Quantitative Research


WHAT IS QUANTITATIVE MARKET RESEARCH?


Most clients have some idea already, but to clarify here is a classic dictionary definition:
“The use of numerical analysis techniques to provide information useful to those involved in promoting products or services. Many business applications of quantitative marketing research involve surveying customers. The information thus obtained can be used by marketing staff to assess consumer needs and formulate more effective product marketing strategies.” - Business Dictionary

Here at Ruby Cha Cha we believe quantitative research isn’t quite as cut and dry as Business Dictionary suggests. Asking around our office, a few initial associations are with the basic building blocks of a quant project: surveys / questionnaires, robustness, representative samples, data, number crunching, significance testing etc.

But when digging a bit deeper, the themes of what quant at Ruby Cha Cha represents comes through.

  • “It’s the consumer story in the numbers.”
  • “It’s the ability to paint with numbers.”
  • “It’s the measurement of consumer truths.”
  • “Through ‘Big Data’, it’s the ability to link actual behaviours to what people think and feel.”

The last quote brings us to an interesting point about how quant market research is evolving. We’re living in a time where businesses are able to understand people using multiple data sets and therefore the definition of what is included in quant market research is changing.

It’s not just about survey data now, but how survey data helps to compliment other data sets and vice versa. Part of what we enjoy doing at Ruby Cha Cha is using these different data sets so we can quantitatively understand the ‘multiple consumer truths’ that are out there.

We can use different data capture techniques to map people’s mindsets at different times in the purchase journey.

  • Surveys are great for understanding people’s typical behaviours and attitudes.
  • Mobile diaries are best for recent behaviours.
  • Passive tracking is so powerful in understanding minute-by-minute actual behaviours.

Data quality is essential for us to be able to tell the story of the consumer and answer the business question. But in this day and age of shorter attention spans and more time pressures it’s important that we be creative in our use of survey design to get to this quality data. Gone are the days where we can expect respondents to fill in a 30-minute (or longer!) survey. As researchers, we have to ‘unlearn’ the way we’ve been asking the typical market research survey questions since the 1950s.

To help develop updated ways of asking survey questions, we can turn to behavioural economics.

We know that emotional reactions are intrinsically linked to how we make purchase decisions and form opinions. For us to be able to uncover on a quantitative scale how people are really connecting to a stimulus (or not) and how people are likely to act in the real world is very powerful.

Using the basis of behavioral economics in our survey questioning we can bypass the rational System 2 responses (thinking rather than feeling) to really know how people feel about brands. We need to be creative in our use of quant to get to the heart of the matter.

Traditionally, quantitative research has been more geared to accessing System 2 thinking, rather than System 1 feeling:

  • It doesn’t allow us to pick up non-verbal cues.
  • It relies heavily on words and numbers rather than visual stimuli.
  • Self-reporting, by its nature, takes people straight to System 2 by asking them to rationalise often non-rational thought processes.
  • Questionnaires can be long and tedious, dulling instinctive thinking.

Here at Ruby Cha Cha, we have a number of quantitative research techniques which allow us to better access System 1:

  • Use of images, not just text, as stimulus for question responses, including:
    • Ruby Facial Expression cards.
    • Provocation boards.
    • Shorter surveys, faster response times – tapping into thinking fast, not slow.
  • Incorporate observation – facial imaging using webcams.
  • Collect physiological responses – e.g. skin conductance, eye tracking, neural responses.

These are all ready to use right now, cost-effectively.

  • Ruby Facial Expression cards can be integrated into standard surveys, at no extra cost.
  • ‘Think fast, not slow’ style questions can be incorporated in surveys via an automatic timer.
  • Via our relationship with Realeyes, we can incorporate facial imaging technology within any online survey at minimal extra cost.
  • We have a relationship with a pioneer in the marketing application of wearable technology.

All of which can be applied to (among other things):

  • Ad Testing
  • NPD
  • Customer satisfaction and journeys.
With more and more data at our fingertips, increasingly our challenge is to be able to cut through the noise and distill these numbers down to the core of what’s happening. Our aim is to make quantitative research more qualitative, while still robust. And make numberless quantitative presentations. That’s the ultimate distillation of a quantitative research project. Numbers are powerful, and it’s what they represent that’s meaningful.

Get in touch with Ruby Cha Cha

Get in touch with Ruby Cha Cha