As a marketer, you know that your business needs to gather insights about your target customers in order to grow. Market research is an essential part of your marketing strategy, but it can seem daunting when faced with the many options available. There are different types of research methods out there and each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. To make matters worse, each type has several variations within it. So how do you know which one will work best for your company? The answer lies in understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative research.
Understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative B2B market research
Qualitative and quantitative research methods are used to gather information about consumers. Quantitative B2B market research uses a large sample size of people to collect data, while Qualitative B2B market research uses small focus groups or one-on-one interviews with targeted individuals.
Because quantitative research focuses on behavior, it’s best used to measure how different things affect behavior (such as whether a new product design improves sales). It’s also helpful for understanding how many people buy something and how much they pay for it. For example:
How many people use your product?
What percentage of users upgraded their plans after buying your product?
How much did they spend?
Qualitative market research can be useful in measuring attitudes toward products or services by asking questions like:
What features do you like most about our app?
What features would you like to see added next week?
Use qualitative B2B market research to understand your customers
If your business needs to understand the preferences of your customers, then qualitative research may be the right fit. It can help you discover what motivates your customers to purchase a particular product or service, as well as their pain points and perceptions around competing products.
If you’re looking for answers like this in Global B2B surveys, then using qualitative methods is likely the best choice.
Consider qualitative B2B market research if you want to understand the market
If your research is focused on understanding the market, not testing a specific hypothesis, then you may be better served by qualitative research. If your research is focused on understanding the opinions of a specific group of people, then you may be better served by qualitative research.
If your goal is to understand how people think about something and why they think that way, quantitative data will not help much. It’s best to use qualitative data (such as interviews or focus groups) in this situation because they allow you to get at the root causes behind an issue or question rather than just collect facts about it.
Determine the outcome of your study to select the right type of research for you
To select the right type of research for your business, you first have to determine what outcome you need from your study.
What do you want to know? For example: What are users’ interests in our product? What are their preferences for how it should work?
How will this information help you make decisions about your product roadmap or marketing strategy? If not all that much, then maybe qualitative data gathering would be a better fit. Or if the goal is very specific and critical, like deciding whether or not to launch a new feature by a certain date, then quantitative data may be more appropriate. This isn’t an all-or-nothing choice, it’s possible (and often preferable) to have both types of research in one study.
We hope that by now, it’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for B2B market research. It all depends on what you want to find out about your customers and how best to go about doing so. If you need help deciding which type of research will best suit your needs, we can offer assistance from our expert team of marketing consultants who can help guide you through this process step-by-step.