Haven’t done your first online qualitative research project? That doesn’t surprise Kathy Doyle, a qualitative research veteran who recently talked to us about her experience with online qualitative at her Chicago-based research firm, Doyle Research. She says she experienced a “slow adoption process” of online qualitative research, particularly among clients. “I think it has a lot to do with their comfort level. They just don’t see how you can do qualitative research online because they think it’s all about ‘seeing’ customers and watching their facial expressions.” Clients can be skeptical about online qualitative research, but so can researchers. “I’m surprised by the people who insist that it can’t add value to their qualitative toolbox,” Kathy says.
Her advice? Try it out. Here are three reasons she’s sure will make you a convert:
1. Access to participants: Kathy says this is online qualitative research’s biggest benefit. “With online, you can easily talk to people from different parts of the country without having to travel,” she says. It’s also the perfect solution for hard-to-reach demographics, whether that’s busy physicians, tech-crazed teens or even house-bound seniors.
2. Anonymity: “In a lot of cases, it gives us better responses,” she says. “People say things they might not be comfortable revealing in front of an in-person focus group.”
3. It really is the future: “Our communication in general is moving online,” says the mom of a tech-savvy teenage son. “Ten years ago, the thought of talking to people online was weird. But 10 years from now, the idea of going to a focus group facility to talk to a group of strangers will seem even weirder.”
Check out more of what Kathy had to say about online qualitative research.