B2B Marketing Blog

Is qualitative research still applicable?

Feb 27, 2014 3:18:51 AM / by Linda Wu-Dunphy

With online analytics transforming research and competitive intelligence, companies feel pressured to ride the growing trend to ensure they are not falling behind. So does qualitative research still have a place in marketing strategy?

The growth of online analytic tools like Google Analytics has drastically changed how executives think about market research. With the ability to access more data than conceivable just a decade ago, research using qualitative analysis is now taking a backseat to quantitative analytics.

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Is this a problem? Yes, in my experience, it is. Because no matter how much online analytics tools grow, companies will never be able to use just these tools to answer some of their most important questions:

  • How is your company viewed in the industry?
  • Is your brand recognizable by decision makers?
  • Do you need to change your sales process?
  • Are you meeting the needs of your priority customers?

Answering these questions regularly is essential for any company to experience success. They allow you to find your current position in the industry, as well as gain knowledge on a prospective buyer’s needs, feelings, perceptions, and opinions.

Research interviews can help a company determine and gauge their delivery of the customer experience. They can provide the personal experience that is needed from external sources to allow your company to reach the next platform. Below is a list highlighting a few of the positives and negatives of interview research:

Pros and Cons of interview research

With online analytics transforming research and competitive intelligence, companies feel pressured to ride the growing trend to ensure they are not falling behind. And I agree; making full use of tools such as Google Analytics help companies strategically position themselves for success. However, as times change and businesses become more automated, it’s important to remember that not all business problems can be solved by data—especially when there’s a shortage of data or a shortage of time to analyze the data. And both of those situations are very common in B2B environments. An integration of multiple tools leads to much better results—the combination of insight (from qualitative research) and data (from quantitative research). Companies that are able to adopt the new without forgetting the old will be the ones most likely to succeed.

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Topics: Marketing Tactics, Market Research, Competitive Intelligence