Hybrid Research How-To’s
As with any market research project, project objectives should drive your choice of methodologies. However, researchers often have multiple goals requiring different qualitative or quantitative methods. Perhaps you have a range of target audiences best reached through various media outlets, or you are looking for individual and group feedback. In cases like these, a hybrid research approach can optimize your research.
Broadly speaking, objectives about attitudes, product usage, prioritizing concepts or claims, prioritizing features for a product, evaluating prices, potential line optimizations, and competitive analysis call for quantitative research. Qualitative objectives are more likely to be found in exploratory research, refining concepts or claims, refining messaging/creative, and defining the customer experience.
Once we define the objectives and determine the methodologies, we can specify the order of the research or type of execution. In other words, should both phases be executed together or one before the other? There is no hard and fast rule about this. Again, the information you seek should determine how you apply the methodologies.
Consistency is critical in hybrid research to apply findings across the different research phases. Because the methodologies are different, researchers must carefully plan the characteristics of the qualified respondents, the specific questions to be asked in each stage, and how they will tie together. Whenever possible, conduct both qualitative and quantitative phases with the same research vendor, as the operationalization of the methods and interpretation of the results can vary and impact results
The Future of Hybrid Research
Hybrid research is widely used and will continue growing as researchers find value in the added emotion and insight they garner from hybrid approaches. Beyond hybrid’s clearly valuable ability to add greater insight to a study, another key factor in its anticipated growth is related to the fact that it is both time and cost-efficient. Indeed, some researchers believe that hybrid research will be so ubiquitous that the term “hybrid” will disappear in the future. What we now think of as an innovative approach will become used so widely that there will be no need for the label hybrid.
The greatest strength of the hybrid approach is that it allows researchers to garner deeper and more comprehensive insight and hear the consumers in a way that no existing single-mode research approach offers. With the added attraction of more efficient time and resource use, the argument for using hybrid research becomes even stronger.
Contact OvationMR about your next hybrid research project!