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Category: Methodology

Should you combine Quantitative and Qualitative research?

When undertaking a research project, the first question people often ask is whether to conduct quantitative or qualitative research. However, both of these methodologies actually complement each other! In other words, while it can be useful to think of them as single approaches, there are also times when you should combine them for even clearer data.
Difference-between-Quantitative-and-Qualitative-Data

 

What is Qualitative Research? 

Qualitative research, or “qual,” seeks in-depth, freeform answers from respondents either in person or via open-ended responses. As recently as only five years ago, I would have said this was usually carried out with small groups in the form of in-person focus groups, telephone interviews or detailed surveys with free-text responses. Things have changed. While qualitative can still be conducted in person, the vast majority of qual is now done online. (As I’ll explain later in this article, this allows someone to conduct qual research at a quantitative scale.) 

 

imagesQual research is often a go-to method for an insight department trying to gather anecdotal views and opinions. It offers a deeper understanding, with the ability to explore topics in more detail., which would usually come about via unprompted feedback. Qual can be a great approach for anyone looking to expand or start a brand-new product line because it allows you to gain honest responses and comments from your target audience.

 

Three to five years ago, you could argue that qualitative research was hard to measure, but there are so many different tools out there to analyze open-ended comments (as well as video responses!) that clients can receive results within hours of their research project getting underway.

 

The only thing I do find potentially difficult when conducting qualitative research is its statistical robustness. This is because you are generalizing to your broader audience, rather than having thousands of data points to analyze.

 

What is Quantitative Research? 

 

On the flip side, quantitative research is, as the name suggests, all about the numbers! It tends to involve a large group of people (usually at least several hundred, but often thousands) completing a survey. While the approach is heavily numerical, this also means the results are clear and are harder to misinterpret. The survey can also be easily repeated and you can reliably track changes over time, such as in a tracker study. Then comes the analysis of your data—as you are asking closed questions, your data can be collected more quickly. 

images (1)However, dealing with numbers means you need a large sample of the population to deliver reliable results. The larger the sample of people, the more statistically accurate the outputs will be.

 

I always like to remind researchers that when they are creating online surveys, the wording is crucial. To be confident in the results of quantitative surveys, you have to be confident that you’re asking the right questions, in the right way, with the correct answer-options included.

 

Final Thoughts

Quantitative and qualitative research both have their place in market research, and a blended approach should be carried out whenever you’re extending product lines or launching something new because it can give you a holistic viewpoint on what your customers are thinking, rather than just from one data point. Both methods can work hand-in-hand; brands can use qualitative research for developing concepts and theories, and quantitative for testing pre-existing ones.

 

You can also use freeform qualitative research to guide the creation of more structured quantitative surveys. Following quantitative surveys, turn to qualitative to better understand the context of the responses! There are so many opportunities!

 

Technology advances like open-response video and heat mapping also mean that qualitative research is getting closer to the quantitative price point. As a result, more and more organizations are able to use both approaches during their work.

 

You no longer have to choose a methodology based on cost because there is now value for the money within the sector. The real question you should be asking is not over which approach but rather how to best use both to provide insights that can have an impact on the bottom line.


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400Jake Pryslak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

Using Chatbots for Your Market Research

Using Chatbots for Your Market Research

Are you familiar with chatbots? The basic concept is a computer program designed to have actual, realistic conversations with people over the internet. The technology can be so realistic that you may have chatted with one while using a website and not even realized it wasn’t human.

These bots might sound like they’re straight out of a science-fiction future, but they’re already widely used. In other words, if you’re wondering today whether or not your business should consider using a bot down the road, then you’re asking yourself the wrong question. Using chatbots and other inclusive research methodologies isn’t a strategy for tomorrow—it’s already a strategy today.

Clever use of chatbots on a website can be critical for brands looking to establish real, genuine connections with consumers through technology. Unfortunately, market researchers tend to have a terrible habit—we often are quick to grab on to new ideas but are not as quick to implement them in a practical manner. 

There’s no need to overcomplicate it. A bot or an inclusive survey methodology is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a consumer through a conversational interface.

The most advanced conversational bots are powered by artificial intelligence, helping the program to understand complex requests and personalize responses. You probably have already taken part or used a chatbot or something similar via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, or numerous other websites.

The chatbot survey experience requires you to rethink the survey process. Messenger-type chats between humans or between bots and human are generally short, to the point, and designed to gather as much information as possible in a short period of time. This is counter-intuitive to general online market research methodologies, where we continually develop longer and more complicated surveys. However, the industry is beginning to recognize the importance of respondent experience as cooperation rates start to fall. chatbots

When to use chatbots

When thinking about data collection, chatbots have limitations like any other methodology. Just as a mobile interface is not well-suited to many of market research’s staple question types (e.g. matrix, sliders, and lists), a chatbot through a Messenger-type app will suffer the same issues to some extent. However, the types of questions and the language you use when talking to someone via an app should be very different from a general opinion survey. 

One area for which chatbots seem particularly well suited is in mass qualitative research. In terms of thinking about natural language and opinions, chatbots have the ability to probe deeply, similar to a human moderator or a face-to-face interview.

When taking into account the cultural differences in conducting research in multiple states, a chatbot can actually ‘learn on the job’ by using the responses it receives to generate other intuitive responses and probes. This approach is something that could be missed using non-bot means—especially from a tired human moderator or one-on-one interviewer!

Final thoughts

Chatbots and other inclusive market research methodologies are not new to the market anymore. They are being used throughout many industries, from collecting email addresses to conducting market research. Just like every data collection technique, chatbots and other inclusive methodologies have forced the industry to adapt and ultimately provide us with another tool to use.


About the Logit Group

The Logit Group is a leader among data collection firms, and our ongoing commitment has been to develop and administer industry-best technologies as the basis of our research execution. We offer online and offline services including; Global Panel SourcingB2C Phone ResearchMall InterceptsIn-depth interview (IDI) recruitmentFocus group recruitmentcustomized reporting, and more.

For a full list of our services, please visit our website here and to submit a bid request, please see our Bid Request form.

Portrait of Steve Male VP Business Development at the Logit Group

Tips to Think About When Conducting Multicultural Research

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, America is projected to grow by 75 million people over the next four decades, from about 329 million this year to 404 million in 2060. The category of those identifying themselves as being two or more races is set to be the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group over the next several decades, followed by Asians and Hispanics.

According to the Pew Research Centre, over one-tenth of America (14%) is foreign-born compared to 5% in 1965. That same research suggests something that I find even more striking—by the year 2055, no single racial or ethnic group will be the majority of the population.

This increasingly multicultural makeup should be a key factor when designing a sophisticated research program targeting the diverse demographics of our world. Think of this society as an incubator of insights—different genders and cultures bringing different personalities, opinions, and perspectives. But this also means brands and agencies will increasingly need to tailor their approaches.

For this blog post, I want to offer some tips on how to address cultural differences when conducting market research among an increasingly diverse target audience.

 

Seven Tips for Multicultural Market Research

Here are seven quick tips to help plan out your multicultural market research.

Tip 1: Take a look at earlier research conducted in this area.
It is important to examine the different results that have been previously shared, as well as the sampling plans and weighting considerations other researchers might have taken. You can learn so much from previous research, whether you find it from online portfolios or your own business insight team.

MulticulturalTip 2: Keep in mind demographic differences by racial or ethnic groups, and be sure to include adequate multicultural representation in your sample.
It can really depend on the subsets from which you are trying to gain insights, but due to varying response rates and/or panel representation, I would always recommend an oversample to obtain an adequate read.

Tip 3: Don’t assume because your survey has been completed that you are also complete!
I would recommend comparing your survey demographics to the general population that you are trying to research! By doing this, you can then understand if you need to make any changes to the data, such as weights to ensure the results are reflective.

Tip 4: Think about your participants and their preferred language.
An easy, but often forgotten, technique is to ensure participants can complete surveys in their preferred language. This is so important—especially in the case of phone studies and panels.Spanish

Often, participants will respond in their native language when given the option. However, this makes it critical for the translations to be authentic. To get the best sense of what people really meant, it is important to avoid overly formal language or paraphrasing. While you can hire efficient and cost-effective translators, I would recommend finding translators from the specific region your targeted respondents are from—classical Spanish from Madrid can be quite different from the language of Americans with family roots in Mexico or Central America, for example.

Tip 5: Think about your audience!
The use of smartphones is not only influencing the number of times I walk into someone (because my head is looking down while I’m tweeting away!), but it is also swaying how we communicate with each other, and shop for various things. But not everyone accesses the internet the same way.

When conducting research among a specific racial or ethnic group, make sure you are able to use the correct data collection method to effectively reach participants. According to the Pew Research Centre, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to access the internet via cellphone or tablet. On the other hand, Asian Americans are more likely to have broadband in the home.

By making sure you understand your audience and the most appropriate data collection method, you increase your chances of attracting not only more respondents, but also gathering more robust data because individuals are in their comfort zone.

Tip 6: For the data analysis stage, make sure you understand the details.
As you sift through the results, it is important to remember there are numerous factors at play. You need to consider whether income levels or ethnicity are driving behavioural or attitudinal differences between your respondents.casual-cellphone-chat-1798852

Tip 7: Remember the people.

Whether you are conducting multicultural research or any other type, there is one particular concept that should never get forgotten—respondents are people. That means whichever method you pick, the same concept applies: in order to understand someone’s views and opinions, you first need to understand how you will ask them the questions.

Off to work you go!


About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400Jake Pryslak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.

Personalize Your Marketing Campaigns With Voter Profiling

If you use a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, have you ever questioned its ability to know you well enough to offer up a film or show that you would be interested in watching? It’s something I’ve wondered about—this capability of presenting me with the right thing at the right time. (It often seems particularly prescient whenever I think of unsubscribing, and hooks me for yet another month.)

Speaking of Netflix, if you’ve ever seen an episode of Sherlock, you’ll be familiar with how Mr. Holmes frequently uses cues from people’s appearances to find out more details about their lives. Often, it is creepy how his observations are precisely accurate, as he catches people off guard. Sherlock_Holmes_in_The_Five_Orange_Pips

Obviously, not everyone is a world-famous detective like Holmes or has the predictive algorithms of Netflix behind them, but there are other ways to understand more about people by looking at their attributes and behaviour. For many years, market research departments have worked on profiling customers and audiences using different segmentation algorithms. Similar techniques are at play when it comes to forecasting the behaviour of voters. Using voter profiling, organizations can accurately predict the wants, needs, and actions of people. This is one of the reasons why there is no one-size-fits-all campaign ad anymore. Based on voters’ behaviour and attitudes toward a range of different worldwide issues and interests, messages can be framed or tailored for specific types of voters.

The Obama, Trump, and Brexit campaigns were all heavily backed by voter data analysis. The team behind the current U.S. president employed voter profiling in 17 states, analyzing the online behaviour of an extraordinary amount of individuals, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram “likes” as well as smartphone data to segment the public into a number of groups. Imagine looking at the population of 17 states and quickly knowing who liked a specific type of car so you could then send them a personalized message focused on their behaviour and attitudes.

I also think Facebook and other social media platforms lend themselves to “micro-moments.” These are small instances in someone’s journey where they react to something. By liking a page or a comment on Facebook, searching for a particular topic, or purchasing something via an online platform, these moments in time can actually guide a voter’s journey toward a particular candidate. When a member of the public notices an advertisement addressing a local issue or something that resonates with them, this interaction with a candidate becomes the perfect micro-moment.

Using Voter Profiling to Create Marketing Campaigns

Using voter profiling data can help marketing departments and agencies understand when and how micro-moments happen, assisting them in being able to predict when one will occur in the future. In most political campaigns, playing the tactical game is the key to gaining an advantage. You can’t win the majority by focusing efforts across every city and state. By using voter profiling in specified states, you can actually target those undecided voters. (On the other hand, those undecided voters may actually be strong supporters of a particular candidate but are not willing to show their hand.)

Imagine if you could look at voter profile data in real-time, and even examine previous election voting results, to understand how an advertisement performed or created a buzz. This is why I feel voter profiling will actually help from not only this political sense, but also brand perspective. Marketers will be able to harness this data ecosystem to target and predict behaviour in relation to their brand and products.

About the Logit Group

The Logit Group is a leader among data collection firms, and our ongoing commitment has been to develop and administer industry-best technologies as the basis of our research execution. We offer online and offline services including; Global Panel SourcingB2C Phone ResearchMall InterceptsIn-depth interview (IDI) recruitmentFocus group recruitmentcustomized reporting, and more.

For a full list of our services, please visit our website here and to submit a bid request, please see our Bid Request form.

About Jake

Jake-Pryszlak_avatar_1546770824-400x400Jake Pryslak, commonly known as the Research Geek, is a 3-time award-winning market researcher, blogger and speaker. He’s a current Forbes columnist who is active across a plethora of social media channels. His aim is to share his market research knowledge with others in the industry. You can find his blog and social media channels here.