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For people considering market research, the point that often gets past them is the difference between qualitative and quantitative market research. Unfortunately, there are such important differences between the two types of research methodologies that it is difficult to take into account the advantages and disadvantages of conducting market research until these differences are clarified. That is the aim of this article.

I know the above is obvious, but the terms are really facilitated by remembering their root words – quantitative market research measures the amount of respondents who feel or act in a certain way. Although qualitative market research is useful in understanding the quality or behavior of customers – why they feel or act in a certain way.

Qualitative = Quality (how and how or directed)

Quantitative = Quantity (less depth but includes solid numbers)

Quantitative market research

Quantitative research is a rigid research tool that usually solves each respondent with a similar set of questions, which usually allows the respondent to only choose from a group of predefined answers. In order to provide a set of response categories, the team writing the research must have a good understanding of the respondent’s feelings and attitudes before conducting the quantitative research. The advantage of quantitative market research is that it is possible to compare the preferences or levels of satisfaction of groups of people in order to understand the interrelated factors that achieve key outcomes (such as brand preference). Quantitative studies generally involve far more respondents – often hundreds or thousands of respondents and are usually not performed face-to-face. Examples of standard quantitative market research methodologies include: telephone interviews, web or mail questionnaires. Quantitative studies are generally shorter, as they include an overview of the topic and less in-depth discussion – for a typical quantitative survey, it takes 10 or 20 minutes for the interviewee to complete.

Qualitative market research

Qualitative research is generally less structured and is often described as more “exploratory” or “focused” as it seeks to discover new perspectives or perspectives that may exist by topic or product category. Qualitative could be described as a freer form, often with broad questions such as “what do you like about it?” or “what would your ideal product look like?” Often, the questions asked by respondents in a qualitative survey do not include specific answers; instead, they simply instruct the respondent to answer the questions in their own words. Allowing customers to respond in their own words, without restriction or suggestion, usually reveals factors that may be operating below the surface, although this also precludes statistical analysis. Qualitative research is often conducted face-to-face, and typical qualitative methodologies include focus groups, in-depth interviews, or telephone discussions (as opposed to more rigid questionnaires). Qualitative research often requires a greater commitment on the part of respondents and can last from 45 minutes to several hours. Qualitative research often requires an incentive to convince respondents to participate.

There are also research projects where qualitative and quantitative market research methodologies are closely linked. This approach makes it difficult to detect difficult emotions or attitudes, just like the surface, as well as the ability to understand the size of different groups and make statistical comparisons. There is another article describing an example of this type of approach called “Market Research: An Example of Qualitative and Quantitative Research”.

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by Chris Hawkes

 

 

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