Tag Archives: Qualitative

Is online qualitative research as effective as in-person research?

By:  Shelley Miller, April Bell Research Group
We’ve had some of our long-term clients wanting to explore
different ways to ‘replicate’ in-person focus groups online. Surprisingly, this
is being driven not only by time and money constraints but also by scheduling
conflicts.  Although in-person qual facilitates
the kind of rapport and connection that is challenging to replicate online, we
also believe conducting online qual can give insight ‘ if you use the right
methodology and platform for the objective.
We currently have a great bulletin board platform (Recollective) we use for gaining
in-depth exploration into consumer’s habits and practices ‘ it’s a great tool
and we use it often as a supplement to in-person.
But finding the right tool to ‘replicate’ an in-person
experience ‘ where stimuli can be shown and feedback can be given in context
requires a synchronous platform (not a bulletin board ‘ asynchronous platform)
So we recently renewed our discovery process to review new
platforms and we were pleasantly surprised by how advanced the technology has
become. Although not perfect, it’s clear that many of them have become more  ‘researcher friendly.’ So, while it can seem
overwhelming based on the number of options available, we found the following
process can help narrow the choices in order to choose the best platform for
your needs.
1.     
Envision
the Experience:
With so many bells and whistles, it’s easy to get swept
away with a lot of the features available. 
We found as we were doing demos, that clarity was found if we focused on
what the experience would look and feel like as we were conducting the
study. 
2.     
Decide: Asynchronous
or Synchronous?
  There are pros and
cons of each but both can be beneficial based on what you are trying to learn.
For example, Asynchronous is great for ‘exploration’ or ‘going deep’ with individual
consumers while allowing flexibility for both the researcher and respondents;
however, the analysis is typically more disjointed and time-consuming.
Synchronous platforms, on the other hand, require a specific ‘meet up’ time.  They work well when you want group feedback
(ex: stimuli) because they allow data to flow in context ‘ and the analysis is
easier.
3.     
Decide:
Text only or Webcam?
  This is an
important step when determining which platform to use because some platforms
are better at conducting Webcam interviews/groups (Intervu by
FocusVision) while others provide a great Text Chat Group feature (Inside Heads and Visions Live).  Again, there are pros and cons to each method
that should be carefully evaluated based on your client team’s wishes. For
example, Text Chat Groups do not allow you to see and hear respondents while Webcam
groups require much more technology requirements.
Creating an ‘evaluation process’ not only helped us identify
the right platform for the need, it also helped us overcome technology
‘overwhelm’ and create excitement for a shiny, new research tool! 

Live from #TMRE14: Leveraging Superstar Products to Build Brands

Fresh from the heels of the New York Food and Wine Festival (NYCWFF) was Cynthia Soledad of Whirlpool talking about bringing the iconic KitchenAid Brand, a superstar in its category, to build other brands. For, like many feel, KitchenAid is more than a mixer – it is a kitchen lifestyle brand.

The cycle that unraveled from understanding the consumers of three segments ranging from enthusiasts to obsessers was as follows: Aspire (the emotion of trying to do something), seek (the quest for finding the right products, which is where KitchenAid comes into the picture), learn (using the tools as your “sous-chefs” as the brand puts it) and master (to become a chef in your own right). An interesting cycle with the analogy of being an engineer or any corporate career by day, but a chef by night.

The findings reflected that in the kitchen, you are an appreciator as well as a critic. However, the three key truths that were found were that tools from Kitchen Aid are important for creative facilitation, identity reflection and usage outcome. Of which, usage outcome was most important with both small and large appliances.

A fascinating tale of unraveling consumer stories through primarily qualitative research, the two lessons that stay in my mind that can be applied to virtually any category are: consumers are born inherently irrational, and a brand can truly win by playing on the intersection of its equity with deep human needs.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on
@sssourabh. – See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2014/04/crowdsourcing-and-social-media.html#sthash.SDOBGemC.dpuf

Live From #TMRE13: Fast, Better and Cheaper Multi-National Qualitative

In the world of technology today, we are starting to change
the way we view things. So, what if qualitative research were no longer
constraint by distance, time, language and place? What would happen to your
business?

At TMRE 2013 in Nashville, TN this afternoon Jim Bryson, CEO
of 20/20 discussed how market researchers could deliver more insights, faster,
from anywhere in the world without constraints. ‘Don’t put limits on your world
just because it’s the way it has always been because it’s not anymore,’ he
explained.
When you are doing global research, you spend all of our
time on the plane not really talking to people. Global research in the past has
been incredibly tiring, expensive and difficult. So, what if we conquered
distance?

According to Bryson, the Internet has allowed us to achieve this.
By 2012, the Internet hit critical mass (82 percent) so we could begin to do research
using the Internet. All of the sudden the Internet came along and gave us the
ability to chip away at the problem of distance. For example, chat rooms became
an effective method for research by way of the Internet.
What about time? Time still causes a huge problem when you
want to talk to someone in other time zones. But, Internet forums solved the
time problem since people didn’t have to be there at the same. ‘Now, we can
talk to people across different time zones on their schedule, not our schedule,’
he added.
Additionally, this allowed us to do longitudinal qualitative
research (research over time). If you want to conduct a global project, you can
no matter where they live.
What if we conquered language? Researchers have always had
problems with language, but it is really important in qualitative research. Luckily,
instant translation like Google translate has made this possible. And further,
you can use a human to audit the translation to ensure it’s correct.
Lastly, what if we conquered place? You can mobile to talk
to respondents anywhere in the world. They can show you and ask questions about
all from their mobile phone.
‘You are with them without actually being there,’ explained
Bryson. ‘We are eradicating the need for distance, time, language, and place.’

About the
Author:  Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and
print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing,
and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs
including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business
Analysts
. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a
Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the
technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow
her at @AmandaCicc