Mixed-Methods: A Winning Approach to Qualitative Research in Marketing

Louise Principe
Apr 19, 2023

In today’s consumer-centric landscape, more and more businesses are putting their customer’s needs at the heart of their strategies. As such, companies must leverage every tool available to gain a competitive advantage in their market.

Combining market research methods can provide you with comprehensive consumer insights. Aside from using quantitative surveys and qualitative research for marketing, a mixed-methods approach delivers a more nuanced understanding of customer behavior, needs, and preferences – helping you uncover the deeper meaning behind surface-level data.

A Winning Combination

One such methodology that is becoming increasingly popular among researchers is a combination of online communities (MROCs) and webcam discussions.

MROCs, or Market Research Online Communities, are an effective way to establish and maintain consistent contact with respondents throughout short- and long-term studies. With the ability to accommodate respondent pools ranging from as few as 50 people to thousands of participants, MROCs are highly versatile. Additionally, online communities can capture both quantitative and qualitative feedback, making them a valuable tool for gathering a range of data.

While communities are an effective means of maintaining ongoing contact with respondents, there may be situations wherein you may need to delve deeper into a particular topic. A webcam IDI and focus group solution can be an excellent option in such cases.

This allows you to connect MROC respondents directly to a qualitative discussion, helping you gather insights from a specific group of people in a more personalized and detailed way.

Mixed-Methods Benefits

Here’s how mixed qualitative research in marketing can help brands understand the customer journey and improve their business model.

1. Enhance Customer Experience

By engaging with customers through communities and webcam discussions, you can better understand their needs and motivations. This provides valuable insights into pain points and areas of improvement, which can be used to tailor marketing campaigns and messaging to meet customers' needs.

As a result, businesses can increase customer value and reduce churn, ultimately improving customer experience and satisfaction.

Use Case Example

A cosmetics company conducted an MROC and webcam IDIs with their most loyal customers with the goal of improving their buyer journey. In the online community, they identified common concerns such as long delivery times and unresponsive customer service.

To gain more detailed feedback, a series of webcam IDIs were conducted with community members who had experienced these issues. As a result, they were able to shorten delivery times and provide more comprehensive customer service support.

2. Inform Product Development

To increase revenue and profitability, brands must develop products tailored to their customers' motivations and preferences. A mixed-methods approach can help uncover these insights.

Qualitative research for marketing can identify gaps in the market and provide valuable feedback on aspects such as product features and packaging. This information can help inform product development and direction, leading to goods that align with your customer’s needs.

Use Case Example

To better understand their customers' preferences and unmet needs, a pet food company adopted a mixed-methods approach. After gathering feedback from their communities, they discovered that their dry food bags were inconvenient to use and their kibble shape needed an upgrade.

They followed up with multiple focus group sessions to investigate further, leading to changes in their packaging, including a zip lock closure and an improved kibble shape that supports pet dental health and digestion.

3. Determine Brand Perception

In establishing positive brand perception, cultivating trust is crucial. This entails you getting an in-depth understanding of how your target market views a business and how this feedback can be used to enhance marketing efforts.

By conducting qualitative research for marketing, you can collect valuable feedback on brand messaging, positioning, and reputation to help you gauge how customers perceive a company. Businesses can leverage this information to refine their marketing strategy in a way that better resonates with their target audience.

This helps build brand loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive revenue growth.

Use Case Example

To improve brand perception and loyalty, a food company established an MROC and invited recent customers to provide their perceptions of the brand. Through these communities, the company identified that the brand is viewed as high-quality but not environmentally conscious.

To delve deeper, the company conducted webcam IDIs with community members to obtain in-depth feedback on how it can improve its environmental impact. Based on this feedback, the company changed its packaging to be more eco-friendly and implemented a sustainability initiative, leading to increased customer trust.

Leverage Multiple Qualitative Research Tools with Civicom® Marketing Research Services

Civicom® Marketing Research Services is the global leader in providing web-enabled qualitative tools for market research. Our full-service solutions include online IDI and focus group facilitation, mobile research, online communities, respondent recruitment, plus other solutions for your research needs. Get in touch with us to see how we can help you achieve project success.

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