A debate exists among marketing researchers over the use of research techniques. Some researchers believe that the only way to understand consumers and products is to utilize qualitative research. Critics of qualitative research, however, disapprove of methods such as marketing focus groups or in-depth interviews. These critics contend that qualitative research is prone to bias because of small sample size and the subjectivity of qualitative approaches. They prefer quantitative research methods. Those researchers preferring quantitative research methods point to the use of large sample sizes and rigorous statistical approaches that exemplify the quantitative method and imply greater generalization. Critics of this research method like to cite the Coca-Cola study.
In 1984, Coca-Cola spent millions of dollars on quantitative market research for their New Coke product. Research results led executives to change the formula to a newer, sweeter formula. Sales of New Coke were very disappointing and post-launch research indicated that consumers disliked the new product. Less than three months after the introduction of New Coke, the Coca-Cola Company announced a return to the old formula leading some to question the merits of quantitative research.
•On the Internet and in the Walden library, research the quantitative marketing research undertaken by Coca-Cola. How did they design the research? In hindsight, what were seen as the shortcomings that resulted in such faulty data?
•Do you believe that the best marketing research approach is qualitative or quantitative? Justify your response. Are there particular situations where one approach is clearly preferable?
•What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method as a tool for marketing research? Provide specific examples to illustrate your response.
Please review the Discussion Posting and Response Rubric before posting, and remember to include proper APA citations in all Discussion posts.
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