Market research generally falls into two main types: Quantitative and Qualitative. Each approach is complementary; however they do have quite distinct purposes.

Quantitative market research is a measure of how many people behave, feel or think in a certain way: the ‘What?’, ‘Where?’, ‘When?’, ‘Which?’ and, to some extent, the ‘How?’ questions that brand and business owners face.

This approach uses statistical analysis to determine the results. For instance, if you want to know how many of your customer base would support changes in a product or service, you can use this data to determine whether you have a valid business case for making any changes.

How does quantitative research work?

Question Design is structured with mostly closed questions, i.e. the respondents select their answers from set lists of possible responses, using a range of question types. …


“We talk a lot about market research and also the need for delivering real insights from primary research studies. This article is intended to demonstrate how we move from data to knowledge and ultimately to understanding. And so deliver those all important insights.”

Primary market research should be seen as a process moving through the three main phases. Starting first with data. Next to knowledge. And finally, on to understanding.

In summary, a consumer research project should seek to follow these phases by:

  1. Listening to people, or engaging with them (the Data)
  2. Assimilating the information from that engagement (the Knowledge)


First off, let’s start with some definitions.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as: ‘The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.’

Actually, I prefer a much simpler definition used by a fellow marketer and former colleague, and that is simply that: ‘Marketing is all about changing or reinforcing existing behaviours’. In my book these behaviours may include:

  • Buying something new e.g. a product, service or brand
  • Buying more of something e.g. low calorie or low carb foods
  • Buying less of something e.g. leaded petrol
  • Starting to do something e.g. exercising
  • Stopping doing something…

Paul Latimer

At Latimer Appleby we offer market research expertise hardened in the business world.

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