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Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research in Marketing

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  • 0:01 Market Research
  • 0:58 Quantitative Research
  • 1:59 Qualitative Research
  • 3:18 How They Work Together
  • 4:23 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

After watching this video lesson, you will know the differences between quantitative market research and qualitative market research. You will see what strengths each has and how these can work together.

Market Research

For a business to make smart business choices that will help grow the business, it needs to conduct market research. When a business conducts market research, it is gathering information about the needs and likes of its customers. When a business performs thorough market research, then it will know exactly what the customer needs and how it can fulfill that need.

For example, a dog supply company that we will call Petey, performs market research and discovers that its customers really want safety gear, such as reflective leashes and collars, when walking their dogs at night. To fulfill this need, the company goes ahead and designs safety collars and leashes. The company's customers readily purchase these items.

Conducting this market research helps the Petey company grow. What kind of market research did Petey conduct? Sam, the head of the marketing department, wants to explain.

Quantitative Research

The first type of market research the company performs is quantitative research. Sam says this type of research measures how many people think a certain way. So when Sam was conducting the market research to find out how many of Petey's customers wanted safety collars and leashes, he used quantitative research. Sam sent out questionnaires via postal mail, and electronically via email, to his customers. The questionnaires consisted of yes or no questions and questions that asked the customer to rate the level of interest. There were no open-ended questions where the customer can say whatever he or she wanted.

Sam explains that with quantitative research, he needs to survey at least thirty people. The more people he surveys, the more accurate the results. This is why Sam decided to send the questionnaire to all of Petey's customers. Petey has about two hundred customers that come on a regular basis. Two hundred people give Sam a good view of what Petey's customers want.

Qualitative Research

The second type of market research that Sam performs is qualitative research. This type of research provides insight into why people do the things they do. With this type of research, Sam can find out the reasons why Petey's customers want to purchase safety collars and leashes and how they feel about them.

To perform this type of research, Sam sets up a focus group. A focus group is a small group of people invited for an in-depth discussion. Sam conducts the discussion and he asks everyone for their thoughts. He encourages everybody to speak up and say whatever is on their mind. From his focus group, Sam finds out that people want safety collars and leashes because they usually walk their dogs when they get home from work. Sometimes it's already dark, so the people want safety collars and leashes so that cars can see them easier.

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