The researcher is considered external to the actual research, and results are expected to be replicable no matter who conducts the research. The strengths of the quantitative paradigm are that its methods produce quantifiable, reliable data that are usually generalizable to some larger population.
Quantitative measures are often most appropriate for conducting needs assessments or for evaluations comparing outcomes with baseline data. This paradigm breaks down when the phenomenon under study is difficult to measure or quantify.
The greatest weakness of the quantitative approach is that it decontextualizes human behavior in a way that removes the event from its real world setting and ignores the effects of variables that have not been included in the model. Qualitative research methodologies are designed to provide the researcher with the perspective of target audience members through immersion in a culture or situation and direct interaction with the people under study.
Qualitative methods used in social marketing include observations, in-depth interviews and focus groups. These methods are designed to help researchers understand the meanings people assign to social phenomena and to elucidate the mental processes underlying behaviors. Hypotheses are generated during data collection and analysis, and measurement tends to be subjective.
In the qualitative paradigm, the researcher becomes the instrument of data collection, and results may vary greatly depending upon who conducts the research. The advantage of using qualitative methods is that they generate rich, detailed data that leave the participants' perspectives intact and provide a context for health behavior. The focus upon processes and "reasons why" differs from that of quantitative research, which addresses correlations between variables.
A disadvantage is that data collection and analysis may be labor intensive and time-consuming. In addition, these methods are not yet totally accepted by the mainstream public health community and qualitative researchers may find their results challenged as invalid by those outside the field of social marketing. The traditional health promotion professional conducts research at the beginning of a project to develop an intervention, and again at the end to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.
In contrast, social marketers utilize research throughout the planning, development, implementation and evaluation phases of the program; social marketing is a process of continuous development and testing. Many of the tools used to develop social marketing programs--focus groups, consumer marketing databases, intercept surveys--have their origins in the field of commercial market research, and are based on "what works" for gathering various types of needed data.
Social marketing relies upon consumer-focused research to learn as much about the target audience as possible by looking at their lives from many different angles--both quantitatively as part of a larger group and qualitatively to investigate individual attitudes, reactions, behaviors and preferences.
Social marketing programs use research throughout the life of a project. Research in social marketing is conducted specifically to help make better decisions at key points in the process Andreasen, These decisions may include which target audience, messages and media to choose; whether to make changes in program strategy during implementation; and whether to continue the program. Pinpointing the facts needed to make these decisions will help to identify the best methods for subsequently collecting this data.
Some types of information may require quantitative data collection methods, such as detecting any measurable differences in knowledge or behaviors once the program has been implemented. Soliciting audience reactions to a selection of program messages, on the other hand, may be best done through qualitative methods. An effective and responsive program requires a combination of research approaches in order to have the data needed for decision making. Professionals who come to social marketing from a traditional health promotion background may have a difficult time in reconciling their notion of "what research is" with some of the methods that social marketers have appropriated from the commercial marketing tool kit.
Even those who are committed to using a mix of research methods may encounter institutional resistance to deviating from the quantitative paradigm, particularly when the proposed research will occur in a governmental or academic setting. However, as the field of health promotion evolves from a focus on individual lifestyles and risk factors to a broader concept of social and environmental factors influencing morbidity and mortality, researchers must employ a variety of methods to reflect this new perspective.
As a useful starting point, Steckler et al. In the first approach, qualitative methods contribute to the development of quantitative instruments, such as the use of focus groups in questionnaire construction.
The second model consists of a primarily quantitative study that uses qualitative results to help interpret or explain the quantitative findings. In the third approach, quantitative results help interpret predominantly qualitative findings, as when focus group participants are asked to fill out survey questionnaires at the session. In the fourth model, the two methodologies are used equally and in parallel to cross-validate and build upon each other's results.
Social marketers may operate under one or more of these models; the approaches are not mutually exclusive. A social marketing model for integrating methods must include quantitative and qualitative methods at each stage of the process for formative research, process evaluation and outcome evaluation. While each program is unique, the model proposed here can be adapted based on available resources.
During the formative research stage, in which the goal is to learn as much as possible about how the target audience thinks and behaves in relation to the issue being addressed, a host of research methods provides many different data "viewpoints" for seeing the big picture.
Exploratory research conducted at the beginning of the project reviews previous research involving both quantitative and qualitative data and can include interviews with those who have previously attempted to address the issue. This research will help in the initial development of the project strategy to delineate the parameters of the project, steer the selection of the target audience, specify the potential behaviors to be promoted and identify lessons learned and potential pitfalls.
Focus groups conducted for exploration also yield valuable qualitative data regarding the target audience, providing insights into their language, issues and obstacles they identify, and meanings attributed to beliefs and behaviors. Information learned from the initial focus groups can then be used to inform questionnaire construction for a population survey to collect hard numbers for baseline data. The survey will also help to segment the target audience based upon its distribution across the stages of behavior change, as described by the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change Prochaska and DiClemente, , or other characteristics.
In addition, commercial marketing databases, while quantitative in nature, provide highly detailed profiles of target audience segments for message development and channel selection.
The messages and materials developed based upon the exploratory research should be pretested using both qualitative and quantitative methods so that the results provide depth of understanding as well as generalizability. Focus groups provide a valuable means to pretest messages and materials, for audience members can provide spontaneous reactions and explain their responses.
This method, however, can only indicate trends and cannot yield hard quantitative data needed for definitive decision making. If enough focus groups are conducted and participants are considered representative of the target audience, a survey questionnaire may be administered either before or after the focus group to collect numerical data as well. A central-site intercept survey, in which potential audience members are approached in a public area and asked to respond to a quick questionnaire, provides another method of pretesting materials.
After a small online group of participants are questioned to find out their thoughts and feelings, the resulting data can easily be used to determine which questions should be asked in an online survey. In other instances, online qualitative research such as online focus groups is useful in developing a deeper understanding of the kinds of thoughts and emotions that drive consumer purchasing decisions. This kind of insight can then be used guide creative development in advertising campaigns.
As useful as qualitative information is, there are times when an online qualitative study will not deliver the insights you need. Reliable statistical analysis requires a larger sample group that is representative of the population as a whole. The sample groups used in most online qualitative research are too small for the data to be reliably applied across the general population. The information gleaned from them is generally of a more emotive or personal nature.
In this case, the data taken from this qualitative study helps narrow down the questioning which should be included in an online survey.
Without the insight gleaned from the interview, there is a risk of designing online survey questions based on unsupported assumptions rather than fact. Quantitative marketing research, often associated with online surveys , derives its data from a much larger sample group. This means you gather responses from a larger number of participants.
A large enough sample to make accurate assumptions about all people in the target audience. In most instances it would be time consuming and costly to interview everyone in your target audience. An online survey made up of a sample of people from the larger target audience generally provides the information accuracy needed to make informed decisions about the whole audience, or population.
For example , quantitative research can be used to determine how many people between the ages of prefer lemon lime soda to colas. This kind of data is extremely useful when defining the demographic profile of the target market.
It will also provide the insights needed to define the size of any given market and the percentage of the customer currently satisfied with a product or service. Insights gained by using quantitative marketing research techniques can be used to determine how and when to advertise. After the release of a new ad campaign, an online quantitative study, in the form of a online survey , can gauge how effective the campaign was in promoting brand awareness. Which would be better used to pre-test or validate the creative content of the advertising campaign.
Trying to extract insights you would normally reveal in an online focus group from online surveys would be expensive and complex. When you need to gather top-line reactive feedback, a qualitative research study, such as a online focus group or one on one interview, is the better option.
It does not reveal the underlying behavioral motivations. But what it does do is reveal the path of questioning you should take during an online focus group or one on one interview. It is clear that its not always possible to build a complete picture by relying on one form of online market research.
Quantitative marketing research is the application of quantitative research techniques to the field of marketing.
Quantitative market research is another important facet of a successful market research survey which is what ultimately helps an organization frame their marketing and sales strategies. Our quantitative research service offerings include multi-mode quantitative data collection and analysis, which is .
quantitative market research. The use of numerical analysis techniques to provide information useful to those involved in promoting products or services. Many business applications of quantitative marketing research involve surveying customers. Market research firms offering statistically substantiated information obtained from large data samples. Find a company to gather data through empirical research, numerical research and diagnostic studies as well as through other quantitative methodologies.
The goal of quantitative research is to provide statistical information about research questions so that accurate conclusions can be drawn from the data. We often conduct quantitative studies to help our clients understand how many people will buy their product or service and to profile these prospective customers in a statistically valid way. Quantitative Market Research is a technique to ask questions to the target audience in an organized manner using surveys, polls or questionnaires. This article also talks about the reasons to conduct quantitative market research, it's significance, characteristics, methodology, common techniques and steps to conduct such a research. It also specifies the basic question types with examples and.