Qualitative Research Agency

If you are after in-depth data about a target group of customers, our qualitative research agency will provide the insights and analysis your organisation needs.

Qualitative research helps businesses achieve a deep understanding of clients, which they can use in marketing communications and strategy, and can ultimately lead to better business decisions.


Trusted market research company

Acumen’s award-winning market research team has been recognised throughout the industry, with a reputation for lateral thinking and problem solving that seeks to answer the questions at the heart of your brief.

We have years of experience working with big brands, large agencies and boutique market research companies. Get in touch with us to get a quote or discuss your brief.


Let’s explore further the value of qualitative research and how our agency can deliver on your organisation’s research goals.


What is qualitative market research?

Qualitative research seeks to gain opinion and insight from individuals and groups rather than looking at the broader trend of how many people do something or act in a certain way.

This form of research is often used once you have the numbers from quantitative research. For example, you know that a certain percentage of people act in a certain way or choose a certain option.

Now you want to know why this is. Qualitative research aims to provide you with the answers. How? By asking people, mostly.

  • “What is it about the product that makes it appealing?”
  • “What don’t you like about the other options in the store?”

Getting people’s thoughts and opinions on something is the starting point of qualitative research. Distilling them into useful insights and analysis is the second stage.

Acumen’s qualitative market research agency has experienced consultants, fieldworkers and data analysts who work together to deliver a complete qualitative data package to drive your organisation forward.

Get in touch to find out how we can work together to achieve your goals.


Qualitative market research methods

These are some of the most popular methods used to acquire qualitative market research data and insights. Acumen is skilled at providing all of these methods, with participants drawn from the UK or around the world.

In-depth interviews

These will typically be one-to-one and face to face, led by one of Acumen’s experienced researchers.

The questions are often open-ended. The researcher will have an understanding of the topic in order to be able to ask sensible questions that elicit responses that provide usable information.

Focus groups

Focus groups are where a small group, often around 6 to 10 people, are drawn together to discuss topics and questions.

Often in focus groups, the group dynamic draws out responses that would not develop in one-to-one interviews. The group will build on points and share experiences, leading to some very vaulable insights and takeaways.

A focus group can have a mixed demographic (different ages, income levels, locations) to gain well-rounded feedback. Or the focus group may be made up of individuals who are very similar, in order to tease out fine distinctions in reactions.

Increasingly focus groups are run online. Acumen are highly experienced at running Zoom focus groups as well as organising and conducting them in real-world locations around the UK.

Online communities

These are similar in type to focus groups, but can be larger and also use the benefits of online communication to draw people together.

This method makes it possible to get feedback from a sizeable group of people, one which would be too large to facilitate within a single focus group or in a physical space. Online market research of this type can be very cost effective and provide a deeper understanding due to the size of the cohort involved.

Other qualitative market research methods

In home research looks at how customers use something when they are at their most relaxed, at home. Stakeholder events and accompanied shops are other ways of observing how people interact with brands or new product ideas and asking them questions as they go along.


Our qualitative market research services

Working with Acumen we can design, organise and facilitate any of the key qualitative market research data-gathering methods. We will work with you on your brief and desiging scripts and questions that will most likely elicit the type of information you are after.

We are skilled at running all of the types of events below, in an extremely professional and at the same time cost effective way.

  • Focus Groups
  • Interviews and IDI’s
  • Workshops
  • In-home research
  • Online Communities
  • Accompanied Shops
  • Customer and Stakeholder Events
  • Video diaries
  • Recruitment from Client Lists

Recruitment services for qualitative research

Our agency relishes any opportunity to find those participants who will really light up your project.

We have our own in-house recruitment team with access to a national database of over 100,000 participants. We find participants based in the UK, and also have international reach for global studies.

We can go beyond our database to find niche or hard to reach people for any type of research, recruiting via client lists or finding specific participants, typically for B2B or social research.

Acumen has its own bespoke Acumonitor system for ensuring that participants meet the client’s specific brief. Find out more about Acumonitor and how it works here.

We’re happy to discuss any research methodology and will provide transparent and practical advice on the feasibility of your project.


Gathering qualitative market research data

Two main approaches are used when gathering data in qualitative research: deductive and inductive.

Deductive is used when the researcher can predict to some extent which responses they might receive and they are asking questions designed to draw out certain bits of information.

For this approach to work, the researcher must fully understand the brief and be skilled in sourcing research data so that it fits within their framework. This is where our market researchers at Acumen excel.

Inductive is more freeform, the researcher gathering information with less of a clear pattern. However, this information still has to be useable at the end, rather than a huge stream of observations that are impossible to draw conclusions from.

This is not to say inductive is less valid; it could be used for a different stage of a project, finding information at an early stage without preconceptions shaping the project.

In all cases, the basics apply that the data must be properly recorded, stored and organised. You can be assured with working with Acumen that high standards of information storage, in keeping with UK privacy laws, are adhered to at all times.


Analysing qualitative market research

Whereas quantitative data might fall into nice neat ‘yes’ and ‘no’ types responses and you can count which is most popular, qualitative data is different.

There will be a wealth of information and observation, some from interviews, some taken in field research. Data might have been acquired in multiple forms – surveys, interviews, case studies and observations.

Weight must be applied to the observations to determine the useful from the less valuable.

At Acumen, our data analysis team works within our qualitative research unit. This ensures data is gathered, captured and stored in a way that makes it straightforward to analyse and interpret effectively.

It also means further insights can be drawn out of the data in future, as a new questions arise.

If you’re interested in qualitative research methodology and want to explore the topic further, see this recent post we wrote on six methods of qualitative research.


Work with Acumen’s qualitative research team

At Acumen, we provide a tailored approach to our clients which begins from our earliest conversations and continues with a dedicated project manager to keep you updated throughout the research process.

Meet our Qualitative Team

Here’s what you can expect when you work with us:

  • As soon as we receive your brief we will get to work creating a full schedule to deliver your project within the times and budgets you need.
  • We will create all documentation, including screening questionnaires and supporting paperwork.
  • We will use our network of over 700 recruiters throughout the United Kingdom to put your project into field and find the participants needed.
  • Your dedicated project manager will keep you updated at all stages of the recruitment process.
  • We source venues and, where required, people to assist on the day of your research. We will also offer technology training where events are conducted online.
  • We verify each person recruited for your research through Acumonitor and pre-check participants to ensure they meet the research criteria.

About Acumen market research company

We are an award winning market research agency, skilled at both Qualitative and Quantitative research. We work to the highest industry standards to provide quality insights for our clients.

Our years of experience have given us the edge in our industry, with clients that include market research agencies, large brands, government departments and freelance researchers.

Whatever the topic, demographic or region, you can be sure that Acumen have the skills and resources to meet the timescale, quotas and budgets of your project.

Please call us on 0161 234 9440 or use our Contact Form to discuss your requirements for market research