The explorative-type method is an approach in the areas of consumer, market, and behavioral research where no strictly standardized research methods are used aside from different types of surveys, interviews, and research. Type identifications and segments are often composed with this data to map the customer groups and types that have already been in contact with the product, business or web offer.
The explorative-type method generally consists of early research on a topic for which no confirmed data exists yet. It is therefore also called primary research or field research. The research goals of this approach, with regard to websites, online shops, and other applications, is to gather information about purchase decisions, attitudes of consumers, or the needs and requirements of consumers and users of an online project.
Exploratory approaches usually try to reveal the subjective attitudes consumers have about a particular offer and how they make purchasing decisions. The information gained form this can be utilized as a starting point for the launch of a product or the design of marketing campaigns. Such information is valuable, particularly for new markets which are not yet very strong. That way, sales opportunities for a product can be at least roughly estimated. Consumers stating on a survey that they would buy the product is an indicator of a successful market launch and potential sales.
The explorative-type method is, however, not suitable to aid in decision-making at management level because this method is not quantifiable per se. It cannot be reduced to statistical figures alone. Instead, exploratory research is intended to reveal information on a topic that was previously unknown. Such insights are first-hand information for market participants. The perception of potential customers is crucial for long-term business success and the improvement of a portfolio. Robust data is gained through other types of research, descriptive and explanative research, for example. As a rule, further investigations follow the explorative-type method.
The exploratory-type method can consist of different forms of interviews, surveys and research. The following are possible forms and combinations of these:
The results of these surveys and interviews can then be evaluated, resulting in patterns and types of customers. This is useful when it comes to brand management or branding. In these contexts, the results are certainly the blueprint for the later marketing strategy of campaigns or product launches. In the event of problems and decreases in sales, such results can also help to identify the causes and identify counter-measures to be taken.
There are numerous market research tools and test scenarios that provide an explorative approach which integrates consumers, users, and customers into the value chain in a variety of ways.
In the area of online marketing, the findings from exploratory approaches are extremely valuable. They provide an insight into the perception of potential customers and thus open up new perspectives for companies and service providers, whether for a product launch, a redesign or a new online shop. While conventional business processes and marketing methods are usually based on the product, the explorative approach is based on the users of the product. Against the backdrop of the Google premise that web applications are created for users and not for search engines, this approach gets more weight. The exploratory-type method makes user needs and requirements visible.