When using quantitative research, a project manager can go about this process a few different ways.
Hybrid Sampling – For the uncomfortable Pillow Pet design, a new design offered a bigger pillow-head area, the pillow snake was given a happier smile and the Panda Pillow Pet was offered in recognizable black and white colors. The focus group needed to answer specific questions about what they liked about the new Pillow Pets including questions such as, do you think the snake pillow is comfortable and why? Does the snake look happy or scary? What if we made the Panda red and yellow? Here, through learned responses, the new design, if developed using the quantitative method will help to increase sales. The answers provide quantitative numbers to increase sales based on pooling a group.
Parent Surveys – Telephone or online surveys are developed to be answered by parents of the original focus group of children. Through these surveys, parents are asked what specifically they think their child would rather see in the snake or the panda. Again, survey data analysis reveals if indeed a redesign would work or fail. For example, if too many parents simply stated, “Children are afraid of snakes no matter what,” perhaps the snake should be dropped from the Pillow Pet product line. The production cost of the scary snake is dropped and the designers can focus on what children like best based on parental input. These surveys, once analyzed, reveal quantitative facts based on numerical data and show what parents will buy their children based on known likes and what they will avoid.
Suggestive Analysis – This type of analysis helps to determine not just what’s available, but what a focus group would like to see available. If surveys or questionnaires revealed an elephant was missing from the Pillow Pet line via suggestions by a panel, this product could be introduced. These surveys are easily designed to simply explain what the Pillow Pet is and does, likes and dislikes and the ever important—what would you like to see different question. Again via analysis, the appropriate product line could be produced. In this quantitative method, the number of people asking for an Pillow Pet elephant would be overwhelming, making it a perfect new product line choice.