Every methodology has its limitations, as each is designed to answer a specific question or set of questions. For example, quantitative methods are meant to answer one or more questions relating to who, what, when, and how. Qualitative methods, on the other hand, seek to answer why and lend context or identify unknowns.
As a result, using a mixed method approach can provide more connected, complete insights by mixing various methods of research. Furthur, this approach helps focus on the big picture, iterate with purpose, and save on time and resources.
Type of Approach and Examples
Traditional mixed method approaches involve combining qualitative and quantitative methods, such as exploratory qual into an attitude and usage study. However, more unique approaches to mixed methodologies can also be valuable, depending on research needs:
- Combining two quantitative methods, such as concept prioritization and line optimization
- Combining two qualitative methods, such as exploratory research and concept refinement
Executing a mixed method approach can be done in two different ways. We’ve previously mentioned these ways when we discussed executing a hybrid research project—or combining only two methods of research. But these two types of approaches are also critical to developing the right mixed methodology strategy with more than two methods:
The type of key questions you need to answer through a mixed method approach will determine the type of strategy you take. And often parallel approaches are only run with two studies at a time.
Ready to Apply Mixed Methodology?
Before embarking on a mixed methodology project, you should be prepared to plan ahead and start with an end goal in mind. Some projects can be rather complex, so it’s best to work backwards from the questions you need to answer—then map those to the methods you’ll use to answer them.
Additionally, remember that a mixed method approach is more effective when used iteratively—so be flexible—and have checkpoints along the way to make sure everything is on track and aligned properly. Having a partner who can work with you at every stage also helps with this goal. Trying to use multiple vendors for varying phases or different methods can defeat the purpose of a mixed method approach and its benefits. So use a partner who is skilled in many qualitative and quantitative methodologies and one that can act as a strategic partner to plan out the process.
And last, but not least, maintain consistency. When it comes to the audience and screening criteria, be sure each phase is consistent in order to remove the potential for biases or discrepancies between findings. To learn more, watch the full webinar and see what
- Specific key questions or objectives lead into a mixed method approach
- The benefits of a series or parallel type of approach are and how to execute each
- Variety of examples of mixed methodologies work best together, including two case studies that show the success of using a mixed method approach