Archive for the ‘Online Qualitative’ Category

Quick-Turn Qualitative

Posted on: February 20th, 2019 by doyle No Comments

Think of the last time you purchased a brand-new pair of shoes. How many different stores did you go to – or did you buy online? Did you try them on, or just grab your size? Were there particular brands you were looking for?  Now think of the process of purchasing a new house. Would those same questions be applicable? They are both purchases, so why is this such a ludicrous comparison? 

Both instances certainly require information to make a decision, but the depth of information you need to feel comfortable is quite different. Not all purchases require the same level of product knowledge to make an informed decision, and likewise not all business objectives require the same level of research to answer their questions.

Typically, we think of a research project as a long, detailed assignment requiring a multitude of resources, with the largest of those being time and money. But in reality, needs evolve every day. In a market driven by ever changing consumer expectations, often you don’t have the capability to capture an answer to a business question or formulate a response through a traditional six-month study, or even a one-month one. So, what happens when you run across this situation; do you just go without?

That is when we look to a more agile, nimble solution: quick-turn qualitative. Quick-turn qualitative approaches provide enough information to make an informed decision without the traditional time and efforts associated with more traditional research.

What is Quick-Turn Qualitative?

The lean, pragmatic methodology is based on improving your decision-making process by adding just enough information to justify your decisions when otherwise you might act on faith alone. It is intended to address straightforward, simple objectives, so you can quickly get the insights in a fast and affordable fashion. This constraint-driven research is meant to be completed in less than two weeks without depleting your resources.

It isn’t a substitute for traditional research methods, but rather a complementary approach. It shouldn’t aim to provide a complete understanding, or give you conclusive, statistically significant, exhaustive information. Just as a shoe purchase doesn’t require the same amount of effort as a home purchase, it’s meant for those research questions that simply don’t need as much in-depth research.

When Should You Use Quick-Turn Qualitative (QtQ)?

  • When you have a tight timeline, QtQ allows you to strictly focus on answering the business question.
  • When you have historically not conducted research, QtQ can be used instead of “going with your gut,” only to miss an imperative aspect that could’ve been avoided by a fact check.
  • When something is better than nothing. QtQ serves those instances of gray areas, where any type of clarifying information can steer you in the right direction.

Below are real-world instances that illustrate when quick-turn qualitative is most effective.

Concept Validation. Quick-turn qualitative aligns with lean startup thinking and a desire to fail faster. Innovation groups in R&D are constantly rolling out new product ideas and enhancements. With quick-turn research, you can conduct a pre-test on the ideas in the beginning stage. This approach allows you to fact check your hypothesis and confirm you are on the right path. Validated product concepts are more likely to thrive and result in a higher return on investment.

Crisis Intervention. Quick-turn qualitative can be utilized as a means of crisis intervention. We live in a world where our consumer market is incredibly reactive; therefore, businesses must be incredibly responsive. When crisis strikes, not only does a brand need to know how to respond, but they need to execute their message quickly. In this situation, confident, swift application of a quick-turn qualitative methodology can provide answers and give a directional sense of how to respond most effectively.

Ad Testing & Brand Perception. Quick-turn qualitative is ideal for stimuli testing, whether it’s a concept, creative, ad, message, or package. The direct questions and a head-to-head comparison provide actionable insights on how the stimuli measure up to one another, and how they impact the brand perception and business overall. This type of testing can be done in the early stages, to get directional insight, or later, to get a confirmation that the winning creative will drive the necessary results.

If you’d like to learn more about quick-turn qualitative, and how it can serve as an effective solution to your business needs, feel free to contact me.




Taking Research Online

Posted on: January 24th, 2019 by doyle

Today’s expansive research tool kit means we have the ability to conduct research any number of ways, whether it’s in-person or online.  This allows us to design the approach that best meets your needs, best meets the needs of your audience, and works within any budget or timing constraints you may have. 

When it comes to digital research in particular, here are eight common client needs and how we utilize our approaches to address them.

Get Information Quickly

We offer an option for an “in-the-box” quick-turn research solution with a turnaround time of just five to seven days for simple qualitative, quantitative or both. Additionally, we can plan, deploy and analyze a discussion based on one-on-one text chats or a bulletin board in as little as three weeks.

Gather Information Over Time

Using discussion boards, we can create flexible, nimble communities that allow you to track a customer’s journey, experiences, perceptions and feelings over periods of time as short as three days and as long as a year. Participants can come and go easily, answering on their own time.

Test Stimuli

If you’re doing quantitative stimuli testing but need some qualitative depth, we can easily append chats to your existing survey instrument, engaging in one-on-one text-based conversations with a select subset of respondents. We can also expose respondents to video, text, image or web-based stimuli using an online discussion board or series of webcam interviews.

Learn from a Hard-To-Reach Audience

An online discussion board is usually our preferred choice for hard-to-reach audiences because it allows them to answer on their own time. The format is unobtrusive, and we can set up a board and leave it open for a designated period of time, meaning that even participants with unpredictable schedules or limited availability can engage when it works best for them.

Observe Respondents on the Go

Our mobile solutions mean that participants can easily take photos and video of their surroundings and/or complete activities and upload them to our platforms. Shopping trips, restaurant visits, office workflows, even their commute can be filmed or photographed and uploaded.

See People – Observe Facial Expressions, Body Language, Respondent Surroundings and More

Video-based IDIs and focus groups provide the ability to engage with respondents face-to-face, just as you would in a physical facility. With this technology, we can capture facial expressions and body language, as well as observe interactions with products and people inside their home, office or other environment.

Take an Iterative “Test and Learn” Approach

We can create a “pop-up” community of respondents who can give feedback on different iterations of ideas, stimuli, and more over time. Participants can be in position to react to new creative, provide feedback on modified product ideas, or even discuss current events or timely topics, based on your objectives.

Blend Quantitative Rigor with Qualitative Depth

Video or text-based chats, or a discussion board, can easily link to the end of a quantitative survey. We can also recruit respondents from a quantitative survey to connect with us at a later date for a follow up interview.

Want to know more? Contact us for a conversation about your own unique needs.



No: One Simple Word for Better Research

Posted on: September 10th, 2018 by doyle

My friend and colleague Julia Eisenberg over at 20|20 Research published an article addressing why when it comes to research, more isn’t always better.

In these days with every methodology at our finger tips, it can be harder than ever to find the right balance when designing a study.  After all, we can reach our audiences and collect insights so many ways. But when does too much of a good thing become a bad thing?

In Julia’s piece, found here, she suggests that the best way to gain the full picture and meaningful insights may mean we sometimes have to say no, keeping the scope of a project tighter or breaking it into phases.

At high level, she suggests the following:

  • Reduce. Limit the scope of the project to two or three objectives and be overly critical of everything else.
  • Identify. Proactively discuss any potential issues and clearly identify expectations before research begins.
  • Protect. Guard your work and don’t let other stakeholders add unrelated objectives that draw attention away from the main focus.
  • Verify. Value the quality control process as much as the methodology being use. Check-in early and check-in often.

Quant, Qual, and Quant+Qual: Addressing Data Quality

Posted on: August 8th, 2018 by doyle

My good friend and colleague Jim Bryson at 20|20 recently shared his thoughts in a blog post about qualitative research and its value for protecting sample and data quality.  I agree with Jim’s key point, that data fraud is a huge industry problem.  Another concern I have is that despite massive panel sizes the reality is that only a fraction of those panelists are active.  That means we are relying more and more on a smaller and smaller pool of participants for the information on which huge business decisions are based.  It seems to me that the panel industry is ripe for disruption. 

As for qualitative and the role it can play in addressing both issues, there is no question that qualitative recruiting can be more precise, and more accurate, because the smaller numbers required allow for a high-touch recruit. It is much harder to be a “cheater or repeater” when you are “face-to-face” with the recruiter and the researcher.  However, qualitative research is not always the solution our clients are seeking.  And is in no way a 1:1 replacement for a true quantitative study.  Which is why hybrid research is surging in popularity.

The ability to scale qualitative, quickly and efficiently, makes it a viable alternative or supplement to more traditional quantitative research. For example, 30-50 online chat interviews might just meet your need for a small-scale quant study, while still getting you the VOC insights that qualitative provides.  Best of both worlds.

Or, something the Doyle team is doing more of is conducting a full-scale quantitative study supplemented by a small number of qualitative interviews.   Respondents meeting key criteria can be routed to the qualitative exercise immediately after participating in the survey or they can be hand-picked after the fact to amplify specific quantitative findings.

While qualitative and quantitative research serve distinctly different purposes, the increasing capabilities available for blending them produces multiple benefits worth considering.

Research Methods: A Deeper Dive Into Online Qualitative

Posted on: July 9th, 2018 by doyle

From the desk of Kathy Doyle

Over the past few years, the qualitative toolkit has vastly increased with the addition of online and mobile methods.  These additions have brought significant benefits and the ability to conduct research that was simply not possible before.

With that in mind, we thought we’d take a closer look at some of our favorite online methodologies – webcam interviews, online communities and digital chats.

Webcam Interviews

Webcam interviews are online interviews in which the participant and moderator can see each other as well as any stimuli (storyboard, video, website, etc.) utilizing webcams and a split screen.

Webcam interviews take geography out of the equation, allowing you to conduct interviews across the country in a single day. You get a close-up of participants’ facial expressions as they view the stimulus, something that is difficult to achieve in a focus group facility. This makes them ideal for web usability studies and advertising communication checks.

Online Communities

Online communities take place over time (short term or long term, ranging from two days to two weeks or longer) with respondents answering questions or reacting to stimulus posted by the moderator. They allow for anonymity, unlimited response time, and iterative or longitudinal learning. Respondents also have the ability to upload photos and video and complete homework assignments before or during the session.

Online communities are ideal for exploratory research when rich, nuanced feedback is needed. They also work well for message development or evaluation, and whenever a topic is sensitive.

One-on-One Chats

One-on-one chats function much like an instant message or text chat, but one that is led by a moderator who engages with the individual participant in real time. A great way to get beneath surface-level insights, with this technique the moderator can also share stimuli for respondent feedback.

One-on-one chats are ideal for creative and message testing and allow anonymity that also makes it well suited for discussion of sensitive topics. Furthermore, this approach can be used as a stand-alone qualitative exploration or added seamlessly to a quantitative survey, routing qualified participants from the survey instrument to a moderated chat to provide greater depth and context.

If you’d like to explore whether, or how, these methods could be used to answer your business questions, feel free to contact me at