When conducting a market study, we are faced with the decision of choosing the most suitable qualitative and quantitative techniques to achieve the research objectives. Is your goal to perform a preliminary analysis before product launch, assess brand awareness, obtain specific information about your target audience, understand the motivations behind their behavior, or generate new ideas for a service? Since the objectives vary significantly, so does the approach to achieving them. In this post, we will focus on research techniques to understand the differences and values of each.
Differences between Qualitative and Quantitative Techniques
In this context, to respond to information needs from different perspectives, we can primarily discuss two research techniques: qualitative techniques and quantitative techniques. These are two key approaches with significant and differential value that can be used either exclusively or complementarily in research. But what are exactly the differences between qualitative and quantitative techniques, and which one is most suitable to meet your study objectives? Keep reading, and we’ll explain.
Qualitative techniques are research methods that aim to explore depth, investigate causes, emotions, and why a certain behavior occurs. In this sense, it is a type of research that typically does not test theories or hypotheses but generates them or helps us understand them.
Therefore, qualitative research follows an exploratory and inductive method and generally does not allow for statistical analysis. Instead, the information obtained is interpreted, providing a complete and detailed description of the research topic.
In this context, qualitative research techniques often rely on scripts with open-ended questions where the interviewee has complete freedom to respond and is not conditioned by a closed-ended questionnaire. The goal is to encourage participation, personal opinions, and debates, especially when multiple users are involved simultaneously, and to discover the deep motivations and reasons behind behavior without any constraints.
Qualitative Research Tools
To conduct this type of study, one of the qualitative techniques with the most versatility and effectiveness is Online Communities, using tools like WAT Lab. This involves bringing together a group of individuals in a digital environment to express their opinions on a specific topic over a defined period, overcoming geographical, temporal, or duration barriers compared to more traditional techniques like in-person focus groups.
In an Online Community, a natural debate is generated, always guided by a moderator. The goal is to gather valuable information directly from users, whether by providing new ideas through co-creation with the brand, understanding motivations or preferences related to a product or service, or exploring new approaches to a problem, among other aspects.
At We are testers, we offer this research tool, allowing you to create a community around your brand, customize the platform with your corporate identity, and create activities to interact with customers and users that facilitate decision-making based on real motivations and behaviors. These activities can include both qualitative and quantitative techniques, integrating methods used in our tool WAT Survey and online market research studies. This involves introducing a closed-ended questionnaire for all members of the online community.
In addition to online communities, there are other qualitative research techniques that complement and add value to the Online Community, such as in-depth interviews through video calls, which we conduct using our Focus Groups Online tool.
On the other hand, research in a physical setting can also be conducted. This includes in-person focus groups or ethnographic studies, where the focus of research is on the analysis of the context and cultural framework. In this case, insights can be obtained from both the ethnographer’s own experience and the research participants.
Quantitative techniques are systematic and statistical research methods that collect numerical and measurable information. These research techniques rely on mathematical models that provide statistically representative results with the aim of explaining observed phenomena or supporting/rejecting previously formulated hypotheses and theories.
Thanks to quantitative research techniques, standardized data are obtained, allowing the study of habits, consumption patterns, and general characteristics common to a statistically representative sample of the population, which can be generalized to a specific target or the entire population. These insights are valuable for guiding the decision-making process.
Quantitative Research Tools
To meet information needs with quantitative techniques, various tools can be used, with surveys being the most popular and effective mechanism. At We are testers, we have a specialized online market research tool called WAT Survey. This proprietary platform for creating online questionnaires allows you to collect data from a statistically representative sample, such as our WAT Community consisting of over 100,000 consumers, to obtain quantifiable information.
Surveys can be conducted through various methods, including telephone or paper. However, online surveys are the most commonly used and effective due to their high response rates, mobile accessibility, wide reach, real-time results, interactive elements, and the ability to eliminate intermediaries that could influence responses.
In quantitative studies, closed-ended questions are the most common as they allow for precise statistical analysis. However, open-ended questions can also be used to complement the study with insights related to perceptions, feelings, or specific opinions.
Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Techniques
After analyzing both qualitative and quantitative research techniques, including their focus, objectives, methods, and tools, it’s essential to understand that these approaches are not in opposition but rather complementary. Each of them responds better to specific purposes, and together, qualitative and quantitative techniques are undoubtedly the perfect allies for making tactical and strategic decisions for any business.
Now you know much more about qualitative and quantitative research techniques.
Let’s talk? If you want more information about qualitative and quantitative techniques, our studies, products, and tools, feel free to contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org, our contact form, or LinkedIn page.Update date 22 December, 2023