Quantitative (‘quant’) research is all about delivering statistical data. The vast majority of customer research projects provide this data in the form of:-
- data tables
- written reports
- presentations (whether in person or otherwise)
…all of which highlight relevant numbers, percentages, means and other statistics of most use to you to help you maker the right marketing decisions.
There are various ways to gather quant data. Surveys can be administered by trained interviewers either face-to-face or over the telephone. Alternatively they can be completed by respondents either by filling in a paper-based questionnaire, or via an online survey.
What’s the best method? Given how many people are digitally connected each day, online research offers many advantages. But like all research it depends on the audience. What’s best for them, and what will have the most impact in order to gain their participation?
For C-suite executives telephone interviewing may be the best. Yes, their time is limited and getting hold of them can be exhaustive in itself. But it’s very tempting for an executive to simply pass an online survey invite to their personal secretary or someone else to complete. That’s not really the point of the exercise!
Despite the increased use of online customer research, the tangible appeal of an attractively designed paper questionnaire can’t be ignored, such as in affluent consumer markets. Perhaps you’re an upmarket homebuilder or property developer reaching out to new homeowners for their opinions on your products and services. A well designed survey form printed on good quality paper stock accompanied by a persuasive cover letter can go far in generating favourable response rates.
Red Pill are method-neutral: whilst online research can be hard to beat from a purely financial perspective and does generally have a lot going for it, the key consideration always has to be identifying the method that is the most appropriate for those invited to participate. As a Red Pill client you’ll naturally receive impartial advice on what data collection methods will be best for your project.
One final bit of advice. Perish the thought you consider another research agency to help you with your customer insight needs. But if you do and they try shoehorning you into using a particular data collection method that just so happens to be their main specialisation …RUN!