Steve Jobs is quoted as saying that “it isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want”.
No one knows more about iPhones and iPads, and how these devices are likely to evolve, than the folks at Cupertino. Brand owners know much more about their brands and about their products than the average consumer.
So why do they research consumers when they know so much?
Besides several other reasons, it is precisely because they know too much that they must learn what ordinary people think, feel, believe and desire.
Clouded by knowledge, marketers perceive their products and brands in a light that differs markedly from how the real consumers perceive them. Moreover, susceptible to selective perception, they need to carefully interpret research findings.
Quantitative research (quant) is widely used in marketing to methodically investigate markets via theoretical models and statistical techniques. As a marketer, you will find the practical, diverse applications of quant useful for formulating strategies and refining the marketing mix of your brand. Applications such as brand image tracking, market segmentation and measurement of brand equity, discussed in earlier chapters are a few among the multitude of examples of quant in practice.
Some of its key characteristics, in comparison to qualitative research (qual), are described in the previous chapter, Qualitative Research, in the section Comparison between Qual and Quant.
This section covers the basic processes and practices in quant, including topics such as problem definition, research design, questionnaire design, information needs, sampling, data collection, online research, and the analysis process. It serves as a guide to the use of quantitative research, and imparts an understanding of how to conduct quant studies.