Perhaps at some point in your venture, you have heard that your business needs a qualitative market study, that you need to dig deeper to offer what your customers want, but what do you want to learn? Who are you going to ask? What kind of study do you need? Well, all this will depend on the moment your business is experiencing, so you should know the main types of studies: qualitative and quantitative.
In summary, we could say that a qualitative market study solves the what, who, where and when of your consumers’ purchases, while the qualitative market study solves the why and how of their purchases.
In other words, a quantitative market study measures data generalizes your audience through a sample and defines that your audience likes a certain product because it is the one that, in numbers, sells the most. While the qualitative study, goes further and points out the reason for buying that product.
That’s right, qualitative research allows you to better understand your customers because it goes beyond knowing numbers, basic data or simple percentages, since you need to apply questions that allow you to know what they think, feel, live and even what expectations they have of a product or service.
The importance of knowing your client better allows you many things, such as selling and communicating what really helps to solve their problems, being a true answer to their pain and becoming the first thing they think of when solving a situation.
Not only that, through a qualitative study you can modify your product or service to suit your target audience. Don’t forget that the more you understand your customers, what they do, what your day-to-day is like and what their goals are, you can design, modify or completely change your product.
When should this study be done?
Suppose you are not very clear if your product or service could work in a certain place, such as, for example, that you are about to launch a branch of your company in a market unknown to you, that is where you should carry out this type of study.
Since entering a new market will always be a challenge for all businesses and to modify, adapt and correctly communicate your product to a new audience, a study of this type is necessary.
Suppose you have a cafeteria and you are about to open another branch of your business in another neighborhood, however, it does not mean that it is the same public that visits you and, therefore, your extra value will not be able to communicate in the same way. So, if you are in a neighborhood where trends are important, maybe your star product is “Cold Brew”, but if you are in a student area, maybe they are looking for a place to study and talk for long periods.
The advantage of doing a quantitative study is that you can understand how it affects the population, or what they think of your product, service, company or business, which at the end of the day will serve to modify your business plan and adapt it to potential customers. .
Among the most frequent studies carried out under this type of methodology are image studies, product testing, and among the new trends are habits or ethnographic studies and projective techniques.
What are the characteristics of a qualitative study?
- You don’t have a hypothesis. Unlike common studies or research, the qualitative study understands that there are different realities that each person lives. Therefore, it builds hypotheses throughout the research work.
- There are no standardized questions. It is true that there are basic questions that will allow the interviewers to be guided to know the realities, but for the same reason, where each case is different, the same questions will not be applied and will be adapted to each individual. Thus, in this type of research they are carried out in focus groups or face-to-face interviews.
- It is not based on statistics. By obtaining open-ended questions from the different discourses in the interviews, since they depend on the feelings and needs of each individual, statistics will not be obtained, but interpretation of the information through the analysis of the discourse to obtain common elements.
- The results do not give probabilities. In the end, what you can get is a narrative speech, it allows you to tell a story about each of your clients. It is in this way that you can better understand your market universe.
Can I do qualitative research?
In theory, yes, but in practice, ideally, you should hire an agency to help you carry out a study of this type. First of all, because they will know how to direct you better to obtain real results and that they are not influenced by your convenience.
Secondly, because a specialized agency knows and understands how to carry out this type of study, the methodology necessary to carry it out, as well as the elements necessary to carry it out.
However, you can always carry out a small study with your current consumers, to understand them better, for example, you can conduct face-to-face interviews and ask questions such as: how do you feel about the product? What do you like and what don’t? What are your expectations for this product? Why this and not the competition? What prevents or drives you to buy this product?
Imagine that you apply these questions to your current consumers within your business, they will most likely only answer good things about your product or service as they will feel pressure, expect a gift for their answers and they will not be as sincere as you would like.
Hence the importance of an outsider to carry out a qualitative study of your market. Of course, now that you know it, you could think more about how to use it for your benefit and the growth of your business.
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