Researchers have conducted hybrid research since someone first added an open-ended question to a quantitative survey. It’s a tried and true, almost traditional way of doing research. But as consumers, data and methods evolve, so does hybrid.
In fact, as researchers engage in a never-ending battle to support their brand’s quest for share of mind and wallet, every new piece of insight has the potential to provide a competitive advantage. It’s no longer enough to do some research and call it a day—the quest for consumer understanding has become a 24/7/365 job and doing it right requires a comprehensive approach. Why? Because one-dimensional data is incomplete.
Luckily, we can all agree that we don’t lack access to information—some might even say we’re drowning in data. But as big data matures, brands are realizing that relying purely on “big-data driven decision making” is dangerous. Even though data dependence feels scientific, rigorous, and modern, too often it gives a flat, static view of what are actually dynamic, diverse, and evolving human beings. Big data is powerful because it’s driven by numbers, but companies are realizing that it can be a little risky and even lead to false assumptions if it is not rounded out with a qualitative perspective.
The upshot? The companies that win are the ones that have a 360-degree view of their consumer. Hybrid approaches are gaining ground because they work, providing the insight and perspective necessary if a company wants to find white space, spur innovation, identify threats, and outline opportunities for improvement.