What is the Way to Conduct Field Research?

Is the acceptance of your product in the market similar to how you perceived it to be?  Do you precisely know who is buying your product? The way that is best to find this out is to move out in the field and interact with the customers. Sometimes customers in a retail store are observed. It helps to understand if they follow a planned pattern of purchasing the product or buy it on impulse. The most appropriate and effective qualitative approach that helps to better understands the needs and wants of the customers is the Field study method.

The key to success for the field method of research is that the research is conducted in the environment of the participant, whether it is home, office, school, bank, hospital or whatever. It helps to gain a detailed insight to the researcher about the ways in which the product plays out in an individual’s life.
The more conventional techniques to collect field data are observation, interviews and video data. However, a more current and contemporary technique is the use of social networking sites, such as twitter and Facebook. In the case of the use of these virtual techniques, even though the researcher is not there in the field in a physical way, they have a clear observation of the information that is from the real life and the means and methods in which the people communicate. FMCG companies are often seen using these tools to understand the behavioural pattern of the consumers.
Since the findings that are derived from the field studies are based on more realities than assumptions and hence the design team gets more opportunity to get closer to the customer. Especially when a company is planning to launch a new product, it becomes imperative to do up some field research. Some people may think that for a product which has not yet come into the market, how it is possible to get the opinion of the people, there are other ways to gauge the response of the target customer. Sometimes, on the basis of the competitors’ product it becomes possible to analyse it that would help to do a comparative analysis.

Field research also helps in doing the redesigning of a product. A field survey of the customers may help to understand their frustrations with the current product and what improvisations are they expecting.

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