If you ask someone to measure revenue, they’ll do so in dollar amounts. If you ask them to weigh inventory, they’ll give you a figure in pounds or kilograms. Asking them to go the distance will give you a set number of miles, and asking how many weeks are in a year will always give you the answer “52.”
All of these are quantitative answers backed by numerical data. Luckily, quantitative research doesn’t stop with simple metrics – it’s an effective tool to help businesses make data-driven marketing and sales choices.
Read on to learn why.
What Is Quantitative Research?
Quantitative research deals with numbers and objective data. Researchers collect numerical information about their subject matter and assess it to find trends, patterns, and averages. This gives them objective real-time information about market trends, company patterns, and more.
When a person collects this information and analyzes the figures given, they can draw data-backed conclusions from their research. These conclusions will be simple and truthful. They will not have any correlated value judgments.
Quantitative research is the opposite of qualitative research. It does not concern itself with non-numerical data like text or audio files. It also does not have any subjective analysis or personal bias, though the person assessing the numbers may use their conclusions to make subjective decisions.
Types of Quantitative Research
There are three core types of quantitative research.
Descriptive research is the most basic. When conducting it, you simply find a summary of the variables you’re studying and list them out.
Correlational research lets you look into relationships between multiple variables. So, you conduct descriptive research on multiple variables and then juxtapose them. This enables you to see whether the variables have a positive relationship (rise and fall in unison), a negative relationship (rise and fall opposite one another), or no correlation at all.
Experimental research takes correlational research a step further. It systematically looks into whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between multiple variables. Though correlation is necessary for causation, a correlated relationship doesn’t always mean there’s a cause-and-effect dynamic between the variables.
Experimental researchers go the extra mile by looking into operational definitions, transferring abstract concepts like mood and emotion into quantifiable measures like self-ratings, and more.
Descriptive research isn’t useful on its own unless you plan to study it greatly. Correlational and experimental research are useful, though, and they rely on descriptive research as a first step.
You can use correlational or experimental quantitative data to test predictions with statistics.
Conducting Quantitative Research: A Quick Guide
Working with a marketing expert is the #1 way that you can gather good quantitative research. While it may sound like a straightforward process, you’ll struggle to gather data without expert tools and knowledge.
Our database has several useful applications that scour large populations of high-quality, advanced, and accurate datasets. You couldn’t collect, organize, and evaluate such a high quantity of numbers manually.
Experts also have the experience needed to assess the quantitative data they gather. They will be able to conduct correlational and experimental research accurately rather than just giving you descriptive lists.
Before getting started, though, the first step toward getting quantitative market research is to define your research problem.
This means deciding what your goals are when looking into figures and statistics. You’ll need to know what specific questions you’re looking to answer and precisely what information will give you insight into those questions.
For example, if you want to find your top-performing marketing channel, your research problem may be “quantifying multiple pay-per-click channels to see which have the highest engagement.” Relevant numerical research may include social media click-through rates, how many people click on different PPC ad images, and what channels drive the most conversions through PPC.
Develop a Plan for Quantitative Research
Once you define your research goals, you can use them as a framework for the rest of the quantitative research process.
These objectives will inform the concrete research plan that you come up with. You’ll talk to professionals about what this plan might entail.
The first step of a research plan is to figure out your target audience. Are you gathering metrics for your own personal knowledge, or are you collecting them so your sales team knows where to better tailor their efforts? Will you show the gathered data to your supervisors or consumers?
Answering these questions will help you create a plan illustrating what the audience needs to know. At this point, you’ll decide on what methods are needed to conduct the research. Then, you’ll design the instrument you’ll use to gather data.
This plan needs to be comprehensive. It should showcase the method you’re using to collect data, what sample size you’re looking into, and what channels you’re observing. It also needs to be clear about how you plan to analyze the gathered figures.
Collect Your Data
After creating a plan, it’s time to begin collecting data.
Suppose again that you’re trying to assess what PPC channels work best. Your plan likely will say that your target audience is a marketing team and corporate higher-ups who want to see the data.
It also will tell you that you plan to assess online data from social media channels (such as Facebook and TikTok) as well as SEM advertisements.
Finally, the plan will tell you that you plan to gather data with applications such as Fluix or Fulcrum. It will note that you’ll professionally assess it with correlative research methods.
All this step entails is enacting your plan! Run the pre-determined applications and gather the numerical data you set out to obtain.
Analyze and Assess
Once you have the numbers, it’s time to analyze and assess the data. This is a step that greatly requires professional assistance because they have a trained eye.
They also know how to convert numbers into an easy-to-read, easy-to-interpret format. Pie charts, line graphs, and other visual data representations make analysis easy.
However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Looking at visual data is a tool that lets you use statistical assessment tactics more easily.
You’ll find the mean, mode, median, and standard deviation of data. The goal here is to find trends and patterns in the information. These patterns can help you make data driven decisions about your business and future marketing plans.
Draw Informed Conclusions
Finally, you and 46 Mile’s professionals will work together to draw conclusions from the data. These conclusions need to be 100% informed by the numbers. You can’t use outside thinking or emotions to drive your conclusions, though you can use quantitative research as evidence for future qualitative analyses.
The goal of these conclusions is to give insights to the pre-determined target audience. You can then use them to determine future SEO strategies, PPC ad campaigns, outreach methods, product lines, and sales methodologies.
What Are the Benefits of Gathering Quantitative Data?
The main value of quantitative research is that it’s extremely objective. There’s no bias or subjectivity in the findings, which means that you can make the most informed decisions from real, no-frills data. Objectivity also makes the data easier to reproduce later so other researchers can verify and confirm your results.
Quantitative data is also easier to compare with other numerical information. If your business gathers statistics and takes data-backed action one quarter, you can undergo the same methods again next quarter to see if objective metrics improved. This will show you the real value of your marketing strategies and give you insight into what works vs what doesn’t.
The numbers don’t lie, and you can use them to create media, build ad campaigns, and stand out against the competition with market analysis.
Quantitive data-gathering methods are quick and thorough. They scour hundreds of thousands of clicks, websites, and internet users to get information from a huge sample size. This makes quantitative values reliable and accurate.
Because of the generalized nature of statistical findings, researchers can make observations and assumptions about broad populations. This is useful when conducting research about your target market’s consumer behaviors, buyer psychology, and sociology. You’ll be able to better tailor your efforts to large numbers of people.
Informing Qualitative Research
While quantitative research is a valuable tool on its own, it also can inform qualitative assessments of buyers and businesses. You can combine the tools to draw subjective conclusions based on concrete evidence. This will give you a clear course of action for how to proceed in the future.
You’ll be able to think critically about the figures, ask others why they think they look the way they do, and create forms for consumers to fill out. This will give you qualitative data in a data-backed way so that you can get the most accurate information possible.
Harness the Power of Data Driven Decisions
Now that you know the basics of quantitative research and how to harness it, it’s time to begin benefitting from real-time analysis and professional marketing assistance. Our experts are excited to help you gather market data and apply it to your next advertising campaign.
We’re committed to helping you stand out above the competition with top-notch market analysis strategies and professional tool integration. Contact 46 Mile today to take your organization to the next level.