In the world of market research, there are 2 approaches to take when dealing with finding out what your potential customers want from your products and/or services. Qualitative and quantitative researches are the two main methods of carrying out this task.
Qualitative can simply be described as an in-depth look into how and what your target market thinks, their day to day lives and their emotional reactions to your product and/or industry in general. Qualitative research is extremely useful when carrying out market research but it is imperative that you know qualitative research leads to no statistically robust discoveries. Research like this is usually backed up by quotes and written statements from participants in your study. Qualitative research is usually carried out in forms of focus groups, telephone interviews and other interview methods that are intimate and would allow participants speak honestly and openly about your topic.
In the case of Quantitative research methods, we see brands taking on a more structured approach with a lot of “closed questions”, meaning less of a conversation and more direct responses. Usually in form of a questionnaire or survey, quantitative research easily produces statistics and numeric results, hence why many brands with the budget tend to use this method. Take for example research carried out by companies such as AC Nelson, Diageo Adult Premium Tracker and more, well-established organisations with the graphs and charts accumulated to understand their brand, campaign and audience.
However, due to readily available online applications, SME’s can easily carry out surveys to their targeted audience without paying for manpower, travel and other expenses that brands would usually worry about. For example, recently a small, Nigerian fashion retail brand by the name of L’espace carried out a brief online survey via their email newsletter which churned out great results, exposing their marketers to revelations they may have overlooked due to obliviousness.
In the grand scheme of things, each research method is best applicable to a brand depending on their target audience and product. For example, when Ellae Creative did market research in Lekki for Google Nigeria, due to the premise of the research we had to use focus groups, face to face chats and more to truly engage Nigerians and understand their online habits.
Each method works perfectly, all you have to do is know your product and have an idea of your ideal consumer. Meet them in their own comfort zone and begin investigating!
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