Strength and weaknesses application within industry


In airline and tourism industry, marketing research is the way of business to certify that research is used efficiently to business objective. Kotler (1994) defines marketing research as the systematic design, analysis and reporting of data and finding relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company. Linking with quantitative and qualitative research, these methodologies have become a significant factor in airline and hospitality industry in terms of marketing decision making. It helps to examine people's behaviour and their attitudes. Middleton et all, (2009) mentioned, quantitative methods are used to give some basic indications of motivations whereas qualitative is mostly reflects on attitudes and motivations which answers cannot be predicted. This essay will develop us with better understanding of methodologies research functions can affect business performance. It will also focuses on comparisons and contrasts of qualitative and quantitative and what are the strength and weaknesses of methodologies in the airline industries.

Taking into account the difference between two methodologies is that, quantitative approach is mainly used for data collection. It helps to collects numerical information using statistics data. The aim is to determine reasons and affect relationships, to discover results of people's surveys whether it's ad hoc or continuous. Henderson (1990:178) point out, a quantitative approach relies on a research design and set of procedures worked out in advance of the data collection. Walle (1997:527) argues that, quantitative represent the rigiuos research whereas qualitative views culture and people in their own terms.The advantage of the quantitative researcher can reach large numbers of people by oversimplifying reality, whereas the qualitative research deals with the complexity of reality but with more limited numbers Mick Finn et al, (2000).

In addition, most airlines such as British Airways, Emirates use qualitative research to create ideas and quantitative research to prioritise its plans in line with the available budget.

For example, according to airline focus groups, passengers are satisfied with ticketless travel. They believe it's essential due to fear of losing airline tickets and also consider less time during the boarding pass process.Julie Hoffman, manager, marketing programs, for Apollo Travel Services mentioned that, those who currently make their own reservations and who are computer-literate are interested in taking advantage of on-line services by making their own reservations because the process is efficient and convenient according to focus group.Another example from the specialist air transport IT provide (SITA 2009)states that, airlines intend to adapt their Web sites to work on mobile phones by 2012 opening a whole new vista of convenience and self-service for passengers. Malaysia Airline is planning to use focus group methodology to identify whether their customers would to be satisfied with the mobile tech advanced for a common-use context to be aware of the platform at airports which would help the airline industry to boost the efficiency of airside operations and reduce flight delays through the improved provision of mobile solutions to airline and airport staff.

Whereas, the quantitative mainly uses for measurements, statistical data and other numerical methods. It relates with measuring people's opinions and helps the business to make the right decision focusing on statistical data. The advantage of this methodology is, it's quantifying consumer segments, customer awareness in term of the business brand and new idea/products and identifying research data and predicting future behaviour. (

For example Emirates airline uses quantitative research (customer survey)methodology to investigate, who are their target customers, how often their passengers are travelling with their airline, type of class they're travelling with and whether their satisfied with their products and services. They also convert customer data into market opportunities to identify whether customers are ready to purchase their products throughout the year. They also use the research for internal information such as analysing their costs productivity, sales reports and sale targets. (Denscombe ,2003) states that, quantitative research uses numerical forms of representation which then can be presented in forms of graphs and tables, where it transmits a sense of a solid and objective source of research.

Through the information above, the quantitative mainly uses for measurements, statistical data and other numerical methods. It relates with measuring people's opinions and helps the business to make the right decision focusing on statistical data. The advantage of these methodologies is, it's quantifying consumer segments, customer awareness in term of the business brand and new idea/products and identifying research data and predicting future behaviour. Whereas, qualitative research it involves with surveys, customer's opinion, impressions, reactions and suggestions. These research can be collected in various ways such as focus groups, group discussions instructed interviews etc.

As a conquences, quantitative research can be approaches by variety data collection which mainly concerned with numerical information such s statistics data. Whereas with qualitative research it benefits the companies to improve an insight into another person's views, opinions, feelings and beliefs all within natural settings (Hicks 1999).Regarding these statements, quantitative and qualitative creates a valid research in a business company. It provides a better understanding and analysis the business concepts in order to improve their markets and understands the social phenomenal for consumers. However, Chedwick et al (1994) mentioned that, customer survey research being used in a conclusive or confirmatory manner to measure how widespread these attitudes and behaviours are and focus group being used to explore and understand attitudes and behaviour.

(Bristol and Fern, 1996) criticism, focus group can never be statistically representative but in order to uncover how consumers interpret ethical issues involved in tourism, focus groups were thought to be appropriate. The purpose of the focus groups is an example of getting closer into consumer's thoughts beliefs and attitudes and the researcher concluded that the valuable perceptual information could be used in the triangulation of subsequent data collection (Threlfall, 1999).

This consideration leads us to substantive of the strength and weaknesses of focus group and surveys as they play an important part in airline industry. In term of the strength, focus group in tourism has usually connected with tourism market research. For example, if airline produces new product, they will do a research from their consumer to get customer's reaction whether the product targets the market or suggests any improvement should be made of the concept. Shaw, (2007) stated that, focus group can help to determine if the concept warrants further development and provide guidance on how it might be improved and refined. The contributions of consumers may commence with discussion, debate and even arguments. As a result, this could lead to a critical business success in airline principal asset. According to (Wong, 1999) disagreed with the statement clearly mentioned that researchers cannot get statistical analysis and measurable data from the respondents. In addition, there should be a specific time and location to perform focus group discussion between all researchers and respondents. It may make the research becomes complicated toanalyseresults based on unstructured questionnaires. (Wong, 1999)

Whereas the survey methodology could effect statistical collection of data and produce a broader set of decision. on the other hand it cannot literally be seen as being subject to quantification,Finn et al(2000) mentioned that, it is likely that a focus group to mix with quantitative methods by using questionnaire survey and published statistics. As consequences of two methodologies, it seems that the focus group and survey research can be combined as it will help the companies to maximise the strength and minimise the weaknesses of each method.

To conclude, focus group and surveys is the main priority of business achievements. It shows the direction of how methodologies works in terms of consumer surveys and measurements of statistics data.Interms of comparisons between two methodologies, there are some benefit and difficulties to certain extent as survey research responses to people's opinions and behaviours where as focus group is mainly involved with group discussions. It is clearly shows that each method works in different way of quality, preference and validity throughout their research. However companies need to aware to use these methods accurately in order to achieve their expectations.Hodgson (1995) suggests that, consumers are having higher expectations with more complex and fragmented market environment, which means that the research is essential for business success.

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