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Exploratory Research

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Vikas Mittal

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02004

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Mittal, V. 2010. Exploratory Research. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. Rice University, Houston, TX, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Exploratory research, also known as qualitative research, typically involves techniques such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, ethnography, and metaphor elicitation. Rather than being a substitute for quantitative research, exploratory research when conducted properly can be a useful and necessary complement that allows the researcher to fully understand the needs, motivations, judgments, perceptions, and intentions that customers bring to the table. By following the guidelines described here, marketing researchers can ensure that they maximize the upside potential of their research project while minimizing the downside.


  • focus groups;
  • in-depth interviews;
  • ethnography;
  • qualitative research;
  • quantitative research