Research Approaches

Research approaches for gathering primary data include observation, surveys, and experiments. Here, we discuss each one in turn.

Observational Research. Observational research involves gathering primary data by observing relevant people, actions, and situations. For example, a bank might evaluate possible new branch locations by checking traffic patterns, neighborhood conditions, and the location of competing branches.

Researchers often observe consumer behavior to glean customer insights they can't obtain by simply asking customers questions. For instance, the toy company Fisher-Price has set up an observation lab in which it can observe the reactions of little tots to new toys. The Fisher-Price Play Lab is a sunny, toy-strewn space where lucky kids get to test Fisher-Price prototypes, under the watchful eyes of designers who hope to learn what will get kids worked up into a new-toy frenzy. Others employ "Mindcams," which allow a company to observe through the consumer's eye in their natural environments. For example, Kimberly-Clark used camera-equipped "glasses" to observe behavior of consumers of their Huggies brand:16

A few years back, Kimberly-Clark saw sales of its Huggies baby wipes slip just as the company was preparing to launch a line of Huggies baby lotions and bath products. When traditional research didn't yield any compelling customer insights, K-C's marketers decided they could get more useful feedback just from watching customers' daily lives. They came up with camera-equipped "glasses" to be worn by consumers at home, so that researchers could see what they saw. It didn't take long to spot the problems—and the opportunities. Although women in focus groups talked about changing babies at a diaper table, the truth was they changed them on beds, floors, and on top of washing machines in awkward

• table i 4 2 Planning Primary Data Collection

Research Approaches

Contact Methods

Sampling Plan

Research Instruments



Sampling unit




Sample size

Mechanical instruments



Sampling procedure

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.

Get My Free Ebook


  • Leon
    Who came up with the camera equipped glasses?
    8 years ago

Post a comment