With a little imagination, (and a great MR agency), you can uncover a treasure trove of data and insight on your target market. In fact, are you certain you know what your target market is? Market Research can help you ensure that your top product/service is marketed and sold to the right people, in the right way.
Interestingly, despite recent business austerity (and slashed marketing budgets), to those who’ve chosen to put their faith in the power of Market Research the results have proved ever more valuable as a tool that can cut to the core of key marketing questions. Ultimately, with less money to spend on marketing your business, it has never been more important to focus your activity spend with market intelligence.
Some would say “Choose your weapon, Quantitative or Qualitative!”. We say, why not chose both?!
Despite the natural and rational urge to compare and critically contrast the two approaches, most industry insiders would say that in fact many great research campaigns will involve both.
As any Buddhist worth his… erm… rice, will tell you, the middle way is the best way; balance is key. We believe that Quant and Qual should be considered useful halves of the same whole.
Practically speaking, Research is about humans and their think boxes (that’s Latin for ‘brains’) right?! And the brain, like Research, has two halves; left and right (logic and creativity respectively).
Each of us is influenced more strongly by one side of the brain or the other, and so we all interact and engage with different types of information and questioning, well … differently! So it stands to reason that when conducting research a holistic approach is best.
A one, two, punch of Qual and Quant is just what the doctor ordered!
Qual, seeks to investigate meaning and motivations, and in doing so it often uncovers rich insights. An inquisitive nature and tendency to deal in words and emotions (powerful tools in helping us understand and stimulate the right side of the brain) lie deep within the Qual Researcher.
Flip the coin and Quant, with its efficiency, hard numbers and statistics (aka. Left brain titillation) is what the number junkies among us live for. If you already have a hypotheses, perhaps ideas that you’ve uncovered through Qual Research or your own experience, then Quant methods can be instrumental in testing, and ultimately disproving or proving your theory. Equally Quant data can serve as a valuable starting block from which Qual insight might spring.
Of course, it is ultimately important to remember that both have their individual strengths and weaknesses and your choice whether to develop a blend of the two approaches, or stick faithfully with one, will be driven by your project/client needs.
What is your approach to Qual vs Quant? Are you loyal to one tactic or do you like to shake up the methodological mix?
Also check out our Qual / Quant Infographic, it’s the ultimate pro/con list. Where does your allegiance lie?