What’s the Difference Between Quantitative vs. Qualitative
02 Apr 2019

Before discussing the distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research, it is important to go back to basics. There are two types of research categories: primary and secondary research. The way to know the difference is simple – primary research is “not already out here”. While, you guessed it; secondary analysis is data that is “already out there”. There are thousands of examples of secondary research, it comes in the form of articles and databases such as Bloomberg, Lexisnexis, and Hoovers.

Learn Why Market Research is a Must for Businesses.

Both quantitative and qualitative research are types of primary research. So, what is the difference between quantitative and qualitative?

Qualitative Research

Qualitative, also called exploratory research, is directional in nature. Typically, this type of research assesses a small number of people. This kind of analysis includes mostly open-ended questions or observational research. Examples of qualitative research include:

Focus Groups

Focus groups are typically groups of 6-8 participants. An expert moderator facilitates each group. To have the most useful session possible, the moderator follows a guide that includes several open-ended questions.

Focus groups take place in facilities equipped for this type of research. The facility includes a table for participants and the moderator to gather around. The moderator usually sits at the head of the table. There is also a one-way mirror where the client and market research company sit and view the session.

The groups are recorded and transcribed. From them, the moderator along with the research team develop a concise report that includes key findings and quotes to back up conclusions.   

Conducting this research online is a way to reduce the cost and length of the qualitative research project. However, facial expressions or the tone of people’s voices is no longer possible to analyze when conducting the group’s virtually.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic Research is observational research where you view the subject in their environment. An example could be a butter company looking at how adults cook with the product at home. A study on how parents shops for children’s clothes at a retailer is another example.  Virtual reality is a new trend occurring in ethnographic research. By building virtual stores and in-home scenarios, it lessens the need to conduct this research in the space.

One-on-One In-depth Interview

Another exploratory research option can include individual interview sessions. This qualitative method can happen in person, via phone or even online. Often this option is beneficial when interviewing professionals such as doctors or discussing sensitive topics.

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research, also called descriptive statistics, surveys a statistically representative portion of a population. For the results to be as accurate as possible, this method surveys a large number of respondents. The goal is to reduce the margin of error in your sample to be more confident in your results.

Unlike qualitative research, quantitative research uses close-ended questioning in order to garner numerical responses.

Developing a questionnaire is often tricky as survey writing is an art form. Errors in survey writing can often lead to inaccurate conclusions. Read 4 Watch Outs When Conducting a Survey to learn more about questionnaire writing.

Once the questionnaire is developed, respondents are invited to take the survey. When fielding is complete, the data is analyzed,this can also include advanced analytics techniques. The results are often shown in a deck that provides key findings, recommendations, and detailed findings with graphs and charts.

Today, quantitative research is most frequently conducted online, but phone and in-person are other methods used. For example, in many third world countries, the internet is sparse and therefore in-person interviews may be a more reliable source. See Conducting Research in a Third World Country.  

Many kinds of initiatives such as ad tracking, naming research, and segmentation research use quantitative research.

 

 

Conducting Research in a Third World Country
13 Dec 2018

Written by: Alannah Griffin 

Case Study: Conducting In-person Research in Vietnam 

Ever thought about conducting market research in a third world country? This is not the easiest undertaking, and often, in order to do so, you need to think outside the box.

It takes a lot of effort, analysis, and critical thinking to curate any methodology. However, imagine trying to figure out how to research the threat of technology for motorbike taxi drivers in Vietnam.

In Vietnam, the primary mode of transport in cities is by motorbike. A common occupation for men is to be a motorbike taxi driver/xe ôm driver. A lot of xe ôm drivers’ livelihoods are now under threat with the onset of modern technology. Apps that use location intelligence are emerging and providing more cost-efficient, safer, and quicker rides for customers. In this day and age, on-demand service is a high priority for customers. The use of GPS and location intelligence is forcing traditional xe ôm drivers out of the market.

There are many different ways to conduct this research. When taking all of the variables into account for this particular research study, the methodology that was decided on consisted of qualitative methods in order to provide an in-depth assessment.

The three qualitative research methods selected were:

  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Informal conversational interviews, and
  • Participant observation

The key finding for xe ôm drivers was that if they want to continue in the profession of motorbike taxi drivers, they must partner with the companies who have developed Apps using location intelligence. If they do not do so, they will not satisfy customers, threatening their income source, and may be left behind.

What are common watch outs when conducting this type of research?

Having your interview guide well prepared and your target sample precisely defined before entering the field is essential to obtain the best and most accurate results.

Cultural issues. A researcher needs to be prepared for situations where interviewees may be reserved towards them as a researcher due to the cross-cultural setting and their potential lack of trust.

Language barrier. All interviewees who participated in the research discussed above were interviewed through Vietnamese. Therefore it was essential to have an interpreter to overcome the communication barrier during the qualitative research. The quality of the interpretation has an effect on the research results. Therefore it is vital to ensure that the interpreter is qualified and vetted for the assignment at hand.

Reasons Why Working with a Professional Will be Helpful

Research can be extremely time-consuming, especially with a large sample size. Often, when conducting research in a third world country, there are variables present that are beyond your control. This is where a market research firm becomes a valuable asset with the knowledge and expertise to overcome these barriers.

Guide/Survey writing is a challenging task – if your company wishes to undertake surveys or interviews, you will need an experienced researcher to aid you in this writing process.
Market researchers have the experience to know how many interviews would be necessary to achieve data saturation. It is vital that you have guidance from a professional to get the recommended sample sizes for your study.

Market researchers identify key findings, themes, and conclusions. Their expertise in cleaning, analyzing, and ultimately making sense of data in order to produce more accurate, actionable results, and tell a story with the findings is invaluable.

What is Advertising Research?
14 Mar 2018

In the advertising and marketing industry, research is used to identify and define marketing problems. Research is often incorporated into the following aspects of the advertising process:

  • Industry or competitive analysis
  • Pitch process
  • Concept generation
  • Ad ideation
  • Consumer/target audience development
  • Segmentation
  • Ad pre-test
  • Ad post
  • Tracking the ad’s success
  • Branding initiatives
  • Content marketing
  • Thought leadership

Primary and secondary research are methodologies commonly used when evaluating advertising. Although this can seem like an unnecessary expense, it is far from it. As they say: “Failure to prepare is preparation for failure”. This upfront research cost allows your communications to be more targeted, set up for success, and ultimately drive more sales.

Primary research is research that is not already out there. There are two types of primary research: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research is directional in nature and used to garner ideas and insights. Traditionally, this type of research has been conducted at focus group facilities, over the phone, or even in one's home. However, new technologies such as online focus groups, bulletin boards and social research have brought this type of research into the digital space which allows the research to be timelier and more cost-effective. New technologies such as virtual reality are revolutionizing this type of research. 

In advertising, qualitative research is great for the initial feedback of campaign ideas, concept testing, and bringing a specific target segment to life.

Quantitative research derives conclusions about specific target populations through methods such as online or over-the-phone surveys. This number-oriented methodology reaches out to a large number of respondents in order to be statistically representative of a population. Quantitative research is often used for advertising tracking research, brand equity research, concept testing, consumer, and segmentation research.It helps you predict if your advertising campaign will be successful.  

Secondary research uses data that was not gathered for the current initiative but for some other previous purpose. You can commission a market research company to develop a customized secondary research report, purchase syndicated research, subscribe to research databases, or simply conduct a web search. Check out our article about free research databases. Often this type of research is beneficial to advertisers when better understanding trends and the competitive and industry landscape. It is also useful if you are looking to conduct an ad audit of your competitors.

Advertising research is typically conducted by research vendors and commissioned by either advertising agencies or in-house marketers. This allows for the research results to be unbiased and gives an accurate representation of where the brand or ad campaign stands.