Revisit: Observational Techniques


New Frontiers of Observational Techniques in Qualitative Marketing Research, Special issue of Qualitative Marketing Research: An International Journal, Edited by Melvin Prince; Deadline now 31 Dec 2010

 ARC: Connections: ELMAR: Posting

areas: methods: content



A Special Issue of Qualitative Marketing Research: An International Journal (QMRIJ)

Guest Editor

Melvin Prince, Southern Connecticut State University

Radical innovations in technology and global business are provoking increased diversity and complexity in marketing research today. To meet these challenges this special issue on ‘New Frontiers of Observational Techniques’ will focus on:

  • Emerging forms of data such as physiometric measures, observational approaches that include photography and videography and monitored digital conversations that produce almost instantaneous research data.
  • New ways of gathering and using data such as from social networks, via mobile telephones, on web 2.0 sites.

Topics that would be appropriate for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Personal observation
    • observing products in use to detect usage patterns and problems
    • observing license plates in store parking lots
    • determining the socio-economic status of shoppers
    • determining the level of package scrutiny
    • determining the time it takes to make a purchase decision
  • Mechanical observation
    • eye-tracking analysis while subjects watch advertisements
      • oculometers – what the subject is looking at
      • pupilometers – how interested is the viewer
    • electronic checkout scanners – records purchase behaviour
    • on-site cameras in stores
    • Nielsen Box for tracking television station watching
    • voice pitch meters – measures emotional reactions
    • psychogalvanometer – measures galvanic skin response
  • Audits
    • retail audits to determine the quality of service in stores
    • inventory audits to determine product acceptance
    • shelf space audits
  • Trace Analysis
    • credit card records
    • computer cookie records
    • garbology-looking for traces of purchase patterns in garbage
    • detecting store traffic patterns by observing the wear in the floor (long term) or the dirt on the floor (short term)
    • exposure to advertisements
  • Content analysis
    • observe the content of magazines, television broadcasts, radio broadcasts, or newspapers, either articles, programs, or advertisements

Manuscripts are solicited for papers in this new special issue of QMRIJ that address these emerging pragmatic developments in the qualitative sector of the marketing research discipline. Authors may submit presentations of new areas of observation, new qualitative data collection or analytic methodologies, or innovative ways of efficiently and accurately executing traditional qualitative marketing research studies. Real world case materials and illustrations are essential.

Submission Information

Full papers submitted should not be more than 30 pages including all tables and figures. Paper preparation should follow the Harvard referencing system and the journal can be found on the Emerald website at

The Notes for Contributors (guidelines) in preparing their manuscripts are found on

Please submit full papers by December 31, 2010 via e-mail directly to Professor Melvin Prince.

Professor Melvin Prince
Marketing Department
Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, Connecticut 06051