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Learn the basics of qualitative market research—when to choose it, how to select the most appropriate method, and how to execute your project

Principles Express: On-Demand Market Research Education logo

Being well versed in qualitative market research techniques is increasingly a must for every researcher. Effective qualitative research can yield robust insights into the “why” behind various respondent behaviors, perceptions and motivations. In cases where quantitative research can only scratch the surface, qualitative research can effectively surface ideas and hypotheses.


Format: Online

Credits: 9 hours / 0.9 CEU

When: Start anytime

This online Principles Express course, Qualitative Market Research, will give you the foundational knowledge necessary to use qualitative approaches effectively. The course provides a thorough overview of:

  • the full realm of qualitative research modalities;
  • how, when and why they are used; and
  • the key steps necessary to plan, execute and report the findings from qualitative studies.

When is qualitative market research beneficial?

Some business issues are exploratory in nature, requiring a broad understanding of a situation and introducing decision-makers to the general nature of the market. Other business issues may benefit from a deeper and more thorough understanding of key issues uncovered in prior research. These and similar kinds of research questions may benefit from a qualitative methodology.

Qualitative market research is a fundamental set of tools and processes used to inform business decision-makers. While business courses on both the undergraduate and graduate levels tend to emphasize quantitative market research, qualitative market research has an equally important role to play. Properly design and executed, qualitative techniques not only help researchers design better quantitative studies, they also can help bring to life the key findings of quantitative studies.

This course will give you a comprehensive view of what qualitative market research is and how such projects are executed.

Learning Objectives

After completing this course you should be able to:

  1. Explain the differences between qualitative and quantitative market research in terms of objectives, sample characteristics, types of data provided, analysis methods, outcomes and when to choose each.
  2. List some of the types of business decisions that qualitative market research can be used to inform.
  3. Give examples of misapplications of qualitative market research and explain why it should not be used in these ways.
  4. Identify the different forms of qualitative market research, including direct versus indirect (observational) techniques, and IDIs versus dyads versus focus groups; understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of each; and understand when each should be used.
  5. Discuss the use of technology in qualitative market research, including the opportunities offered by mobile technologies.
  6. List the steps involved in planning and conducting qualitative market research, including the determination of an appropriate qualitative method, selecting qualitative research partners, developing the tools required to execute the research, and understanding the differences between domestic and international projects.
  7. Describe how a Moderator’s guide is different than a questionnaire. Discuss the best practices associated with building a successful Moderator’s guide and observational report.
  8. Discuss how to manage client participation in qualitative settings and how to set expectations in the interpretation of results.
  9. Discuss the fundamental methods of analyzing and summarizing qualitative data.
  10. Give examples of ethical issues specifically related to the conduct and interpretation of qualitative market research.

Successful enrollees earn a Digital Badge and 0.9 University of Georgia Continuing Education Unit (CEU).


Who Should Attend?

  • Entry-level researchers looking for a solid introduction to all aspects of qualitative market research.
  • Mid-level staff seeking to expand their skillsets.
  • Experienced researchers looking to catch up with the latest developments.
  • Corporations seeking professional development options for their internal training portfolio.
  • Supplier-side companies seeking courses for new-employee onboarding.
  • Researchers who lead or contribute to project design.
  • Client-side researchers responsible for writing RFPs and evaluating proposals.
  • People just entering the research field who want to understand the power and proper use of qualitative market research studies.

Course Information

Course Number: 


Course Date Info: 
Course Format: 
Course Fee(s): 

$359 - Standard Fee

$329 - Association Discount (Members* of: Insights Association; ESOMAR; Intellus Worldwide; ARF; AMA, AMSRS, and the attendees of TMRE 2018 and IIeX NA 2018.)

$50 - One-Month Extension (only one extension is granted per participant)

*Membership/Attendance will be verified.

Prepayment is required to be registered. Prices listed are per person (US Funds). Prices are subject to change.

Continuing Education Information: 

Students successfully completing graded components earn a Digital Badge and 0.9 Continuing Education Unit (CEU) from The University of Georgia. Click for details about the University of Georgia CEU.

As a graduate of the course you will be recognized by industry associations, employers, peer groups and other professionals as understanding how to translate your research findings into reports and presentations that grab your audience’s attention, address the business decision your client needs to make, and offer sound and useful recommendations. This recognition will help you advance in your company and the industry.

PRC logoThis course offers continuing education for research practitioners. If you are PRC certified through the Insights Association (IA), this course qualifies for 10 hours for continuing education. If you have any questions about PRC, please contact or dial +1-202-800-2545.

Certified Analytics and Insights Professionals of Canada logoCAIP Canada also recommends the course for candidates looking to fill in the gaps or gain a refresher in specific areas.

Course Author:
Jeff Walkowski – Principal,
Jeff WalkowskiJeff is the principal of Inc., a consulting firm providing traditional and online qualitative research services to a wide range of industries including health care, financial services, automotive, and information services. He was educated as a quantitative specialist and entered the industry in the 1980s as a statistician. He later discovered his talents as a Moderator and evolved into a qualitative specialist by the mid-1990s.

Jeff’s specialty is online qualitative research. He has conducted over 700 online sessions (real-time chats and multi-day message boards); he has spoken about online qualitative research at conferences in North America, Europe, and Asia; and he has published articles on the subject. Jeff co-chaired the Online Qualitative Research Task Force of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association, co-edited Qualitative Research Online (Research Publishers LLC, 2004), and co-developed a training course to help traditional Moderators adapt their skills to the online environment.