Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark
    by Dr. Elijah Clark

Marketing and advertising has a direct affect on sales by reducing price sensitivity. If a customer likes and is satisfied with a product, they are more likely to recommend that product to a friend. Marketing is best when it delivers a value to customers efficiently and effectively. Researchers agree that qualitative techniques define and describe, while quantitative techniques estimate and quantify. Marketing metrics are an important part of evaluating the control process of marketing. When creating a new marketing strategy, neither qualitative nor quantitative measures are more important than the other when determining value and sales. Testing both measures will generate the most affective results.
 
According to the evidence from the Coca-Cola Company, taste was considered the most important factor for their declined sales between the 1970s and 1980s. The New Coke was developed to enhance the flavor and generate sales. With the approval of more than half of the 200,000 blind product testers, the New Coke was introduced to replace the original flavored Coke. Because of the unfavorable results and backlash from consumers, the New Coke was withdrawn from the market and the Coke Classic was introduced with the original ingredients. In regards to the Coca-Cola Company’s quantitative study and the New Coke, the test provided inconclusive results because of the lack of information given to the participants. Though the participants enjoyed the flavor of the New Coke, it did not outweigh their desire and loyalty of the original Coke.
 
Objective-based research is called quantitative research, and subjective-based research is considered qualitative research. Quantitative is considered hard marketing metrics, while qualitative is soft measures. Quantitative evaluates assets with monetary value, such as sales, gross margins, and profits. Qualitative evaluates intangible assets that indirectly derive from value such as loyalty, likability, and satisfaction. When gaining feedback from consumers, the appropriate questions must be asked in order to produce valuable and affective results. Quantitative objects are ideal for businesses that desire to increase their return on investment. Much of qualitative research is used only in subjectivist-type research, which uses either communication or observation. An example of communication-based research includes the simple form of asking questions to participants. To effectively measure qualitative research, there needs to be a means of recording and measuring behavior and reactions.
 
I do not believe that marketers should choose between quantitative and qualitative research methods. Both measures are important and produce valuable insight into consumer behavior and value. The New Coke’s example of relying on only one type of study displays poor predictive validity. A consumers’ like toward an item is not a good predictor of purchase. Had the Coke Company taken a segmented approach and kept both products on the store shelves, they could have had a better idea of which the users liked best and which would generate the most sales in a side-by-side comparison.
 
Quantitative research focuses on similar topics as qualitative, such as how people feel, think, and behave. However, instead of asking participants directly, it uses structured data to test the information and conclude a hypothesis. Quantitative research can be used to objectively analyze information using calculations raw data and statistics. This type of research often test its methods using experiments, segmenting, and surveys, which can be used to collect the data. While qualitative research is not structured in nature, quantitative is very structured and based solely on factual data and calculations. A quantitative research survey would include closed questions. Quantitative research results are usually numerical, and data used to obtain the information includes phone calls, face-to-face, mail, and surveys.
 
the best solution is to use both qualitative and quantitative approach. Qualitative research focuses on analyzing the in-depth details of why consumers behave the way in which they do. It searches for the barriers in place that may affect their reasoning. For instance, a new company may want to know things about their product in conjunction with how it feels, smells, and taste. Using a qualitative approach would assists in finding the appropriate marketing or product solution. A qualitative research type setting would be used to collect user information and explore the reasoning for their responses. In addition to those responses, details could be collected to determine how they arrived at their conclusions. Those details could include motives, emotions, and mental triggers. A focus group type setting is perfect for conducting qualitative research. Focus groups allow for in depth interviews with the participants that can be used to gain valuable product insight.

Dr. Elijah Clark

Dr. Elijah Clark

Elijah is a business management consultant. He writes about business marketing, development, branding, technology, and how to develop and use marketing strategies and techniques effectively.
Dr. Elijah Clark

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Cite this article:
Dr. Elijah Clark (August 25, 2015). Marketing Research Methods [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://elijahclark.com/marketing-research-methods/
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