Quantitative marketing research
The main characteristic of quantitative research is that it allows comparison and categorization of large numbers of data points in relatively small spaces of time. This characteristic makes it ideal for studying trends in a population, as well as for determining underlying motivations and preferences.
There are several different types of quantitative research, including survey analyses, and big data analyses. These are general in scope, but they do have one important difference: surveys are usually conducted using narrow criteria, while the most common quantitative market research usually is more open. Instead of conducting surveys to collect information about a specific population, which are usually closed-ended questions, big data analyses are kind of open ended. They are not designed to test a single and easy hypothesis. Instead, scholars try to find connections between what is being surveyed and what is believed to be believed, and try to come up with high dimensional answers to research questions. That may also include developing narrow hypotheses for testing.
Distribution of research
Research is distributed through several different mediums, including mailings, phone, and in-depth interviews. The distribution of research varies based on the medium used, the scope of the research, and the target audience. For example, interviews are generally conducted by landline telephones, and cell phones. Some marketing research techniques, such as that of customer questionnaires, also fall under this broad umbrella. However, large scale surveys, (online) data scraping, and big data analyses are generally conducted in quantitative marketing research.
Analyzing the results
Once a hypothesis has been proven, its significance can be easily verified through statistical analysis. In practical market research, data is analyzed using various techniques, including basic analysis techniques like Conjoint Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and TURF Analysis, where the end result of this research is a report card that describes the company, product, concept, or service, to e.g., develop a "branding plan". However, academic quantitative marketing research heavily focuses on mathematical and statistical method development, often using top notch machine learning techniques.
Characteristics of quantitative marketing research
The basic characteristics of quantitative marketing research are to have a broad spectrum in mind. The spectrum of insights that can be obtained from data and research methods is directly proportional to the amount of data collected. For example, surveying a population of 500 potential customers, may not reveal insights equivalent to that of surveying 10,000 potential customers. It makes a difference if just 500 potential customers are surveyed, or 10,000 potential customers are surveyed.
Explicit and indirect market research
Data is collected informally, without the involvement of a human being in the collection or analysis. This type of market research is distinct from the type of market research that is conducted under the guidance of a consultant. Instead of gathering objective facts about a target market, quantitative research provides the opportunity to digress from the main narrative and explore associations and characteristics that may not be apparent from the data. For example, surveying a population that is familiar with a brand, and then correlating this knowledge with customer behavior is indirect marketing research, because the behavior of the consumers does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of the marketers.
Qualitative and quantitative marketing research working together
In a quantitative market research, qualitative market research provides the quantitative context within which insights from the qualitative research are accounted for. For example, build a brand through customer service experiences, like those offered by Target or Wal-Mart. These types of experiences are integral to marketing success because they enable brands to continually improve their products and services, in part by understanding their consumers better. Quantitative and qualitative market research have a symbiotic relationship that transcends the space of business itself, as brands continually depend on the insights of the marketer in both the design and implementation phases of their marketing campaigns.
What are the impacts of different types of marketing research?
Anyone who undertakes a new product or service finds themselves in an increasingly complex market. Different types of research are used to better understand the market, uncover market challenges and opportunities, and to determine the optimum path forward for the business. Research plays a crucial role in understanding the consumers buying into the business, as well as the market as a whole. Different types of research yield different results, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer or template. Rather, there is only the individualized insight of each type of research to guide them. There is no one-size-fits-all answer or template, and the results obtained can be very different. So what makes choosing the best type of research so important?
The answer lies in the unique perspectives and experiences of each marketer and researcher. Different types of research yield very different insights, and the insights gleaned can help businesses understand their most profitable markets, identify unique opportunities, identify customer motivations and preferences, and determine how to best market their products and services to maximize shareholder value and revenue.
Considerations for successfully determining which is best
Research plays a crucial role in determining which type of research to pursue. Whether you are considering a market research effort, looking to hire a marketer, or are simply interested in learning more, there is a process involved in choosing which type of research is best suited to your business objectives.