2. Qualitative Research Methodology – Rationale for Area of Research 4
2.1 Exploratory Studies4
2.3 Focus Groups4
2.4 Individual Depth Interviews4
3. Qualitative Research Methodology – Considerations & Objectives6
3.2 Focus Groups7
3.3 Individual Depth Interviews7
4. The Value of Segmentation – Results & Recommendations9
4.1 Focus Groups9
4.2 Individual Depth Interviews12
4.4 The Value of Segmentation18
Appendix A – The Qualitative Research Process22
Appendix B - Maslow´s Hierarchy of Needs 23
The objective of this report is to explore the relationship between the economic crisis and the Triodos brand across a wide sample of existing consumers of Triodos Bank, a European bank that only finances sustainable organisations (Triodos Bank 2011). The report shows that Triodos customers can be segmented into four clusters, and makes recommendations for marketing strategies using segmentation.
The economic crisis that erupted at the end of 2007 has negatively affected banks in Spain (El País 2012). However, since the banking crisis began, Triodos Bank´s Spanish operations have experienced significant growth (Triodos Bank 2011).
The report is structured in three sections:|
1. The rationale for the qualitative research methodology and segmentation research.| 2. The general methodological considerations relating to how the data was collected, and the objectives of each approach.| 3. Examples of output, recommendations for Triodos Bank marketing campaigns and the value of segmentation.|
The resources used include secondary sources and literature addressing the qualitative market research methodology and segmentation. Data collected in focus groups and in-depth interviews provide ample resources, with results illustrated in graphs and tables. This information allows us to consider the effect of the economic crisis on customers and how Triodos can target each individual segment.
Qualitative Research Methodology
Rationale for the chosen area of research
1) Exploratory Studies
Customer perception is a complex area and thus requires an exploratory qualitative approach at the beginning of the project. Mariampolski (cited in Andronikidis & Dimitriadis 2003) suggests that qualitative research can produce more in-depth analysis than formal quantitative methods. Appendix A illustrates the qualitative research process in detail.
The rationale for quota sampling is that it uses certain relevant characteristics to describe the population. If the sample consists of the same distribution along these characteristics, it is likely to be representative of the population on other variables too (Cooper & Schindler 2011).
3) Focus Groups
Focus groups can be used to provide an analysis of changing ideas (Cooper & Schindler 2011). In exploratory research, the data produced by focus groups can be used to enrich all levels of research questions (Cooper & Schindler 2011).
4) Individual Depth Interviews
This methodology is a conversation between an individual interviewer and a single participant and is usually recorded and transcribed to provide rich detail (Cooper & Schindler 2011). In this stage, quantitative research is also carried out using scales. Semantic scales were used, as they are easier for respondents to understand and generate more consistent results than numeric scales (Urban Wallace Associates 2005).
Raaij and Verhallen (cited in Muhamad et al. 2012) explain that segmentation involves the identification of segmentation variables followed by segmentation of the market, which leads to target marketing. Segmentation must be preceded by an initial...