Researchers and analytics often talk about quantitative research and qualitative research. In this article you will find description of both terms, difference explanation and usage examples for each type of survey research.
Help to answer question : how many?
For example :
how many (approximately) people in a given population recognize certain brand, use product or service, have seen advertisement or have certain product ...
Quantitative surveys are usually conducted on large (representative for given population) samples. In this kind of survey research statistical methods are often used both for sample selection and survey results calculation.
Data is collected using questionnaires. Selected (with the usage of statistical methods) group of respondents answer survey questions. Collected data provides information how often certain phenomena appears in surveyed population.
Quantitative research usually is done on the selected sample. Results are then extrapolated into the whole population. (for example: population of certain brand clients, population of small company [1 - 5 people] owners).
Application. Quantitative surveys allow to :
- determine market shares
- determine demand for given product or service
- determine how often certain phenomenon occurs in a given community
Help to answer question : how? why?
For example :
how (surveyed people) use certain product, service, ... why (surveyed people) did certain choices, what were their motivations, ...
Qualitative surveys focus on individuals or small groups of people and usually relate to elements that are difficult to measure.
Qualitative surveys help to identify and understand believes and motivations. Numbers are not as important as associations (with brands, products or services) believes and motivations that drive consumer behavior. This kind of survey research helps to identify stereotypes, mind patterns, reactions, reasons, unconscious motives or habits.
Application. Qualitative surveys allow to :
- recognize new market
- identify customer believes and motivations
- conduct initial market or concept survey before quantitative research
- get broader view and better understand surveyed phenomenon
- stimulate creativity of research participants to develop new product or advert concepts
NOTE. Qualitative surveys generally focus on small number of respondents, therefore collected survey results can't be representative for the whole population.