Using Quantitative and Qualitative Data To Learn More About Your Consumers

Published Apr 28, 2021

Toluna Corporate

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If you want to understand your consumers better, both quantitative and qualitative methods are key.

Qualitative vs. Quantitative: What’s the difference?

A quantitative method involves statistics and helps identify high-level trends. The qualitative data you gather enables you to understand how consumers act, feel, or think in a specific way. Closed questions are preferred for quantitative research as they help to control how people can respond. The answers collected make it possible for comparison. For example, 60% of millennials are okay with remote working.

On the other hand, qualitative research gives you more significant insights into your consumers’ perceptions, motivations, behaviors, and attitudes. It doesn’t provide statistics and numbers, but answers questions about why or how to fix a problem. Often, open-ended questions are used to gather more information. Diary studies, pools, and field research are good examples of qualitative research.

Tip: To avoid the confusion of which method to use, it is helpful to remember that quantitative is quantity. Quantity refers to numbers; relating the numbers and statistics of a quantitative study. 

When it comes to understanding your consumers, qualitative and quantitative research goes hand-in-hand. Using both methods can help you to:

Determine different types of consumers 

The more data you collect about your consumers, the better you will be able to serve them. Through qualitative and quantitative research, gain a better understanding of your consumers and what impact they have on your business. These methods help accomplish that by answering the following questions:

  • What are they searching for? (Keywords)
  • Where are they conducting their searches from? (Location)
  • When are they conducting those searches? (Time and date)
  • What type of gadgets are they using to conduct searches? (Phone, tablet, or desktop)
  • Who is conducting the searches? (Current consumers or prospects)
  • Why are they performing the searches? (Motivation, intention, and goal)

Get thorough insight beyond the data and numbers 

Quantitative market research helps you know how your consumers think, feel, or react toward your services and products. Such figures can provide quick answers on whether your brand is remaining true to its promises or not. For example, if you discover 90% of your current consumers are return consumers, that could mean your products are up to their expectations. Similarly, if you’re trying to understand when they make a purchase, quantitative data will offer more information. However, quantitative data will not tell you why that is happening.

A qualitative approach comes in to answer the “why” question. It goes beyond the numbers to helps understand consumer decisions. Open-ended questions are most appropriate, allowing you to record and understand the path to purchase or use of your services.

A qualitative tactic, like recording consumer reviews, can give you greater consumer insights on:

  • What they consider in a product to purchase it or service before subscribing
  • Why they don’t use some services and products — Utilize this information to make the service or product more attractive.
  • If they have questions and whether they have received answers to those questions

Which method is best for you?

Both quantitative and qualitative methods help you understand your consumers.

If the goal is to capture statistics and numbers, a quantitative approach is best suited for the task. If insights into a particular consumer trend are required, then a qualitative approach will provide all the details needed.

We recommend both methods for understanding who your consumers are, where to find them, what they are looking for, and when they need your products or services.  Toluna’s Live Discussions are an ideal complement to any quantitative research project, too, and you can do this easily within the Toluna Start platform.  

Over to you – How will you gather consumer insight?

Consumer needs evolve constantly. For that reason, researching their behaviors can help you address their demands, which will help you stay ahead of your competitors. Both quantitative and qualitative research are helpful here, and should you need help to implement them successfully, we have solutions designed for that. Get in touch to learn more about how you can get the most out of them.

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