Market Research Methodology – Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative

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Market Research Methodology Focus Group

Perhaps you’re about to introduce a new product, maybe sales have become stagnant or you’re about to undertake a large ad campaign and you have questions about how your market will respond to the campaign? Market research can provide valuable insights to these and other questions; including identifying your target market, determining the optimum price for your product, and discovering any gaps currently in the market.

Sample Quantitative Research Survey

Sample Quantitative Market Research Survey

The market research methodology that will work best for you depends on your research objectives. Some research objectives are better met through quantitative research; others are better met through qualitative research.

For your convenience we have prepared a quick reference chart for you with the features and applications for quantitative research vs. qualitative research:

Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

  • Provides the ability to effectively translate data into easily quantifiable charts and graphs
  • Results are often projectable to a larger population
  • Because of the large sample required, can be time consuming and expensive to complete the study
  • Because of the short interview durations and rigid structure, quantitative studies may offer less flexibility than qualitative research
  • Studies can be completed quickly
  • Offer great flexibility within use of qualitative research methodologies
  • Enables more complex aspects of a person’s experience, attitudes and behaviors to be studied
  • Participants are able to provide insights in their own words and in their own way
  • Because results are often viewed first hand, management relates to the findings easily
  • Cannot quantify how many of your audience answer one way or another, making it difficult to create any type of solid statistic
  • Cannot generalize your findings
  • “Data overload”:  open-ended questions can sometimes create a lot of data, which has the potential to take a long time to analyze by an inexperienced researcher