We’ve been hearing a lot about the “new” mixed-method or hybrid market research techniques called “Quant/Qual” of late. Truth is, if you’ve been around marketing research for any length of time, you know that we’ve been doing “quant/qual” or “qual/quant” for decades.
What’s different – and noteworthy – is the way technology is being leveraged. Two companies come to mind, yet I’m sure there are others:
iModerate – Fields a larger quant study and then pulls off certain participants to have a one-on-one follow up with a professional moderator. As their site says: Research>iMpact provides a hybrid approach in which online qualitative sessions are incorporated into virtually any online survey, giving you qualitative insight that enhances and clarifies the quantitative data.
Invoke Solutions – Seemingly more quantitative in orientation, Invoke is leveraging their technology to obtain richer and deeper open-ended responses. They say that it’s like a focus group experience, but I’m going to need to learn more before I’m convinced. Having said that, I’ve seen enough that I’m intrigued and I want to learn more. The client-interface portion looks very powerful.
But are either of these “new”? I started this topic thinking, “No, they’re not really new at all. Just a new twist on an old approach.”
But the more I think about this, the more I believe these might be new approaches. The dividing line for me lies in the definition of “qualitative research.”
- Qualitative research explores.
- Great open-ended responses in quantitative research explains.
For now, I’m going to continue to think of these newer approaches in these ways – and make client recommendations accordingly. And, as always, I’ll continue to seek out more info. If you’ve got something to share on this subject, please do!