Quantitative vs. Qualitative Market Research: Which is Right for You?

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Market Research: Which is Right for You?

Market research is any marketing department’s lifeblood. This research is all about gathering data that makes it easier to deliver the right marketing message to the right people at precisely the right time. There are two different types of marketing research to consider – qualitative and quantitative. You should be conducting both types of research in order to be as successful as possible with your campaigns and develop the right customer-focused strategy.

The Basics of Quantitative Market Research

Of the two types of market research, quantitative is by far the simplest to understand – and it’s also the simplest to conduct. Essentially, it’s all about collecting a wide variety of numerical data that you can analyze for trends. It is these very trends that give you the data you need to make the best possible decisions about your marketing campaigns. You can utilize a wide variety of tools in your research, too. You can collect information online via the web, over the phone, in person, or even via email.

What Makes Qualitative Market Research Different?

On the other hand, qualitative market research goes far beyond the basic numbers and instead often philosophizes the reasons for consumer behaviors and opinions. The data can tell you exactly what certain demographics buy and perhaps even where and when they buy it, but unfortunately, it cannot tell you why they buy it. There’s no predetermined set of questions that you can ask consumers in order to gather data, which can make qualitative market research difficult for many companies.

Ideally, rather than utilizing online, email, telephone, or even face-to-face questioning, you should instead start conversations. Social media is a phenomenal way to conduct qualitative market research because you can ask open-ended questions and review the numerous opinions given to you by people who are at least interested in what your brand has to offer. Then, it is up to you to analyze this data, compare it to your quantitative data, and make marketing decisions based on the results.

Why You Need Both

There’s a lot your company can learn from quantitative market research, and there’s a lot it can learn from qualitative research, too. However, either one of these alone is simply not enough to develop a completely successful campaign. In a nutshell, if you haven’t researched your campaign’s concept, it is best to conduct qualitative research before quantitative. On the other hand, if you have previously researched it and you understand your campaign’s overall feasibility, then it makes more sense to conduct quantitative market research first and follow it up with qualitative.

Every successful company out there – including Fortune 500 companies – utilizes both quantitative and qualitative marketing research to their advantage. Neither is difficult, but it is ultimately up to you and your company to determine the best way to compare the two sets of data for creating the best possible campaigns. Having a firm understanding of the market as a whole and learning how to adapt your research to that market will go a long way toward making your research more successful.

 

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