In the world of market research, there is quantitative research and there is qualitative research.
So what’s the difference?
This is the type of research where you survey large numbers of people that statistically represent the target group or population to obtain numerical data that can be used to estimate future events, opinions, or attitudes. Another key point about quantitative research is that the majority of questions are closed-ended as opposed to open-ended.
What are examples of quantitative research?
If you see any of the following types of surveys, the results are most likely statistically representative of the larger target or population:
- Mail surveys
- Phone surveys
- Online surveys
- Intercepts or surveys at a particular venue…popular with theme parks or county fairs
- Seminar evaluation forms
In comparison, this type of research will uncover tendencies in attitudes and opinions. This type of research is characterized by open-ended questions.
Typically, qualitative research will consist of the following:
- One-on-one in-depth interviews
- Focus groups
- Roundtable discussions
- Bulletin board focus groups
- Online focus groups…everyone is connected together through a webcam but people are actually in multiple locations
Now if you’re wondering if it’s possible to combine both types of research in a single project, the answer is “Yes”.
Often times, you’ll get richer information if you use a hybrid method with a quantitative survey first and then supplement it with qualitative research.
An example might be, if you’re interested in learning more about your customers’ attitudes and perceptions of and satisfaction with your product or service. You could start with an online survey with a series of closed-ended questions and perhaps a couple of open-ended questions.
Then, after looking at the results, there might be something that surprised you or a perception you did not expect to find. You could then develop a focus group and recruit individuals to the group with the intent of getting more detailed information and allowing them to explain their perceptions better.
Let me know if you have any questions or need some guidance on potential research.
Survey Image: basketman/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Discussion Group Image: David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A while back I devoted a blog entry on QR codes and how to create them and how different industries can use them. Since then, I’ve noticed many more companies in the US – both small and large companies – have been using QR codes. You’ll find several QR codes on advertisements in magazines, check out the ads in the Sunday newspapers and you’ll see QR codes, you’ll even find them on the packaging of some products at the grocery stores. I’m even starting to see them on some direct mail pieces arriving at my home.
So are they useful?
The answer is “yes” but a qualified yes. Here’s what I mean. Include a brief message next to or below your QR code such as:
- “Scan for additional savings”
- “Scan to connect directly with us”
- “Scan to view trailer”
- “Scan for product demonstration”
- “Scan for virtual tour”
Now you might be asking, why would I want or need to provide a QR code?
My response would be, why wouldn’t you do so? With at least 1 in 4 US adults nationwide owning a smartphone, QR codes now become another communication tool with customers and potential customers. It provides others with an easy and fast way to connect with you or learn about your products and services or even receive additional promotions.
Here are a few examples how businesses in specific industries might want to use a QR code:
- Realtors: provide a virtual tour of one of your houses or buildings listed
- Schools: provide a virtual tour of your school or promotion video for prospective students and their parents
- Nonprofits: provide a link on your direct mail or other collateral to a “Donate Now” page on your web site for donors to give online
- Event planner: provide the event schedule or exhibit floor map/listing of exhibitors or listing or promotion video of previous events
- Publications: provide your special insert schedule or readership demographics
- Manufacturer: provide a product demonstration
- Any business: provide a 30-second visual business card introducing yourself or a direct connection to your mobile web site or a video of a couple of testimonials
As you can see, the possibilities are endless!
Now, on to the issue of safety in the cyber world. To avoid malware or viruses from infecting your smartphone here is one easy rule to remember:
Do not scan a QR code if you do not recognize the company or business.
Aside from that rule, use your judgement as you do on your computer and if it seems suspicious, do not scan the code.
Are you using QR codes in your business? If so, I would like to hear how you are using these codes.
President, Meyer Marketing Intelligence