You might know that using data can help you a great deal in business. If you or those you hire can analyze customer and sales data, you can create better and more targeted marketing campaigns. You can figure out things like which social media platforms to use, which products to discontinue, and what segment of the population is likely to buy your products or utilize your services.
You might also have heard about quantitative and qualitative data. They’re distinct from one another, but you’ll probably have the best luck customizing your business model if you use both rather than just one.
Let’s break down the difference between them. We’ll also discuss how you have the best success chances within your niche if you can collect and analyze both types.
What Precisely is the Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative Data?
If you look at quantitative vs. qualitative data, you’ll quickly see where they differ from one another. Think of it this way: quantitative data is what you use to identify what marketing experts call high-level trends.
These are overarching trends that you can identify in large groups. You might look at high-level trends as indicators of group buying habits.
On the other hand, you can collect qualitative data if you want to know how customers or potential customers think, feel, or act in a very specific way or about a particular topic.
If you want to know about overarching or high-level trends, which to say you want qualitative data, you might ask a focus group to simply tell you how they feel about a topic or product. If you need quantitative data, you can ask them a series of yes or no questions.
Figuring Out Customer Motivation
Let’s say you’re a company owner, and you feel like you’re not getting the market penetration you want. Your flagging sales seem to support this assertion. You can’t get the additional investors you need or expand into new markets until you correct the problem.
A marketer will tell you that data is your friend in this instance. You’ll use research such as focus groups, website questionnaires, and so forth to garner as much customer data as you can. Based on that research, you’ll change the products you make or services you offer.
Determining the distinct customer types that might buy your products or use your services can help you. You can use keyword research to decipher what people in your geographic region are searching for, and you can see what times and days of the week they tend to search.
You might look at what they’re using to conduct the searches, such as smartphones, laptops, or desktops. You may also study why they’re performing the searches. To determine that, you’ll need to decipher their goals, intentions, or motivations.
Perform Targeted Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research
You can ask those who visit your website if they’d be willing to participate in a survey. You might also ask your former customers the same thing if you still have their email address or physical mailing address. You can offer everyone who participates a modest cash amount, or you can give them a gift card or an inexpensive product for their time.
Once you have your focus group, you can ask them questions using quantitative and qualitative approaches. You might split your volunteers into two groups and ask them completely different questions, or you could ask all of them the same queries, mixing in both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Whichever way you choose, you can get specific insights by showing the participants your new or existing products and asking them yes or no questions about them. You can take their answers into account when deciding whether to mass-produce new products or take existing ones off the market.
This is the quantitative approach, where you’re getting as many responses as possible, but the answers are short and terse, with no room for personal interpretation.
You can also ask some or all of the group to talk about your services or products, recording what they say for later study. This is the qualitative approach, where you’re asking the group for off-the-cuff feedback as thoughts enter their minds.
It’s not difficult to see why having both research types will help you more than implementing just one. If you set up one of these in-depth, comprehensive data-gathering sessions, you should be in a much better position afterward to decide the company’s direction.