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Qualitative Research Methods: Developing a Qualitative Discussion Guide


Apply traditional qualitative research methods in exploring consumer knowledge and perceptions.


Instructions It’s your turn to practice qualitative research design. Specifically, you will develop a qualitative discussion guide to help you explore key audience perceptions and attitudes related to your client challenge.


Be sure to refer to the variety of question types, including and especially projective question types/techniques from Lecture 7 (file attached) and remember the value of a "True Question" (as discussed in the Naomi Henderson reading file attached). What ?


Develop a qualitative discussion guide to explore key audience perceptions and attitudes related to McDonald's. You can design the guide for either a focus group or one-on-one interviews. How ?


The key to a successful discussion guide is to know what you need to get out of the discussion, so consider the strategic research questions you must get answered before you put pen to paper.


Note: the strategic research questions are not those you’ll ask your audience, but rather what you need to know and learn to guide how you build a discussion with your audience. And in this way, be clear about who you are talking to – current customers or prospects, for example?


Then, use the outline to draft your guide, and reference the different types of questions discussed during this module. ? Don’t forget what you’ve learned about the Lizard and being sure you understand what your audience is currently thinking, feeling and doing (to meet them where they are) so you can change what they think, feel and do (to take them where you want them to go). Why ?


The goal of this exercise is to help you apply what you’ve learned when it comes to asking the right questions to help you not only understand your consumer audience, but also unearth key insights when it comes to their motivations.

I. Introduction

• Welcome and Topic – Introduce yourself and explain your role and the purpose of the research (e.g., to learn more about respondents’ experiences with McDonal's related to COIVD-19).


• Expectations – Explain the general ‘rules’ – e.g., no right or wrong answers; honest and candid responses, etc. Disclose any details related to privacy, such as any recordings, observers and confidentiality.


• Introductions – Ask respondents to introduce themselves (e.g., name, household information) as well as an introductory ‘ice breaker’ that kicks off the topic. II. II. Rapport and Recon (General QSR Usage Context & Perceptions)


• Develop a series of questions and probes that allow you to warm-up participants and explore their general use and habits around quick service restaurants.


Keep this conversation broad so you can listen for when and how McDonald’s comes up before you dive into a targeted discussion. For example, structure conversations around topics like: - Usage/Behaviors: How often they go to (or order delivery from) quick service restaurants, and what typically leads them to do so (e.g., occasions)


QSR Expectations: What defines the ‘best’ and ‘worst’ quick service restaurants in their minds, the reasons why and general expectations (e.g. wants and needs). - Brand Perceptions: How do they see leading quick service restaurant brands (deep down) and what do they associate with each (e.g., associations, personalities etc.) III. In-Depth Investigation (McDonald’s Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow)


• Next, move into a series of questions that targets their experiences with and perceptions of McDonald’s, specifically. You’ll want to start by exploring present/past experiences, and then follow with an exploration of future brand messages and connection opportunities.


Experiences & Perceptions: What a typical visit to McDonald’s looks and feels like, and how their experiences have changed over time. How they would describe McDonald’s at its best, and what makes it different from quick service restaurants (read: different in a good way).


Company/Community Member: How much do they know about McDonald’s as a company and community member? What do they expect in this way?


What issues and actions are most important (consider McDonald’s priority areas of focus)? - The Future: What would the ideal McDonald’s look and feel like. IV. IV.




• Final thoughts – Invite respondents to note anything not yet discussed that may be important to them. You can ask respondents to comment on the most important topic or point that was discussed.


(Note: This can sometimes offer a hint into what was most compelling/memorable, which can sometimes hint at a topic/insight to tap into).

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