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Want More Powerful Insights? Try Mixed-Methodology Research

  • July 12, 2023

Do market researchers want more powerful insights about their customers? Of course! That’s the entire point; no one wants to spend thousands of dollars to return mediocre information about consumer actions and desires. 

But if you’re not using mixed-methodology research, you may be passing up the opportunity to discover truly impactful insights. 

The Goal of Market Research: Powerful Insights 

First, let’s be clear about what we’re aiming for. When we talk about unlocking powerful insights through research, we’re talking about gaining an accurate, in-depth understanding of what your customers—not “average” or “typical” people, but your unique consumer base—want and need from your products. 

You need actionable, valid, reliable, and meaningful data so you can continuously improve your products to better meet your customers’ needs and continuously improve the way you market those products. 

That’s where mixed-methodology research comes in.   

The Approach: Mixed-Methodology Research Studies 

In mixed-methodology research, you don’t have to choose between individual research options. You’re not limited to one dish; you’re ordering the whole menu.  

That means you’ll use quantitative approaches like surveys and qualitative research methods such as in-depth interviews (IDIs), focus groups, and video or real-time feedback from a mobile qualitative platform. You can also run in-home usage tests, or IHUTs, to gather a wide range of data and insights. 

Quantitative research tells you with great precision what a large number of consumers do, but it can leave you asking “Why are they doing that?” On the other hand, qualitative research tells you why people are acting in a certain way, but it leaves you asking “Does everyone do this for specific reasons, or is it just this person?” 

When you combine multiple methods, you get the whole story. Not just the numbers, and not just the feelings, but the full context of how people behave and what motivates that behavior.   

If you already use both quantitative and qualitative research methods in your market research, great! But there’s more to mixed-methodology research: it intentionally combines those approaches into a single study design. Instead of iteratively asking questions in follow-up studies, you’ll plan from the outset to conduct different types of data collection, giving you the details and nuances you’ll need to paint a holistic picture of consumer behavior and the motivations behind it.  

One word of caution, though: mixed-methodology research won’t automatically unlock powerful insights. There’s one big mistake companies make that hamstrings their market research. 

The Risk: Garbage In, Garbage Out 

If your research is flawed, you aren’t going to learn valuable, actionable lessons from it—no matter what methods you use or how much research you do. 

If your studies are biased, you’ll collect results that reflect that bias. If your questions are leading or closed-ended, you’ll hear your own words echoed back to you rather than hearing what your subjects have to say. If your participant group isn’t representative of your consumer base—or if it’s insufficiently diverse—you might cobble together an interesting story, but it won’t be a helpful story because it won’t be about your target consumers and their experiences.  

On the other hand, quality in leads to quality out. That’s why you need to ensure that whether you’re leveraging qualitative research approaches, quantitative studies, or a combination of both at once, your research partners are matching your level. Only if they contribute high-quality work will you unlock the meaningful insights that can help you design better products and create more compelling advertising and marketing campaigns.  

QualSights offers unmatched tools that you can use to paint a complete, accurate, and reliable picture of your customers’ experience. Our smart connected devices passively collect in-home usage data with remarkable accuracy and precision, giving you the quantitative data you need to understand when, where, and how people are using your products. And our easy-to-use mobile qualitative platform lets you hear—in their own words—what consumers are thinking and feeling while they’re shopping for products and using them in their own homes. 

Ready to learn more? Contact QualSights today for a demonstration.  


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