Quantitative research involves gathering numerical data, which is further analyzed via mathematical and statistical methods to measure variables. This type of research often requires a larger sample size due to the techniques used.
It involves conducting surveys on a large group of people to gather tangible data related to the “what” and “how much” aspects of the topic. Statistical techniques are then used to analyze the acquired information and make broad conclusions.
This data can be utilized for various applications such as –
- Understanding the size and scope of a market
- Analyzing customer opinion
- Making generalizations
- Predicting future trends
- Discovering patterns, etc
What is Quantitative Market Research?
Quantitative market research is a method of collecting numerical data about various aspects of the market, including customers, competitors, products, and markets. It involves using techniques like surveys, questionnaires, interviews, polls, and focus groups to gather data that can be analyzed statistically.
For instance, a market research firm may conduct an online survey to gather quantitative data such as customer preferences, buying habits, or the potential size of a new market. The analysis of such data can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, market trends, and the potential success of new products.
For example – the Net Promoter Score question, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague based on your overall experience with us?” has revolutionized the way businesses worldwide measure customer loyalty.
By asking a single question, companies can gather real data from actual customers to determine the impact of organic word-of-mouth referrals on their business growth, as well as identify areas where they may need to allocate more or fewer resources to paid advertising and promotions or improve product/service quality.
Why conduct Quantitative Market Research?
Quantitative Market Research provides organizations with valuable insights such as identifying target market segments, understanding customer needs and preferences, measuring brand recognition and loyalty, evaluating pricing sensitivity, and making overall decisions.
- To achieve a successful marketing campaign, the initial step involves research, whether it’s for launching a new product, positioning a sales pitch, or performing statistical analysis based on data.
- Online quantitative market research can provide insights into marketing activities such as website updates, social media management, and newsletters.
- Quantitative Market Research can answer important questions such as “Who is currently purchasing my products/services?”, “Why are others not buying my product?”, and “How can I reach my potential customers?”
- To gather desired insights, the process of quantitative research begins with creating and designing surveys, followed by distributing them to the appropriate individuals. Once the surveys are completed, data collection and analysis can take place.
Four Main Types of Quantitative Research
1. Descriptive Research
This is a tool for evaluating the status of variables. It provides information on the circumstances and context that surround a variable or topic. It is commonly used for conducting comparisons, detailing sample characteristics, monitoring emerging trends, and verifying existing phenomena. Descriptive research involves collecting all the required data before forming a hypothesis.
For example, a descriptive research study can be used to identify the age and gender of customers purchasing a particular product.
2. Correlational Research
This method of research examines the connections between various subjects and variables to test a hypothesis or prediction. It only focuses on the relationships between set variables and does not include any unrelated variables in the investigation.
Correlational research and experimental research differ as variables are not manipulated in correlational research. A correlation can be positive or negative, and the strength of the relationship varies.
A correlational research study can be used to identify the relationship between customer spending and age.
3. Experimental Research
This type of research is quantitative and aims to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between variables. The method involves changing one or more independent variables, and then observing how it affects one or more dependent variables. Experimental research can be classified into two types: controlled experiments and quasi-experiments. Controlled experiments involve manual manipulation of all variables and monitoring their effects, while quasi-experiments test variables without manipulation.
Experimental research can be used to compare two different methods of delivery and measure their effectiveness
4. Survey Research
Understanding behavior often requires the use of survey research methods. This method is commonly employed in market research to familiarize a brand with the desires, needs, points of contention, and behaviors of its target market.
Researchers conduct surveys to ask specific questions to understand their target audience or get a detailed understanding of their opinions. Surveys can be performed in a single group or across multiple groups to facilitate comparison.
A survey research study can be used to understand the preferences of customers when it comes to new product features.
Common Techniques to Conduct a Quantitative Market Research
1) Primary quantitative market research techniques
Quantitative market research typically involves primary techniques, which refer to the most commonly used and widely recognized methods. Examples of these techniques include –
Surveys are a commonly used method to gather data from consumers. They can be done through various channels like online, mail, or in-person. The surveys mostly consist of closed-ended questions that yield quantitative data efficiently. The survey creators provide predefined answer choices they consider suitable for each question. Surveys are important for gathering feedback from a larger audience beyond conventional means.
- Cross-sectional research survey – It is a way of studying a group of people at one specific time to collect data on certain variables. The research looks at a population or subset of people who are similar in all ways except for the variable being studied. This method is quantitative and aims to analyze the data collected.
- Longitudinal research surveys – It is a quantitative approach that involves collecting statistical data over years or decades on a particular target demographic or individuals.
1.2) One-on-one Interviews
In the past, interviews for collecting quantitative data were typically carried out in person, but now they can be conducted over the phone or through online means. Interviews provide marketers with a great chance to collect in-depth data from the participants.
Online quantitative interviews are highly structured and serve as a crucial tool for gathering information. These interviews typically consist of two major sections –
- Face-to-Face Interviews – To gather comprehensive information, an interviewer can create a set of significant questions in addition to those already included in the survey. This will encourage interviewees to provide in-depth insights on the discussed topic.
- Online/Telephonic Interviews – Online interviews have become a common practice for conducting quantitative interviews, just like telephone-based interviews. Platforms such as Skype or Zoom enable communication between interviewers and interviewees regardless of their location or time zone, making it a more accessible option.
1.3) Computer-Assisted Personal Interview
This technique involves the interviewer inputting collected data directly into a laptop or similar device during a one-on-one interview. This reduces processing time and eliminates the need for physical questionnaires as answers can be entered directly into the device.
2) Secondary Quantitative Market Research Techniques
Using secondary techniques in conducting quantitative market research can help to confirm a hypothesis or make deductions from both primary and empirical data.
It utilizes historical data to support the statistical observations made from primary data and is categorized as an observational form of market research.
Secondary research methods typically involve gathering data from sources such as the Internet, archives, libraries, schools & organizational reports, etc. It is important to note that online data specifically refers to data collected from the internet.
What are the Characteristics of Quantitative Market Research
- Quantitative market research aims to confirm hypotheses related to numerical aspects of phenomena.
- The data that has been gathered consists only of numerical values, allowing statistical formulas to be applied to derive quantified and actionable insights.
- The data has been collected in a structured manner using various methods like questionnaires and surveys.
- The study has predetermined questions with structured options for responses. The structure is planned beforehand.
- The questions are not asking for open-ended responses, which limits the possibility of ambiguity.
When to Use Quantitative Research and How to Analyze It?
When answering “what” questions about customers’ most important features, preferred products, or services, using quantitative research is useful. It’s important to consider which quantitative research method is best for your business, taking into account factors such as your strategy, marketing, and other facets.
Quantitative research aims to measure and understand the prevalence of a phenomenon such as a problem or inadequacy by observing a significant portion of a population. Use this type of research when you require a higher-level overview or a broader perspective. It is capable of uncovering connections between different factors, identifying correlations, and establishing cause-and-effect relationships.
The findings of researchers can be used to make predictions, which is especially helpful in market research endeavors such as launching new products, brainstorming innovative ideas, or expanding your customer base.
Before analyzing this research, it is important to make it measurable and unbiased. Researchers should establish specific scales and units of measurement for their studies, and present their findings in a clear and easy-to-understand way. After collecting the numerical data, input it into a spreadsheet. Then, arrange the data by creating graphs, charts, and tables. Lastly, conclude the study based on the data. You can also utilize advanced analytics for further investigation.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Quantitative Research
Some of the upsides and downsides of using quantitative research data are –
- Larger sample pools – The results are more accurate when there are more respondents in the group.
- Highly structured – The methods used to gather numerical data such as surveys, questionnaires, and other data recording tools ensure effective structuring of data.
- Focused – The study’s design is established before its commencement.
- Theory-based – Conducting research is a way to test a theory and get evidence to support or prove it.
- Designed to Be Analyzed – Non-textual forms such as tables, charts, and figures are used to present numbers and statistics for easier analysis.
- Objective – The research aims to eliminate bias by keeping the data separate and only collecting objective responses.
- Focuses solely on numbers – Researchers may overlook other data and larger themes if they solely rely on this approach, which can be limiting.
- Superficial Representations – The tool only displays numerical data and is not capable of explaining intricate ideas like emotions and perspectives.
- Several factors can invalidate results – To collect and analyze data, you must create a hypothesis and a model. It’s important to be careful to avoid mistakes that can cause bias and inaccurate results.
- Erred Structure – Biases can easily become dominant if there is missing data or unclear measurements.
Different between Qualitative and Quantitative Research
Businesses use quantitative and qualitative market research methods to collect data for market research. Qualitative research data is collected through interviews, focus groups, observations, and surveys, and it gives insight into a specific issue or problem by examining the experiences, opinions, and behaviors of a sample of target customers.
On the contrary, quantitative market research data is utilized to gauge trends and events including web traffic or sales figures. This sort of research is more organized and greatly depends on numerical figures. It supports companies in comprehending customer behavior, inclinations, and expenditure habits by analyzing vast amounts of data.
What is a quantitative research question?
Quantitative market research questions can help you understand the specifics of a subject, such as what, how, when, and where. By analyzing quantitative data, you can identify trends and patterns, and establish averages to effectively tackle business problems.
What are the Quantitative Market Research Questions?
Quantitative research seeks the answers of following questions
- What is the size of the target market?
- How have the requirements of a particular market evolved?
- What is the size of your target audience in terms of the number of people?
- What is the level of interest in purchasing your product?
- Does a market exist for your products?
- On which online platforms does the target audience spend the majority of their time?
- How often do people purchase your product or service?
- What is the awareness level of your brand, product, or service among the public?
- Who are the customers that most frequently use your services?
- What is the average duration of time that people spend on your website?
- What is the percentage of satisfied customers with your product or service?
Statistical Analysis Techniques Used in Quantitative Market Research
Statistical analysis is used in quantitative market research to process response data and gather clear insights. These insights help researchers conclude the research findings. Quantitative market research offers the following statistical analysis techniques –
The purpose of conjoint analysis is to determine the worth of different factors, like price, characteristics, and advantages, in influencing customers to buy a specific product or service.
TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) analysis helps organizations understand which combination of products or services will appeal to the highest number of customers.
The purpose of GAP analysis is to determine the gap between the expected and actual performance of a product or service. By analyzing the GAP, companies can identify areas for improvement and enhance their features to minimize the gap.
MaxDiff is a choice model that is sometimes referred to as “best-worst” scaling. It is used to determine customer preferences for various features, such as product features, brand images, activities associated with branding, and so on.
Cross-tabulation is a method of statistical analysis that presents a concise table format to compare two or more categories for easy data analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is quantitative market research?
Quantitative market research uses surveys and questionnaires to gather information about the target market. The data collected is then converted into numerical values for easier analysis.
What types of questions do quantitative research answer?
Quantitative research is used to measure and identify patterns, averages, and predictions and quantify opinions, attitudes, or behaviors. Its main focus is on defining “what” and “how much.”
What are the four main types of quantitative research?
Quantitative research can be categorized into four main types: survey research, correlational research, descriptive research, and experimental research.
What using a large sample is the important size in quantitative research?
Having a small sample size may result in unreliable outcomes. On the other hand, if the sample size (referring to the number of individuals participating in the study) is bigger, then there is a higher chance of obtaining statistical significance and accurate findings.
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