Near the end of our stay in Guangzhou, we each participated in a day of qualitative research with Dell. The day included a site visit to a small business for an in-depth interview and a focus group session at a research facility. Both sessions were run by professional moderators and, with the exception of the translators, were very similar in set up to qualitative research that I have experienced in the United States.
Dell was researching small businesses and their use of technology in China. The research insights were derived from a variety of sources and themes. The differences in culture and infrastructure between the U.S. and China played a role in the analysis. Similarities and differences among the competition and channels were also influencers of insights.
Listening to research respondents talk about their business practices was both fascinating and educational. The observations from company visits and cultural exploration that we had completed earlier in the trip were starting to create patterns and were recognizable in Dell research. We could also recognize that cultural influences were having a major impact on how companies make business decisions.
The research provided us a great opportunity to participate in research, generate insights, and learn about business and culture in China. Working with Barry from Dell and his research partners gave us a fantastic experience that highlighted the benefits and pitfalls of international research. Overall, it was one of the most rewarding experiences on the trip.
In-depth interview with a small business