Einstein says, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.” This is a great quote to understand the potential power and context of qualitative research.
So simply put, qualitative research methods allow researchers to have a deeper understanding of experiences, phenomena, attributes, and behaviors that cannot be measured only with numbers.
Therefore, similar to social sciences and other research areas, utilising qualitative methods is essential for market research and marketers.
This article will be leading you through all the hows and whys of qual research and its importance to take into consideration while creating marketing strategies.
A Broad Look at Qualitative Research: Definitions, Methods and Differences
Let’s start from the basics and answer the question, “What is qualitative research?” According to the definition by UTA, qualitative research is a type of research that seeks an in-depth understanding of phenomena within their natural settings.
This type of research relies on gathering participants’ experiences, perceptions and experiences. So qualitative data analysis answers the how and why of the topic instead of how many and how much.
As a more niche way to utilize this type of research, qualitative market research stands for using qualitative methods to understand the reasons and motivations behind customers’ behaviors, perceptions, desires and expectations.
So it is one of the most effective practices to get insights about the needs and requests of consumers and apply these actionable insights to marketing efforts.
Qualitative Research Methods
As qualitative research aims to understand the meanings people have constructed, researchers approach qualitative studies with common approaches, like grounded theory, narrative research, content analysis and action research to be flexible and focus on retaining rich meaning when interpreting data.
The traditional qualitative data collection methods these approaches utilize mostly include participant observation, in-depth interviews, focus groups, surveys and secondary research.
On the other hand, as an emerging technology, online qualitative research methods include digital practices, like web interviews, online survey and chat platforms, social media listening tools, online focus groups and bulletin boards.
In terms of market research, these online qualitative research methods deliver numerous benefits, like finding the right participants, cost-effectiveness, a borderless reach for audiences, improved data quality, and extended sample size.
Therefore, these online practices are great for concept testing and evaluating brand awareness, campaign and ad effectiveness.
For example, our qualitative research platform, Bolt Chat, enables researchers to reach behaviorally-targeted and hard to reach audiences quickly and chat in-real time to get actionable insights.
Sounds exciting, right? Let’s team up to help you utilise Bolt Chat to grasp potential growth opportunities with your innovations!
Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
To have a further understanding of qualitative research, let’s compare it with quantitative research. Qualitative and quantitative research are the exact opposites. So naturally, they come with different advantages and disadvantages.
While quantitative research relies heavily on numerical and measurable data collection, as stated before, qualitative research relies on meanings to illustrate people’s perceptions or experiences.
Quantitative research might be easy to conduct yet restrictive as participants cannot expand the context. In contrast, qualitative research allows for flexibility and creativity but it can be affected by the perspective of the researcher.
These don’t mean that one is better than the other. In fact, when these two research types are conducted in the right way, they can provide critical information about your market, consumers, and the business landscape.
Utilizing both qualitative and quantitative market research in the best way might be daunting. So If you want to sit down next to your customers with your market research and test your ideas at lightning speed, we are here to help with our solutions.
Benefits of Qualitative Research for Marketers
So far, we have explored the definitions, methods and differences of qualitative research. Now, we can dive more deeply into the question, why is qualitative research important for marketers?
First things first, utilising qualitative methods for market research gives one a deeper understanding of customer motivations and emotions. It helps marketers to understand what customers like or dislike about the brands, products or campaigns and helps them to seize important opportunities.
Here is a closer look at the additional benefits qualitative research provides for marketers.
1.More Efficient Marketing Strategies
Qualitative research is the right tool for both hearing and observing your customers.
Traditional and online qualitative research methods can help marketers to understand how customers in the market react to their tone of style, campaign, or product features and their subconscious behaviors while they research, purchase and use products.
Online surveys and chat platforms are especially fantastic in allowing marketers to directly observe their customers’ reactions and opinions and form more efficient marketing strategies accordingly.
The in-depth data that qualitative research provides helps marketers to explore more than if the brand is doing well or not. For example, qualitative research can reveal how consumers feel about a brand, what kind of experiences they expect and why they behave in a certain way.
All these pieces of information can be used as actionable insights to make more informed business decisions.
For any brand or company, utilising actionable insights derived from qualitative market research enables them to create better experiences for their customers and set their expectations. This in turn, increases customer retention.
Therefore, conducting qualitative market research might be one of the most effective ways to understand the needs of customers, satisfy their needs and increase the number of loyal customers.
4.Generating New Ideas
The open-ended nature of qual research collects a variety of data about customers’ lifestyles, needs, frustrations and preferences along with the aimed outcomes.
So qualitative market research might help marketers to gather new ideas or spot potential opportunities in the market to use for product development and marketing.
Bolt Chat: Your Partner in Crime for a Future-Proof Market Research Strategy
Clearly, there is a lot of data that proves the significance of qualitative research and answer the question “why is qualitative data useful?”. Still, it is easier said than done to conduct market research properly. In this case, Bolt Chat may be the right solution for you to have a meeting point with your customers and conduct a new generation of qualitative research.
Together with the ultimate human and technology identity platform, Bolt Chat, you can transform how your brand connects with audiences, choose the customers you want to talk to, chat with them and connect the dots to analyse key insights.