What is the best type of Marketing Research? Many market researchers have their favorite research approaches or techniques, although different researchers often have different preferences. Some researchers maintain that the only way to really learn about consumers or brands is through in- depth, qualitative research. Others contend that the only legitimate and defensible form of marketing research uses quantitative measures. Take a position: Marketing research should be quantitative versus marketing research should be qualitative.
Position taken: Marketing research should be qualitative. People are complex in their buying habits and purchase decision-making. Consumers, do not always have the capacity to voice, or understand how they decide to purchase a particular product or service. As a result, good marketing research should delve into the consumers’ “purchase decision trees” to understand hidden motivations and influences. Good qualitative research may undercover hidden purchase agendas, hidden uses for the product, or hidden opportunities for new, yet undeveloped products.
Because of the freedom afforded to both researchers in their robes and consumers in their responses, qualitative research can often be a useful step in exploring consumers’ brand and product perceptions. The drawbacks of quantitative research, which include selection bias, response bias, and non-response, will always allow this type of research to be criticized for such shortcomings and their results discounted. Qualitative research, although having its own sets of disclaimers, closely describes the actions of consumers-?that is what marketing is all about in the first place-?to get someone to purchase something.