Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

I teach “Principles of Marketing” at night at our local community college. I love teaching. analysis

The chapter that seems to cause the most problems every semester is the chapter that covers marketing research. The students always get stuck on what is qualitative vs. quantitative research.

So let’s make this simple.

Quantitative research implies that there is the ability to somehow “quantify” the results of a question.

This means you can use anything with a number as the response:

Quantitative research implies that there is the ability to somehow “quantify” the result of a question.

This means you can use anything with a number as the response:

    • Likert scale“On a scale of 1-5 with 1 being I don’t like it and 5 being I like it a lot – how do you rate the new flip top lid on our BBQ sauce”
    • Anything that can be measured (measurements, quantity, age, temperature, etc.) – “Please pour out the normal amount of our BBQ sauce you would use on your chicken breast after it has been cooked” (measure the sauce in ounces)
    • Yes/No questions (because they are finite and you can assign a number to it: Yes = 1, No = 0) “Would you buy the redesigned BBQ sauce with the squeezy bottle and flip top lid?

 

 

Qualitative research is “touchy feely,” more about “quality” or perceived quality. This type of research uses open ended questions that allow the respondents to answer openly without restrictions.

Questions such as:

  • “Are there other enhancements to our packaging of our BBQ sauce that you would like to see?”
  • “When you tasted the BBQ sauce sample A – what did you like/dislike about the taste of sample A?”
  • “Please taste the cooked BBQ chicken breast we cooked on a grill. Describe the texture and taste as a grilled BBQ sauce.”

If you have trouble remembering which is quantitative and which is qualitative, the quickest way to remember is that quantitative is about numbers and qualitative is about quality.

Keywords: #marketingresearch #research #qualitative #quantitative