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The primary objective of research is to improve decision making by collecting consumer data before making a significant investment. There are basically two kinds of research: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research involves hundreds of people typically interviewed via telephone or they might complete an on-line questionnaire. This research is very good at projecting because it involves so many respondents. However, because the research is not done over the telephone, it is not practical to show them photos. Also, the questionnaires are fixed, so each respondent has exactly the same information.
Qualitative research, such as focus groups, is less structured allowing a moderator to ask probing questions, to introduce materials, such as photographs or video for the group to consider. Focus groups are excellent at providing insight as to how consumers will respond to different concepts, which is why they are often used to preview advertising concepts before investing in expensive production. Focus groups are very good at learning how familiar the respondents are with burial and cremation memorial products, their interest in these products, and how much they would be willing to pay for them. Also, we can determine how best to present the services and products to families at pre-need versus at-need arrangements, the use of sales aids, such as photos.
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