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Content Analysis

Part 2. Marketing Research

  1. Linda L. Price

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem02062

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Price, L. L. 2010. Content Analysis. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 2.

Author Information

  1. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


Content analysis is distinct from a hermeneutical approach, and is used to analyze symbolic content of communication, both qualitatively and quantitatively, in a wide variety of communication types. By addressing the need for and accounting for some level of interpretive ambiguity, content analysis is useful in determining commercially relevant patterns, frequencies, and potential categories. It also allows unobtrusive appraisal of communications, can be integrated with other qualitative and quantitative methods, and can link message content to source characteristics, and to environmental and other variables.

The researcher seeks to use content analysis to establish sufficiently exhaustive criteria for selection that can account for each variation in communication content, and then apply these criteria such that subsequent analysis by others would obtain comparable results for the same messages.


  • qualitative analysis;
  • interpretive ambiguity;
  • content analysis;
  • sentiment analysis;
  • descriptive research;
  • research objectivity