quantitative research

The Coming of Quant+Qual Integrated Research

The days of the two phase research project are over!!!!

Well, not really, but they are becoming less necessary.  Typically, quantitative and qualitative research are conducted in two phases for many reasons.  Sometimes, there is a clear insight-related necessity for a two-phase research project, often there is not.  In many cases, quantitative and qualitative designs include two phases because of logistical reasons such as the time required for recruiting qualitative, the time required to analyze qualitative or the travel required to conduct qualitative in various cities.  Today’s qualitative researcher has tools available to eliminate each of these issues.

Todays digital research tools make integrated quantitative and qualitative research easier than ever while introducing some real advantages.

  1. Lower cost.  The survey does double-duty as the recruiting screener.
  2. Faster.  No wasted time between phases.  The quant/qual research design takes no longer than a quantitative survey.
  3. Deeper Quantitative Insights.  Depth qualitative conducted alongside the survey provides opportunity to get the reasons and motivators behind survey responses.
  4. More Engaging Reports.  Respondent video (webcam, mobile, etc.) enhances reports and presentations with powerful customer testimony.

Technology can link directly to almost any survey platform.  The link can select potential respondents based on survey answers and even send them through an additional screener if necessary.  The qualitative experience occur in the middle of a survey or after the survey has completed.  Once selected and opted-in, respondents can participate in virtually any qualitative experience.  Some of the most common are: webcam interviews, mobile interviews, chat interviews and QualBoard discussions with or without video uploads.

Quant/qual integration is a trend that is growing rapidly.  20|20’s CIO, Isaac Rogers, will present a Quirk’s webinar titled, “THE QUANT+QUAL PARADIGM: 3 Integrative Strategies for Today.”  It is free and will provide examples and hands-on techniques you can use immediately.  Click here to register.

Nuggets from Best Practices, LLC’s Innovation Report

Research Business Report’s latest issue highlights a study from Best Practices, LLC titled, “Consumer Marketing Research Innovation: Assessing New Tools, Technologies and Approaches to Understand and Communicate with Consumers.” With a title that long, I was a bit scared to try to read it. So, I was glad Bob Lederer at RBR provided some summary points. A few of those stood out to me since I’m a qual guy and we do technology.

While only 8% of client companies believe a lack of innovation is a major obstacle, pharma companies reported it as an obstacle in 40% of the cases. Apparently, a lot of pharma researchers believe they are simply not getting it done with current practices and their companies are loathe to change things. If you do what you’ve always done…

“Having quantitative and qualitative researchers work as a team on select project can reduce study timelines.” Faster research is only one of the benefits of the yin and yang of quant and qual. Many times, such teamwork is simply better research. In today’s world of similar online formats for quant and qual, the benefits are easier to access than ever before. Unfortunately, most research firms built the Great Wall of China between quant and qual functions. Often, researchers in one function so not even know their counterparts in the other function. Going forward this has to change.

“Online qualitative research offers advantages over traditional qualitative studies (because) the online format removes the geographical boundaries that can make the creation of a representative sample so challenging in focus groups. Online qual (also) makes it easier to do asynchronous studies. It gives participants more of a feeling of anonymity and thus makes them more likely to talk about how they really feel.” True, yet only part of the story. The Best Practices report might add saving time and money and giving researchers additional tools to do better research through the use of longitudinal, ethnographic or diversity research methods.  Online qualitative has exploded the researcher’s toolset.  An expanded toolset challenges researchers to be smarter and more knowledgeable.  It also enables them to produce better research with more and deeper insights than ever before.

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