When I first came into online qualitative research (just as the age of information was starting), I was, even then, amazed by how many possibilities and methods there were to explore. I was a rabbit in headlights, unsure of what was the best way to go - live or asynchronous, online or offline, implicit or explicit etc, the list goes on.
So this blog is designed to help people like me back then, who are getting into the world of qualitative research and human insight, or still finding their way around. With over 15 years experience now and a team surrounding me with even more (including a Doctor from the LSE!), I’m going to share what I consider to be the top capabilities.
Starting with digital ethnography.
Digital ethnography allows you to embed yourselves in the lives of consumers during a set period of time; ranging from a few days to many months. Your participants will use their mobiles or computers, meaning we are able to capture their lives ‘in the moment’. You might like to see their morning routine for example, or the inside of their home – setting these kinds of activities allows respondents to capture short videos or photos to demonstrate their personal journeys naturally and in real-time.
Another use of online qual is for concept testing. Bringing together respondents from a limitless geographical spread, at a time which suits them, to test ads, videos, a webpage, etc. This methodology allows you to get deep, immediate and personal feedback on a number of different concepts throughout the duration of a few days – it’s important not to load respondents up to test many different concepts in one day, to avoid fatigue.
Product testing is another qual method which can be enhanced with the use of digital research tools like Together. Getting participants to record or photograph their real, unprovoked reactions and their natural usage over a week’s period will give you true, unbiased insight into your product. After a week, you can add a short poll to ask respondents to evaluate their use, giving you diary and journal inputs, facilitating your analysis with real consumers thoughts on what works well and what needs to be improved. Insights you can take straight to your R&D and marketing teams, without having to organise and host hall tests or focus groups.
Longitudinal use of online qual methodologies allows you to map your entire consumer journey, from product need state right through to usage, disposal or repurchase of your product or service. Learning from your consumers over a longer period of time, allows you to focus on their experiences, understanding the touch points they have with your product or service along the way. Having this depth of real feedback will allow you to innovate and adapt marketing strategies, ultimately enriching the experience of your consumers.
Sometimes, you have a project where you need to think outside of the box, and one single methodology won’t cover all angles. Here then, you’ll need to explore custom methodologies which will allow you to utilise diaries, journals, polls, surveys, product testing, mark-ups and discussions, etc. It’s important to find a platform which allows you to be flexible and creative!
If you think the team at Further can help you using our Together: https://www.go-further.co/together platform to enrich your research, get in touch!