Archive for the ‘Hybrid Research’ Category

Quant, Qual, and Quant+Qual: Addressing Data Quality

Posted on: August 8th, 2018 by doyle

My good friend and colleague Jim Bryson at 20|20 recently shared his thoughts in a blog post about qualitative research and its value for protecting sample and data quality.  I agree with Jim’s key point, that data fraud is a huge industry problem.  Another concern I have is that despite massive panel sizes the reality is that only a fraction of those panelists are active.  That means we are relying more and more on a smaller and smaller pool of participants for the information on which huge business decisions are based.  It seems to me that the panel industry is ripe for disruption. 

As for qualitative and the role it can play in addressing both issues, there is no question that qualitative recruiting can be more precise, and more accurate, because the smaller numbers required allow for a high-touch recruit. It is much harder to be a “cheater or repeater” when you are “face-to-face” with the recruiter and the researcher.  However, qualitative research is not always the solution our clients are seeking.  And is in no way a 1:1 replacement for a true quantitative study.  Which is why hybrid research is surging in popularity.

The ability to scale qualitative, quickly and efficiently, makes it a viable alternative or supplement to more traditional quantitative research. For example, 30-50 online chat interviews might just meet your need for a small-scale quant study, while still getting you the VOC insights that qualitative provides.  Best of both worlds.

Or, something the Doyle team is doing more of is conducting a full-scale quantitative study supplemented by a small number of qualitative interviews.   Respondents meeting key criteria can be routed to the qualitative exercise immediately after participating in the survey or they can be hand-picked after the fact to amplify specific quantitative findings.

While qualitative and quantitative research serve distinctly different purposes, the increasing capabilities available for blending them produces multiple benefits worth considering.

Uncovering Greater Insights with Combined Approaches

Posted on: May 24th, 2018 by doyle

In our last blog post, we explored how hybrid research allows you to achieve deeper understanding by combining quantitative data with qualitative insights. As a follow up to that, here are a few examples of hybrid research approaches used successfully to provide greater insights for brands.

  • Mix a quantitative survey with a live webcam interview. An international pet care products company  launched an innovative stain and odor cleaning product, yet found that it wasn’t having the impact in the marketplace as anticipated, and initial consumer feedback was negative. The company decided to launch a quantitative survey and route a handful of participants into a live webcam interview with a moderator. During the discussion, they found a misinterpretation of application instructions. The hybrid methodology led to key changes in on-package communication and design, accomplished with just a single day of research.
  • Route key respondents from a quantitative survey into a video response option. When a major hotel chain wanted to understand more about members of its loyalty club and how different rewards motivate them, the solution was direct conversations …with a twist. At the end of a traditional quant survey, respondents recorded short video answers to a handful of open-ended questions. The fact that the brand was able to see video of concerns coming straight from their program members’ mouths validated that the findings needed to be addressed.
  • Combine quant with two layers of qual for a deep dive. A premium credit card issuer became concerned about negative client satisfaction scores following changes to the credit card program benefits. From their monthly satisfaction tracking survey, they engaged 30 of the most dissatisfied card holders and 30 randomly selected users for a follow-up discussion. During this three- day bulletin board, respondents were asked additional questions about themes identified in prior surveys, as well as given the opportunity to provide some responses via webcam. By adding this qualitative approach, the company gathered true “voice-of-the-customer” insight and could dive deeper into the context behind the issues reported in their quantitative survey.


Today, hybrid research simply means blending approaches to uncover deeper context and gain agility in outcomes.  Careful, disciplined and open-minded layering of methods can provide a degree of consumer understanding that goes far beyond what single-method research has been able to yield.  Understanding and applying these actionable insights helps develop the bigger picture – driving business growth and increasing ROI.

Hybrid Research: Combining Quantitative Data with Qualitative Insights to Achieve Greater Understanding

Posted on: April 17th, 2018 by doyle

At Doyle Research, we have noticed an increasing number of requests to conduct hybrid research—a seamless combination of qualitative and quantitative research.  Any survey can now be combined with qualitative feedback via video open-ends embedded into a survey; or via qualitative “pull outs,” where a select number of respondents (based on their survey responses) are asked to participate in follow up qualitative interviews.  The benefits are threefold:

  1. Address the “why” behind survey participants’ responses
  2. Add statistical significance to qualitative findings
  3. Shorten the timeframe, and potentially the budget, for accomplishing both in a single study.

This last point is often the great motivator behind the request. Timeframes and budgets continue to tighten, and there is often just not enough of either to launch two consecutive studies.  In order to capitalize on efficiency and cost savings when designing a hybrid study we have the following recommendations.

Aim for a survey that can also serve as the recruiting tool for the qualitative phase.

In the best case scenario, surveys should be designed so that qualitative respondents can be aotumatically selected for follow-up, triggered by their survey responses, rather than needing to be re-screened for the qualitative phase.  If screening questions pertinent to the qual study can be successfully combined with the meat of the quant survey, efficiencies are achieved.  If, however, they extend the survey significantly, it can increase the cost to the recruit and incentive. 

Plan for a robust over-recruit. 

In most cases, quantitative databases are not built in the same way as qualitative databases, and respondents used to participating in brief quant surveys may not be primed to offer the rich insights needed for qualitative research.  A great moderator can address some of this discrepancy, but we also recommend a robust over-recruit when transitioning from quant to qual.

Meet respondents where they’re most comfortable.

Think about your survey participants.   Will they be most comfortable transitioning to a qualitative interview with a text-based online platform, a telephone call, or a live streaming video interview?   Select the method most likely to encourage participation. Partnering with vendors who have experience with conducting hybrid research can help ease the transition from quant to qual, and increase the completion rate.  

There are many benefits to adding a qual component to a quant study and more tools than ever to help accomplish a hybrid approach. Being able to transition respondents directly from quant to qual helps our clients immediately explore the “why” behind survey data; and, if structured properly, can shorten the timeframe for getting research done.