We at Pragmatic Marketing like to balance qualitative research from interviews with quantitative research from surveys. Every week we meet hundreds of product managers and technology executives; we hear their stories; we observe the magazines they read (such as our own Pragmatic Marketer) and what web sites they visit (such as my blog at productmarketing.com). We supplement this info with quantitative research from our annual product management survey.
Are all surveys created equal? Not according to Wharton. Read more in
Product managers tell me that their execs don't value research. Actually I find that executives do indeed value research--it's just that they tend to value the qualitative over the quantitative. They want product managers to call face-to-face on customers while many product managers prefer to hire the work out to a third-party.
Of course, you need both. You need both stories and data. So go visit three customers and then survey a hundred. Deliver market facts to your executives in their preferred format.