Market Researchers Resources The 2018 Guide to Qualitative Research Methods

Online Market Research

Put the Power of the Internet to Work for You: When Should You Consider Online Market Research?

Online Market research should be considered when:

  • Your target group is spread out across geographic locations, is a low incidence target or participants have busy work schedules
  • Budgets are tight, time is of the essence or travel is restricted
  • Conducting research with tweens and teens
  • You want maximum control over group dynamics

Which Method is Right for Your Project—Real Time Chat or Bulletin Board?

Consider a Bulletin Board (15-20 participants moderated over a period of 2-3 days) when:

  • there is a need to get depth reactions over an extended period of time
  • exploring personal/sensitive topics in depthat an exploratory stage: When responses to the first day of questions
  • leads you to “new thinking” and generates a second day of questions
  • an online diary is desired to complement a product placement project

Consider Live Online Focus Groups (6-8 participants, for 1-2 hours, at a password protected virtual facility) when:

  • You want reactions to ads, taglines, monikers and “initial quick reads” on concepts
  • You want to test web-based products, services
  • You want to talk to teens/tweens
  • Breadth is desired, but not necessarily depth

As a Methodology, How Does Online Market Research Maximize the Qualitative Process?

Obtaining unbiased, honest responses can be easier than with in-person group research. Not only are participants invisible and anonymous, the software we use has a “privacy” feature that can require each participant to answer a question first before seeing others’ answers.

Tweens and teens actually prefer to talk online rather than in person, so online environments create a more natural setting in which to express themselves.

The client team saves time and money by not having to travel. You can view the bulletin board or real time chat discussion anywhere there’s a computer with Internet access.

A “backroom” client feature allows observers to post messages exclusively to the moderator and each other.

A virtual “whiteboard” can be used to show concept images, websites, or audio/video files. These images can be revised based on participant feedback and re-posted as often as needed throughout the course of the session.

Your results are immediate; you receive downloaded transcripts from the session at any time; no need to wait for a transcriber.

How Much Does Online Market Research Cost?

Real Time Chat:
$4,000-$5,500 per chat session*

Bulletin Board:
$15,000-$17,000 per board (equivalent to 3-4 focus groups worth of output)*

Prices are inclusive of recruiting, incentives, moderation and a summary report.

*Actual price is determined based on the length of the chat or board, the number of participants, and the difficulty of the recruit.

For further information about Online Market Research contact:  Kathy Doyle at (312) 863-7602 or


“I have used Doyle Research on numerous occasions, and have found the team to be knowledgeable, creative in recommending solutions for qualitative that works, able to turn on a dime when we needed it. We’ve had solid results and some highly insightful analysis that opened business partner eyes to some things they didn’t know but needed to.”

Consumer Insights | DeVry University

Qualitative Online Research