Ray Fischer, CEO of Aha!, shares five online qualitative techniques market researchers can use for consumer and B2B insight projects.
There’s an infinite number of ways to use online qual for market research. Here’s my top five:
Number one is digital ethnography. What digital ethnography allows you to do is to embed yourself in the lives of the consumers that you’re trying to understand. They’ve got smartphones. They’ve got computers. They can report in-the-moment stuff over a period of time, either a short period of time or a long period of time. So your options around digital ethno are one, simple stuff like, “Hey, give me a tour of your pantry. Take me to your laundry room and show me your cleaning products, or let’s go out to the store.” Or again, in customer experience-type studies that are more longitudinal, you can have diary and journaling done via mobile using video and pictures to tell the stories of the consumer experience with your products and brands over time.
Another great use of online qual is for concept testing. You can test ideas. It could be words on a page. It could be ads, Adcepts, video. Whatever you want to show to respondents, you can get deep and immediate feedback on it. We’ve got best-practice approaches to it. We like to spread ideas over several days so they don’t get fatigued or get blurred by the multitude of ideas you might want to show with them. But it is a deep and private, connected approach to getting good, deep, rich feedback on the ideas you present to your respondents.
Home use test is another popular way to use online qual. The way that sets up, it gives you the opportunity to actually have them open a product up, give you their initial reactions, and take you through a usage cycle. Oftentimes it’s about a week. It could be more. It could be less, where they actually will use the product – could be video and pictures associated with that as well – as they make diary entries. And then the other thing you want to do at the end of a home use test when you do online is to have them also do a post-review. So you’ve got not only initial reactions, diary usage, and journaling over the course of time, but you also have a post-wrap-up. “What’d you like? What didn’t you like? What would you do to make the product better?”
Customer Experience is really the hottest area in online qual right now. What customer experience in longitudinal studies allows you to do is to understand the buyer journey, from the very beginning of a product need state all the way through usage, to disposal of a product and maybe repurchase of a product over time. The benefit of these longitudinal studies focused on customer experience is getting embedded with people to understand all the touchpoints they have with your product from the very beginning to the very end. This feedback is going to allow you to innovate your products, to change marketing, messaging, and strategies, and ultimately make that experience with your product better.
Another way to use online qual is with custom methodologies. Many companies have come to us over the years with processes that they’ve done, analog or face-to-face. What we’ve been able to do is to replicate those methods, oftentimes improving upon them in a digital way. For example, if you’ve got product testing ideas that you want to do, we can turn those from face-to-face, in-facility-type tests into home use tests, where people are in the privacy of their own place. No bias, no film crews. They’re just doing things on their own and recording the interactions with the product. Another option for that as well is the ability to go to multiple markets around the world at the same time. So what you’ve got is an ability to get quick, instant worldwide feedback from disparate groups of respondents who interact with your product and do whatever online qual initiative you’re putting in front of them.
While you can definitely improve upon analog methods by going digital, the possibilities are infinite. Insight Platforms like ours give you the ability to create really anything you can imagine, both visual and text-based, to wrap yourself around again preexisting methodologies or ones that you invent down the road. Aha! is the strategic online qual platform that allows brands, marketing research companies, consultants, and marketing agencies to easily create engaging consumer or B2B studies that get closer to the emotional relationship between consumers and the products they buy.
Aha’s mobile and video-friendly qualitative platform features a comprehensive suite of highly intuitive and interactive activities that engage people where they live, shop, and play. You can use our advanced pre-built projective, video, social and quant/qual activity templates to quickly build and deploy studies. And our experienced team is there to fully support your projects.