WISC conducts qualitative research studies for inventors, new product developers, and business-to-business companies nationwide.
What does "qualitative research" mean?
Qualitative research is based on opinions, attitudes, beliefs and intentions. This kind of research deals with questions such as "Why?" "Would?", or "How?"
It aims to understand why customers behave in a certain way or how they may respond to a new product. Given that these opinions are often obtained from small numbers of people, the findings are not necessarily statistically valid. However, such data can provide valuable insights for marketing content and decisions surrounding new product development and market expansion. It also highlights potential issues which can be explored in greater detail through further research.
Focus groups and interviews are common methods used to collect qualitative data. WISC relies on interviews conducted by phone or online. This kind of data is often revealing and useful, but it is costly and time-consuming to collect, particularly for a small business. That's why WISC student researchers provide a much-needed service to small businesses in United States and beyond.
In contrast, quantitative research is research based on larger samples and is, therefore, more statistically valid. Quantitative research is concerned with data and addresses question such as "How many?", "How often?", "Who?", "When?" and "Where?" The results of quantitative research will generally be numerical form – for example:
35% of customers rate the new product as "attractive"
70% of potential customers use the Internet to buy their hotel accommodation in Dorset
3 out of 5 customers will buy a new food product after being offered a free in-store sample
The main methods of obtaining quantitative data are the various forms of surveys – i.e. telephone, postal, face-to-face and online that gather a minimum of 30 response, often more.
WISC methods are designed to provide qualitative results. Companies seeking quantitative research will want to look for an alternative market research provider.