The Versatile Nature of Mixed Methods
There's a time and place for mixed methods research. The hybrid methodology utilizes qualitative and quantitative methods to answer businesses' most dire questions. For some background, quantitative research is excellent for acquiring number-based insights and generalizable results, while qualitative research allows companies to explore the "why's" "how's" of consumer behavior.
Understanding the research objectives – or the problem to be solved – can tell us whether a mixed-methods approach is the best option for the research. For projects full of unknowns, starting with qualitative methods in an exploratory fashion can help develop quantitative tools for measurement. Other times, conducting quantitative research first and then following with qualitative can help explain or add depth to the significant quantitative findings.
Valuable Outcomes of Mixed Methodology
1. More detailed findings, thanks to a consumer-centric approach
Mixed methodology centers the consumer by using qualitative and quantitative methods that provide a fuller, more complete picture of their experience (e.g., through in-depth interviews and online surveys).
2. Multiple research tools yield more rigorous findings
- Having multiple research tools help generate insights in a meaningful way.
- The more validity, the more confidence businesses have in understanding their customers and knowing where, when, and how to develop/improve products.
3. Clearer direction for businesses to address challenges
- Comprehensive and reliable data helps create a complete story.
- Findings from mixed methodology can help companies to make more informed and evidence-based decisions.
Factors Limiting Businesses from Implementing Mixed Methods
Businesses either quickly make assumptions about their target consumer or don't have internal resources to conduct the research. Either way, they often get it wrong. Companies should never presume anything about their target audience, and they should always seek research vendors if they lack the resources internally. Though at times more demanding, conducting mixed methods research can save businesses from making costly mistakes.
Learn how Whole Mind Market Research™ can help your team learn meaningful insights about your customer's experience with your brand. MDRG will work with you to determine the research design best suited for your business, and our experienced research analysts are here to help.