There is no denying the trend — more market researchers, brand and corporate clients are beginning to use online qualitative research tools to help them design and quickly deploy a range of consumer and B2B research studies.
The opportunity for using online qual is driven by brand clients who are increasingly challenged to respond to the market in near real-time. While big data is playing a larger role in that reality, there is also a need to rapidly innovate, test concepts, ideate, gain insights on dynamic buyer journeys, or get feedback on everything from packaging to ad campaigns at a much faster rate than ever before.
This new sense of urgency has pushed insight strategists to develop and manage projects and initiatives more efficiently and effectively. With the advancement of online qual technology, you are able to turn around consumer or B2B studies in half the time. More importantly, you can deliver deeper insights to your clients faster.
Here are my top 6 reasons driving online qual adoption:
Deeper Emotive Responses
Online qual is typically designed to get at least 2 hours of connected engagement over a few days with respondents contributing thoughts, feelings and emotions about brands they are passionate about. From digital ethnos to store trips, you are embedded in their lives via video and mobile exercises to experience their emotions and actions as they happen.
The Need for Speed
Strategic studies can be designed and deployed in hours and days, not weeks, with results available in real-time. Plus, online qual platforms are open 24/7/365 and accessible from virtually anywhere in the world.
Doing More with Less $
In a world of constrained budgets, market researchers, account planners and insight strategists have to find innovative ways to make an impact with fewer resources. Researchers need to make every project and potential insight count. Beyond deeper, richer insights that you will get, you can deploy online qual studies more cost effectively. What’s not to love about that?
Global Reach/More Markets
Thanks to the advances in technology and processes, you can deploy studies simultaneously in multiple countries to gain worldwide insights in a matter of a few weeks versus using traditional methods that can take multiple months to field and generate results. AI and machine learning technologies can also help increase speed and reduce cost as they relate to translation and transcription.
Technology Enables Us to Connect on a More Human Level
Due to the invention of the smartphone and the mass adoption of social media over the last 10 years, respondents are super-connected and tech savvy. These cultural and tech innovations have given us access to billions of consumers on every continent. Their comfort with the technology has cultivated a willingness to share intimate thoughts and feelings about nearly anything important in their lives, including deeply personal and private topics. Online qual has made it easy to connect with those deep feelings both privately and in social/community activities.
New Tech-Savvy Talent
The new generation of tech-savvy brand managers, planners and insight professionals have grown up on technology and have the skill set to leverage the new online qual possibilities. They are smart and open-minded, fully embracing technology and all of the promise it holds for qualitative research. This environment has set the table to take more control of the research process and bring it in-house for better insights faster and more cost effectively.
So that is my take on why online qual, and platforms such as Aha!, are quickly being adopted by corporate marketing professionals. I would love to hear your feedback or answer any questions you may have about online qual.