With COVID-19 shutdowns mostly a thing of the past (for now), we thought we’d see a rush back to in-person focus groups. The reality is a bit murkier. It seems that a lot of market researchers saw how advantageous online qualitative studies could be, and are moving forward with in-person and online studies. I guess you can say that market research mirrors the hybrid work model—there is some face-to-face time, and some work-from-home time. But what is the best way to get the most out of these qualitative market research studies? You guessed it! Online Qualitative Market Research
Online Qualitative Market Research Methodologies
Qualitative market research methodologies such as in-depth interviews and focus groups are easy to do virtually, and we’ll share some tips so you get the most out of your next online market research study.
Market researchers and moderators have a number of online platforms available to host a qualitative study, but many researchers use Zoom since so many people are familiar and comfortable using this platform.
Double screen your recruited participants to ensure they have adequate connectivity and can operate their computer without any glitches. We often have participants of virtual studies do a run through with us so we can assure the moderator that each participant has demonstrated competence with the required software/hardware so they can fully participate.
Get the most from your online focus group by recruiting a geographically diverse group of participants. One of the limitations of in-person focus groups is you need to recruit participants who live near the facility where you’ll be conducting the focus group. Online studies aren’t limited to a singular area, so cast your recruiting net further afield and take advantage of the lack of a geographic barrier. Don’t forget to consider time-zone differences though! Consider hosting at a time where it’s not too early for those living in western states, but not too late for those living in the eastern region.
If the budget allows, adding a mobile ethnography study is a great way for the moderator to get the most insights from each participant. Mobile ethnographies are effective at capturing ‘in the moment’ thinking and the additional information is useful to moderators to help guide the discussion during the follow-up focus group.
Whether your next qualitative market research study is being held in-person or online, you need to recruit the most qualified participants. Our team of researchers have years of experience recruiting for all types of studies of any size.