Editor’s note: Michel Feaster is chief product officer of research at marketing research software development firm Qualtrics. 

It’s never been more important to deeply understand your market, customers and employees at scale. From uncovering new opportunities for product research and development to the key factors of employee retention and satisfaction, organizations that know the drivers of positive change are leading the charge.

And in a fast-paced market, the need for insights have become more apparent along with the limitations of current research solutions. While quantitative market research can help gather quick and accurate data to tell us the “what,” it lacks the depth and context that can highlight important and possibly groundbreaking insights from respondents. On the other hand, qualitative research delivers the “why” and when you put the two together, you can uncover new insight gaps that quantitative research can't do alone. 

For example, with quantitative methods, a meat subscription company can uncover that customers are not satisfied with the current subscription plans, prompting the need to introduce more subscription frequency options. When qualitative research is added, the company can further identify that customers who want additional frequency options are keeping meat in the freezer longer because they’re unsure of what recipes to make. By having this detailed level of feedback, the company realizes 30% of their customer base has this issue, prompting them to introduce new recipe cards to go along with each package.

Qualitative research approaches can be siloed, slow, expensive and hard to scale. And with everything moving online, researchers must reassess how they capture critical, context-based insights to meet customers where they’re at.

One type of cost-effective qualitative research that can support existing approaches (e.g., in-depth interviews and focus group...