Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Strengths and Weaknesses of Quantitative and Qualitative Research

There are many researches taking place, which results into the evolution of something new and unique. Traditional Marketing Research have two options to conduct their research: Quantitative and Qualitative method. 

What is Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is defined as an organized analysis of occurrences by collecting measurable data and applying statistical, mathematical, and computational methodologies. It is the process of gathering information from existing and potential customers by sampling methods and the distribution of online surveys, questionnaires, online polls, and so on. The results of these polls or surveys are represented numerically. 

Quantitative research is dependent on the creation of a Hypothesis followed by an accurate analysis of the statistics in order to understand and explain the research findings. It focuses more on the quantity of things and their statistical patterns. Using the number, it comes to an analysis so as to come to a conclusion.

After gaining a thorough understanding of these figures, it is possible to forecast the future of a product or service and make modifications as needed.

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHODS

When it comes to gathering information, quantitative research comes in handy. It provides you with a wide range of options. Each has its own set of pros and cons. Hence, it is advised to use a combination of them to get the best outcomes. Here are the four commonly used quantitative research methods that you can consider employing:

1. Surveys

Conducting surveys is one of the most common quantitative research methods that most marketers utilize. In this method, marketers distribute surveys to their target audience in order to gather information, followed by statistical analysis of the results in order to develop conclusions and insights. 

In addition to being a short turnaround method, it is an excellent approach to better understand your target customers or explore a new market. Here are the best ways to conduct surveys: 

  • a. Survey via Email: The use of email to communicate with a large number of individuals is quick and can be more cost-effective than the other methods outlined in this section.
  • b. Phone Campaign: Not everyone has access to the internet, so if you want to reach a specific audience that may find it difficult to interact in this manner (for example, older consumers), a telephone campaign may be a more effective strategy. However, phone campaigns can be expensive endeavors as you’ll have to employ teams for calling your consumers and taking their answers. Also, there will be increased telephone bills as well as a result.
  • c. Postal Surveys: like the phone, it allows you to contact a large portion of the population, but it is expensive and takes a long time to complete the task. As businesses strive to discover and respond to changes in consumer behavior as quickly as possible, postal surveys have grown increasingly out of date.
  • d. Distribution through social media: Social media handles are another wonderful ways to conduct surveys. By distributing the survey through social media, you can collect a greater number of replies from those who are familiar with the brand.
  • e. QR codes: You can use QR codes by the printing or publishing them in magazines, on signs, business cards, or on almost any other object or medium you like.
  • f. SMS-based survey: SMS-based surveys can help you collect a large number of responses quickly and efficiently in a short amount of time.
  • g. In-person quantitative research: doing quantitative research in person makes sense in particular situations. However, this is not the solution for all types of research. In-person quantitative research works well when you need to capture quantifiable data about a customer’s experience in the present, or intercepts, where you need customers to physically engage with a product in order to provide relevant feedback. However, know that these kinds of research are costly affairs, as well as time-consuming and challenging to organize and carry out logistically.

In this approach, you’ll be able to collect information that may be categorized and analyzed in a quantitative, numerical manner.

2. Correlation Research

Correlation research examines the effects of one entity on another and the changes that result. This quantitative research method requires a minimum of two different groups or entities to establish the relationship.

This quantitative research strategy uses mathematical analysis to correlate two or more variables. The original patterns, correlations, and trends between variables are finished. Impact of one variable on the other and how it affects the interaction between them are observed. To achieve desired findings, researchers often modify one of the variables.

It is best not to draw conclusions just from correlational data. Because two variables that are in sync are not necessarily connected.

3. Causal-Comparative Research

This strategy relies heavily on the comparison. This quantitative research method is used to determine the cause-effect relationship between two or more variables, where one variable is dependent on the other. 

In this step, the independent variable is established but not changed. The variables or groupings must be formed as in nature. Because dependent and independent variables always exist in a group, it is prudent to draw conclusions carefully considering all elements.

Causal-comparative research examines how distinct variables or groups change as a result of the same changes. This study is undertaken regardless of the relationship between two or more variables. Statistical analysis is used to clearly present the results of quantitative research.

4. Experimental Research

True experimentation is based on a theory. Experimental research, as the name implies, tests one or more hypotheses. This theory is unproven and only a supposition. In experimental research, the statement is tested to see if it is true. Experiment research might have numerous theories. One can verify or deny a theory.

RESULT ANALYSIS 

Once you’ve obtained your data, the next step is to categorize and evaluate the information. There are numerous approaches that can be used to do this. However, 

Cross-tabulation is a powerful technique that categorizes your results depending on demographic subgroups, which is very useful. 

For example, how many of the persons who answered ‘yes’ to a question were adults and how many were youngsters can be calculated.

Take the time to clean the data (for example, deleting respondents who rushed through the survey and repeatedly selected the same answer) to ensure that you can draw confident inferences from it. All of this can be handled by a competent group of professionals.

Pointers to Keep in Mind While Constructing Surveys

  • Make it crystal clear what you want to accomplish with your survey. 
  • This will assist you in determining your target audience and in developing relevant queries for them.
  • Make use of easy and simple language that people from a variety of backgrounds may easily comprehend.
  • Make sure your questions and answers are concise and easy to understand.
  • Use acronyms only if you are confident that your audience will understand what you are trying to say.
  • Make sure not to over-survey your participants. Instead, make an effort to obtain as much information as possible in the first instance—excessive surveying results in survey weariness, which results in a poor response rate.
  • Make certain that all critical questions have been marked as obligatory.
  • Avoid using double negatives in your questions. Participants may become confused if you utilize double negatives in your questions, and they may misinterpret your queries.
  • Providing a ‘not applicable’ response option will assist you in collecting correct information.
  • Instead of a four-point scale, a five-point scale should be used because the latter does not provide a neutral answer choice.
  • Include closed-ended questions rather than open-ended questions. An ideal survey should primarily include closed-ended questions, with a few open-ended questions thrown in for good measure.
  • Example: instead of asking, “Can you tell us about your experience with our food delivery services?” You should ask, “How happy are you with our food delivery services?” 
  • Your options may include the following: “Very Happy / Satisfied / Don’t know / Dissatisfied / Very Dissatisfied” 

Why is quantitative research important to business?

Quantitative research is an extremely useful tool for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of their market and clients. The ability to acquire trustworthy, objective insights from data and clearly identify trends and patterns is enabled by this technology.

Quantitative research is a critical component of market research; it depends on hard facts and numerical data to create an objective picture of people’s ideas as possible to obtain an understanding of their preferences. There are numerous reasons why quantitative research is essential in any market research plan, including the following:

  • It makes it possible to conduct research on a large scale.
  • It assists organizations in determining the scale of a new opportunity.
  • It allows marketers to quickly and simply compare distinct groups (e.g., by age, gender, or market) in order to discover the similarities and variations between them.
  • It can be useful when trying to simplify a complicated problem or topic into a small number of variables.

Importance of quantitative research in marketing

The quantitative study is mainly concerned with numbers. It makes use of mathematical analysis and data to throw light on vital facts pertaining to your company and the market in general. This type of information, obtained using techniques such as multiple-choice questionnaires or surveys, can be used to generate buzz in your organization and its products and services.

Strengths of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research method has proven to be beneficial in the following ways

  • It provides an allowance on the formulation of statistically sound
  • Quantitative data provides a macro view with all the required details and comparatively larger samples.
  • Larger sample sizes enable the conclusion to be generalized.
  • Evaluation of the multiple data sets can be done at once and that too at a faster pace and accurately.
  • This method is called to be appropriate when there is a need of systematic and standardized comparisons.
  • The manual implementations of ideas can be automated completely which can save time.

Weaknesses of Quantitative Data

Here are some of the weaknesses of quantitative research:

  • Quantitative Method reveals what and to what extent but often fails to answer more on why and how.
  • This type of research requires the model performance to be monitored on constant basis in order to ensure its compliance with the original hypotheses.
  • The impression of homogeneity in a sample may turn out to be fake in this method.
  • This method involves limited number of Quants supply and also involves complex disciplines which are hard to master.

Related: How to Use Customer Data Analytics for Higher ROI

What is Qualitative Research

The methodologies utilized in qualitative research may appear ineffectual to individuals who are more experienced with quantitative research approaches at first glance. 

It is more focused on exploring the issues, understanding the actual problem, and enabling oneself to answer all the questions. The qualitative Research Method is more dependent on deriving the value of variables in their natural setting. 

In a nutshell, qualitative research differs from quantitative research in that it emphasizes words rather than statistics and depth rather than breadth. 

Its approaches are exploratory in nature, intending to uncover the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of those who participate. 
It is most frequently used to inform the development of new concepts, theories, and products. Qualitative research, which was originally designed for use in the social sciences, is now commonly utilized to inform market research by acquiring unique consumer insight from a large amount of available data.

Qualitative Research Method

There are 8 types of Qualitative Methods; take a look…

1. One-on-one Interview

In-depth interviews are a typical qualitative research method. It involves a one-on-one interview with one respondent. This is essentially a conversational strategy that allows for detailed responses.

This strategy allows for exact data collection regarding people’s beliefs and motivations. Asking the appropriate questions can help a researcher acquire valuable data. If the researchers require further information, they should ask follow-up questions.

One-on-one interviews can be conducted in person or over the phone and can last from 30 minutes to two hours. Face-to-face interviews allow for better reading of respondents’ body language and matching of responses.

2. Focus Groups

A focus group is yet another popular qualitative data collection strategy. It typically includes 6-10 people from your target market. The focus group’s major goal is to answer “why,” “what,” and “how.” 

Focus groups have the advantage of not requiring face-to-face interaction. Focus groups can now be issued online surveys on multiple devices, and responses can be collected instantly. 

However, know that this is one of the more costly online qualitative research approaches. They usually explain complex processes. This strategy is great for market research and concept testing.

3. Discussion Boards

Similar to focus groups, discussion boards effectively collect dynamic data over time. Like an online forum, the researcher can initiate a debate and invite participants to add and expand on one other’s ideas. Using prompts and probes, the researcher can have as much or as little input as needed. A forum can be active for days or weeks.

Marketers can use these approaches to get feedback on a new product. Also, these techniques can help marketers grasp different perspectives on the product and can get to know their customers.

4. Case-study

In recent years, the case study approach has evolved into a robust qualitative research method. This is considered one of the best methods to describe an organization or entity.

This research strategy is employed in fields like education and social sciences. This method may appear complex, but it is one of the simplest to use because it requires a complete understanding of data gathering methods and data inference.

5. Pictures and Videos 

Pictures and videos are also interactive qualitative approaches. This is, in fact, one of the most popular qualitative research strategies today. Respondents can contribute photographs or videos to illustrate their stories. Respondents could, for example, give video footage together with a written evaluation of a product.

6. Record-Keeping or Logging

This strategy uses existing reputable documents and information sources as data sources. One can look through books and other reference material to gather data for the research in this method.

7. Ethnographic study

It is the most in-depth approach to studying people in their natural habitat. An organization, a city, or a remote place could be the target audience for this strategy. 

Cultures, difficulties, motivations, and contexts are studied in this study. Geographical constraints can affect data collection. Instead of interviews and debates, you get to see the natural environment.

This type of research might range from a few days to a few years because it includes close observation and data collection. It is a time-consuming and challenging strategy that relies on the researcher’s ability to examine, observe, and deduce the data.

8. Observation Method

Lastly, in the list, we have the observation method. This is a method of collecting data using subjective methods. Researchers use subjective approaches to gather qualitative data to obtain information or data. Qualitative observation is used to compare quality.

It involves characteristics, not measures. Sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing are all examples of qualitative observation.

Result Analysis

It is necessary to do an in-depth analysis of your qualitative data after it has been collected in order to identify the essential themes and insights from your research.

Once the qualitative research is completed and the essential insights have been identified, the next step is to utilize the same insights in the subsequent stages of developing a product or marketing strategy. Moreover, you can use these insights to narrow down your target audience.

Aside from that, your research may have elicited some new ideas and notions that you would like to investigate further, forming the basis for quantitative analysis to determine whether these viewpoints represent the general public.

Why Do You Need Qualitative Research?

In contrast to a closed question survey, qualitative procedures provide a unique level of information that is impossible to obtain via a quantitative survey. Respondents are free to share their own experiences, opinions, and feelings without feeling compelled to do so

Qualitative methods provide a more dynamic approach to research because they allow the researcher to follow up on responses given by respondents in real-time, resulting in valuable conversation around a topic that would not otherwise be possible with a structured survey. 

When it comes to capturing accurate and in-depth insights, qualitative research methodologies are the go-to method for researchers. 

It is extremely beneficial to record “factual facts.” Here are some examples of when qualitative research should be conducted.

  • When developing a new product or producing a new concept
  • Evaluating your product, brand, or service in order to improve your marketing approach
  • To better understand how your target audience reacts to marketing campaigns and other communications.
  • To recognize your own personal strengths and flaws
  • Understanding customers’ purchase behavior  
  • To explore market demographics, segments, and customer groups. 
  • To obtain information on the public’s perception of a brand, company, or product.

Strengths of Qualitative Research

Qualitative research can be beneficial in the following ways

  • All the problems and the topics covered under this research are in detail.
  • This method majorly focuses on small groups which ultimately do not require more expenses when compared to quantitative research.
  • On the emergence of new developed information and findings, the revision, direction and framework of the data can be done easily quickly.
  • The data is collected from a small group which bounds it to be universal for a large population.
  • The data with this method is collected based on genuine efforts and gives a clear vision on what can be expected.

Weaknesses of Qualitative Research

  • As the data is collected for a small group, due to which assumptions cannot be made beyond the small group of people.
  • It becomes difficult to demonstrate, maintain and assess the rigidity of the data.
  • Collection of statistical data is not easy and cannot be done solely by using this method.
  • As the data is in big quantity, analysis and interpretation of the data takes much time.
  • The responses of the subjects might be affected as the researchers are bound to be present during the process of data gathering.

The Bottom Line

So, this is all about qualitative research and quantitative research. Based on the above discussion, it is safe to say that Qualitative research makes up for what quantitative research lacks in terms of meaning depth. Having access to both types of research methods allows for the fulfillment of all research needs. 

In a nutshell, qualitative methods complement quantitative research approaches perfectly. Together, they present a once-in-a-lifetime chance for businesses to gather detailed information on their customers, which they can use to better their marketing efforts and increase their bottom line.

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