Quant v. Qual

Knowledge@Wharton has an interesting article on the balance needed between quantitative and qualitative research approaches. The theme of the article can be summed-up by a statement by Peter Fader, marketing professor at Wharton, who says, “Thanks to technology and other innovations we know far more about our customers than we ever did before, but I would contend that we don’t understand more about our customers than we did 40 years ago.”

The article also cites opinions of Americus Reed, marketing professor at Wharton, on the need (and techniques by which) to overcome respondent’s unwillingness to be candid regarding certain topics or their uncertainty of why they do certain things by getting them to “project” what they really think. We previously referenced Professor Reed’s opinions on focus groups in this post.