Critical Factors for Conducting Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Effectively

Marketing research is an essential tool for making informed decisions, solving marketing challenges, and developing marketing strategies to meet business objectives and satisfy customer needs. According to Edward F. McQuarrie, professor and author of The Market Research Toolbox, “the decision has to be such as to benefit from collecting data from or about customers.” Marketing research helps businesses gain the best insights about customers and competitors to make quality decisions and implement solutions efficiently and effectively to achieve optimal results.

Marketing research entails utilizing data collection methods such as qualitative and quantitative research data to help businesses make specific decisions. Qualitative research is used early in the decision phase, whereas quantitative, is used later in the decision phase. According to the IMS Marketing blog, qualitative research is an exploratory study that includes ethnographic research, focus groups, and in-depth interviews. In contrast, quantitative research includes activities that use numerical data analysis and objective measurements of data collected through questionnaires, polls, and surveys.  

The decision to conduct research that is either qualitative or quantitative for marketing research occurs by selecting the study that best addresses the research need and research question. The research questions must be suitable for using the qualitative or quantitative method to obtain the right valuable information from the market research to make the right business decisions.

Qualitative Research Data:

  • The research questions for qualitative research data should be structured to understand people’s meanings and experiences relative to the goals outlined in the research objective. It allows the researcher to explore ideas and experiences.

  • Open-ended questions provide customers the opportunity to provide feedback, express their thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and opinions. 

  • Formulate questions using keywords such as “why?” to gain more in-depth insight and understanding about the customers’ personal experiences, thoughts, and feelings, get the customer’s perspective about a product or service, and discover opportunities or problems (pain points) from the information shared by the customers.

  • Encourage customers by asking questions that make them provide a complete or full answer instead of responding with a short answer such as “yes” or “no.”

  • Prepare probing questions based on the customer’s response (what they say or share) to explore deeper and uncover more information beneficial to the research.

Quantitative Research Data:

  • The research questions for quantitative research data should be structured to obtain information through quantities, numbers, and statistics. 

  • Formulate descriptive questions using keywords such as “how much” or “how many?;” “which one?;” “what percentage?” to obtain information that provides specific figures such as averages, sums, and percentages.

  • Articulate comparative questions to conduct statistical analysis and compare two or more numbers.

Qualitative and quantitative research is a valuable tool for businesses to make marketing and business objectives that meet their research objectives. Qualitative research uses interviews and open-ended survey questions to gather information about the target audience or customers and the overall marketing strategy. Quantitative analysis, on the other hand, uses quantifiable and statistical methods to collect information on the target audience or customer. Qualitative and quantitative research both uniquely provide benefits that aid businesses in implementing business and marketing strategies. 

However, determining which research data type best suits the research objective is crucial in obtaining relevant information to make the right decisions to achieve business goals and objectives efficiently and effectively.           

Did you enjoy this post? Read about communicating data effectively in my last post!

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