Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research Methods

Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research Methods

Did you know, when it comes to talking about business and technology, there are broadly two ways of conducting research, quantitative and qualitative market research? 

You must be wondering, these sound like economic terms. So, what major role do they play when it comes to business prospects? 

Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Market Research

Well, to clear up all your doubts, we have gathered thorough information presented in this blog to help you distinguish the key differences between the two types of marketing research methods.

Are you ready to explore? Let’s go!

What is Qualitative Market Research?

Qualitative research is used to have a deep understanding of human behavior, attitude, intention, experience, and more. 

This is solely based on the observation and interpretation of people. This method is generally carried out by performing interviews and having open-ended questions or observations which can easily be described in words.

Read More About Qualitative Market Research: Methods, Examples, and Importance

What is Quantitative Market Research?

Quantitative research method generally relies on methods that are associated with natural sciences that have an innate tendency to develop hard facts with numerical data. 

This method helps to establish the cause-and-effect relationship between different variables with the use of different statistical yet computational methods. 

If you wish to establish a generalized fact for a particular topic, then this is the most appropriate method for your use. 

Also Exploring Quantitative Market Research: Methods, Examples, Types, and Importance

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research

Although it’s a never-ending debate to decide which research is better than the other but to make the process easier for you to choose amongst one, here were are going to shed light on the key differences between the two!

  • The qualitative method is used to develop a better understanding of human and social sciences by knowing their personalities better, while on the other hand, quantitative research methods are used to generate numerical data with the help of logistic and statistical techniques. 
  • Qualitative research is considered to be highly holistic in nature while quantitative research is categorized more as particularistic. 
  • Generally, quantitative research is said to be the opposite of qualitative research as it is conclusive while qualitative research is regarded to be exploratory itself.
  • Qualitative research follows a subjective approach. Herein, the researcher is involved intimately while if we look at quantitative research, we can examine the research as often objectively as here, the researcher is barely involved and attempts to precise the observation and the analysis of the topic in order to answer to the inquiry, if any.
  • Generally, only verbal data is collected in qualitative research and measurable data is collected only within the quantitative research method.
  • Quantitative research is said to be reliable over random sampling. In simple terms, a large representative sample is chosen here which helps to extrapolate results over the entire population. On the other hand, qualitative research relies more on purposive sampling where only a small-sized sample is collected with a view and a thorough understanding of the target concept therein.
  • Elements that are used in the analysis of qualitative research are mostly via pictures, objects, and words while on the other hand, quantitative research offers numerical data only.
  • Qualitative research is generally conducted with the aim of exploring and discovering new ideas which are used within an ongoing process. On the other hand, quantitative research is levied over the purpose of examining the cause and effect between variables, as mentioned above.
  • Methods that are used within the qualitative research method are in-depth interviews with focus groups. In contrast with the same, methods of conducting quantitative research involve observations along with structured interviews. 
  • The qualitative research method helps to develop an initial understanding of the concept while the quantitative method recommends having a final course of action therein.
  • Inquiry in qualitative research is generally process-oriented which is exactly the opposite when it comes to the case of quantitative research method. 
  • The qualitative method requires only a few respondents while the quantitative method usually asks for many respondents.

Here are some of the frequently asked questions (FAQs) helping you get a clear idea about quantitative and qualitative marketing research methods

Give examples of quantitative and qualitative data

There can be numerous examples of quantitative and qualitative data but to mention a few are:

Quantitative data:

  • Measuring the height of a student in class
  • The number of cars sold by a dealer in one month
  • The temperature which is analyzed in Celsius

Qualitative data:

  • The color of cars which are parked in a parking lot (White, silver, black)
  • Opinion of customers rating a product (Poor/average/excellent)
  • Different types of animals in the zoo

What are the characteristics of a quantitative research method?

Some of the most common characteristics of quantitative research is that it relies on structured data which collects methods such as surveys, generates numerical data, or the collection of various experiments. This will further help to emphasize statistical analysis with an aim to measure the quantified phenomenon and other ongoing trends. 

When is quantitative research used?

A quantitative research method is considered to be suitable when you are willing to measure, quantify or test the hypotheses for different variables and their relationships. This is regarded to be extremely valuable for generating statistical evidence and making predictions therein. 

Can qualitative and quantitative methods, both be used in all kinds of study fields?

Yes, both research methods whether it be qualitative or quantitative, can easily be used in various fields of study including natural sciences, social sciences, healthcare, education, business aspects, and more. The choice between the two depends on your research questions and the phenomenon which is being studied.

Which method is said to be more objective: Quantitative vs Qualitative market research?

According to surveys, the quantitative research method is considered to be more objective. This is so because it has more reliability over its numerical and statistical analysis. Moreover, the quantitative method aims to minimize the researched bias, while on the other hand qualitative research intends to acknowledge the influence of a researcher and its subjectivity which focuses on understanding subjective experiences more.

This is the reason why the quantitative method is said to be more useful and objective as compared to the other. 


If you are willing to hop onto having an ideal research method, then you must understand that an ideal research is considered only when both methods are used together.

Although qualitative market research intends to be more interpretative, the quantitative method relies more on the concrete level.

We hope the above-mentioned differences between qualitative and quantitative market research are of utmost use to you and you can choose to have an appropriate method that may suit the best to your needs therein. 

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