Power Decisions Group has conducted hundreds of professional market surveys, both qualitative and quantitative, using expert market survey research controls to ensure accuracy, relevance and power for corporate or marketing strategy development.
The primary classification groups for market surveys are qualitative and quantitative market surveys. Understanding their distinction is vital to planning a successful marketing research or public opinion study.
Qualitative market research means "quality." It does not mean "quantity." Qualitative research methods are designed to talk to a relatively few people in the target audience of interest. The purpose of qualitative research is to plumb the depths and range of buyer attitudes and beliefs, not to measure incidence, project, or forecast quantity.
Popular qualitative market research methods include focus group studies, depth interviews triads (one interviewer, two respondents, and dyads (one interviewer, one respondent,) and observational techniques such as ethnography and, popular in marketing research, photo-ethnography.
We include qualitative market research methods as "market surveys" because they offer a way to measure the market, again, in terms of depth and range of buyer perceptions and needs rather than quantity. Often market researchers and clients succumb to the temptation to inappropriately impute quantitative implications and projections based on this type of market survey.
The level of professional quality and validity of results in Type 1 market surveys is driven by the design, interviewing experience of the moderator or principal interviewer, and the interpretation of results by the market research consultant or marketing analyst.
Quantitative marketing research designs gauge, describe, and forecast quantity. Using a range ofsampling strategies, quantitative market research studies often project results of quantitative market surveys to the entire marketplace. Popular quantitative market survey methods include online surveys, personal quantitative interviews, mail surveys, and telephone surveys. At Power Decisions Group, we recommend the data collection technique -- phone, face to face interviews, web interviews, traditional mail -- according to the research objective, time requirements, and quality control issues at play.