Quantitative vs Qualitative Market Research: Which Method Is Best for You? 

Corporations gather consumer insights using market research solutions that involve surveying, interviews, and online presence analytics. However, the dataset development technique processes qualitative/descriptive texts and quantified (numerical) data types. This post will elaborate on the difference between qualitative and quantitative market research. 

What Is Market Research? 

Corporations conduct multidimensional studies to discover customer insights and competitor strategies through market research solutions. Additionally, they require primary and secondary datasets to succeed in business strategy development. 

Successful enterprises gather relevant market datasets with the help of professional market researchers. Primarily, online surveying tools and social media listening allow companies to understand what their customers desire. 

All market intelligence solutions leverage customer feedback and product performance trends when crafting appropriate business growth strategies. However, advanced solutions at the market research firms further categorize the techniques to streamline operations.  

Types of Market Research Solutions 

Investigating consumer behavior often demands high-quality analysis of several data structures. Moreover, businesses want deep and insightful inputs from market research solutions. Otherwise, it does not help to outsource such critical operations. 

The qualitative vs. quantitative research debate in marketing operations involves the pros and cons of categorized market research techniques. 

However, innovative facilities attempt to rationalize their service packages by focusing on the scope of market intelligence services. Therefore, you want to compare the marketing options like qualitative, quantitative, and primary vs. secondary research workflows. 

What Are the Main Types of Market Research Tools? 

You can differentiate market intelligence services and research methods by considering the data types or structures in the output datasets. Also, all market research variants and intelligence services meet some specific reporting requirements. 

Managers, leaders, and business strategists must study and understand the available market research solutions to ensure they choose the best service providers for their organization. We have described the prominent types of market research/intelligence methods below. 

|1| Qualitative Market Research 

If the collected data involves multiple samples of descriptive text, it is known as qualitative market research. You do not need to process it and uncover what customers think about your products. Instead, customers tell you what they want or need through surveys, reviews, and interviews. 

Qualitative market research solutions emphasize the role of emotional thinking in the commercial context of sales and brand loyalty. Therefore, qualitative researchers can analyze the language, word choice, user intent, pain points, and wants by investigating consumer feedback. 

For example, market researchers can notify you when more than 10% of consumer complaints indicate a common pain point like repair issues or sudden device failure. They must analyze the textual content in the output dataset of customer surveys. 

|2| Quantitative Market Research 

The star rating system is prevalent across all e-commerce platforms. Also, multi-axial graphs depict the performance metrics of the product or service in a user-friendly style. Both approaches rely on numerical data to explain customer preferences. This category is quantitative market research. For example, purchase records and sales data involve processing numbers. 

Quantitative market intelligence services prioritize mathematical conformity and objective thinking to guide business growth strategies. So, the measurable performance indicators appear everywhere in the research reports. 

For example, quantitative market research can benchmark competitor products using the prevailing market prices. Your team can use these benchmarks to calculate a competitive price for your products. 

Quantitative Market Research vs. Qualitative Market Research 

Highly calculative managers want quantified datasets from market research solutions. Yet, most individuals appreciate the direct feedback collection in the qualitative ones. Excellent business strategists value both approaches for gathering market insights. 

However, the difference between quantitative and qualitative market research becomes apparent in the following aspects. 

|1| Objectivity vs. Subjectivity in Market Intelligence Services 

Numerical datasets provide more transparent and mathematically verifiable market intelligence. When market researchers compile these databases, they can automate the data collection and market modeling. 

Computing technologies do not need human supervision if the data already has a well-defined structure. Therefore, there is no room for subjectivity in quantitative market research solutions. 

However, the voice of the customer (VoC) is vital to developing novel products and maintaining consumer trust. You cannot build a solid culture of returning/loyal clients if you neglect their opinions. 

Qualitative market research compiles the inputs from online or in-person consumer surveys. Furthermore, the researchers also interview the company’s employees and supply chain contractors to acquire actionable business insights. 

|2| Ease of Processing the Market Research Datasets 

IT ecosystem has no problem processing, reformatting, transferring, and visualizing numerical datasets. Therefore, when discussing quantitative vs. qualitative market research favors, the former if ease of operations is the preferred attribute. 

Nevertheless, technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have unlocked the novel techniques of NLP, or natural language processing. 

What is NLP? It is a clever integration of what we know about language structures, regional variations, linguistics, and literary traditions that leverage ML models to generate human-like interpretations. 

Therefore, qualitative market research has become faster than its precursors. Still, quantitative methods remain much easier than it. 

|3| Reliability of Performance Indices vs. Popular Opinions  

Consider a thermometer and a hand. You could use both to measure the temperature of a baby suffering from a fever. In this thought experiment, which measurement method will yield reliable data? 

Of course, the hand will help you feel how warm the baby’s body has become, while the thermometer will show you a more accurate numerical or objective output. 

Quantitative market research solutions are more reliable than qualitative customer survey techniques. After all, customers provide reviews or feedback based on their perceived sense of quality and value of your products, according to several market intelligence services. 

Another difference between quantitative and qualitative market research solutions is how businesses intend to use them. 

|4| Corporate Usage: Progress Monitoring vs. Product Development 

A qualitative dataset is the goldmine of innovative production inputs, considering how the ultimate stakeholders—the customers—tell you how to upgrade your product. Therefore, enterprises love using qualitative market research in product engineering, development, and maintenance strategies. 

A sales dataset is a component of quantitative market intelligence services. So, you can leverage it to identify which product sells better than the rest of the inventory items. However, managers cannot discover why customers select one product instead of another using this approach. 

Ultimately, humans are not rational or objective, and emotions rule the world of sales and purchases. Numerical data structures in quantitative research can approximate feelings. However, you require descriptive customer reviews and employee ideas to understand the psychological factors behind a successful sale. 

|5| Different Marketing Research Reports (Quantitative vs. Qualitative) 

If the market research solutions collect and generate different data categories, the reports they generate reflect those distinctions. A quantitative market research report has more opportunities for data visualization, i.e., tabulation, graphs, charts, curves, scatter plots. 

However, the same principle is unsuitable for qualitative market research and intelligence services. Their reports are more likely to provide conclusive observations after studying the voice of customers (VoC) datasets. i.e., how many survey respondents demanded a longer charging cable for their smartphones. 

Essentially, qualitative market research reports focus on summarizing the general trends across customer feedback via manual review employees or automated NLP engines/models. They can use pie charts to classify the groups with identical opinions. 

Primary vs. Secondary Market Research 

If you treat dataset ownership as the baseline for determining the types of market research solutions, you will find the primary and secondary market research techniques. 

Primary market research involves conducting surveys and interviews to get the market datasets directly from the stakeholders. So, the business units design and deploy feedback gathering forms across all stakeholders. The company owns the primary research data, which can include: 

  1. Employee feedback, 
  1. Customer surveys, 
  1. Supplier suggestions, 
  1. Investor insights. 

Secondary market research solutions leverage publicly accessible data to build market databases. They can also refer to the academic and competitor knowledge resources to develop customer insights and market trends. Secondary market research comprises: 

  1. Social (media) listening, 
  1. News and radio monitoring, 
  1. eCommerce shopper reviews, 
  1. Consumer complaint forums, 
  1. Industry-leading magazine, 
  1. Academic research literature. 

Market Research Tools 

  1. Statista has a vast knowledge base of already visualized trend curves. This platform also provides data filtering features to narrow your market research to the target geographies. 
  1. Answer the Public connects your research partners with an advanced overview system of search intent. You can explore the search journeys in the desired industry or sector to improve your market research. 
  1. Quora is a simple questions and answers (Q & A) forum. However, significant queries affecting industries and consumers are available with multiple expert opinions on this site. 
  1. Google Trends shows you what the world or a country is searching for over the web. It is a free-market research tool for secondary intelligence services. 
  1. SurveyMonkey is one of the online survey design and distribution networks, allowing businesses to tailor their surveys to a specific audience or cold lead email list. 

Conclusion: Qualitative Research vs. Quantitative Research Marketing 

You have contemplated the difference between qualitative and quantitative market research solutions, which enables you to make an informed choice when hiring intelligence services. One dataset provides the company leaders with accurate and visualization-friendly reports. 

However, qualitative consumer surveys describe the customer’s joys and sorrows without relying on mathematical modeling. International organizations understand the quantitative vs. qualitative market research comparison, and thus, they require excellent assistance in both methodologies. 

A leader in market research solutions, SG Analytics, empowers corporations with robust data collection procedures and high-quality analytical models. Contact us today to excel in the competitive landscape of your industry and accelerate business growth. 

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