Quantitative and qualitative hybrid studies greatly amplify the understanding of insights and actionability of the implications.
Hybrid studies can solve a range or research challenges:
- You’re pressed for time and unable to complete large-scale phases on schedule.
- You require an understanding of the emotional or perceptual reactions to different situations and stimuli (i.e. concept tests, messaging tests, ad tests, naming studies, and packaging tests).
- You’re focused on product evolution and innovation and could benefit from having multiple new ideas generated and then quickly tested on a broad scale.
Regardless of the situation, hybrid approaches have the advantage of helping you build consensus to find the next best steps as they balance statistically robust findings with tangible respondent feedback. And they can be accomplished within budget and schedule.
Here are three strategies for applying the hybrid approach:
- Qualitative research first: Understand the language, attitudes, mindsets, thought processes, perspectives, and behaviors of customers, which are then used to inform development of quantitative surveys.
- Quantitative with qualitative follow-ups: Use follow-ups to drill down into the details, insights and data discovered in the quantitative phase, allowing you to uncover the “why”.
- Simultaneous qualitative and quantitative: Uncover new insights and formulate new hypotheses that are then quickly tested on a larger scale; identify respondents who provide interesting quantitative data and follow-up with them to gather qualitative insights; save time and expense by conducting both quantitative and qualitative among the same respondents.
Qualitative and quantitative research can also be combined in unique ways:
- Quantitative surveys can be used as a combination or survey and qualitative screener. With this method, respondents who answer survey questions in a specific manner can be invited to take part in a follow-up qualitative event such as IDI, focus group, or online bulletin board.
- Video qualitative feedback can be captured as part of a Quantative survey. For example, respondents could be asked to record a video in response to questions in the survey.
- Mobile technology can be used to seamlessly integrate qualitative and quantitative research. For instance, quantitative findings can be captured not just through traditional closed-ended questions, but also through photos that respondents submit as responses to questions. Then, IDIs can be scheduled with mobile respondents to ask them for qualitative texture around the behavioral/attitudinal data captured through their photo responses.
- Using specialized tools and software, large-scale qualitative events can generate individual qualitative feedback from a large number of participants which can then be aggregated and synthesized into data that is more quantitatively robust.
Whether you are analyzing quantitative responses alongside the qualitative or using one as a follow-up to the other, applying them in combination offers alternative angles from which to act on the information and/or validate unexpected insights.
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