • 1.

    Marketing and Advertising Professionals: These are the people who have worked in the field of conceptualizing and strategizing ad, brand and marketing campaigns. These people have used observations to reach key insights and made some brilliant campaigns using the same.

  • 2.

    Research Professionals: These are the individuals who have been working the field of market research and have used observations to solve a client issue.

  • 3.

    Academicians: These are people who have done academic and industry studies and have incorporated significant use of observations to either conclude or validate their findings.

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