Online Qualitative: Easing Respondents into New Technology
Researchers are moving to online qualitative when in-person research is not possible. Brands are embracing this approach for many projects, finding it effective and successful. Respondents are not always as ready. Tech savvy respondents may find online easy or even easier – still research includes people with all levels of comfortableness on the technology spectrum.
People feel better about what they know and have experienced, but online qualitative research can be a little less intuitive for some possible respondents. Where we often see focus groups represented on a favorite TV comedy or in a movie, people are a little less likely to experience online qualitative until they are part of a project. Whether the research is nationwide, in a specific market, or zeroed in on a single zip code, recruitment of respondents is about making sure that everyone is comfortable, excited and engaged.
As we are even more focused forward with online qual, our team has developed additional robust strategies to support respondents.
- Identifying with the Concern
We always want the best people who represent the market of the brand! Still, that can sometimes present a challenge regardless of the size of the footprint for the project. With online qualitative, potential respondents can occasionally be concerned about their ability to use the technology, so we have embraced support to encourage everyone to be part of online qualitative research. Recruiters answer questions about the project, the research and the steps involved in participation.
- Let Respondents Know What to Expect
Surprises can be great, but not always so in marketing research. If videos are expected, individual homework or a one on one interview, we prepare the respondent as part of the recruitment process, and make sure they are comfortable. When a respondent knows up front what is part of the project, we have the opportunity to make sure that they are educated in how to do the assignment that is a vital part of the research, feel valued, and also be successful. We are here to help the less tach savvy people who have thoughts to share.
- Don’t just tell people, show them
We love when our clients provide an information packet or screen shots of what the platform will look like, and the experience that the respondents will share with them and with the client. Showing respondents how user friendly the platform is can go a long way with the less tech savvy people for research. Also, a friend on the inside never hurts! Respondents have the contact information of our team to guide them if they feel overwhelmed or challenged by the technology that they are likely using for the first time. We are excited, and they get excited, too.
In person research has amazingly supportive moderators who encourage, nurture and guide respondents through sharing, and we hope to be recruiting many respondents to meet face to face soon. Until that time, we can still welcome everyone to be part of marketing research and opinion sharing. With a few easy, personal and supportive steps, online qualitative virtual doors are truly open!