When to Use QUALitative VS QUANTitative Research

To better understand your market/product/stance, start broadly with qualitative research, then refine with quantitative research.


Start with Qualitative research to ask “who, what and how” questions: What are the problems? Who has them? In what context? How are they currently resolved? What is the buying process/experience? What might be better? Etc.

  • Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Win/Loss feedback
  • Site visits/ shadowing
  • Shopping studies

Follow with Quantitative research to answer “how many” questions: How many prospects have each particular problem? How are they segmented? How often does the problem occur? How much is spent/ how much would a solution be worth? How much market share? Etc.

  • Surveys
  • Purchase data
  • Usage data

Qualitative research teaches you what you don’t know and establishes the issues in play.

Quantitative research refines that learning and provides the data needed to make decisions.

Bill Haines