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In the past decade quantitative data has become much more readily available for business decision making, especially in marketing. Our increased capacity to measure, track, and survey our operations …
In the past decade quantitative data has become much more readily available for business decision making, especially in marketing. Our increased capacity to measure, track, and survey our operations and customers has boosted our ability to gain transparency on our businesses. And while the ability of quantitative data to improve decision-making is tremendous, its rise in popularity and prevalence masks one disadvantage; a corresponding decline in use of and appreciation for qualitative research. As we move beyond the age of information and into the age of the customer, as Forrester Research has called it, and as competitive landscapes continue to shift and re-form, the value of qualitative research is actually growing in importance. Qualitative research has the ability to guide, illuminate, augment and explain quantitative data. One of the most powerful tools to understand a B2B environment remains the one-on-one interview with buyers, influencers, stakeholders, and industry experts.
In our practice, across industries and sectors, our clients find that qualitative research provides a level of richness and depth that can yield an unparalleled understanding of their target markets. In a B2B context in particular, where buying decisions are typically complex, qualitative research can provide invaluable insights into decision-making that can’t be captured in a simple survey – not just the ‘what’ of buying behaviour, but the ‘why.’ And, sometimes, quantitative data simply isn’t accessible in a meaningful way in a given industry or specialization, while qualitative data is much easier to obtain.
This White Paper is based on thousands of qualitative interviews we have conducted over more than a decade on behalf of Fortune 500 and small-to-mid-sized B2B companies in a range of industries, as well as professional associations. It will be of interest to anyone who seeks to understand how they can enhance their strategy, customer service, operations and overall business or organizational success by using interviews as a research tool.