Are Qual & Quant #BFF? By Amanda

Gone are the days of qualitative and quantitative being pitted as enemies.  We’ve long thought of them as good friends. Best friends might be too much of a stretch though because as the research tool landscape expands that would imply they couldn’t also be compatible with the likes of big data, customer databases and media ethnology.  So good friends it is.  

Anyone who knows us here at Syren will appreciate our passion for both qual and quant.  True there are many agencies who offer both but we have that rare breed of researcher who can actually deliver both.  This means we approach each brief & project with an open mind and genuinely use each where it best placed for the specific set of client and consumer issues we are seeking to address and understand.

This might sound simple but it does require you to adopt a completely open mind and go with the flow; you never know which method will produce that killer insight or best shine a light on an issue not yet anticipated. It might be a bartender talking about his passion for a particular serve or ingredient, a consumer who breaks down on camera delivering a truly raw experience of a need we need to land or one number in an opportunity grid that clearly demonstrates a brand is not engaging the hearts and minds of the consumer it thinks it does.


Furthermore, we are mindful that in today’s connected world we operate in a reality where to truly understand consumers we need to put together an integrated approach.  And we need to act like ‘one of them’.   We’ve previously written about the need to breakdown moderator/participant barriers but increasingly we need to meet consumers on their level.

So we are never more excited than we receive a brief that allows us to draw on multiple methodologies.  We are very excited to be working on one with Simon Preece of SJP Consulting that is taking us into the realms of social media listening.  What better way to capture the most natural way Generation Z talks about issues and brands than across social media.  And it is a logical extension of media ethnology and should be baked into any cultural analysis piece.

We are keen any analysis of big data doesn’t get boxed into quant, it is a fertile territory for qualitative analysis too and for us in this new territory they should remain #goodfriends.