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Exploratory Research Design

All marketing research projects must start with exploratory design. This is a preliminary phase and is absolutely essential in order to obtain a proper definition of problem at hand. The major emphasis is on the discovery of ideas and insights. For example, a soft drinks firm might conduct an exploratory study to generate possible expiations. The exploratory study is particularly helpful in breaking broad and vague problem into smaller, more precise sub-problem statements, hopefully, in the form of specific hypotheses. In a nutshell, we can say that exploratory studies help in formulating hypotheses for the further research.

Importance of Exploratory Research Design

Exploratory study can be used to establish priorities in studying the competing explanations of the phenomenon. The exploratory design is primarily used to define research problems whereas the descriptive and experimental designs are used to find solutions to these. The exploratory study is also used to increase the analysis familiarity with the problem under investigating. The exploratory study may also be sued to clarify concepts.

In sum, an exploratory design is used for any or all the following purposes:

1.    Formulation a problem for more precise investigation on for developing hypotheses:

2.    Establishing priorities for further research;

3.    Gathering information about the practical problems for carrying out research on particular conjectural statements.

4.    Increasing the analyst’s familiarity with the problem; and

5.    Clarifying the concepts.

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