By Steve August, Chief Innovation Officer at FocusVision

For decades, quantitative and qualitative research has been conducted in silos, leading brands to try to make sense of multiple data streams. Based on recent trends, the future of market research looks like a more blended use of research methods than ever before.

According to the 18th edition of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, 68% of researchers surveyed used both methods in 2015. What does this mean for the future of the market research industry? The days of divided research methods are numbered.

Every research question has two sides: the quantitative or macro side and the qualitative human story. Each side is critical for decision-making. And yet, quantitative and qualitative research rarely work together seamlessly in the market research industry.

In 2015, FocusVision sought to solve this problem by humanizing quant data and validating qual in an integrated way, using an end-to-end methodology that employs survey outreach combined with rich data collected through video open ends. This approach allows businesses to connect a simple survey response with a story on a more emotional level, leading to more rich, complete business insights.

The concept of this product was brought to life through a study on decision-making in the modern family. It was apparent that capturing the interplay of today’s family would require a novel approach to research, as a complex web of interaction takes place between parent and child when making purchase decisions. To truly understand recent family decision trends requires listening to both children and parents, and humanizing quantitative information and validating qualitative understanding. From this study, which was recently cited in the Wall Street Journal, FocusVision’s Q+Q Research Solutions were born.

Traditionally, online surveys have employed open-end text questions to provide some context on answers to closed-ended quantitative questions. FocusVision decided that with the ubiquitous nature of video in today’s landscape, respondents were not only comfortable with this form of communication, but they actually prefer it.

Thus, the video open end was employed as an integrated part of one Q+Q Research Solution in order to garner rich, actionable data. The cost savings for the customer is great: one study is conducted that integrates both quant and qual research, providing one seamless report.

With consumers steadily gaining power of influence (e.g. review sites, social platforms), researchers need this new way of thinking to capture their feedback in a way that resonates and advises business decisions, ultimately resulting in brand loyalty and success.

This combined platform innovation has the potential to change the way the entire industry approaches market research. Teams across the globe are finding ways to join the Quant+Qual revolution and combining methodologies in different ways for new research insights and outcomes.

The future of market research is bright – and with a combined marketing approach, the possibilities are endless.

Steve August, Chief Innovation Officer at FocusVision