Is your hybrid research like this Puggle? Could be.

Andrea Joss, Quester’s Vice President of Research, wrote a blog post last year about the company’s stance on hybrid research. To summarize her main point, Quester is not to be viewed as the “marriage” of qualitative and quantitative research, but rather the “love child” of the two methods – a linguistic nuance that you’ve come to expect from a language company like Quester. Andrea’s point was that the word “marriage” is used in the industry to talk about two independent methods of research uniting into a single design. But, at their core, they are still two different entities operating together. Like two people in a marriage. Clever. As the “love child” of the two traditional marketing research methods, Quester does not represent two entities, but instead what those entities together have created.

Let’s talk about the marriage of qualitative & quantitative.

What does marriage look like between qual & quant? Here are a few ways:

  1. A small sample of respondents is identified based on answers to a series of quantitative questions in an online study, then asked to partake in a live discussion. They click a link directing them a new site where they engage in an in-depth interview (IDI), focus group, or community discussion via webcam or chat.
  2. A quantitative study is conducted and when more information is needed to help explain the data, and focus groups or IDIs are then utilized after the fact.
  3. Online communities or focus groups conduct mini polls and report the quantitative data along with the qualitative results.

Solidifying these as hybrid solutions, the report from any of these options will provide qualitative explanation to the quantitative data. Both methods will be represented, on the same topic, in the same report. Hybrid.

In each of the cases above, traditional weaknesses to both of the quantitative and qualitative methods remain. Specifically, qualitative research still suffers from small sample sizes and quantitative data is only explained by a select few. It lacks the rigor of quantitative sampling and analysis.

Let’s talk about the Puggle of quantitative and qualitative in hybrid: Quester

The Puggle is a crossbreed that toys with genetics to bring the best of both breeds (Pug & Beagle) together in one little package. This dog is described as a “robust, healthy little dog with a playful spirit, a sense of humor and a desire to please” ( Can you see why the Puggle needs to be the mascot for Quester’s seamlessly integrated hybrid solution?

A seamlessly integrated hybrid research design (the Puggle) doesn’t rely on the voice of only a few people. This design doesn’t require a respondent to leave one platform for another. It doesn’t ask them to wait for a live moderator when they get there.

This approach brings the rigor of quantitative sampling to qualitative research. It gives every single survey respondent the opportunity to voice their reasoning, their perspective, and their opinion. The Puggle approach to research gathers qualitative inquiry when it matters – at any point in the quantitative survey; it doesn’t have to be at the end or the beginning, but rather wherever it makes intuitive sense to have a conversation.

Can you look at Quester’s research and recognize distinctions between quantitative and qualitative? Can you pick them apart and separate them? Yes and yes. It’s no different than looking into the eyes of a child and seeing a resemblance of mom or dad. Or, in this case, looking at that baby Puggle and seeing a little Pug and a little Beagle.

But the quality of and breadth of language to help explain data is profound. Conducting IDI’s with 350 people scattered across the country from a representative study is comforting – especially when it takes all the guess work out of the interpretation.

Quester wants you to experience the impact of a seamlessly integrated hybrid design. Remember, the Puggle was described as a “robust, healthy little dog with a playful spirit, a sense of humor and a desire to please.” Who wouldn’t want that on their research team?!


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