Expert’s Guide to Qualitative and Quantitative Marketing Research

Francis Gary Viray

Author & Editor

Founder & CEO

Published on: Sep 14, 2023 Updated on: May 16, 2024

Qualitative and quantitative marketing research are an essential part of formulating any digital strategy for your brand’s promotional needs.

Qualitative market research allows you to understand an audience’s “why”s, like their likes, dislikes, needs, and pain points with your brand. Quantitative market research, on the other hand, allows you to understand the “what”s of your target audience, like their ages, genders, nationalities, and more.

But what could happen if you put those two important forms of analysis and information collection together in one conclusive study?

By combining these two question types when gathering and analyzing data, you will be able to gain a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of your target audience. You’ll also get the best of both worlds: the objective information about your customers, and the subjective motivations that drive them to action. This will garner more insights that you can use to strengthen your digital content and executions today.

Want to discover ways to leverage both objective and subjective queries to hone your marketing skills and strategies? Take a look at this comprehensive guide to discover the best tips and techniques for crafting impactful research questions for your future campaigns, right now.

Explaining qualitative research marketing

Before you get into the best tips, practices, and techniques for crafting this multi-pronged marketing strategy, let’s get to know the ins and outs of each analysis form first.

Qualitative research refers to the process of collecting descriptive and subjective data to gain insight into audience needs, pain points, and feelings. Examples of qualitative data collection methods include collecting feedback and reviews among customers, or conducting interviews, surveys, heuristic evaluations, and focus group discussions (FGDs).

For this qualitative research data collection method, queries should be open-ended and clear. Questions should be easy to process without need for further clarification, and should also be open-ended in order to gain descriptive and exploratory responses. Some examples of good subjective inquiries include:

  • What have you heard about X brand?
  • How would you describe your experience of using X product?
  • What changes can be made to make X service better?

Asking open-ended questions is a common data collection method in qualitative research. With this, you can gather answers that are deeper, more exploratory, and more personal than their quantitative counterparts to create marketing content that is rooted in real-life audience experiences.

One example of an excellent qualitative study that revealed customer sentiments is that of the Golden State Warriors. Upon moving into their new stadium in 2019, they leveraged more than 30 survey forms and feedback gathering activities to gain an end-to-end understanding of the fan experience

This comprehensive study resulted in over 20,000 total responses collected and a 19% increase in their net promoter score. This led to an excellent understanding of their target audiences, both online and in person, from the moment fans visit their website to their arena exit after a game.

Understanding quantitative research marketing

Meanwhile, quantitative research refers to the process of collecting numerical and objective information for measurement and analysis. Notable examples of calculable data in digital include conversion rates, ad revenue, and website traffic. With this analysis type, you can track performance and optimize conversions in a more data-driven way today.

For this method, queries should be close-ended to collect objective insights for statistical data analysis. Responses to quantitative questions usually involve numerical or objective information, in order to inform strategic decisions for digital strategy optimization. Some good examples of quantitative questions include queries like:

  • How old are you? What country are you from? What’s your gender?
  • How much do you usually spend on X product?
  • On a scale of one to ten (1-10), how likely are you to recommend X brand?

You can actually use some of the info-gathering methods mentioned in the previous query type for this mode of study. You can easily utilize polls, surveys, and short interviews to analyze audience information like demographics. You can also use more complex methods like analytics, tracking, and heat maps to collect numerical insights on audience behaviors.

There are many great examples of quantitative studies out there. One excellent example is that of Ryanair. By surveying online customers about their overall flight booking experience with the brand, they were able to identify issues with their booking website and improve their online platform’s user experience (UX) accordingly.

Combining qualitative and quantitative market research

Now that you’re familiar with both of these forms of information collection, it’s time to discover the power of the mixed method - that is, when qualitative and quantitative analyses work hand in hand towards driving better digital marketing.

Both of these information collection types tackle different aspects of the comprehensive market analysis process. Quantitative responses visualize precise and accurate information about your audiences, while qualitative responses offer deep, subjective, and contextual customer insights for your brand’s promotional understanding.

By designing a user exploration strategy with both evidence gathering types in mind, you get a more holistic understanding of your audiences and your potential promotional opportunities. This will empower you to make better decisions for your business, thus driving greater digital wins for the brand in the long run.

One example of a successful mixed method study is that of Audi Business Innovation. By utilizing both objective and subjective evidence gathering methods in their study, they were able to collect relevant feedback quickly and practice fast and iterative UX adoptions within their whole company’s internal culture.

Tips to craft marketing research that is qualitative and quantitative

With all these insights in mind, it’s time to equip you with tips and best practices in crafting an analysis that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative tools. Here are some important techniques to craft a comprehensive and holistic marketing analysis strategy:

  • Set a clear research objective that aligns with business objectives. By setting a clear data-gathering objective rooted in your brand’s overall goals, you can tailor queries to address all relevant aspects of your business’ needs, thus making the process more effective and efficient in the long run.
  • Balance open-ended and closed-ended questions. This ensures a comprehensive approach to collecting insights from audience segments and target markets. With a closed-ended quantitative question, you can collect information that describes the “what”s of your audience. Conversely, open-ended qualitative questions can collect your audience’s more personal “why”s.
  • Adapt questions according to the type of data collection. Questions for polls and surveys, for example, may differ slightly from questions for in-depth interviews or FGDs. Polls, surveys, and other short-form gathering practices require questions with short answers. However, in-depth interviews and FGDscan afford to accommodate deeper questions that require longer responses.
  • Adapt data collection based on the platforms of distribution. Just as you should adapt queries based on your collection type, you should also adapt info collection formats based on your platforms of distribution. If you’re collecting information via an online survey on social media, for example, then you should keep it short to avoid disrupting a user’s experience on the digital platform.

By utilizing these tips and techniques, you’ll be able to craft evidence gathering methods that yield actionable insights for your digital marketing needs. Remember to set clear objectives, balance question types, and adapt methods according to context, in order to run a successful research campaign for your brand today.

Driving data-driven decision-making

Research and analysis have always played major roles in creating and executing informed promotion strategies. Crafting well-intentioned questions for targeted audiences can help you collect crucial information that drives effective audience understanding - all for the success of your digital marketing today.

Moreover, utilizing data-driven insights for strategic planning inevitably transforms information into actionable steps and decision-making. So always make sure you collect figures in holistic and comprehensive ways to empower your business, respond to audience needs, and drive better brand wins this year.

Key takeaways

Craft masterful research designs for your digital marketing with objective and subjective approaches today. Here are some final tips to take with you as you formulate effective strategies for your brand’s digital this year:

  • Root your design in business goals. When in doubt, go back to your brand’s overall goals to guide the objectives of your surveys, polls, and interviews.
  • Remain curious about audience contexts. By being open to new information about your audiences, you’ll be able to adapt brand promotion strategies according to their real-life needs and preferences.
  • Reach out to experts in marketing analysis design. Not sure where to start with your measurement collection journey? Get in touch with the digital experts at Propelrr to jumpstart your strategies today.

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