• Exploring the ZMET methodology in services marketing

      Hancock, Charles C.; Foster, Carley; University of Derby (Emerald, 2019-12-16)
      This paper aims to explore how the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) can be adopted in services marketing to provide deeper customer experience insights. This paper explores how ZMET interviews, which use images selected by the participant to facilitate discussion, can be used by researchers. This paper draws upon a study of 24 student experiences at a UK university. Adopting this qualitative method for services marketing can counter depth deficit when compared to other qualitative approaches, because it is participant led. However, the method requires competent interview skills and time for the interview and analysis. We find that ZMET has not been widely adopted in academia because of its commercial licenced use. The paper illustrates how to use the ZMET process step-by-step. Findings are limited to student experiences. Further research is necessary to understand how researchers could use ZMET in other areas of services marketing. This paper provides guidance to researchers on how to use ZMET as a methodological tool. ZMET facilitates a deeper understanding of service experiences through using participant chosen images and thus enabling researchers to uncover subconscious hidden perceptions that other methods may not find. ZMET has been used commercially to gain market insights but has had limited application in service research. Existing studies fail to provide details of how ZMET can be used to access the consumer subconscious. This paper makes a methodological contribution by providing step-by-step guidance on how to apply ZMET to services marketing.