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Method or Madness?

09 August
Photo credit: El Cajon Yacht Club on Flickr. Creative Commons 2.0

Photo credit: El Cajon Yacht Club on Flickr. Creative Commons 2.0

Designing the best method for conducting qualitative research is an important first step in the process. Skipping this step can lead to madness. When I meet with a new client, I consult with them to determine the best method to uncover the insights they need. What kind of business decisions depend on these insights? What are the key learning objectives? Which types of customers and/or prospective customers do we need to include? What type of method best fits the learning needs? How urgent is their timing? What type of report output is needed? A video highlight reel? A full written report? A simple Topline?

We specialize in qualitative research that typically falls into the following types of methods:

Focus Groups

• Face to face
• Small groups of 4 to 8 participants
• Can be conducted in:

– A facility with a one-way glass and an observation room for clients, or
– A conference rooms or other group space where participants and clients meet in the same room

• Recruitment time depends on how specialized the category and audience is
• Cost depends on audience, type of incentive, and timeline
• Good for gathering feedback on articulated concepts, brand perceptions, category exploration, competitive landscape exploration, advertising creative prototypes, marketing communication prototypes

Ethnographies

• Individual interviews or small groups of friends
• Conducted on respondents’ “turf” – e.g., at home, in stores, at office, on golf course, in museum, whatever is the most relevant location
• Recruitment time depends on how specialized the category and audience is
• Cost depends on number of recruits, type of incentive, and timeline
• Good for learning about lifestyles, contextual attitudes and behavior, deep dive into brands, categories and context of product use and mindset of customers

Online Communities

• Small to medium size groups of users (10 to 40)
• Conducted entirely online, in addition to providing written responses to questions and topics, participants can upload pictures, view videos, respond to polls and link to surveys
• A masking feature prevents ‘groupthink’ by ensuring that participants provide their responses to daily questions and topics before seeing responses of other participants
• Recruitment time depends on how specialized the category and audience is
• Cost depends on number of recruits, type of incentive, and timeline
• Good for gathering feedback on marketing communications, product prototypes, product experience (attitudes and usage), competitive landscape exploration, brand perceptions

Which method is right for your category, brand or product: Focus Group, Ethnography, or Online Community or other method? We can provide you with more information about:

• Which method is best for your research needs
• How the research is conducted
• How participants are recruited
• Budgetary considerations

Contact us today to discuss your options.

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