Focus of all methods of market research can be classified into 2 primary types – qualitative and quantitative. Is one of these approaches actually better than the other? The most obvious question is how a market researcher can get to know when to use a quantitative approach and when to use a qualitative approach to a study.
Qualitative Market Research
The term qualitative itself indicates its focus on quality rather than quantity. These methods are developed to discuss with relative less people in the target audience of interest. The main purpose here is to dig into the range and depths of beliefs and buyer attitudes, not to measure project, incidence, or forecast quantity.
This kind of marketing research is normally conducted in the form of focus groups .i.e. group of 6-10 respondents at a time conduct a group discussion, headed by a trained moderator.
The main advantages of qualitative research are:
• It allows the interviewers (or moderators) to interact with respondents. The moderator can question the audience based on earlier responses. This permits detailed probing of issues and gives out greater details in response.
• It permits for healthy interaction between group members. This interaction often prompts discussions and reveals problems unexpected by the marketing team.
On the downside, these methods are not reliable interpreters of the population. That implies, they can expand their listing of probabilities, but should not be used to recognize the best of the possibilities.
Based upon these discussions, it is easy to decipher that qualitative research is ideal for generating concepts and ideas (list of probabilities) and for disclosing consumer language in order to consequently query consumers the correct questions in a comprehendible way. It is not suitable for assessing pre-existing ideas.
Quantitative Market Research
These methods make effort to gauge quantity. By utilizing a range of sampling strategies, the quantitative methods look forward to seek the project results of a quantitative market survey to the complete marketplace. Some of the well-known quantitative survey methods include personal quantitative interviews, online surveys, telephone surveys, mail surveys, and guest blogging.
The main advantages of quantitative marketing research methods are:
• Quantitative research offers statistically reliable results .i.e. this method can reliably decide if one concept, idea, package, product, etc is better than the alternatives.
• The results obtained from this method are projectable to the public .i.e. the proportion of people answering a specific way are similar to the total population proportion that would have answered if they had been asked the same question.
On the flipside, there are issues that are only measured if they are popular before the start of survey.
This confirms that qualitative research is suitable when the issues that are to be tested are known and the consumer languages are used to describe the issues. Normally this approach is not suitable as the first learning stage of a way to build creative ideas. Quantitative research is necessarily evaluative and not generative.
In a Nutshell
When you are all set to start your market research study and are not able to select which of these methodology to use, just remember these points. When size is not your priority, qualitative research proves to be your better bet. But, when you are looking for strength in numbers, quantitative research always turns out to be a better bet, though not at the cost of quality.
At Webfosys, we always ensure that quality of our online marketing campaigns never suffer due to the volumes, and we try to maintain the optimal balance between quality and quantity even while dealing with massive numbers in terms of quantity of business.