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Not your grandma's qual: the 5 best things about online qualitative research today

Your grandma called, and she wants her in-person focus group back. 

“But Granny,” you explain. “Online qual is so much easier. First of all, you don’t have to worry about missing Wheel of Fortune (AKA “The Wheel”), and you can still share your opinions with companies who want to hear about all of your couponing experience.”

We’re not trying to be ageist, but we are trying to be funny and just emphasize how much online qualitative research technologies have given companies a less expensive and more efficient way to gain high-quality insights. 

As methodologies evolve and technologies become more sophisticated, traditional qualitative techniques have been challenged and reimagined. Our team has been at the forefront of this revolution, and the innovation shows no signs of stopping! On the contrary, because of our unique research experience, we’re constantly finding new ways to help research teams, consultants, and fieldworkers leverage technology to source meaningful insights from people without the hassle of getting those people in the same room - at the same time! It’s asynchronous qualitative research done right, and here are five of the best things about online qual that you can take advantage of today! 


No Geographical Limitations1. No Geographical Limitations

One of the most compelling advantages of online qual is the elimination of geographical constraints. This allows researchers to connect with respondents from various locations, bolstering geographic diversity and comparative studies. Our platform fosters such expansive reach, aiding in recruiting low-incidence or hard-to-find participants and engaging with high-profile individuals who may otherwise be unavailable for in-person interviews.


Maximized Client Engagement2. Maximized Client Engagement

When research teams get the ball rolling on a project, their calendar often goes off the rails. With a traditional approach, being in Chicago one day for a focus group and Toronto the next creates limitations on how many team members can actively watch or participate in immediate debriefs. But with online qualitative research platforms, broader client team engagement is not only possible - it’s easy. Time and money are both saved - no travel budgets and no limit to how many can be in the virtual backroom. Team members can view the research in real-time or easily access digital recordings, ensuring maximum flexibility. 


Maximized Participant Engagement3. Maximized Participant Engagement

Everyone in research knows that the level of engagement from participants in any kind of study is a make-or-break proposition. Getting the most from a research participant starts with making them comfortable. Because online asynchronous qual happens on their terms with the time and location in their control, this first step is practically guaranteed to set the project up for success. 

In terms of technology, there are still some distractions that need to be addressed and eliminated. Great online qual platforms come with service to ensure the focus is not on the tech but on the session and activities to be completed. While the pandemic greatly sped up digital literacy, people still need clear instructions about how and how often they need to login to complete their participation requirements. With technical help readily available through videos, chats, and backroom messaging, participants stay in the know and in control and excited to share their opinions, experiences and preferences. 


Access to a Rich Set of Digital Tools4. Access to a Rich Set of Digital Tools

Virtual research platforms equip moderators with an arsenal of innovative tools to improve participant experience and capture diverse types of responses. These tools range from visual journey mapping and on-screen mark-up capabilities to polling features and more. 

  • Want to rotate concepts so everyone is not answering the same questions?
  • Interested in segmenting the participants before, during or after their activities are done? 
  • Have a follow-up question a moderator would like to send to a specific participant? 
  • Need to add homework to the requirements for participation? 

All of these tools are possible with online qual and should be readily accessible from a robust online qualitative research software interface. 


Time and Money Saved5. Time and Money Saved 

When your grandma called, she also wanted to remind you how important it is to save your money. With online qual you can do just that! Outsourcing recruiting to a trusted partner means you won't waste resources getting the right people to participate in your research. Money saved not traveling can be used to augment the size of the study, try out more robust platform features, or just save it for a rainy day when you might need some quick, iterative research done on the fly! 

Great platforms also save you and your team serious time. Instead of looking through emails for project updates or quota progress reports, savvy market research teams know they can find a robust online qualitative platform where all of the information is completely up-to-date in real-time. 

Online asynchronous qualitative research techniques are a welcome addition to the compendium of methodologies to choose from in market research. Doing qualitative research online makes sense to keep research moving closer to the speed of business. While each research project is unique, powerful technology can be leveraged to fit your team’s purpose making it easier to get to quality insights sooner to provide that competitive advantage. 

As the industry continues reimagining qual, we invite you to join the online qualitative revolution. It’s not your grandma's qual—it's the future of research, and it's here today.

Want to learn more about Asynchronous Online Research?

Grab our free Ultimate Guide to Asynchronous Online Research and learn how winning businesses are leveraging this powerful methodology!


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