QUANTITATIVE and QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
“Quantitative” and “qualitative” are terms you will hear again and again when you read or hear anything about market research. We think it’s a good idea for you to understand the difference between these two types of research.
Quantitative research is about measuring. (e.g. how many people would, how many people think, how many people saw, etc).It is structured. It is the type of research that lends itself to statistical analysis. This is where you will find the numbers, graphs and charts
Quantitative research is considered to be the most objective. Its findings can be generalized to an entire group or population. It is statistically valid .It tests a theory. The process is deductive.
In quantitative research all participants answer fixed questions. Interviewers are trained to stick to the questionnaire and not stray. These questions may be multiple choice, use scales (for example, “On a scale of 1 – 6, with 6 being the best?) Open-ended questions are also asked in order to look for anything that may have been missed. (for example, “How could this product be improved”) Good questionnaire design, good sampling methods and experienced, trained interviewers are KEY.
Quantitative research is accomplished through the use of self-completed surveys, face- to- face interviews, phone, mail, email and web applications.
Quantitative research is most often used to
- Determine market factors
- Measure attitudes & opinions
- Project and forecast
- Identify customer characteristics and behaviors
- New product development
- Advertising Research
Qualitative research is about exploration. It provides an understanding of “why” and “how” ( why people buy a certain brand; why people like or dislike a product or service; how people use a product, etc). It explores the depth of feelings, beliefs and motivations in a population.
Qualitative research has a subjective element. It relies on words, feelings and interpretation. It doesn’t measure and the results are not generalizable to a particular population or group. It generates theories.
In a quantitative research project, interviewers or moderators use a discussion guide. They use their skills to encourage people to discuss their views and opinions and to probe for deeper answers.
Qualitative Research is best used to:
- Gain in-depth information
- Identify unmet needs
- Explore and develop new markets
- Explore and develop new products
- Gain insight into customer perceptions and attitudes
- Generate new product ideas
- Test product or service concepts
- Test ads and publications for effectiveness, acceptability and readability
If you want to find out more about Qualitative and Quantitative Research, just give us a call.