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The basics of quantitative and qualitative field research

Published market information and your own data can tell you a lot about your customers and your market - but it's unlikely to tell you everything.

Field research can be quantitative or qualitative:

  • Quantitative research provides statistical information - for example, how many potential customers there are and what their average incomes are.
  • Qualitative research examines people's feelings and attitudes towards your product or service, and what motivates them.

You'll probably need to carry out some of your own quantitative and qualitative field research - talking, observing or carrying out product tests with customers and potential customers. This can help you to:

  • Test customers' reactions to a new product, and adapt it if necessary
  • Investigate attitudes of customers and potential customers
  • Find information specific to your business or a local market, rather than the market as a whole

Planning field research 

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