At Latimer Appleby, we use what we call our ‘method neutral’ approach for all our market research projects. This means in simple terms that we use the most appropriate, cost-effective method for each project. This is because no two research projects are ever exactly the same. By working with our clients and using our own 8-stage process we determine whether the market research brief calls for Qualitative research or Quantitative research and within each broad method we choose the optimal type of research methodology.
Some market research projects may of course call for a combination of both quantitative and qualitative research, and often it is this combined approach that delivers the most complete insight into the particular business problem at hand.
Qualitative market research, seeks to explore the ‘Whys?’ that typically are manifested in the various behaviours we can measure through quantitative market research.
Quantitative market research is really about answering the ‘What?’, ‘Where?’, ‘When?’, ‘Which?’ and, to some extent, the ‘How?’ questions that brand and business owners face.
At Latimer Appleby we have a wealth of experience gained from both the client side and the agency side in understanding what works best to meet the different needs of our clients.
We have a field force comprising Researchers, Focus Group Recruiters and Supervisors. Within our field force we are able to segment by age, gender and skill set, including those with specific research skills. As we do not sub-contract our fieldwork, we are able to rigorously control quality standards.
Our field force is managed directly in conjunction with a team of professional Market Research Society (MRS) recognised Supervisors who are field-based and who work directly for Latimer Appleby to co-ordinate and oversee our fieldwork on a project-by-project basis. We are able to provide full coverage of the UK and Ireland.
How do I know what sort of research I need for my business?
Much depends on what you are trying to find out from market research. We work with our clients first to develop a brief and from this we determine the best way to proceed. That could be qualitative research or quantitative research or a combination of both.
What should I do first quantitative or qualitative research?
There is no set way to proceed. Sometimes qualitative research can be used first to uncover the key topics amongst your target audience. This then could be followed up with a quantitative study which puts specific measures on those issues arising from the qualitative phase. In another case we may conduct a piece of quantitative research first but, out of that, there may be topics arising that we had not expected to find. In this instance we may need to conduct focus groups, or similar qualitative research. Qualitative research here would be designed to dig deeper into the survey findings.
Which is the most cost effective quantitative or qualitative research?
It is possible to do some research at relatively low cost. In some cases, we work with our clients to determine if there are parts of the research project they can do themselves. Research doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is all relative. It may be worthwhile using 10% of your total development budget to conduct market research to ensure that the remaining 90% is being well spent. Again, ultimately it is about determining what you want from your research. Low cost quantitative research is very expensive if it fails to answer the brief and likewise focus groups can seem very expensive if you’ve not really thought about why you conducted qualitative research to start with.
When I decided we wanted to carry out some market research to better understand our customers, and their perception of Princes Mead Shopping Centre, we wanted a company that understood the shopping centre industry. It became obvious from the very first meeting we had with Latimer Appleby, they knew the industry and understood a shopping centre in a wider context. From day one Latimer Appleby provided a thoroughly professional service, that surpassed my expectations. The results from the research reaffirmed some information, but also gave us a better understanding of a lot more. We are now looking to carry out more research in probably two years time, to see how perceptions have changed and have we provided what our customers were looking for.
David Pickett, Centre Director | Princes Mead Shopping Centre