Qualitative and quantitative research are best together. Like two sides of the same coin, understanding both what is happening and the underlying reasons why means that business decision makers can make choices that are informed. In this video, Charlotte Evans talks through the ways in which the two methods can be mixed using online tools to achieve better results.
New Product Development: A Timeline
Throughout the video, the example of new product development is used as the lens through which we can see the effects that blending multiple research methods has on the outcome of the project. Charlotte discusses the stages that range from innovation to development and through to commercialisation.
However, new product development projects are not the only undertakings that can benefit from combined qual and quant methodologies. We encourage our clients to experiment and find new ways of bringing research tools together across a variety of projects. From long term communities to ad testing, employee feedback programs to voice of customer initiatives – most research can benefit from a mixed methodology.
Let’s dive deeper into the NPD example. Focusing on the early stages of your innovation process, idea generation can influence your choice of product development. At this stage, qualitative research, such as question boards and forum discussions, can help you to determine which ideas will or will not work. This is because question boards provide a great exploratory space for you to identify your customers’ unmet needs and the potential products that they are keen to buy.
Once you have captured this insight and you have begun developing new product ideas, a survey is a great tool for screening these amongst your customers. This can help you to capture quantitative feedback that will signal the products that might perform well in the market. Online surveys are always a popular choice because they can be distributed to a mass sample enabling the results to be statistically valid.
Next, at the experimentation stage, the use of tools such as online diary studies can help you to understand your customers’ experiences of using your newly developed product. Diary studies offer the flexibility for you to use questions, such as scales, as well as a journal element for your customers to share their experiences over a period of time. This will provide you with both quantitative and qualitative feedback and is an excellent way of tracking your customers’ product usage across a number of days, weeks or months.
When it comes to commercializing your product, testing your product’s packaging is a key element that will support your product’s success. This can be done via a Smartboard as this will enable you to gain sentiment feedback that will visually show what your customers like and dislike about it. The verbatim feedback from this can provide valuable insight that can support you when implementing final changes to your packaging’s design.
Once your newly developed product has launched, you can continue to track your customers’ feedback about your brand and product. Multiple tools can support you doing this including tracker surveys and social media listening. Remember, it’s just as important to continue to capture feedback about your new product once it’s in the market as it is during the early stages of its development. This will allow you to continually respond to your customers’ preferences as well as any changing needs.
Online Research Hints & Tips
The Online Research Hints and Tips series is designed to provide quick, easy-to-digest and actionable advice to help you make the most out of online qualitative and quantitative efforts. Tackling topics that range from participant communication to database management, getting the most out of focus groups to engagement strategies - we're aiming to make the world of online research easier for everyone to understand.