in person research
January 12, 2021

In-Person Research vs. Digital Research

While in-person events and meetings have come back to many locations across the world, we’ve all learned so much about how to conduct our important tasks online. This includes research, specifically for experiments and studies. Research for general facts and information has been digital for a while, but for the longest time, in-person research has been the way to go when your business is conducting experiments or studies. This format has given researchers critical insight into whatever product, service, or other information they’re researching. But in the past few years, we have had to resort to digital research.

Digital research has become the norm and allowed businesses and research projects to continue their work at optimal levels. Corporations have seen their gains flourish by harnessing the data they have collected to optimally target their user base, while also expelling parts of their business that aren’t conducive to their long-term success. While in-person research has usually been the norm, we say that digital research has more than become a viable option, at least in the corporate world.

Why is Research Important?

Most, if not all, successful marketing and business practices are based on data. Businesses know who to target amongst their current and potential user bases and who not to target based on data they’ve collected. That data informs their marketing teams on how likely someone might be interested in their product or service if presented with certain marketing material. It also informs them on what marketing materials people are most likely to respond to positively.

Research into their own company structure–from local storefronts to executive offices–can also inform a business of redundancies and places where they can bulk up. Having the right people in the right positions can increase profits long-term. This makes the research useful in several ways just to corporations alone. This doesn’t even include how product research informs the developments on how someone might use their products, any side effects it causes, and how it can be distributed. 

Research is critical to the success of any business model, so how it is conducted becomes even more paramount.

In-Person Research vs. Digital Research

In-person research is when researchers work with their subjects or collect their information in person. If you poll someone on a topic and collect this information from a focus group you can see in person, that’s in-person research.

Digital research is when researchers conduct the poll or experiment online and never meet the subjects beyond a video call, if at all. Online polls, surveys, and questionnaires are the most common types of digital research. But when is one better than the other?

Why Should You Use In-Person Research?

In-person allows for communication, which can lead to the most important insights research can produce. Often, there are ideas and situations that may not occur to the researcher that can only come up by watching the subjects react to the research situation or question. Sometimes subjects can’t even perform the required action without the researcher walking them through the process. 

When you use digital research, you can miss out on what insight each individual subject provides. You also miss out on the telltale signs of someone or something in the research prompt causing outliers or results to lean in one or another.

Why Should You Use Digital Research?

Digital is a format that knows no limits. You can get subjects for your research from all over the world, potentially from a subject pool that’s limited only by your budget. It’s difficult to near-impossible to collect a diverse range of subjects for in-person research that accurately represents every group in a company’s target audience.

In-person research has so many limitations on the subject pool that digital research doesn’t. Digital research can last over a long period of time, taking the time to gather large amounts of subjects. Digital studies are also cost-efficient depending on the type of information you want to collect.

Conduct Your Research With Focus Forward

Which type of research works best for you depends on your research subject. If you need to find the kinks in a product or marketing strategy, you may need in-person research. That way you can get the important details you need to make your product/service launch a success. But if you need to hear from as many people as possible, you need a digital research study to do that. 
For either, contact Focus Forward. We can help you with your qualitative and quantitative research needs, for both in-person and digital research.