Qualitative vs. Quantitative: Which Research is Right for My Brand?
How are there so many choices?

One Google search of “consumer research methodologies” can be overwhelming enough to stop you from ever exploring again. What’s an IDI or a DCM? When should I use which methodology?

In an effort to help, our next few blog posts will unpack what research methodologies could be good options for your next consumer research and how to use them.  

Qual vs. Quant:

At the highest level, we first choose to do qualitative or quantitative research (or a combination of both). We’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of each methodology in our upcoming blog posts.

Here’s an overview of qualitative vs. quantitative research:

Qualitative research collects and analyzes non-numerical subjective information, most commonly observational or narrative to explore and pressure test hypotheses. Qualitative is also allows for long-form free-response answers and lets the researcher be more flexible for real-time adjustment.

Here are some of our favorite types of Qualitative Research:

  • Consumer Intercepts
  • In-Depth Interviews (IDIs)
  • Mobile Ethnographies
  • Focus Groups
  • Secret Shopping / Dining

Quantitative research collects and analyzes numerical data from participants against a pre-set questionnaire or study. Quant research often validates or quantifies hypotheses or measures their impact, but due to online fielding cannot be adjusted once launched.

Here are some of our favorite types of Quantitative Research:

  • Consumer Segmentations
  • Discreet Choice Modeling
  • Brand Trackers
  • Attitudes & Usage Studies
  • MaxDiff
  • Conjoint Analysis

Quali-Quant research combines qualitative and quantitative research to include some measurable ratings across a qualitative sample to add more “rigor” to qualitative research. This can be integrated into almost any qualitative methodology for a standardized section. 

Our Recommendation:

Research can take on many shapes and sizes with infinite variations. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, we believe in designing custom research solutions for our clients to best answer the questions at hand. Often, the most informative research is a combination of methodologies to most effectively answer a question, confirm a hypothesis, or illuminate a knowledge gap.

The research experts at Spectacle would love to explore your questions with your team — contact us for a free research consultation.